Trigger Warning Day 1 – Joining the club, that no one wants to be part of…

Sunday 15th July 2018

I am currently 38 week plus 5 days pregnant, and desperately can’t wait to meet the newest addition to our family, my hay fever has been horrible the last three days, it has in fact been horrid the last 2 months but,  I can live with it as I know my baby will be here soon, and I joke with my husband that I am putting antihistamines into my hospital bag.

We decided to go to into town for the day, I had suggested it the day before, to hide from the heat and the pollen, and we also had a mirror to return I had bought a few days earlier.  So I drive into town with my husband, we go for lunch and then to the cinema.

On the way in I kindly ask Peanut to stop sticking his foot/leg into my tummy.  Peanut was our nick name for baby, we didn’t know if it was a boy or girl and I hated calling peanut “it” so I named my bump, it totally stuck.

I am at the uncomfortable part of my pregnancy, so I shift around a lot in my seat at the cinema, I am sneezing the whole was through the film, it’s not good.  The film finished and we head home.  I drove, once we got home I chilled out whist James walked the dogs, I started to wonder when I had last felt peanut move, this wasn’t particularly uncommon, as peanut never really had a pattern.  I had been in with reduced movements the weekend before and all had been grand.  so I knew that I had probably just been so busy sneezing I hadn’t been paying attention.  I lay onto my left on the sofa and drank heaps of ice cold juice, still no movement.  I hand an ice cream, and thought I would go up to bed, as without a doubt the only think I could rely on was that Peanut would start to party as soon as I went to bed.  I used to describe Peanut as a ultra-runner like me, he liked to dance for days but then had to recharge one day  a week, peanut had been really active all week so it was obviously recovery day.  James was preparing for a interview for a job the next day, I was a bit snippy about something, as I was starting to worry about peanut as I headed up to bed.

I ask him to bring me up yet more cold juice, and we lay in bed watching the highland midwife, thinking about how it would be us soon.  James left and headed back down stairs and I started to think more about peanut not moving, I text Rachael, a midwife friend, “this baby really does like to have one day a week where it doesn’t move much.”    I am also texting my friend Zandra, I am now worried I really can’t feel peanut moving at all.  I stand up and head for a pee, I say to peanut, please just one kick or roll, and I will relax.  I lay back down in bed again, and still nothing, I turn the TV off and try to listen to my hypno birthing,  I cant concentrate, I am worried that peanut hasn’t moved yet, I roll over to turn off the recording, and drop my phone down the side of the bed.  I feel something strange, Peanut moved, but it wasn’t normal, it didn’t feel right.

I look at my phone Rachael has text me back telling me just to phone and go and see the lovely midwifes, I asked Zandra if she can take me in, am worried that now its like 10pm, and James has an interview tomorrow.  I can imagine how annoyed I will be if I make him come into town with me like last week just to be told all is fine.  I phone the ward and they tell me to come in, Zandra is ready and waiting, I cry as I tell James, I don’t know why I think I am really worried but don’t want to say anything.  I get dressed and we head in.

Zandra and I chat on the way in, random life stuff, I mention still birth to her, I had a friend who had had a still birth, I don’t know why I mentioned it, I hadn’t thought about still birth my whole pregnancy.  I say to Zandra that I can’t wait till she had babies, I love being pregnant, even if it did take me ages to accept the changes in my body.

We arrive at the hospital, and the midwife sit us down, they are obviously having a horrible night, the midwife comes back and take me into the ward we had been in the weekend before, Zandra sits down next to me, I had told her what they would do, listen to babies heart rate for 30 mins then send me home.  I pull my top up and leggings down so the midwife can attached the monitor.  She feel my bump, but being bigger it was hard for her to figure out how baby was lying, it wasn’t unusual for them to take a few seconds to find peanuts heartbeat.  The midwife shares with me how bad her night has been, she recognises me from my job, I am a nurse, so we connect.  It’s taking too long to find peanuts heartbeat, I start to feel my breath quicken, I think in my head stop being silly give the girl a chance.  Then the midwife lays her hand onto my arm, I know that touch, that’s the touch I use when I am comforting someone, I know it’s not good news, I start to panic, I start to cry, I don’t think I scream, I think I panic, my baby, please no no not my baby.  She can’t find a heartbeat.  She asks me not to panic and says at the stage sometimes it hard to find the heart beat, and she would call the doctor and get a doppler.  I ask if I should phone my husband, she says just wait.  My world began to spin, like 1000 tones on my cheat, my baby was dead, I didn’t need a doctor to confirm what I could see on her face.  I look at Zandra and see tear in her eyes.  My poor baby. This must be a nighmare, please wake up.

The midwife got the Doppler and tried to find Peanuts heartbeat, there I hear one, its going at 133, its not peanuts heart its mine.  She tells me shes going to stop now as its not helping.  I have to walk to Rubislaw for my scan.  I know what Rubislaw ward is for, is for baby loss, I know why I am going here.

I lie down on the bed, the scanning room is hot and dark, the doctor tells me he is waiting for the consultant, and he will be there shortly.  It felt like a month before he arrived, all this time my world is spinning, I am trying to cling to hope but I think I now, I think I knew the moment I felt my baby move in bed.   The consultant arrives, he stands in front of me so I can see the screen.  I am not stupid I turn and look at the midwifes face, she can’t hide it, I watch as her bottom lip starts to quiver, its confirmed my baby is dead. I will never ever forget that midwifes face.

The consultant apologise as takes measurements of my dead baby in my womb, then he hands me some paper to wipe the gel of my bump.  He apologise to me again and tell me my baby died in the last 24-48 hours.  I turn to Zandra, please phone James, she leaves, and phone him and my mum.   shes not away long, am not sure what I am doing in this time, but now I am in a purple room.  I take my phone and phone my mum, as she hadn’t answered to Zandra, its late maybe midnight by now.  I know I am on her do not disturb list and it should ring.  She answers, I tell her that my baby has died, I need her to please get James and come into Aberdeen, I think she asks if am being serious, I can’t remember, I just repeat myself and hang up.  I call James, I ask if hes okay, I tell him I have spoken to mum, I tell him our baby had died, and they can’t find a heartbeat, I hear his heart break, he asks if am serious,  I am, I love him and I will see him soon.

Everything is so numb, a midwife comes in and asks me if I want to wait till my husband arrives, of course I do, I ask if I can go outside, Zandra is trying to comfort me but I can’t I need to think I need to plan, I need to process, they open the side door and let me out side.  I sit in the street light, its warm, the trees are blowing in the wind,  Zandra joins me, I say to her to listen to the trees.  I take my phone out and I read a poem that I have had on my phone for a while, my Gran had it read at her funeral.  A fox appears, Zandra is still with me, I want here there but I also don’t, I want to be alone, I need to figure this all out before James arrives.  I ask her to go get me an antihistamine from the midwife.  There is a baby fox right in front of me, and its mum to the left.  I don’t care, I don’t care whats happening.

I make some phone calls one to my mum, does she have James, is he okay, well no she doesn’t because shes in Glasgow.  She in a taxi on her way up.  I call James, hes just at his mums he is dropping the dogs off, I love him, I will see him soon.   I call James mum, she has no words, and either do I.

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