During June 2017, as part of our 15 babies a day initiative, we will share 15 blogs by 15 people who have been affected by the death of a baby. By doing this we aim to show the sheer number of people who are affected by the tragedy of one baby’s death. Visit our 15 Perspectives webpage to view other blogs in the series.
My husband and I were overjoyed to discover we were pregnant after our second round of IVF in November 2010. Four weeks later that joy turned to shock when we were told that we were expecting twins! We couldn't believe we were so lucky to be expecting two babies when it was unlikely that we would have even one!
At 34 weeks my waters broke at home, late on the evening of 27th June 2011. Labour followed fairly rapidly and as my first born arrived within four hours, albeit 12 years ago, I felt our girls wouldn't be any different. I was given a drug to stop my labour progressing when I arrived at our local maternity unit as there were no cots available in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The nearest hospital that had room for our girls was an hour long ferry journey away. As it was the middle of the night by this point there were no ferries running! My labour had quietened down by the time the ambulance arrived at 4am to take me to the ferry, although I was still dilating and it was then considered too dangerous to transfer me.
Isabella arrived first at 12.36 weighing 5lb 5oz, this is the point that it all went horribly wrong. The registrar decided to break the waters for Olivia, soon after Isabella was born, even though she hadn't yet descended. By doing this she became entangled by her cord and her heart rate plummeted. The amazing nurses in NICU tried for several hours to stabilise her but sadly she didn't make it. She had been starved of oxygen during a traumatic labour and didn't recover. She passed away at 20:26 on 28th June.
Almost six years has passed and I can still remember all the details like it was yesterday. I felt numb and emotionless and not being able to comprehend what had actually happened. I needed to stay strong because I had another baby that needed me. I somehow managed to get through the next few weeks whist Isabella stayed in NICU.
It wasn't until Isabella was allowed to come home on 15th July that reality hit. I had arrived at the hospital carrying two healthy babies and came home only carrying one. My arms felt half empty, I wasn't as busy as I should've been. I suffered with anxiety and depression and still struggle on birthdays and at milestones. What I do find helps is talking. Never stop talking as it keeps those memories alive.
15 babies die before, during or shortly after birth every day in the UK. 15 too many. We want to reduce this number, but we need your help. Support our #15babiesaday initiative by donating or fundraising now.