On Wednesday 15th December 2010 my beautiful baby girl, Megan, was born sleeping.
The previous week I had noticed a lack of movement from my baby but as I was still quite early on I never rushed to seek advice about it (I didn’t feel movements with my first pregnancy until 19 weeks, at this point i was 16 weeks). On Friday 10th December I had my 16 week ante-natal appointment, the MW was unable to trace baby’s heartbeat but told me not to worry, informed me to monitor movement over the weekend and make contact with Community Midwifes on Monday if I was concerned.
Monday morning came with no movements over the weekend, by this point I was getting quite concerned so contacted the Community Midwives, they were quite happy for me to go in for checking. I arrived at the Maternity Unit and was taken through to the ward where all the new mums were with their new babies as the Midwives office is through there. I was shown to a bed in a 4 bed room on my own and a Doppler was used to try and trace babies heartbeat, first attempt found nothing. A second attempt was tried about 15 minutes later, as I was advised to take a walk around and drink some water to no avail. A third attempt was tried a little while later when one of the senior midwives was in the building, by this point I was becoming really concerned but I couldn’t help but feeling I was wasting their time so didn’t show my panic too much until the senior midwife explained she was going to get approval from a consultant to get me scanned… this was when I knew things were going to change. At first I wasn’t given approval for a scan, so I drank more water, moved around more and had a Doppler test again, still no heartbeat.
At this point the senior midwife over ruled the consultant and took me over to the scanning department to have a scan. I had to sit for a few minutes whilst other pregnant women had their scans but I was soon seen.
I was shown through to the scan room, settled on the bed and was informed not to look at the screen for the start whilst the sonographer looked in and investigated, so I spent a minute or two looking from my husband to the midwife for their facial expressions. There was no change from either of them, until my husband looked at me, he didn’t smile. I immediately looked at the screen it didn’t take long for me to focus, there was my baby, a tiny little ball all curled up, no movement, no heartbeat. My world collapsed.
Measurements of my baby were taken, and I was informed that she had died at roughly 15w3d and my dates for Monday 13th December were 16w4d.
Everything from here on is really blurred, from the scan I was taken back to the original ward (with all the new mums); I remember walking through being guided by the midwife and looking at the floor. I didn’t want to show my pain to all the happy new mums. I was taken to a private room, at the back of the ward where my husband and I were given a drink and tissues and were informed that the MW was going to call for a doctor to discuss our options, she would be back soon.
I remember sitting talking to husband, ringing my mum in an absolute mess and also ringing a colleague at work as I was due to go back to work after going to hospital. Shortly after the midwife came back with the doctor to discuss my options. I don’t remember the options provided to me, but I remember that I choose to have the option of having a tablet to soften my cervix to then be induced 48 hours later. After having the tablet I was able to go home.
Monday afternoon and Tuesday were a real blur, I remember Tuesday afternoon begging to go back to hospital as I was in pain and wanted this to all be over. The pain was caused by the tablets working, feeling heavy in my cervix but I wasn’t going to give birth then, I knew that. DH called the midwives explained how I was feeling but I was advised there was nothing they could do for me if I went back into hospital apart from give me my own room and give me paracetamol so I stayed home and had pain killers there.
Tuesday night I don’t remember, apart from having next to no sleep that night. Wednesday morning I woke really early and remember thinking that I really didn’t want to have to cope with today, wished someone else to take my place for the day. My heartache was unbearable.
My MIL & BIL came round for 8am to look after my DS for the day, and DH and I set off to the hospital for 9am. I had to go to a different ward, the ward I was induced in when I gave birth to DS. I was shown to a private room, for women in my situation where partners can stay also.
After I was briefly shown around the room/facilities, the treatment was started for the induction of Megan’s birth. 4 tablets were inserted around my cervix (like with the prostyn jelly) and I was instructed to lie still for at least 30minutes.
It took about 3 hours for the contractions to really kick in, I was given paracetamol to help ease the pain and was offered gas and air which I accepted but to only use if I really needed it… I really didn’t want to use it unless necessary as I was never able to do anything for my little girl in life so I didn’t want to be drugged so I’d never remember her after the birth.
4 hours after the first lot of medication I was having really heavy contractions, but my waters hadn’t broken at this point so I was given more medication which had to be taken orally. From here things really hotted up, within 45 minutes I was really uncomfortable. I remember being offered lunch, I was feeling rather weak so accepted I needed to eat to keep going. Whilst waiting for lunch to arrive my waters broke, this was it… the beginning of the end. I was going to meet my baby girl anytime soon.
After my waters broke I remember the contractions really calming down to next to nothing but I could feel my baby coming. Within 20minutes she was delivered.
My world literally collapsed at this point, I was inconsolable. The MW asked if I wanted to see my baby, I said I couldn’t right at that moment but I would like to later once I’d calmed down.
I really don’t remember much after this, all I remember is my sandwich was cheese and tomato and the bread was so dry it was awful but I needed to eat because I felt so weak.
A couple of hours later I got to see my baby, perfectly formed, she looked so helpless. I’ll never forget her, she was placed on a fleece blanket in a little wicker basket. Her arms were crossed on her chest and had a little duvet over her. So peaceful.
Looking back now, I wish I’d have spent some time alone with her, touched her, comforted her… all I did was push her away, I was in shock. All I have now is this guilt feeling inside of me and 2 blurred pictures of her that the hospital provided to me. Thankfully the picture in my head is so strong, I’ll never forget her.