Dead Al­fie watch­ing over his twin

We’d lost him… but maybe our baby Al­fie wasn’t so far away Amy Far­quhar, 27, from Cam­bridgeshire

Chat It's Fate - - Contents -

We were ex­cited, happy, and ter­ri­fied.

‘We’ll man­age,’ my hubby James, 28, re­as­sured me. ‘We’ll have to!’

‘You’re go­ing to be such a good dad,’ I told him.

It was Oc­to­ber 2014, we’d just found out we were ex­pect­ing twins.

Boys, we de­cided to call Al­fie and Char­lie.

But then, bad news…


That De­cem­ber, me and James were hav­ing our 16-week scan…

‘I’m sorry,’ the doc­tor said. ‘Your ba­bies have twin to twin trans­fu­sion syn­drome. Blood isn’t flow­ing evenly be­tween them. Char­lie is get­ting a lot of blood – as well as all the good nu­tri­ents it con­tains. Al­fie is hardly get­ting any.’

The hap­pi­ness, ex­cite­ment, ner­vous­ness van­ished. Re­placed by fear. ‘Ev­ery­thing’s go­ing to be OK, isn’t it?’ I asked the doc­tor. ‘We’ll do ev­ery­thing we can,’ she said. We were trans­ferred to Kings Col­lege Hospi­tal in Lon­don for a laser ab­la­tion – pin­hole surgery to sep­a­rate the pla­centa, giv­ing Al­fie and Char­lie ac­cess to the blood and nu­tri­ents they needed. It was a suc­cess. But a cou­ple of days on, I was back at hospi­tal with stom­ach pains.


I had another scan… ‘There’s no easy way of say­ing this,’ the doc­tor be­gan. Al­fie had died. The tiny lit­tle thing hadn’t been able to cope with the sud­den rush of blood through his sys­tem when my pla­centa had been sep­a­rated. My head was spin­ning, my heart aching, and my world end­ing. ‘No,’ I kept re­peat­ing. James pulled me into his arms. I couldn’t even cry. ‘What’ll we do?’ I whis­pered. ‘We’re go­ing to be strong,’ James told me. ‘For Char­lie.’ And that’s the thing. That’s why I couldn’t cry. Be­cause I was still preg­nant. Yes. We’d lost one baby. But shouldn’t we be grate­ful for the one we had?

A mir­a­cle

The doc­tor said Al­fie would stay in­side un­til I went into labour. Then, I’d de­liver him like Char­lie.

Over the next weeks, my bump grew and grew. Two ba­bies. One liv­ing. One dead. But there was no time to grieve.

On 15 March 2015, my pla­centa rup­tured. I was just 26 weeks gone.

At 8.14pm that night, I gave birth to baby Char­lie by emer­gency C-sec­tion. He weighed 2lb 1oz. Two min­utes later came Al­fie. Just 10oz.

He was taken away, and the next day we were taken to a room where he was on a bed.

A hello and a good­bye, a life­time of love in mo­ments.

Char­lie was so small, he’d been taken straight to Neona­tal In­ten­sive Care and put on life sup­port.

But he de­vel­oped menin­gi­tis, sep­sis and

James and I were ex­cited, happy and ter­ri­fied

needed a her­nia op­er­a­tion. The only thing that got us through it… Al­fie. At first, it was a feel­ing. Like he was watch­ing over Char­lie – the odds were stacked against him but he pulled through. ‘It’s a mir­a­cle Char­lie’s do­ing so well,’ the doc­tor smiled. ‘Thank you, Al­fie,’ I whis­pered.


Char­lie was in hospi­tal for the next four months. Me and James were at his side all the time. Just nipped back home in shifts to get 40 winks. But I didn’t feel alone at home, ei­ther. ‘Have you no­ticed them?’ I asked James when he’d been home for a shower. ‘Feath­ers?’ he said. I nod­ded. When­ever I was at home, I’d find them. Tiny, white feath­ers. On my pil­low, on the door­mat, rest­ing on the bath towels. We couldn’t work out where they were com­ing from. ‘We don’t even have feather pil­lows,’ James said. It was Al­fie. A sign. ‘He’s here with us,’ I said. I was strug­gling. But those feath­ers changed ev­ery­thing. ‘I know you’re there,’ I said aloud to the photo of Al­fie’s scan on the shelf of our lounge. We’d had his ashes made into a di­a­mond set into a ring for me. With enough left over for James and Char­lie if they want one made later.

Ray of light

Four months on, Char­lie was al­lowed home. And then, 15 March 2016, Char­lie’s first birth­day. Al­fie’s, too. Me and James re­leased a bal­loon for him, both of us film­ing on our phones. ‘Happy birth­day, Al­fie,’ I said. ‘Happy birth­day Char­lie.’ Later that night, we watched the videos. Nei­ther of us could believe our eyes. A ray of light, a shaft of bright­ness danc­ing around the bal­loon. Al­fie. Telling us to be happy. I knew it’d be hard. But I made a prom­ise to Al­fie there and then. I’d try my best to be happy. For Char­lie and James. There was no way I’d ever forget Al­fie. And I’d never get over los­ing him. But I owe it to him to be the best mum I can be. for his brother. Char­lie’s 2 now. As soon as he’s old enough, I’ll tell him about Al­fie. Although I think he knows al­ready. Al­fie never got a chance at life. My son. My baby boy. And the an­gel on my shoul­der.

It was like Al­fie was watch­ing over Char­lie

Hold­ing hands: Our ba­bies

Lit­tle fighter: Strong Char­lie Happy birth­day: Special bal­loon

Happy Char­lie: Big brother

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