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 in June to coincide with 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.
At our eight week scan myself and my husband found out we were having naturally conceived triplets, we couldn’t believe it and was over the moon. We felt like the luckiest parents alive and I absolutely loved my growing bump, we set up an Instagram page to blog our story as we wanted to remember each step of our journey.
Fast forward to our 20 week scan, everything was perfect our babies were developing and growing exactly as they should be. Two days later on the 19th May 2018. I went into pre-term labour- without knowing I was actually in pre-term labour. We rang our hospital and explained the pains I was having and they asked me to go in to be on the safe side. The journey to the hospital was awful, it seemed to take forever and my sense of panic was increasing. I asked my husband to drop me off outside as I was in so much pain and knew I wouldn’t be able to walk from the car park.
As I arrived I was feeling more and more pressure and was becoming increasingly scared as to what was happening. As soon as I walked into the delivery ward I happened to see the doctor I had previously seen two weeks before. Dr Emma. She remembered me, took swift control of the situation and even though I was in sheer panic I felt comfort in knowing I trusted her and she would take care of me. As soon as the doctor managed to get me into a room the first of three sets of waters broke. My husband still wasn’t with me as he was parking the car, I will never forget the look of fear on his face when he walked into the room to see me lying on the bed in labour.
I don’t know where it came from, but I got this overwhelming strength which enabled me to be in control during labour and deliver all three babies and all three placentas myself. Jack, Lottie and Rosie were given to me to hold as soon as they were born, there soft warm skin is a feeling I will hold onto for the rest of my life. I remember looking at them, they were perfect, nothing was wrong with them. Sadly after about an hour and a half they peacefully passed away in my arms. In one night we had lost our whole family, our precious babies and everything we had ever wanted had been taken away from us!
At Heartlands Hospital (where our babies were born) we were provided amazing support by the Eden bereavement suite who has specially trained midwifes to support families like ourselves. One particular midwife, Nicky, was amazing and she made amazing memory boxes including, photographs, teddies, hand and footprints... our beautiful babies were allowed to stay by our side in hospital due to the ‘cuddle cots’ which help preserve the babies.
We stayed there for three nights and could make amazing memories with our babies, we could take them to their special garden outside, read them stories, tell them about their mummy and Daddy and enjoy time together. While we were in the hospital myself and my husband decided we wanted to raise money to provide the hospital with another ‘cuddle cot’ as they only had 2 at this hospital. We decided to plough our energy into fundraising to help and support families like us in the future.
On the 29th May we decided to set up our fundraising page and to date we have nearly £6,000 - enough to not only buy a cuddle cot but to help the Eden Suite with their refurbishment which they are starting soon. In what has been the worst time of our life this fundraising has given us the strength we need.
Myself and my husband promised each other that we would be open and talk openly about our feelings. We are so lucky to have amazing family and friends who are open to talk to us about our beautiful babies, but the Sands charity #findingthewords campaign is helping raise awareness that every baby should be talked about and it’s good to be open and share how you are feeling.
Photo: Catherine and Mike Blewitt's triplets Jack, Lottie and Rosie
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 #FindingTheWords initiative now to help ensure a bereaved parent doesn't have to cope alone. Thank you.