As part of Sands 40th anniversary, we have collected 40 stories by 40 parents, family members and friends affected by the death of a baby, helping them cope and feel less isolated in their grief. These stories are powerful in helping us end the taboo of talking about baby loss and raise awareness of stillbirth and neonatal deaths. Discover 40 stories for #Sands40
In July 1997 my husband and I went for our 20 week scan and we were so excited.
We were told he was a boy but then the sonographer said baby was lying in an awkward position and she needed a second opinion.
She came back into the room with a doctor and told us our son had something called ‘Left Sided Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia.’
We had no idea what that was, but we were told there was a hole in his diaphragm and all of his organs had pushed up through it, filling his chest cavity, squashing his lungs which prevented them developing.
We were told this was a serious condition and were advised to terminate as it would be unlikely our baby would survive.
There was no chance of us terminating as he was a fully formed baby who was so active. We were told in the doctor’s words: “You do know this baby will die inside you?”
Our thoughts were, if he does, he does but that will be nature’s choice, not ours.
We declined the offer and were referred to a specialist hospital where the consultant agreed it was bad but they would give him a fighting chance.
I was kind of in denial, I didn’t allow myself to think about it too much as he was growing well which made me think he would be fine.
On November 20th 1997 our baby Cameron was born by Caesarean section weighing a healthy 10lb 1oz, the exact same weight as his four year old brother.
He was whisked away to try and stabilise him before they took him to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). He deteriorated throughout the day and at 11.19am on 21st November 1997 our boy gave up his fight after 18 hours.
We felt so defeated, we had lost the battle. My eldest son was a little confused as to why his baby brother didn’t come home but we had to carry on for him.
Two months later I was pregnant again. I was petrified of the 20 week scan, I prayed the baby would be healthy. We felt like we had another chance when the sonographer said it was another boy and he was perfect!
We told everyone and decorated his room in a Winnie the Pooh theme, this was it, he would complete us, but when I was 39 weeks and five days he stopped moving.
I didn’t tell anyone at first as I felt silly but we went for a scan and was told the words: “I’m so sorry, there’s no heartbeat.” The horror that it had happened again in 11 months was unreal, couldn’t happen again, life was not this cruel. But it was. On 19th October 1998 Mason was born weighing 6lbs 6oz.
I still don’t know how we got through it but we talk about our boys all the time.
Twenty one years on we haven’t let the memories fade.