real life

The pain of losing two sons, before you even had the chance to meet them.

Jacqueline Hoy will never forget the day her twin boys Henry and William were stillborn.

It was an ordinary, sunny day in the middle of February, which quickly transformed into a nightmare for the young mum and husband Jonathan after excitedly awaiting the birth of their third and fourth child for almost nine months.

“On that morning I woke up and everything was still normal. I was just running around doing my normal errands and I noticed they were a little bit quiet,” she told Mamamia.

“I lay down and tried to get them moving but nothing worked. Then I had the overwhelming of needing to be sick.”

Jonathon and Jacqueline with their twin boys, William and Henry. Source; Supplied

It was February 13, 2016, just two days out from the Queensland mum's date to be induced, and she assumed she'd simply gone into labour.

Her mum drove her to the hospital.

"I had no idea that they had passed away - or that Henry had passed away - until they turned the monitors on," she said.

An ultrasound revealed that Henry's heart had stopped beating and William's heartbeat was fading quickly.

Doctors tried in vain to perform an emergency c-section, but it was already too late by the time they delivered the little boys.

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"I was in so much physical and emotional pain, but I also just felt like I’d failed.

"There was this overwhelming sense of how could this have happened? How could they be so healthy? Just to have it end."


Even as their initial shock gave way to full-blown grief, Jacqueline and Jonathan had to hold it together for their other sons, eight-year-old Lachlan and Edward, who's on the cusp of turning three.

"I have to pick myself up every day because I have two other beautiful little boys that need me at home and sometimes that’s a lot harder than you could ever begin to imagine, but you just have to do it because that’s what they need," Jacqueline said.

Jonathon, Jacqueline and their two older sons, Lachlan and Edward. Source: Supplied

In Australia, six children are stillborn every single day - a fact Jacqueline didn't know until she began looking for support after her horrific ordeal.

She also discovered that one in 135 births will be stillbirth yet the cause of the baby’s death will never be known.

Her hunt for support online led her to the Stillbirth Foundation, which is working hard to reduce those statistics.

Jacqueline and Jonathan have now joined the Foundation as ambassadors, hoping to let other parents not that something is being done and change will, hopefully, come soon.

In the meantime, the Port Macquarie couple are sticking by each other and want to eventually keep growing their family.

"Some days I have to be the rock and some days he is my rock," Jacqueline said.

"We definitely want to have more babies, I’m sure it will be the most anxious emotional roller coaster of our lives, but we really want to have more children."

Almost all research into stillbirth is directed through Stillbirth Foundation Australia from people who have experienced its devastating loss.

The Foundation is now calling for more government and corporate investment so they can fund more research into prevention, and more campaigns to let parents of unborn babies know what they can do to reduce the risk.

Find out about stillbirth and donate to the Stillbirth Foundation on their website.