Our Christmas Baby, Noel

When I was 21 years old, I was diagnosed with cancer. I went through 12 rounds of chemotherapy, and it took about 5 years before I was back to myself again. After this, all the doctors said my chances of getting pregnant were very low.

A miracle happened in September 2021 when we found out that I was 6 weeks pregnant. We were so excited and scared, but it was a nice surprise. By Thanksgiving, we found out that baby was doing well and growing. We told our families and close friends. In November we had a few doctor’s appointments, and everything was going well. The baby was healthy and getting stronger. We passed all the major tests, and everything was going well.

By week 17 I felt the baby’s movements and by week 18 the little one was kicking away. We both felt the movements and knew when he needed something. The baby was always hungry and would wake me up kicking away. He loved listening to his dad’s voice and dad’s music. He’d kick a lot more when he was around.

We then went in for the 20-week scan, everything changed. The baby was healthy and growing but my cervix was opening. The doctors said I had an incompetent cervix. I had to go in for emergency surgery and a cervical stitch was put in right away. After the surgery, I was on pelvic rest for a while. This was a huge shock for us, and we were so worried about the pregnancy moving forward.

Sadly, on December 24th Christmas Eve, while I was asleep, my water broke, and we had to rush to the hospital at 2 am. The baby was ok and strong but wouldn’t be able to survive without the amniotic fluid and I had developed an infection that would make things very risky moving forward. The doctors said we could carry on with pregnancy but IF our baby did survive, he would have a life in and out of hospitals, living in a wheelchair and a breathing apparatus. Plus, it was a huge risk to my health.

One of the hardest decisions we had to make was letting go because continuing with the pregnancy was too risky and unfair for our little one. The pain we both felt cannot be explained. At this time, we found out that it was a boy. The doctors let us have one more day with him so we could spend Christmas with him. We did everything we could to remember him.

He got to hear his grandparent’s voices and every time he heard them, he kicked away. We played his favourite music and he kicked away listening to it. I ate the foods he liked, like baked goods, veggies and anything salty and he kicked away. Our cat lay on my tummy and purred, he kicked away hearing him. We read to him his first Christmas story and we told him how much we love him and that we are so sorry. He kicked away letting us know he was ok.

On December 26th I was induced and delivered our beautiful baby boy, we named him Noel, but he didn’t survive the birth. One of the most painful feelings in the world is knowing the moment your child isn’t here anymore. We both got to hold him, and we spent one more night with him at the hospital.

On January 5th we held a small service for him and said our last goodbyes. He will forever be in our hearts, and we will remember all his movements and habits. He was our miracle Christmas baby. The holidays haven’t been great for us, but we are trying to get by and taking one day at a time. I know the pain will never go away and we miss him dearly, but we will always remember him and the joy he brought us. He will forever be in our hearts.

I apologize for sharing this sad story, but I wanted to let everyone know that if you have been through something similar, you aren’t alone 💙

every story matters

The Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support Centre is a non-profit registered charity that helps families connect to support on their path to healing after pregnancy or infant loss.  Families like yours can work with us and get support with a variety of services that hold space for your unique story. No matter at what stage of your parenthood journey you find yourself, your story will be heard here.

If you are ready to share your story, or you need help with your journey, get in touch with us.

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Book with Erin Winters

In order to book with Erin, please connect directly with our Program Assistant, Shelagh via email at shelagh@pilsc.org

NOTE: Refrain from providing detailed personal information when emailing Shelagh. Feel free to describe your challenges in brief, and leave out personal details that you only wish to share with Erin.


Shelagh (she/her) brings with her a solid background as an admin in a variety of areas from business, academia and now with a charitable organization with the Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support Center. She feels passionate about working in a role that benefits others in the community.

Shelagh was exposed to bereavement and deep grief at an early age and it left her with a profound sense of how fragile life is and how we need to find joy and light wherever we can. She feels privileged to be able to take this sense with her into her role with PILSC while putting her strong admin skills to good use.