My baby-loss story began with my first pregnancy. The pregnancy was unexpected; so I was sent for a scan to see how far along I was. We were pleasantly surprised to discover this 11-week baby, with a heartbeat. We were going to be parents!
A week later I began to bleed, I had stomach pains. I went to the toilet and saw what I thought was the baby. We returned for a scan; before the sonographer turned the screen I could clearly see the empty space before us.
My early pregnancy bliss ended that day.
I did go on to have two healthy children.
I ended up with a marriage break down and then the new relationship. Within six months I found myself pregnant, but it was once again shortlived, where I was taken to the hospital via ambulance and found we had once again had a miscarriage along with a ruptured ovarian cyst.
It was just one of those things.
Nine months later another miscarriage occurred. It had become almost normal now; I blamed myself – I had no idea whether I would be able to have a baby with my new partner.
We Did It! – Melody’s Story
We married the following year and decided to try as soon as possible. After four months we discovered my new pregnancy. There was no way I could get excited. We had never gotten very far before. Then the spotting and cramps began, this started our regular scans and check-ups. To begin with, it was assumed I was having an ectopic pregnancy; they could be sure of the location. With scans every 10 days it was a slow process to see if the pregnancy was a viable one. The heartbeat eventually started.
We ticked off to twelve weeks; at 16 weeks I began to bleed a little, this continued until 18 weeks. We failed to find the hope we desperately wanted.
But at 20-week scan when we had been informed everything was perfect we started to breathe a little. Our thoughts on baby-loss began to lessen.
A Hope Faulted
We had been given a caesarian date; I had even been given the option to have a VBA2C (Vaginal birth after two caesarian sections), everything looked great.
Then I became ill, I developed pre-eclampsia from 23 weeks, it was closely kept an eye on until at 26+3; where I was admitted into the hospital with a view to delivering in 10-12 days time.
At 26+5 weeks I became seriously ill, where I needed one to one care. By the next morning things had slowly calmed down, I was allowed back to the normal ward. Ready to continue my wait for our baby.
The next thing was a whirlwind, where the doctor said he was to check my blood results to see if I could eat after he had put me as nil by mouth earlier that day. But within three minutes, he rushed passed my bed stating he was to book a cot in NICU and that he would see me in theatre. I had developed HELLP syndrome; I was moments from fitting. My urine was dark brown, I really wasn’t well.
Born weighing 1lb 5oz, our miniature hero was born squeaking and kicking. She flew past the expectations she was set. She was meant to be on a ventilator for 10 days, she ended up being on it for 24 hours, where she moved to CPAP; then Vapotherm (which is high flow oxygen therapy). She did amazingly. Smacked the cardiologist, passed her brain scans, she was clear from brain damage and cerebral palsy. She pulled 8-12 feeding tubes out a day. She even tried to latch on to a feed before she was old enough.
The PDA she was born with had almost closed.
About 15 days after she was born we were given a discharge date, they were really pleased with her, we were just waiting for her to put on weight. Everything was planning and set to go.
Her survival rate had gone from 80 to 100%.
She smiled, burped milk out of her tube, loved her siblings. Knew her own mind. She was a person, a teeny tiny miniature human.
The day before she died, we visited my son saw her out of the incubator for the first time. I made plans with the nurses for the next day to have a girly day, with Melody and my eldest daughter. There were talks of her having her first cuddle. Death wasn’t in the plans.
The next morning we had a call to request us to go to the unit, Melody wasn’t feeling well. We never, ever expected her to die.
It wasn’t until we got to the unit did we get just 15 minutes to say goodbye. Fifteen minutes to switch off her life support machine, she’d only been placed on it just hours before.
At five weeks old, our miniature hero died.
Sepsis had taken hold of her, and there was no way of her fighting it. Our baby girl died.
It was a completely different kind of pain to that of the miscarriages I had suffered; definitely something I will never heal from or get better.
We had to switch her life support off and watch her die, we could feel her leave us; it is the most painful thing I have ever gone through. I really will never get over it.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get the most appropriate of aftercare. Too old, too young. Didn’t die the right way. We felt so incredibly isolated. No memory box, no leaflets which fitted our loss. It made our healing process harder. She never ever got to come home. We’re constantly in this limbo.
This was why we decided to set Little Daffodils up to support as many of the families members as we can, Mums and Dads as well as siblings.
Melody and Me
I have had two babies since her death; we have also had miscarriages too, but everything has changed for us.
As a family we advocate, talk openly for the babies who live and then die.
I took to writing; it began here where it became a safe place for me to say exactly what I have felt over these years.
Would love for you to take a look at our journey; if you have been affected; I am here to listen.