Mom to Iris Jayne
East Yorkshire, England
June 1, 2016
On June the 1st my only daughter, my second child was stillborn. Before, this my life was easy; nothing bad happened to me. I’d heard about stillbirth, but it wouldn’t happen to me. I was naive and pregnancy was innocent. It happened to the girl down the street, a friend of a friend, someone you knew of but never spoke to. Then on the 31st of May 7, hours after my ‘perfect’ 40 week appointment, I was in a hospital room being told my baby girl had died. I was now that girl. I was a part of the club no one wants to be a part of, the mother of a child that didn’t make it, a child that died. I remember thinking over and over, “this doesn’t happen to me, it’s a nightmare. I’ll wake up.” It wasn’t, my life had changed in 7 hours. I’d gone from the top of the world to the bottom of the ocean. I was drowning.
Nothing feels real when you are told your baby is dead. There’s no heart beat, nothing. A still frame on the ultrasound. This doesn’t happen to me, they must be wrong, I kept holding that. I was given a pill and sent home, they told me to go back when labour had started. I didn’t cry, it didn’t sink in. I was home with my baby in my tummy. If she was gone, why would they leave me like this. It wasn’t until the contractions started that I knew it was happening, the tears started. I would have to give birth to a baby I’d never take home and never see again. This was all we were going to have, And it was the least I could do for her.
I didn’t know whether I wanted to see and hold her straight away, not because I didn’t want her, but because I was scared. I didn’t know what to expect. But it all changed when she was about to be born.
Before I made my last push, the last moment of carrying her inside me, I begged them to give her straight to me, the mother’s instinct took over and I needed her. She was mine, my baby, my daughter and I loved her no matter what. Iris Jayne was born sleeping at 18:01 pm weighing 8lb 14 1/2 oz on the 1/6/2016, her due date. She was beautiful and perfect. She looked just like her big brother and had his head full of hair except hers was a little lighter. Nothing was wrong with her. A true knot in the cord was the cause of death. We spent that night and the whole next day with her, just me, my partner and Iris. People came to see her and to say goodbye, then we had to do the same.
No midnight feeds, no baby smell, no crying or teething, no first day of school, no university, no wedding. No living daughter. My family has a hole that will never by filled. Life isn’t easy, it’s hard. I’m not the same, I’ll never be the same. Its not a nightmare, it’s real and it happened.
You can email Catherine at firstname.lastname@example.org.