In memory of Jacob Rafael Vasquez Morcilla

By Junelle Morcilla

Our loving baby elephant

“Losing a child at any point in time is just the same intensity of pain, and no one will understand the agony and regret it has caused to the parents.”

Jacob Rafael is truly an angel to our family. Born on 22nd May 2021 at a very early stage of 19 weeks + 6 days gestational age, our baby has now joined Almighty God’s eternal kingdom. Let’s celebrate our precious one’s new life in heaven by sending donations to Red Nose. Their advocacy is to save little babies’ lives through research & education and providing assistance to families affected by the death of a baby or child. 

Thank you for visiting our little angel’s tribute page. 

With lots of love — Christian Glenn, Junelle & Lara Gabrielle

https://linktr.ee/junellemorcilla

My Updates

10.6. Birthday Celebrants

Monday 18th Apr

Early in the morning on 11th December, I called my mum and greeted her, “Happy 60th Birthday!” I also posted a warm birthday message for her in Instagram then I organised some documents for her and my dad’s visa application in Australia.

On the same day, we got invited to attend a children’s party. It was my friend in my previous work and his daughter was born only a few days earlier than Lara. After our breakfast, we went to the party and brought a gift for the celebrant.

Lara enjoyed playing in Ray Bastin Reserve Park with her new friends and with the birthday girl. She ate a lot of sweets and had fruit juices that made her so full. We also got a few cupcake takeaways and she hugged the celebrant before we left the park.

It was a fun day for Lara as she was able to play outside and appreciate the nature. It was supposed to be Jacob’s first participation in a birthday party and I am pretty sure that he was just there watching the kids at the park especially his big sister.

— Junelle

10.5. My Little Kitchen Helper

Monday 18th Apr

It was a chilly morning as I started preparing meals for the family while Christian went to the shopping centre to buy groceries for the coming week.

Lara noticed that I was busy cooking so she asked me, “mommy, what are you cooking?” So I answered her nicely and she told me, “mommy, I want to help you!” Then I said, “sure Lara.” 

Lara started to mix the ingredients and tried to follow my instructions. After an hour, Christian came home and she told her dad that she helped her mum in cooking. Christian praised her and said, “wow, Lara well done!”

Lara’s little ways of helping reminded me when Jacob was still in my tummy, the way she spoke with him and when she kissed my belly saying, “I love you my baby brother!” And it made me feel great, knowing that Lara was trying to communicate and connect with her brother. 

— Junelle

10.4. Christmas Tiles 2021

Monday 18th Apr

Christmas was just around the corner and lots of families were busy preparing stuffs for the holidays. Lara was also busy in the child care centre and she enjoyed different Christmas activities with her friends and educators.

I came across Sands Australia’s Facebook Page and saw the limited edition Christmas Tiles in which you could put your child’s name to commemorate your little angel during the Christmas season.

I did not hesitate to reach out to Sands Australia and they assisted me with my request. There were two designs, the “Christmas Wreath” and “Light Circle” but I chose both for Jacob. After a few days, Jacob’s full name got posted in their page and I immediately showed it to Christian.

This simple act of honouring Jacob helped our family to feel our baby elephant’s presence in our hearts.

— Junelle

10.3. Jacob’s Lilies

Sunday 3rd Apr

I enjoyed watching Christian and Lara dancing Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud”; it was indeed a sweet father and daughter moment. However, I did not notice that Christian was a bit unwell in the past few days. He mentioned that his left lower rib side was painful for a couple of days so we have agreed to get him checked by a GP.

Christian went to the GP while Lara and myself stayed at home. When he came back, he mentioned that the GP referred him to the hospital for admission to further observe him and get some additional tests. I got worried but I was just thinking positively that there was nothing serious about his health.

Christian queued and stayed in the hospital for hours so I just decided to plant Jacob’s Lily bulbs during the midnight and while waiting for him to come home. I have arranged 8 sets of colourful Oriental Lily bulbs and placed them in huge pots that I bought from Bunnings a few weeks ago. It was a great feeling that I would be able to see and smell those Lilies in a few weeks time, reminding me of my baby elephant.

The next day, Christian came home and it was great to know that there was nothing seen in his tests. He probably just got tired at work so I asked him to get plenty of rest. For sure, our angel Jacob in heaven guided his dad in the hospital and made sure that everything was okay. 

— Junelle

10.2. Father and Daughter Dance

Sunday 3rd Apr

Ever since Lara was still a baby, we used to play Ed Sheeran songs to make her asleep and relaxed. “Thinking Our Loud” and “Perfect” are her favourite lullaby songs. Until now, she would ask us to play those songs either in Spotify or TV.

One day, when I just arrived home from work, Junelle suddenly came to me and asking me to dance with Lara. She mentioned that they have danced for so many times and she wanted to get some rest for the mean time. I did not know what she was talking about and how to do the dance so I just said, “Ah ok”, then Lara started to dance with me.

Junelle played “Thinking Out Loud” and Lara was very graceful in dancing while trying to keep up on the beat of the song. Then I commenced dancing as well while holding her hand. It was a very slow motion dancing yet a sweet one. Junelle was so happy watching Lara and myself dancing together and she even took a video of us.

Lara enjoyed it a lot and hoping that her little brother was also watching us while we enjoy Ed Sheeran’s sweet music.

— Christian

10.1. Six Months in Heaven

Monday 21st Mar

It has been six months since I lost Jacob physically but the events happened were still fresh in my heart and in my mind. He supposed to be in full term during the first week of October and I recalled that my due dates were 6th, 7th and 10th. He should be a month old during Lara’s birthday month.

Same as the previous months, I still lighted up a candle for Jacob first thing in the morning. Then after work, I prepared a special dinner for us and Christian bought a cake for our little angel. Lara already knew that she was going to blow a candle for her baby brother and she sang a “Happy Birthday” song gracefully.

Christmas was around the corner and there were still times that I think of “what if’s” or “if only” about Jacob; that he should be celebrating this special time of the year with us, not in heaven.

— Junelle

9.10. Applying Visas for the Grandparents

Monday 21st Mar

Starting 1st November 2021, parents of a PR/Australian Citizen could now apply for a travel exemption. Hence, I started to process my parents’ visa applications so that they could visit us again here in Melbourne. It has been 3 years since they hugged and kissed Lara.

This was a great news to my parents as they did not expect that they could come here soon since the COVID-19 pandemic began. They were pretty excited about the processing, hoping that they would be able to get approved soon. They terribly missing Lara, their little princess and they wanted to meet Jacob in Bunurong Memorial Park. 

It was a really strict process, lots of required documents and online forms to be filled up. I even attached Jacob’s cremation certificate and my hospital documents as proof of my miscarriage/stillbirth so that the Australian authorities could consider my parents to come over, to give me some additional comfort during my healing process with my baby elephant.

Looking forward to get my parents’ visas approved as soon as possible and hoping to reunite with them if not in later 2021, maybe in early 2022.

— Junelle

9.9. An Awesome Paw-ty

Sunday 6th Mar

Around 5:00pm, half of our guests have left, mostly my cousins and their partners. My uncle and aunties remained and while Junelle was preparing take aways for them, they had a fun time playing with Lara. We also told them to take their early dinner before leaving so we gathered again with our plates and enjoyed eating.

Lara’s special guest also arrived in the evening, her Ate Trisha! The girls were busy playing while we were entertaining the remaining guests. They enjoyed running around, playing with their toys and they could not stop eating sweets and desserts. After a few hours, our last set of guests have left and Lara kept on waving her hand to them while saying, “bye, take care!”

We ended the night by cleaning the house, putting up the leftovers in the fridge and removing the party decors. It was a memorable birthday celebration and it was good that Lara enjoyed it a lot. Most especially, our baby elephant who was watching us in heaven.

— Christian

9.8. Remembering Jacob

Saturday 5th Mar

While everyone were busy eating and chatting around, I took photos of the guests, the food and every corner of our house as souvenirs for Lara’s 4th birthday party. Christian was also busy with other stuffs such as the drinks and entertaining the guests.

Christian and myself almost forgot to eat, we just realised it when one of our relatives told us, “Hey, why won’t you guys start to eat yet? It’s past lunch time, come eat with us!” Afterwards, we immediately picked our plates and grabbed some food.

While eating, I had a chat with my cousin who got married on the day that I lost Jacob. She asked me how was everything and I said that we’re all good but of course, we still miss Jacob. Then suddenly, I recalled all the heartaches that I felt when I lost my baby boy and I just cried. My cousin comforted me and my other cousin noticed us so she immediately approached me.

I also mentioned to them that I’m afraid that it might get happen again the next time that I get pregnant but they told me to stay positive and just try it again, ignore other people’s negative comments or articles that I have read about miscarriages. Their advice made me feel better and I just prayed that hopefully, our rainbow baby would arrive to our family very soon.

— Junelle

9.7. Lara’s 4th Birthday Party

Saturday 5th Mar

It was a very busy weekend for Christian and myself as we prepared Lara’s Paw Patrol themed party. The night before the party, we started decorating our place with colourful Paw Patrol characters. I have also shown Lara’s birthday dress which she really liked. She got excited with the food that we were preparing for her party.

Early in the morning on Lara’s big day, I started to bring out the meals and finished up other remaining decors. One by one, deliveries came through and Christian picked up some of our food orders from Narre Warren and Cranbourne. He also went to a party shop to get balloons for our little princess.

The guests started to arrive and the lunch party commenced at around 1:00pm. There were still restrictions in the number of guests so we just invited a few relatives. Of course, Jacob’s baby elephant plushie was present, wearing a party hat while sitting beside Jacob’s candle. I took photos of the guests and gave them copies as their souvenirs for Lara’s party.

Everyone were having a good time most especially Lara, as she entertained her guests and opened up her gifts.

— Junelle

9.6. Happy Birthday Lara!

Sunday 20th Feb

It was Thursday, 11th November when Lara turned 4 years old. She was still a bit unwell so Junelle decided not to let her attend the long day care class and just stay with my auntie and mum while we were still at work.

Junelle was also busy preparing stuffs for Lara’s birthday celebration on the 13th. She made sure everything was well-organised and in order, most especially the Paw Patrol theme that Lara wanted in her party.

While Lara was with my auntie and mum, they prepared some cute cupcakes for her and they sang “Happy Birthday!” Then after work, I picked her up and she did not know that Junelle and myself have prepared something special to her as well. I bought a simple cake and Junelle ordered a special dinner for us three. We sang “Happy Birthday!” and she blew her candle gracefully.

We had a great night and Lara seemed to be very excited in her upcoming birthday party. We were also planning to put the baby elephant plushie in the dining area to remind the guests that Jacob would be present in his big sister’s party.

— Christian

9.5. Lara’s Birthday Prep

Sunday 6th Feb

It was a few days to go before Lara’s 4th birthday and I started to prepare for her party. I asked Lara if she wanted to have a birthday party and she definitely said, “yes mommy!” She really love the Paw Patrol characters so I told Christian that we would be decorating our house with Paw Patrol theme.

Her birthday fell on a weekday — Thursday, dated 11th November so Christian and myself decided to do the party on the 13th. I ordered ready-made meals and some snacks to be delivered on the same day to save time in preparation. I also ordered Paw Patrol stuffs, party accessories and decors to make Lara’s birthday celebration lively and colourful.

Christian created lovely invitations and we sent these to our relatives. There were still COVID-19 restrictions especially the number of guests for every household so we just selected who were the only ones to be invited. I was so excited for Lara’s party and for sure, Jacob would also be happy for his big sister.

— Junelle

9.4 Happy Halloween

Saturday 29th Jan

It has been more than 2 years since Lara went to a child care centre so when she came back for an orientation, she suddenly got sick. Her immune system might be adjusting to her new environment so she had a bit of a temperature. Our poor little girl was not able to attend the second day of the orientation because she was totally not okay. Christian called the child care center to let them know about it and he asked for another schedule so Lara could take some rest first for her faster recovery.

It was difficult to give her medicines because she kept on avoiding it. She cried a lot and as I looked at her, I was thinking a better way to give her Panadol. I also tried to give her a lot of water and food though most of the times, she did not want to eat. I reminded her that it was almost halloween so she needed to get well very soon to be able to do trick or treat in our estate.

Lara tried her best to recover soon and as she was getting better, we started to put her halloween costume and prepared her for our trick or treat walk. Christian just carried her while I was holding her pail of treats. She enjoyed going to different houses with halloween decors and we prepared some chocolates outside our home just in case someone would knock at the door and ask for sweets.

Lara enjoyed the night as she was able to collect lots of treats, hoping that she could share it to her baby brother in heaven. As we prepared her to sleep, she again prayed about her little brother, to guide and help her to fully recover.

— Junelle

9.3. Lara’s Orientation

Sunday 23rd Jan

It was just a few weeks to go before Lara turns four so Christian and myself decided to enrol her to child care centre to train her before she starts Kinder. Whenever we ask her if she wanted to go to school, she would definitely say “yes!” and she was pretty excited about it.

We have selected the nearest centre in our place, however, it was still under construction and due to open in early 2022. Luckily, I found another centre where I had a previous tour and it had the same owner in the centre that we wanted. I communicated with the owner thru email and sorted out some documents for Lara’s enrolment. It was a speedy process and we have agreed on the dates of Lara’s orientation. I have also advised the owner that once the nearest centre opens in 2022, we would transfer Lara for our convenience.

Lara obviously enjoyed her two-day orientation. Christian and myself were very happy and excited for her as she was able to meet new friends and learn new things from school. I bet Jacob is also very proud of his big sister and for sure, he is always around to guide and protect her.

— Junelle

9.2. A Week before Halloween

Wednesday 5th Jan

It was a week before the halloween and people were busy buying halloween stuffs, costumes and sweets for trick or treat. Lara was excited for this event and she wanted to be a witch. I was thinking about her costume design and Christian helped me in finding the perfect witch dress for Lara.

Unfortunately, all sizes for Lara ran out of stock so Christian and myself thought of a different idea to make Lara the prettiest witch by using her purple dress at home. As suggested by Christian, I have added some strings taken from his old black top and made it as a belt for Lara’s dress. She was so happy with her witch costume as she tried it on. She turned around like a princess but acted like a fierce witch. 

We bought Lara’s accessories in the shopping centre such as her witch hat, broom and pail for the sweets. She also enjoyed looking at the halloween designs at the shops and it was really obvious that she was looking forward for halloween. I was also thinking that, “what if Jacob is still alive, at this time he should be a month old if he’s in full term, what would be the perfect costume for him?”

— Junelle

9.1. Five Months in Heaven

Monday 3rd Jan

On Friday, 22nd October was Jacob’s 5th month celebration. I tried to come home early so I could buy a small cake from the supermarket and celebrate the night with Junelle and Lara. My wife never fails to remind me to buy a cake and she always make sure that everything is well-prepared for Jacob before I arrive home.

It was also our mum’s schedule to stay in our auntie’s house to relax for the weekend and get some rest. When I arrived home, I picked up mum then I dropped her in auntie’s place. Afterwards, I went to the nearest store to buy a cake.

When I came back home, our dinner was ready. Lara was waiting for Jacob’s cake and she was excited to blow the candle for her baby brother. Same as the previous months, we took several shots of our food. Lara enjoyed doing different poses while singing happy 5th month to Jacob. After she blew the candle, we clapped our hands and we started our simple dinner for our baby elephant in heaven.

— Christian

8.10. Blooming Roses

Sunday 2nd Jan

It was a gloomy weather on 21st October and we decided to spend some time in our backyard after my work. We checked our garden and observed the several blooming flowers there.

The different colours of the flowers really soothes my mood and the variety of blooms what we had in our backyard were very calming. After looking at the flowers, I noticed the hybrid rose buds that were starting to bloom. The colour of the roses were a combination of light pink and cream, with about 5 buds. I asked Lara to come closer and do some poses with the roses. She also liked the buds and trying to touch every single petal.

Afterwards, we went back inside our house to eat dinner and I remembered that the next day would be 22nd October, Jacob’s 5th month in heaven. I started to plan what would me our menu for the next day to celebrate our baby elephant’s 5th month.

— Junelle

8.9. Girl with Balloon by Banksy

Saturday 1st Jan

Junelle mentioned about her company’s event called “RB Day” and they had a competition to imitate any arts by their own unique styles. Their squad decided to do “Girl with Balloon” by a prominent artist named Banksy and she asked me to help her in doing a creative photo for Lara.

When I reached home after work, we started setting up the white wall in our garage by putting a red heart-shaped photo which was attached by Junelle’s red earphones and this would make it look like a heart balloon. My mum styled Lara’s hair then Junelle dressed her with a cute black dress and black boots. We also took Jacob’s elephant plushie and asked Lara to hug it while doing the pose of reaching a red balloon.

Lara enjoyed it so much and she had lots of lovely photos with her baby elephant plush toy. This was Junelle’s great idea to add Jacob’s memorabilia to Lara’s creative pictures. I did some minor edits in the photos and the shots looked much nicer. Junelle’s co-workers liked the photo she submitted and it was added to her squad’s collage of photos. It made me happy too because Jacob is still part of everything, wherever we are and whatever we do.

— Christian

8.8. Sharing Jacob’s Stories at Work

Thursday 30th Dec

I decided to share my experience in Victorian Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day 2021 and Walk to Remember 2021 in my company’s Yammer Page, to bring awareness to people and acknowledge other families who have experienced the same.

The positive feedback of my colleagues and their warm messages inspired me more. It made me feel happy that I was able to share a bit about Jacob and because of that, more people got to know him. In that way, even we could not see and hold Jacob physically, he is still alive in our hearts.

I mentioned in my posts that I also look forward for next year’s Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day and Walk to Remember as this would be my family’s yearly commitment for our angel in heaven.

— Junelle

8.7. Walk to Remember 2021

Tuesday 28th Dec

After the Victorian Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day event, we also participated in Walk to Remember on 17th October. We decided to do the walk first thing in the morning then watch the half-hour online service in the afternoon.

It was a sunny yet a cold morning that day so Lara wore her jacket, beanie and her sunglasses. She was excited because of the purple pinwheel she was holding and we did an hour walk in honouring Jacob, to do the steps he would not be able to take here on earth.

After our walk, we took our lunch and did a few things at home. Before taking our dinner, we took our time to focus on Jacob while watching the online service. It felt good and it made my heart happy because of doing something special for our baby elephant. Even Lara, at a very young age, she made sure that she also participate in all activities related to her baby brother. I really do miss my baby boy and I hope that doing these small things would make him feel his importance in our hearts.

— Junelle

8.6. Victorian Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day 2021

Wednesday 15th Dec

It was good to hear from Junelle that she is enjoying her new work and I guess this would help her to recover much faster. Until now, she always make sure that even the day passes, Jacob is still part of everything, our family and our daily routines. That is why we participated in the “Victorian Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day” event this year.

On 15th October, after work and after dropping my mum to my auntie’s house, we took our dinner a bit early so that we could attend the Victorian Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance service at 7:00pm. Prior to the event day, Junelle have registered our names and added Jacob’s full name as part of the presentation of baby names.

The service was really good, very solemn and inspiring. There were plenty of songs and heartwarming stories shared by families who have  also lost their babies. The moment that the presenters showed Jacob’s full name made us cry as we remembered our precious angel in heaven. After the program, I felt so happy and relieved. I was thinking that Jacob might be smiling at us because he still feels the love that we have for him even we are not together here on earth.

— Christian

8.5. Weekend Harvest

Wednesday 15th Dec

As I finished my first week at my new company, I surprised Lara with Paw Patrol stuffs. I showed her two new cups, one sippy cup and the other one was a glittered cup with straw. She was so happy and she kept on smiling while looking at the cup designs. She asked me to wash the two cups so she could use these immediately.

I asked Lara if she wanted to help me harvest lettuce in our backyard and she did not hesitate to say “yes!” She got so excited to hold our huge bowl that would contain our harvest and she tried to clean the lettuce leaves with her bare hands before putting these into the bowl.

Afterwards, I took some photos of Lara holding our freshly harvested lettuce and her enjoyment was really obvious as she smiles for every shots that I took. She showed the bowl of lettuce to her daddy and he praised her for helping her mummy. This was the first time that we harvested something from our garden and every time I spend some time in our backyard, it reminds me of Jacob who inspired me to do gardening.

