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2. The Living Nightmare… Our New Reality

I’m sat in my cosy corner, surrounded by plaques, quotes and happy things. My happy place. It’s the only part of the house I can escape the sound of the washing machine and dishwasher, the dog playing and Ryan watching golf videos. 🙄

I listen to the birds from the nearby woods as I relive the worst day of my entire life.

“I feel sick even taking myself back there, everything is so raw and memorable.”

The positive side of me believes that Luna’s big movement was her saying goodbye. Even to this day I can hardly comprehend the fact that she was with me the whole way, every single minute of every single day but not for the last couple pushes. The logical side of me believes it was her final struggle when the cord snapped and her blood was lost.

I prefer to focus on the positive.

After trying to get a look at my angel all within a split second, Luna was whisked to the kitchen where the ressussatation table was ready and the rest for me was a blur.

I was dragged from the pool so fast, wrapped in towels and placed on the sofa.

“What was going on, why wasn’t she crying, what are they doing to her, am I okay, am I alive, am I dreaming, when will I wake up?”

A thousand questions were going through my brain but I couldn’t even speak. I have no idea how my body didn’t go into shock, I just pulled a towel over my head, sat still and prayed. I’ve never prayed properly before, I don’t even know how to, but I did. I prayed repeatedly for her to breathe.

“At that very moment I just wanted to die. I had no idea how Ryan would ever love me again or how I would cope. This was the lowest point I had ever felt in my whole life.”

My gut had already told me the answer to my prayers, and Ry’s voice said the rest, but I wasn’t giving up hope just yet. Ryan was beyond incredible. He had to see his wife to be shocked to silence and body battered in between checking on his daughter being resuscitated, communicating with the midwives and trying to understand what the f**k was going on himself.

Above all, he remained so calm and collected, reassured me that everything will be okay, stroked my head and told me how amazing I was. The protector of his fiancée and baby. My hero ❤️

“Something was just awfully wrong, how is this wrong, it’s not meant to be this way.”

I was completely numb. I couldn’t cry, I couldn’t talk, I couldn’t think, I couldn’t do anything. I just held Ryan’s hand and prayed to the universe to make our girl cry.

We longed to hear her cry for over 5 minutes, I felt I was on an episode of One Born Every Minute, a f**king scary episode. But at the end of the episode they managed to save her and everyone reminises on what a close call it was and how it was a terrifying few minutes.

“No, this was hell on earth and our outcome was not this optimistic.”

Dani the student midwife was incredible, her first time in such a distressing, real life not text book situation and she thrived. She phoned the ambulance within seconds without even being prompted, knew exactly what to say and where for them to arrive. Explained the situation, what the midwives were doing to Luna and within minutes the ambulances had arrived.

Luna was whisked away on a sunny but very frosty Wednesday morning. All I remember thinking was that she had better be warm and wrapped up as she’s just been in water and she will be freezing. Even now we didn’t even get the chance to know what was happening.

“Luna was rushed into her own ambulance and that was all we knew. I remember thinking, she’s such a little princess having one all to herself.”

I was injected to help deliver the placenta and then I felt a hand and it was pulled from inside me… just like that. I didn’t care, I didn’t feel a thing, I was completely numb.

Once he knew I was stable, Ry left me to see what was happening. He is so brave being able to see them resuscitating our daughter even to this day. His voice was trembling, yet he still held it together. I remained still with the towel firmly over my face.

“I heard voices all around and pictured a crazy scene from Casualty, but it felt like I was under an invisible cloak, it’s all happening around me but I can’t speak.”

I was being stitched like a wounded solider sprawled on the sofa without a care in the world. It was funny because throughout my whole pregnancy my primary worry was regarding tearing, ripping or having stitches. Yet there I was being stitched without a flinch, the absolute least of my worries.

“Then my heart was struck by a million volts.”

Ryan’s voice. I had completely forgotten about life. Like the fact we have families. Ryan went upstairs but I could still hear him. He was on the phone to both our parents having to speak words of horror and to urge them to the hospital immediately. After that he just broke down. He held it together so well before being repeatedly sick. A completely broken man.

For him to hear an upbeat voice the other end of the phone expecting good news, but for them to hear the words of a distraught man through sobbing tears, must have been hell on Earth.

“Our poor families, what a sickening phone call. The thoughts they just have experienced on their way to hospital are unimaginable. I have never felt such guilt in all my life.”

He returned to hair stroking and telling me everything’s okay within a few minutes. He explained our parents will meet us at the hospital and persisted to reassure me that everything will be okay.

“I’m pretty sure this is the only time I will let him off for lying to me!”

We venture into the ambulance, the neighbours were luckily all at work, feeling so ashamed of myself.

Time stood still. I had given birth at 09:19am, nearly 11 hours since my waters had broken, yet the journey to the hospital felt longer than the 11 hours itself. Even at this point we still didn’t know the outcome. Looking back I don’t know if this was the best or worst thing for us.

