Shortly after Luke was born; he was put on my chest.  I was in shock; I didn't know what I was to do with a dead baby lying on my chest. I didn't know what I was feeling. I was numb. I thought for a second was it OK to be holding him as he was dead? I just went with it, but now with the advantage of retrospect, I can honestly say it was the most precious time I had to spend with my first born. Luke lay there motionless but still warm, his body was curled up. I kissed him and stroked him and I cried. We lay together with his dad looking on, not knowing what to do.

I can't remember who asked us did we have a name picked out or when that question was asked. What I do know is it only took us minutes to pick the name Luke. Luke was called after his daddy. I do know that we were so proud of our little man; it was just so hard to accept that he was no longer with us.

The midwife took Luke to dress him and do his footprints. The midwife said the prints didn't work and was it OK that she did them again. I wasn't sure what the prints were for but I said yes, but unfortunately they were never done so we do not have any prints.

I remember lying in that delivery room, thinking what now. I had a future mapped out and now it was gone. I didn't have an alternative future mapped out so I was truly lost. I must have laid there for an hour, Luke I think was taken away but I'm not entirely sure. I was then told that my placenta had not come so they were going to try and manually remove it.

It was surreal, doctors milling around the anesthesiologist was upping my dose. I was wheeled into theater, people were talking to me asking me questions, what I now know is I was not in this world, I was not fully aware of what was going on. What I endured over the next 40 minutes was horrific, a manual removal of the placenta. I did not feel pain but I was aware of what they were doing. When they finished the conclusion was that they didn't get everything and they would have to try again. I was left in recovery and then wheeled to my room. I don't remember the sequence of events was Luke in the room when I got there or did they bring him in after. I do know that Luke was born on Tuesday the 13th December 2011. I know that there was no heartbeat detected after he was born. There is an uncertainty as to when Luke's heart stopped beating. I know that he was the compromised twin.

Luke stayed with me and his daddy on Tuesday night; the midwife set a cot up next to our bed. Throughout the night I remember waking up and not believing all this had happened and looking over to see Luke lying still in his cot. I held Luke many times over the next few days. I rubbed his little face and removed the blanket to see his tiny yet perfect hands and feet. I spoke to him and told him how much he was loved. I was given a memory box which had two teddies I gave one to Luke and I gave one to his brother Arthur. Luke was our little angel baby. We pleaded with Luke to look after his little brother Arthur, to protect him and keep him safe. I remember thinking we are asking a lot of such a small little man who couldn't stay with us on this earth.

The midwife asked us what we wanted to do if we wanted an autopsy. Without thinking I said no, I didn't want little Luke to be hurt after all it wasn't his fault that we were here. We were asked had we plans for a funeral, I couldn't think straight. I was in shock and completely devastated. The midwife said we could have the funeral there but they have a little plot where Luke could be buried. I immediately said no as I was over two hours’ drive from my home in a strange city. I could not leave Luke after me, alone by himself. We talked to each other and decided on a cremation. My partner and I had lived in Hawaii for seven years, there many people choose cremation and then spread the ashes in the ocean. I always liked this idea of visiting the ocean to be close to someone you loved and have lost. That was it we were going to cremate and then we could take our time and decide what to do with the ashes. My partner made the phone calls and the cremation was booked for Friday.

It was not meant to be, on Wednesday the day after the boys were born, I was given a drug to try and shed the piece of placenta that was still stuck. I had a really bad reaction to the drug, my body went into spasms. It did not work, so I had to undergo a DNC, which was scheduled for Thursday so I was told that I would not be released from hospital till after the weekend. So we decided that my DH would go alone. I was somewhat relieved that I wouldn't have to endure the pain of traveling two hours in a car with our baby to the crematorium, but in the same thought I did not known how I could not be there for him. Thankfully the counselor came to speak to us and she said we could take our time and that Luke could be put in a cool room for a few days and we could do the cremation after the weekend so we could both be there. I was relieved we had time.

I had the DNC and was put on a cocktail of antibiotics to fight infection. Luke stayed with us in the room Wednesday, Thursday and Friday night. Luke was now cold and his coloring began to change. Luke stayed in a cool room at the chapel Saturday and Sunday night. I slept with him at my side; I spoke to him about his brother. I loved him. I didn't want to share him; I didn't want to see anybody. I had this as a very strong urge. I think I was in shock and there was so much going on with the birth, and all the medical stuff and Luke's death and baby Arthur's neonatal journey. I couldn't fit anyone else in, I didn't have room for others grief, so I held onto Luke with his daddy at my side. It was a short time but it was our only time to spend with Luke, it was his whole lifetime.

The counselor suggested that we get photographs of baby Luke taken by a photographer that comes to the hospital. At first I was a bit shocked and the thoughts of taking pictures at a time like this, I thought why I would want to remember, the pain. Over the weekend once we had time to slow down I decided to do the photos. I remember the photographer coming in; I remember feeling so lost, empty, and hollow. We posed for the pictures with our little man and I couldn't smile. It felt a bit surreal, I felt that I was not present but looking on from afar. Now that is all we have left of our time with baby Luke, pictures and memories.

On Monday we traveled to the crematorium by car. We hadn't prepared for the service, which is a huge regret. I am aware that I wasn't thinking straight and I was far from home. I also had started expressing milk for Arthur so we had only four to five hours to travel to and from the crematorium and have the service. The crematorium is situated by the sea and once inside there is a sense of clam. We met with a few close family members there, and then we were taken to a private room where they explained what would happen. My partner put our little man in his coffin, it broke my heart. I fixed Luke's teddy and kissed him goodbye. We cried it was just so sad. Luke’s daddy carried the little white coffin out to the main area and we held the coffin on our laps. Everybody cried and kissed Luke's coffin and said goodbye. It was quiet; there was gentle music in the background. We stayed after everyone had left and told our little man how much we loved him and it was over. We headed back to the hospital to be with our other baby. I had to let Luke go as Arthur needed me.

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