Our beautiful daughter Rosie April was born sleeping on Sunday 24th June 2018 at 01:44am at 25 +1 weeks gestation.
We discovered I was pregnant with Rosie on 1st February 2018 at about 5am (I know because it's a date and time that will be forever etched in my head!) It had taken us 3 years to get to this point and we still couldn't believe it was real! I've honestly never been happier.
I had quite a normal pregnancy with not too many bumps in the road just the usual morning sickness (yuk!) At our 12 week scan it was found that there was a small cyst on the cord but were told not to worry, so we left clutching our scan photos of our tiny baby, bursting with excitement. We couldn't believe that we were finally getting the baby we'd always dreamed of.
By 16 weeks we couldn't wait any longer, we just HAD to find out our baby's gender. We booked in for a private scan and were told without doubt that it was a baby GIRL. We couldn't have been happier.
At our 20 week scan we were told that the cyst had continued to grow with Rosie. We were under Consultant care and were told we would have monthly scans to measure Rosie's growth.
A few weeks later on Monday 18th June at 24+2 weeks, we had our first growth scan and we'll always remember it with such love and laughter. During this scan we found out that our baby girl had her daddy's nose for sure! She also did a wee while she was being scanned which really made us giggle! We were told the cyst had grown again but that it was not a hard cyst as Rosie demonstrated when she kept grabbing it and playing with it.
Wednesday 20th June I had a routine Midwife appointment at my GP practice. My Midwife asked about movements, to which I told her that although Rosie had been kicking, she had been quieter than usual. I lay on the bed and the Midwife picked up Rosie's strong heartbeat in a second! There she was, my little girl. All appeared well and I returned to work that day literally skipping with happiness.
On Thursday morning I was a little concerned over Rosie's movements. I'd not felt well the evening before and slept from when I got home from work, only waking to say goodnight to Gav when he got in bed. I called Maternity Triage who told me to pop down to be checked. I was so sure of everything being ok that I sent Gav to work and told him I'd call him once I'd been checked. The Midwife asked me to lie on the bed and begun moving the doppler over my belly asking me where I'd last felt movement. All I could hear was an awful silence... The midwife left the room and mentioned something about needing a scan...I was still so naive. She asked me to follow her into a scanning room where I lay on the bed. No happy faces and no monitors switched on for me to greet my baby...
The next thing I know the Midwife's hand was on mine and all I heard her say was "I'm so sorry"
I sat bolt upright and all I could say was "OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD!" My world was falling apart around me and there was nothing I could do to stop it.
Gavin met me in the "quiet room" at the hospital where we both broke down and waited to be told the dreaded "what happens next". I took a tablet and was told I would go home for 48hrs and then return to the delivery suite to have my baby girl. I still couldn't comprehend what was happening and I was sick continuously over the next couple of days.
I had no idea what to take to the hospital as I'd not even thought about packing my bags yet and even so, I'd envisaged packing baby grows and nappies in that bag...not just clothes and toiletries for me.
We arrived at the delivery suite on Saturday 23rd June ready to be induced, to meet our baby girl for the first and only time. The feeling was so bittersweet. I was of course heartbroken that i'd never bring her home with us and that thought was killing me but at this point I was looking forward to seeing her face and holding her in my arms.
At 01:44 am on Sunday 24th June my little girl entered the world feet first, weighing 1 lb 3 oz and I was (and still am of course) the proudest mom on the planet. I fell even more in love with Gavin when I saw him holding Rosie, talking to her and showing her the stars through the window of our room. We were left alone to make precious memories with our little girl and it's a time I will cherish forever.
We said our goodbyes to Rosie the following evening after making the heartbreaking decision that it was time. What a ridiculous thought; having to decide when to leave your longed for new born baby in the care of strangers and never seeing them again? We both felt sick but knew it was a decision that had to be made.
We decided (after lots of back and forth) to go ahead with a full post mortem for Rosie, it was a really hard decision and one we still weren't sure was the right one once we were back home.
Gavin called the Registry Office the next day and they found us an appointment for the following day. Tuesday 26th June; another day of heartbreak for us. When I was pregnant I would always think forward to when we could take Rosie to be registered and this was so far removed from what I thought this experience would be. Luckily for us our Registrar was such a lovely and understanding lady and made the experience a little easier for us. I couldn't speak a word and cried the whole time, luckily Gav held it together and managed to answer all the questions, I was so grateful for him that day, for getting through it and holding it together for us both.
Being back at home in a house that we had started to prepare for our new addition was just unbearable so we decided to travel to Brighton a couple of days later, for a few nights just to be as far away from home as possible...
Once back home we decided to throw ourselves into planning Rosie's funeral. We had decided early on that that we wanted it to be as much like a christening as possible - only happy songs, happy hymns and no set dress code of the usual black (although I still decided to wear black, Gavin wore a lemon coloured shirt in honour of Rosie.) We had her name written out in white and pink flowers and also a butterfly with white and pink flowers too (there were so many white butterflies in our garden last summer that they always remind me of my baby) They were perfect. This day was the hardest day of our lives but it was also absolutely perfect for our baby girls send off. Rosie was surrounded by all those that love her and she had the most perfect send off. We gave everyone who came, a candle to light during the wave of light and also some forget me not seeds to plant in her memory.
Post Mortem Results
I received a phone call in early August from our Consultants Secretary; to say that Rosie's post mortem results had arrived back and an appointment had been arranged for us to go and meet our Consultant at the end of August. The anxiety started with all of the possibilities of what could have taken our baby girl from us, but also the very fact that they may not have found a reason at all...we didn't know what would be worse.
We arrived at the hospital ready for our appointment (I had already cried twice by the time we got to the foyer of the hospital) but the Secretary came down to meet us and show us where the meeting was taking place. She equipped us with some tissues and water (later for which I was very grateful of)
Our Consultant joined us and proceeded to tell us that a cause for Rosie's death had been found (we were relieved that a cause had been found but anxious as to what that cause was). It was explained to us that there had been a rupture in the inner membrane of the placenta early on, and that bands had grown from this rupture which tied around Rosie's cord and ultimately cut off her lifeline. Her body and organs however were perfectly fine and were growing and developing as they should for her gestation. When Rosie was born she was missing a finger on her right hand which we found out would have been due to the bands tightening around her hands. We have since researched this and they are known as amniotic bands. We were told that it is not genetic and that it is very unlikely that it would happen again in any future pregnancies. However, we believe knowledge is key and so we now know what questions to ask should there be any future pregnancies.
8 months on
Time really does wait for no one. We can't believe how fast time has flown since we last held Rosie in our arms. We also can't believe that we have begun planning her first birthday tea party! How is our baby girl one soon??? Our main comfort is that we know Rosie is with my mom, her Nanny Karen and that means so much to us.
Last year was a complete blur for me and Gavin and we needed that time to begin to heal. Not having Rosie in our arms is something we will never get over or move on from, however with this experience, comes strength and determination. Determination to help other families who will sadly experience a loss of a baby too. We want to help to make a difference during the short time they spend with their baby and help them to create memories they will cherish for a lifetime (this is explained further on our aims page)
Thank you for the taking time to read Rosie's story and the legacy she is already creating. Your support is so valuable to us and to so many families who we can help when they experience such a devastating loss. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Megan & Gavin xxx