Lorrayne Hill, Sands, Blog
Lorrayne Hill, Mother | 27 June 2017

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 one and only son came into the world at 21:31 on Thursday, weighing a very healthy 8lbs 12ozs and the moment I saw him I just fell totally and utterly in love. My family was complete, a baby brother for my daughter Hannah. She was 22 months old.

sands, blog, neonatal death, long ago bereaved, 1980s

We were booked to go home the following morning but for some reason I didn’t want to go home. I have no idea why. I also have no idea why I was desperate, nay obsessed that I didn’t miss the Cradle Snaps lady to take his photograph. Call it feminine intuition if you will. It was to be the only photograph I have of him.

I awoke quite early on the Saturday morning to visit the bathroom and was met by the Nursing Officer who took me up to the Special Care Unit where I was told my baby had died.  The days afterwards I was raw from pain. My milk came in whilst I was sitting naked on the loo, waiting for my bath to fill. The milk came and ran down my body and into the toilet bowl and that summed it all up for me. It was a waste, a dreadful waste.

The main artery at the back of his neck was damaged during the birth which caused a fatal brain haemorrhage, probably due to the nursing staff wanting me to deliver before the night shift came on duty and their intervention caused the injury to the neck area. This is what I was told after the post mortem.

Hannah saved my life. I carried on for her. She needed me. My husband grieved alone, with his friends/drinking buddies. We went on to have another daughter. I was so afraid to bond with her, in case she died too. We are so close now but it took 14 years for me to really ‘feel’ that I truly loved her.

My marriage ended in 1985. I have never been the same since. A hole that can never be filled.

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.

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