So the last few blogs have had a fairly positive tone throughout, but I will warn you, this one is far from it. 💔
Another Disney movie is 100% required for the completion of this blog and you might need glasses come the end, as I have written my actual life story. 😁
It’s pretty f**king depressing to put it bluntly, but one I know I have to do. I didn’t want to share this as it’s very personal and very raw.
“Within this blog you will find out the reasons why I am even writing this blog in the first place.”
So we returned from Cyprus to face our new reality and in a weeks time we would be finding out the true reasons as to why Luna is not with us today.
The suitcases were waiting to be unpacked, washing waiting to be washed and life waiting to be lived (or in this case life waiting to be avoided).
So before I begin, let’s just take a minute to appreciate this innocent little face with the chubbiest cheeks.
My girly. 😍🌈🌙💜 Yes I am bias, she’s a beauty… just look at her dad! 😁❤️
Sorry to disappoint guys, but this blog is a 1 photo wonder!
Feel free to leave now if you aren’t up for reading and you tend to prefer to casually scroll through the pictures… 🙈
So I never use the word ‘death’ as to me, and to us, Luna never died.
“In our eyes she never took a breath and she never knew any different than being so loved and longed for in my womb.”
However, being born into this world without a heartbeat or having taken a breath means the cause of Luna’s ‘death’ needs to be looked into.
Tests, analysis and investigations are conducted to help identify a reason for this… if any can be identified at all.
The Science:🤓 (Aimee-fied/Simplified)
At the hospital, as I mentioned, we were offered a post mortem.
Don’t worry, like you, I also didn’t have a fucking clue what it was or (even want to hear about it to be honest), but we firmly decided for this not to be conducted.
“Our midwife had been there every step of the way and having discussed briefly with consultants on the day it happened, she concluded that this would not be neseccary for us.”
They had an educated guess that it was to do with the placenta/umbilical cord and therefore the likeliness of the cause being anything wrong with Luna herself, was very small.
She explained that it would cause us further distress and emotional pain to wait for the post mortem to be conducted and for Luna’s body to be returned. This would have a serious knock on effect for the timescale for Luna’s service (were talking months).
She also asked for us to consider the 90% expectation of an inconclusive finding, (aka cutting open my beautiful baby for nothing to be found) from this intrusive test.
It just didn’t sit right with me. My gut was telling me no.
“We took the information on board and decided this wasn’t the option for us. The part we needed to focus on was the umbilical cord and placenta analysis.”
Swabs and tests were conducted the same day I gave birth (I know, like do you want to do anything else to me while your at it 😁) by the midwife on duty and I had to visit the doctors for follow up blood tests 6 weeks later.
They took what felt like my body weight in blood (twice can I add, because they put it in the wrong test tube the first time 😩) and it got sent off to the lab for chromosome and genetic tests, (basically to see if I have anything wrong with me that may have been passed on).
In the meantime the placenta and umbilical cord were sent off for tests in the laboratory.
After I gave birth and the midwife quickly clamped the cord (all within 0.3 seconds) it wasn’t known at this time that the cord was actually in the birthing pool.
No body knew at this point that it had come away from the placenta and as it had been clamped and cut from Luna, it was now simply abandoned in the pool.
The midwife pulled the placenta from within me in such a hurry (f**king disgusting I know, sorry guys 🙈) it was right now that she realised there was no cord attached to it or in sight.
“The cord was only roughly 12cm long and too short to have even pushed Luna out naturally in the first place.”
They explained that cords vary in size and thickness etc.. but said that the cord was actually too short to even push Luna out. It’s meant to be twice your torso length to allow the baby to ‘drop’ and then be placed on your chest for skin to skin and to be held by the mum while waiting for the placenta to be delivered.
My cord wasn’t even long enough for Luna to ‘drop.’
“Not only was it short, it was thin and jelly like. I wondered how on Earth my baby girl survived 9 months and an intense 11 hour labour on that piece of jelly.”
Having seen the cord with my own eyes, it just clicked.
This is why I felt she was stuck.
This is why I felt she was on a bungee cord when pushing.
