Amylee Magalhaes, 34, held her three-day-old baby in her arms for the very first time as he took his final breath.
His name was Jack. He was born on January 1, 2014 with a full head of hair and he fought hard to stay alive but tragically didn’t make it.
Speaking to FEMAIL, Amylee said she had never once considered that she’d leave the hospital without a baby when she went into labour days earlier.
Her pregnancy had been perfect, and her birth plan was simple. Go to the hospital with her husband Thiago, sister Katie, mum and dad and have a baby boy.
Then everything went wrong and her simple plan turned into a nightmare.
Amylee Magalhaes, 34, held her three-day-old baby in her arms for the very first time as he took his final breath
His name was Jack. He was born on January 1, 2014 with a full head of hair and he fought hard to stay alive
‘At the 48 hour mark I started getting really tired. I was passing in and out of consciousness as I tried to push,’ she said.
Amylee doesn’t remember the moment things started going wrong but her sister Katie, who was by her side the whole time, remembers every horrifying detail.
‘I looked at my mum and I just knew things weren’t right – we needed to get Amylee out of there,’ she said.
Amylee was transferred to a bigger hospital by ambulance. Her loved ones following close by. Once she arrived she had an emergency C-section.
‘Trauma cuts memories. I was going in and out – but I do remember waking up in a room with a nurse,’ she said.
Her family were all by the baby’s side.
Her pregnancy had been perfect, and her birth plan was simple. Go to the hospital with her husband Thiago, sister Katie, mum and dad and have a baby boy
‘When they finally moved me into see him I was shocked – he was attached to every machine you could think of,’ she said.
‘My husband was there, and Katie and my mum and the doctor just kept repeating to me “he’s not okay”,’ she cried.
At that point all they knew was that Jack’s blood wasn’t clotting and there was a problem with his lungs.
Then doctors explained they needed to get him to a major hospital – but Amylee wasn’t allowed to go with him.
She was numb with disbelief as they stabilised Jack and sent him off, with her parents, in the back of an Ambulance.
The couple went on to have a daughter together, Sophie, but it is bittersweet as Amylee knows she wouldn’t have her without losing Jack
Then everything changed again.
‘Half an hour after they left they told me they had to get me going – he had crashed and they didn’t think he would survive the journey.’
Jack did make it to the hospital and even showed signs of improving for two days before his health declined overnight and he was relying solely on machines to stay alive.
As the medical team disconnected her baby Amylee was able to hold him for the first time.
Her family organised a photographer to be there and capture those powerful first and last cuddles.
‘Everything had been so exciting – then I left the hospital empty handed. I couldn’t believe it. I was in shock,’ she said.
Amylee’s sister Katie, left, helped her through the trauma of losing her baby and is still helping her navigate the loss today
Katie, who had struggled with her own journey to motherhood having many failed rounds of IVF, said her heart broke watching her sister get lost in her pain.
‘Before Jack we all lived in a different world,’ Katie explained. ‘I will never forget the moment the nurse took Jack from the room.
‘Amylee just fell to the floor in agony. She doesn’t remember that moment but it is one I will never forget.’
Katie had been excited to become an auntie but was instead thrust into the role of family support person.
She bounced between her sister and mum, helping them through the fog of despair, dropping off food and making sure they made the impossible journey outside each day.
Amylee struggled for 48 hours before she was transferred to a larger hospital for an emergency C-section
It was then – in the depths of despair that Katie stumbled across her love for sewing.
Her mum was a seamstress and she started doing it with her around the table – as something to help her through the pain.
They decided to put them on Etsy choosing Snuggly Jacks as the business name – as a nod to the family’s lost boy.
Before they knew it they had a six-week waiting list for their handiwork – mostly cute sheets.
‘I was sewing from the moment I got home just to get through orders,’ Katie said.
At this point Amylee was still navigating her own grief. Then she found out she was pregnant again.
‘I was trying to get pregnant because at that point I thought the only thing that could fix how I was feeling was to have a baby in my arms,’ she said.
The women here pictured with Katie’s husband Luke, left, their daughter Millie, second from left, Amylee’s daughter Sophie, second from the right and her husband Thiago
Katie was now living with Amylee – supporting her through her grief and fears over being pregnant again when she found out IVF had finally worked.
Pregnancy was rough and she was told her daughter Millie might not survive – but she did.
‘We did IVF for years and she was the only one that stuck,’ Katie said.
They women still live together and have two beautiful young girls who are ‘more like sisters than cousins’.
When they were pregnant Katie pitched the crazy idea to make Snuggly Jacks a ‘proper business’ so they never had to go back to work again.
Now it is a multimillion dollar business.
The sisters said parenting isn’t the same as it would have been if Jack had survived.
The family were brought closer by the tragic incident – which also lead to them starting a now multi-million dollar company
Amylee pictured at Jack’s grave
Katie wouldn’t have had another baby so soon.
‘I was trying to stop the pain. When I look at her it is complicated – I feel like I can’t say that I am grateful that she is here because it would mean I am grateful for what happened. If he was here she wouldn’t be,’ she said.
Sophie was the first baby she dared hold after Jack died – as she blamed herself for his death and assumed it was something she had done or some kind of curse.
She said she’s also had to work on not being a helicopter mum.
‘There’s that fear that something bad will happen to her,’ she said.
For help processing the loss of a baby or unborn child contact Sands.