14 babies die before, during or shortly after birth every day in the UK and my son, Elijah, is sadly now part of that statistic when he grew his wings at just 2 days old on 12th April 2019. I'm doing #Challenge14 this February 22nd to help save babies' lives.
#Challenge15 was created two years ago to challenge the appalling fact that 15 babies died each day. But thanks to fundraisers like me, supporting the work Sands does, Sands has played a crucial role in helping reduce the number of babies dying each day to 14.This new year I am part of something amazing. I'm taking on #Challenge14 and making this number matter.
If you want to get involved, sign up to Challenge14 by clicking here.
My baby boy Elijah was born 10th April 2019 at 2.42pm at 40+5 weeks, natural birth with no pain relief but they had to break my waters because he pooped inside me, he came out and he was huge 9lb 15 and 53cm long.
He was put on me then swiftly taken away, he was taken down to the NICU to clear his airways but soon was back with me crying away. We had skin to skin but he wouldn’t eat and I really wanted to breastfeed him.
He looked very sleepy but he opened one off his eyes and looked up at me, not knowing that would be the first and last time he will ever lay eyes on me, such a beautiful brown eye it was...
My eldest son Malachi (19 months old) came to meet his brother, been waiting for this day for 9 months. Sitting on the hospital bed, daydreaming off when we’ll be at home together and Malachi helping out handing me the wipes as I change his baby brother on the carpet.
I already envisioned the photos of them together we would take, my two boys, my bodyguards for life. My son Malachi pointing at his little brother then back at me, I think he realises that’s the baby we’ve been talking about and he is no longer in mommy’s tummy.
He held his brothers hand and tickled his feet.. “Aww he’s gonna be a great big brother”, I thought. It was 9pm and he was taken back to the NICU because they was worried about his oxygen levels, I was totally oblivious to what was going on because I was waiting to get my stitches done.
Finally they took me to theatre and as I was there they came to inform me he was going to get taken for a MRI scan because he kept having seizures... I just wanted to go give him a cuddle but I couldn’t because my legs was numb from the medication.. It was 3am I got taken in a wheelchair to see him..
He had a brain bleed on one side off his brain, they had to take him to Birmingham Children’s Hospital, I couldn’t go because I was still recovering from surgery the night before, it was 8am.
I didn’t have any sleep, I cried that night, I felt like my baby was all alone. It was the afternoon and I got discharged, went home got a change off clothes saw the car seat waiting at the door, “next time I see it my baby boy Elijah will be in it”, I thought to myself.
I was so excited to bring him home, his Moses basket was ready by my bed, I was looking forward to the sleepless nights again and the little size one diapers all ready for him to come home to.
They said he was going to have surgery to drain the blood from his brain, I thought that everything was gonna be okay and we’ll be home soon, not knowing the horrible news that awaits me...
My son was laying there motionless, a million wires and tubes all around his bed, he was on life support, his brain was failing, he had a stroke and the back off his brain was shutting down, the bleeding has spread, there’s nothing they could do..
The next day they talked us through what’s going to happen, I heard the specialist say “he won’t survive”...
Those three words felt like a sword slicing my heart into pieces, those three words are every parents worst nightmare...
They took the machine off as I held him in my arms. He took his last breath. His lips as pale as his face. His heart still beating.. slower.. slower.. until he was gone. My perfect baby boy.. gone.. My 2 day old baby.. My tears fall on his face as I held him close..
Everything around me just disappeared as I held on to his cold lifeless body, not caring that I was still recovering from his birth, in pain and bleeding through my clothes.. I didn’t care.. I just wanted to stay there, I didn’t want to leave him, I couldn’t..
I didn’t want to let him go. How do you do that? How do you carry a baby for 9 months dream up your whole life around them and then 2 days later they are not here? How did this happen? My pregnancy was just like the first one. How do I get to keep one son and not the other? Did I do something wrong? Was it me? Did I do too much? Did I do too little? What? How? Why?..
The next day I got him changed, he didn’t look pale, he looked like he looked the day he was born.. My beautiful boy.. It just doesn’t seem real..
Moses basket still beside my bed but no baby in it.
Leaking milk but no baby to drink it.
Baby clothes folded in the draws never to be worn by my beautiful baby boy..