LAST year began full of excitement, love, and hope for Nathan Rae and Hayley Castles.
They had just bought their first house in Beresfield, and soon after, Ms Castles discovered she was pregnant.
"We found out we were expecting two babies - identical twin girls - which was really exciting, but a bit scary, I guess," she said.
"That put me in the high risk category, so I was going to the hospital fortnightly for scans and check ups."
The couple planned a baby shower, and assembled two matching cots in the nursery.
Apart from occasional bouts of exhaustion, it had been a "perfect" pregnancy.
"We got to 20 weeks and we had a really good scan," Ms Castles said. "They measured all of the organs and the arms, legs, eyes, nose - everything was in the right spot, everything was looking good."
Then, in the first days of November, Ms Castles felt some sharp pains in her stomach.
She was 22 weeks into the pregnancy.
"I thought it might have been Braxton Hicks," she said. "I was about to get up and go to work. I was OK, just a bit uncomfortable. But then I went to the toilet and my waters broke.
"There was blood everywhere. It was pretty traumatic, because I knew right away that something was really wrong. I called Nathan and we rushed to the hospital.
"I thought everything was going to be OK, because they still had heartbeats."
Ms Castles said it took her a while to comprehend that she was in labour. That her babies were on their way.
"They prepped me in case I needed to go to surgery, but I was lucky enough to give birth to them naturally - which I thought was special," she said.
"Nathan got to cut the cord.
"Remy came first, and then Lilah came four minutes later."
Ms Castles said she was so caught up in the moment, she did not realise how much blood she was losing.
"The girls were alive," she said. "Remy was breathing for 11 minutes, and Lilah was breathing for nine minutes.
"They died on my chest."
The babies were not taken to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
"I remember telling them that I wanted them taken to NICU, but they kept telling me there was nothing they could do," Ms Castles said. "They only take babies that are 23 weeks, and I was 22 weeks and four days. That was hard for me to understand why they couldn't be saved. Or attempted to be saved, because they were breathing."
Ms Castles said they had cherished those precious minutes with their baby girls.
"I spent a while with them, just laying like that," she said.
"I guess I had carried them for their whole life, they were with me the entire pregnancy, and their entire short little lives. Everyone - my family and Nathan's family - came in and met the girls. That was really nice."
Ms Castles had suffered a placental abruption which had triggered labour.
"The blood clotted behind my placenta and that ripped it off my wall," she said.
"They said now that they know that's a risk they can put a plan in place in my next pregnancy to try to prevent it from happening again.
"I remember thinking how frequently I was going to hospital, and wondering why there wasn't any signs, it just happened out of nowhere."
Remy and Lilah Rae were born on November 5, 2018.
"I was due to be induced in February," Ms Castles said.
"I was 14 weeks away from that happening."
The couple spent 24 hours with their babies in hospital.
They read to them. Sang to them. Took pictures.
"We got to share some more precious moments with them," she said.
"It was really hard to say goodbye, knowing it was the last time we'd get to spend with them.
"It was bittersweet. Every minute was so precious.
"I just tried to keep myself together because I knew this was the only time I could spend with them. That this was all the time I was going to have with them.
"I had to meet them, and say goodbye to them, all in the same 10 minutes. It's something no one should ever have to do."
Special occasions and due dates were difficult.
"My work friends, Nathan's friends and our families put together some money for us to go to Bali over Christmas, which really helped us to get away from reality for a while," she said.
"When everybody is celebrating with their families, it can just kind of emphasise what you don't have."
They had lost their babies, as well as the hopes and dreams they had for them.
"You picture this future with two beautiful little girls, and what that's going to be like... and when that doesn't happen, it can be really hard to let go of that," she said.
Ms Castles said the 2019 Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Evening - at Sandgate Cemetery on October 15, at 6.15pm - was an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the lives of little loved ones lost with others who understood.
The service, organised to support families who have lost a baby before, during, or soon after birth, includes the International Wave of Light event. Participants are encourage to burn a candle, forming a continuous chain of light - spanning the globe - for 24 hours to honour and remember lost babies.