This tiny piece of jelly like string, is why. 💔
The cord was stretched to its absolute max and as the contractions were still trying to push Luna out, eventually something had to give.
And that something was Luna’s lifeline.
The umbilical cord.
It came away from the placenta and Luna’s blood was lost in the pool, just like that.
Within 5 minutes she had gone from a healthy happy baby with a great heartbeat…
“Within a flash, her lifeline had come away from the placenta and she arrived as a lifeless little jelly baby.” 💔
The midwives on scene (all 4 of them) said that the chances of reviving Luna would have been extremely high if she had blood.
But seeing as babies are only born with the tiniest amount, even if a large drop is lost, it can cause severe issues and even brain damage, let alone if all of the blood is lost.
Back to the science… 🤓
So the placenta was retrieved should I say 🙈, and upon inspection it was noted straight away that it wasn’t ‘normal.’
Well f**king thanks. I have a sh*t body. Thanks body you f**king useless pr**k!
The placenta was extremely small, dark red/brown and just horrible.
It was dead.
“It had completely run out of life and steam and it was an accident waiting to happen.”
Placenta calcification had taken place. This is where it doesn’t supply enough oxygen or nutrients to the baby in most cases, but it happens in aged placentas (ones that have been supporting a baby for a full 42+ weeks).
So why has this happened to my baby at 40 weeks?
Usually with both the umbilical cord and placenta issues there are signs…
These signs would be a deterioration in the growth of the baby which would have been picked up by the size or by the scans (especially with the 1000 growth scans we had 🙈).
“It is still extremely hard for me to understand this part on how there wasn’t a single thing to highlight these facts.”
She was a 6lb 13oz baby at 40 weeks (without blood when weighed) so they estimated an 8lb baby with blood etc…
A ‘normal’ sized chubby cheeked bubba. 💔
To have avoided this scenario altogether, would have been a c-section.
Unfortunately for a first time mother, healthy, low risk, baby growing well, textbook pregnancy, active labour, no problems…
This is never and will never be offered to you.
The Care: 🦋
The care is looked into that you received throughout your pregnancy and labour from your initial booking appointment at 6 weeks… to the minute you have delivered your baby.
“The notes you have to take to every single appointment are now our absolute gold dust, combined with the notes the midwives conduct throughout your labour.”
They are then scrutinised for elements of improvement and the findings, delivered to you.
A report is collated for both the care side of things and the science side of things. The care report was delivered to us at home a couple of weeks prior to our science report and findings.
This one is delivered at the hospital at your sad loss appointment and discussed with you by a lead consultant.
So the care report was let’s just say it was…
But the main thing for us, is that the care was superb.
“Something having entered the baby loss community, I am so f**king thankful for, as I only wish it could be said for the rest of us.”
Many things were taken back to the hospital (in terms of aftercare) to be improved as a result of our shocking experience.
Did I have to experience being adjoined to a lady giving birth?
The next room further down the corridor, nearer the offices was being used as storage…
Could I have used that room instead and have prevented the further trauma of experiencing a woman giving birth 15 metres away?
Could I have had my own bathroom so I didn’t have to share and see the poor woman’s vagina through the blind which wasn’t down?
Are the NHS too understaffed and overcrowded with people to fulfil a great experience for all ‘customers?’
Did the door that separates the baby loss section to the labouring section have the ability to close and block out the noise?
Was there any reason why it wasn’t closed and we managed to hear every single thing from labouring women to giggling midwives all night?
Do you always sneak your bereaved parents out of the fire exit to save them walking through the hospital but also making them feel like ashamed convicts?
Is there any need for up to 10 different members of staff to enter the room when you are trying to enjoy the only precious cuddles you will ever have with your daughter?
Do you have a double bed that is available for bereaved parents to sleep in to minimise the feeling of isolation and promote feeling comforted by their loved one?
These things are now being addressed and improved as a result of our aftercare…
“I pray to god that for future families, they have the best possible aftercare in the world as a result of our not so great experience.”
