Aiden is slightly older now than Kiera was when she died. This, for me, is a bit of a mind trip. He’s so much more advanced than his sister ever was, because although prem, he wasn’t as prem as Kiera. She was born a full three months before her due date and was heavily underdeveloped, spending her entire life on oxygen, covered in pipes and was quite far behind on all milestones.

But she was my perfect, precious little daughter. She giggled and smiled and had ginger hair and bright, blue eyes. She loved watching tv, sitting outside on the grass with me, and her Granny was her angel. She lived a happy, medicated, complicated life. She breathed more in her little lifespan than that of a healthy 21 year old. She terrified me some days and would go blue around the lips whenever she’d pulled her nasal pipes too far down when I wasn’t watching. And then she’d surprise me other days by grabbing the spoon out of my hand to feed herself her favourite vanilla custard.

And then out of nowhere, just as she was weaning herself off the oxygen to become a normal, healthy little baby, she died of pneumonia. Within two weeks, our day to day life had changed from sitting on the grass at the pool, to sitting in a hospital watching the NICU monitors scream stats at me that I knew didn’t mean anything good.

Fast forward 13 years and two months, Kiera’s brother was born and changed my world again. He has completed a hole I’d carried with me in my heart. He has overflowed that hole and made me the happiest mommy on earth. He came in screaming his lungs out, and instantly turned Jon and I into a family.

He commands attention wherever he goes, charms the hell out of everyone around him all the time, and rules our household with a chubby little fist and a colourful spatula.


I try my best to not freak out about the scary death-thought things, even though I do very definitely have my quirks from losing a child before. For instance, I still use the baby monitor and am very reluctant to let it go. But I need to try and not compare the unimportant things, or my relationships and experiences with each child because they’re two very different scenarios. Sometimes I do look back and feel emotional – but not only about the obvious. I wish I’d given Kiera half the motherly nurturing I give Aiden, instead of my then-19 year old self’s motherly attempts. I wish I’d relaxed more and just watched her for longer. I can stare at Aiden for hours. He’s so amusing and fascinating and sometimes bizarre. Boys are very different to girls. Kiera certainly did not reach down for her private parts the minute her nappy came off. She also very much did not giggle when I used an earbud to clear out a gigantic snolly from her nose. She never got to blow raspberries or make fart noises. She wasn’t around in a time where I could Snapchat her cute antics of throwing her baby monitor onto the floor when she was supposed to be sleeping.

But I’ve realised something quite beautiful and sad at the same time. Kiera prepared me for being a mom, Aiden completes me as one.

And that is how I look at being a mom to one child after losing another.




  1. Goose says:

    I never noticed before that Kiera was ginger. HOW DID I NOT NOTICE THIS?!

    I wish I had gotten to meet her, but I’m very glad I know Aiden, cos damn, he’s a cute little kid.

    You did good.


  2. Bianca says:

    Awesome post Sheena. Very eloquently put. I too, cannot IMAGINE what losing a child must be like. You were an amazing mom then, and you are an amazing mom now. XXXXX

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