Wednesday, 24 October 2007
Clare would like it noted that she didn't exactly look her best when these pictures were taken!
We're obviously biased but we think he's beautiful!
Sorry it's been a while between posts. Both Clare and I have come down with some kind of flu, probably as the result of a hectic week!
The funeral last Friday was lovely and Neal, our pastor, spoke some excellent and comforting words. The service wasn't as hard as Clare and I expected and we are convinced that is because so many people were praying for us at the time. We have now got Theo's ashes back and will scatter them in Southwold (our special place) very soon.
We now await the post mortem and would ask for your prayers for clear results so that Clare and I can consider our prospects for the future. We will let you know when we get the results - the Dungey Baby Saga continues!
Thursday, 18 October 2007
Yesterday, I was pleading for sympathy and now I’m back asking for money! Well, not exactly, but a number of people have asked about ways they can give in remembrance of Theo. Clare and I are pleasantly surprised that people who have already given so much, should want to do more. However, please don’t feel you have to give anything else.
If you do want to give, we have decided that monetary contributions will be split between our Church growth fund and the RGA. Our church is expanding fast and the building is not big enough to keep up. We know that Theo would have been a well-loved member of the church and it seems fitting to contribute towards its development. The Restricted Growth Association provided us with support and well-written literature when we first inquired about Theo’s condition. We know they would have been a tremendous support to us and we would like to give back to them.
Donations can be sent to (envelopes marked "In memory of Theodore Dungey"):
Colchester Road Baptist Church,
Wednesday, 17 October 2007
With that caveat, I have to say that Clare and I are truly amazed at how thoughtful people are. I have to confess that I'm pretty bad when it comes to helping people who are going through a hard time. I might think about them occasionally and pray for them in church. Clare is much more thoughtful and very good at writing cards but such things never really enter my head.
But the amount of love and support we have received is beyond belief! There are people who text us regularly, never expecting a reply, just to let us know they are thinking of us. There are people who aren't content to send one email of condolences and then be done, but to write frequently just to to say they are praying for us. A school friend of mine wrote to me yesterday to say that when he runs the Bath half-marathon next year, he's going to raise money for the Restricted Growth Association in memory of Theo.
(Just to re-iterate... don't feel bad if you feel you don't fall into any of the above categories. Just by reading this blog and involving yourself in our lives is a tremendous support!)
So, thank you to everyone who has made this last week that little bit easier. A number of people have commented on how strong and positive we are being. Just to clear that up, for the record; If we seem strong, it does not come from ourselves but from God who gives us strength. If we seem positive, it is because we are surrounded by caring people who uphold us in thought, prayer and action.
So thanks again. We would be in a worse state without you!
Monday, 15 October 2007
We were also given a balloon which we are going to release today. I think 7 - 8pm today is the actual time for rememberance so Clare and I plan to light a candle and say some prayers for Theo then.
Saturday, 13 October 2007
Clare's waters were broken on Tuesday night and she was put immediately onto a drip to start her contractions. At about 10pm, these were getting strong so she opted for a epidural to ease the pain. By about 3am, she was not progressing as fast as the doctors hoped, so they decided that she should have a C-section.
Once they got Theodore out, it was clear that they were having difficulties with his breathing. They tried to get a ventilating tube into him for the entire time Clare was being sewn up. Eventually, Theodore went up to the Special Care Baby Unit and Clare went into recovery. From there we went back to the ward to await news.
Eventually, the chief-paediatrician came to see us and explained that, although Theodore could breathe by himself, he didn't think he would be able to keep it up for long and they were still unable to ventilate him. After more waiting, we were allowed up to the unit to see him as the doctors continued to work on him. They told us again that they were not hopeful that they would succeed. It was clear to both of us how very poorly Theo was and, although partly we wanted them to get the tube in, a bigger part of us already realised that if they did, he would have a very poor quality of life and that we did not want him to suffer unnecessarily.
Eventually, we told them that it would be fine if they stopped. Theo spent his last few minutes with us, free from the drips and machines, in a quiet room. There we cuddled him, prayed for him and took some pictures so we could remember him. He died peacefully in his mummy's arms.
From there, the hospital allowed us to spend the rest of the day with him. Our families all came to see him and hold him. Once alone, Clare and I cleaned him and dressed him in his own clothes. He looked beautiful. At the end of the day, we said our goodbyes and they took him to the Chapel of Rest.
Although this has been a difficult time, we feel that Theodore was given every available opportunity. The doctors worked for 5 hours to try to save him and we felt they did everything in their power. Although the C-section was traumatic, if he'd been delivered naturally, he probably wouldn't have made it out. We were lucky that there was nothing else going on that night which meant we had every available person there, including an extra, experienced anaesthetist and paediatrician. We couldn't have asked for a higher level of care. Despite our sadness, this has given us peace about the situation.
