The day my heart stopped and so had his By Shel Parker @shelparks
I was in my first year of university and I had worked super hard to get there, I had taken a few years out between college and university (working) so I had to go back to college for 1 year to even get there. It was the middle of the year and when I found out I was pregnant with our unexpected first child. The fact I had just started uni, still lived with my mum and was in a new-ish relationship (one year in) made it extremely hard for us to come to terms with, and we decided that we weren't in any position to give a baby the life it would deserve, financially we weren't in the right place and emotionally too. So after discussing this ENORMOUS decision over and over we decided now wasn't our time. We booked an appointment and off we went.
We were both silent the whole way to Liverpool, at 8am we went and arrived for 9. We sat in the waiting room of this pregnancy clinic in dead silence, not a single word spoken. Eventually after what felt like forever they called my name. As I was walking through the corridor I saw a couple a 30 something year old woman and a big balled headed, tatted, muscly man, the man on his knees sobbing into his hands and the woman in pieces on a chair. I was listening to the nurse console them, they had lost their baby. I continued on into the room and listened to the information the lady was telling me, at least I was meant to be listening but my mind was just racing. “take a seat back in the waiting room and you'll be called through to go down to the theatre.” I went back to the waiting room sat down tears crept up into my eyes and my stomach was in knots, I looked over to my partner his eyes full of tears too and we both said lets go, now. I told him how I couldn't do this and he looked at me with relief and said he couldn't either. We left the clinic and set off home discussing how we were going to do this, how we would tell everyone that we were going to have a baby and how we were going to manage. “We just will.” We said to each other and realised how lucky we were to have been blessed. We then told our close friends and family about our amazing news.
This is June, and we had a holiday booked to Mexico. Two weeks of pure heaven literally the best place I have ever visited. So there we were, loving the beaches, sun and sea, on the 10th day I came down with food poisoning, the worst case I had ever suffered.. 24 hours of hell. But I soon recovered, forgot about it and carried on with our incredible holiday. We got home and were due our 12 week scan, the pure excitement was unreal! I couldn't wait. Because we had been on holiday our appointment was late and I was 15 weeks pregnant (a week shy of 4 months) at this point I had a cute little bump emerging and my face was rounding off nicely. It was a Thursday and I was at work doing a morning shift 8-3 but left early for the appointment. 2pm came around and my last thought, a thought that had never crossed my mind before was “what if there is no heartbeat? Could that even happen could there be no heart beat? Nahh surely not surely there would be signs, bleeding whatever' but I didn't have any problems and my appetite was huge so everything was [fine] I mentioned my concern to the lady I was working with and she said “don't be daft your young healthy and fit it'll all be perfect”.
I met my partner at the hospital and we couldn't wait! We got the tokens ready for the scan pictures and I was going to get loads, one for mum, dad, me, my partner, my sister, his brother and everyone else. My name was called and we went in. As I lay down the excitement overwhelmed me, the nurse put on my gel and began to wriggle her [thingy] around on my belly. In front of me was the big screen with my baby on it. I was starting at it. So happy, there was my baby I could see [him] there was no feeling like it. And thats when she asked “ have you had any problems any bleeding Michelle?” I answered quickly. “No, why, why are you asking that?” “I wont be a moment” and she left the room me and my partner just looked at each other and continued to look at our [boy] on the screen. She then returned with a man and he did another fiddle with his stick on my belly. “Yes” he said to the woman and left. “I'm afraid there is no heartbeat, I'm sorry. I can get another person to check but the doctor just confirmed for me”. My partner fell to his knees on the floor beside me and cried like I've never seen him cry before gasping for his breath he was in pieces. Me however, I was staring at the screen at my baby and all I could see was him. A DEAFENING silence surrounded me, it consumed me. My heart had stopped, and so had his. The nurse was talking, throwing statistics at me, explaining things (so my partner told me) I couldn't hear a thing. I couldn't feel a thing, all I could do was breathe and stare at my baby on the screen. An image that haunts me, a feeling that every now and then takes over and reminds me of the worst day of my life.
1 in 5 pregnancy’s result in loss. Did you know that? I didn't.
As she walked us through to the next room to explain what would happen next I was still emotionless. My partner again fell to the floor sobbing at my feet about the child we never met. “You’ll have to come for an operation michelle, the foetus is quiet big now, you can let it pass or have it removed and you will be put to sleep”. I opted for that as I couldn't bare to see such a thing. She then went on to explain how I would have to wait until Monday for the procedure. So I was sent home, with my dead baby still in my belly and I had to deal with that for 4 days, the longest most painful 4 days. The last thing she said to me was “if you start to bleed go to A&E”. My whole body was in shock, she left the room and I broke, I cried I couldn't breathe, my heart hurt, and I didn't stop. We got home and pulled up on the drive the anxiety I felt walking down the drive of having to tell my mum what had happened was killing me. We walked in and my partner broke the news to her. She held me and we cried. I called my friends and we all cried together I needed to tell everyone NOW. So that I didn't have to endure that conversation for weeks. The days following I stayed in my bedroom and cried, I cried until there was no more left, there was nothing left in me, I was empty in every sense.
After the operation my partner took all calls, all texts, he held me in the night when I cried for our [boy] he made me eat, he helped me sleep he was the absolute saviour of me. When I look back I think I forgot his pain because I was consumed by my own.. he didn't cry again, he held it together for me. We decided that [he] was a boy and found comfort in naming him Zabe something we could refer to when thinking of our angel, something to name that star that we see each night through our window.
I always hate that people never talk about loss in pregnancy. You almost think if the baby wasn't born then its not so bad? A beautiful friend of mine (someone so unexpected) was my absolute saviour when it came to talking about my loss. She too had experienced the loss of a child ( at full term) I always felt like mine didn't compare but she said “ a loss of a child is a loss of a child. I lost my baby and you lost yours” something I will remember forever is the hand she gave me when I was drowning. Talking about my loss gave me strength to continue. SHE gave me strength to continue.
3 short months later me and my partner were blessed with a beautiful rainbow baby. Ryhan the absolute light in my life. Who will undoubtably know he had a brother who is now up in heaven watching over him..