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Updated: Sep 12, 2018

Learning to survive the death of your unborn children

By Kirsty Siokos

Once upon a time, not so long ago, I lived in the most beautiful world, Bubble World the kind of world I imagined I'd live in when I grew up. I had a tall, dark and handsome husband. I had a beautiful little boy, and we had just bought our new palace. Yes a palace. I am a Princess after all!

Our palace had everything we could possibly want, four bedrooms, two bathrooms, one with a bath so big I could float in it. Ok I'm only five feet tall, but that still makes for a pretty big bath! Our palace had three living rooms, a huge kitchen (I'm not sure why we need such a big kitchen. I'm a Princess. I don't cook, but you know it came with the house!) and a swimming pool. I mean what more could a Princess want?

But want I did. I wanted to fill the rooms with babies. I wanted to give my little boy a sibling to play with, and so our journey began.

In the new year we headed to Bali for our annual family holiday. Our last trip as a family of three. Our little boy was 18 months old, absolutely adorable, golden hair, big blue eyes... All the staff at the Fairmont Hotel Sanur remembered him. He is pretty unforgettable, in my opinion! We had gorgeous family photos taken so I could remember the days when there was just the three of us...

A couple of months later, we were pregnant, TWINS says the Doctor!! I went into shock, followed by absolute joy, followed by shock, joy, shock, joy... FEAR! Oh my gosh, I was going to be a Mumma to three babies all under three! All my dreams had come true. I had a husband, my first born baby was a boy (I had always wanted to have a big brother) and now twins! I'd hit the Bubble World Jackpot and I couldn't have been happier, we were having two baby berries.

Within moments, and by moments I mean a few short minutes, happiness turned to sadness as we were told one of our babies didn't look as though she would survive. She was too small. A bittersweet moment, but I chose to be positive. She may very well survive and we had another beautiful baby growing in my belly, and as I had always believed, everything happens for a reason right? But sadly our twin didn't survive. She just vanished, absorbed by my baby daughter and I. We named her Strawberry, my favorite berry.

On our son’s second birthday we told everyone that we were having another baby. Many were in shock. We'd always said just one baby. This was because we were old and who knew if we'd be able to have another baby? (Can you believe I was classified as a "geriatric pregnancy?")

I'll never forget the day, the hour, the minute that I saw a missed call from my Doctor. My nieces and their parents were about to fly home after a week staying with us. I could not believe I was going to be able to tell the girls if they were getting a pink cousin or another gorgeous blue cousin. I yelled for my hubby and we called the Doctor from our room, we were so excited.

It was Monday the 13th July at 4:39 PM, the day my Bubble World burst.

"I'm so sorry. Your baby has downs syndrome" these are the words that came out of our Doctors mouth. "I'm so sorry" what does that even mean? "Please come in tomorrow to discuss your options."


I found out the next morning my baby was pink... I had a little raspberry tucked safely inside. In silence I took the piece of paper that had all of our daughters information on it and I wrote her name "Lilika Poppy."

My beautiful Lilika Poppy had down syndrome.

That's ok, I'm in love and nothing can change that.

A scan that day confirmed Lilika Poppy had calcified fingers.

That's ok, I'm in love and nothing can change that.

Another scan a month later confirmed Lilika Poppy had problems with her kidneys, she would need surgery.

That's ok, I'm in love and nothing can change that.

The scan revealed that Lilika Poppy was not growing properly, she registered in the less than 1% category of the Percentile chart.

That's ok, I'm in love and nothing can change that.

All the Doctors we spoke with said she was more than likely going to require heart surgery in her first few days of life.

That's ok, I'm in love and nothing can change that.

I remember very little of the weeks that followed. I lived in a haze. I lived in denial. I had a panic attack during a performance of The Very Hungry Caterpillar. I couldn't breathe, the theater was so incredibly hot. I put my little boy on his seat and ran down the stairs straight into the arms of my husband. I am so thankful he was there, he was only meant to pick us up out the front.

I had so many question and no answers. I spoke with so many people and still had no clarity. What do you do when the life of your child looks so bleak, so difficult? Then I remembered Lilika Poppy has a big brother... How would this impact on my little boy’s life? Now and in the future?

In the end my husband and I did what we had to do, we stopped thinking about ourselves and what we wanted and we started to think about our children. We knew we did not want our child to go through unnecessary pain. I don't mean a scraped knee or a broken arm. I mean open heart surgery at 48 hours old, and kidney surgery at four months old. We knew we wanted our children, both of them to have complete independence, a life without barriers. So we made a decision no parent should ever have to make and we chose to let our Lilika Poppy grow her wings.

Our decision had nothing to do wither down syndrome and everything to do with her quality of life. We wanted our daughter to have a life full of beauty, fun and adventure, we did not want her having such complicated surgery in her first few days on earth followed by endless hospital stays.

Lilika Poppy, our baby that we wanted more than anything else in the world died on the 26th of August 2015 and was born into our hearts silently, dreaming on Daffodil Day, Friday the 28th August 2015 at 6:13 AM. She was absolutely perfect, too perfect for earth, too perfect for Bubble World.

So now we live on the outskirts of Bubble World, it’s a place where the beauty of ignorant bliss ceases to exist and where the saying "everything happens for a reason" is known to be a load of crap! I will never know if we made the right decision for our daughter. I will never be 100% comfortable with our decision, how could I be? I am her Mumma and I couldn't fix her. Our family is incompletely complete because we are the family that 'it' did happen too. I am not a Princess. Our home isn't filled with babies, but it is filled with love. The giggle of a five year old boy, and memories, lots and lots of memories.

Our twins are a big part of our lives and part of every decision we make. And what we have learned on this heart-breakingly lonely journey is that life is not a fairy tale, you have to live your best life every. single. day. You need to enjoy your life every. single. day.

Life is beautiful, life is precious and you deserve to be here, so go out and find the very best version of yourself, let go of your fears and fly... what have you got to lose?

Kirsty, is a 43 year old Mumma to three beautiful babies. She has a crazy, smart, funny, cheeky five year old boy who lives here, on earth and has two perfect twin girls Strawberry & Lilika Poppy whom live amongst the stars.

Every day she is inspired by her babies, inspired by her own resilience and Iives each day to create a memory, to create a life with meaning.

Social Media: Facebook: /yourinnermama IG: /yourinnermama

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