I became pregnant at 18 and in no way did I think anything could go wrong. I thought that I was invincible. I thought that bad things happened when the women drank and took drugs throughout their pregnancy. How wrong could I be?
Here is my story about my little girl Faye who died aged 9 days….
I was having a normal pregnancy, ‘text book’ I think they call it. I was enjoying the most amazing feeling of being a mummy.
Faye was born at 31 weeks gestation, the hospital had thought that she wouldn’t be delivered for at least two weeks, therefore didn’t believe I was in labour until she was practically entering this world.
It was the most amazing feeling hearing her cry for the first time. Although I didn’t get to see her for long as she was whisked away to the Neonatal Unit.
It must have been another hour before I got to see her properly, it was so distressing not being able to touch my baby. I couldn’t breathe in her smell or touch her silky hair.
Faye was quite big compared to some of the other babies in the unit, so I assumed that she couldn’t get sick.
For two days I didn’t get to hold her, the longing I had to hold her overwhelmed me.
Finally we got to hold her, to cuddle her. She felt so small.
We took some photographs, one with her daddy, but sadly I never had a photograph taken with her. How I wish now that I taken more photos. How I wish that I had a photo of me and my little girl together.
At seven days old Faye got sick.
The doctors said it was suspected Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC), she was taken for an operation. That night I could not function, even breathing seemed difficult. How could my baby be sick? Was it something I had done? Maybe my breast milk wasn’t good enough?
So many questions go through your mind, so many ifs and buts.
After what seems like days but in reality just hours the doctor came to tell us how the operation had gone.
Good news! It wasn’t as fatal as they first thought, it was such a relief to hear that my little girl would be ok.
We went back to the neonatal unit to see Faye, my beautiful baby looked so pale, so fragile. She was on a ventilator, it was so daunting seeing so many tubes, seeing my baby’s chest moving up and down. She had been sedated, so she wasn’t aware that we were there.
We left the ward to go home to change and get some rest, my mother in law came to see Faye, so my husband took her into the ward. I stayed in the waiting room. That would have been the last time I saw Faye alive.
That night the mobile rang, we were told to come quick.
It seemed like we were in a dream, things seemed to be moving in slow motion. We ran to her nursery. Doctors were all around her and we were not allowed to go into the room.
I wish I could have been with Faye the last few moments she was alive.
A nurse brought Faye to us in a family room, my dad, my mother and sister in law came to support us and to see Faye.
For some reason I felt that I was in the way in the family room, nobody made me feel like that but my feeling at the time was that my baby had died so I had no need to be in a neonatal ward.
We left around an hour later, I now feel like I should have stayed longer. I should have been there for my little girl.
At the time I didn’t know what I wanted, I was too distraught to even think. The only things I could say was ‘Open you eyes Faye’ and to my husband ‘I can’t keep her warm’.
Nine days after she had left us, we held her ‘leaving service’. Beforehand we went to see Faye in the funeral directors, I was not prepared for how she had changed, I could not recognise my little girl anymore. The little girl who was in my tummy had already gone.
They say time is a great healer and in a way it is. The pain of losing your baby never goes away, that constant ache in your heart remains but, as the days pass, you learn to live with your grief. The best way to deal with your pain is to talk, don’t feel like you’re upsetting people, as people need to know.
You will be sick of hearing all the usual sayings ‘You’re young, you can have another one’, ‘Life goes on’.
Even the most supportive people around you can be insensitive. Sometimes people just don’t know what to say or how to behave but you have to remember, would you have a couple of weeks ago?
I made a promise to Faye, and that was to keep her memory alive. I will continue this promise forever and always.
You must remember you are and always will be, a very special angel mummy.
Sweet dreams Faye.
Kate, proud mummy to Faye born 26/08/06