I became a 1 in 4 statistic in 2003. My first pregnancy ended with a negative outcome. Two successful pregnancies, I added to the statistics again in 2010…twice, and recently in 2014.
But I am mainly honouring the memory of Melody, who is in a strange statistic, an almost forgotten one at that. There is a lot of mention when the media talk out about miscarriage and stillbirth.
Numbers need to be reduced to the numbers of miscarriage and stillbirth. That is the facts.
She falls almost onto Neonatal Death, but was technically too old to be..even at 35 days..5 weeks she has been deemed too old a few times.
There is more to it, than her being a Neonatal Death. She didn’t die “just” because she was premature
At 26+6 weeks she was born kicking and squeaking, feisty from before they cut the cord. I was the poorly one not her. Melody was supposed to be ventilated for 10 days. She barely made it 24 hours, breathing by herself, onto cpap for a further 24, then to Vapotherm, where she remained until the night before her death.
When I say feisty, she pulled feeding tubes out 12 times a day, she slapped the cardiologist whilst he gave her checks. There appeared to be no obvious signs of cerebral palsy from her early arrival.
Roughly three weeks in to our NICU journey we were given a discharge date, we were waiting for her to gain weight.
She was amazing, born at 1lb 5oz, cried when didn’t get her way, burped milk out of her tube, loved mummy cuddles, and of course pooing everywhere for daddy. She even gave her siblings a makings of her first smile, in what ended up being her final week.
She had an off day, needed a blood transfusion, which is perfectly normal for premature baby, they have so many blood tests, they don’t have a lot of reserves, caused an apnoea, scared mummy. But she came round and was getting back to herself. But wasn’t 100%
She then had an eye test, an eye test that can make babies poorly, we hadn’t had the discussion, but found out after. She became poorly. It was touch and go.
The Saturday, she was amazing, out for cuddles, her brother saw her out of the incubator for the first time. Perfect.
Sunday morning, we had the phone call. Reached the unit to hear “She won’t survive”
I hate that woman. I hate the smell, I hate the bakery I had food from during my pregnancy, the cafe we sat in after she died. The butter box that was once destined for the bin, was now our memory box.The hospital for leaving her to “wait and see” for 6 hours.
She should have come home May 15th 2012, her due date was 22nd May 2012.
But she lived, then died before that. 1st April of all days.
I don’t really like sharing her whole outcome. But its the way it is, I can’t sugar coat it, and at times, sugar really cannot hide the bitter taste, that we couldn’t take Melody home.
It is only recently, she is now teaching me things, to find the light the darkest of places, to hold my head high, be proud of the fact that yes I have a daughter who died, she brought me a whole new awareness through my pregnancies after, to let us have her two new sisters.
The pride I have always had for her older siblings, has only swelled more, who have no idea what a taboo in regards to baby loss is. Melody will put forward a new generation of people who will not be afraid to talk about loss,
“How do you get over something like this” You don’t, don’t expect us to either.
“You’re so brave” I’m not brave, bravery doesn’t come into this.
My hero is Melody…not a tear left her poorly eyes that morning.
Melody lives on through me, through all of us. We have found our own way of coping.
Worst thing is having people ignore us.
We are allowed to cry.
Born 13:46 Sunday 26th February 2012
23 cm long, 670g 1lb 5oz
Died 09:30 Sunday 1st April 2013