The Sad Loss Appointment: 💔
So now you know the ins and outs and have a feel for our experience this appointment was simply petrifying.
The sad loss appointment… That name.
It just f**king irritates me!
Whoever thought of that name, how f**king awful. Why is it called something more, I don’t know, more upbeat (if possible) or simple or just generic, it just sounds so patronising.
Sorry it may just be me 😁! So anyway, yes, the sad loss appointment.
What is it?
After having a stillborn baby you are offered various tests for scientists and specialists to try and find an answer… if any at all.
Today is the day.
We have an 11am appointment on level 6.
Ry mentioned he recognised this level and said I’m sure it’s the level we had our scans and stuff.
I literally looked at him in disgust for being so f**king stupid and laughed in disbelief like why are you such a man sometimes darling… of course it’s not. 😁
“They aren’t going to put a sad loss appointment on the same floor as the place you go for scans, surrounded by bumps and babies?” 😂
…if only I took Ryan more seriously.
We arrive, and instead of entering the maternity entrance as we had throughout our journey we chose the main entrance.
Walking through the windy corridors of doom like most hospitals, we arrive at level 6.
Is this some kind of F**KING SICK JOKE?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?
NHS YOU GOT TO BE HAVING A F**KING LAUGH.
We enter the section as stated on the letter and proceed to the reception where we are instructed to wait in a specific area.
Some absolute grade A big shot, sits in a head office, wearing a suit behind a desk pr*ck obviously had a great f**king idea; oh I know, let’s put the people who have just lost their baby a few weeks ago with the people who are all expecting their LITTLE BUNDLES OF JOY AND SURROUND THESE DISTRAUGHT HUMANS WITH BUMPS AND MATERNITY PACKS.
THAT WILL MAKE THEM FEEL BETTER AND EVEN MORE RELAXED FOR THEIR ALREADY HORRIFIC F**KING WORST APPOINTMENT IN THE WORLD.
(Sorry, I get a little bit irritated by the inconsideration and lack of human empathy).
So I’m crying already. And we still have 10 minutes until our appointment.
Lizzie our midwife had already told me she would be joining us in the room and we were thankful for this. She had been there every step of the way.
“She popped out to see us and to see how we were and I couldn’t help myself.”
Lizzie why are we here? Out of all the f**king places in the hospital WHY are we in the maternity section?
She was horrified.
I know. I came out to see how you guys were, they thought that you coming in a different entrance would be okay.
We had no words, I was furious before even entering, but once again… we took it on the chin and waited to be called.
Now was not the right time to cause a scene.
She popped out a few minutes later and called us in.
Here we go…
Tim was our consultant and he was on shift the night everything happened. I remember him popping in late that evening when we were having final cuddles with Luna but f**k me he looked completely different today.
I couldn’t hide it I had to say like Jesus Christ I don’t remember you looking like this! 🙈
“I don’t remember much from that day as everything was a blur but I hoped he didn’t take offence to my comment.” 😁
He was so lovely and quickly apologised for our already traumatic 15 minutes.
We addressed the fact that in future NO parent should EVER have to have a sad loss appointment meeting on a maternity ward and how it is actually laughable.
He awkwardly and uncomfortably apologised profusely and we suggested that an office on the 1000th floor as far away as possible would be a little more appropriate.
“Just a bog standard office with accessibility to his computer and findings and 2 chairs would be sufficient.”
He has taken this on board.
Tim asked if we had any questions but we just wanted him to do the talking first and I felt like he had something awful to tell us so I just wanted to get it over and done with.
I had prepared myself of either two things;
1) Worst case – Your f**ked for life, it’s all your fault, you could have done something, we could have done something, you’ll never have children again, you might aswell leave now…
2) Best case – It’s an absolute fluke, one in 10 billion, nothing could have been done, nothing is your fault, you will be fine in all future pregnancies / labours, I will personally lead all of your care next time if/when you want to go again…
And anything in between I would find a way to cope!
Science Summary (from Tim): 🤓
Results from your blood tests have come back great and all clear. Everything is normal, healthy and I have no concerns.
F**king hell. Something positive.
