As part of Sands 40th anniversary this year, we will share 40 stories by 40 parents, family members and friends affected by the death of a baby. Starting during Sands Awareness Month and our #FindingTheWords campaign, we aim to show the sheer number of people who are affected by the tragedy of a baby’s death, help other bereaved parents to understand they are not alone and raise awareness of the issues surrounding stillbirth and neonatal death. Visit our 40 stories for #Sands40 to view other blogs in the series.
I was young, innocent and Archie was my first baby.
We hadn’t planned to have Archie, but we decided we wanted to become parents and were extremely excited from becoming a family of two, to a family of three.
There are no boys in our family, I’m one of four sisters. My sisters had children which were all girls. So when we found out we were having a boy, we knew Archie was going to be so special.
There were a few pregnancy issues but nothing major until around 36 weeks when I began to lose weight and so did Archie. No scans were arranged.
This could be ‘normal’ I was told, being young and innocent, Archie being my first I relied on the health professionals to ensure myself and Archie were safe.
On 1st January 2013 we went to hospital to find out Archie was in heaven, but I already knew this before I went to hospital. I could tell. “Mother’s instinct” they call it.
I didn’t want to name Archie, I didn’t want to meet him, nor bury him. I didn’t want to know and pretended he didn’t exist. My mum persuaded me to meet him, after five days in labour. And that’s when it hit me.
I can’t explain the pain, the grief, the anger, the sadness. It’s just numb. But why? Why my baby? What did we do wrong? Was it that sandwich I ate yesterday, all these questions, yet no answers? Please don’t tell me things are ‘just meant to be sometimes’.
Post mortem results shown there was something wrong with my placenta and it stopped working, which means the amniotic fluid wasn’t being produced, hence the weight loss.
We grieved, we had Archie buried, we made a beautiful hand crafted memory box.
We don’t talk about Archie as much as we should. I find it hard to accept he’s not here, should I have done something more differently? His younger sister knows he’s with the stars and we all go to visit his grave.
If any mother is concerned about anything, seek medical advice, push for what you want, don’t sit and wait. Please don’t become another mother without their child.
All the support we had from Sands afterwards was amazing. Archie was buried with the teddy we received in the memory box.
The grief is still here, it comes and goes and will often just hit me in the face unexpectedly.
I’m at peace and I know Archie is. He was so beautiful with thick black hair. I’ve always wondered what colour eyes he would have had.
We love you, and we will never, ever forget you.
15 babies die before, during or shortly after birth every day in the UK. We want to reduce this number, but we need your help. Support Sands now to help ensure a bereaved parent doesn't have to cope alone. Thank you.