It was a cold day on Jan 12th 2016. I was 35 weeks and 4 days and it was my last week as a nursery teacher before I went on maternity. I had a routine appointment that day at 2pm so I had my hummus and olive bread before I left, a craving I had while I was expecting! I said bye to my teacher colleagues and told them I would be back in the morning. My husband’s office was not far from the hospital so I told him I didn’t need him unless something happens at the appointment.
When I got to the hospital, the midwife did all the regular checks she needed to. She checked the size of the baby and even heard the heartbeat. She asked me if I drank any energy drinks because the baby was kicking so much. She then checked my blood pressure and told me it was borderline high and didn’t want me to go home unless it settles. I had preeclampsia with my daughter in 2013 so they wanted to be careful. I rang my husband and told him the situation. He came straight away while I my blood pressure was being monitored for over three hours.
By 4pm the midwife discharged me and told me that the blood pressure reading has subsided but I should come back the following morning and be monitored again. I felt fine in myself so we were happy to leave. My husband was so thankful that we didn’t have the baby early so we decided to visit our temple which is around 10 minutes away from the hospital but around 40 minutes from home. We were so happy and had all the time in the world so we decided to go.
It was around 4.30 by the time we got to the temple. It was so quiet in there so I was quite happy just to relax and unwind. After a little while I started to feel funny, I felt confused and disorientated. I quickly went up to my husband and told him that I needed to go home and rest.
We quickly got into the car, within 20 minutes I felt an extremely sharp pain on the right side of my abdomen. I didn’t know what a natural labour felt like as I was induced with my daughter and didn’t feel any effects of preeclampsia then. The pain wasn’t even coming and going like a contraction, it was constantly there. I was desperate to get home but there was so much traffic and to make matters worse someone hit our car from behind us.
Luckily we were fine and we finally got home. The pain wouldn’t go away, I waited around half an hour in case it was just a Braxton hicks. The baby was hardly moving by this time so we then decided to drive back to the hospital and rang the triage to tell them what was happening. The wait at the triage was for over 45 minutes.
Finally we were seen and they did a quick scan on the baby. They told us the heart is beating very slowly and that we had to go to the delivery suite immediately and be prepared for an emergency c-section. My blood pressure started to soar which didn’t help. It was 8pm. Eventually a doctor came in the delivery room and carried out a scan. She ordered the midwife to turn the lights off but me and my husband didn’t think anything of it. The doctor then told me she needed to find the consultant who then did a scan too.
By this time my heart was starting to pump hard and my hands started to sweat. Why is the consultant doing the scan? Why is not anyone saying anything? When the consultant finished scanning she went to hold my hand. By then I knew that my baby had died. The consultant told me there was no heartbeat. Before I could even comprehend what was happening, she told me that I need to have this baby naturally and quickly because I might be hemorrhaging from a placental abruption which was why I was in so much pain.
I felt sick and helpless. I started to feel really uncomfortable while I was being induced. A midwife told me it was because the baby wasn’t curled up inside anymore and was stretching out as it has passed away. I really thought I was in hell, that this was not real.
We had to call my family one by one to tell them what had happened. As I was sitting on the hospital bed in a state of shock, I remembered watching an episode from EastEnders where a girl had to give birth to a stillborn baby, I remember clutching on to my stomach thinking thank god that’s not me, but I became one of them.
I even started to remember walking through the church gardens a few weeks ago and looking at the tiny gravestones thinking how hard it must have been for parents to bury their baby. But there I was sitting in a maternity ward in the same position, that parent, in this nightmare.
After receiving some strong epidural and being induced, I gave birth painlessly to a sleeping baby boy at 6am on the 13th January 2016. He looked exactly like my eldest daughter, bold and beautiful. We named him Karan.
In December 2017 I gave birth to another little boy, a mere 5 pounds 3 born at 36 weeks. We called him Arjun. In our religious stories, Arjun and Karan were brothers, who were never meant to be together.
Karan, we will always remember you. One day, I will get a chance to be your mum again. My job as a mum will never be completed until I have found you, maybe in another world, in another timeline.
I will always be a mum of three.
Love from your Mummy, Daddy and the Family xxx