(Maybe the gym isn’t such a bad place after all)! 😁
You were offered serial growth scans throughout so you have had the best possible care you could ever have had from us.
You had over 10 scans and I know you mentioned your private ones too, so we had every chance of picking up anything if wrong.
You also saw and bonded with Luna more than most parents.
Oh my god. Come on Tim, keep it coming… 😁
I’ve had my team look into the probability of this happening in hospital vs. at home as I know this has been a big thing for you, and I can confirm that yes this outcome would have been the same in hospital.
It could also have actually been a lot worse.
Worse? Wait, um how is this possible? 😳
The difference in hospital would have been having blood ready for Luna.
It still takes a while to prepare and conduct the transfusion, but we may have been able to revive her if the transfusion were to be successful.
I thought you were saying it was worse?
Yes, when the brain is starved of oxygen for this period of time, (more than 5-10 minutes) the likeliness of Luna having extremely severe brain damage as a result, is very high.
The chances of her dying very shortly after this or having a very poor quality of life would also have been very high…
“I know Luna wouldn’t have wanted this for her mum and dad, she wouldn’t do that to us. She wouldn’t want to live that way, that’s not her.” ❤️
Just because you laboured at home doesn’t mean Luna’s cord was short and caused this, let’s be realistic, this would have happened wherever you were.
Oh that’s a relief in a weird way.
Absolutely nothing could have changed the outcome and it is impossible to detect a short cord without any signs. Short umbilical cords are usually detected as a direct link of a reduced/lack of growth in the baby.
Luna’s umbilical cord was approximately 12-15cm which is tiny.
During labour there are usually signs of a distressed baby, but I’ve checked all of your labour notes and spoken in great depth with Lizzie and Luna was happy, healthy and had a great heart rate throughout.
Yes she did my little beauty. ❤️
I’ve looked into the test results of your bloods, specifically looking at your fertility.
(I have no idea what it’s called 🙈) but if your number from this test is a 6 or below, (usually common for ladies over 40 or have fertility issues) then I would be concerned.
However yours is 33 so I have no worries for you both at all.
Oh f**k me sideways Susan that is amazing news. ❤️🤞🏾
When/if you are ready in the future, I can’t see any problems. You are able to grown a perfectly healthy baby at a good weight and Luna is the evidence for that.
Love you Tim 😍
The only problems you will face in pregnancy after loss is the emotional and mental state of yourself; battling with the worry, doubt and anxiety which are all normal feelings to expect.
If I can deal with this, I can deal with anything…
So the umbilical cord and placenta were also sent off for testing and the results have come back as inconclusive.
Fucks sake, it was going so well. 💔
However, the probability of the cord being inserted into the side of the membrane wall as opposed to the placenta itself is high.
It is likely it didn’t fully fuse into the main placenta from looking at the cord and placenta together.
“This is the blessing that helped the cord come away from the placenta at the end of the pushing stage. If it hadn’t, we would have both been in serious trouble.”
Future pregnancies you can opt for whatever you would like.
I am 10000% having an elective c-section as soon as possible, hair done, make up on, baby out. No questions about it. I am NEVER going through that hell again.
You can also opt for the home birth team by having visits and appointments at home as I know you like that style, and of course serial growth scans again and I will be the lead consultant for your care. I can confirm now you can have your c-section at 39 weeks.
Hmm, maybe 37.5 weeks but we can discuss in the very distant future. 🌈
I agree with your decision for not having a post mortem and completely understand why. I can confidently say that it would have come back inconclusive having looked at the rest of the data and results from the placenta and umbilical cord.
Wow, I’m so glad I went with my gut on this! ❤️
So it was a double edged sword as the saying goes…
Overall nothing ‘new‘ was found, and nothing was really delivered to us that we didn’t already know.
But it ended up being very similar to my best case scenario and a huge weight lifted off our shoulders the second we left the room.
It’s funny how the same words can be said, but hearing it from a professional just means so much more. ❤️
Thanks Tim… but it’s now time to sort something very special…
Wait did someone say diamonds?!
…continued Wednesday 2nd May.