40 stories for #Sands40
40 stories for #Sands40, | 21 November 2018

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.

We lost out beautiful baby boy Oliver Philip Gower on January 31st 2018. He was 7lb 11oz and perfect in every single way.

Our world fell apart that day. My husband Tom and I had tried for seven years to fall pregnant and at 38, seeing that word on the screen ‘pregnant’,  I don’t think I have ever been as happy as I was in that moment.

Fast forward an uneventful perfect 40+6 weeks, I woke up that morning and thought I felt Oliver kick, as the day went on I just felt something wasn’t right. Oliver was never a big mover.

I also had an anterior placenta which meant I couldn’t feel movement as easy as others anyway, but this day seemed different.

I left it a while and eventually called the hospital, they told me to come in. It was then that we heard the words that no parent wants to hear ‘sorry there’s no heartbeat’. The groan from my husband is something that will haunt me forever.

We were taken up to private birthing suite and given a pill to stop the pregnancy. Ten minutes later I went into labour.

They told me that this was more than likely natural labour and probably would have been the day he came.

I was in labour for 15 hours and am glad that I was able to go through that for our boy. When Oliver was born we were able to hold him, cuddle him, kiss him and dress him, which meant so much to us. Memories like that will stay with us forever. 

Thankfully we were in our own room with a CuddleCot which meant we got to spend quite some time with Oliver.

Family and friends came to see him and say goodbye to our beautiful boy.

The midwife came in with a memory box from Sands and from that we were able to get finger and footprints, locks of hair and all kinds of other precious memories that we never would have thought of at the time. And for that we are truly thankful to Sands.

We said our last goodbye to Oliver at 8.30pm on 31st January, the saddest moment of my life. 

Oliver had a post-mortem and we found out that he had contracted Congenital Pneumonia caused by an infection. They are not sure how Oliver caught the infection and said it was just extremely unfortunate.

I feel so sad for my boy. Sad that he didn’t get a chance of life, sad that he didn’t get to feel our kisses, sad I didn’t get to see the love we had for him.

I can only be happy that I was able to give Oliver a nine month constant cuddle from inside. He knew we loved him and that will never change.

We are now part of a Sands support group and it really helps knowing that they are there for you, knowing that have sadly been through the same and know how you feel, knowing what you are going through.  

Sands have really helped us. 

Not a day goes by when we don’t think about our beautiful boy, and although it gets a grain of sand easier everyday, my life has changed forever.

If I’m honest I’m glad it has changed as I’m proud to call Oliver my son. He’s part of us and always will be. We are now parents of an angel baby boy who is engraved in our hearts for eternity.

We love you forever baby boy x

Picture: Baby Oliver

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. 

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