That journey was hand on heart the most painful thing I have ever experienced. My heart was aching like I have never felt in my life.

“I looked out of the little window as I lay strapped to the ambulance bed to the sunshine. With the rays on my face, I closed my eyes and hoped I would see the light.”

We didn’t speak the whole way, actually we hadn’t spoke since I gave birth. I didn’t know what to say to him I just held his hand and we spoke telepathically. I didn’t need to say anything, he knew by the way I was grabbing his hand and staring into his eyes how I felt.

Seeing an ambulance now still gives me hot sweats and makes my stomach churn. When the sirens are on its flashbacks galore, but this will go over time. One thing though I must say, the paramedics were absolutely first class ❤️.

Getting to the hospital I have never felt such shame, embarrassment or guilt in all my life. I couldn’t bring a live baby into the world, what the f**k is wrong with me? How can hundreds and thousands of people do this, yet I can’t?

“It’s so sad to think but secretly, half of me was expecting her to be all wrapped up in a midwives arms. I pictured her passing her to me and telling me how lucky I am that it was a close call.”

As I unveiled my face in the room we were allocated, I was greeted with the broken and distraught faces of our families. I felt absolutely f**king mortified, it was my fault.

I kept saying sorry to everyone as I didn’t know what to do to make them feel better. They would come over and drown me in hugs and kisses but all I could say was I’m so sorry.

It was my fault, why did I have a home birth, why didn’t I listen to them all and have a hospital birth, why was she a happy baby for 11 hours of labour but not the last few minutes? What had I done? How was I going to apologise to Ryan? What if he falls out of love with me? I can’t lose him aswell? My family hate me…

Mid thoughts the midwife entered the room, Emma, the most amazing lady I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. She perched on the left side of the hospital bed with Ryan at my head and held our hands. The second she held our hands our fate was revealed. She need not say those dreaded words. Her eyes filled up and she said, “I’m sorry, they have tried everything they can.”

She didn’t need to say anymore and if she did I wouldn’t have heard her anyway. I felt as though I had been hit by a train, my stomach had been kicked, twisted and stamped on. I just sobbed. I sobbed my heart out with such might I couldn’t breathe. My heart shattered into a billion pieces, and I sobbed inconsolably for what felt like a lifetime.

“The whole room was in floods and my darling Ryan was a broken man.”

I just laid on my left side as I had for 9 months, held my ‘no longer’ bump and sobbed until my body couldn’t sob anymore.

What was worse was to hear Ryan. His cry was unimaginable yet I can hear it when I picture that moment. B.r.o.k.e.n.

Our families were beyond distraught and all I thought was I am so f**king hated, hated by everyone and now I’m going to lose Ryan. How could he forgive me. It’s crazy what your mind does to you in times like these.

Then it was so strange, we both stopped dead in our tracks of tears and emotion, Ryan walked over to the bed and held my head, we both look at the clock having lost track of time and there it was 10:36am exactly 12 hours since my waters had broken. We just smiled through tears in absolute disbelief. As if that has just happened?

I honestly thought it would all have been a horrific nightmare and I would wake up at home in our comfy bed. I thought I would be covered in hot sweat, feel the movements of my bump, cuddle Ry and rock myself back to sleep. I now had to face this harsh painful reality.

The awkward reality of having a stillborn.

I haven’t ever smoked and didn’t touch a drop of alcohol, I slept on my left side religiously all night every night, I stayed active, I ate well, what had I missed and done wrong?

We were flooded with consultants, hospital people and midwives. I never know which is which but they all had to speak to us. Within 20 minutes of our world being turned upside down we hear the words I never thought I would ever hear.

You need to consider the option of a Post-Mortem?

Um excuse me what is that, I’ve only ever heard these words on crime series after murders I didn’t even know what it was or how it is even carried out. Please can someone tell me why the f**k we are being told to consider this now?

We automatically got extremely defensive and protective over our perfect daughter, I say we but Ryan did, I did in my mind and facial expressions, but had no energy for words. We certainly weren’t going to even consider this she can’t possibly have anything wrong with her she’s ours, she’s a Conroy, she’s perfect.

Or has she? Is she really perfect? Is there something wrong with her? The seed of doubt had been planted… but only for a short while.

“Then came the most amazing moment of my whole life. I never knew I would be able to see her!”

It was as if I had completely forgotten all about her. It was time to meet my little love I had so longed to meet for nearly 10 months. I literally forgot about her completely, the fact she was in the hospital with me and patiently waiting to see her mum and dad in the adjacent room.

Then I panicked, I didn’t know what to do or say, I didn’t know how she would look or be dressed, we had no clothes or blankets, I didn’t want to see her bare what if she was harmed or …and there she was.

