Sunday, 25 November 2007

The final farewell

Today we went to Southwold to scatter Theo's ashes. Southwold is a special place for me and Clare. We do a beach mission there every year; I proposed to Clare there and we spend our anniversary there every year.

It was nearly sunset when we arrived and very cold at the end of the pier! We had each written a letter to Theo which we read aloud. I read some Bible verses and Clare said a prayer before we scattered Theo's ashes out to sea. The wind was strong and the ashes flew at great speed across the ocean.

Although the occasion was sad for both of us, we felt a sense of relief that Theo had finally been laid to rest.

God blessed the proceedings by supplying us with this beautiful sunset.

Friday, 16 November 2007

The Waiting Game

The next major milestone in our lives is getting the post-mortem results. These will have a large and potentially challenging effect on how we will proceed with starting a family again. Whilst Clare was at the hospital this week having physio on her knee, she asked to see the paediatrician who treated Theo. He very obligingly took time out to see her but it looks like we might have to wait slightly longer than we envisaged.

Originally, we were told the post-mortem would take 4 - 6 weeks and that time is almost up. The doctor has said that, because of the genetic testing, we may have to wait a further month before we hear anything.

This is a little disheartening, but we trust in God's plan and that his timing is best. As soon as we know anything, we will definitely post here.

On a much more lovely note, Clare decided she would ring Tonya on Knoah's birthday yesterday. Tonya was most surprised to hear from us! We could hear Knoah gurgling happily away in the background while we both chatted to Tonya. She is every bit as lovely and caring in person as she is on her blog and it certainly made our evening.

During the phone call, Tonya commented on how amazing the human spirit is amongst the small group of people we know that share the same kind of experiences. I am so pleased that, despite not having our own little person, the bond with the people we have met is not growing weaker, but deepening.

Monday, 12 November 2007

"So, how are you both doing?"

It's a calendar month and two days since Theo's birth and we've heard that loving and interested question a lot during that time. It is comforting to know that so many people are still thinking about us and praying for us. Once again, thanks to everyone for their support!

So, how are we dong? Not bad... Clare is healing very well from the Cesarean and is already very active. She's filling her time making our lovely house even nicer and buying and selling things on Ebay. This has had dangerous implications for my bank balance and anything that's not nailed down in the house. The sliver lining to all this is that I get the feeling I will get more birthday presents than I could possibly merit!

So, how are we really doing? We have good days and bad days. It's a kind of sadness that's hard to quantify. It doesn't seem to be about anything particularly, such as seeing other babies or thinking about an empty nursery (although such things can trigger it). It just descends like a blanket and, unlike other things that can be fixed, it just stays there until it decides to leave. For Clare, it's worse at night-time. For me it comes less often.

Despite this, We are slowly getting back to normal I think. I'm back at work now and Clare is helping her brother with his valeting business so there are things to fill our days. Generally we remain positive and upbeat and we know that kind of strength must come from God because we certainly couldn't manage it by ourselves.

I'm sorry it's been a while between posts again. Before, this blog had a definite purpose and every other person I talk to seems to have read it. Now, I'm not quite so sure what to write. Although I know that everyone is interested in the results of the post mortem and any subsequent developments, there doesn't seem to be that much to say in between.

So, until I find a new direction for the blog, the posts will probably remain infrequent. If you want to be notified of when new posts appear on the blog to save you keep checking, please send your email address to and I will send you an email whenever anything new comes up. We would also ask you to keep praying for the post mortem and genetic results - that they would be clear and enable us to make decisions for our future.

Thanks once again to everyone out there who has supported us so faithfully! We couldn't have done it without you.

Friday, 2 November 2007

Hot off the press!

Apologies to everyone for not posting sooner. We recently had an interview with our local paper, the Ipswich Evening Star and the result is below.

Baby loss parents thank NHS staff
Evening Star
02 November 2007 | 14:46

AN IPSWICH couple whose newborn son died soon after birth today thanked doctors who battled for five hours to try to save him.

Andy and Clare Dungey are today coming to terms with the loss of baby Theodore, but took time to thank the NHS health professionals for their care.

Theodore, who had dwarfism, died in Mrs Dungey's arms after being born with breathing difficulties. But despite their loss, the couple today said thank you to staff at Ipswich Hospital.

Mrs Dungey, a teacher in Woodbridge, said: “We saw how hard they were working to save him and we know they couldn't have done anymore.

“One of the worst things with grief must be thinking 'if only' but there's no part of us which thinks if only they'd tried that.

“Dr Matthew James the paediatrician told us Theo mattered, and even when it looked like there was no hope he said he wanted to try one last thing. That's what we wanted to hear, to know they did everything possible.”

The dwarfism was diagnosed early in the pregnancy, but although they knew respiratory problems were a risk, there was no way of knowing how serious they were.

Mr Dungey, a BT worker, said: “Theodore would have had a poor quality of life so if getting the tube in had been successful, I don't know if it would've been best.

“We didn't want to bring a child into the world if they were going to suffer.”

Mrs Dungey was induced on October 10 and had a caesarean section. Theodore appeared well until he was lifted out and stopped breathing.

He was able to breathe for a short while at a time, but doctors could not put a ventilation tube in to sustain his breathing because of the unusual anatomy of his throat.

Mrs Dungey said: “He wasn't with us for very long but we feel his life was for a reason.

“We are Christians and know he was meant to be in our lives. He gave us an amazing experience and opened our eyes to dwarfism.

“We think about what he brought us rather than just the loss.”

Mr and Mrs Dungey, of Ditchingham Grove, also thanked other hospital staff who helped them, including those from the midwifery, physiotherapy and registration suite departments, and the funeral directors.

The couple, both 28, were allowed to watch on as the doctors treated Theodore, and when doctors stopped treatment, held him for around five minutes before he died.

They have written a blog about their experience at

A funeral service was held at Colchester Road Baptist Church and Theodore was cremated. Mr and Mrs Dungey are hoping to scatter his ashes at Southwold, where they got engaged.

N Do you want to thank hospital staff? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail

We wrote a letter to them initially because we wanted to let them know about how excellent the hospital had been. They were interested in our story and decided to write an article about it. The article even mentions this blog and hopefully this will bring some of the issues and adventures we've faced to a new audience.