Cowboy’s heartbreak to happiness
THE DAY A TOUGH FOOTBALLER CRIED FOR HIS LITTLE BOY
COWBOYS forward Glenn Hall and his wife Kylie are on a high following the birth of their daughter Indiana last week. The birth was especially emotional for the couple after their first child Lachlan was stillborn in 2009. Glenn has spoken of the intense pain he felt over the loss of Lachlan and how he always will be a part of their family.
GLENN Hall reached down and lifted baby Lachlan from his wife’s chest. With tears trickling down his cheek, he hugged his boy, his firstborn child, and told him how much he loved him.
He kissed him on the forehead and said: ‘‘ I love you Lachlan. I am proud to be your Dad.’’
Hall gently placed his little boy in a blue tub. He washed away all the birth, all the muck, as he held back his hurt, anger and shock.
Summoning courage beyond belief, Hall gave his stillborn son his first bath.
He washed him, dried him, and dressed him. And then he said goodbye. ‘‘ It didn’t matter that he was stillborn,’’ Hall said.
‘‘ He was my little boy and I wanted to do all those things for him. I wanted to show him how much I loved him.
‘‘ It was so hard to do but . . . I wanted to be a Dad and that was my job.’’
A tragedy only those who have lost children could ever understand, Lachlan died while still in his mother’s womb about three hours before birth.
Kylie, Hall’s brave and remarkable wife, pushed little Lachlan from her body, knowing she would never get to know the little boy she had been carrying for nine months.
Hall, a Manly player at the time, was in Melbourne preparing to play the Storm in the first finals match of season 2009 when he was delivered the news that made him collapse into a teammate’s arms.
‘‘ We were just about to go to our final session before the Melbourne semi-final,’’ Hall said.
‘‘ Kylie was at a breast-feeding class and had had some pains. She went in to get it checked was told the baby didn’t have a heartbeat. I was in a video session and she couldn’t get me on the phone. She called my trainer and he came in and got me. He said you have to ring your wife.
‘‘ I called thinking it was go time. I was so excited.
‘‘ But she just said there were some problems and they couldn’t find the baby’s heartbeat. That the baby is gone.’’
Hall walked through the lobby of the hotel trying to hold himself together.
He didn’t know how to tell his teammates what had just happened.
‘‘ I went down the lift and began walking across the lobby but I collapsed,’’ Hall said.
‘‘ I think it was ( Manly players) Glenn Stewart and Anthony Watmough that picked me up. They didn’t know what was going on and I was a mess, shaking and crying.
‘‘ Dessy ( Manly coach Des Hasler) came over and I muttered it out. I told them my baby had died.’’
‘‘ He . . . sat down with me for a while. Then he got me straight on a plane so I could be with Kylie.’’
Hall rushed to hospital but missed the birth. His baby was lying in his wife’s arms when he arrived.
‘‘ I had a plane ride to try and come to terms with it,’’ Hall said.
‘‘ I will never ever get over it. Even though we never got to take him home, we had a very special nine months with him.
‘‘ We were so pumped to have him. When Kylie fell pregnant, I grabbed the little stick from the pregnancy test and put it in an envelope so I could show it to my Mum.’’
Glenn and Kylie drew strength from the tragedy.
With their family and friends by their side, they buried little Lachlan and celebrated his short life.
‘‘ We were desperate to be parents and we were ( parents) during that time,’’ Hall said
‘‘ We know we did nothing wrong and it wasn’t our fault.
‘‘ There is nothing we could have done differently. We didn’t try and swallow it and hide it away. We talked about it all the time and don’t run away from it.
‘‘ We have his ashes here with us now and we also keep little things around the house which are a constant reminder of him.’’
It was this extraordinary attitude and love that gave Glenn and Kylie the strength to try again.
To courageously fall pregnant and create another little life.
‘‘ I s** t myself when I found out,’’ Glenn said.
‘‘ Kylie snuck off and did the test in the middle of the night and screamed out in joy when she saw the result.
‘‘ We approached the ( latest) pregnancy the same way as we did with Lachlan.’’
Last week Hall, now playing with the Cowboys after a one-year stint in England with the Bradford Bulls, helped deliver his second child, a beautiful, healthy girl the couple named Indiana.
Again Hall bathed his baby, washing her before slipping her into a little jump suit. And then he cried. ‘‘ They were tears of joy,’’ Hall said.
‘‘ She is the most beautiful thing in the world. I did all the same things with her that I did with Lachlan but this time I got to take her home.’’
Nothing can or ever will replace Lachlan but Glenn and Kylie’s love for their boy is everlasting.
And although Indiana will never know her big brother she will hear about him every day.
DAD’S PRIDE AND JOY: North Queensland Cowboys forward Glenn Hall has endured the pain of losing his son but can celebrate the arrival of his newborn baby daughter, Indiana