“I am saying my baby’s name, not just to remember her but to show others that they are not alone on this journey.”
Paula – Angel’s mum
I had a normal pregnancy with no dramas apart from all the usual symptoms. I was sitting on the sofa and bent over to plug my phone. At that moment, what I thought might be my waters, broke. It was so unexpected I FaceTimed my Mum for her advice as I didn’t want to go to the hospital because I’d weed myself. I followed her advice of going straight to the hospital, still not knowing how serious it was.
At the hospital, I was told I had to be on bed rest until the baby decided to come. The seriousness of what was occurring still wasn’t clear to me. I closed down my business and rested. A week later we hit the 25-week mark and were told we had a good chance of our baby being ok but they would most likely be premature. We went to the Neonatal ICU and met other babies and parents. It was upsetting, but I was so positive my baby would be ok.
The next day during the usual routine heartbeat checks which happen every two hours the nurse could not find the heartbeat. I remember her saying “I’m sorry there is no heartbeat’. I was like ‘’ok, so what do we do, c section?’’
I didn’t realise my baby had died.
When she explained this went into shock. The lady in the next bed had her newborn baby with her. She heard me and was shouting through the curtain.
“You will be ok, you are so strong, I am sorry.”
That’s when it hit. The whole time I never ever imagined my baby dying, I was always so positive and thought it would all be fine.
I was given drugs to encourage the birth of my baby. It took 2 days before my waters broke and I had to give birth.
It felt so unfair that I had to go through all this pain with no baby at the end of it. I had never ever seen my partner cry as much as he did and I thought I will be ok, I just need to be strong for him.
The midwife was lovely and dressed my baby, talking to her like she was alive. She suggested we should have a photographer come in.
I didn’t want to do this, what was the point? Thankfully my partner made that decision, and I am forever grateful for that midwife telling us about it. If it was not for the volunteer photographer that came to the hospital to take photos of Angel I would have never have remembered her face.
We spent the night with her in a private room, that next morning when I woke up, that is when it hit. I screamed and cried all morning. It was awful.
We said our goodbyes that day.
When I was leaving the hospital and got to the lift with my big pink memory box there was the lady from the bed next to me going into the lift with her baby in a car seat. I ran as fast as I could and hid behind the wall so she didn’t see me. I just didn’t want her to feel awkward or upset if I cried. That lady later found me on Facebook and I was so happy that I could thank her for her kind words that morning as I was speechless and couldn’t reply to her.
We did all the post mortem tests and every test you can imagine but it was just ‘one of those things.’
It was a long hard road but with the support of amazing friends, family, charities like Red Nose (including Sands) and the staff at the hospital we got through. We will always remember and love our little Angel.
Nine months after Angel was born, I was pregnant with my now 11-month-old son Eduardo.
If it wasn’t for support groups like what Red Nose including Sands organise I would never have had the courage or strength to try again.
Say Their Name Day is on Friday 25 March. It is a special day to remember all the little ones we have loved and lost and support bereaved families.