“Swaddled to perfection with a little pink hat on waiting to see her mum and dad. Our beautiful little Luney bear.”

She instantly made us smile, time stood still, I forgot where I was, who I was, what had happened and it was just the three of us how it was always meant to be. It was euphoric. I just loved her, love at first sight, true love just like the films. Wow.

She just looked as though she was sleeping. My sleeping beauty.

I’m so f**king stupid though, I genuinely convinced myself that if I believed hard enough her eyes would open or she would breathe. Like I said, it’s funny how your mind plays tricks on you.

I just couldn’t believe how heavy she was and how chubby her cheeks and chins were! (Yes plural as she had a couple like her dad) 😁.

We laughed at how we bought her tiny baby clothes that she certainly wouldn’t fit in (up to 5.5lbs) and it all took me back to happy times, remembering how she loved her food and would have a party in the womb after every meal.

“I felt so happy, the happiest I’d ever been, even as I type those words, a huge wave of warmth and love still floods my heart through streaming eyes.”

The two midwives Lizzie and Mel were watching in awe as Ryan stroked my hair, told me how amazing I was and how perfectly I grew our daughter. They took photos of us as a family, ones I will treasure forever, and Lizzie said she wished she videoed it as Ryan was so moving.

He was telling me how he would make me happy again, how we would move on from this, how amazing our daughter is, how incredible I am for growing her and delivering her, just everything I wanted to hear and more. I remember thinking, “Wow, he still loves me ❤️.”

As I had hold of my girl, Ryan started to cry, hard. But I felt strong, I was holding our beautiful daughter who I had carried for what felt like years. I was telling her off saying look what you’ve done to your dad Luney bear, he’s crying because he’s a man and he’s not as strong as us women.

I spoke to her so softly, I told her how beautiful she is and how she has such chubby cheeks. How she was lucky she had my nose but her dad’s pouty lips as mumma’s are fake and I kissed her neck over and over again. These pictures I treasure forever, the sad reality is these photos are the only ones I’ll ever have, they mean the world to me and even now looking at our first and last ever selfie I smile. That’s my girl. ❤️

“I couldn’t believe and still can’t believe that I created such a beautiful human right to the last fingernail of pure perfection.”

I felt so strong and able to conquer the world. I felt unstoppable. I couldn’t believe how she had transformed my whole mood.

Then the tables turned. Ryan held his daughter yapping away as I crumbled. Seeing them together broke me in two. Daddy’s little girl in his big strong arms a beautiful sight for me to see. I felt sad, sad to the bone, so sad I didn’t know how I would ever make him happy again. They looked amazing together. Ryan smiling at her through sad eyes, I will never lose that memory of them.

Then our families returned to see her, I forgot that they were all outside and in twos they came, longing to hold their grand daughter, and niece. I had to take photos of each and every one of them with her for keepsakes.

They were all smiling as soon as they saw her, complimenting me on how well I carried her, they couldn’t believe how beautiful she was and how much she looked like us both with my button nose and Ryan’s lips.

“It felt like a lifetime she was out of my arms and I wanted her back to make me feel this way again.”

And just like that, she was returned to my arms, her little bottom curled under my left arm and she lay there, snuggled into me.

The midwife asked if she had any hair, I had no idea. I can’t believe I hadn’t checked. We all joked, (all as in everyone who knows I was a ginger baby a.k.a the world) that she would be a little ginger biscuit.

None of the babies in our family have ever had hair at birth (or for years after actually) so I wasn’t expecting much at all. But there it was! A mop of waves with a tinge of ginge at the nape of her neck, so soft to touch, she looked so different. 😍

Although no tone in her body she looked exactly how I imagined her to and the complete opposite, she was Ryan’s double! The poor girl looked like a little boy, quick get the pink hat back on her 😁❤️!

The midwife Emma asked Ryan to help her take foot and hand prints and to weigh her. I couldn’t wait, we had the bets on for months that she would be a dot, she weighed in at 6lb 13oz but felt considerably heavier and stronger. They guessed if she had blood in her body she would be up in the 8lbs.

“No wonder I ended up puffing on 5 canisters of Entinox to deliver her!”

Then the midwife began to unswaddle her to her nappy, she was so long I couldn’t believe how she had fitted inside my tummy. She’s amazing I kept saying, she’s just amazing. As if I ever doubted myself that she would be anything but.

As she was unravelled, we could not believe our eyes. On her chest lay her perfect hands either side of a little blemish in the shape of a heart.

“I just cried so much, I genuinely believe to this day she had left all of her love to us.”

In that moment I felt mesmerised by everything, life, it’s purposes, death, destiny, fate, our souls, just everything. Wow.

It was like she knew I needed an answer, but there it was. Mum, dad, take all my love, we will meet again but for now its just not meant to be.

…continued Wednesday 14th March.

Aimee x


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