At time of writing I’m only 3 weeks into my journey but I’m noticing a shift in my thoughts already.
The first day I concentrated on the fact I’d had spotting and that I cancelled a growth scan the week before. The horrible truth I didn’t stop this hit me. What kind of mother am I that I didn’t do more. The consultant refused to answer my “could I stopped this somehow” question. However she did answer my midwife and the simple answer they don’t actually know, it ‘may’ have done.
At this point we weren’t sure on cause of death other than possible placental abruption which are difficult to prevent but due to my spotting I believed something more could have been done.
I was a terrible person and not to be trusted with decisions because I’d messed that up more than once and Elva paid with her life. I didn’t want to look at, touch or acknowledge my living children. I didn’t want to eat or drink from immense guilt. My baby didn’t need to die she just had the misfortune to be my daughter.
After researching lots I continued to feel it was my fault for many reasons and I grew scared about the future.
I slowly started to see my decisions at the time were based on advice at the time. I felt I was doing the best for my baby with the information I was given at the time. I can’t use what I know now to change them and it was not entirely anyone’s fault why I didn’t have the correct information.
My guilt turned to regret. I hadn’t caused her death but I hadn’t prevented it through mothers instinct, through love. I should have known she wasn’t ok, I should have sensed she needed help. I regretted my decisions I’d made and was desperate for answers and how I could prevent this in future pregnancies.
Before Elva’s funeral I had a midwife visit. We went over my care and pregnancy. I still felt a degree of responsibility for this but I further found out more information I wasn’t given earlier in my care information that may have changed my decisions.
After the funeral my midwife rang. She had spotted something on my hospital discharge that may explain Elva’s death. I was in shock. Reading up made me upset and scared. It essentially absolved me of ANY blame. It was noone’s fault it was never picked up.
Then a new wave of guilt and regret hit. Anger also started to creep in. Why why why constantly.
WHY did she die?
WHY me, why us, why anyone?
WHY was this not spotted?
WHY aren’t women given more scans?
WHY are we only given the right care after a death?
WHY didn’t she just hang on a few more weeks?
WHY did she leave me?
I start to beg anyone god maybe to give her back. I continue to believe there’s a way to fix this. I get a brief sense of I’m going to fight for my baby back. I want to find a way to turn back time, bring life back to the dead, even preserve death forever so I can at least see, touch and hold her forever. I start wondering if it would be wrong to dig her back up just to see her.
You wonder if you’re crazy and yes you will feel like your death will solve this. Difference is whether you try or not. If you want to please please talk to someone even if you have 999 as the only number to call.
You even start to think of the next time. You want to be pregnant because you were and you weren’t ready not to be. But you’re scared. What if it happens again what if you don’t get pregnant.
Dates start to approach. Appointments you had, national events like Halloween, Christmas. If you lost your baby before your due date that’s another hurdle. If you lost your baby in labour or after birth you have the what would my baby be doing thoughts.
There’s a degree of denial also. I wouldn’t be due yet so its not so odd having no baby. I’ve not faced putting any baby items away so it’s easy to be tricked into thinking nothing has changed. I wake every morning hoping someone heard but no I’m still not pregnant. If only I could get pregnant I can wake knowing I am pregnant I can use the baby stuff!!
Then reality creeps in. She’s not here, She’ll never be here. Nothing can change this and nothing will ever make this ok. No matter what I do I will never see her ever again, I will never know her or watch her grow. She will never be a part of our lives in the way we want. If I get pregnant it still won’t be her, it won’t fix this.
Then even at 3 weeks small rays of light creep in. I no longer feel useless and a bad mother. I try to concentrate on the positives: Elva knew nothing but love, I told her daily, I spoke to her daily, stroked her bump and sang to her. She was very much wanted and even after her death she is loved immensely and told daily still. In the first week a page on facebook raised over £200 in Elva’s memory for sands. That money can help another family have privacy and have memories and access support. One day those funds will help prevent so many deaths also.
I have my life and my health and I can have more children. Elva was the last baby for me but now she gets to be a big sister. I get the privilege of having met her and I get the joy of saying she’s part of MY family, my heart and she always will be. I get to meet new children I wouldn’t have met if she had lived. This is no consolation, it doesn’t make any of this ok but in time it is a positive.
My aim for myself since her death is to be more positive. A lot of her pregnancy I was negative and said IF a lot, now I say when. I’m determined to prove to myself and other grieving parents it CAN and WILL get better. We will learn to be happy again and a day will come the memories we created with our baby’s will make us smile, make our heart swell and bring joy. WHEN I have more children I can keep her memory alive by telling her younger siblings about her. Her older brother turns 2 in a matter of days. He has met Elva but its unlikely he will remember a lot. We have so much opportunity to talk about her for years to come to share the joy she brought and display her beautiful face in our house amongst the pictures of her siblings.
I hope through writing this blog I help someone else, give them hope and allow them the information to create a better future for themselves like I was given.
If I manage all of the positives I want to then I will know I’ve done the best by my tiny beauty.