The story with a happy ending

Bec and Fin

Many of our regular readers would have heard our beautiful Associate Editor, Rebecca Sparrow, and her husband Brad welcomed their third child, Finlay, to the world a couple of weeks ago.

This piece ran in South Australia’s Sunday Mail (on the front page!) over the weekend, and we wanted to share it with you.

Elisa Black writes:

IN a quiet street in Unley, Rebecca Sparrow is getting to know her new son. The tiny boy, born last week, is already a prodigious sleeper.

The proud parents – Rebecca and Brad – are amazed at the difference between him and big sister Ava, 3, who screamed pretty much non-stop for the first six weeks of her life.

Finlay – Fin to mum and dad and Scrappy to Ava after the dog on Play School – may be a quiet fellow but he’s already the target of many exuberant three-year-old cuddles and pokes.

Bec and Brad had a little girl in 2010 called Georgie who was tragically stillborn.

Georgie’s death came as a total shock to the family, who just days before she died had heard her strong heart beating. It was acutely painful for Brad who, as an obstetrics and gynaecology registrar, was surrounded by healthy mums and babies.

“I never suspected anything was wrong until Georgie was 36 weeks old and I realised one morning that I couldn’t remember the last time I felt her move,” Rebecca said.

“Brad was at work and I was visiting my parents in Northern NSW so I went to the local hospital, thinking I was being paranoid, and when the doctor listened for her heartbeat – there wasn’t one.”

The family moved to Adelaide four months later, for Brad’s work, for a fresh start, for a chance to escape the inevitable questions. A planned stay of one year has turned into two, with good food and new friends providing a salve – the only problem being the lack of rugby.

And then Finlay, known as Fin, came along.

Brad, Bec, Ava and Fin

“I didn’t get as bonkers as I anticipated. Obviously I had my low moments but I’m surprised I didn’t end up in a straitjacket,” Rebecca said. “But as soon as I had Fin in my arms we were both overwhelmed with a sense of relief.

“My other big fear was I was worried I wouldn’t bond, that I’d go into some kind of post-natal depression because of Georgie but my heart is overwhelmed, I’m like a stalker, photographing him constantly.”

But however healing the arrival of Fin – short for Finlay, meaning courageous – has been, no child can replace one that has been lost.

“Somebody said to me, when you lose a child, it’s not profit and loss, one arriving doesn’t cancel the loss of another,” Rebecca said. “But it changes your story to a happy ending. I was very conscious in Brisbane that when my name came up, it ended with, ‘and you know she lost her baby’. There is something healing to them being able to say, ‘she’s had another baby’. Fin doesn’t make up for Georgie, but he brings happiness.”

You can read the full article here.