Our beautiful baby daughter Anabelle was born sleeping June 2010.
Blessed with the screaming arrivals of our gorgeous rainbow sons,
Alexander October 2011, Zachary November 2013 and Lucas July 2016.

After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows
Heartbreak. Joy. Death. Life. But most of all Love.

Monday, 3 October 2016

The Third - What It Felt Like

There are simply no words to convey the magnitude of what it felt like. That moment we were told our daughter was dead inside me. No heartbeat. 

Wednesday 16th June 2010

We had gone to the hospital because I couldn't feel her. Really, I think I already knew way before we heard those words. We were taken into a side room on labour ward. A midwife tried to listen. A Doctor was called. An archaic old ultrasound machine was pulled in. The Doctor looked. He said the machine wasn't clear. Still no-one had actually said what was wrong. We were taken to the x-ray and ultrasound department. A sonographer looked, and looked. She indicated to her colleague for a second opinion. There was a silent nod. And I knew, before they said anything at all, I knew. 

There is no heartbeat. 

I cannot remember exactly what they said. All I heard was no heartbeat. 

Barely before she had finished her sentence, before the gel had been wiped from my tummy, Jon was across the room and scooped me in his arms. And we crumpled. Guttural broken sobs. 

I have very little recollection of the sequence of events that day after this. The world was spinning and shattering around us. I have no idea how long the staff left us in that scan room, clinging to eachother. I know eventually we were taken back to labour ward and into Room 4. The Room where Anabelle would be born five days later. I was sick. Another Doctor came to see us, explained what was going to happen next. Induction and Labour. He said it was better that way, better for my recovery and future pregnancies. A different more senior midwife came to look after us. I was given a tablet. We were sent home with instructions. It was all a blur. Those days between her death and birth are all a blur. Time moved differently.  I was sick a lot over these next few days. 

Sent home to wait for something to happen. Still pregnant but not. 

We waited for something to happen. Nothing happened. 

It all felt unbearably cruel. I wanted her out but not all at the same time. 

We went to my parents - and there we stayed until after her funeral. 

I couldn't bare the sight of me. Mirrors had to be covered around the house, I couldn't look at my pregnant shape anymore. The bump I had been loving so much was now beyond painful. I was so scared. 

Then on the Saturday morning I was admitted onto the labour ward for the next part of the induction. Labour ward where despite best efforts it was inevitable that I would hear other women in labour and their babies arriving crying. 

Staff were kind. I was set up on the morphine drip and told not to be brave; to press the button that would administer a set dose of morphine whenever I wanted it. I realise now that morphine was much less for pain management and much more about sedating me somewhat. Numbing me to the horrific reality I was living through. 

The midwife looking after us that morning had been in the same position as me, with her own sleeping baby. I was astounded she could do this job. 

I don't remember how the day passed.

We were in a self-contained labour room. A sofa pull-out bed for Jon, a fridge, a kettle, a shower room. I don't think I realised at the time that we weren't in any old labour room. I realise now it was 'the room' that was used for families like us. 

Twenty-four hours nothing happened.

The same started again Sunday morning, still waiting. Father's Day.

How utterly unbearable for Jon. That his first Father's Day was spent in that room, waiting for his dead daughter to arrive. 

Coming up to 7.00pm that evening Belle still wasn't on her way. I still wasn't in labour. They were going to break my waters and give me overnight, but if I still wasn't in labour by the morning then I would be having a c-section. 

They broke my waters and within minutes it all kicked off. Fast and thick contractions. 

It was only on reading my notes a few months later that I realised how quickly I did dilate and labour after this. Labour was recorded as 5 hours and 8 minutes. 

She arrived. The loudest of silences. Part of me died with her. 

And then, in the afternoon of that day, after all of that. We had to leave hospital without her. And it was that moment that broke me once and for all. Empty. Broken-hearted. Changed forever. 

Capture Your Grief. Day 3. What It Felt Like. 


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Caz
After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows. I'm Caz, Mummy to beautiful angel Belle and my wonderful rainbow boys, Xander, Zachy and Luc. Wife to Jon. Twitter @cazem Instagram @cazzyem
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