— Junelle

8.4. First Week

Tuesday 16th Nov

My first week in my new company was very exciting. I was able to meet my squad virtually and I got a chance to introduce myself to them. Our team’s Product Owner, Scrum Master, Data Analysts, Tester and fellow Journey Expert were all friendly and welcoming. I think this was a really good timing for me to start anew in a great team and it was fun to learn new things from them.

I also met my Chapter Lead, she was very warm and always check on me if everything was okay, and she told me to ask her any questions or if I needed assistance with anything. The culture in our tribe was different from other companies but I really do feel that this would fit to my current status, like flexible working as I have a daughter and I needed to have some space for myself, like a room for growth without sacrificing my physical, emotional and spiritual health.

When I introduced myself to my squad and Chapter Lead, I mentioned to them that I am a mother of two and I did not hesitate to tell them that I had a stillborn baby recently. They have listened to me attentively and they sent their warm condolences. It was a great feeling to share something about my baby elephant because it made me feel that he was just here with us. I wanted to show Jacob that I always treasure all the wonderful things about him.

— Junelle

8.3. Before Coming Back to Work

Tuesday 16th Nov

Just a few days before I started in my new role, I received my work laptop with the instructions on logging in. Starting on a new company was exciting as you would be able to learn new things and meet new friends at work.

After I organised my things, I checked my inbox in my personal email. I noticed that I received two invites, one for Victorian Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day Virtual Service on 15th October and the second was Walk to Remember on 17th October. Without hesitation, I registered in these two events to commemorate our baby elephant, Jacob. I also joined Heart Strings which is a community of bereaved families supporting each other. Looking forward to receive news and updates for the upcoming events in this group.

After signing up and booking tickets for the online service, I immediately told Christian about the two events and he was very excited to participate in memory of our little angel. I also mentioned to him that we were going to receive some stuffs as part of the service. Both of us were looking forward to it and for sure, though Lara was not yet aware of this, she would definitely be willing to participate for her baby brother.

— Junelle

8.2. Painting Sessions

Tuesday 26th Oct

Ever since Lara saw the painting gift set that my friends gave me, she kept on asking me to have a painting activity. And because I was still on my two weeks vacation, we had different painting sessions and we enjoyed it a lot.

Lara chose all the paint colours and brushes she wanted to use. I guided her while she was doing the brush strokes on the canvases to avoid paints on the table and chairs. It was a great mother and daughter bonding, we smiled and laugh together while we were mixing all the colours. Afterwards, Lara showed her paintings to her dad.

After our panting activities, I visited Jacob’s tribute page. I have scanned my previous entries then I added new stories and lovely photos. I feel better when I do this for my baby boy because this is only one of the small things that I can do for him, in honouring his short and sweet existence on earth.

— Junelle

8.1. Four Months in Heaven

Thursday 21st Oct

Same as with the previous months, Junelle lighted a candle first thing in the morning on 22nd September to celebrate Jacob’s life in heaven. She looked better recently after all her medical check ups and there were still a few appointments to go, hoping that everything would be alright in her health. She also seemed excited on her new work and it was good to know that she found the role that she wanted.

I dropped my mum to my auntie because it was their schedule to spend quality time together, to take some rest and relax. Afterwards, I went to the nearest store to buy a cake for Jacob. Junelle already organised our dinner and she ordered it online, expecting to arrive on time once I get home.

When I arrived, everything were all in place. The food, the table setup and the ambiance was very pleasing. Lara got excited with the cake, I bet she was aware that she was going to blow the candle for her baby brother. We took photos and videos of Lara with the cake as we sang happy 4th month to Jacob. It was indeed a precious moment for us as we celebrated Jacob’s existence in heaven.

— Christian

7.14. Weekday Activity

Thursday 21st Oct

It was a new week again to think of another activity at home during lockdown. Since I was on leave for two weeks and Junelle had two weeks vacation before she starts on her new work, we both decided to start on cleaning up our front yard. We were planning to remove the grass and replace it with black mulch so that Junelle can transfer some of her flower plants at the front side of the house.

My mum and myself started it while Junelle was cooking meals and looking after Lara. We tried to remove the grass in the whole area but the garbage bin went full so we decided to just continue it at some other time. I also bought several packs of black mulch from Bunnings online but still unsure if five packs were enough, thinking that it was okay as I could easily but another batch next time.

Junelle reminded me to buy a cake for Jacob on 22nd September for his 4th month. Time flies so fast, I did not notice that it was nearly four months since Jacob went to heaven. I miss my son so much and looking forward to his 4th month celebration soon.

— Christian

7.13. Weekend Rest

Friday 15th Oct

My mum decided not to go to my auntie, she wanted stay at home during the weekend to look after Lara so that Junelle and myself could have some time to rest because of our first jab.

Both of us were fine and we did not take Panadol. I just felt a bit of heaviness in my body and a bit sleepy apart from the pain on my left arm. Junelle did not feel any reactions in her body, she mentioned she just felt the pain in her right arm but other than that, she was perfectly okay.

I was still able to go to the shopping centre to buy our weekly groceries and afterwards, I just took rest while watching movies at home. Junelle also cooked several meals and she looked fine. It was good that we already got our first jab so we could be protected from COVID-19. Since Lara would not need a vaccine at this stage, she would still be protected as long as Junelle, myself and my mum have complete vaccinations.

— Christian

7.12. First Jab

Wednesday 13th Oct

It was 17th September when Junelle and myself got our first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. It was good that we both got our schedules on the same day at 3:10pm and 3:20pm. I was on leave on that day while Junelle already started her 2 weeks vacation, she finished her last day on the 16th in her previous company.

We left Lara to my mum at home so it would be easier for both of us to get into the vaccination site. It was a sunny afternoon and the queue was not so bad as we were still able to receive our vaccine on time. Junelle and myself were in different queues, she was called first then myself after a few minutes. We also stayed for 15 minutes to monitor our body’s response to the vaccine. Everything went well so we left the vaccination centre afterwards.

When we got home, Junelle joined in a call with her friends at work for their last Friday fun afternoon and she bid goodbye to them. She received an online farewell card apart from the painting gift set she have received a few days ago. Her friends reminder her to take care of herself and always be mindful of her health.

It was a good timing for Junelle to have two weeks vacation before her starting date in her new company as she would be able to take some rest and recover her health from the challenges we have faced this year.

— Christian

7.11. A Farewell Gift

Saturday 2nd Oct

It was 15th September when I unexpectedly received a delivery. When I read the sender details, I realised that it was sent by my team mates as their farewell gift to me. Lara got excited and she said, “wow, a big box!” She helped me to open it and as a surprise, we saw a complete set of painting stuffs!

I thanked my team for the gift they have given me and I told them that I loved it. They were happy to know that I already received the gift as they were not sure when it would arrive to me. Since it was my last week working with them, I was a bit busy doing the turnover documents and joining meetings about our projects. I tried to document everything as much as I can to provide my team an easier reference before I leave.

It was difficult for me to leave my team but I needed to decide what is best for myself and my family. And I think this would be a perfect timing for me to have a fresh start after all what I have been through this year. I really enjoyed working with my friends and the support they have given me from the start my pregnancy until my miscarriage is incomparable. And even I work with another company, I would still keep in touch with them and I would treasure all the happy memories that we have shared at work.

— Junelle

7.10. Jacob is Finally Home

Saturday 2nd Oct

It was a perfect weekend for us as we were able to walk for an hour within our area. The morning breeze was relaxing and Lara still kept on greeting other people by saying, “hi” and asking them, “what are you doing?” She is indeed the friendliest girl in the world.

I also cooked meals for our lunch and just took some rest at home while watching TV and playing with Lara. There were times that I would just look at Jacob’s urn and smile, realising that he is already home. I placed our little angel’s urn in our room near the crucifix at the topmost part of our cupboard so Lara would not be able to reach it.

Christian helped me in putting small amounts of Jacob’s ashes in the pendant and charm that I bought a few months back. I also surprised him with a keychain and he also put ashes in it so he could bring Jacob wherever he go. He liked it very much and he combined it with his “Lara” keychain.

As the day passes by, I realised that little by little, things are getting better than before and everything is falling into place. “Thank you Jacob for being our inspiration and helping us to be strong everyday.”

— Junelle

7.9. A Short Visit in Gum Nut Lawn

Saturday 2nd Oct

Before leaving Bunurong Memorial Park, Junelle asked if we could visit again the Gum Nut Lawn. Even Jacob has not yet been placed in the area, we already felt his presence there. Lara wanted to visit the place as well and she said that she would like to see Jacob’s playground.

We took some photos near the stations where Jacob’s plaque would be placed. We also seen the baby toys which were left in front of the stations, these belong to the other babies visited by their loved ones. Lara enjoyed looking at the toys and she played again the pinwheels which were already there a couple of months back.

It was a great feeling that we were able to visit Gum Nut Lawn again after several weeks and looking forward to see Jacob’s plaque with his full name on it. As we were looking at the sky, Junelle and myself told Lara, “look Lara, Jacob is there at the clouds watching over us.”

— Christian

7.8. Reprinted Cremation Certificate

Friday 1st Oct

As we were about to reach our car, I just noticed Junelle’s confusion about Jacob’s plaque. She wanted Jacob’s full name to be displayed on it instead of “Baby Morcilla” so I asked her if she  would like to come back to the cemetery’s office to clarify it while we were still in the parking lot. She agreed and said, “yeah, I wanted to confirm it first” so we came back then I told her that I would hold Lara so she could focus on discussing it with Diana and Natasha.

The receptionist again greeted us and we mentioned that we just wanted to clarify something to Diana and Natasha. The lady immediately called them and we just waited for a few minutes. Junelle asked both Diana and Natasha about Jacob’s plaque, if they could put our baby’s full name instead of “Baby Morcilla” which was printed in his cremation certificate. They confirmed to us that they have updated Jacob’s records so it would be “Jacob Rafael Morcilla” in the plaque.

Junelle thanked them for their clarification. Natasha also asked Junelle if she wanted to have a new copy of Jacob’s cremation certificate with his full name. She immediately said, “sure, that would be great!” We just waited for a few minutes more and Natasha handed to us a new copy of the certificate with Jacob’s full name. We thanked them again for their assistance and I could see in Junelle’s eyes that she was very happy that we were able to sorted out things for Jacob.

— Christian

7.7. Our Plan for Jacob’s Ashes

Sunday 26th Sep

After Diana gave Jacob’s ashes, she asked us what would be our plan for our little angel. We told her that we were planning to bring half of our baby’s remains home then the half would retain in the cemetery so that we could visit our baby elephant in a solemn place.

Diana left us for a few minutes and she took care of moving half of Jacob’s ashes to our urn. I also mentioned that Junelle and myself would like to place Jacob in Gum Nut Lawn as we already visited the place and we liked it. Diana understood our request and she said that she would record all the details we have mentioned.

Afterwards, Diana introduced us to Natasha as she is the one who takes care and organises things for the babies who were buried in Gum Nut Lawn. Natasha explained to us about the process and she said that they would call us once the plaque has been done.

We thanked both Diana and Natasha for assisting us then Lara waved to them saying, “thank you and bye!”

— Christian

7.6. Appointment in the Cemetery

Sunday 26th Sep

It was a very exciting day on 10th September. I took my whole day leave, Christian worked from home and he logged off early. I prepared Jacob’s urn and documents then we left home at 3:00pm. We told Lara that we were going to Jacob and she was excited about it.

We arrived in Bunurong Memorial Park around 3:20pm and when we were about to scan the QR code outside the office, the receptionist suddenly came to greet us. The lady said, “good afternoon, do you have appointment for today?” Christian and myself both responded, “yes” then we mentioned our names and time of our appointment.

The receptionist asked us to wait for a moment and someone would be speaking with us soon. After a few minutes, Diana approached us and she said, “hi Junelle and Christian, I’m Diana and I’m here to assist you for today.” She headed us to a room and gave her sincerest condolences for Jacob. She also asked our personal details for verification then she left us for a few minutes. Afterwards, she came back holding a bag containing a box with Jacob’s ashes.

After Diana handed us Jacob’s ashes, I felt so happy and relieved. After waiting for 3 months, we have finally seen again our baby elephant.

— Junelle

7.5. Father’s Day 2021

Saturday 18th Sep

5th September was a very special day to Australians, as we celebrated Father’s Day on this date. Although it was still lockdown in Victoria, families were still able to celebrate it in their own homes. Simple but still memorable for everyone.

Lara, Junelle and myself just had a morning walk and we enjoyed the beautiful sceneries in our area. It was a sunny but still a chilly day and we had a great time playing with Lara as she kept on chasing myself and Junelle. Her endless energy and activeness made us happy and inspired.

Afterwards, Junelle cooked for our lunch and I was surprised that she posted a video in Instagram. I laughed when I saw myself and Lara dancing together with the Giggle Bellies. I enjoyed watching our short video and it was indeed a sweet post.

At the end of the day, being a father to Lara and Jacob taught me a lot and it made me realise that I could sacrifice anything for both of them. And I wanted to thank them for helping me in bringing out the best of me as a father.

— Christian

7.4. Confirmation of Appointment

Saturday 18th Sep

On 3rd September, I unexpectedly received a call from Bunurong Memorial Park. At first, I was a bit nervous because I was afraid that our appointment on 10th September would get cancelled again and moved to a later date. But I tried to think positive and I felt that there was something good to happen on this month.

The customer service representative mentioned about our appointment and confirmed if 10th September was correct. I immediately said, “yes” and she asked me if I wanted to come on the said date. I responded, “yes, my husband and myself would like to come on the 10th because we really wanted to sort out things for our baby’s ashes very soon and our appointment got cancelled several times due to the lockdown so I am hoping that by this time, you could now allow us to come in your office.”

The lady said, “yes, I understand you and we are very sorry for all the delays and postponements of your appointment with us. I’ll tell my colleague that you’re confirming your attendance on 10th September. Thank you so much for your patience and we’ll see you on the 10th.” I was surprised of what the lady had said to me as I did not expect that they were finally allowing us to come to the cemetery’s office to see Jacob. I was so much relieved and no words could not express how much happy I was.

I mentioned it to Christian immediately and he was very happy about it. Finally, no more postponements in our appointment and we could now see Jacob very soon.

— Junelle

7.3. Birthday Lockdown

Saturday 18th Sep

Same as last year, I spent my birthday celebration during Victoria’s lockdown period. It was simple but still memorable because I was able to spend my special day with my loved ones.

When I picked up my mum in my auntie’s house on 29th August, they mentioned to me that auntie was planning come with us because of my birthday. She cooked Biko (Sweet Rice Cake) for me and it really looked yummy. Junelle apologised to me because she was not able to take leave on my birthday. She already filed a leave for her medical appointments on 31st August. I said, “it’s alright, you need to get yourself checked first.”

I filed my work leaves from 30th to 31st August, just to relax at home and spend quality time with my family on my birthday as well as to accompany Junelle in her medical appointments. Junelle gave her gift to me very early, almost a month earlier as she wanted me to test it soon in our car. I liked it and I thanked her for the gift.

On my birthday, it was just a simple lunch and dinner. I just bought meals from Gami Chicken with several side dishes for lunch then Junelle baked Beef & Vegetable Pie for dinner. We had a great time on my special day most especially when Lara sang “Happy Birthday” song for me. Even Jacob was not with us physically, I knew that he was celebrating with us in heaven.

— Christian

7.2. Weekend Picnic

Monday 13th Sep

Another weekend came again and we were thinking what to do because it was a bit boring at home. So Christian suggested, “you and Lara can come with me to the supermarket, I mean it’s an essential thing to do right?” I initially hesitated but because Lara and myself just needed to be out even for just a short time, I thought it was a good idea. We just need to be extra careful and still practice social distancing.

Christian also mentioned that we could also have our lunch inside the car after buying groceries and I agreed with him, something new to do. We left home at around 10:30am then we went to Casey Central. We spent an hour in Coles and we bought our take away lunch in China Bar.

I asked Lara if she wanted to have a picnic inside the car and she said, “okay, picnic!” Christian also asked Lara if she wanted milk tea and she immediately said, “yes” so he went back again to Casey Central to buy it. It took several minutes before Christian got back because of the long queue in the milk tea shop. Afterwards, we started our lunch and Lara sipped on her milk tea.

It was a nice experience to have a picnic inside a car. It was not a usual picnic because we did not spend it in a park but it was fine and we enjoyed it. Although simple, it was relaxing when you eat while observing the surroundings, the people going in and out of the parking area, especially feeling the cool breeze of the wind. And it made me feel that Jacob was just there, feeling his presence with us.

— Junelle

7.1. Three Months in Heaven

Wednesday 8th Sep

It was 22nd August when we marked Jacob’s third month birthday. It was a good timing that the date fell on a Sunday so we were able to prepare a special lunch for the family. First thing in the morning, I lighted up Jacob’s candle then I took my breakfast while Christian and Lara were still asleep.

I was feeling sick recently so Christian and myself went to Southern Cross Medical Centre in Hampton Park to get myself checked by a GP. My check up was fine and I was prescribed by antibiotics to be taken for 10 days. Afterwards, we went to a pharmacy to buy my medicine.

It was almost 12:00pm when we arrived in Westfield Fountain Gate and we went straight to Kinn Thai Restaurant. Christian ordered our favourite meals then we waited for about half an hour. When we arrived home, we immediately set up our table and same as before, we took photos of Lara while blowing the candle.

It was a memorable day for us because we were able to celebrate Jacob’s third month in heaven. We were hoping that our 10th September appointment in Bunurong Memorial Park would not get cancelled again. While I was looking at Jacob’s photos, I spoke at him and said that I miss him so much.

— Junelle

6.24. Two Weeks Extension

Saturday 4th Sep

Due to the continuous rising of COVID-19 cases in Victoria, the lockdown got extended again. The Premier announced it for another 2 weeks, ending on 2nd September. I was so disappointed because our appointment in Bunurong Memorial Park got affected again.

As expected, the cemetery called me and mentioned about the recent news. Hence, I was asked to reschedule our appointment. Since I did not have any other choice, I replied that it was alright and I decided that I would just reschedule it on 3rd September. The client care representative suggested that instead of making it on 3rd September, they would reschedule it on the 10th to be sure just in case the lockdown would get extended again.

I stopped and tried to think about it for a few seconds then I confirmed to the cemetery that it was fine to just set it on 10th September. Due to this unending movement of our appointment for Jacob, it made me feel sad and frustrated. Recently, I also felt tired at work and it seemed that everything was already piling up, all the challenges that I was going through was already affecting my health.

— Junelle

6.23. Weekend Walks

Sunday 29th Aug

As the lockdown have been extended in Victoria, we could not go anywhere and non-essential stores were all closed so we just decided to do an hour walk within our community during the weekends.

It was very cold on Saturday and Sunday so we made sure that we were fully covered with several layers of clothes before we leave home. It was fun observing the community as we saw more new homes, builders were busy completing the houses and more establishments were coming.

In our walk on Saturday, Lara wanted to bring her bike so we walked while she was riding on it. Christian put a string around the bike’s handle so he could assist Lara in using it. Lara also spent a few minutes in the playground playing on the slide. On Sunday, she asked Christian for a piggyback ride and we were playing like I was chasing them and it made Lara laugh and giggle. Before we went home, Lara requested again to spend a few minutes in the playground and she just played on the top section of the slide.

It was a great weekend, as we were able to do a simple exercise which could help us to relax and contemplate. It was a good thing to do before starting the week and hoping that we would be able to get Jacob’s ashes on 20th August.

— Junelle

6.22. Red Nose Day 2021

Sunday 29th Aug

It was on 13th August when we celebrated Red Nose Day. It was just a normal Friday for others but for us, it was a special one. I was still on my rest day off so I looked after Lara while Junelle was working. I just played with our lovely daughter while watching cartoons then we danced and sang the whole day.

It was great to see Junelle’s posts in Instagram supporting Red Nose’s advocacy. She created inspiring posts which could help Red Nose to raise their target $700,000 this year. This would benefit families who lost their babies and children. This could also assist the organisation in further research to prevent these kind of situations.

