Baby Loss Awareness Week - Remembering Isabella and Rosie

Today marks the start of Baby Loss Awareness Week and I wanted to share again our story for anyone who is going through or has experienced baby loss to let you know you are not alone.  Baby loss is not a taboo subject and we should be able to share our stories to help those who may need it and also help us too. I have always found talking is the best therapy but I am always happy to listen too so if you want to reach out please do.

baby feet

As many of you may know baby loss is extremely close to my heart. Losing a baby is heartbreaking and no parent should ever have to go through this. Preparing for a baby starts way before you get that positive pregnancy test it starts at the moment you decide you want to have a baby. 

For us, we decided when big J was just a few years old that we would try for another baby. When you make that choice it completely takes over your life and for us trying for a baby lasted six years. We tried everything. All the things you read about that can help you conceive, we tried but it just didn't work. We were on the verge of considering IVF when finally in 2009 we got pregnant. I honestly didn't think that day would come when we got that positive test but it did and we were over the moon. 

I breezed through my first pregnancy with no worries or complications. I was young and naive and I fell pregnant and assumed at the end I would have my baby and I did. Unfortunately this is not the reality for most parents, pregnancy is a tough and worrying time and it does not always result in a baby in your arms. 

Our joy of finally getting pregnant didn't last long as our little baby we had tried for, for so long didn't have a heartbeat at an early scan and after just 8 weeks we had a miscarriage. 

It was so hard to pick ourselves back up after losing 'poppy seed' (the baby was a size of a poppy seed when we found out we were pregnant). I felt lost and sad and I couldn't understand why this had happened. Why after so long of trying for a baby was it taken away from us so quickly. 

The want for a baby didn't leave us but we were heartbroken and the effort of trying again was just to overwhelming.  Five months later to our complete surprise we were pregnant again with our rainbow baby. 

This pregnancy I wasn't as confident and I wasn't as happy as I should have been in the beginning. I was scared and nervous and I constantly wanted scans to check the baby was okay. 

Each scan I waited for bad news but there was none, the baby was healthy with a heartbeat. Our baby was measuring a lot bigger than my weeks pregnant and all the way through I was confident I was two weeks more than what they thought. When I got to 38 weeks I went to see my midwife. I was huge, the baby was huge but they were sure our baby was safe. I begged (and that is not a lie, I actually begged) for them to take me in and to start me off but they wouldn't. They did give me two sweeps between 38-40 weeks but our baby didn't budge. 

At 40+5 weeks early one Sunday morning I finally went in to labour. I remember the drive to the hospital thinking I am going to have a baby. This is it. When I got to the labour ward I remember chatting about rubbish to the midwife while I settled in to my room and she did all my observations. She hooked me up to heartbeat monitor and I just remember silence. There was nothing. 

The look on that midwifes face will stay with me forever as she kind of joked that the heartbeat monitor may be in the wrong place but I knew. I knew our baby had gone. 

The next few moments are a blur as I was stripped of my clothing, doctors and nurses came running in to my room from all directions and then I was told, our baby had died. 

A few hours later Isabella was born. My life changed at that moment and I knew then our lives would never ever be the same again. 

Losing Isabella was the worst day of my life. Going into labour at 40+5 weeks to find that there is no heartbeat was the hardest thing to understand. I had a fully grown baby inside me, I had felt her kick and move around. I had watched her heartbeat on our scans. I had heard her heartbeat on our scans. She was real, she was human, she was a baby, she was ours. 

How on earth could she have died? How? Why? 

baby stillborn poem

Coming home without a baby was the hardest thing we have ever had to do and telling big J his sister had died was heartbreaking. We had no words, we had no comfort for him. He wanted a sibling and we couldn't give him that. All we had was a memory box. 

Days seemed to last forever and the sadness just consumed us but we had big J to care for so we had to carry on as normal but we didn't want to. We were heartbroken and still are to this day. 
Five months later we were pregnant again, after losing Isabella this was bitter sweet. How could we replace her. Would she be looking down on us thinking we didn't care. Lots of people get pregnant again after a loss and that is where the term rainbow baby comes from. I knew this pregnancy wasn't going to be easy for us mentally and emotionally as we were not only still heartbroken but what if it happened again. 

Our bitter sweet joy didn't last too long as at 22 weeks at our scan there was no heart beat. By this time I was just numb, how could this happen twice, the odds are just crazy. Why had this happened? Was it me? Why were we being punished like this?

Two days later  Rosie was stillborn. After losing Rosie I was very ill and lost a lot of blood. My heart stopped twice and I had to be resuscitated twice and I had to have a blood transfusion. This must have been so worrying for John as he was by my side both times. 

I can't imagine was big J went through, he was just 8 years old and had to go through this hurt and loss twice in the same year. 

It was time to give up on babies. I couldn't go through this again, I didn't want to. I had spent 6-7 years thinking about babies and I had enough. We'd had enough.

That yearning for a baby didn't go away so when we found out we were pregnant just over a year later we were happy but we soon found ourselves back at the hospital just after a few weeks of finding out. Our baby had no heartbeat. This time I didn't lose our baby naturally I had to go into hospital to have our baby removed. It was so sad and heartbreaking.

I have always been open about my pregnancies, our babies and our losses. Although it hurts each and every day I know talking about it to anyone who will listen helps raise awareness. 

We did however 'finally' get our rainbow baby in 2013 when 'little J' was born. He is a blessing and we are forever grateful that we got to meet him and watch him grow. Many parents are not so lucky.

Baby Loss affects people all year round, all around the world but Baby Loss Awareness Week is a time for parents to come together and remember their babies. 

The 15th October ends Baby Loss Awareness Week and I will be joining in with 'Wave of Light' as I do each year.  I will remember my babies by lighting a candle at 7pm and leave it burning for 1 hour.

Doing this I will be joining the wave of light uniting the world in honour the babies who lit up our lives for such a short time.

If you are going through baby loss and need to talk there are charities out there that can help you and you will soon realise that you are not alone, knowing that really does help, I promise. 

You can read more about my story by visiting my justgiving page HERE 


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