As part of Sands 40th anniversary, we have collected 40 stories by 40 parents, family members and friends affected by the death of a baby, helping them cope and feel less isolated in their grief. These stories are powerful in helping us end the taboo of talking about baby loss and raise awareness of stillbirth and neonatal deaths. Discover 40 stories for #Sands40
In May 2014 I mentioned to a friend I hadn’t felt much movement for a few days. She said go home poke, prod, drink a pint of water and sit and try and feel.
I did this and felt nothing so I got out my heart Doppler. I had used this with my son and always found a heartbeat. Up until that point I had always heard it with my daughter.
I immediately went into panic mode phoning my husband telling him to get home quick to look after our son as I needed to go to hospital.
I phoned the labour ward and told them I was on my way and then collected my mum on route. I knew my baby had gone. I was 34 weeks.
They got me in immediately and used their heart Doppler. They found nothing except my erratic heartbeat.
They said: “Sorry we can’t find a heartbeat but we will scan you to make sure.” The scan confirmed our daughter had gone. I felt devastated and had to go home knowing I was about to give birth to our stillborn baby.
Two nights later I went into natural labour with no pain relief, and five hours later I pushed her out and asked if she was OK just in case.
We spent an hour with her then rushed home to our son - something I really regretted. The post-mortem revealed she had Down’s syndrome and died of a heart condition.
Little did I know that four years later, I would have to go through the same thing again. This time our son Isaac who we found out had a congenital diaphragmatic hernia. Unfortunately it was so severe his lungs would not be able to develop at all and his heart was on the wrong side with extra problems.
We decided to terminate at 22 weeks but when we were scanned before delivery they told us the placenta had become detached and he only would of had lived for about 24 hours, so he would have passed away anyway, which was a huge relief to hear that we had made the right decision. A decision no one should ever have to make.
It was a natural birth and he was so very loved like his sister. I spent eight hours holding him then went back to the hospital three times to visit him with our two children, something I regretted not doing with my daughter.
It is so important to do what is right for you as a mum. If you want to sit with your baby for two days, do it. You are their mum and have every right to do what you feel is right for your grieving.
I have many, many pictures of both of my babies and they will always be spoken about in our house.
I have four children. Two are asleep in bed and two are asleep at the church where we laid them to rest. I shall visit them every week.
Life just isn’t fair sometimes but we have to look forward and embrace what we have and live every moment to the fullest for them.
Sadly 1 in 4 pregnancies in the UK end in miscarriage or stillbirth. This means every 90 minutes a family experiences this devastating tragedy. We want to reduce this number, but we need your help.
Support Sands today to help ensure that anyone affected by the death of a baby receives the care and support they need, whenever they need it. Be part of our ambition to reduce the number of babies dying. Thank you!