After Junelle’s work, we lighted up Jacob’s candle then we had our simple dinner. Afterwards, Junelle received an email from Red Nose saying that the charity have reached the target $700,000. This was a great news and we were glad that we were able to participate in this event, in Jacob’s memory.

— Christian

6.21. Red Nose Day Eve

Saturday 21st Aug

Apart from my rest day off from 5th to 6th August, I also had another one from 12th to 13th. On 12th August, I just dropped my mum to Casey Central in the morning so she could meet my auntie there and spend the weekend with her. I just looked after Lara while Junelle was working. We kept on watching cartoons, singing and dancing together. Junelle tried to finish her work early so we could eat dinner at 6:00pm to prepare for the annual remembrance service at 7:00pm.

We logged in to our personal laptop and connected it to our TV in the theatre room. Junelle grabbed the Red Nose Day poster as well as the Red Nose merchandise which she bought from Red Nose website. Little by little, the participants joined the Zoom meeting and the service has started at exactly 7:00pm.

It was a very solemn night even Lara was playing during the service. At the start of the program, we lighted our candles while one of the hosts was playing a piano. There were also 2 sets of participants who were featured in the program — the first one was a family and the second one was a couple. They shared their experiences and both were very inspiring. Junelle and myself were not able to control our emotions as their stories reminded us of Jacob. The program also showed a slideshow of all the baby/child names who died and we took a photo and short video of it when Jacob’s name was shown.

It was a great experience to attend our first annual remembrance service for Jacob and looking forward for the next service in 2022.

— Christian

6.20. Surprise for Lara

Saturday 21st Aug

Lara kept on requesting me to buy her more Paw Patrol toys and she wanted Rocky next so I tried to search it from Amazon website. Luckily, I found Rocky so I immediately added it to my online cart. I also found Skye and I decided to buy it as well since I had to pay the shipping fee and it could cover the delivery of both toys.

The items would be coming from the US so I already anticipated that it would not arrive soon. After waiting for several weeks, it finally got delivered. Junelle took the video when I surprised Lara with her new Paw Patrol toys. She was so excited to see what was inside the box and she was amazed when she saw Rocky and Skye. She said, “wow, Rocky and Skye! Thank you daddy!”

Although Junelle and myself always gets disappointed with the endless rebookings of our appointment in Bunurong Memorial Park, Lara is still here with us and with every little thing that she do, she makes us happy and proud.

— Christian

6.19. Another Disappointment

Saturday 21st Aug

I was supposed to get excited during the Red Nose week because of the activities which we were going to participate for the event, but due to the extension of the lockdown in Victoria, I got sad again because we would not be able to come to Bunurong Memorial Park.

I received a call from the cemetery and they said that we have to move again our appointment due to the extension of lockdown. I passed my phone to Christian and asked him to speak with the customer service representative because I was busy at work. After a few minutes, he confirmed to me that our appointment has been moved on 20th August at 3:00pm.

I wanted to be angry and express my annoyance to the cemetery because they would not allow us to organise Jacob’s ashes. But I also understood that they were just following the rules and guidelines given by the Premier to avoid the spreading of COVID-19 within the state. All that we could do was to wait for the restrictions to get lifted and pray that everything would get better soon.

— Junelle

6.18. Supporting Red Nose Day

Saturday 21st Aug

As the Red Nose Day approaches, Christian, Lara and myself started to show our support by posting photos and videos related to Red Nose in Instagram. We bought Red Nose merchandise such as reusable face masks, lapel pins, 10cm character plush toys and the iconic red nose.

I took photos of Lara while holding a huge Red Nose Day poster. We also enjoyed taking some videos using the digital red nose while Lara was saying, “happy red nose day!” She smiled and laughed gracefully while playing with the 10cm character plush toys. We kept on laughing because the iconic red nose would not fit on her tiny nose so I asked her to just hold it on top of her nose.

I also made sure that Jacob’s tribute page is updated as possible and I always add stories when I have free time. This was a great experience to support Red Nose Day and hoping that we could raise more money to support the organisation.

— Junelle

6.17. Our Shed Project

Monday 16th Aug

I had my rest day off from 5th to 6th August and I was planning to buy a small shed for our backyard so my mum, Lara and myself went to a store to check some cheap sheds. It was good that we were able to buy it before the lockdown started so we could have some things to do during the weekend.

Junelle got disappointed because of the unexpected announcement of the 6th lockdown so I told her not to worry and all we could do was just to wait for the easing of restrictions. Because we were just stucked at home and we could not go anywhere, we decided to just install the shed to make ourselves busy.

We supposed to start building it on Saturday but due to the strong winds, we had postponed it. Sunday was perfect, it was sunny and just a bit windy. It was good that were able to complete it on the same day and Lara was enjoying in assisting us in small ways. As the new week comes, we were hoping that the lockdown will end soon.

— Christian

6.16. Disappointment

Sunday 15th Aug

As the number of COVID-19 cases arise again, Victoria went into the sixth lockdown for seven days which has started on 5th August. It was unfortunate for us because our scheduled appointment in Bunurong Memorial Park was supposed to be on 6th August. Christian and myself were thinking that we needed to call the cemetery to confirm first if we could still come to our appointment.

I called the cemetery’s number but the line was busy and the phone operator said that I was still on a queue. After waiting for about 15mins, my call connection had been cut off so I decided to wait for the perfect timing to call again. After a few minutes, my phone rang and the guy who called said that he was just returning a call, from Bunurong Memorial Park.

I mentioned to the customer service representative, “my husband and myself have an appointment on 6th August to collect some part of our baby’s ashes and I would like to confirm if we could still come despite of the recent announcement of lockdown.” The guy responded, “I’m really sorry but we need to move your appointment because this is not part of the list of reasons in leaving our homes, as the Premier mentioned. We can rebook your appointment next week and hopefully, the lockdown gets lifted.”

I was deeply saddened with what I heard and I got no choice but to respond, “okay, I will just rebook our appointment.” The guy rebooked me on 13th August at 4:00pm and I thanked him for his assistance. It was a sudden announcement of the lockdown, we did not expect it and I felt sad thinking that I wished we booked it a bit earlier so we could arrange Jacob’s ashes before the lockdown. But it already happened and we had no choice but to wait for the easing of restrictions in Victoria.

— Junelle

6.15. Our Planting Activity

Sunday 15th Aug

After several days, the plants and pots which I ordered online arrived. Lara got excited with the deliveries and she said, “wow, so many surprises!” She asked me if she could help me with the indoor plants and I immediately said, “sure Lara!”

Lara assisted Christian and myself in unboxing the pots and arranging the boxes to the bin. I wiped all the pots with a clean cloth then I grabbed my gardening tools. I carefully placed each plant in their pots and filled it with potting mix. Afterwards, I put fertilisers then I watered it, but not using too much water because of the winter season. The plant shelf was not yet delivered so we temporarily put the potted plants in different areas of our house. We also enjoyed building our terrarium kit and placed it in the living area.

I felt great when I finished working with our indoor plants. Christian and Lara loved the different plant styles. This activity reminded me of Jacob while I was still pregnant with him. While looking at the plants, I told myself, “I am hoping that Jacob will enjoy watching these plants grow while he is busy playing in heaven.”

— Junelle

6.14. Our Story in Red Nose Website

Saturday 14th Aug

It was 4th August when I got a chance to review our story draft for Red Nose website. Christian have read it and both of us were satisfied with the story so I emailed Janelle and confirmed her that we have approved the draft.

Apart from that, I also sent our family photos used in Jacob’s tribute page and our photo collage at home. I told Janelle to feel free in selecting the pictures that she needed to put with our story. I also asked her about the details of a possible interview with the journalist and mentioned that any arrangements would be fine with us.

After a few minutes, Janelle responded to my email and she gave the link to our story — https://www.rednoseday.org.au/blog/junelle---christian--s-story. She was able to add three lovely photos and inserted Jacob’s tribute page link at the bottom section of the page. She thanked Christian and myself for sharing our family story to Red Nose. She mentioned that she would also keep us updated with the possible interview and we could reach out to them if we would be needing anything.

— Junelle

6.13. A Great Start for the New Week

Wednesday 11th Aug

After visiting Bunurong Memorial Park, we went to Woolworths to buy our weekly groceries. Lara enjoyed strolling around the supermarket and she tried to help her dad in pushing the cart. She enjoyed walking and observing people around her.

When we arrived home, I started to browse the internet to check a new set of indoor plants. I already planted seven in March and these were all placed inside our house. I remembered that I started to get fond of indoor plants since I got pregnant with Jacob and I still enjoyed doing it even I already lost him in my tummy.

I purchased eight plants and seven pots because one of my plants have died recently so I could use the spare pot that I have at home. Christian and myself also checked some plant shelves which we could place in the corner section of our living area. We saw a perfect style that would fit with our interiors so we immediately purchased it.

The plants, pots and plant shelf would be delivered by next week and we were excited to receive it. We were all looking forward to do this activity at home especially during the lockdown in Victoria.

— Junelle

6.12. The Gum Nut Lawn

Sunday 8th Aug

Before we left Bunurong Memorial Park, I asked Junelle if she wanted to visit first the Gum Nut area where Jacob’s ashes will be placed. She nodded to me and said, “oh sure, let’s visit the area.” We also talked to Lara and asked her if she wanted to see Jacob’s playground then she responded, “okay!”

This was the second time we visited the Gum Nut Lawn. The first one was just Junelle and myself, as far as I remembered it was in May when we were still having queries regarding the process of moving Jacob’s ashes from Monash Hospital to Bunurong Memorial Park. Time flew so fast but even after two months, the place is still peaceful as it was before.

We parked in front of the Gum Nut area then we walked towards the huge stations of rocks with plenty of plaques. We took a closer look at the first and second stations and we have read different baby names written on each plaque. Some babies were twins and some did not have their first names, they were just labelled as “Baby” and their surnames. Maybe the parents of these babies were not able to identify their genders so they were not given a first name.

Lara noticed the pinwheels placed at the second station and she tried to play with it. We stayed for a few more minutes and took some photos of the area. Afterwards, we decided to leave to buy our weekly groceries in Woolworths. Although Jacob’s ashes were not yet placed in Gum Nut Lawn, we still felt his presence and we knew that we would be able to visit him properly after we organise his ashes in our next appointment.

— Christian

6.11. Our Appointment Booking

Sunday 8th Aug

It was good that we could get a new printed copy of Jacob’s cremation certificate but for the collection of ashes, we needed to book an appointment for it. While discussing this with the receptionist, Junelle suddenly brought Lara to the toilet and she asked me to proceed with our booking.

The receptionist asked Junelle and myself’s availability then I asked her if there was an available slot for Friday afternoon on 6th August. She mentioned that the latest time that they could only give was 4:00pm so I confirmed it was okay and I would take that schedule. The lady also asked me what was our plan for Jacob, if we were going to purchase a section in the cemetery and what would it be. I told her that we would take the free service that was offered by Monash Hospital for babies who passed away. She took note of it and confirmed, “ah yes that’s correct, the one located in Gum Nut area.” 

I also asked about the plaque if we could use Jacob’s name instead of “Baby Morcilla” and the receptionist confirmed, “yes, regarding the plaque, we could put your baby’s actual name on it.” After she finalised our appointment booking, she handed me the freshly printed copy of the certificate and name was still “Baby Morcilla” as we have agreed earlier.

Junelle and Lara came back then I mentioned to them that our appointment would be on 6th August at 4:00pm. I also showed Junelle the new copy of Jacob’s cremation certificate then she suddenly smiled while reading it. We thanked the receptionist for her assistance and she apologised again because we were not able to get some part of Jacob’s ashes on the same day. We said it was alright while Lara was saying, “bye!”

— Christian

6.10. The Weekend Visit

Saturday 7th Aug

It was 31st July and we were all excited because we could finally go to Bunurong Memorial Park. After lunch at home, we decided to visit the cemetery and we brought Jacob’s old cremation certificate so we could show it to the customer service representative that it has been torn in the previous thunderstorms happened in June. I also placed Jacob’s urn in a small paper bag to collect some part of his ashes and bring it home.

We asked Lara if she wanted to see Jacob and visit his place. She immediately said yes and she was excited to see him. It took around 30 minutes before we arrived in the cemetery then we went straight to the reception area. Before coming inside, we scanned the visitor’s check in QR code and took a few pumps of hand sanitisers. While Christian was entering our details in the logging system, a woman suddenly opened the door.

The lady seemed to be the receptionist. She told us to come inside to further discuss. She asked, “do you have an appointment for today?” Christian and myself said, “we don’t have an appointment” and we explained, “we would like to request for a new copy of our baby’s cremation certificate because it has been torn in the mailbox during the thunderstorms happened in June.” The receptionist immediately said, “sure, we can print a new copy for you.” Then I replied, “thank you, and is it possible to change our baby’s name from Baby Morcilla to his actual name?” She sadly explained, “I’m so sorry but we cannot change the name in the certificate. It was the name recorded in all of your documents so we could not change it.” So I said, “okay, it’s alright no worries.”

Christian and myself mentioned about collecting some part of Jacob’s ashes but the receptionist said that it should be booked for an appointment. While we were discussing this, Lara suddenly told me that she wanted to pee so I left Christian and mentioned, “ just continue your discussion with her” then I accompanied Lara to the toilet.

— Junelle

6.9. Our Story Draft

Thursday 5th Aug

The end of the week was great, there were a lot of good things happened such as the lifted restrictions in Victoria, the number of COVID-19 cases had been lessened and we could finally come to Bunurong Memorial Park on the weekend to organise Jacob’s ashes. We also received our TV rack which was purchased online, we placed it in our living area and I was planning to put some decors and indoor plants on it.

After a week of speaking with Janelle, I received an email from her and she attached the draft of our family’s story. She asked Christian and myself to review it first then let her know if there was anything that we wanted to change before they publish it in the Red Nose website. She asked if she could share our story in their social media channels and if we could send her some of our family photos to put with our story.

Red Nose would also have an opportunity to share our story in SBS online so she asked our permission if a journalist could interview us about our experience to help raise awareness of Red Nose Day. She said that Christian and myself could think about it first then let her know if we decided to participate so she could give us more details about it.

— Junelle

6.8. Annual Remembrance Service Details

Monday 2nd Aug
If interested, kindly register and complete the online form (https://rednose.org.au/page/register-for-national-remembrance-service-2021). Please visit the Zoom website for detailed instructions (https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/206175806). — Christian, Junelle & Lara

6.7. Annual Remembrance Service Invitation

Monday 2nd Aug
We would like to extend this invite to our families and friends who are continuously supporting Jacob's tribute page. Feel free to join us as we honour our little angel in Red Nose's National Remembrance Service. — Christian, Junelle & Lara

6.6. National Remembrance Service

Sunday 1st Aug

The moment I saw Red Nose’s message, I immediately checked it to see what was it all about. When I read the contents of the email, I realised that it was an invitation to Red Nose’s Annual Remembrance Service on 12th August (Red Nose Day eve) from 7:00pm to 8:30pm and it would be live streamed over Zoom. The email also stated, “join with us and families across Australia this Red Nose Day eve to acknowledge, honour and remember the babies and children we have loved and lost, but who live forever in our hearts.”

I got interested on the invite so without hesitation, I filled up the online registration form and listed our family details. I also put Jacob’s name because the form explained that your baby/child’s name would be mentioned as well during the service. After a few minutes, I received a confirmation email from Red Nose with the Zoom link, Meeting ID and Passcode.

I mentioned the invite to Christian and he was excited to attend the event. Christian, Lara and myself were looking forward to this special service for all the babies and children in heaven, most especially for our baby elephant, Jacob.

— Junelle

6.5. Monday Off

Sunday 1st Aug

I took a rest for the day because I was experiencing dysmenorrhea again, but it was better that last month. Although the pain did not let me work and do things at home, the intensity was lesser and this was the normal pain that I had in my monthly periods. Christian told me to have some rest and just take a leave for a day.

I just stayed on the bed and turned on the electric blanket. The heat from the bed helped me to ease the pain in my abdomen. I tried to divert my attention in watching movies while lying on the bed. I also took medicine and tried to sleep so I would not feel any pain. When I woke up, it was already 3:00pm and I had not taken my lunch yet so I went to the kitchen to grab some food then I took a light meal.

When Christian arrived home, he asked me if I was alright and if I felt better after taking a whole day rest. I told him I was okay, still having cramps but Panadol helped to ease the pain even for a bit. After dinner, I checked my personal email then I found out that Red Nose sent a message to me. The subject of the email was, “you're invited to our annual remembrance service.”

— Junelle

6.4. A Great News

Sunday 1st Aug

Because of the positive outcome of the recent restrictions in Victoria, lockdown would no longer be extended and it would finally end on 27th July. Christian and myself got excited because we could visit Bunurong Memorial Park on 31st July to request reprinting of Jacob’s cremation certificate as well as organising his ashes.

I also received the memorial candle and it was so beautiful, Jacob’s name was perfectly carved on the sandstone candle with his date of birth/death. The candle also had a LED powered realistic tea light which can be turned on at any time. I placed it on Jacob’s area with our family photo collage and it really looked good.

Everything was getting better and I was glad that little by little, we were able to sort out things for Jacob. Christian and myself were looking forward for the next weekend to visit the cemetery and finally, to place Jacob’s ashes in a sacred place where he could rest in peace.

— Junelle

6.3. Lockdown Weekend

Sunday 1st Aug

Since it was a weekend lockdown, Junelle and Lara could not be able to come with me to the shopping centre to buy groceries. I just went to the car shop first at 9:00am for my car alignment appointment and it took about an hour to get it finished. Afterwards, I went straight to Casey Central to bought stuffs in Woolworths and meat from the butcher shop nearby. It took an hour and a half then I went home before 12:00pm.

During lunch, I asked Junelle what happened to her call with Janelle. She said it was fine, it lasted for 35 minutes and she told me the summary of their conversation. I was happy that Junelle felt good by sharing our story to Red Nose and we would be able to help other families who also experienced challenges same as ours.

We also checked and updated Jacob’s tribute page by adding more stories and family photos. We felt grateful that people were still visiting our blog site and this meant so much to us. I was also hoping that the lockdown would not extend so we could organise Jacob’s ashes very soon.

— Christian

6.2. A Friday Call

Sunday 1st Aug

At exactly 4:02pm on 23rd July, my phone rang and it was Janelle. I was still working on that time but it was fine since I expect that the call would not take that long. It was a good timing as well that I did not have any meetings so this was a perfect time to speak with her.

Janelle asked me how was everything and she again expressed her deepest condolences for what happened to Jacob. I responded, “thanks again, we’re all good.” She asked my permission if she could record our conversation and she would delete it once she was done doing the draft of our story then I said, “sure, it’s alright.”

I started telling her our story when I had my last ultrasound, the day when Christian and myself found out that Jacob had no more heartbeat. I told Janelle every detail as I still remembered everything that was happened. After a few minutes, I felt that I was turning emotional again but I tried to control my feelings so I could speak clearly. Janelle also asked a few questions and I responded to her nicely. Our call lasted for 35 minutes and she thanked me for sharing our story.

Janelle also mentioned that she might send the draft to Christian and myself a week after, probably on 29th or 30th July. I told her that it was alright and no rush on it. I thanked her as well for spending her time listening to our family’s heartwarming story.

— Junelle

6.1. Two Months in Heaven

Sunday 1st Aug

Time flew so fast and we realised that it was already Jacob’s second month. Junelle asked me to buy a simple cake so I went to the shopping centre after work. She wanted to make sure that we celebrate Jacob’s monthly birthday same as Lara when she was still a baby.

I also bought other things that we needed, especially Lara’s milk. When I arrived home, everything was already prepared. Even Junelle was tired at work, she still managed to prepare our special dinner to celebrate Jacob’s second month birthday. I also noticed the lighted candle that she usually use every 22nd and if there is an important event related to Jacob.

Before our dinner, we took some photos and video while Lara was singing happy birthday to Jacob. The meals were all good and we enjoyed it. It was a simple yet a memorable evening for us as we commemorate Jacob’s two months of existence in heaven.

