Darryl and Ayme’s support of the campaign has been invaluable, both with raising awareness and much-needed funds. Darryl took part in a marathon and raised almost £4,000, which goes an awful long way for such a small charity. Ayme appeared on our “Surprise, Surprise” video and has published her story in magazines such as Woman’s Own to spread awareness of our work and why it’s so important. You can read their story, written by Ayme herself, here:
“Wednesday 14th September 2011 is a day my husband and I will never forget, it is the day our beautiful baby girl ‘Uma Flay’ was born sleeping at 27 weeks gestation.
We were away in Spain with friends and I hadn’t felt our baby move for 24hrs, I thought it was normal……. After 48hrs I drank cold fizzy drinks and ate chocolate, still nothing, I searched on the internet and we came to a conclusion that she may have turned and was kicking inwards. How wrong we were.
72hrs later and we were on the plane home to England and I just knew deep down that there was something wrong. We landed and went straight to Lewisham hospital near to where we lived. After an agonizing two hour wait our nightmare was confirmed. “There is no heart beat” – words that no expectant parents ever expect to hear. We couldn’t believe our precious baby girl was gone…. Why? Why us? What did I do wrong? I didn’t want to believe it, but it was true.
They sent us home that night – I felt sick at the thought of having to go home with my dead baby inside me – we were told to come back in the morning to start the induction process. I had to give birth, something I hadn’t even thought about. Looking back, I was so scared and so naïve. I had no idea these things could happen so late in pregnancy as they are not talked about. The hospital were great. I was put in a private room, away from cries of new born babies, and my husband was allowed to stay with me throughout. I was petrified.
The induction process started at 11am and ten hours later, she was born. To my surprise she was absolutely perfect, all fingers & toes in place and a big head of hair. She looked like an angel. We chose not to hold her as she looked so peaceful, but she stayed with us for a few hours and I was then sent to surgery to have my placenta removed and eventually got some rest.
The next morning we were seen by the bereavement team and asked what our little girl’s name was. This took me by surprise and I burst into tears as my husband and I were going to discuss names that week, we had however decided on her middle name ‘Uma’ so we decided to use this as her first name. We then had to decide if we wanted a postmortem and a funeral, both of which we agreed to. It was such a whirlwind I don’t remember much as I was still in shock at losing our baby and giving birth along with grieving. It was a lot to take in.
We were discharged the next day, it was so hard leaving the hospital with no baby and never to see her again. All we had were some foot and hand prints and a few photos of her, which I will cherish forever. The funeral was four weeks later and very personal. We got her postmortem results back four weeks after that and they came back inconclusive so we will never really know what happened.
Our life was turned upside down and I wasn’t sure if I could ever smile again…….
We were lucky and I did fall pregnant again a year after losing Uma. As you can imagine we were terrified. I found Count the Kicks website and facebook page online and found the advice and support they gave really helpful. Up until I lost Uma I had no idea about monitoring my baby’s movements. It was such a simple thing and I really wished I had known about it before. I tried to relax but my anxiety levels were sky high, but…….. we made it, three weeks early and with only a three hour labour thank goodness. Theo our little boy arrived – we were delighted, but as you can imagine it brought a lot of emotions with it.
I had decided not to get support at the time of Uma’s death and dealt with the grief and loss alone with support from family and friends. After the birth of Theo it all got too much so I decided that I needed to see someone, so I went for counselling and natural healing, which has helped me deal with the loss and my anxieties.
If only I had been aware of reduced fetal movements and how important it is to keep an eye on it, maybe our gorgeous girl would still be here today, but this is something I have had to learn to live with.
I hope our story will support others and give hope to some, but the main point is, if you have reduced movement go straight to your midwife or nearest hospital and count the babies kicks every day.”
If you were one of the lucky ones to get a ballot place for the 2016 Virgin London Marathon we would love for you to join us, helping to educate more mums on the importance of baby movements and save little lives. Please fill in our event registration form and we will send you a free charity t-shirt or vest to wear whilst training and some fundraising materials.