It was Wednesday 18th May 2011 and I had reached my 36th week of pregnancy, this was my “Rainbow Baby” after losing Chloe in November 2009.
I had yet another un-eventful, happy, healthy pregnancy. Well when I say uneventful, I mean in terms of the pregnancy, however me being me things are never “un-eventful”!
After losing Chloe I was determined to stop other parents and families going through such an ordeal, within a few months I had launched Kicks Count which by now had really picked up momentum. I was being interviewed and photographed for magazines and newspapers, attending countless meetings with the Royal Colleges and even the department of health, speaking at MSLC Group meetings, going to colleges and presenting to sometimes hundreds of Midwives and students also attending big Baby Shows, working flat out to promote the charity.
The best thing was, almost everyday I read messages of thanks and support for the work Kicks Count were doing. We have an amazing team helping me and we were helping to save little lives, this made all my pain, heartache and hard work so worth while.
Throughout my pregnancy I made an effort to attend as many of my local SANDS meetings as I could, it gave me a chance to vent my fears and frustrations and spend some time thinking about Chloe. I soon realised I had been given such a gift, Kicks Count was giving me so much strength and positivity, everything I had learned about risks in pregnancy, and the symptoms to look for, all the hints and tips I had picked up. I was oozing with confidence – This time I was bringing my baby home!
I received the most amazing care, The Royal Surrey County Hospital antenatal team were fantastic, always on hand if I had any worries, luckily I had become good friends with Claire the Senior Midwife who delivered Chloe, she was thrilled about our imminent arrival and was there every step of the way for me. I was concerned at the beginning that I didn’t want to have the same Community Midwife as before, not because of anything she’d done, but just because I would have had to re-live every visit in the same room going through the same things as I did with Chloe. Claire recommended her friend Annie and arranged with the head of Midwifery for Annie to take over my Community care, I was so lucky, Annie was amazing! Literally every week she would pop round my house to quickly listen to “Berts” heartbeat. It was so reassuring.
We had agreed a plan with our consultant very early on in the pregnancy, we saw the same Consultant as we had with Chloe, I felt this was important as he knew our history and seemed to understand my concerns. He was also very supportive of Kicks Count, which meaned a lot to me!
We were due to have a planned C-Section at 37 weeks, we were booked in and today I was due to visit the hospital antenatal clinic for my second shot of Steroids, to ensure “Berts” lungs were mature enough.
I woke up early as usual, Dan went off to work and I went about my usual morning duties of opening the post and checking emails. It was when I sat at my desk “Bert” would always have a wriggle, but today nothing.
I remember sitting back and rubbing my bump…… nothing.
My heart started racing, I stood up and walked around, I started running a bath and poured a cold drink….. panic was starting to set in, please God not again!
I tried really hard to stay calm, stopped the bath. “What do I say to everyone… Call your Midwife – Call your Midwife!” I told myself.
“Annie” I burst into tears. “Annie the baby wont’ move!”
As always she was amazing. It was her day off and she was in London with her daughter, but she calmly said “Soph, you know what to do, call Dan and go straight to the ward. Come on love you know what you have to do”.
Dan must have been on a shout as his voicemail came on “Dan the baby won’t move – I’m going to the hospital. Call me”. By this time I was shaking from head to toe. Please God not again.
I called the ward and my friend came straight round and drove me straight there. I found myself taking the same walk as before, slow motion, taking forever, trying not to scream. This couldn’t be happening again, please. I had done everything right this time. Please not again.
When I got to the ward they whisked me straight into a cubicle, sat me on the bed and the Midwife got the doppler, she knew who I was, they all did. They all knew I knew the drill “Sophia stay calm, it may take a few moments for me to find the heartbeat, ok”. ”Please try to stay calm”. But literally as soon as she touched my skin there it was, my baby was alive!
I sobbed, massive loud uncontrollable sobs, I couldn’t breath through the tears. My baby was alive!
It was about 11am by this time, I was strapped to the monitor watching “Berts” pulse, but I still wasn’t happy. He still hadn’t moved all morning, and I was getting this pain in the top of my Right hand side, each time I felt this pain “Berts” Pulse dipped. I was watching, my Mum was with me – she was watching and I know the Midwives were too.
The ward was filling up and a couple of times I was asked if I’d like to go home, and then pop back if I’m concerned, but no way was I taking this monitor off, not until my baby started moving. But still nothing.
My consultant came on duty that evening and luckily so did Claire. They both sat with me and Dan and went through my notes, I explained about the pulse dipping with each pain, I could see the consultants mind working. Claire was so supportive and stayed with us as much as she could.
Throughout the evening the pains started increasing and with each pain “Berts” pulse dipped even more.
It was 10:30 and Dan was getting ready to go home, suddenly Claire and the consultant walked into my cubicle wearing their scrubs…. “Right you two” Claire said calmly… “We think it’s time we all met this baby!”
To be honest I can’t really remember what I thought or what went through my mind, before I knew it Dan was dressed in scrubs, I was in a gown and the Anethetist was asking me all their questions, in no time at all I was lying in the theatre, I remember the door opened and in rushed Annie “I wasn’t going to miss this guys!” she sang, and I heard the consultant say, “Right Sophia you might feel some tugging and pushing…..”
The next thing I knew Claire said “Dan look, look!” she was holding up our baby to show him…… “It’s a BOY!” he said quietly, “We’ve got a boy Soph!”
George William Wyatt was born at 23:11 on 18th May 2011.
A fit and healthy 6lb8oz
The following day we were told he had stopped moving because my Placenta was failing.
I had followed my instinct, listened to everything I had learned, and called my Midwife.
Dan and I took George home the following week.
George is the proof – Awareness really does save lives!