In loving memory of Arnaud
Arnaud Gunawan Chan. Born on the 19th September 2021, passed on the 23rd September 2021. Diagnosis: Potter’s syndrome.
Arnaud was the firstborn to Andre and Audrey. Audrey shares their story this Red Nose Day to help normalise discussions around infant loss and celebrate her beautiful Arnaud.
Our beautiful son. Our first was conceived through IVF on our first round.
Little Arnaud was a healthy baby, so we thought, right up until 20 weeks.
But at our 20-week scan, our obstetrician found fluid around his bladder (ascites.) We then had weekly appointments at a specialised hospital for high-risk pregnancies.
Arnaud was such a cheeky boy. He always managed to kick the ultrasound wand during our appointments and always hid his little face. One time they nearly caught his face, but his hand covered half of it, so we decided he just wanted to surprise us. He fought so hard despite the pain and discomfort until his very last breath.
Our hospital was fantastic. They put us in contact with Red Nose and encouraged us to participate in their Hospital to Home program. Both my husband, Andre, and I, have had several face-to-face catchups with our Red Nose support staff, and we have also attended several online group meetings.
It is so important to talk about infant loss. We need to normalize these conversations. I am supporting Red Nose Day. But it’s not just about fun activities. Red Nose continues to seek funds to provide support and resources as our family received for free.
Our dog, Richie, aged 15, has been our rock since Arnaud passed. We are able to continue to care and love for him when we aren’t able to do those things physically with our son.
I want other families in our position to know time heals. Or it changes the pain. My pain for the first three months wasn’t the same pain I am feeling now.
I found it helpful to accept my emotions rather than force them away. Giving yourself permission to grieve as long as you need to is something we should all be allowed to do. When I had to go out or do something like go to work, I would set myself time to grieve.
I would say to myself.
“I am giving myself x amount of minutes to cry, punch a pillow or write thoughts and feelings down”.
You know what is best for your body and mind. Lastly, it is very important to tell yourself and try to believe that it is not your fault! You have done your very best to take care of your baby. You are still a mum. You are still a dad.