A Day in the Life: Daniel

All kids have grand dreams. Some kids beg their parents for a remote-control car until they give in. Others have the travel bug from early on, and spent time plotting their life’s adventures on a map. As a young kid, I wanted a brother.

The reality was that my mum, Lesley, had difficulty falling pregnant. Today, she would have been diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome– a common issue among many women– but in the 1960s there wasn’t the same understanding or knowledge about this condition. But due to her intense desire to be a mother, she decided to take part in a government health program for infertility that involved a human pituitary treatment. In a life-changing win for my mum, dad and (of course) me, the treatment was successful, Thanks Mum!

I was born in 1978 and, with the desire to give me a sibling and her and Dad another child, she persisted, and in 1986 my mum was lucky to fall pregnant! I couldn’t have been more excited to have what I always wanted, a baby brother! For eight years I had longed to have a partner in crime; someone to run around the fields with, go exploring, and generally get up to mischief.

Tragically, at the start of 1987 whilst my mum was seven months pregnant with Daniel, he passed away. I’ve never spoken of this publicly before now, but it that was one of the saddest days of my life. Of course, it was an incredibly difficult time for Mum and Dad too, and we had to deal with it as best we could. But my parents were suffering, suffering really bad, and it almost ended their marriage. This upheaval sparked a pretty tough time for me (to say the least). While my parents dealt with the pain and realisation of losing their second child, I would cry myself to sleep for months on end. However, as I already had pride about me, even by that age, I would cover my head with folded blankets so no one could hear the sobs.

It was not until over one year year ago that an ex-girlfriend asked me about that time in my life, and all of the memories resurfaced. It is as real today as it was back then. I still remember when my mum was around six months pregnant, she told me to put my hand on her tummy, and I felt Daniel turn and kick. Those feelings are still with me today, and I am sure this must be one of the most intimate experiences siblings can have.

No one knows why Daniel passed at seven months. I miss you Daniel, you are always with me, and I still wish to this day we had the chance to be brothers for longer than that very short moment. x

A Day in the Life: Daniel

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