As part of Sands 40th anniversary this year, we will share 40 stories by 40 parents, family members and friends affected by the death of a baby. Starting during Sands Awareness Month and our #FindingTheWords campaign, we aim to show the sheer number of people who are affected by the tragedy of a baby’s death, help other bereaved parents to understand they are not alone and raise awareness of the issues surrounding stillbirth and neonatal death. Visit our 40 stories for #Sands40 to view other blogs in the series.
Our darling Dominic
On 16th November 2017 we were at the hospital for monitoring as I hadn’t felt our baby move as usual for a few hours.
The midwife had trouble finding a heartbeat on the Doppler so were sent for an ultrasound scan, and that is when myself and my partner Ryan were delivered the news that no expectant parent could even begin to imagine hearing: “I’m so, so sorry there is no heartbeat.”
The image of our lifeless baby on the screen and those dreadful words will haunt me for the rest of my life, I will never forget the heartbreak and fear felt in that room that day.
Two days later on 18th November, labour was induced and at 11pm after four hours, our perfect little boy Dominic was born. The moment I felt his skin on my chest and set my eyes on him I felt a love like no other.
We spent those first moments just as any new parent would, absorbing all of his beautiful little features.
We were besotted by his head full of dark hair and his adorable button nose; however this happiness was extremely short lived, replaced with a sadness deeper than I had ever felt before as we came to realise that our little 5lb 3oz bundle wouldn’t be coming home with us.
He’d never open his eyes, take a breath and we would never hear him cry.
We were lucky enough to have the opportunity to spend two precious nights and three days in the Rainbow room with Dominic creating what little memories we could, before we decided that it was time to say goodbye and to let our sweet boy rest peacefully.
Our bereavement team at the hospital were fantastic and nothing in this world could ever repay them for the compassion and support that we were provided with, but most of all for the love and care that was shown to our baby boy.
Kissing him goodnight for the very last time was incredibly difficult but we knew it was time and that he was going to be treated with the respect he so deserved.
As soon as we arrived home, I dove into the booklets and leaflets from Sands that were provided to us by the hospital in a desperate bid to find techniques to use that would get the both of us through those heart wrenching first few days and weeks.
15 babies die before, during or shortly after birth every day in the UK. We want to reduce this number, but we need your help. Support Sands now to help ensure a bereaved parent doesn't have to cope alone. Thank you.