The Beginning of My Story


This story is dedicated to my son, Phoenix. I will cherish our time together forever. You are a mystical and immortal bird that soars in my heart, constantly reborn from the ashes of our loss. 

It has taken me over two years to write this. I have started and stopped and restarted countless times, in countless ways. These words have followed me through each stage of my grief. There wre many times I didn’t have the energy to write, let alone complete this story. But it has felt like an unstoppable urge to write, to set down a complete record. To make sense of my experience and to give it meaning. To share Phoenix's life with everyone and to make other women feel able to talk about their experiences. I wish I had had the courage sooner.

I have searched for other stories like mine. I desperately wanted to seek comfort in the words of others who have experienced something similar. But I found I was quite alone. 

Our story doesn't easily fit into some predetermined medical or political category. Finding out you're going to lose your baby, being induced to put an end to his suffering, is an experience no parent should ever have to go through. I didn’t have a miscarriage. I didn’t have a stillbirth. I gave birth to our son whose illness was incompatible with life. Against all odds and to everyone's surprise, he was born alive. He lived, even though it was only for a short time, in our arms and at peace. 

francesca brunsden