#stillBORN Campaign - Jack's story of Reduced Movements
Published on: 27/03/2017
20 weeks ago today my son Jack Joseph Wright was born sleeping at 7.37am, we were heartbroken and devastated but for you really to understand at all our pain I will go back to where it all began.
In January 2010 me and my husband Dan decided that we would start to try for a baby – typically we expected to fall pregnant quickly. But 2 years later when it still hadn’t happened we went to the GP to see what could be done. Long story short we had some tests and it came back from my husbands sperm test he had a low percentage of sperm with the correct morphology. We asked about the chances of us falling pregnant naturally and we were told that it was possible but the chances were slim and that with how things had gone so far it would look likely we would need help to have a baby. Unfortunately I was 21 at this time and our Dr informed us that a fertility clinic wouldn’t accept a referral until I was 23.
We decided to keep trying ourselves, this being made more difficult by my husband being in the army and completing 2 tours of Afghanistan. Anyway I turned 23 and during this year we had to return to the UK from our posting in Germany, I had to leave my job and money was stretched so we decided to wait until we were more comfortable before going back to the Dr.
I turned 24 and we decided now was the right time, we went to the Dr, we waited for our referrals to come through and I started having tests when on 24th January 2016, I realised I was 5 days late on my period. We were getting ready to go on a night out, so I told Dan to go and get me a test. I expected a negative as they always were when I was late on, but I needed to be sure as I didn’t want to take the risk of drinking if I was.
That moment changed my life, I turned the test over and there it was the words ‘Pregnant 2-3 weeks’ I wanted to cry, laugh, scream everything all at once up until that point that was truly the most joyful moment of my life. Dan shared my joy, we were totally overwhelmed.
We booked in for an early confirmation scan, and there it was my little baby, heart flickering away. I went on to have the most perfect pregnancy, at 20 weeks we found out we were having a little boy. Dan was having his boy and I was going to have 2 men looking after me. I suffered with a little heartburn but other than that I couldn’t complain.
I reached 40 weeks and started to get quite anxious, I had read on the NHS website that after 42 weeks the risks of something happening increase. I was nervous about being left for that long, but my midwives (of which at this point I had seen 8 different ones) told me there was nothing to worry about. I was low risk, Jack’s heartbeat was strong and everything would be fine.
On my birthday 10th October at 41+3 weeks I started to get a dull back ache, it carried on through the day and started to come in waves. Finally Jack had decided to make an appearance. With bets from all of my family that I would have him on my birthday I couldn’t quite believe it was happening. Then 4.15pm whilst getting ready to get in the bath I felt what as I can only describe as a huge movement from Jack it felt like a rolling and turning feeling. But as this was my first pregnancy, and contractions had started I thought ‘This is it, that was my first contraction.’
Within 4 hours later something didn’t feel right, my contractions were building and becoming more regular, but I couldn’t tell if Jack was moving any more. I knew something wasn’t right. So I rang the labour ward and they invited me in for a scan. So off we went.
That moment changed my life forever, at 9pm midwife put the doppler on my bump and there was silence. I knew immediately he had gone, the midwife went to get a ultrasound scanner. I remember so vividly the frantic look on the midwives face, the panic on my husbands, the feeling of desperation that she would say ‘oh there he is’ but it didn’t come. She told me she needed to get a consultant as she was struggling to find his heartbeat. The consultant came, I clearly remember her face, and the way she said it ‘I’m sorry but there is no heartbeat’.
To say I howled would be an understatement my world came crashing down around me. She told us she would give us a few moments alone. Dan held me as I wept, feeling my heart break in my chest and repeating the word Why? – all whilst the contractions continued to come. I looked around and everywhere there where new mum posters, pictures of newborn babies and breastfeeding. I needed to get out of the room.
The consultant returned and explained our options, for me there wasn’t really an option, I had to a vaginal birth and there was no point in going home as my baby was on his way. I didn’t want to go home. I didn’t want to be there. I didn’t want to be. I wanted everything immediately at that point to end and for me to be with my son.
The hours rolled on, I opted to have as much pain relief as possible, I thought it would make me numb but the pain of our loss was there all the more. I had 3 failed attempts at an epidural, ending with me going down to theatre to have the epidural put in, which only partially worked.
Everything goes blurry from around 1am, I remember the pain of the contractions as they got stronger, I remember my husband telling me to wake up a lot, and the midwife tell Dan he was doing amazing supporting me. I got through that time as I knew I had to give birth but I have no idea how Dan managed to get through it. I remember getting to the stage where I had to push and I closed my legs. Dan held my hand, looked at me as said ‘I know you don’t want to do this, because once he’s here its all over. But you have to we need to meet Jack.’ He was right, he motivated me and within 30 mins Jack had arrived.
I held him, he was so warm and so pink I was convinced he was going to open his eyes and cry but he didn’t. There was just silence. He was so so beautiful, absolutely perfect in every way. The only thing he missed was a heartbeat. We bathed him, and dressed him. We spent 2 days in the hospital with him and a further week doing visits at the funeral directors.
20 weeks on and I still can’t believe he won’t be coming back, I still can’t believe that 41 weeks and 3 days of growing him and all we have now is a scattertube of ashes, and a box of memories. His body form is gone and I can’t ever bring that back. I can’t believe I will never hear him call me mummy or say I love you. I blame myself constantly, everyone tells me not to but when this happens to you you can’t help it. I carried him and it was my job to protect him and I let him down. I should have insisted on being induced earlier or I should have opted for a C Section, or known that something was wrong earlier.
Since we have started to try again for our rainbow baby, but after 6 years of trying for Jack I don’t hold out much hope that it will ever happen for us. The hospital have now told us that although my pregnancy didn’t result in a living child we would have to wait 3 years to be eligible for IVF, so it feels like the world is against us having a child to care for.
Stillbirth doesn’t just take your baby, it takes your future, the person you are. I don’t live anymore, I exist and to be honest I don’t see a future where that changes for me.
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