— Christian

5.17 The Lockdown Extension

Sunday 1st Aug

It was sad to hear that the lockdown has been extended for seven days and that was from 21st until 27th July. Because of the lockdown extension, we still could not organise Jacob’s ashes in Bunurong Memorial Park as one person was only allowed to go outside. Before, our problem was Jacob’s gender confirmation which we have waited for six weeks and then now, we could not proceed with the cemetery due to the lockdowns.

Christian’s work schedule has been affected as well. He supposed to work from home every Friday but due to the recent lockdown, he needed to be in the office again because his team had no enough staff on site. I was thinking that our scheduled call with Janelle on 23rd July might get  postponed because Christian would not be able to arrive home early so I emailed Janelle to ask if it was alright to just call us separately because of the changes in our schedules. She replied and said that it was okay to move the schedule but I mentioned to her that Christian might still be unavailable on the next few weeks because we would not know when would be the lockdown get lifted. Hence, we agreed that she would just call me on the same schedule, not including Christian and when she finalised the draft of our story, she would send it to both Christian and myself to review her piece then we could update it.

I mentioned to Christian that the plan has been changed and it was fine with him as well. I told him that I might cry again during the call and he said try not to be emotional while talking with Janelle so I could speak more clearly. I smiled at him while saying, “I will try.”

— Junelle

5.16. Lara’s Check Up

Saturday 31st Jul

Due to the winter season, Lara’s skin was getting a bit drier especially on her face. Even I put moisturisers on her face several times, she still kept on scratching her eyes and cheeks. Hence, I decided to book for an appointment with our family GP on 20th July, so I could use a more suitable cream on the dry areas of her face.

It was a perfect timing that I checked our family GP’s schedule first thing in the morning and luckily, I saw heaps of her available time slots on the same day. I asked Christian what was his preferred time after work, I gave him the list of the GP’s available time schedules then he chose the 7:00pm slot. I immediately booked it then I checked again Lara’s face. I asked her if she felt any pain due to the dryness of her skin below her eyes and she said that she was just fine.

Christian went home early, he arrived around 6:00pm. He just took some rest for a few minutes then we left home at 6:30pm to visit our family GP. While we were on our way to the clinic, we told Lara that we were going to the doctor to check her face. She was trying to do some jokes while saying that she was scared. Christian and myself laughed and we just told her not to be afraid of the doctor.

When we arrived at the clinic, we just waited a few minutes then our family GP suddenly called Lara’s name. Since Lara’s skin under her eyes was a bit inflamed and obvious, the GP got a correct guess why we booked for an appointment with her. She checked Lara’s skin then she prescribed an ointment to treat it, to be used for two weeks and she mentioned that if there was still no changes after the treatment, we needed to come back to her and she might refer us to a dermatologist.

After Lara’s check up, our GP asked us how was everything. We said we were alright and I thanked her for her generous contribution in Jacob’s tribute page as well as the message she posted. She said it was alright and she was happy reading our blogs. I also mentioned to her that my postnatal check up went fine and all my lab results were okay. She was happy to hear the news and she also mentioned that one day, we would be able to see Jacob in heaven, same as the story that she have previously read from one of her books. After our short catch up with our GP, we thanked her and Lara said, “thank you doctor, goodbye!”

— Junelle

5.15. Jacob's Photo Frame — Completed

Saturday 24th Jul
4th July was one of the unforgettable dates in our little angel's sweet story, the day we have confirmed his gender. After 6 weeks of waiting and doing weekly follow ups to Monash Hospital, we can finally call him by his birth name as "Jacob Rafael". Our baby elephant's second frame has been completed with his best ultrasound pose, his complete name and the date of his birth and death. — Junelle

5.14. A Happy Weekend

Saturday 24th Jul

For others, it was a boring weekend because of the five-day snap lockdown in Victoria. But for me, it was another productive weekend in doing stuffs for our baby elephant. I started to fill up Jacob’s memorial keepsakes box with all the important documents and small items that relates to him. While arranging our little angel’s stuffs, I was able to read again some of his papers and it made me smile, recalling those days while he was still inside my tummy.

I remember Christian told me a few weeks ago, “since we already know our baby’s gender, you can now finish our second frame with Jacob’s full name,” so I decided to continue working on it. The second frame have five slots and I had filled the four previously with Jacob’s 8 ultrasound photos. The only blank part left was the middle one, where I put Jacob’s full name, date of birth/death and inserted his best ultrasound image. When I finished designing the middle part of the frame, I wiped it with a clean cloth and asked Christian to assist me in hanging it again on the wall. It was perfect, simple but very meaningful.

The next day, I worked on Jacob’s memorial book. I started to fill it up with Jacob’s profile, our family’s details, then Christian and myself’s marriage history. I also printed our photos and placed these inside the book. I showed it to Christian and he was laughing while reading some funny stories about us. I was not able to finish all sections of the book but it was a great start and I look forward to complete this very soon.

— Junelle

5.13. Red Nose Day Update

Saturday 24th Jul

It was the middle of the week and work was fine, a bit busy but still manageable. I felt that everything was getting better because I was able to smile and laugh more. I also got excited when Jacob’s urn and memorial keepsakes box arrived. However, the five-day snap lockdown have just been announced in the news so we could not visit Bunurong Memorial Park to organise our baby elephant’s ashes.

After I opened the delivery boxes of Jacob’s urn and memorial keepsakes box, I checked my personal email and I found out that I got a message from Janelle, the National Communications Manager of Red Nose. She apologised for not getting back soon because she was on leave for several days. She would like to set up a time to talk to Christian and myself about our family, my miscarriage and the tribute page we created for Jacob. She provided which days she would be available for the next week — Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Then she said we could choose from those days and advise her the best time for the call.

Since Christian usually works at home during Fridays, I replied to Janelle’s email and told her that we were available on 23rd July at 4:00pm, so it would be convenient for both of us. Janelle quickly responded and she was happy with the schedule. I confirmed that she could call Christian’s number then we would just set it to loudspeaker mode so we could talk to her clearly.

After the confirmation of our scheduled call with Janelle, I showed Jacob’s urn and memorial keepsakes box to Christian. He liked it so much most especially the font design of Jacob’s full name. Both of us were looking forward to speak with Janelle, to share our wonderful story about our little angel.

— Junelle

5.12. A Productive Day

Sunday 18th Jul

I was happy about the result of my postnatal check up, it helped me to understand the cause why Jacob left us so soon. It also made me realised that I should not blame myself for what happened, that God had His own reasons why my second pregnancy did not work out well. Maybe He was just running out of angels in heaven recently so He appointed Jacob to be an angel in His kingdom very soon.

After my check up, Christian and myself went to Centrelink to verify our child care subsidy for Lara’s Kindergarten program next year. Afterwards, we went home and took our lunch with Lara and our mum. I supposed to take just a half day leave at work but I felt tired and I wanted to sort out some things for Jacob so I messaged one of my managers and I advised him that I would just take a whole day leave to organise other important things.

I started to browse the internet for small urns that would be perfect for Jacob and I found a blue heart-shaped design which I could put his name and date of birth/death. Then, I checked memorial keepsakes box to put Jacob’s memorabilias and I found a huge box with a cute angel drawing. Lastly, I purchased a memorial candle with a teddy bear design. At the end of the day, I felt happy because I had a very productive day in organising things for Jacob.

— Junelle

5.11. The Postnatal Check Up

Sunday 18th Jul

It was 7:30am on 12th July when Junelle woke me up. She already took her breakfast and changed her clothes. Lara was still deeply sleeping but she could wake up anytime when she feels that there is no one beside her. Junelle told me that I could take my breakfast and prepare myself while she was sitting beside Lara on the bed.

We left home at 8:00am, there was a bit of a traffic but we managed to arrive on time in the Maternity Clinic. When we went inside the clinic, the receptionist told us that Junelle could stay inside while waiting for the doctor. However, I need to wait outside and I could only come inside the consultation room once the doctor calls Junelle so I just stayed in the car first while waiting for the call.

After a few minutes, Junelle called and she asked me to come inside Room 5. I immediately went to the consultation room and I saw the doctor and Junelle. When the doctor asked how Junelle was, she suddenly cried. I saw the pain was still inside of her, the same intensity of pain when her miscarriage happened. I asked her, “are you alright?” Then she responded, “yes.” The doctor explained to us, “Junelle’s lab results are all normal, no abnormalities detected in her genes and she’s healthy. Based from our findings in her placenta, the cause of her miscarriage was placental abruption in which the placenta suddenly detaches from the uterus and once it happens, the baby won’t be able to get oxygen and food from her then it will eventually die inside her womb. And this was the reason why she had bleedings before, it all came from the placenta.”

Junelle asked the doctor if this had something to do with her fibroid but the doctor strongly suggested to leave the fibroid behind as this was not the cause of Junelle’s miscarriage. The doctor said, “I had a lot of patients with fibroid and the pregnancy turned out well. Don’t think the fibroid caused it, just forget it. It was just an unfortunate timing that the placenta was not perfectly formed in your second pregnancy. You had a successful pregnancy in your first child, only small but very healthy. So Junelle, don’t think that it’s your fault, you didn’t do something wrong, there’s nothing wrong inside your body, it was just an unfortunate event that we can’t avoid.”

The doctor also clarified that we could still try again and he prescribed aspirin in which Junelle could take during her next pregnancy to support the placenta. He again reminded Junelle not to worry about the fibroid and whatever the size of it, this won’t affect her next pregnancy and it could be taken out if she wanted once we are done in planning our family. He printed Jacob’s gender result and we thanked the doctor for explaining everything to us.

— Christian

5.10. Paw Patrol Toy Hunting

Saturday 17th Jul

It was a gloomy Saturday morning on 10th July when I woke up at 8:30am. I asked Junelle and Lara if they would like to come with me to the shopping centre to buy our weekly groceries and we could try to find the Paw Patrol character Rocky. They said yes so we prepared Lara’s things, we changed clothes then we went to Westfield Fountain Gate.

We tried to find Rocky in Kmart but there was only a full set of Paw Patrol characters. Then, we went to Target but the characters there were only Chase and Marshall, and Lara already got these two before. So the last shop that we checked was Toy Kingdom and luckily we found Zuma. I asked Lara if it was alright if we just buy Zuma first because we could still not find Rocky and she said, “wow Zuma, okay thank you daddy.” She seemed excited as well since Zuma was not yet part of her collection. She only had Chase, Marshall and Rubble so she was happy to include Zuma in her Paw Patrol toys.

Afterwards, we went to Coles to buy groceries then to the seafood store to buy some ready to eat meals for our dinner. During dinner at home, Junelle mentioned about her postnatal check up on 12th July. She reminded me about the time and she wanted me to come with her. I confirmed that I would accompany her and we needed to be early because it would be a heavy traffic during Monday mornings. We were hoping that everything would be alright on her check up.

— Christian

5.9. The Check Up Schedule

Saturday 17th Jul

The next day at around 9:00am, I called Monash Hospital to get my postnatal check up. The lady who picked up the phone was the same person who confirmed Jacob’s gender. “Oh hi Junelle, I am waiting for you to call me. I already called the Maternity Clinic and they said that they will send you a text message today regarding your postnatal appointment.”

I thanked the midwife for helping me in organising my postnatal check up schedule. After a few minutes, I received a text message from the Maternity Clinic and my schedule was on 12th July at 8:45am. It made my Monday morning beautiful because I finally got my schedule.

I asked Christian if he could come with me on the day of my check up so he could hear what the doctor would say to me, about the findings in the placenta and my overall laboratory results. I also mentioned to him that I wanted to get a copy of Jacob’s gender result so I could keep it in my records at home. He said, “sure, I will take leave on 12th July to accompany you in your check up.”

— Junelle

5.8. A Great Relief

Saturday 17th Jul

I started to cry when the midwife confirmed my little angel’s gender. I thanked her for assisting me and mentioned that I would call the next day to get my postnatal appointment. I also asked her if I could get a copy of the gender result but she said that I could only request it on the day of my check up so I said, “no worries, it’s alright and many thanks again.”

After I dropped the call, I rushed to Christian then I cried so heavily. I told him, “I called Monash Hospital and I got the result of our baby’s gender. It’s a boy, it’s Jacob.” Christian was happy when he got the news. We hugged each other and I told him, “I got so relieved because now we already know our baby elephant’s gender and we can now call him by his name Jacob.”

We told Lara, “oh Lara, we already found out baby’s gender. It’s a boy and we will call your baby brother as Jacob! Can you say Jacob?” Lara tried to say his name and she was able to pronounce it clearly. The three of us hugged each other and for me, it was one of the best highlights in Jacob’s story.

— Junelle

5.7. The Final Gender Reveal

Monday 12th Jul

Another week has passed but still, there was no call or message received from Monash Hospital. I have been trying to be patient but I could not control myself to call the hospital again because I really wanted to know my baby elephant’s gender soon and I would like to get a schedule of my postnatal check up.

I dialled the same number that I contacted before and a lady answered the phone, most probably a midwife on duty. I provided all my details and I explained again the history of my pregnancy and delivery. I felt like I already memorised my lines by calling the hospital every week. The midwife tried to search my profile in their database, same as the others whom I spoken with and again, she said that there were no updates seen in my records.

The midwife suggested to call her again the next day, Monday, so she could forward me to the maternity clinic’s number. She said, “don’t worry Junelle, I will be here tomorrow and you can call this number again. You will definitely get a schedule in your postnatal check up.” Before she ended the call, I immediately asked her again about my little angel’s gender. I told her, “It’s been weeks already, I just wanted to know my baby’s gender so I can organise his/her ashes in the cemetery with his/her correct name and I don’t know how long will I need to wait. Is there a way to expedite the process? I will pay if it’s necessary, just to make it faster.”

The midwife responded, “I will try to find it again and sorry to keep you waiting. Please bear with me because I will need to read and check more documents.” While I was waiting, I could hear her voice, whispering loads of information in my records. After a few more minutes, she said, “oh I found it, a boy.” At first, I did not hear what she mentioned so I asked her to repeat it again. Then she reiterated, “it’s a boy.”

— Junelle

5.6. Saturdate

Sunday 11th Jul

Since Junelle, Lara and myself were not able to book our lunch in Okami Restaurant on Junelle’s birthday, I decided to book on 3rd July for our dinner. This restaurant has been our favourite since 2018 and we really love to eat Japanese dishes.

We went first to Westfield Fountain Gate to find Lara’s Paw Patrol toy. However, we were not able to find the character that she wanted so we told her that we would try to find it some other time. We also bought some groceries from Coles and took a light lunch so we could have enough space in our stomach to our all-you-can-eat dinner in Okami Restaurant.

We arrived in the restaurant at exactly 5:30pm and we noticed that there were people on queue. It seemed like they were also waiting for their 5:30pm session. There were plenty of people, others were about to finish their meals and others just started eating. We enjoyed the food and Lara loved the different ice cream flavours that we ordered.

It was a fun dinner and I enjoyed spending this day with Junelle and Lara. While we were enjoying our moments together, I would still think of our baby elephant and I would just tell him/her that we miss him/her so much. And I was hoping that he/she would be happy for us.

— Christian

5.5. Company Get Together

Sunday 11th Jul

My company organised a simple party to celebrate the end of financial year. This included other teams within the same department. Most of my team mates were coming and they were planning to work at home then attend the party in the evening. At first, I did not want to come because I was not in the mood and I just recovered from my painful periods for the past couple of days. But one of my friends insisted that I should come so we could catch up with the others. I have not seen them for several weeks because of the COVID-19 restrictions since May and I missed them so decided to come.

I went to the office in the morning and I arrived at 8:00am. I asked Christian if I could hand him my laptop after work so he could bring it home before my team’s party. He said it was fine and around 4:45pm, he arrived in my workplace at Southbank to pick up my laptop. I was still experiencing some pains due to my fibroid so I took Panadol before attending the party. Christian also reminded me to slow down and take care of myself.

Our team’s get together was good, there were plenty of drinks, snacks and games that we enjoyed. I was able to see my colleagues from other teams and it was fun to catch up with them. At 7:45pm, I decided to leave the venue because it would take an hour and a half to get home. I hugged my friends and said goodbye to the others. At the end of the day, I realised that it was still good to see the outside world after grieving for the loss of my baby and it was a great feeling that I could still able to enjoy myself, and not being guilty to be happy.

— Junelle

5.4. Red Nose Day

Saturday 10th Jul

It was 30th June, the last day of the month and I was thinking that it was almost 6 weeks since I lost my baby elephant. Christian, Lara and myself were able to surpass the most difficult times of our lives and I was happy because the three of us were still together and we gained an angel in heaven, watching over us.

After logging off on my working laptop, I checked my personal email and I was surprised with an email from Red Nose. It was Janelle, the National Communications Manager of Red Nose. She gave her sincerest condolences to our family and she was saddened with what happened to our little angel. She mentioned that she have read our stories and saw our beautiful family pictures which clearly showed our love for our baby elephant. She was asking if Red Nose could share our family story to Red Nose Day but it was not compulsory, she said that there was no pressure in doing this. Just let her know what would be our family’s thoughts on this so we could chat further.

After a day, I replied to Janelle telling her that it would be an honour for our family to share our story to Red Nose Day and just let us know what else we could do to assist Red Nose. As I replied to her email, I just smiled and thinking that we were doing this for our precious angel in heaven.

— Junelle

5.3. A Day of Rest

Tuesday 6th Jul

My weekend was not that good, I just stayed on the bed and I was not able to do anything because of my heavy period. It did not let me do the household chores and I was not able to sleep well due to the pain. I read some articles in the internet and it said that it was just normal to have a heavy period after a miscarriage. The pain that I was experiencing was expected because I had it even in my past periods, probably due to my fibroid. I felt so tired and wanted to take some rest so I decided to take a one day leave at work.

While I was spending the day on my bedroom, I just revisited my baby elephant’s tribute page. All the messages and donations given by our families and friends made me smile. So far, we have raised $1,972 and this would be a great help to Red Nose. This amount could be used for research and assist families who lost their babies and children. This was a kind of fulfilment that I would cherish forever as Christian, Lara and myself dedicated this to our angel in heaven.

I added more stories and photos in my little angel’s page. I also started reading a book “Saying Goodbye” by Zoe Clark-Coates as this could help me in my recovery process. The author also experienced miscarriages, not only one but five and she created this book to help others on how to recover from a baby loss. This would be a great read and I would be able to learn how to overcome the grief that I was experiencing. My one day of rest was perfect because I was able to contemplate and focus myself on self-healing.

— Junelle

5.2. The Gender Reveal — Fourth Attempt

Sunday 4th Jul

It was Sunday, 27th June, five weeks since I gave birth but my little angel’s gender has not yet been identified. I was also waiting to receive a text message or a call for my postnatal check up schedule. The last time I called Monash Hospital was on 19th June and the lady who answered my call have not updated me so I decided to call again.

When I called the hospital’s birth suite number, a lady immediately answered it. Her voice was not familiar to me, maybe a different midwife whom I have not yet met. I gave her my details, the history of my pregnancy and delivery. She took note all my information including my Hospital ID Number and she tried to search for any updates in my hospital profile. Unfortunately, there was no latest data that has been uploaded in my profile so the lady told me that she would email the team responsible for checking my baby’s gender and my postnatal check up schedule.

I felt devastated again because I was not able to get enough information that I needed. Though there was no updates from the hospital, the lady who took the call assisted me and tried to find the necessary information that I needed. She even texted me and said that she already emailed the team that she was referring to and she introduced herself as Danika. I responded to her and thanked her for her assistance. I also shared my little angel’s tribute page link so she could read our stories and I told her that she could share it as well to her colleagues in Monash Hospital.

I was thinking that after a week and still no updates from the hospital, I would call them again to follow up. I was hoping to get some answers as soon as possible so Christian and myself could proceed with organising our baby elephant’s ashes in Bunurong Memorial Park.

— Junelle

5.1. One Month in Heaven

Sunday 4th Jul

On Tuesday, 22nd June, I woke up at 7:00am to prepare for work. It was still working at home, not in the office and even restrictions have been lifted, companies still recommended Victorians to work from home if possible. It was fine with me because I would not need to wake up too early and arrive home too late so I could spend more time with Lara.

