For Hugo

The way time moves when something is happening is interesting. It seems to move so quickly and yet stand still at the same time. I find it hard to believe that Marian and David have been in Brisbane now for over a month. In that time so much has happened and it’s certainly been full of an array of emotions.

Hugo David Sandberg was born on 19th September 2016. He lived for four incredible days that were filled with love and joy and a sprinkling of sorrow. While we’re all working on Hugo’s story, his passing is still so raw therefore it will take us all some time to gather our thoughts to share them with you, but I promise we will share his amazing life when we’re ready.

Today we held a memorial for the special little guy. We said some words, planted some flowers, released some balloons with messages written on them for Hugo, ate some cake in true Kundaberg style and then whispered our wish for Hugo to some beautiful butterflies that we then released. I’ll never be able to say goodbye to Hugo, it’s more of a – we’ll meet again.

For Hugo

This story is written for a very special boy. While boys may prefer stories of fantastical beasts or dragons, unfortunately this is more of a love story, sorry Hugo.

Once upon a time there was a man and a woman who loved each other very much and wanted to have a baby to make them a family. Unfortunately the woman had an army inside her body that wasn’t always a friendly army and would sometimes go to war on her body. This army made carrying a baby risky as the army could hurt the growing baby in her tummy. The man and woman decide to look for a very special lady who would help carry a baby for them.

Little did the man and woman know that they would find a crazy little family some two thousand kilometres away. This crazy family consisted of three kooky girlies name Britt, Ciara and Addison and their Mummy and Daddy – Simon and Rachel.  They were typical Queenslanders who liked footy, fishing and camping. When the crazy family met the man and woman, I don’t think they could have ever guessed at what kind of journey they would be in for when the Mummy from the crazy family offered to be their surrogate.

You may have guessed by now that the man and the woman mentioned are your Mummy and Daddy. They loved you even before you were a mass of cells smaller than a seed and they had so many plans for their life together with you. Unfortunately sometimes our plans go sideways and don’t end up the way we imagined but along the way we learn what we can and try to gain understanding from the situations we find ourselves in.

My journey with your Mummy and Daddy started filled with excitement. My family and I had made some spectacular new friends. My friendship with your Mummy felt like no other friendship I had experienced before. We were more like sisters from another Mister than simply friends. My crazy kooky family felt similar about your Mummy and Daddy, from the start we seemed to have formed an easy bond and kinship that seemed so natural and we formed team Kundaberg and set about creating you.

Fast forward a few months that were filled with boring surrogacy preliminaries, cake, wine, plane trips, scary chairs, a little Pip and then more cake and wine; we learned that you had decided to make a temporary home inside my tummy. We called you our little Bear. From the moment you nestled comfortably inside of me I knew how much I loved you, even though you would be going to live with Mummy and Daddy when you were born I still gave you all my love so you could experience it from the moment your little heart started beating. When we saw proof that your little heart did indeed beat inside of me I knew your Mummy was in love by the excited squeal that came from her during our very first ultrasound. We had proof you were on your way and Mummy’s excited squeals continued over the months followed by your Daddy’s happy chuckles as you continued to grow and they prepared for you arrival.

When we learned how truly special you would be and how little time we would have with you, our love for you grew exponentially. We had to fit a lifetime of love into such a short amount of time. In the weeks leading up to your birth Mummy and Daddy came to live close by. We enjoyed many little boops of you when you would float around my tummy, we enjoyed watching your halo of hair float around your head during your ultrasounds and we continuously wondered what you would look like with excitement and tried to guess when you would arrive. We didn’t have to wait very long as you arrived two short weeks later. My only indication that you had been born was your Mummy’s excited squeal that rang out through the operating theatre, I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of that squeal. When I finally saw you and held your hand I looked at your beaming parents and saw only joy and pure love. While you know how the next few days went I don’t think you could truly understand the impact you had not only on my crazy little family, and Mummy, Daddy and Bunty but people from around the world including extended family from Sweden, family in Adelaide and the entire Australian surrogacy community who had followed your journey to us from the beginning.

What you’ve taught me Hugo is that family extends beyond blood. The family that we make in our lives exceed the bonds of any family we were born into. You, Mummy and Daddy are now part of the crazy little family I have created for myself and I’ll cherish you all forever. You have taught me that in times when I don’t feel strong, there are people around me that I can count on to lift me up and keep me going.  You have taught me that sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in my heart. You taught me how lucky I am to have amazing family and friends in my life. You have taught me to be grateful for all the things that bring me joy in life including the time I got to spend with you and I’m forever grateful for all the people that made our time with you so special. For all this I thank you.

My wish for you now is that wherever you are I want you to be happy. I wish that you only get to experience joy and love because you deserve nothing less. I hope you watch over Mummy and Daddy because they will sometimes be sad and I hope that one day we’ll meet again and I can take your hand in mine and we’ll float in space and drift in time.


Kundaberg Family

Kundaberg Family

A butterfly we released for Hugo

A butterfly we released for Hugo

6 thoughts on “For Hugo

  1. Oh Rachel,
    You write so beautifully and the tears are now flowing down my cheeks.
    The love you express in your words can truly be felt and I think we wil all remember little Hugo and your whole team as you have all left a little place in our hearts,especially mine.
    My love snd prayers are with you all.
    Julie xxx

  2. Rachel and Marian,
    I agree with Julie’s above. You both write so beautifully and we have all shared in your journey with the anticipation, excitement, laughter, pain and sorrow. We feel a part of your extended family.
    My love to you all.
    Michelle ✨💞

  3. What a beautiful message, thank you for sharing so much with us. The pictures you have taken are incredible. You all have shown such phenomenal strength…
    sending my love to you.

  4. What a beautiful story, the story of Hugo. you are such a special team and I love how close you have been all the way. Rachel, I said years ago how well you wrote, so beautiful….much love xxx

  5. This is so beautifully written Rachel, thank you for sharing it. I’m not so great with words and I’ve been conflicted about what to say or write about this experience (so I hope this comes across okay) but I’m so sorry to hear about any hurt or pain that you might’ve gone through and hope that you are doing well right now and taking care of yourself. I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that you’re a pretty awesome person 🙂

  6. It’s taken me a long time to be brave enough to read this post, and of course it has reduced me to buckets of tears. I have no words, and yet you have shared so many brave beautiful words with us. Thank you so much, sending lots of love xxx

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