Oliver's Story

I was so shocked when I found out I was pregnant. I've always wanted to be a mum, we just did not think it would be that soon. We did a few home pregnancy tests and they came back negative so I was not hopeful. But my partner was convinced so we went to the GP.  I went in on my own and made my partner wait outside. At first it appeared negative but the nurse assured me that I would have to wait for the full 5 minutes. Gradually a faint line appeared. I just wanted to scream in excitement, I was going to be a mum. It was indeed the happiest day of my life. I could not wait to tell my partner. The look on his face when I came out of the room was indescribable, he was proud as punch. 

I had a terrible first trimester, I was constantly sick every morning and through the night for at least 8 weeks. At the time I was working both early morning and early evening shifts and I was constantly tired all the time. However at my regular check ups everything was fine.

The date for my 12 week scan came around which made me and my partner very excited, getting to see our little miracle for the first time. Our baby was growing strong, with a strong heartbeat and it made us so proud. 

Later on as the pregnancy progressed I started to feel like my old self again, it was fantastic. I was able to go a full day without needing a nap and eat a lot more and I started to fully enjoy and appreciate being pregnant.

At around 19 weeks pregnant I felt our baby move for the first time, it was amazing, the best feeling in the world. It made me feel like the happiest person alive. My baby was moving around which meant everything was going ok.

2 weeks later was my 20week scan, we were excited, we were going to find out what we were having, our prince or princess. Once all the checks were complete the moment of long anticipation was finally there. We were having a boy! My dreams were coming true I was so happy, words cannot describe.  We named him Oliver.

Everything was going fine up until around 22 weeks when I started getting bad headaches and swelling in my feet. I put these symptoms down to general pregnancy side effects.

At my 25-week check up, my midwife was concerned as I had traces of protein in my urine and my blood pressure was elevated slightly. She didn’t want to take any chances so sent me to the pregnancy assessment unit at our local hospital. I was sent home and told to come back in a week’s time.

However, that weekend I had serious abdominal pains, my partner wanted to take me to the hospital but the pain subsided with paracetomol. On the Monday, he rang the midwife and she came round to check on me. My blood pressure was increasingly high and there was a lot more protein in my urine. There was no debate, I was rushed straight back in to the pregnancy assessment unit where I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia.

On Tuesday evening I was transferred to a hospital with a specialist neonatal unit where they really looked after me. They took the time and effort to make sure I got everything I needed. They give me steroid injections to help Oliver's lungs in case he had to get delivered early. They explained to me for the sake of my life and Oliver's life that I would not make it full term and I would have to give birth to Oliver early. We had set milestones the first being 28 weeks. I got a scan on Wednesday afternoon to measure the blood flow from the placenta to Oliver and it was not good. Oliver had stopped getting most of the nutrients he needed at around 25 weeks therefore he had stopped growing. I was mortified. 

I was determined to make it to at least 28 weeks, I felt fine during the stay in hospital I did not fully understand why I had to stay in hospital. However on Thursday night I started to get extreme pains in my abdomen. The midwife gave me some pain relief but they didn’t work and I was in complete agony by Friday morning. I was determined to make it to the 28-week mark, just a mere day away, however the consultant said that Oliver needed to be delivered that day.

I rang my partner and told him to get in straight away. This was at around 9am. Around 11am the consultant came to see me and said Oliver would have to be delivered as soon as possible or I could die. I was booked for a c-section around 2pm that day. I was so scared but relieved my partner was there. In between 11am and going for my c-section I had a lot of nurses, doctors and midwifes looking after me in turns. I was never left alone. A member of the neonatal staff came around to see us to tell us what they would be doing whilst taking care of Oliver and told us that the first 24 hours were the most critical. However they have looked after babies from 24 weeks and they survived so I had full confidence in letting him and the staff take care of our little angel.

At 2.30pm I got taken to the delivery suite. I was given an epidural. I felt totally relaxed and not in pain after all the pain I had been in all night. I even fell asleep during the c-section. 

At 3.14pm our beautiful baby boy was born at a mere 1lb 9.5oz, he was tiny but he was our little miracle. He came out crying which was amazing to hear. His cute whimper was like music to our ears. I briefly got to see him before they took him around the neonatal unit and I got taken to the high dependency unit as I was seriously unwell.

I was in and out of sleep the whole day after that. My partner went to see our little angel and came back with a picture of Oliver in incubator. I felt so proud, he looked so perfect. I was promised that if my blood pressure went down dramatically by the next day I could go and see him.

In the morning the midwife rang up the neonatal unit before her shift was over and he had had a really good night. I was over the moon my little Oliver had made it through the night. My partner arrived just before 10am.  When he went to see Oliver, I told him to give him a kiss from me. Still proud as punch, nothing could spoil this sense of joy I was feeling, until a member of staff from the neonatal unit came and told me I had to go to Oliver as it was not looking good. 

They pumped me full of blood pressure medication and took me off the machines before taking me to him. They were working on Oliver and my partner's face broke my heart. They told me there was nothing they could do, they had been working on him for 15 minutes and could not bring him back.  They asked me if I wanted to hold him. Of course I wanted to hold him, our precious little boy. He looked so perfect and in peace. He did not look in pain. I could not believe it at first, I just stared at my little boy for what seemed forever. Then it hit me and I could not stop crying. Our baby had died. 

My partner phoned my family and told them to come straight away, it was heartbreaking seeing how upset they were.  We got Oliver blessed that day.  The staff at the hospital said Oliver could stay with us for as long as we wanted. We kept him with us for that day and night and most of the next day to give my partner's family time to come and say goodbye to our little angel too. 

We all got pictures taken with him, although it was a sad time and photos might not have seemed like a good idea but we wanted no regrets. 

The hospital were fantastic to us, they gave us a memory box. We got Oliver's hand and footprint done in clay and ink prints too. It was beautiful. 

I got to hold my baby for as long as I could. On the Sunday, when the midwife finally took Oliver from my arms I collapsed and my partner had to catch me. I sobbed hysterically. They did say they could bring him back to us again but I could not have him brought back only to have him taken away from us again. No mother wants to say goodbye to her baby, it is not right, it is not natural but it happens more than what we believe.

Oliver was loved from the second he was conceived and still is loved. I love my little boy more than I love life itself.

It's been two weeks today since my little angel was born and he lived for 19 hours. Our little fighter survived 19 hours.

Oliver sadly passed as he had internal bleeding in his lungs and began to hemorrhage.

I would have not been able to get through this hard time if it was not for the love and support from family and friends and the hospital staff but most importantly my partner. I thank everyone who was there for us during this sad time. I mostly thank my partner for keeping so strong for me during it all and taken care of me throughout it all. I would not know what I would do without him. He’s my rock.

Our little Angel Oliver ... Born 14.06.13 at 15.14. 

Sadly passed ... 15.06.13 at 10.44.

He was my little hero and in the future we will be giving Oliver a brother or sister.

Nicole Roberts