Here is the diary of the first few months following the death, before birth, of a much-loved and wanted child.
The story is brought right up to date, end of 2012.
The process of grieving, memories, and what next?
REMOVALS AND DELIVERIES
The pregnancy was nearly 8 months; I kept counting the dates, the markers that all would be well, passing the key time: 12 weeks, 20 weeks, the scans, the first movements, half way, 24 weeks, 28 weeks, 32 weeks, and the home straight. The nearer the goal, the more likely the baby would survive, even if born early. Willing Freda to make it, nearly there.
Not really thinking anything could go wrong at this stage. More worried about when the baby would arrive, would the house move and uncertainty mean that baby arrived early. Joking with Ed about the removals men have to deal with deliveries, and stop off at the N&N. Thinking maybe the baby would be early, and not late this time, because of all the stresses. Wanting everything to be ready first. Joking that it would be when I relaxed after the house move; wanting to get the unpacking finished so I could concentrate on the nursery and the hospital bag. Not wanting to put it off any longer.
The next weekend was my deadline for having the bag packed ready. Wondering if the sister-in-law would be in the country on time, or what we would do with David if the baby arrived early. Feeling “not yet, I’m not ready yet, I need more time”. Getting very uncomfortable and fed up with the aches and pains, the difficulty sleeping and turning over in bed.
We had the 36 week appointment at the hospital a week early, because of the Bank Holiday. It was worrying because protein was found in the urine, had to repeat for further testing. Was it an infection, or pre-eclampsia, but they didn’t think that was likely and results were only mildly positive. The blood pressure was really high, and the second test with the doctor was even higher (but the doctor was young, busy, with his bleeper going).
The nurse quizzed me, obviously concerned in case it was pre-eclampsia, but that is more to be expected with a first pregnancy, not a later one. Sent off for blood tests, and very worried, but they just said the midwife would test again two days later which was a home visit. Relaxed after we left the hospital, and Ed went back to work; just assumed we were worrying unnecessarily.
The midwife came on the Wednesday, the home visit, talking about procedures for the hospital, etc. The urine test was negative. The blood pressure was still high. Warned to rest or I might end up in hospital. Took it seriously, told Ed I had to rest.
The next day, Thursday, I was home with David, just having a quiet pottering around day. In the afternoon took the pushchair out to the Post Office, the hill was rather steep. Ed had to stay very late at work, so I tried to relax and follow a gentle routine, getting David to bed in good time, and hoping Ed wouldn’t be too late home.
He phoned at 6.30pm to say he had no idea what time he would finish, let alone be heading home. I got David in bed for 7pm. Then as I moved to put him in his cot he started to hit me, as he does when he is not amused that it is bedtime. I put him in his cot straight away because suddenly I just wanted to burst into tears. I couldn’t understand why I was so upset, just because of that, and didn’t want to cry in front of David. I forced myself to stay calm and just got out of the room.
I went to our room, then headed for the loo before I went downstairs. I suddenly felt a squirt of warm liquid forwards, which seemed strange, because urine only dribbled out nowadays with the pregnancy weight. I looked in the loo and it was bright red. I had to get downstairs to the telephone and just concentrated on staying calm. I didn’t think what else to do, or getting pads or anything, it was just too unexpected. I sat down on the stairs and phoned Ed at work, and spoke pretty abruptly to the lady who answered. I needed Ed on the phone straight away. I just told him to come home NOW, I had started bleeding, it was urgent. I was trying to keep calm, but I wanted him to get the message that it was urgent.