The main doctor involved said that Theodore's anatomy was very unusual; He had a large tongue and awkward airways that made it impossible to get a tube in successfully. They think that, from the size of his stomach, he could have had digestive issues too. All these details were impossible to determine from the earlier scans. They have taken samples to try and understand exactly what condition he had as this will help us to know what we do about future children. Unfortunately, they feel that this information may not be enough so he has to go for a post-mortem as well. Despite being sad about this, we take comfort from knowing that this investigation may help our future children and research for other families in this situation. As long as this doesn't take too long, the funeral will be on Friday.
We have been tremendously well supported by our family and friends and have received more support than we could imagine. Thank you to everyone who has been thinking and praying for us. We feel very loved and have taken great comfort from people sharing their own situations with us. Please don't underestimate what your support means to us and we're so proud that Theo has touched so many hearts.
We don't know why God has chosen this path for us. We have learnt so much about dwarfism and made so many friends along the way, we feel sure He has a plan for us long term. As He helps to build back our life again, I am sure he will reveal this plan to us.
So our hearts are heavy with grief, but we know that for Theodore there is no more suffering because he is in heaven. We don't know exactly what that is like but the Bible verse at the end of this post promises that there is no pain or tears. We have no doubt that our little Theo is with God.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."
He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true."
Wednesday, 10 October 2007
Despite the tragedy of this, Clare and I have spent a very special day with Theodore. Even though he was no longer with us, we found this time comforting and were joined by our close family so they could say their goodbyes.
We feel proud to have known Theodore as our son, even though it was only for a few hours. His life has brought us new friends from across the globe, broadened our horizons and made us into stronger people. He has changed our life forever and we love him very dearly.
Although this is a sad situation, as Christians we know that he has gone to be with his Lord in heaven and look forward to the day when we will meet him there.
I am very sorry to have to break the news to so many friends in this way and I pray that you would find peace in your sadness.
We will be back to give more information in a few days.
All our love
Clare and Andy
Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I shall depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.
Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-17
Tuesday, 9 October 2007
The (painful!) examination this morning showed that there was still no progress. Clare is on pessary 3 and it looks like this a repeat of last week's show rather than the next episode. The doctor's are talking about a C-section tomorrow which is really not what we'd planned but we seem to be fast running out of options.
Please pray that something will happen today so that we don't have to have a C-section and also for Clare - she is trying her best to stay on top of things but it's been a long run of disappointments and she's getting to the end of her tether.
If the tension is getting unbearable, tune in next week and maybe we'll have some actual news...otherwise, watch this space!
Monday, 8 October 2007
Clare's been in since this morning and she's on pessary number 1. So far, there's not been any progress unfortunately. She is slightly dilated but it looks like breaking her waters is still going to be tricky. I'm off to hospital in a bit, having been at work all day, and they're going to take another look to see if anything's doing then. Clare's mum has been doing the relief shift in my absence so I can try and keep hold of some paternity leave.
Please pray for Clare that things will get started soon as it's quite discouraging at the minute. We would really like to avoid a repeat of last week.
As ever, I'll be back later for more news (if there is any!), but please, don't hold your breath as I don't think it will happen today.
Once again, thanks for all your support!
Sunday, 7 October 2007
Hopefully things will be more favourable this time. Clare is 40 weeks on Wednesday so he should be nearly brewed by now! Please pray for Clare and Little D that the whole experience will go well and that he will be brought to us safely.
There's a lot of people out there that found the waiting hard last week so we're sorry you've got to go through it all again. We'll try to keep people informed whenever we can, but please be patient if you don't hear for a while. We may not be able to get back to the blog immediately but we'll do what we can.
See you next time with a baby!
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Ephesians 3 v 20-21
Wednesday, 3 October 2007
In summary, the doctors checked Clare again this morning and found they still couldn't break her waters. We had two options; go home or have a C-Section so we chose option 1. There is no tearing hurry to get him out and he is perfectly happy. We've had a scan and that has come back totally normal with regards to all the important things.
Our consultant at Addenbrookes agrees that there's no point forcing him out and that the main reason for having an induction was to ensure all the necessary people were available if needed. With that in mind, we're booked in again on Monday for "Induction II: This time the baby's coming out!".
We're in surprisingly good spirits, considering Clare has spent 2 days inside and I've spent my life savings on magazines and chocolate! I think the relief of not having a C-section is greater than the disappointment of coming home without a baby. Although that course of action would have put an end to the waiting, the prospect of a 6-week recovery, and potentially subsequent babies having to be born by C-Section as well, makes this seem like the better option.
So everyone can start to breathe again. Sorry for putting you all through it. Thanks for all your prayer and support! Hopefully next week will be more productive.
I leave you with this passage from James. As with lots of parts of the Bible, this is easy to say, but not so easy to put into practice! Nevertheless, we believe that all God's word is true and this is no exception!
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. "
James 1 v 2-4
Tuesday, 2 October 2007
I've left Clare at the hospital again tonight and the doctors will re-assess things tomorrow. Hopefully, tomorrow will be D-day (literally!) but we'll wait and see.
Please pray for Clare as she is in some discomfort and the whole waiting-game is hard work! Thanks for everyone's continued support!
Monday, 1 October 2007
She's staying in overnight and I'll go back in tomorrow to see how things have progressed. It's a slow process!
Thanks for everyone's support. I'll keep you posted when I can!