July 30 1966. The day that England won the World Cup! That date will be forever etched in my memory. My baby was due on July 31st, but he waited until August 11th to make his debut! We already had two little boys, the first one who we adopted because we were told, after various tests, that we were unlikely to have a baby of our own. Then 17 months later along came our own first born baby. Life seemed complete when I found out I was pregnant again.
This time it seemed that, as I had already had a trouble free birth, I was persuaded to have a 'home delivery', so arrangements were set in place. About a fortnight before his due date I visited my GP for a routine prenatal checkup. I told her that I hadn't felt the baby move for a while, but she declared baby was resting, but his heart was still beating well.
The morning of August 11th my labour pains started. The midwife was informed and my husband decided to call in sick for work. He was kept busy that morning, phoning for gas and air to be delivered, and then for the GP as the midwife couldn't get the baby to breathe properly.
Things moved quickly after that. My husband then phoned for an ambulance, & the doctor left for the hospital with my baby. She wouldn't allow me to hold him as he was so poorly, but at least she let me have a good look at him. He had blond curly hair, just like his brother who had been born 13 months before. I was told not to worry as he needed his airways to be cleared so he could breathe properly. Oh - and what was he to be called as they may christen him at the hospital?
Just over 2 hours later a second midwife arrived with a bouquet of roses which she said she had picked from her own garden. then she gave me the terrible news that my baby had died. The worst part was when she asked for my permission for him to have a postmortem.
I can remember screaming that I didn't want him to be cut to pieces! I still hadn't held him in my arms had I?
Eventually I gave my consent, but it wasn't much consolation for the results to show that he had had a brain haemorrhage about a week before he was born.
I never was allowed to go to the hospital to see him. Years later I discovered that my hubby had told them I wouldn't be going to the hospital. But it was too late then! I realised he had thought it better that I never saw him again. I didn't even get to go to his burial either!
That was 52 years ago, when no bereaved mothers got the care and counselling they needed. Thankfully times have changed for the better. I went on to have a little girl and another boy and luckily they are still fit and well and have been a total delight to us.
But every year on his birthday I still grieve for him.