You Could Have Been

About Xavier

Xavier Rocket Imrie is our first born son. He was conceived only five months after we made the decision to try for a baby. The pregnancy was a really exciting time. I had minimal sickness and was sailing through, fully expecting to bring our baby home after 9 months. Devastatingly, Xavier was stillborn at just 6 ½ months.
 
It was a Thursday evening when I noticed reduced movement in my belly. (Xavier had always been very active in the womb). I was a little worried but I went to bed and told myself that perhaps he was running out of room to move as he was growing so big. I’ve since found out this is a total myth. Friday morning rolled around and still no movement. I was more worried by this point, but again I told myself ‘the myth’.

Just to be sure, I went to the GP, who was concerned and sent me to the hospital. My husband met me there and we were sent in for a doppler check. The midwives were unable to pick up any sound, so it was time for a scan. My husband and I were shaking at this point but still hopeful. I have a very clear memory of the midwife standing at the end of the bed, holding my feet. She looked at me sadly and said, “Oh sweetheart”. I remember thinking that she was looking at me as if our baby had already died. But I refused to believe it.

After a very brief scan from the sonographer, he looked at us and uttered the words, “I’m sorry. I’m not able to find a foetal heartbeat”. I remember thinking - What do you mean you can't FIND it? Check again!!! But I knew there was no point. I knew Xavier was gone.
 
And this is when our world came crashing down.
 
We left the hospital and went home for what seemed like the longest night of our lives. The next morning, we went back to hospital and I was induced. I gave birth to Xavier at 2:18pm on Saturday 31st January 2015. He weighed 1.14kg and was 40cm long.
 
Xavier was absolutely perfect. He just looked as though he was sleeping, and I remember holding him in my arms, willing him to wake up.

Over the course of the following week, we returned to the hospital a few times to hold Xavier and talk to him about the funeral we were planning. These times spent with him were devastatingly beautiful. A combination of total nightmare and immense love.

We held a small funeral for Xavier on a Monday and he was buried in the children’s garden of the cemetery, in a spot we picked between two other baby boys. The funeral was incredibly special and I felt such mama pride that we’d given Xavier the send-off that reflected his beautiful little life. My pride, however was mixed with total heartbreak as I watched my baby boy lowered into the ground.
 
Holding our lifeless baby in my arms and burying him, shifted something deep inside me that will never shift back.

The months that followed were a blur. I was in a total fog and unable to function. My husband and I took some time off work in an attempt to ‘recover’ and try to rebuild our lives. It has been a long, slow process but we are lucky to be surrounded with love and support which has helped us navigate our new lives without our baby boy.
  • Advance copy of 'You Could Have Been' - Dec 2017

    Advance copy of 'You Could Have Been' - Dec 2017

    This is the book I wrote to my little boy, and to all the babies and children whose lives end far too soon. It is my heart, my love and my dreams. Publishing this has been a dream come true.

  • 1st Birthday Balloon - Jan 2016

    1st Birthday Balloon - Jan 2016

    After Xavier died I often saw families at our local shopping centre with big bunches of birthday balloons for their children. It was so painful for me to watch their excited faces. I didn't want to miss out, so for Xavier's 1st birthday we got him the biggest number one balloon we could find!

  • Xave's 1st Birthday Cake - Jan 2016

    Xave's 1st Birthday Cake - Jan 2016

    A friend sent me a photo of an amazing three tiered rocket-theme cake. This was our attempt at replicating it! Xavier's little cousins helped decorate and his daddy made the rocket ship for the top. We had a little family party to celebrate our boy. It was also nice to acknowledge that we'd made it through our toughest year ever.

  • Balloon Release - Jan 2016

    Balloon Release - Jan 2016

    We had a balloon release at Xavier's funeral, and it was the first of many to come. We did it again for his first birthday, and my husband's family released balloons to acknowledge Xavier's second Christmas.

  • Christmas Bauble - Dec 2015

    Christmas Bauble - Dec 2015

    Just a little something for our tree to ensure Xavier was visible for our first Christmas without him. And for all the Christmases to follow.

  • Thankyou card - Mar 2015

    Thankyou card - Mar 2015

    I made thankyou cards to send out because I wanted to be like every other mum who gets to do things like this for their baby.

  • Trip to Cairns - Feb 2015

    Trip to Cairns - Feb 2015

    My husband and I took off to Cairns for a week after Xavier's funeral. I think we were trying to escape the pain, but it came along with us. We're smiling for the camera but our hearts were broken. One night on this trip, we went out for dinner and sat there the whole time in stunned silence. There really was nothing to say in that moment.

  • Baby Blue Manicure - Feb 2015

    Baby Blue Manicure - Feb 2015

    For Xavier's funeral, all the ladies had a baby blue manicure to honour our little boy. Whenever I need a little lift, I get a baby blue manicure, because it helps me feel close to Xavier.

  • Headstone - Feb 2015

    Headstone - Feb 2015

    This is Xavier's resting spot. His headstone reads: "Held your whole life. Xavier Rocket Imrie. 31st January 2015. You made our world a better place. Forever in our hearts. Love Mum and Dad" The hand and foot prints are Xavier's actual prints taken on the day he was born. We keep his toy collection updated and he has solar powered night lamps so he's never in the dark.

  • Xavier Rocket Imrie - 31st Jan 2015

    Xavier Rocket Imrie - 31st Jan 2015

    Our beautiful boy. Stillborn 31st January 2015 at 2:18pm. Weighing in at 1.14kg. Measuring 40cm in length.

  • Xavier's Birth - 31st Jan 2015

    Xavier's Birth - 31st Jan 2015

    This is my husband and I holding Xavier on the day he was born. In this picture I see so much pain but much more love. The love is always bigger than the pain.

  • Pregnant with Xavier - Jan 2015

    Pregnant with Xavier - Jan 2015

    This is the last photo taken of me whilst pregnant with Xavier. It was the week before he died. At the time, I didn't like how I looked in this photo. The only thing I see in this picture now is the beauty of my time with my son.

Winter Bear - Coby Grant

I knew you before I knew your name
I loved you before I saw your face
I longed for you for all of that time
And I held your heart in mine
I kissed you a hundred million times
I tasted the tears that I cried
I held you, my beautiful child
And I'll keep your heart in mine

CHORUS: I love you to the moon and back, my little Winter Bear
I know you know how much that is 'cause you're already there
And I never knew a love like this could ever possibly exist
I love you to the moon and back as long as I live

I see you in all of the stars
Shine brightly right into our hearts
I look at the night sky above
And wonder, can you feel my love?

I love you to the moon and back, Winter Bear
I knew you before I knew your name
I loved you before I saw your face
I longed for you for all of that time
And I'll keep your heart in mine

Ann-Maree Imrie - You Could Have Been

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