While I was eating my breakfast, I lighted up a white candle. This was the same candle that I used during my little angel’s cremation day. There was still half of it left so I decided to reuse it for my baby’s one month celebration. I was wondering how was he/she, hoping that he/she still remember his/her family here on earth. When I think of my baby, all the things that happened a month ago comes back as if it was just happened yesterday. It made me sad and miss him/her but I kept on reminding myself that I should accept the fact that my baby has already joined God in heaven and I should be happy for him/her.

I ordered food from Door Dash for our dinner, to celebrate our baby elephant’s one month of existence in heaven. I also asked Christian to buy a simple cake so he went to a shopping centre to buy a chocolate cake and went home at 6:30pm. Christian and myself put one candle on the cake, we lighted it, then we asked Lara to blow the candle for her baby brother/sister. At first, she was having difficulty in blowing it and she complained that she could not do it. After several attempts, she have finally blew the candle and we clapped our hands for her. Afterwards, we enjoyed  eating our dry and soup noodles, pork buns and desserts.

When Lara and myself went to bed, before we sleep, she prayed for our family as well as our baby elephant. We were hoping that our simple celebration made our baby smile in heaven.

— Junelle

4.20. A Special Day

Sunday 4th Jul

I enjoyed our one night stay in Melbourne CBD and I liked the elephant charm that Christian gave me. This memorable experience was indeed worthy to treasure and even the years would have been passed, it would make you smile when you remember it. My parents, families and friends in the Philippines and other countries sent me their warm greetings. A few relatives and friends here in Australia remembered my birthday but it was alright and I was happy because I knew that those few ones gave the sincerest greetings to me, and I was grateful for that. 

It would take an hour before we reach home and we were expecting the delivery of our hallway table. We were planning to place it at the section of our family photo collage and our baby elephant’s picture frame. While we were on our way home, the owner of the company messaged me and said that the hallway table was already delivered, placed in front of the main entrance. He also sent me a photo of it so I got excited to come home because it would make our little angel’s space lovely and sanctified.

I got surprised with a box of sweets from my friend in Geelong and I thanked her for sending the twelve colourful and yummy cupcakes. Lara enjoyed it a lot and she kept on licking the icings on each cupcake. I also got a fresh bouquet of flowers from my friends at work and I really loved it. After my simple birthday celebration, I prayed and thanked Almighty God for the wonderful blessings He has given me, and I would continue to be thankful for having my husband, my daughter, and my precious angel in heaven.

— Junelle

4.19. The Celebration

Saturday 3rd Jul

It was a sunny morning on 20th June and I saw Junelle woke up at 7:00am to prepare Lara’s milk. After she gave the milk to Lara and went back to bed, I checked the bag on which I kept my gift and I silently hid it at my back. I approached Junelle and surprised her while saying, “happy birthday!” Then she exclaimed, “wow, thank you!” She got so excited with her gift and when she opened it, she said, “oh, an elephant charm!”

After inserting her elephant charm to her bracelet, she looked at it again and told me that she really liked it. She suddenly hugged me as she cried, “I really miss our baby.” I hugged her so tight and I told her, “don’t worry, our baby elephant is enjoying in his/her playground in heaven.”

After an hour, we went to the hotel’s restaurant to eat breakfast. In our buffet menu, there were several selections of appetisers, desserts and fruits. We enjoyed eating while looking at the Melbourne CBD view. Lara also enjoyed the food, she took small bites of variety of breads and she really loved her apple juice. 

We got back to our room and we started to pack up our things because we need to prepare for our check-out time at 12:00pm. Before we left the room, we looked again at the Yarra River and Melbourne City Skyline view. We also visited the pool area, we took photos with fancy backgrounds. Afterwards, we checked-out in the reception area. Lara, Junelle and myself enjoyed our short and sweet stay in the hotel. As we enjoyed ourselves on Junelle’s birthday, we were hoping that our little angel in heaven was smiling while watching over us.

— Christian

4.18. A Simple Family Dinner

Tuesday 29th Jun

Junelle was still checking Sparrow’s Philly Cheesesteaks menu on my phone and I told her that I would just leave for a moment to buy Lara’s milk from the nearest convenience store. She said she already found what she wanted from the menu and asked me to bring my phone so she could still contact me. Junelle and myself started to create our order from Uber Eats App, Mushroom Steak for her and Hot Pepper Steak for myself. I also ordered chips for Lara. After completing our order, the App said that it would take 45 minutes to get delivered.

While waiting for our dinner, I went out to buy Lara’s milk from the nearest store located in Elizabeth Street. This was the first time that I have seen Melbourne Southbank area at night. There were lots of open restaurants and shops, people were mostly having a good time with their friends while sharing drinks and snacks. It was fun watching people around and see the happiness on their faces as they spend their night with their loved ones. I knew how it feels and I could relate to them as I was coming back to our hotel room to see my wife and daughter.

After a few more minutes, I received the notification on my phone that our order would be arriving in about 5 to 10 minutes so I went down to the hotel lobby to meet the delivery guy in Uber Eats. We were still full but because of the smell of the Philly Cheesesteaks, we could not resist to eat it. It was nice, actually nothing special with the taste but Junelle loved it especially the mushrooms. Lara liked the chips and she kept on eating it until she was full. After we finished our meal, we continued watching Fast and Furious movies and eventually, we fell asleep.

— Christian

4.17. Time to Relax

Tuesday 29th Jun

We arrived in the hotel at around 3:30pm. Junelle went to the reception area to sign and collect our room keys. The hotel attendants kept on talking with Lara and they enjoyed playing with her while Junelle was still on the queue. They also gave Lara a yummy cupcake which made her happy and she exclaimed, “wow, a cupcake!”

After Junelle arranged our room check-in, she went to me and said, “the receptionist told me that we just got upgraded to a room with Yarra River and Melbourne City Skyline view, and it is free of charge.” And I said, “oh that’s great, looks interesting!” While we were walking towards our room, Lara was enjoying the hotel interiors and she screamed, “wow, I like it!” She normally says that and even when we go to the shopping centres, she always gets amazed with what she sees in the outside world.

We went inside the room, put our stuffs and checked the whole room especially the view. We liked it and we just took our time to relax while watching TV. Even I was still full, I asked Junelle what was her preferred dinner. She was still undecided so I suggested that we should try Sparrow’s Philly Cheesesteaks, I remembered that me and my team mates were talking about this a few weeks ago. She got interested with the Philly Cheesesteak so I told her to browse the menu first as I needed to go outside to buy Lara’s milk so I could order it in Uber Eats App afterwards.

— Christian

4.16. A Happy Meal

Tuesday 29th Jun

When we arrived in Westfield Knox, Lara told us that she wanted to pee so while I was accompanying her to the toilet, Junelle reserved our seats in Ajisen Ramen Restaurant. When Lara and myself arrived at the entrance of the restaurant, we saw Junelle sitting at the open area, waving at us. She was starting to check the menu and she said it was hard to choose because it seemed that all the foods in the list were delicious.

We ordered our favourites — Ramen, Bento Boxes and some appetisers. Lara ordered a Strawberry Smoothie, as Watermelon Juice was not part of the drinks menu. While we were waiting for our orders, we just observed our surroundings and people looked so happy due to the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions in Victoria. Everyone was strolling around, went in and out of the cinemas, some restaurants were full but not too crowded, and parents were playing with their kids while enjoying the sun.

Our orders came one by one and later on, we realised that we were already full after we tried all the dishes. There were plenty of meals left so after I paid at the counter, I asked for food containers so we could bring our leftovers at the hotel. We enjoyed our lunch and we felt energised as we proceed to our hotel in Melbourne CBD. While we were in the moment of enjoying our time together, we still could not resist of thinking our baby elephant, hoping that he/she was happy watching us here on earth.

— Christian

4.15. Family Date

Sunday 27th Jun

It was a freezing Saturday morning on 19th June and I noticed Junelle woke up early to finish packing up our things. She made sure everything was complete and nothing has been forgotten. She was always like that and even before, there were times that I ask her why she was bringing lots of our clothes and other personal things and yet we would only stay for a couple of days in a different location. She would just laugh and answer me, “it’s better to be prepared and bring more rather than less.”

I asked Junelle what was her preferred lunch. Both of us were craving for Japanese food so we tried to check Japanese restaurants nearby. We initially checked Okami Restaurant but the website mentioned that they do not have Saturday lunch, so we checked other Japanese restaurants with good reviews. I remembered that my office mate recommended Hakoya Ramen Restaurant, I have tried it once and I liked the taste of their Ramen. Junelle also got interested with this restaurant, however, she was a bit worried that the location might be crowded since it was located near Southern Cross Train Station and she was just thinking of our safety from COVID-19. Hence, she suggested to find a Japanese Restaurant just within the southeast location and preferably an open area so we checked the restaurants in Westfield Knox. Luckily, we found Ajisen Ramen Restaurant so we decided to go there.

As we were already dressed and about to leave home, we felt excited and we were looking forward to a memorable hotel stay in Melbourne CBD with Junelle, Lara and of course, our baby elephant in our hearts.

— Christian

4.14. The Present

Sunday 27th Jun

The week was about to finish and everything was okay at work. Still adjusting but because of the prayers and being optimistic, we were able to recover little by little from what happened to our little angel.

I was thinking what to buy for Junelle on her birthday. I wanted something that would remind her of our baby elephant so I checked some stuffs online, then I found some cute elephant charms which she could put on her bracelet. I selected the best design that would fit to her taste then I went to the store after work to buy it.

We were excited to stay in a hotel in Melbourne CBD on 19th to 20th June to celebrate Junelle’s birthday, just a quiet and simple one. It was also a good timing that the COVID-19 restriction of 25km limit have been lifted so we would be able to come to the hotel. As Junelle was packing up our things, she was not aware that I quietly inserted my gift to one of our bags so I could give it on her birthday.

— Christian

4.13. Gender Follow Up

Thursday 24th Jun

I felt energised after the long weekend and I got excited because it was just four days left before the weekend again. We had a very productive weekend and it helped us to prepare for the new week.

I asked Christian to call Monash Hospital to get some updates regarding our baby elephant’s gender. It was already three weeks and we still have not received any updates from the doctors, midwives or social workers who were in charge of it. I was hoping that we would be able to hear good news from them soon so we could proceed with the arrangements with the cemetery. Unfortunately, Christian was not able to get enough information from the lady who answered his call. She only said that she would ask her colleagues and call Christian if she gets any updates.

After four days, I tried to follow up again by calling the contact number I got from the midwives when I had my delivery. When I called the number, a lady immediately answered it, and her voice sounded familiar. It looked like it was Jess, one of the midwives who assisted me when I gave birth. Same as the lady who spoken with Christian, she was also unaware how long it would take to receive updates about our baby’s gender. She apologised for the delays and she said she would try to call her contacts and follow up about it. She also asked me if I already have a scheduled postnatal check up as I needed to get checked after six weeks of giving birth. I told her I have not received a call nor a message about the schedule so she said that if no one would contact me before or on the sixth week, call her again and she would assist me on the schedule.

I got a bit sad and disappointed because our little angel’s gender was still a mystery and hoping to hear updates from the hospital very soon.

— Junelle

4.12. The Long Weekend

Wednesday 23rd Jun

Long weekend is exciting, not only to get a break from work, but also to spend some quality time with your family.

As planned, Christian, Lara and myself went to a shopping centre to buy a floating TV rack. Lara enjoyed strolling around, waving at people and saying, “Hi!” to everyone. She’s indeed the friendliest girl I have ever known. While we were checking some stuffs, Lara saw another kid holding a Triceratops dinosaur stuffed toy. She wanted it so badly so we tried to find where it was located. After walking around the shopping centre, we finally found the Triceratops dinosaur plushie. Lara was so happy and due to her excitement, she hugged it so tight and she never let us hold it even for just a few seconds.

While we continued on browsing other toys, I suddenly saw an elephant plush toy. It reminded me again of our baby elephant and I just realised that even he/she was not with us, we could still feel his/her presence in other forms or symbols. After buying the TV rack, we went to Bunnings Warehouse to check some flowers which I could plant in our backyard. Flowers also reminded me of my baby as I started to get fond of planting colourful and fragrant flowers since I got pregnant.

We spent the remaining days in assembling the TV rack and planting flowers in our backyard. It was fun, simple, quiet and relaxing. While we were enjoying our time together, I was hoping that our baby elephant was happily watching over us.

— Junelle

4.11. Surviving the First Week

Monday 21st Jun

My first week of work was fine, a bit unsteady at times, but everything went well. My colleagues assisted me in my tasks and they helped me to adjust slowly. I was so grateful to have my team because they supported me ever since I joined the company. I was happy that I was able to perform my duties well despite of what I was going through.

Christian was okay and I was glad that he was able to focus in his work. He mentioned to me, there were moments that when he and his workmates were talking about our baby, everything was coming back and it made him cry. His co-workers supported him as well during these challenging times and this made me happy as comforting words could help a person to feel better and to think positively.

I unexpectedly received an email from the Fundraising Campaigns Manager of Red Nose, sending the organisation’s sincere condolences to Christian, Lara and myself. On behalf of the organisation, he thanked me in creating the tribute page for my baby and the donations given by our families and friends. He also reminded me that my family could reach out to them 24/7 for counselling and support, and just let them know if they could assist me with anything. I felt better while I was reading the email, then I replied to Red Nose and thanked them for their continuous support for families who lost a child.

— Junelle

4.10. The Cemetery’s Mail

Sunday 20th Jun

As COVID-19 restrictions were about to ease and shops were starting to reopen, Christian and myself were excited to do some of our projects at home for the long weekend. We were planning to buy a floating TV rack in our theatre room and I wanted to buy flowers to plant in our backyard. We were trying to make things normal as much as possible while maintaining the presence of our baby elephant in our everyday lives. 

On 10th June, we have received a posted mail from Bunurong Memorial Park. We got so excited when Christian and myself saw it, and when we opened the envelope, we saw a letter and a certificate. The letter stated that our baby elephant’s ashes have already been moved to the cemetery and we should communicate with them regarding our plan to take some part of the ashes, as well as the arrangement of placing the remaining ashes in Gum Nut area. The certificate confirmed the date of our little angel’s cremation, 2nd June 2021, and it stated the name ‘Baby Morcilla’ since the gender has not yet been identified.

However, due to the recent thunderstorms in Victoria, the mail has been slightly torn by the rain inside our mailbox so I called Bunurong Memorial Park to request a new copy of the certificate. The customer service representative confirmed that we could still get a new copy but we should come to their office so we could personally receive it in good condition. After the call, Christian and myself have decided to wait for a few more days as we might receive some updates from Monash Hospital regarding our baby elephant’s gender then we could proceed with organising the ashes in the cemetery.

— Junelle

4.9. A Heavy Heart

Saturday 19th Jun

Coming back to work after losing a loved one has never been easy for me but I needed to be strong to face it, to help myself to recover from what happened to my second baby. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions in Victoria, it was still suggested to work at home for your safety. I just woke up at 7:00am, took a shower and prepared my breakfast as I turned on my company laptop.

I logged in to my laptop around 8:00am, then I checked my emails and messages for the past two weeks. My team mates took care of my tasks while I was away and I was glad to see and hear their voices again in our morning meeting. I got some new tasks that I worked on for the whole day, however, there were moments that while I was working, I would suddenly remember again my miscarriage, my little angel, then I would cry again.

Sometimes, it is difficult to focus because of being emotional and it can affect your normal routine. But for me, as long as Christian and Lara are here by my side, I will continue to be optimistic and be grateful for all the blessings that we have. Prayer is also powerful, just hold on to your faith in God and everything will be put into place.

— Junelle

4.8. First Day

Friday 18th Jun

I woke up early at 5:30am to eat my breakfast and prepare my things before coming to work. I had to leave home at 6:30am to catch the 7:03am train in Berwick Station. It was an hour train journey and I needed to be in our office at around 8:00am.

As soon as I arrived in my workstation, my colleagues asked me how was everything. They were saddened with Junelle’s miscarriage and they gave some comforting words to me. As I was telling them the whole story, I started to feel again the loneliness then I suddenly cried even I was trying to control my emotions.

One of my workmates mentioned that he also experienced the same in his wife’s first pregnancy. He knew how it feels to lose your baby and he told me that if Junelle needed someone to talk to, his wife could talk to her so they could share their stories together and this could help Junelle in her recovery. I thanked my co-workers for their support and concern to me, and this inspired me to work harder for my family.

— Christian

4.7. Moving Forward

Thursday 17th Jun

It was Sunday, 6th June and my rest days were over. I was telling myself, “Okay, I’m going back to work tomorrow, I have to prepare myself and I need to focus.” Time flew so fast and I did not notice that it has already been two weeks since I lost my baby elephant. The last time I reported to work, I was still pregnant, then it unexpectedly changed with a blink of an eye.

There were days that I thought I was okay, that I had already moved on but suddenly, I would just think of the past and would start crying again. Then, I would just tell myself, “now I know how it feels to experience miscarriage and to have a stillborn child. I am sure that even after so many years, I will still carry this pain in my heart, the pain of losing my baby.”

Maybe to others, it was just a simple miscarriage, that it could be replaced by the next pregnancy or an existing child. But knowing that this baby have lived inside of me even for just a few weeks, it was still a precious gift of life given by God and I would cherish forever the short time that I have spent with my little angel.

— Junelle

4.6. The GP’s Call

Wednesday 16th Jun

On Friday, 4th June, I received a call from Southern Cross Medical Centre and I was surprised that the one who called me was my second GP. She was supposed to monitor me in my entire pregnancy, as a shared care provider for pregnant women and our family GP highly recommended her.

She was really saddened to what happened to me and she said, “I’m really sorry Junelle for your loss.” While I was telling her the whole story, I felt the pain again and I was not able to hold my tears. The longer I talk, the harder was it for me to stop myself from crying. While my GP was taking down notes for her records, she told me, “I understand what you’re going through, just come to my clinic if you need anything, if you feel any pain in your abdomen, or if your notice any unusual discharge from your body. You’re welcome to visit me here whenever you like.”

After my GP gave the list of things that I needed to monitor in my body, I mentioned to her that I created a tribute page for my baby elephant. She was happy about it and I gave her the link so she could read it as well. After the call, I took some time to remind myself again to be strong and I should be grateful despite of these challenges because I still have Christian, Lara, our families and friends.

— Junelle

4.5. Coming Back to Work

Tuesday 15th Jun

The second week since I lost my baby was almost finished and I had to convince myself that I needed to come back at work on the third week. I was thinking if I would be able to concentrate because I was not yet fully healed physically and emotionally. I also felt incomplete as there were still pending updates from the hospital regarding the gender and the cemetery for our little angel’s ashes. But, as mostly people said, “life goes on,” so I should help myself to become a stronger individual, for my husband and daughter.

I messaged my two managers and informed them that I would be coming back to work on Monday, 7th June. I mentioned that I was not yet fully recovered but I would try my best to adjust little by little, as losing my baby was still fresh on me. They were really  considerate and they reminded me that the team would support me during these challenging times.

I told Christian that I would be coming back to work and he asked me, “are you sure?” Then I responded to him, “yes and I already advised my managers that I’ll be coming back on Monday.” So he said, “okay, if that’s what you want, that’s alright. Take your time while you’re working, no need to rush, just slow down and do not stress yourself with anything. Just remember that Lara and myself are here for you.”

— Junelle

4.4. The Cremation Day

Sunday 13th Jun

It was a cold yet a sunny morning on 2nd June 2021 and I woke up at 8:00am. I knew that it was a significant day for Christian, Lara and myself. Christian and Lara were still asleep, and I have decided to get up and start the day early. Before preparing my breakfast, I lighted up a white candle to commemorate our baby elephant’s cremation day. While eating, I called my mum and dad. It is my normal routine of calling them every morning during weekends or when I am on work leave, and every night after work. Just checking how are they and getting some news updates from the Philippines.

When Christian and Lara woke up, they took their breakfast then we went out for a walk. I blew out the candle first before we left the house just to be safe from fire accidents. While walking, I was just thinking how was the cremation and what time was it scheduled. I was hoping that we were still allowed to visit during the cremation process but unfortunately not, so I was just being optimistic that everything went well on the cremation. Christian also said, “don’t worry, it’s only his/her physical body in the cremation and his/her soul is already in a better place so everything is going to be alright; and as Father Desmond said before, our baby will no longer feel any pain or suffering on earth as he/she is now in heaven.”

