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Our son was born to heal

After losing her twin daughters, Kathy Campbell thought the pain would never heal.

Kathy Campbell, 41, Valentine, NSW

Looking at my husband Greg, 43, across the table, our eyes met.

'You're sure you're ready to do this?' he asked softly. 'Yes,' I nodded. 'I need to have another baby.'

It wasn't how a couple would normally discuss having a child. It should have been a discussion full of happiness and smiles.

That's how it had been when we had decided to have our daughters, Rebecca and Jessica.

But four years ago my girls were taken from me and since then, nothing had been normal.

I'll never forget the day I found out they'd died. I relived the whole thing, telling my story to that's life! in November 2006.

Greg and I were on holiday in Melbourne, leaving Becky, nine, and Jessy, eight, with his parents, Barbara and Ash. While browsing the shops, enjoying our time away, we got a phone call.

'They're gone love,' Ash, 68, said. 'They're all gone.'

I froze. Barbara, 59, had been driving the girls to their farm at Tinonee, NSW, when a truck crossed into the oncoming traffic. All three were killed.

That moment changed my life forever. Even four years on, I couldn't accept my girls weren't coming home. I'd still walk past their bedrooms, expecting to see them playing. And each time they weren't there, emptiness engulfed me afresh. That's why I needed to have another baby. I wanted children in my house again.

We tried for a year to have a baby, but nothing happened. 'It wasn't this hard with the girls,' I told my doctor.

'Because you're older it's going to be harder,' she said gently.

She was right. The odds were against us. 'I want to try IVF,' I said. The doctor gave me an information booklet.

'It looks quite invasive,' Greg said, reading about the hormone injections. 'I don't mind,' I said.

For the next year we tried IVF. I fell pregnant three times, but each time, at the seven-week ultrasound, they couldn't find a heartbeat. 'I'm sorry,' the sonographer would say.

'It's okay,' I replied, numb to the fact I'd lost another child. I couldn't grieve any more.

Then in March this year, after falling pregnant in January, I had a seven-week scan. 'I can't make it today,' Greg said. 'Okay,' I replied, thinking it'd be another failed attempt. 'Besides, Yvonne from the IVF clinic is coming.'

Yvonne, 40, held my hand as the sonographer scanned my belly.

Suddenly she screamed. 'There's a heartbeat!'

Sure enough, a tiny dot flashed on the screen. I was pregnant!

I called Greg. 'Finally!' he wept. 'We're going to be parents again.'

I was delighted but still cautious. As time passed and each test came back normal,I grew more confident.

When we found out we were having a boy, tears filled my eyes. 'Can we call him Thomas?' I said. 'Sounds perfect,' Greg replied.

Then on October 26, I woke at 3am with stomach pains.

Greg was already up, getting ready to go fishing. 'Should we go to the hospital?' he asked.

'Not yet,' I replied, rolling over to try to get some more sleep. 'You go fishing.'

When Greg returned home at 2pm, I knew Thomas was ready. We rushed to the hospital and Thomas was born at 7.50pm.

Holding my little boy in my arms, I felt at ease for the first time since losing the girls.

I couldn't bear the thought of my family being separated again, so after just four hours I took our new son home. 'It feels so right,' I said, watching him sleep.

Today, it's been two months since Thomas was born. He barely cries and is so relaxed. I've told him about his sisters and I think they're the ones keeping him calm.

For five years Greg and I didn't put up a Christmas tree. With no children in the house, it was a terrible reminder of all we'd lost.

But this year Christmas will be different, and I can't wait.

How have you conquered grief? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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