I am lying on the picnic blanket, enjoying it all. James, 7, is kicking a footy around, Alexandra, 4, is dancing and Elia, 1, is crawling.
My wife Sarina is putting lunch out and keeping an eye on everyone. Just a normal Father’s Day picnic scene that is probably being replicated in hundreds of parks around the country and still my mind keeps drifting back to the son we lost five years ago.
Our second son Thomas was stillborn on the 24th October, 2008. It was a normal pregnancy. All the tests and scans were normal. Sarina was just going to the obstetrician for her last check up before our planned caesarean scheduled the next week. I had attended all previous appointments but this time we decided I would go to work as I was preparing for six weeks of paternity leave and the appointment was not going to take more than five minutes anyway.
I was sitting at my desk when I received the phone call from Sarina telling me there was something wrong and she passed the phone to the doctor who told me our baby had died. From that point on it becomes very hazy.
I organized my parents to look after James and raced to the obstetrician. We decided to have Thomas the next day.
We went home not knowing what to do. My mind raced trying to find a fix, an option, anything that would change the outcome. Nothing. I just sat there stunned.
The next morning we had Thomas. Compared to James' delivery the silence was unnerving; the doctors weren't talking or making jokes, the nurses weren't laughing or asking to take photos for us and there was no baby crying. We spent the next week in hospital spending as much time as possible with Thomas, taking photos, painting footprints and trying to create memories. We were discharged from the hospital on Thomas' due date.