October is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month. This month we are sharing the stories of some very brave mums who sadly lost their little angels! Our goal in sharing their stories is to help increase the conversation and awareness around Pregnancy & Infant Loss, so that no one should have to feel like they go through this alone.
We would also like to ask a few things of you:
- When you see an ‘Angel Mums’ post during October – take the time to stop and read it. (This means more than you can know)!
- If you have your own story – We invite you to share a post, a pic or even a thought.
We aren’t raising money during October but if you would like to contribute by donating we will link a few amazing Support Organisations below.
Angel’s story …
My husband and I struggled to fall pregnant for two years. We had complications such as Polycystic Ovary syndrome, which certainly didn’t make it easier to fall pregnant. The doctors told me that we needed to go through IVF as no other medications were working. It was stressful to hear that I would have to go through the hard process of IVF. Then one day I didn’t feel right. My husband had a feeling I was pregnant, as I had missed my period (but that was pretty normal). I decided to take pregnancy test. I felt like the two long minutes just had me waiting for another disappointment. But then suddenly there were those little two lines. My eyes couldn’t believe it!
I found out I was pregnant in September 2013. We were so overcome with joy and happiness! It was the best day of our lives. I had very bad morning sickness and couldn’t work. After 5 months of sickness I started to feel better and enjoyed the second trimester of my pregnancy. I could feel my precious baby move inside of me. This feeling was so incredible and I loved every moment of her responding to me while I spoke to her or her dad played music.
The doctors were happy with my progress. The only thing that was hard during the pregnancy was managing my diabetes. I was on insulin from the day we found out. I would go to weekly visits at the doctors where they would check up on my sugar levels and the babies progress. Everything was perfect, the baby was very healthy and so was I. I was managing my sugar levels and was so excited!!
Towards the end of my pregnancy the doctors were concerned as my baby was growing too big for my stomach. I had a lot of swelling in my last trimester. The doctors decided to perform an elective caesarean on the 19th of June 2014. This was going to be the date where we were finally going to meet our baby girl!
On the day of the surgery, the nurse checked my blood pressure, and prepped me for surgery.
She did not check the baby. They didn’t put any baby monitoring machines on to see how she was. Of course, I didn’t question any of this as it was my first pregnancy and I didn’t know the process. I thought the doctors and nurses were doing what they always did.
We went in to theatre to have the surgery. When the doctor came in he asked if they had checked my sugars. They hadn’t so he rushed them to check it. Then he was happy to start. I was so nervous to get the epidural in to my spine. It was so intense. But I got through it because I knew it meant I was going to hold my baby in my arms very soon.
Once the epidural was competed it was straight on to the caesarean. We were five minutes in and the anaesthetist was telling me everything the doctors were doing. My husband was holding my hand waiting in suspense. The anaesthetist then said that the baby’s head was out. We waited a minute, but didn’t hear a cry.
I know when babies are born they cry. They cry to take that first breath of air in to their lungs. My husband looked at me with a scared look in his eyes and asked, shouldn’t she be crying? I could only look back at him with my own worried look.
I could see four nurses and doctors holding my daughter. They took her to a little table where they were trying to resuscitate her. They tried for so long. They kept looking at us in panic.
My heart completely sank. I asked what was happening. They turned around and said, “We don’t know how to tell you this but your baby is no longer with us”. How? What do you mean our baby is not alive?
At this moment, our world crashed. I could not stop crying and was in so much shock. I held her in my arms and was in disbelief. Immediately I thought of how beautiful she was. At the same time, I could see a sadness on her face. I, as her mother and carer, felt like I had let her down. I didn’t save her.
I didn’t want to let go of this precious child. She was a piece of my husband and I. We had only just met her how could we be ready to leave her! But they took her away and finished my operation.
The pain and hurt that my husband and I felt was beyond words. You can’t explain the feeling. All I can say is it feels like a piece of my heart has been gone and won’t come back. My heart broke that day. We had everything prepared for her. How are you supposed to go from preparing to bring home you child to preparing for a funeral?
My husband was so strong and was preparing most things for the funeral while I was recovering and grieving in hospital. She was the first grandchild for both sides. Everybody was in shock when they received the phone call from my husband. The hospital asked me if I wanted to perform an autopsy to see why this had happened. At first I didn’t want to because I didn’t want to harm her body. But then I sat and thought about it and realised I wanted answers.
We decided to do an autopsy. The autopsy revealed that she was getting too big for my placenta. She was stressed out in her last days as there was no room for her. There was also some insufficiency in my placenta towards the end so no food and oxygen were going to the baby. They said that she had passed away 12 – 24 hours before the surgery.
I remember feeling a big kick on the Tuesday. Two days before the surgery. That would have been the moment she was gone. She was moving slowly towards the end. I used to tell the doctors that. They said it was normal. They also kept changing my due date and I would tell them that they should do something about it and take her out if they thought she was too big.
The hospital admitted to many faults and negligence on their part. But more than that they traumatised me in many ways. The CEO of the hospital and his staff would visit my room and talk to me. Try to comfort me. But I was in my own world in those days.
A week later we had a funeral where we all got to say goodbye to our Angel. We named her Angel because that’s what she is.
I feel so lucky to have just given birth to my second child in May. We had another girl. I thank god, every day for giving us another chance and giving us a healthy baby. Even though we have another child, I still remember our first daughter and the pain is there. I just know how to move on from it.
I have done a lot of counselling. I have had a lot of support from my family and friends. And work as well.
But at the end of the day I must get through it. I can have all the support around me, but it’s me that has to be the one to move on and be strong.
This photo was taken on the 19th of June 2017. This is the day my second daughter Rosemary, met her older sister Angel and wished her a happy 3rd birthday.
Sadly there are 6 babies born sleeping every day in Australia & this rate has not reduced in two decades.
Below are donation links to a few of the amazing organisations that support families through this very sad time.
Sands provide valuable support for miscarriage, stillbirth & newborn deaths.
Bears of Hope: http://www.bearsofhope.org.au/a/101.html
Bears of Hope provide pregnancy & infant loss support, Cuddle Cots & Bears of Hope.
Heartfelt provide the invaluable gift of photographic memories.