Mavy and I had a simple, fairly straight forward pregnancy. I experienced the usual first trimester nausea and had awful heartburn. I was classed as “high risk” because my previous birth was by cesarean section. There is a very small risk the scar can rupture during birth.
We went into national lockdown just over a month after I had found out I was expecting her. I was furloughed from work shortly after that so I spent most days of the next few months playing in the garden with my daughter Nola (2). My husband, Adam was also off work due to Covid-19 so we were all together as a family of 5, including Prada our black Labrador.
Unfortunately, again due to Covid-19, Adam couldn’t attend either of my scans. We cooked a nice meal the evening after each scan and we would sit and look at the little black and white picture together. I felt so sad for him that he couldn’t be there but we justified it by saying isn’t it lovely that the first time he saw our baby moving around would be on their birthday.
After some thorough discussions with my midwife and a meeting with the hospital I was cleared to have a home birth. I had rented a birth pool, there were positive affirmations around the house and everything was ready for our second child’s arrival.
On Wednesday 4th November 2020, heavily pregnant at 40+6 weeks, I woke up and felt a strong urge to clean everything and prepare the house. I remember talking to my baby all day and saying to her she must be on her way as I had definitely started to nest. That evening around 5pm I ached all over, I was bouncing on the birth ball watching TV and I realised these aches had a pattern to them and I was in early labour.
I knew it was important to reserve my energy so I ate dinner as normal, put Nola to bed and got in bed myself. I felt really calm and in control, I was having contractions every 10 minutes at this point but I was falling asleep in between. In the morning (Thursday 5th November) the contractions were getting more intense so I asked my Mum to come and collect Nola. I told Nola the next time we see each other the baby will be here.
I had a midwife appointment at 10.45am. When I arrived at the midwife I told her I was in labour. She listened into baby’s heart and there was a lovely strong heartbeat. She then checked me and said I was a half cm dilated but cervix was very thin and baby would likely arrive that night. She said when she checked me she had tickled the baby’s head so she wanted to listen in again; another strong heartbeat and a big kick, “This baby isn’t bothered at all” were her words.
Adam and I went home happy and excited. The rest of the day went past in a beautiful blur of meditation and ball bouncing. That evening around 10pm I really needed some relief so decided to get in the bath. The room was lit with candles and soft music playing. I was so content and relaxed but the contractions were definitely getting stronger and closer together.
We called the midwives and they arrived at about 2am (Friday 6th November). I was in the living room with Adam who was setting up the birthing pool. The room looked so pretty, Adam had put fairy lights everywhere and candles were lit.
The midwives sat with me a while then said they needed to listen in on baby. They both tried to locate the heartbeat but nothing was coming through. At this point I really did not believe anything could be wrong. I had heard baby the previous morning – strong as anything. They told me I needed to be transferred to hospital.
When we got to the hospital I was wheeled straight up to the delivery suite. There was a doctor waiting with an ultrasound machine. The doctor started to scan my belly and I looked at the screen. I saw my baby, so what were they all talking about? I couldn’t understand what the panic was. There was my baby on the screen! But then I looked closer and my baby wasn’t moving…and that little ticking of the heart you see on your scans…well that wasn’t happening.
“I’m sorry, baby is no longer with us”
Mavy was born asleep at 8.07pm on Friday 6th November 2020 weighing 8lb 10oz.
My beautiful girl, loved by so many.
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