After we got back home, I lighted up the while candle again and looked at our little angel’s pictures in our frame, trying to reminisce our short but memorable times together. 

— Junelle

4.3. Always There for You

Saturday 12th Jun

It was the second week since I had my miscarriage and I started the day by doing an hour walk with Christian and Lara within our place. It was fun to see the surroundings in Meridian Estate, more houses were building and more construction trucks were coming in and out of the area. It was really getting cold on that day and as many people were saying, “the winter is coming!”

I received a message from my close friend in Geelong and asked me if I was okay. She usually checks me from time to time if everything is alright. I just got surprised when she sent me a Dinner Ladies Food Voucher so Christian and myself would not be thinking of preparing foods for the next couple of days, just heating the meals in the oven then it is ready to serve. I thanked her for the voucher and I updated her regarding my little one’s cremation schedule. I also showed her the family collage frame that I have done.

Still grateful that though I only have a few friends, those ones are true and will always be there for me during the most challenging time of my life.

— Junelle

4.2. The Hospital’s Update

Friday 11th Jun

On 31st May 2021, I received a call from Coleen, the social worker in Monash. She explained that the cremation schedule in the hospital is only done every first Wednesday of the month, so our baby elephant would be cremated on 2nd June. She also mentioned that the form I have filled up during Junelle’s delivery went missing so she asked my permission first if she could fill up a new form on my behalf.

Since we did not know yet our little angel’s gender, the social worker suggested that she would just put Baby Morcilla in the form for the meantime. I told her that we did not want to do an autopsy, only checking the gender by getting a sample of our baby’s umbilical cord and the pathologist would be examining the placenta.

After Coleen filled up all our details, I asked her if we could get a small part of our little one’s ashes to keep it and she confirmed that it was alright, and she would record it in our documents. She also reminded me that I should mention it to Bunurong Memorial Park after the cremation has been done, as they would be picking up our baby elephant’s ashes and they would update us for the next steps.

— Christian Glenn

4.1. A Week After the Loss

Thursday 10th Jun

As Christian, Lara and myself were looking at the pictures, we were able to recall the memories that we had with our baby elephant. It was a mixed emotion, happy because we knew that our little angel went to a better place but sad because we just had a limited time with him/her and Lara was not able to meet him/her personally.

I have added pictures in our baby’s tribute page so we could also share our simple and sweet memories together as a family. In this way, we could inspire other people, to be grateful in everything despite of the challenges that we were facing.

While I was looking at the frame, I was asking myself, “so now, what to do next?” We were still waiting for the hospital’s update regarding our baby’s gender so I could not continue working on the second frame, the one which I would put all my past ultrasound images with his/her name displayed. I cried and felt the emptiness again so I kept myself focused on updating our baby elephant’s page, adding more stories and photos to share to our families and friends.

— Junelle

3.23. Family Collage — Completed

Thursday 10th Jun
After 2 days of printing pictures and designing our frame, I have finally completed our photo collage. I really enjoyed doing this, it made me feel better and inspired with our lovely shots. I also purchased some cute ornaments which I used as decorations in our photo collage and I hung these evenly on the whole frame. — Junelle

3.22. Family Collage — 22nd Photo

Wednesday 9th Jun
This was taken on 31st January 2021, the day we found out that I was pregnant. We were so happy and excited because Lara would be having a baby brother/sister. We decided to celebrate it at Tooradin Foreshore Reserve where Lara enjoyed playing with the birds, sands and rocks. At this moment, everything was just nice, sweet and simple — Christian, Lara and myself were looking forward to meet the youngest member of our family. — Junelle

3.21. Family Collage — 21st Photo

Wednesday 9th Jun
My most favourite photo, my chosen profile picture of our baby's tribute page. I have printed a duplicate copy of this shot and put this on the table beside our bed so I could always see him/her. This reminded me on how my baby saved me and for being such an angel to our family. — Junelle

3.20. Family Collage — 20th Photo

Tuesday 8th Jun
This was taken during our cousin Grachelle's birthday dinner at Dandenong Pavilion. After 3 weeks of not having a spotting, it suddenly happened again on this night. I was thinking what might be the cause, that maybe it was just normal, same as before and I was hoping that there was nothing serious about it. — Junelle

3.19. Family Collage — 19th Photo

Tuesday 8th Jun
This was our baby's first shot when he/she just came out from me, still covered with amniotic sac and the placenta was still connected to him/her. While I was looking at our little angel, I got sad because I was not able to give him/her a life. Everything suddenly stopped, all our plans and dreams for him/her just vanished. — Junelle

3.18. Family Collage — 18th Photo

Monday 7th Jun
This was the time when I received a bouquet of fresh Lilies and Gerberas. My friends at work gave this to me when they had a surprise visit in our place and I was not aware that they asked Christian our home address so they could visit me. The light pink and white colours of the Gerberas made me smile. I also liked the smell of the Lilies and they were so cute when they were starting to bloom. — Junelle

3.17. Family Collage — 17th Photo

Monday 7th Jun
Our first mother and son/daughter photo. At first, I was not able to see our baby while I was holding him/her because the white cloth was covering his/her face. After the midwife left the room, I asked Christian to adjust the angle of the bed so I could sit properly and see our baby elephant. — Junelle

3.16. Family Collage — 16th Photo

Monday 7th Jun
I took this picture when Lara just woke up beside her favourite elephant plush toy. At this moment, she was still sleepy but she still managed to look at the camera so I could take a nice photo of her. — Junelle

3.15. Family Collage — 15th Photo

Sunday 6th Jun
This was one of our baby's cutest shots. We were able to find a nice angle to capture his/her full facial features. After we took this photo, I kissed our baby elephant and hugged him/her a lot of times. — Junelle

3.14. Family Collage — 14th Photo

Sunday 6th Jun
This was the time when I was missing Soft Shell Crab and Thai Milk Tea so Christian brought Lara and myself to Kinn Thai Restaurant at Westfield Fountain Gate to satisfy my cravings. Lara enjoyed the crispy edges of the Soft Shell Crab as well as her favourite Watermelon Juice. We got so full and this restaurant had huge servings so we were able to take home the other meals we have ordered. — Junelle

3.13. Family Collage — 13th Photo

Sunday 6th Jun
This was the moment when Christian and myself were about to leave the hospital. Christian held our baby for the last time while he was crying. This was the hardest time for us, leaving our precious angel soon. Though we did not want to leave early, we had to do it because Lara was waiting for us. — Junelle

3.12. Family Collage — 12th Photo

Sunday 6th Jun
I have bought this cute elephant plush toy in Baby Bunting on 23rd May 2021, the day after I gave birth. This was one of the best keepsakes that I had for my precious baby and I really enjoyed watching Lara playing with this beautiful stuffed toy. — Junelle

3.11. Family Collage — 11th Photo

Sunday 6th Jun
While I was holding our little angel, I asked Christian if he also wanted to carry our baby elephant. He did not hesitate to say, "yes" and he immediately cuddled our baby while looking at him/her. — Junelle

3.10. Family Collage — 10th Photo

Sunday 6th Jun
This was taken on 1st May 2021 at Mount Donna Buang and I considered this as one of my most favourite family photos. I recalled that Christian and myself went here in winter, during my first pregnancy with Lara. We visited this place again as we celebrated my second pregnancy but this time, it was the autumn season. — Junelle

3.9. Family Collage — 9th Photo

Saturday 5th Jun
It seemed that our precious angel was just peacefully sleeping while I was caressing him/her. He/she was so cute with the elephant printed cloth wrapped around him/her. — Junelle

3.8. Family Collage — 8th Photo

Saturday 5th Jun
This was taken by Christian before I left home to attend Shanade's hens party. On the photo, I was leaning on Christian's favourite car named Mayumi, also known as Yumi. I really enjoyed this night with our cousins, relatives and other guests. — Junelle

3.7. Family Collage — 7th Photo

Saturday 5th Jun
This was the time when our baby just left my womb. This photo was taken by one of the midwives who assisted me during the delivery. After giving birth, the midwife quickly wrapped our baby elephant with a white cloth then she handed him/her to us. — Junelle

3.6. Family Collage — 6th Photo

Saturday 5th Jun
Lara was extremely happy holding the positive pregnancy test result and she got excited to have a baby brother/sister. Christian also posted this photo in his Instagram account saying, "someone got promoted to Ate." — Junelle

3.5. Family Collage — 5th Photo

Saturday 5th Jun
A beautiful father and son/daughter photo. Even Christian was hurting at this moment, he was still able to smile at the camera while holding our precious angel. — Junelle

3.4. Family Collage — 4th Photo

Saturday 5th Jun
Lara was cheerfully holding a bunch of Lilies from our cousins Grachelle and John. I immediately sent them Lara's sweet photo and thanked them for sending these lovely flowers. I was very happy looking at these Lilies especially when they started to bloom. — Junelle

3.3. Family Collage — 3rd Photo

Saturday 5th Jun
One of the sweetest shots that I had with our baby elephant. When we were about to leave the hospital, I asked Christian for one last time to take my last picture with our little angel. At this moment, I was very emotional because this would be the last time that I would hold my baby. — Junelle

3.2. Family Collage — 2nd Photo

Saturday 5th Jun
This family photo was taken by Jess who was one of the midwives who took care of me. I recalled how she assisted us with everything, including all the efforts she have done just to get nice pictures of our baby. — Junelle

3.1. Family Collage — 1st Photo

Saturday 5th Jun
As one of my most favourite shots, I placed this photo at the centre of our frame. This simply showed how Lara was enjoying the elephant plushie that we bought in Baby Bunting. — Junelle

2.15. Our Family Photo Project

Saturday 5th Jun

I spent two days working on our photo collage, I carefully selected the best 22 photos which I would put on the first frame. For the ultrasound images, I had a total of 9 photos which I could put on the second frame.

Firstly, Christian and myself charged the instax square printer for 3 hours. Secondly, we did sample prints, with and without filters just to see how would it look like in the instax films. Thirdly, we started to print the 22 pictures with colourful film frames. Christian also printed some of our photos to display inside our two cars, hooked on the rearview mirrors.

When I completed the first frame, I felt so happy and I cried while I was looking at the pictures. These souvenirs reminded me about our unforgettable moments with our baby elephant. Christian said, “I like it so much, it is very beautiful.” Then he hugged both Lara and myself.

I was also waiting for the little ornaments which I was planning to add on the first frame. In addition to this, I was hoping to receive updates from Monash about our baby’s gender so I could add his/her name on the second frame.

— Junelle

2.14. The Souvenirs

Friday 4th Jun

I got so excited when I received the instax square printer and additional films which I bought from Amazon. Christian went to the shopping centre to buy collage frames where I could put our family’s photos with our baby elephant as well as my ultrasound pictures.

I was planning to put 22 images in the first collage frame because our little angel was born on 22nd May. These 22 photos were all about our baby and all significant events related to my recent pregnancy. While on the second frame, I would put all my ultrasound photos and our baby’s name once we confirmed his/her gender.

Christian was excited as well and he was very supportive for all the things that I was doing for our baby. When I started to do our frame collage project, my loneliness has turned to excitement and I could not wait to complete this very soon.

— Junelle

2.13. Tears of Joy

Friday 4th Jun

When I created our baby elephant’s tribute page, I sent the link to our families and friends, mostly based here in Australia. I got so happy every time there was a new donation and message in our blog site. It made me cry reading those touching messages and this made me feel better, knowing that a lot of people were supporting us in our fundraising cause.

I unexpectedly received a beautiful bouquet of Roses and Dahlias from my co-workers, placed in an elegant vase. I also received my favourite — a bunch of Lilies from our cousins. Lilies reminded me of my recent pregnancy and this was the reason why I selected the name Lily if our baby would be a girl.

After 5 days of mourning, I tried to cook something for our lunch, hoping that I could go back to my usual routine. Then the next day, I received a message from one of our cousins, the one who just got married. She said that she and the rest of the family would pray for us and let them know if we needed anything. She also mentioned that they would send us an Uber Eats voucher so we would not need to think of cooking.

While I was updating our blog site, I decided to add our family photos and any pictures related to our little angel, including the gifts and flowers from our relatives and friends. These photos reminded me that even our baby was no longer here on earth, there were still a lot of people who cared for us.

— Junelle

2.12. Proud Husband

Thursday 3rd Jun

I was still having a deep sleep when Junelle suddenly woke me up, “hey, I just sent you a link. Can you read it later?” I was wondering what link was she talking about, I got curious so even I was still a bit sleepy, I immediately checked it and I got surprised on what she have created — a fundraising tribute page for our baby elephant. I realised that this was the one she was doing while she was awake at around 5:00am.

When I read the page, there was already a $50 donation and Junelle said she wanted to donate as a good start for our baby’s fundraising cause. Even before, even at a small amount, she donates to different charities monthly and she said that this was our way of saying thank you to God for all the blessings that we have received from Him during the pandemic. At that time, for me it was just okay and there was nothing special about her previous donations until she created a tribute page for our little angel.

She sent the link only to selected people, families and friends. After a few hours of creating the tribute page, we got surprised that a lot of people were donating and posting encouraging messages which can make us feel better. Both of us were really happy reading those messages then I told her that I was proud of her and from that moment, I knew that she was starting to heal.

Junelle inspired me to share our heartwarming story so I created a post in my Instagram account and shared our baby’s tribute page link. In this way, I was also able to honour my baby elephant’s life in heaven.

— Christian Glenn

2.11. A Sister’s Perspective

Thursday 3rd Jun

At a very young age of three and a half years old, Lara somehow understood what was happening in my pregnancy and in my recent miscarriage.

I remembered when I was still pregnant, she would always kiss my tummy and said, “I love you baby!” And during the night, before getting asleep, she would pray to God to guide her daddy, her mommy, baby, and herself. She would also say goodnight to her baby brother/sister while touching my tummy. When she noticed me putting lotion and oil on my lower belly, she would also do the same after saying, “mommy give me lotion, give me oil.”

And after I had my miscarriage, even she seemed happy while playing with our elephant plushie, I still felt her sadness. One time, while I was removing my belly band, she would immediately look at my tummy then ask me, “mommy, where’s baby?” Then the next day, she would ask me the same question. Christian and myself would just smile at her as we explained, “Lara, our baby is now in heaven and no more baby inside mommy’s tummy.” Then she would just repeat what we have told her, “baby in heaven?” At times, she would suddenly make us laugh because of her actions like crawling like a baby while saying, “mommy, daddy look, I’m a baby!” And she would come to us, asking either Christian or myself to carry her like a baby.

She was trying to remove the pain in our hearts by her love and affection to us. And this made me realise that we still have another angel here on earth, my firstborn, Lara.

— Junelle

2.10. Catch Up with the GP

Thursday 3rd Jun

Christian, myself and Lara went to Southern Cross Medical Centre for Christian and Lara’s flu vaccine appointment with our family GP. We were also planning to get Lara checked because of her minor rashes.

Our GP already known us for years eversince I moved here in Australia and even when I was pregnant with Lara. She was the one who recommended our private Obstetrician-Gynaecologist in my first pregnancy and she was also aware of the sensitivity of my second pregnancy.

When she called us, Lara immediately went to her and said, “doctor!” The GP teased Lara that she was the real doctor because our daughter was wearing her own stethoscope toy. While coming inside the room, she asked us how was everything and we just said we were okay, trying to avoid discussing about my second pregnancy. After checking Lara’s rashes and giving flu shots to both Christian and Lara, she asked me again, “Junelle, how are you?” Then suddenly, I cried. We told her what happened and even Christian cried as well. She got sad about the news and said, “I’m really sorry Junelle and Christian.”

After having a quick chat with our GP, I asked her personal email address so I can share with her the link of our baby’s tribute page. She was also happy to check our blog site when she have time. Finally, we bid farewell to her and she said she was hoping for our fast recovery.

— Junelle

2.9. The Cemetery Visit

Wednesday 2nd Jun

Christian and myself went to Westfield Knox to collect the square instax films that I purchased online from Ted’s Camera Store. I was thinking to print our baby’s photos to create a beautiful and memorable frame collage for him/her. I also got an email update from Amazon that the delivery of my square instax printer would take place the next day so I was so excited to start printing our pictures soon.

After picking up the films, I asked Christian if we could visit Bunurong Memorial Park to get some ideas about where we were going to put our baby’s ashes, the location and how the plaque should get displayed in the area. While we were on our way to the cemetery, the weather became gloomy then suddenly, strong winds and the rain came by. We asked the customer service representative if we can visit the location of the babies cremated and organised by Monash. She confirmed that it was in Gumnut area and she also asked us to fill up a form with our details so she could easily contact us after our baby’s cremation in the hospital.

When Christian and myself went to Gumnut section, we saw the babies’ names on the acorn-shaped plaques, all were sorted and placed on huge rocks. While I was looking at the plaques and the solemn area, I cried again and I felt at peace that my baby would be having a decent space with his/her fellow babies.

— Junelle

2.8. The Healing Stage

Wednesday 2nd Jun

The next day, I woke up early at around 4:00am. I recalled that I gave birth at 4:44am so while waiting for that time to come, I was reading the documents regarding our little angel’s cremation, funeral services and leaflets of Sands/Red Nose.

I tried to search from Google on how to honour your baby who died during pregnancy or infancy, then I saw this article in Baby Center — https://www.babycenter.com/pregnancy/your-life/honoring-a-baby-who-dies-in-pregnancy-or-infancy_10339724. This inspired me to do something worthwhile for my baby. When I browsed both Sands and Red Nose websites, I noticed that there was a section which you can do a fundraising in honour of your baby, by creating your own blog site using Red Nose in which you can add stories, photos and videos that you like, then all the donations will go to Red Nose which they can use to do research, educate and support families affected by the death of a baby or child.

I immediately created a page for my baby elephant then added our stories. Somehow it helped me to move on and it made me get excited to share our baby’s short and sweet story.

— Junelle

2.7. Taking the Blame

Wednesday 2nd Jun

To others, Monday was just a typical day to start working from home. Some people were excited to start the week right, while others were feeling lazy to go at work. But for me, it was just a very unproductive and a tiresome day.

I woke up at around 5:00am and I did not get enough sleep. I was also experiencing migraines and it was terribly hurting my head and my eyes. I also started to receive messages from families and friends and I could not help myself to cry. I was just browsing my baby elephant’s photo and trying to recall his/her face while I was cuddling him/her at the hospital. I still could not believe that there was no more baby inside my tummy, that we have lost him/her. I mostly stayed on the bed crying, just having a deep thought, pondering and trying to convince myself that this was real, that I was no longer pregnant. I was really missing my baby and I could not stop to blame myself from what happened.

Christian checked me in our bedroom and he hugged me while saying, “please don’t blame yourself because it’s not your fault. Even our baby is now in heaven, we’ll never forget him/her, he/she will always be in our hearts. I miss our baby as well, same as you and don’t get mad to God for what happened, remember that you are more active than me going to the church and you have told me before that there’s always a reason for everything. Just be strong and we’ll be able to overcome this.” I told Christian that I was not mad to God, I was just terribly missing our baby and I was just thinking that if only I could give my own heart, to connect it to our baby’s heart to give him/her a heartbeat. Then he tried to wipe away my tears.

Having Christian and Lara by my side helped me a lot to keep myself going. Even if it was hard for me to accept the truth that our baby was gone, I was still trying to be strong because of their presence and the support of our families and friends.

— Junelle

2.6. Sorrowful Sunday

Tuesday 1st Jun

When we arrived home, Junelle was busy sorting out our clothes and the things which we have used in the hotel. There were times that when I checked her, I would see her crying silently and sometimes, she was hugging the elephant plush toy which we bought in Baby Bunting. She asked me to call one of her managers to tell what happened to our baby and to advise her other bosses that she was going to take a few days leave to get some rest and to arrange some other things for our baby. I tried to call my managers as well but I was not able to contact them so I just texted them what happened and my planned leaves for the next couple of days.

