We all have our own stories, life is full of them. Some great, some funny, some forgettable, some leave us laughing, while others tell a tale of grief filled sadness. These stories can also be filled with great achievement, love, happiness and sometimes complete heartbreak. All are important and in their own way, they define us and form the strands of the person we are today.
This is part of my story . . .
It starts at my 30 week midwife check. I had started my maternity leave early due to a combination of untaken holiday days and some lieu time and found myself finishing work, ready for the slower pace of life for the next few weeks. As I lay on the bed looking down at my bump I was happy and content with an overwhelming feeling of complete love, mixed with some nervous excitement.
As part of the planned 30 week check the midwife measured my bump, she took a few seconds to examine the measurement and then measured again. She found it very difficult to hide the look confusion and concern from her face despite her attempts to hide them from me.
Her voice crackled with fear and a little panic as she said, ‘I’m sending you to the hospital for a growth scan’.
Instead of my slower pace of life I was expecting, my world suddenly began to spin. In an attempt to gain back some control I thought positive thoughts and convinced myself that all would be ok. I’ll go to the hospital, after all it will be lovely to see my baby on the screen again.
I made a call to my mum and soon we were on our way to the hospital. In next to no time I was on the bed with the cold jelly on my bump ready to see my little baby. I looked at the screen and there he was, his little heart beating clearly, he was even having a little wriggle about.
However, no words were spoken and soon the room was filled with an air of confusion. The scan finished and as I left the room I was ushered on to a wheelchair. With a glance at mum we both could now tell something on that scan was not what it should be.
The next few hours turned into a complete daze. Specialists told me that my baby had stopped growing and that the cord had stopped working. It was time for the pregnancy to stop and for my baby to be born.
After a night of specialised medical interventions, to help me and my baby be ready, it was time for my c-section. The room filled with hospital staff, it was a sea of blue.
Eddie-Jack was born and with a cry on his arrival I was a mummy. Quickly he was whisked off to special care.
The next few hours I recovered with family by my side. Eddie-Jack was doing well and I was able to visit him. I was wheeled into a ward and the first thing that struck me was that this was like no other place I had been too. The ward was full of machines, beeping alarms and parents sat by incubators. There he was in his little pod, my baby with dark black beady eyes. I had a cuddle with an array of lines and tubes, it was a worry to know how to hold him but with the reassurance from the team I had my first cuddle. He was so small, he weighed just 1lb 40z. That was the only cuddle Eddie had with me.
With what seemed like just a few hours later, we raced back to the ward pushing through the doors, past all the parents I had seen earlier, those alarms I had previously heard were louder and quicker. The hospital team crowded around Eddie, the room quickly filled with specialists all frantically trying to save Eddie. I shouted, “Don't go Eddie” but it was too late. His little body had shut down, one by one, there was nothing more the team could do.
Screaming and shaking the next few moments were a complete haze of grief. I wanted my baby, I had no awareness of anything else except having him back in my arms. With all the wires removed he was back in my arms looking so perfect, his lovely black hair, tiny ears and his smell, a smell like no other. It was hard to believe he was no longer with me.
Before long it was time to say goodbye, goodbye? We had only just met! I fell in love instantly but was I even a mummy now?
Days past and I returned home, not the home coming I had ever imagined. But with the incredible support of family, friends and my GP the days became manageable.
I had been put on an empty road, one I never imagined to be on, a path I’d not planned for and forced onto a new journey, a journey without my baby. I stood bare foot on my own.
I soon found myself losing control once again, the ripple effect had started, and people crossed the road instead of saying hello. Family members that were strong started to struggle. I hadn’t realised it, but Eddie-Jack was not just my baby, he was a grandchild, a nephew, a godchild, he was an excitement, a new member of the family.
Time passed and time is a healer. It may be a cliché but it is true, time does help to heal the heart and mind.
Tests revealed Eddie had CMV, a viral infection that had effected most of his organs. Bad luck? Bad timing? There was sadly no explanation. The primary infection for Eddie meant that he was a poorly baby and not strong enough for this world.
So my story was formed, stories don’t just end they continue and a year after Eddie-Jack died, Frank was born. Frank is now 11, he was followed by Ted who is 7 and then Buster, who is now 5. Eddie-Jack is very much a part of all our lives. He is my son, he is a grandchild, nephew and a godson.
For ten years Eddie stayed at home in his tiny box. After spending a year in with the Christmas decorations and after a family search for him, we all decided it was time to lay Eddie to rest.
We chose a beautiful little spot, where on a sunny day we can all take a short bike ride, visit him with a picnic and reflect on life. We make him cards and pictures and shower him with all our love.
My name is Georgia and I have four boys. This is me and I look forward to my story to continuing.