#stillBORN Campaign - Arthur's Story

Published on: 27/03/2017

I was 32 weeks pregnant with my second child. Elsie, my first little girl, at this time was 16 months old. I had had a ‘feeling’ that something wasn’t quite right with this pregnancy for a few weeks. I had made trips to the midwives only to be reassured, hear a heartbeat and return home. This Friday and Saturday I had period type pains but only assumed it was to do with my growing tummy or problematic bowel. I took paracetamol and continued. On the Sunday, the pain seemed much better.. Almost gone, then in the afternoon I had a small amount of discharge and knew that I must at this time call the labour ward to get checked out. I called them and they asked me to come in. I left my daughter with my sister and left with my husband to the hospital.
emma-laytonWhen we arrived at the hospital, we went to a room where a midwife came in and palpated my stomach, she asked again how many weeks I was, I confirmed I was 32 weeks and one day! She went to connect me to the heartbeat monitor but she was struggling to find the babies heartbeat. I looked at my husband worried, the midwife said ‘you aren’t here for this so don’t worry, sometimes the baby is lying the wrong way so we can’t get to the heartbeat’. She went out of the room and then returned with a hand held heartbeat monitor. She continued to look for the heartbeat but all she could find was my own one. The midwife left the room and then another one entered with a mobile scanning machine. As the started doing the scan, you could see from the screen that there was no movement or flickering at all. They spent a lot of time trying to get a good view of my babies heart as he was lying in an awkward position but we knew already, you only had to look briefly to see there was no life there. A consultant came to confirm to us that our baby, our first baby boy had died.
emma-layton2I then learnt that I had to give birth to my baby naturally, I didn’t want to do it. I was scared, devastated, heartbroken. How could this have happened? We wanted our baby, how could he have been taken from us. We went home that night and returned the next morning. I had been having contractions all through the night and was 2cm dilated when we arrived. We were given a memory box with leaflets and things inside. I had every drug there was available, I just didn’t want to feel physical pain of having a baby I would never take home.
I had my baby boy Arthur Roger Steven Layton on the 18th June 2012 at 11.45pm, he weighed a small 2lb 2oz. Arthur will always be a part of our lives and our family. I have gone on to have two rainbow babies of which I am so grateful but they never replace my beautiful Arthur. His picture hangs on our wall and we all speak of him daily.
Emma Layton