40 stories for #Sands40
40 stories for #Sands40, | 14 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.

On the morning of the 29th March 2015 our son Jason was born.

He was our first child and just perfect. Jason was a tiny baby at only 3lbs 6ozs but looked just like his Daddy. Jason also had Down’s Syndrome.

I had a “textbook” pregnancy throughout and remained blissfully unaware that after 12 weeks gestation babies could die during or after childbirth.

I was 35 weeks gestation and I had a sickness bug which I assumed was from work. The day after I felt fine however in the evening started getting what I can only describe as constipation pains and decided to get an early night.

Jason was still wriggling away so I wasn’t concerned. I did not know I was in labour until it was too late.

I laboured very quickly and by the time we decided to ring the hospital the following morning, Jason was already coming.

I remember sitting on the toilet as I was feeling sick and my husband rang for some advice. It was then that I could see Jason’s legs hanging. We had no signs of him being breech so wasn’t prepared for a breech birth at all.

The paramedics on the phone talked us through everything and within minutes an ambulance had arrived too. I hadn’t really thought about a home birth. Being my first pregnancy, I just assumed we’d have time to get to the hospital in time.

After a very traumatic process of not being able to deliver Jason’s head and the paramedics also being unsuccessful (they were absolutely amazing though!), it meant Jason was starved of oxygen for quite some time.

I am told it is difficult to deliver a small baby naturally in a hospital setting but delivering a small baby who is breech and at home is much harder, however even now this doesn’t bring me much comfort.

Eventually Jason was born and he was alive. However, he was rushed off before I got a chance to see him.

My husband held him briefly while helping to deliver him and felt those first few breaths. 

Jason lived for 37 minutes before he died. Due to health issues Jason’s heart struggled to cope with the lack of oxygen during labour which caused his death.  

My husband and I dealt with Jason’s death very differently.

I looked for support through Instagram from other parents who had lost their baby. I found it comforting to talk to other bereaved parents and included Jason as much as I could in conversations. 

My husband wasn’t able to talk about it. Three years on and he still cannot say Jason’s name.  

It was through receiving leaflets from our bereavement midwife that we learnt of Sands and we decided to help them by asking for donations to them when Jason was born.

I found that through Sands I was able to reach out to others in a similar situation to us.

Jason will always be my first child and loved so much. I miss him always.

Picture: Memories of baby Jason.

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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