We found out we were pregnant in December 2005, we weren't trying for a baby, so it was a shock. My GP confirmed my pregnancy and was elated, as he has been my G.P since I was young. He referred me to the midwives and wished me a gentle pregnancy. I had my booking in appointment

January 2006, followed by the dating scan in February at 13weeks + 1day.

I had the usual morning sickness, dizziness, went off coffee (still cannot drink it to this day), but none of that mattered I was just so happy being pregnant.  We had decided not to find out our baby's sex at our 20 week scan, we had already made our minds up that 'Junior' was going to be a boy. It's funny how you just have that feeling and you ‘know’. At our 20 week scan, Junior was not playing, he had buried himself down low and had his back to us. The sonographer was laughing, as she told us all looked well. We were offered the usual tests, but we declined, it didn't matter if our baby was going to be born with difficulties we would love him no matter what. 

The summer of 2006 was a hot one, I developed oedema in May, and I went to all my appointments. Junior was growing well, heartbeat fine. I was told to rest my legs when I could to try and reduce the oedema.  Everything was a rush now, trying to get the nursery decorated, ordering the pram, getting all of Junior's clothes, bottles and other equipment ready.
 
I had my midwives appointment on the 24th July when I informed her that my ankles were now 11 inches round, again I was just told to rest, which I did.

Wednesday 26th July was a hot day, I had spent time in the garden, relaxing, my sister in law had been around for tea, and had left at 9.45. I went for a shower, as I felt that the baby was going to come tonight. Call it mother’s instinct; I just knew I was going into hospital that night. As I got out of the shower Junior gave me the biggest kick I had ever had, this was the last time he moved. 

Shortly afterwards the pains started, every 15 min, then they went to eight, I told Alan and he telephoned for an ambulance. By now the pain was constant. We arrived at the hospital and the young midwife ran the sonic aid across my bump........ We heard nothing. Telling us that the batteries where gone, she left the room and returned with another midwife and machine. Once more they ran it across my bump. The older midwife told the other one to go and get the scanner, and to page the doctor. I kept asking 'where is my baby's heartbeat', 'find my baby's heartbeat please'. Her response was 'the machines are broken'.

When the doctor arrived, he scanned me, he then looked at me and said 'Jane there is no easy way to say this, your baby has died'. Alan started to cry, I looked at him and said 'what are you crying for? There is nothing wrong with the baby, he's lying, the baby is fine'. 

I was induced, given injection after injection of diamorphine, blood transfusions, artery drips, I was ill; I had developed pre-eclampsia during labour. I really cannot remember much of my labour. And to this day I cannot remember our son being born; I think I have blocked it out of my memory. 
 
Alan Richard Sturgeon was born asleep 28th July 2006 at 02.30. Weighing 5lb 13ozs he was approximately a foot long with dark brown hair, our Peter Crouch. Alan stayed with us for 24 hours, I could not hold him, I was scared that I would hurt him, and to be honest I really didn't believe he was gone. He was to perfect to be an angel. 

I still could not grieve or cry for my son, I didn't want to believe he wasn't coming home with us. Looking at him, willing him to breath, to move, was the worst experience of my life. I finally held my son 3 days later, I had this pain in my chest and I knew that it was my love for our son, and that if I didn't hold him, this pain would never go away. 

We buried Alan on his due date the 10th of August. We all stood around a tiny coffin, burying your only child, people crying, me looking around bewildered, thinking in my head, why are we here, why us, why our baby.

At our consultants appointment we were told that Alan had became an angel due to placental abruption, and they are querying growth restriction. They have put a plan in place for my next pregnancy. 

A friend put me in touch with Sands; I joined the online message forum. I spoke to people who knew what we were going through and I realised that we were not alone. I cried for my son, for myself, for my family. For what is and what could have been. Those words If only...

Now 17 months on, it has been a rollercoaster, but I am stronger. I remember Alan as a perfect sleeping angel. I can laugh again, I smile when I think of Alan, remember those times we had. I am proud to be his mummy, he chose me.
I thank Sands and my friends on the message forum, for being there, for helping me get through my grief. 

Thank you

Jane XXXX