Sarah-with-very-small-Jess-born-32-wks-1800-grams Sarah with her little sister, born 32 weeks.

n 1985 we wanted a child. Then one horrible afternoon up at the Chatswood shops, Caroline went down. Sarah stood there crying. As the ambulance raced them to Royal North Shore I got the call.

She had an ectopic pregnancy – a fertilised egg implanted itself in one of the fallopian tubes.

Emergency surgery done and she was left to recover ina maternity ward, surrounded by happy mothers.

Thankfully in 1986 Jessica was born, 32 weeks premature. That is a whole different story of the stress of that journey but with a happy ending. That happy ending is living the life with her husband and my grandkids.

Megan Markle's essay about holding her first born while she loses her second, in stillbirth last July, opened the subject, usually taboo. Kristina Keneally told of having three children and two survivors.

Still birth is horrific. In 2002 my wife and I attended one. A relative gave birth to a baby girl, then the midwife, doctor and nurses disappeared. Leaving us. Janelle dressed the baby, and they took turns hugging, kissing and singing. I was both traumatised and overwhelmed at her compassion. And the horrible sadness of the event, before proper recognition and before funerals were performed.