I’m sorry if the topic of this post will upset anyone. This is my story and I couldn’t tell it in a different way. If anyone is triggered by stillbirth maybe consider to not read this post. The pictures in this post are tasteful wanting to respect other people feelings.
We went to the desk to announce our arrival, they then sent us to admissions. The lady at the desk started to ask me questions, I remember I could barely talk. Anthony was right by my side and that was the only thing giving me strength. We were then brought to a private room where we met a nurse and the doctor that later that day performed the procedure. They went through the whole process, explaining risks, medications, induced labour. The nurse gave me lots of consent forms to sign. I was so upset, Darragh was moving a lot while she was talking and it was heartbreaking, there are no words to explain the pain I feel every time I think about that exact moment. That was the last time I felt him.
I had to take a strong medication to keep me calm and make me drowsy, the nurse gave it to me and I felt really tired within minutes. There was a lounge chair in the room so I laid down to take a nap, we had that room for the entire afternoon. I was in a deep sleep while Anthony went to get a few things I needed. When I woke up we went to eat something, the hospital had a little restaurant. I remember that Anthony had to hold me while walking because I couldn’t stand properly, my legs felt like butter. I don’t remember the name of the medication but I felt dopey, I barely remember sitting at the table and eating.
The nurse came back to the room to take us to the doctor. Again I remember Anthony holding me on one side and the nurse on the other as I couldn’t walk by myself. I was laying down and I had a big screen like you would normally have during a scan but it was turned off. I have the doctor’s words playing in my head every time I think of that moment “now it’s done” while she stroke my hand.
When the medication started to wear off I was in the delivery suite. I didn’t even remember how I got there. The nurse in charge came to explain again how I was going to be induced. I was given 3 pills in total at the interval of 3 hours. The next morning she told me I was lucky the pills worked for me as some women have to repeat the cycle a second time before starting active labour. A strong period like pain started during the night but I said nothing. I didn’t even wake up Anthony who was sleeping in the room with me. In the morning I asked for something as I couldn’t bare the pain but what they gave me literally knocked me out, I couldn’t even go to the toilet by myself or hold the spoon while eating breakfast. When the pain came back they gave me an injection in the thigh but it didn’t work for long. I also tried paracetamol through IV and didn’t work, same for the gas. I was in so much pain and I didn’t know what to do. I wasn’t breathing like you should during each contractions, I wasn’t doing any of the things they would tell you during antenatal classes because we didn’t get to attend them. Physically I wasn’t prepared, emotionally I was simply panicking. Anthony was holding my hand and I remember squeezing it so hard. Thank God I didn’t need to be fully dilated so I started pushing, it didn’t take long. Darragh was stillborn at 3.20 PM weighing 730 grams. The silence in the room after he was born is something I can’t describe. Tears started pouring from my eyes. The nurse wrapped him in a blanket and gave him to me. Our precious little boy.
The midwife took him in a separate room to dress him up. She also took a few pictures and did some handprints and footprints for us to keep. She was talking to him while she was doing all of that, I could hear her from my bed and I thought it was so sweet and I really appreciated the fact that she took so much care of Darragh. A little crib was brought in the room, we could keep him with us. We didn’t expect that at all but we were glad to spend some time with him and make some memories. The midwife gave us a box containing the pictures she took earlier on along with handprints and footprints. There was a candle which we lit on the day of his funeral, a little teddy bear, a little glass angel and other things. She also gave us the scissors she used to cut his umbilical cord. On the day we left we had to declare them at the airport security as we were afraid they would have taken them from us. They were so understanding and they let us keep them. We add a little something to that box every year to keep his memory alive.
The staff in the hospital were really good to us considering the circumstances we were in. The hospital had a dedicated team to support bereaved parents and they were checking on us every day. The next day Darragh was born the priest came in and blessed him. The support we had was precious and we will be thankful for the rest of our lives.
On the last day a professional photographer volunteering for Remember My Baby came to the hospital. The bereavement team had previously talked to us about this possibility and Anthony and I agreed on having some professional pictures with our baby. Joanna was lovely. She first talked to us to know our story and the reason’s why Darragh got angel wings too soon. She was very respectful during the entire photo shoot. We can’t thank her enough because the pictures turned out to be beautiful.
The last goodbye to Darragh was something that I will never forget, it is still so vivid in my head after more than 3 years. The hospital had a nursery where parents can spend the last moments with their babies. The setting of the room was lovely. We stayed there for a while, trying to push back the goodbye as much as we could. Unfortunately a plane was waiting for us and we had to leave. I felt like my heart was being ripped off my chest. That was the realisation that we couldn’t hold him or see him again.