Junelle took some rest for a few minutes then she showed our baby’s photos to Lara, “Lara look at baby.” Lara said, “wow baby.” Then Junelle introduced the elephant plushie to Lara. “Can you promise baby to take care of baby elephant?” “Okay, mommy. I love you baby elephant,” then Lara hugged the elephant plush toy.

At around 5:00pm, Junelle was feeling lonely because it was starting to get darker, she felt that she was starting to get sad as the sun was setting down. Then I told her, “don’t worry, Lara and myself are always here for you, just approach me if you need someone to talk to. I love you so much.”

— Christian Glenn

2.5. Back to Reality

Tuesday 1st Jun

My mum and auntie came back to the hotel riding an uber car at around 12:00am and I was still awake at that time. They also brought some fresh flowers from the wedding and I was thinking that Junelle would love it as well.

The next day, we just took our breakfast, organised our stuffs, then we finally checked out from our room at 11:00am. Before we went home, Junelle asked me to stop at Baby Bunting first to buy a belly band to support her lower back and abdomen. When we went to the store, we searched for the belly band as well as Lara’s milk bottles. Then, she suddenly went to the toy section where she found different kinds of animal plushies. “I wanted to buy an elephant stuffed toy,” she said. So I helped her to find the cutest elephant plushie that she wanted.

We dropped auntie first at her house then we unexpectedly saw our cousins. They asked me if I was okay and when they approached Junelle, she cried so heavily and she was not able to control her emotions. We bid farewell to each other then I suddenly cried again even while I was driving. While we were on our way home, we were just trying to crack some jokes that we were now going back to reality and we should start moving on.

— Christian Glenn

2.4. A Lonely Night

Tuesday 1st Jun

After our mum, uncle and aunties left, Junelle said she felt sleepy. I knew that she was not able to sleep since last night so I told her to try taking a nap if she could. While I was playing with Lara, I suddenly felt a bit sleepy as well and I noticed Lara was starting to get drowsy too so I tried to close my eyes and get a snooze.

It was around 7:00pm when Junelle tried to wake me up and she was asking if I was hungry and if I wanted to eat something for dinner. She was not able to finish her lunch meal earlier so she would like to eat it for dinner. I told her that I was fine and I would buy some snacks soon so she asked me to buy sandwiches as well. Lara suddenly woke up then she started to play with us again. After a few minutes, I went to IGA to grab sandwiches, Twinkies, coconut juice and water then I came back to our room.

While eating some snacks and playing with Lara, we tried to get a normal night like watching movies together. At times, we were able to forget our sorrow but then suddenly, we remembered again our baby elephant. It was a mixed of ups and downs, mixed emotions. As we were about to sleep at that night, I was hoping and praying that a better day was waiting for us.

— Christian Glenn

2.3. A Brief Catch Up

Tuesday 1st Jun

Christian went out from our room quickly to meet our mum, aunties and uncle in the hotel lobby so I immediately checked my eyes in the mirror. It seemed fine though it was a bit swollen, then I came back to our bed to relax my body. It was a bit difficult to move because I just gave birth and felt some cramps in my tummy. I remembered the midwife said that it was just normal because my uterus has been starting to adjust it’s shape after giving birth.

After a few minutes, our mum, uncle and aunties arrived and they asked me if I was okay. They told me to get some rest, avoid any negative thoughts and just think that we still have Lara with us. Christian and myself asked them how was the ceremony, if someone cried while our cousin was walking down the aisle and we asked about the other guests. They said that others were looking for us and kept on asking them where were we. They just mentioned there was some sort of emergency happened so we were not able to make it.

We enjoyed chatting with them and we were happy that the ceremony turned out well. At least even just a short time, we were able to forget our heartaches because of them. We also handed our gift and card to our mum so she would be able to bring it at the dinner reception. After a few more minutes, they decided to leave soon as they need to be in the restaurant before 6:00pm.

— Junelle

2.2. Trying to Unwind

Tuesday 1st Jun

After dropping mum in the church, Lara and myself went back to the hotel to check Junelle. She just woke up when we arrived in our room then I asked her what was her preferred lunch so I could check the restaurants nearby. “Maybe anything Japanese is fine,” she said. So I left Lara to Junelle then I proceed to the hotel lobby to find some Japanese restaurants. I saw a bubble milk tea store and I decided to buy some as both of us love drinking milk teas.

When I came back to our room with our food and drinks, I saw Junelle was lying on the bed with Lara and she told me that she just called her parents. I also noticed her puffy eyes and it seemed that she cried while she was talking with our parents. I asked her, “are you alright?” Then she started again to cry.

Even I was trying to comfort her, tears were also falling down from my eyes and I could not pretend that I was okay, I was also hurting and I knew that it will take some time for us to recover from what happened to our baby elephant.

It was already 2:30pm when auntie called and said that the church ceremony has been finished and no need to pick them up as our uncle and our other auntie were coming to visit us in our room. After Junelle and myself have finished our lunch, auntie called me and said that they were already in the hotel, so I immediately went down to the hotel lobby to meet them.

— Christian Glenn

2.1. Missing the Wedding

Monday 31st May

After we left our baby elephant to Jess at 11:30am, we rushed to the hospital parking then we went back to the hotel to met our mum and Lara. We have mentioned to them earlier that we would not be able to attend the wedding because we just wanted to get some rest and Junelle needed some time to recover from giving birth.

The wedding ceremony was at 1:00pm so we needed to drop our mum to the church as soon as possible. When we arrived in the hotel lobby, we immediately saw mum and Lara. We missed Lara so much and we felt better when we saw her running to us and screaming, “mommy, daddy!”

We went first to the reception area to let the receptionist update and fix our room key then we went to our room to leave our stuffs. After a few minutes, we have decided to bring Lara and leave Junelle in the room so she could get some sleep.

While I was driving, I told mum what happened in the hospital and when we were going to expect updates regarding our baby’s gender, the cremation and moving the ashes to the cemetery. It took one and a half hours drive from the hotel to the church due to heavy traffic, then we finally arrived at 1:30pm. We agreed that she would contact me once the wedding ceremony has been finished so I could pick her up as well as auntie back to the hotel because the dinner reception was scheduled at 6:00pm.

When I dropped my mum at the church, I saw some of the guests and the flower girls all lined up behind the church doors. It seemed that the ceremony was about to start soon and I was just thinking that Junelle, Lara and myself were supposed to be there to witness our cousin’s wedding and this made me feel a bit sad.

— Christian Glenn

1.20. The Hardest Goodbye

Monday 31st May

After Father Desmond left, Jess came back and gave us the discharging documents, medical certificates and the USB flash drive which contains our photos with our baby elephant. We also updated the form we filled up earlier to add our baby’s name if it’s a girl or if it’s a boy.

We thanked Jess for all the efforts and assistance she have done for us, from organising the papers to contacting the priests and taking our family photos. She also reminded us that she would contact Junelle the next day (Sunday) to check her and she gave the hospital’s hotline number just in case there were any problems. She said she was happy to help us and she was hoping that we would be able to recover soon.

We have discussed that we would take Monash Hospital’s free cremation service and our baby’s ashes will be moved to Bunurong Memorial Park. We were advised that the cremation only takes place every first Wednesday of the month so we would be expecting a call from Monash or Bunurong Memorial Park on or before 2nd of June. We would be contacted by the hospital as well regarding our baby’s gender and the findings in the placenta.

Before we left our baby to Jess, we asked her to give us a few more minutes to say goodbye to our little angel. We took more photos with him/her and cuddled him/her a couple of times. It was difficult to leave our baby soon and it really hurt us that we would not be able to share memories together. But one thing is for sure, our baby elephant is now in a safer place, in heaven with Almighty God and he/she is now an angel, watching and guiding us here on earth. We only spent 6 hours and 46 minutes with our precious one, but sometimes, the shortest stories are the most beautiful ones.

— Christian Glenn and Junelle

1.19. A Memorable Blessing

Monday 31st May

While Jess was still trying to contact some priests, I called my mum to let her know that we were just waiting for a priest to bless our baby then we will pick up Lara soon. Junelle also called her parents to update them regarding her delivery and showed our baby elephant.

It was around 10:30am when Jess brought an exciting news, “good news Christian and Junelle, Father Desmond is now coming here. It will just take some time to get here as he needed to travel from Hampton Park to Clayton. Let’s just wait for him, is that alright?” I saw Junelle suddenly smiled and she got relieved, then both of us said, “oh sure, we can wait, many thanks Jess for helping us in organising this!”

Father Desmond arrived a few minutes before 11:00am. When we saw him coming inside the room, we burst into tears. Junelle spoken with him, “Father, if your remember us, we had our daughter baptised at St. Kevin’s Church and we used to come to the church every Sunday before the pandemic.” Afterwards, he tried to comfort us by giving heartwarming messages then he started to do some readings and prayers for our little one. After blessing our baby, he told me, “oh I remember you, especially your tattoos on your right arm!” I remember when we were going to the church before COVID-19, after the mass, Father will go straight to the church’s exit doors then Junelle, Lara and myself will ask his hand for a blessing, then he always notice my tattoos on my right arm. After a small chat with Father, he said, “I’m really sorry, I won’t be able to stay longer because I have a mass at 11:30am, I need to go back soon at St. Kevin’s Church.” Then he gave his final comforting words to us.

It was an unforgettable moment and it was such a blessing that our baby elephant has been blessed until the last minute. We were very grateful to Father Desmond for giving his time and effort to come to the hospital to bless our little angel and it meant a lot to us.

— Christian Glenn

1.18. Finding Father

Sunday 30th May

After Chirstian and myself discussed about our baby’s names, Jess suddenly went to our room and said, “hi Christian and Junelle, I was able to contact St. Kevin’s Church, however, the person who answered the phone said that the hospital’s location is too far so unfortunately, their priest won’t be able to come. And I’m not sure if the one who answered the phone was Father Desmond.”

I felt so sad when I heard that from Jess, then I immediately tried to find the name of the priest who baptised Lara. “Jess, can you try to find this priest? This is Father Jossy, he was previously assigned to St. Kevin’s Church and he’s the one who baptised our daughter 3 years ago. From what I remember, he got reassigned to another church here in Clayton. Maybe we can contact him as well.” Then Jess replied, “sure Junelle, can I get his full name?” I showed her Father Jossy’s full name then she immediately wrote it in her notes. She said, “okay, will try to contact this priest and will update you soon.”

I told Christian that I did not want to leave our baby without a priest’s blessing. It was already 10:00am and we were still unsure if our baby elephant would receive a blessing before we leave him/her. I was praying that hopefully, even just one priest, only just one, would to be able to come to the hospital to bless our little angel.

— Junelle

1.17. The Perfect Names

Sunday 30th May

The short chat with the social worker made us feel better, as we were able to express what we were feeling at that time. After she left us, Jess came back to update us regarding the priest. “Hi Christian and Junelle, I’ve tried to contact some priests nearby Clayton but no one was answering in the phone, maybe because it’s still early. But don’t worry, I will try again to contact more churches and will update you soon.” Junelle mentioned about St. Kevin’s Church and the midwife agreed to contact the church. She left us again and that was our time to think about our baby’s name.

Junelle said, “if it’s a boy, I want to name him as Jacob Raphael. I just really like the name Jacob and I like Raphael because this is the name of one of the highest archangels in the bible, along with Gabriel whom I got Lara’s second name Gabrielle.” I told her that I like the name as well and she asked what spelling do I like for Raphael. “Do you like Raphael or Rafael?”, said Junelle. Then I replied to her that I preferred the second one. “How about if a girl, any ideas?”, Junelle asked. I can’t think of any girl names that I like then suddenly, she said, “how about Lily, if you remember I really like the smell of Lilies, which was given by my friends at work when they had a surprise visit to me.” Then I responded, “oh yeah, I like that name.” It took a bit longer for us to think about a girl’s second name. While we were cuddling our baby, Junelle tried to search for baby girl names. Then she exclaimed, “oh, here’s what I’ve searched for baby girl names. Do you like Angelique? Based from my research, this is a French origin meaning angelic.” Then I responded, “Lily Angelique, it really sounds good. I like it.”

So Junelle confirmed, “okay, if our baby is a boy, it will be Jacob Rafael and if a girl, it will be Lily Angelique.”

— Christian Glenn

1.16. A Short but a Meaningful Talk

Sunday 30th May

Jess came back holding the papers which were needed to be signed, “have you decided what name to give to your baby? Please fill up this form, just put both of your details here and the name of your baby if a boy or a girl, or maybe think of a unisex name if you like; and for this second form, just tick the box that you don’t consent us to do an autopsy for your baby then sign it here. Will give you some time to fill these up.” We asked the midwife if it’s possible to ask a priest to bless our baby before we leave the hospital and she confirmed, “sure will try to contact some priests to bless your baby. By the way, do you want to speak with a social worker? This is just to have a quick chat if you have some concerns.” Junelle said, “sure.” Then the midwife replied, “okay, what time do you plan to leave? I remember you mentioned earlier that you need to pick up your daughter soon.” Christian responded, “maybe around 11:00am, if possible.” The midwife said, “oh sure, I’ll try my best to arrange a social worker to speak with you and a priest before 11:00am, it’s now 9:00am and will try to sort it out within 2 hours.” Afterwards, she left us so we can have time to sign the papers.

After a few minutes, Jess came back along with the social worker. “Hi Junelle and Christian, I’m really sorry for your loss. I know it’s not easy, but we’re hoping that you’ll be able to overcome it soon with the help of your families and friends, and of course we’re here to support you.” While sobbing, we told the social worker about our baby’s story, the previous check ups done and what we were feeling at that moment.

Junelle said, “I feel like I did something wrong that’s why it happened to our baby.” Then, Christian said, “I don’t want her to blame herself because of what happened and it’s not her fault.” The social worked agreed to Christian, “he’s right, don’t blame yourself. Just think that everything happens for a reason and we cannot control it. Remember that your family and friends are there for you, you can always speak with them and I’m sure it will make you feel better.”

“Do you have any other concerns that you would like to discuss?” Then we mentioned that we were waiting for a priest to bless our baby. “Oh okay, what’s your religion and do you have any specific churches which you normally visit? We mentioned that we’re Catholics and we usually go to St. Kevin’s Church in Hampton Park. Then the social worker made some notes regarding the church’s details so she can help us to contact the priest.

— Christian Glenn and Junelle

1.15. Our Baby Elephant

Saturday 29th May

When Jess handed us our baby, I immediately noticed the cute baby elephant prints on the yellow cloth wrapped on him/her. I told Christian, “look, the elephant prints are so cute!” And he responded, “yeah, I like it as well!” Then, that was the moment we decided to call him/her our baby elephant.

Our baby is indeed an angel to us, he/she saved me and took care of me. Firstly, even our baby has stopped growing and his/her heartbeat has been gone within 16-20 weeks of my pregnancy, I was still feeling okay and I was not rushed to the hospital for any complications. Secondly, he/she did not let me suffer from any physical pains. Our baby just waited the right time for us to know it on 21st of May, then afterwards, he/she just freely left my tummy the next day without any difficulties. He/she did not let me experience taking all the medications in the hospital as well as the plans we have discussed with the doctors in the operating room after 2 days of taking the medicine. Thirdly, the position of the placenta was below our baby’s legs and it seemed he/she tried to push the placenta using his/her legs so it will come out first before him/her. As I remember, the doctor said that in some cases, the baby comes out first before the placenta and this will be difficult to remove. And if this happens, we need to go to the operating room to take it off.

As I realised these things, I looked at our baby again and this made me cry. Thank you my baby elephant, thank you for protecting me and thank you for all the sacrifices you have done for me.

— Junelle

1.14. Giving Honour

Saturday 29th May

It was almost 8:00am when the 2 midwives bid farewell to us as they were about to finish their shifts. They advised us that there was a new midwife who would take care of Junelle. The next scheduled midwife suddenly came to our room, “hi Junelle and Christian, I’m Jess and I’m the new midwife assigned to look after Junelle, just let me know if you need anything. Will leave you for a moment, just press the button beside your bed if you need me and I will come back immediately.” 

After 15 minutes, the doctor finally came along with Jess and she said, “I’m so sorry for what happened. I know this is difficult for both of you, just be strong and we’re here to assist you.” Junelle asked a couple of questions to the doctor about her health and when to expect her next medical appointments. We asked her if when can they discharge Junelle as we were thinking of Lara, we need to pick her up from my mum and auntie so they can still attend the wedding without the three of us. The doctor confirmed she can discharge Junelle soon, once all the forms have been signed.

The doctor also explained that we have the option to do an autopsy for our baby to get some information about the cause of Junelle’s unsuccessful pregnancy. But she added, “however, in some cases, even when we do the autopsy, we still won’t be able to determine the cause of the issue and we won’t be able to get any information at all.” Junelle asked, “can we still be able to determine our baby’s gender?” The doctor responded, “yes definitely, we can identify the gender by taking the umbilical cord and we can also study the placenta to know what might be the cause of the problem because when we checked the ultrasounds, the bleeding came from behind of the placenta.

We decided not to do the autopsy to give respect to our baby’s body. As we are only keen to know our little one’s gender, we advised the doctor and midwife that it’s fine with us to get some samples of the umbilical cord. “How about the placenta, are you okay to check it as well?” We responded, “yes, it is alright.” They left us for a few minutes, they took our baby with them to separate the placenta, then Jess came back with our little angel, cleaned and wrapped with a new cloth.

— Christian Glenn

1.13. The Gender Reveal — Second Attempt

Saturday 29th May

The second midwife came back and asked us if we needed anything. Junelle said, “I’m having some minor cramps.” Then the midwife said, “oh sure, let me give you some Panadol.” The midwife came back quickly and brought sandwiches, biscuits and drinks so Junelle can take the medicine without an empty stomach, “here’s the Panadol and some snacks for you, will be back again soon.” After a few minutes, the midwife came back and took Junelle’s blood pressure, pulse and temperature. “Everything is normal, all good Junelle.”

Junelle asked the midwife if there was a chance to be able to verify our baby’s gender. “oh sure, let me check if we can identify it now.” The midwife tried to check our baby’s gender, however, she would not be able to confirm it because our baby was still very small. “I’m sorry, I can’t determine the gender for now. We’ll be able to identify it when we check your baby’s DNA and I think it will take days. Will be back again soon.”

Junelle was thinking about Lara, “if only she’s here now, she will be able to see her little brother/sister and I’m sure she’ll get excited to see him/her.” Then I replied, “yeah, but you know that Lara can’t stay here as she might touch all the facilities inside this room, it’s alright we can just show the pictures to her.”

While holding our baby, we called Junelle’s parents and I messaged my mum to update them about our baby.

— Christian Glenn

1.12. Welcome to the World

Saturday 29th May

At exactly 4:44am, our little angel came to our world. We smiled and cried at the same time while looking at our baby. We could not believe that he/she has entered the world so early without any signs of life. It seemed he/she was just sleeping peacefully.

The first midwife pressed Junelle’s lower abdomen to make sure that her uterus has been cleared. “It’s good that you didn’t lose so much blood and everything came out easily. Get some rest and one of our doctors will come here to speak with you. Are you okay with your baby staying here?” Junelle responded, “yeah, sure.” Then the midwife said, “okay, will just leave you for a moment to organise some papers. You can press the button beside your bed to call us if you need anything.”

When the midwife left, Junelle asked me, “let’s take photos of our baby, including us.” We spent our time taking pictures together and we kept on cuddling and talking to our baby even there was no response from him/her. From that moment, we started to build unforgettable memories with our little one.

— Christian Glenn

1.11. An Early Childbirth

Friday 28th May

“Hi Junelle, we are the midwives who are going to take care of you.” We rushed to the delivery room then the paramedics and midwives assisted Junelle to transfer on another bed. “I’m afraid to stand and move, I feel that something is already coming out.” “Don’t worry Junelle, just move slowly and we’re here to help you.” After transferring to another bed, the paramedics left and it’s just me, Junelle and the two midwives remained inside the room.

