It was a lovely warm afternoon when after a busy day I became aware that I hadn’t felt my baby boy move for a while; panic set in and then I couldn’t remember if I had felt him move at all, all day?
I was 30 weeks pregnant I tried to calm myself down made a cup of tea and sat on the sofa hoping that he would start to wriggle; nothing happened. I made dinner and waited, still nothing. It was heading towards 7.30 I grabbed a cold drink filled with ice, drank it quickly and led down on my side and waited for 30 minutes, which is what the medical staff tell you to do I think at this point I knew. I told my husband and we rang the hospital, it was a long drive in – we didn’t talk.
The midwife we met told us that the Maternity Triage doors were magic and as soon as she links me up to the monitor the baby will start to move. She felt my stomach even that didn’t make our boy move. Linked up to the monitor and still no heartbeat she told us not to worry because my placenta was anterior it apparently makes it more difficult. All of a sudden she tapped the monitor and pointed towards the rate of beats per minute “there it is” she said I looked at my husband I remember smiling but then thinking why is he not moving there must be something wrong with him. She lost the trace of the heartbeat and several attempts by several midwives later they decide they will bring in a scanner.
I can see our baby boy now, he’s not moving; she keeps wiggling the ultra sound probe and I can see where his heartbeat should be. I remember staring at the screen shaking my head gripping my husband’s hand tightly she told us she would find his heartbeat but I was just waiting for the words every parent dreads to hear. Suddenly there they were “I’m so sorry your baby’s heart has stopped beating”. It turns out the heartbeat they found originally was mine and not our baby’s.
I rolled over and buried my head in my husband’s chest sobbing and apologising. Then a consultant appeared from nowhere to give us a 2nd opinion. I couldn’t look at the scan; I couldn’t face seeing my baby lying there lifeless. At every other scan we had, he had been a real fidget we would joke that he took after me.
I remember walking out of our cubicle, I hadn’t noticed but they had cleared the room of the other expectant mums and turned the lights down low. All this had gone on around me and I hadn’t noticed. It was almost midnight now, I stood staring out of the window I could see fairground lights in the distance, all those people enjoying the fayre and me stood still in a world of pain wondering just how on earth I would tell my parents.
My husband looked at me and said “what now?” I looked at him burst into tears and said “I’ve got to give birth, that’s what now”.
There were no magic doors for us that day.