"I WAS waiting for her to start moving and breathing, but it just didn't happen."
Lyndel Price recalls the moment a midwife placed her precious first-born child on her chest just seconds after the birth.
Gently cradling the fragile little girl close to her breast, she waits for the cry that never comes.
A chance meeting at their local pub turned into a lifelong romance for Lyndel and Andrew Price.
The girl from Tweed and the lad from Lismore dated for eight months before taking the plunge and moving in together.
Not long after, they discovered a child was on the way.
"But at our 12-week scan we found out the baby wasn't viable," Mrs Price, now a Mackay resident, said.
The shock pregnancy loss was painful, but it brought the couple even closer.
"We took a bit of time to heal after that," Mrs Price said.
An Eiffel Tower proposal in 2009 culminated in a wedding almost 12 months later and the joyful realisation another baby was on its way.
Towards the end of June 2011, Mrs Price woke to the dreadful knowledge that something was not quite right with her unborn child.
"I hadn't felt the baby move all day," she said.
"I went to the hospital to get checked and there was no heartbeat."
Nothing could be done for the 29-week baby, who died following a tear in the placenta.
The couple returned home that evening and told their family and friends the sad news.
Two days later they were back at the hospital, where Mrs Price was induced.
"Physically I guess my body was in pregnancy mode," Mr Price said of the trauma of going through labour for 14 hours while grieving.
"It was pretty horrendous, because you've been induced and your body doesn't want to let go - your body is being forced to give birth."
Mr and Mrs Price's honeymoon baby - Charlotte Mabel - came into the world on July 1, 2011.
"She was placed on my chest and I got to cut the umbilical chord and do all of those things," Mrs Price said.
"She looked like a baby - she just wasn't moving.
"You're looking at them and you can't see anything wrong so you ask, 'Why did it happen?'."
The grieving parents spent the next 12 hours with their little girl, introducing her to their family and friends and coming to terms with the knowledge their tiny miracle would not be coming home.
"Everyone who walked in cooed over her and said how beautiful she was," Mrs Price said.
It was three weeks before Mr and Mrs Price could farewell Charlotte.
"She had to be sent away to Brisbane for the autopsy - I wanted to know what happened," Mrs Price said.
Charlotte's ashes sit on a shelf surrounded by knick-knacks and gifts dedicated to her memory.
On special occasions, Mrs Price adds small mementos to the collection honouring her daughter.
"On her birthday I will make things," she said.
"We don't openly celebrate it - some people do have birthday parties and things like that - but we'll go into nature where we can feel a bit connected to her and spend some time thinking about her."
Mr and Mrs Price are slowly rebuilding their lives - with a lot of help from their two-year-old daughter, Rosie.
And in a few weeks they will welcome their third child into the world.
The time around Mother's Day can be difficult for Mrs Price, but time is slowly healing her heart.
"There's always that one missing," she said.
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