Facebook has a wonderful way of stirring up memories from times past by reminding you of pictures and statuses you posted years ago, some make you cringe, some make you laugh and some remind you of a time you didn’t think you would escape from. My ‘memories’ from this time of year are always focused around my eldest son and his journey through NICU as a 29 weeker – the milestones he reached, the weight he put on and eventually the time he came home. I remember that part of my life like it was yesterday, the beeps and alarms of the machines, the desats, the countless tests, the one step forwards two steps back, the constant wave of emotions that were so incredibly draining. There were so many tears and hours of anguished waiting, I spent many an hour just sat holding my boy when I was finally able to and I was never ready to put him down just in case, just in case it was my last cuddle, just in case despite how well he was doing something happened. I never wanted to waste a moment, I wanted to absorb every smell, crease, and breath he took.
Seeing these ‘memories’ brings back that time in my life where I didn’t know whether I would have the strength to go on. Then another story came on my feed, a story that was not mine, but one that broke my heart.
A school friend from years ago had shared their story of the moment they discovered their son was to be born sleeping.
“We went to the hospital as I had experienced reduced movement this is when we were told the devastating news that there was no heartbeat.
I was 32 weeks pregnant. Baby Noah was just perfect, we got to hold him, dress him and kiss him and we will cherish forever all of the memories we made that evening.”
Upon reading these first few words, I was overwhelmed by emotion, even writing this now brings me to tears, I cannot for a moment comprehend what they must have been going through. Even through our hardest times when Grayson was born I always counted my blessings that he was with us in our arms – I’d had nightmares of the worst and struggled to cope with the emotion of it all on some days but I could never fully imagine how devasting this would be if we were to ever lose him.
The awful and tragic thing about this story for Nicky and Jonathan (and for many others) was that it was nobody’s ‘fault’
“Sadly there was nothing that could be done for Noah, he had got himself in a tangle, the cord was wrapped around his neck and his arm which had cut off the oxygen supply”
Upon reading this I think back to when our youngest son Myles was born. Although technically premature at 36+4, I begged to have a water birth, in my stubbornness I pushed and pushed because I hadn’t had the birth that I had planned with Grayson. I was determined to have at least one of my babies how I wanted. I was fortunate that upon great deliberation I was allowed a water birth AS LONG as I was monitored every five minutes – ‘yeah yeah’ I thought. But I am so glad they did because in the moment’s of checking they quickly discovered that Myles was going into distress. I was immediately ordered out of the pool and a team came rushing in, gone were the moments of calm, instead there were shouts of instructions, alarm calls, doctors and midwives came rushing in. Once his head was out it was discovered that his cord was wrapped round his neck, tightening and causing him to go into distress. The moments after he was born was an anxious one, we nervously waited as the team with their backs to us tried to get that first breath. You could feel the tension and see the sense of panic until finally there was a squeak – everyones shoulders suddenly relaxed and after a few moments he was handed to me.
Again we were so close, as with Grayson, it could have gone either way, but we were fortunate. And that’s what it comes down to in the end, sometimes there’s nothing we can do, there’s nothing that we did it was just what happens, as unfortunate as it is.
I feel deeply saddened that this has happened to Nicky and Jonathan, no one should ever have to go through this, no one ever deserves such a thing. But out of these dark times they are showing strength, they are wanting to break the silence and the taboo and raise awareness.
” we want pregnant ladies not be afraid to go to the hospital if they are concerned, have the confidence to seek advice and ask questions. We need to break the silence on stillbirths, today it is still a taboo subject but everyday families are going through this heartache. “
I remember feeling like I was a nuisance but I’m glad I was, if I had not ‘bugged’ the midwives would I have carried on in naivety and then not had my boy?
I think their story resonates with me so much because of how close I could have come with both of my boys, although I know this is heartwrenching to read by anyone. From their story I see great strength, I see turning a heartbreaking moment into something positive for others and I hope with all of my heart that their future will be a brighter one with a little bundle in tow.
It’s not something I would normally do but this has touched me so much and I admire the courage that these two have to try and make a difference for others – nothing will ever replace the beautiful boy that they lost but hopefully in time the heartache will be easier to bear and the grief will be lighter to handle, so I am asking you if you could, please read their story and if possible support them in their hopes to bring some light to their dark times. I know that this will touch many hearts as does every story of loss, but keeping it quiet and hidden does nothing for those who are suffering and want/need help. These women need the confidence to speak up without feeling like they are ‘bugging’ anyone, parents need to be acknowledged in these difficult times and these angel babies need a voice. Please help support Nicky and Jonathan and their son Noah and the many other families who have experienced this.