Amy Reinke is going through a healing process from the loss of a baby due to sudden infant death syndrome. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.
Amy Reinke is going through a healing process from the loss of a baby due to sudden infant death syndrome. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.

Mum shares heartbreak of losing baby unexpectedly

IT was her husband's birthday when Amy Reinke woke up and checked on her newborn baby Joshua in his cot, to her horror she found him "cold and floppy" and began to resuscitate him.

Amy and Peter Reinke were "over the moon" when she fell pregnant naturally at the age of 40 after conceiving their first child Hayley via IVF. The proud parents welcomed Joshua at 31 weeks on May 4, 2017.

They tragically only had their "miracle" baby home for a week when he was found dead by his mum on his father's birthday on June 14, 2017.

"I started saying 'no, no, no' and shook Pete to ring the ambulance," Mrs Reinke said.

"I started resuscitating him, I resuscitated him for six minutes before the ambulance arrived.

"It was the most traumatic thing I've ever witnessed … seeing him like that."

Joshua was able to be revived, but as a result of a lack of oxygen, had suffered significant brain damage.

Amy and Peter made the impossible decision to remove his life support, and their precious baby passed away in their arms on June 18, 2017.

"It was very, very hard to do," she said.

"The six months after Joshua's funeral, I don't remember.

"I know that some days I just sobbed on the floor but it was Hayley our six-year-old that made us live."

Mr Reinke said both he and his wife cried every day for a year.

A fundraiser in his name was started by Townsville Hospital midwives, which quickly raised $30,000 within a couple of weeks for Red Nose, a charity seeking to eradicate sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

In Australia, nine families a day will lose a baby through stillbirth, neonatal death or SIDS.

"We wanted to fundraise to feel like his life had meaning, he was alive for 42 days, we wanted to make sure he had a little bit of a legacy," Mrs Reinke said.

"I hope our story has given families who have had a child die a voice, and it gives people a little more understanding about what happens when a child dies.

"There is no moving on from it - it is learning to live alongside grief.

"In the two years since, $45,000 has been raised and our target has always been $50,000."

The family went through another three cycles of IVF to complete their family, with their son Callum James Reinke born on April 25 this year.

"Callum hasn't replaced Joshua, but he has helped our family heal," she said.

"I hate when people ask me how many children I have - do I say two and betray Joshua's memory or say three and then get upset as I have to explain he died."

October is Pregnancy and Infant loss awareness month.