“Okay Junelle, just relax and let us check you.” Junelle was still crying and shaking, but the midwives managed to make her feel calm after a few more minutes. While holding her hand, I told her, “stay calm, you’ll be alright.” The midwives confirmed that the placenta has started to come out. “Let’s wait for a few more minutes and the whole placenta will be out, once Junelle experience any contractions again.” After another round of contractions, the whole placenta eventually came out. “Okay, we are now waiting for your baby to come out.” Junelle didn’t feel any contractions after that so the first midwife tried to press her lower abdomen, then our baby finally left his/her mother’s womb.”

The second midwife asked, “do you want to see your baby?” Junelle replied, “sure, of course.” While the midwife was wrapping our baby with a white cloth, she explained, “at this stage, your baby is still small but you will already see the physical features like the eyes, lips, nose, ears, head, arms, hands, legs and feet.” Then, she handed us our little angel.

— Christian Glenn

1.10. Inside the Ambulance

Friday 28th May

It was around 3:30am when the two paramedics arrived. I was nervous that I might gave birth in our hotel room because I felt my water got broken and it seemed there was a huge amount of blood that was coming out from me. I felt so chilly and I could see my hands shaking. When they approached me, they just asked a few questions and they immediately transferred me to the gurney, then to the ambulance.

While holding my crucifix necklace, the paramedics moved me inside the ambulance, then the first paramedic went inside as well. I was trying to find Christian, “where’s my husband?” “He’s here inside the ambulance, behind you.” Haven’t seen the second paramedic and I assumed that he’s the one who was driving. The first paramedic monitored my blood pressure and pulse. I noticed him reading my blood pressure and what I only heard was the systolic (upper number) reading and it was 163. Then he called someone on the phone, reported my blood pressure and they were discussing which was the best route to go to Monash Clayton as soon as possible.

While monitoring me, the first paramedic tried to divert our attention and started to have some small chats with us. “so what’s supposed to be your plan? I think I heard it’s about a wedding. Is it your own wedding?” Then Christian responded, “ah no, we’re going to attend our cousin’s wedding today. It got cancelled a couple of times due to COVID-19 and finally it will take place today.” Then the paramedic said, “oh yeah, it’s really difficult to do the wedding preparations during the pandemic and I have also attended one recently.”

Afterwards, we arrived to Monash Clayton and the two paramedics tried to find the birth suite. Later on, we saw the midwives and they introduced themselves to us.

—Junelle

1.9. The Wedding Day

Friday 28th May

Junelle woke me up at 3:00am and she looked distressed. “I’m having pains in my tummy and it’s getting worse.” After a few minutes, she said, “it’s happening again, it’s really painful and the interval of the pain is just about 5-10 minutes.” I remembered the midwife gave us some numbers to call if there’s any emergencies that might happen to Junelle so I asked her, “do you want me to call now the Pregnancy Assessment Unit?” She paused for a moment, then she felt again the contractions. Afterwards, she said, “okay please call now.”

I woke up mum to tell her what’s happening, auntie woke up as well and I immediately grabbed my phone, then rang the Pregnancy Assessment Unit hotline. I have explained everything to the midwife and she said, “I think she’s already starting her labor, her body is now doing it by itself. Can you hand the phone to Junelle?” I rushed to Junelle and placed my phone next to her right ear. After she have spoken with the midwife, I took the phone again and the midwife said, “please come here now as soon as possible, she might give birth soon.”

After the conversation with the midwife, I told mum to look after Lara for the mean time then I would try to come back soon to pick her up so they could still come to the wedding on time. While I was trying to pack up some things and getting my car keys, Junelle told me, “there’s something coming out now, I don’t know if my water got broken or if it’s blood. I can’t move, I feel so chilly.” Then I decided to call an ambulance. The hotline operator said, “okay Christian, don’t let her stand or move and don’t let her go to the toilet. She’s already having a labor now. Just cover her body with a blanket and tell her to calm down. The paramedics will be there shortly.”

I advised the hotel management about the situation and mentioned that there’s an ambulance coming soon. I held Junelle’s hands and told her, “don’t worry, they’re coming soon.” I saw her that she was starting to cry and she looked very nervous, she was really shaking and it made me hurt to see her like this. Subsequently, the two paramedics came, asked a couple of questions then assisted her to transfer to the gurney. The hotel personnel also came to assist us from the room to the ambulance then we went straight to Monash Clayton.

— Christian Glenn

1.8. The Contemplation

Thursday 27th May

Christian and myself have discussed that we need to leave the hotel at 7:00am so we could arrive to Monash Clayton before 8:00am. We’ll just leave Lara to our mum and auntie then we’ll come back as soon as possible. We were thinking that it should be quick since I just need to take the medicine in the hospital, so we assumed that we could still come together (the five of us) to the church.

However, at the back of my mind, I was a bit worried about the effect of the medicine to me. I remembered what the doctor said, contractions might happen within the next 2 days after taking the pill. The ceremony was at 1:00pm and the dinner was at 6:00pm, and I was thinking if I might start to feel some cramps during those times because of the medicine. I was anxious that I might make a scene in front of the church while speaking and I didn’t want to ruin the wedding, it’s a very solemn and important event to us. I was talking to myself if I need to back out from my role, but it’s already a last minute change so I have decided, “okay, que sera sera.”

After a few minutes, I started to feel some minor cramps. I initially thought it was fine as I have felt this even during my pregnancy so, I was not bothered with it. I noticed the television hasn’t been turned off, I thought Christian was still awake but when I looked at him, he was already sleeping while sitting on the bed. Later on, he suddenly woke up, turned off the television then he lay down to sleep again.

I was still trying to get some sleep but no luck. Then I felt the urge to pee more often, like even if I just came out from the toilet, I wanted to pee again. After a few hours, the cramps got worsen and the interval of the pain has got increased to 5-10 minutes. It was 3:00am and I have decided to wake up Christian as I could no longer tolerate the pain.

— Junelle

1.7. A not so Good Night’s Sleep

Thursday 27th May

Finally, we arrived to our destination. We went to the hotel’s reception area, did the room check-in and grabbed all our stuffs from the car to the trolley. After unloading and organising our things in the room, I just took a few minutes rest then had a shower. Afterwards, Christian took a shower as well, we cleaned up Lara, brushed her teeth and changed her clothes with her pj’s.

Suddenly, auntie got a call from our cousin, the bride to be. Apart from my role in the ceremony which was to do a part of a reading “Prayers of the Faithful”, she asked Christian as well to assist in distributing the copies of the “Order of Service” to the guests in the church. Auntie gave her phone to Christian and he responded, “yeah, sure I can do that.” 

It was 9:30pm and Lara was still awake so both Christian and myself lay down the bed and we were trying to tap Lara’s legs to make her fall asleep. Lara didn’t want to sleep yet so we let her watch her favorite shows in you tube then after a few more minutes, she eventually fell asleep.

I have tried to find a perfect position to fall asleep but I wasn’t able to do it. I just felt so tired with what happened and I really can’t sleep. I was thinking what’s going to happen the next day.

— Junelle

1.6. Dinner Time

Thursday 27th May

It was already 4:00pm and we’re thinking about Lara. “Maybe they already have taken their lunch in the hospital café near the lobby.” We left the Pregnancy Assessment Unit and went straight to our mum, auntie and Lara. We told them what happened and we asked how’s Lara. They said she’s fine and they just bought a milk for her. We left Monash Clayton and went straight to Food Star Restaurant in Sunshine to meet auntie’s friends for dinner at 5:30pm.

We really felt tired but we still managed to join the dinner. We just tried to have a good mood in front of auntie’s friends. Mum and auntie didn’t mention anything to them, they were not aware of what’s happened. One of auntie’s friends said, “any ideas about the gender? Junelle is really looking good, I bet it’s a girl!” Then after a few minutes, she mentioned it again. We just smiled and said, “we haven’t confirmed yet the gender, we’ll be able to find it out soon.” Then we focused in eating and feeding Lara.

It’s already 8:00pm when we left the restaurant, said goodbye to each other and we mentioned, “see you tomorrow in the wedding!”, then we went to Crown Metropol to finally do the room check-in and get some rest. 

— Christian Glenn and Junelle

1.5. The Next Day’s Final Plan

Wednesday 26th May

The doctor came back and checked us if we were already decided then we asked him if we can move the medication the next day or on Sunday as we are going to attend a cousin’s wedding. “Hmmm, I think a 1-day difference would be alright. It is better to do it soon. What we can do is, you come back here tomorrow morning at 9:00am to take the medication as we are not allowed to let the patients take it outside the hospital. Then, you come back on Monday to proceed with the next step. That’s fine, you’ll be okay.” Before he left the room again, he said he’ll arrange the remaining papers to be signed and he’ll be back to check Junelle’s tummy before he discharge her. Also, he advised us that there’s a midwife who will come to discuss about the baby’s cremation and funeral services.

Both of us agreed to remain silent until the wedding has been finished so it wouldn’t affect our relatives. We also told our mum and auntie not to tell anyone for now. “But what if they ask about the gender? What are we going to say? They know that we’ll going find out the gender in today’s ultrasound.” “We can just tell them that the sonologist still can’t see it in your ultrasound today so it will be checked in your next ultrasound appointment.” Afterwards, we called Junelle’s parents to tell about the situation.

While we were talking with our parents, a nurse suddenly came to check Junelle’s blood pressure and temperature. “Hi, I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your baby. Junelle, will just need to check you quickly. Hmmm, blood pressure is okay. Your temperature is okay but it’s a bit higher within the normal range. But it’s still fine. I’m so sorry again. Please take care. “ After the nurse left, the doctor came back and did the final checking of Junelle’s tummy. “Do you feel pain in this area? How about here?” Junelle didn’t feel any pain so the doctor decided he can discharge her for today. “Okay, so we’ll see you tomorrow morning. Just wait for the midwife to come, it won’t be long.”

A midwife entered the room and gave us some documents regarding the cremation process, funeral services offered by Monash and leaflets of Red Nose/Sands which can assist us during this most difficult time. Regarding the medicine, we also asked her if we can come earlier than 9:00am the next day because we have something to do afterwards. So the midwife changed the time from 9:00am to 8:00am and she said she’ll update the doctors about the time.

We still couldn’t believe it that we were discussing these kind of topics and this made us feel odd. 

— Christian Glenn & Junelle

1.4. Change of Plans

Wednesday 26th May

“Our baby...” saying this while tears were falling from our eyes. “Maybe I did something wrong or I ate something bad that harmed our baby.” “No, you didn’t do anything wrong, maybe your second pregnancy was just a really sensitive case because you have been bleeding since the start of your first trimester.” Non-stop crying and comforting each other’s arms. We think that this was the most painful thing that has been happened for us as parents. 

After a few minutes, the second doctor came up and told us to take our time to absorb what happened to our baby. We asked him if he can discuss what should be done after this. Then he started to explain about the next steps. “We need to take out the baby as soon as possible. We have to give Junelle a medicine to soften the uterus and this might trigger some contractions for the next 2 days. To others, labor will start within 2 days and some are accidentally giving birth at home. Let’s say if she takes the medicine today (Friday), she needs to come back here Sunday morning for the next step which is taking a stronger medicine every 4 hours so she can start labor. If this still doesn’t work, we need to bring her to the operating room and we might need to give her epidural to lessen the pain during the operation. In addition to this, there are some cases that the baby has successfully taken out but the placenta has still remained in the uterus and we need to do some operations to remove it. There are a lot options, but be prepared that this is not that easy. But we are doing our best for your safety Junelle.”

The doctor left us again to give us some time to think about it. While both of us are sobbing, Junelle asked, “what’s the plan, about the wedding?” Then Christian replied, “let’s ask if we can postpone taking the medicine until tomorrow or on Sunday so we can still attend.” Then Junelle responded, “okay sure, let’s ask the doctor if it’s still safe for me to move the schedule.”

— Christian Glenn & Junelle

1.3. The Realisation

Wednesday 26th May

It was around 1:00pm when we arrived in Monash Clayton. We haven’t taken lunch yet and we were supposed to have our room check-in at 2:00pm in Crown Metropol with our mum, auntie and Lara. It felt like it’s been already a long day and we were not sure what’s going to happen next.

We went straight to Pregnancy Assessment Unit, met the 2 doctors, then we entered a closed room. “We are really sorry again for what happened. We know it is difficult for you to absorb everything but we are here to support you and answer all your questions.” We thought that they are going to do another round of ultrasounds to double check the initial findings of the sonologist in Moorabbin Hospital but seems the room doesn’t have any ultrasound facilities. “Can I have another ultrasound to check it again? Or maybe can we use a doppler?” The doctor said, “oh okay, but why would you think we need to repeat the ultrasound?” Junelle responded, “the sonologist might have missed some procedures and maybe just a human error because in my last ultrasound my baby was really active.” The doctor paused for a moment and replied, “I understand what you wanted to do but you know that booking of ultrasounds will take time and we cannot do that today. And before we make the decision, we ensure that the findings are all accurate and correct. Your baby has stopped growing in between 16-20 weeks and the heartbeat has been stopped since then. I’m so sorry again. We’ll organise the papers and provide forms which will give you information about the cremation and funeral arrangement options.“ After the conversation with the doctors, they left the room to give some time for us parents to discuss.

After closing the door, we just hugged each other then started to cry.

— Christian Glenn & Junelle

1.2. In Denial

Tuesday 25th May

After saying those words, the sonologist asked us if we have some questions. At the back of my mind, I was thinking, “maybe she’s wrong, must be a human error.” Then I asked her if she’s sure about her findings. “Do you want me to check it again? Sure, I can show it to you.” She repeated the scan and tried to explain again what she saw in the ultrasound. While she was speaking, I felt like I wasn’t able to hear anything of what she have said, as I’m completely deaf.

“Hold on, just need to ring Monash Clayton to verify with them about the next steps.” The sonologist rushed outside the ultrasound room to make some calls. While she was away, Christian just hugged me and tried to comfort me. I can’t remember if I already cried because I was in a complete shock, I just felt like the world has stopped. Then I kept on saying that baby was very active in the past ultrasounds and the findings might be wrong. After a few minutes, the sonologist came back and told us to go immediately to Monash Clayton as they are expecting us to arrive soon.

I was still calm when we left the hospital but I felt that my heart was beating so fast. We supposed to come to Monash Clayton just to get my whooping cough vaccine, but now there’s a more serious thing to do. It felt like a strike of a lightning and it was just an hour ago that we were excited in everything, but now it was totally the opposite.

— Junelle

1.1. The Gender Reveal

Tuesday 25th May

It was a sunny autumn morning in 21st May 2021 and both of us parents were very excited to know our 2nd baby’s gender. Most of our relatives were betting that it’s a boy while others were saying that it’s a girl because the preggy mum (Junelle) was always blooming. Even our first born (Lara) joined the baby discussions as well and she said she wanted a baby brother.

Our ultrasound appointment in Moorabbin Hospital was at 11:45am but as mentioned in the referral form, we should arrive 15mins prior to the scheduled time to fill up some papers. We arrived early at 11:15am, waited for a few minutes then the sonologist called, “Junelle?” Both of us went to the ultrasound room and the bubbly sonologist seemed to had a happy morning as she talked a lot and she was full of energy. We had a quick discussion of the past ultrasounds and check ups we have done, asked the preggy mum to lie down then the ultrasound had started.

The excited dad (Christian) was trying to take a video of the ultrasound monitor in front of him, but the sonologist suddenly changed her mood and told him to stop the video recording first because she was still checking something in the initial ultrasound. She kept quiet for a few minutes, looked at both of us then she said, “I have a really bad news for you, the baby has no heartbeat. I’m so sorry.”

— Christian Glenn & Junelle

Thank you to my Sponsors

$212

Shawn, Charlotte, Liam, And Biscuit

So sorry to hear about your loss. Thoughts and prayers to you, Glenn and both families Shawn, Charlotte, Liam, and Biscuit.

$127.20

Darren Hart

Hi Junelle, omg I'm so sorry I forgot to donate sooner. I'm really sorry to hear about Jacob. That's awful news. I hope you, Glenn and Lara are all coping okay. Thinking of you all and sending out my love and condolences ❤

$127.20

Eric Rivas Gutierrez

This is really heartbreaking and I can’t imagine how you and Glenn are feeling right now. Stay strong, Glenn and Junelle. Your lovely baby is at peace now, and is happy in heaven playing with the angels.

$127.20

Yit Le Lim

Stay strong Junelle. Sending all love to you, Christian and Lara.

$127.20

Mama, Papa And Ate May

Our hearts may be broken now but remember that we still all have each other. Our whole family is with you as you go through this difficult journey. Baby elephant will always be celebrated in our hearts. Sending you our love from wherever we are for distance holds nothing between us.

$106

Aimee Smith

Beautiful baby Jacob Rafael/Lily Angelique you will be eternally loved. You touched our hearts so deeply and we will remember the joy and excitement you brought forever. Sending so much love, strength and support to you all now and always. Lots of love Jaymee and Aimee xx

$106

Stephen Parrish

$100

Shanade & Darren

Baby Elephant, you will forever hold a special place in our hearts. Thank you for the excitement and joy you brought to our family. The impact you’ve had on us is everlasting, we will always think of you. We promise to always be here for your incredibly strong mummy, daddy and big sister Lara. Rest In Peace little one. Kuya Glenn, Ate Junelle and Lara, we will continue to be your biggest cheerleaders and aid you through life’s challenges. Please know you have a lot of people who support you and absolutely adore you. Love Darren and Shanade xx

$100

Jose Wunder

$100

Myrna Gutierrez

Although it is extremely difficult to look beyond the sorrow it caused but I pray that Dear Lord Jesus gives the whole family enough strength and right faith to get over these tough times.

$90.10

Mariel

$65

Matthew Partridge

This is heart-wrenching. I'm so sorry for you.

$53

Jo-chia Hsu

Thanks for sharing the story. I hope baby elephant is living in another beautiful world knowing that she/he is loved by the family and many friends on the earth. xxx

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Grachelle Gutierrez

Rest peacefully our beautiful little angel! Thank you for the joy and excitement you brought to our family in such a short period of time. You were loved the moment we knew you existed in mummy’s tummy and you forever will be loved. Sending all our love to you KG, ate Junelle & Lara. Love John and Grachelle xo

$53

Auntie Ming Owens

How can I forget that early morning- SATURDAY MARCH 22, 2021 ( bet 3:30 - 4:30AM) . A knocked at the door by the Hotel Manager followed by two Ambulance officer. They wrapped Junelle with white blanket for comfort. It's the day Shanade and Darren's Wedding, supposedly a double celebration for baby's gender revelations . It was the day our Angel was taken from us for a reason. You will always be remembered by all of us who loves you dearly. I know how you and Glenn and Lara love this baby. I entirely grieves with you. So sorry that You and Glenn are going through this pain. FLY HIGH LITTLE ONE AND JOIN WITH ALL THE ANGELS. Love and heaps of hugs. Auntie Ming

$53

Uncle Jr And Auntie Aning Gutierrez

Junelle and Glen, sorry for the loss of your little angel.. We're always here for you.

$53

Anicia Lomugdang

Big hug to you Junelle, Glenn and Lara❤...

$53

Crow Family ?

You are in my thoughts and prayers so sorry to hear about the loss of your Baby Angel, May you find comfort in God and strength to you n your family, ❤🌹🙏take care

$50

Christian Glenn, Junelle And Lara Gabrielle

You will always be remembered our darling angel. Enjoy your new life in heaven. We love you and we miss you! Love lots — Daddy elephant, Mommy elephant & Sister elephant

$50

Stefany Tiong

A beautiful baby gone to soon, but you've already left a footprint and touched the lives of many on earth. Whilst heaven welcome a new angel, you'll be dearly missed by the many who love you here. My condolences Glenn, Junelle and Lara, as well as your family for your loss.

$50

Faisal Mahmood

This is heartbreaking. Stay strong and God bless you both Christian and Juju

$50

Marian Johnstone

Keeping you and your family in our prayers. Take care and God bless you.

$47.70

Andrew O'neill

Hope this helps you and Glenn

$47.70

Glen Scott

So so very sad to hear this Junelle, my family’s heart goes out to yours and I will pray to give you strength.

$45

Olaso Family

$21.20

Aisling Corbett

$21.20

Cheryl Skadiang

So sad for your loss, may you meet your beautiful child one day in heaven.

$10

Anonymous