Wednesday, 27 June 2018

#StillOurBaby Eli.

This week's #StillOurBaby comes from Stacy and her little boy Eli. This post contains photos of beautiful Eli. 

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We found out I was pregnant at exactly four weeks. We were both so excited, scared and nervous of course but ultimately happier than ever. Looking back now I say blissfully ignorant. At six weeks we saw a tiny little heartbeat after a bleeding scare and from that moment, I was in love. That natural instinct to love and protect was there from the very beginning. My first trimester was terrible, I suffered terribly with nausea and sickness but it was all working towards the end point of our baby so worth every second, although I had to remind myself of that several times a day!

Our 12 week scan went by without any problems and we announced our happy news via Facebook, My sickness and nausea started to ease off as I headed into the second trimester and we began buying a few little bits and pieces. Our 20 week scan we were told everything looked good and we had a very healthy baby boy growing away as he should be. We began thinking of names, trying to agree was really hard but we were not concerned as we had plenty of time to make a final decision. Eli was a firm favourite for us both from the beginning.

At 23 weeks 2 days pregnant I had some period type pain, I assumed it was ligament pain and took some paracetamol and carried on with my day. I had a Doppler and listened to our boy’s heartbeat that night, it was as strong as normal and he was doing his usual somersaults so I had no reason to be concerned in my mind. I woke up in the night with some strong pain again but this quickly subsided and I went back to sleep. When the pain was still happening the next day I phoned the on call midwife who said I needed to get checked out, although they didn’t think it was anything to worry about.

At around midday I headed to the hospital, my partner and I even joked in the car park that they were going to see me and tell me to piss off home and get on with being pregnant. We sit waiting for about half an hour to be seen and are eventually put on a bay with three other pregnant women.

They listened to his heartbeat which was fine and strong and then the trainee doctor examined me and took some swabs. He said he thought my cervix was open but no indication as to how much and that he would need to go and get the registrar. At this point I began to panic, the words cervix and open were ringing in my ears. The Registrar arrived and he examined me and again we are told that my cervix is open, but no indication as to how open, he talks about a stitch being possible some times depending on how open the cervix is and that he needs to get the consultant to examine me. At this point I lost my shit and really began to panic, turns out the pains I had been experiencing were actually contractions and I was in labour.

The Consultant came and said she needed to examine me, I asked if I could pop to the loo beforehand and when I came out they had moved us into a side room away from the ward. I knew then that it wasn’t good news. She examined me and while she was doing the examination she asked me about my contractions and the one I was currently having, I said I wasn’t having a contraction at that moment but she could feel it even though I couldn’t. She estimated I was around 8cms dilated already, and she told me that she couldn’t put a stitch in because I was contracting too much and my cervix was already open too far. So they admitted me and put on bed rest and if we made it to Friday without delivering then we would be moved to a hospital in the next County who can deal with very premature babies.

Monday night passed by in a bit of haze of hourly morphine and regular contractions, at one point they were every three minutes apart for quite a long time, but then they would drop back down to 15 mins apart. Tuesday morning I relented and took some codeine and proceeded to then chuck my guts up and was out of it for a couple of hours. They gave me the steroid injections for his lungs. Still no sleep since Saturday night by this point. Tuesday afternoon contractions slowed right down again and I went as long as 40 minutes between each one, I actually thought that we might make it to Friday and that golden signpost of 24 weeks that everyone kept talking about.

Around 6ish they picked right back up again and I couldn’t move for the pain, I was standing up which in hindsight didn’t help. I finally fell asleep for about 45 minutes, only for the battery in the tens machine to stop. My partner had just fallen asleep so I didn’t want to wake him by putting the light on, so off I went to the nurses station for more batteries and morphine. At this point my contractions picked up and were between 2-5 mins apart. About 5am I started on the gas and air, which was great for a while until it made me feel very sick! They moved me up to delivery at 8am, but I had to wait for the consultant to come around before they could make a decision on whether I should be pushing or not, by this point I hadn’t been able to wee for about four hours and I felt like my bladder was going to burst. The consultant came around at 9.45, she asked what position the baby was in, and no one had a clue as I hadn’t been scanned the whole time I was there. They quickly scanned me and it turned out he was already in the birth canal (hence not being able to pee due to the pressure) and my bladder was taking up most of the screen. They gave me magnesium sulphate (I think, I can’t remember the name) via cannula to protect the baby’s head. This took ten minutes to put in and it feels like your body is on fire from the inside out. Once that was in I started pushing. After about 20 mins of pushing my waters went and I again lost my shit and announced I couldn’t do it any more but my mum, partner and the midwife spurred me on, 10 Minutes later Eli was born at 11.33am.


He was taken and wrapped in plastic and put on the neonatal incubator where there were several doctors and nurses waiting. They attempted to give him oxygen but his heart rate kept dropping and after five long agonising minutes in which I allowed myself to believe he was going to make it, the consultant told us they could go no further. My heart broke as we held our darling boy until he peacefully passed away.

I think this is by far the hardest thing I’ll ever have to write and post. I feel that there isn’t a lot out there in terms of people’s raw experiences that bring them to this point and that’s why barring a few graphic details I have tried to write it all down here. This was the worst moment of my life, that doesn’t mean I want to forget or pretend it didn’t happen. I want to talk about it. I want Eli’s only living moments on this earth to be remembered. I want people to feel like it is ok to talk about their baby loss in all it’s heartbreaking, earth shattering, gory detail. 

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Thank you so much Stacy, for writing and sharing Eli's story. Such a honest and raw post. You can find Stacy on Instagram @StacyIqbal. 

If you'd like to be a part of the #StillOurBaby series, please get in touch. 

Katie xx
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