“We have always been afraid that people will forget about our son as the months and years pass. It’s so important to talk about Aish and say his name. Just because he isn’t here, doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be spoken about.”
- Caitlyn and Chris Thomson
Our little legend Aish arrived into this world on 18 September 2021, arriving at 9:45 am, 50cms long, after an 18-hour labour, our firstborn that we were both eagerly awaiting finally was here, our dream of becoming parents was here, we made it. We could not wait to bring him home, our son was so perfect, his dad all over. Unfortunately, 11 hours after birth Aish was taken to NICU, and then transferred to the Royal Children’s Hospital by PIPER.
Aish unexpectedly died 5 days later in the Neonatal Unit.
We want to share our story as every day in Australia, 6 babies are stillborn and 2 die within 28 days of birth. Did we know this before having a baby? No. Did we ever want to be grieving parents? Absolutely not. No one should ever endure losing their baby or child.
The day of Aish's passing (22nd September 2021) was the day of the earthquake in Melbourne. It was a very bizarre day that's for sure. When the earthquake was happening my husband Chris was holding Aish and I was holding on to my chair, we both thought the building was going to collapse on top of us, it was a scary moment, amongst everything else that was happening around us.
The loss of our son felt like the world was against us and we were the only people going through such a horrific ordeal. Do we like being a part of a group of grieving parents? Absolutely not. This is certainly not what we ever envisioned life as parents.
The Royal Children’s Hospital told us about Red Nose, since being to numerous sessions, it’s so refreshing to be part of a support group that understands the magnitude of what we are both going through, to be able to speak to other parents that are experiencing such devastation, knowing that your feelings are so valid, and it’s okay to feel the way we feel.
Aish’s final moments were very special, we played “Over the Rainbow”, as we gave Aish his first bath, we dressed him and gave him endless amounts of kisses and cuddles. As he drifted off, we took him outside so he could experience fresh air and listen to the birds chirping for the first and last time.
Every day we both do the very best we can. We feel a number of emotions every day, each day is different, as grieving the loss of our son Aish is one of the hardest things we will ever go through in our life, this pain will last forever.
To other parents who have lost a baby or child, we would say the most important thing is not to forget to look after yourselves. Never apologise to the people around you for how you are feeling, set boundaries, skip events that you may not be able to mentally handle, talk about your loss, cut out unsupportive people and most of all, ask for help.
If I could give some advice for those that have not ever experienced a loss of a baby or child, be there for the bereaving parents, reach out by checking in with them to see how they are going, ask if they need anything. All they need is all the love and support surrounding them, if you don’t know what to do, just ask.
Every day waking up still hurts, as the reality of Aish not being here is so tough. But we want to make Aish proud of us (his parents) by sharing our experience of loss. If it helps others, that makes us feel like we have achieved something special as parents.
Nothing will ever make Aish’s death easier. We wish he was here every day. As his parents we will continue his legacy, he lives through us now.
To all our amazing friends and family who have been an amazing support to us, if you can take one thing away from our devasting journey into pregnancy loss, it would be don't shy away from talking about our beautiful first-born son with us. Be open about speaking about his memory. You will never understand the positive impact it has to simply say his name.
Love you forever and always, little Aish man.
The below will be inscribed on little Aish’s memorial tree at Mornington Green (Victoria).
9 whole months I grew in mum
I soon arrived your little son
5 short days is all I had
My last breath in the arms of dad
Our precious baby boy
Say their name day is held annually on the 25 March. It is a day for bereaved parents to share their little one, but more importantly for their friends and family to celebrate the little one forever in their parent’s hearts, but no longer by their side.