Know Your Bump – Nicola’s Story
Know Your Bump – In Support of Kicks Count
Please note that this story is very sad and may contain sensitive & personal photographs.
At Bump, Baby & You, we are passionate about raising awareness. Fetal movements and what to do in case of concern is an incredibly vital aspect of pregnancy, with organisations such as Kicks Count promoting well publicised campaigns, and with the NHS advice telling mums to seek assistance.
Yet, too many mums are still torn when it happens to them. Worried about bothering the hospital. Got a midwife appointment in the morning, so it can wait, right? Standoffish woman on the phone thinks I’m exaggerating, so I’ll just leave it as I don’t want to cause a fuss. The ladies I asked online said it’s ‘normal’, so it’ll be fine.
Lots of mummies from our private Facebook group have joined forces with the team at Bump, Baby & You to get their personal experiences out there for the sake of raising awareness and drawing attention to the correct course of action that worried mums should take.
In turn, we are working in support of the awareness organisation Kicks Count to bring this vital information to our followers.
Story 1, by Nicola Patterson.
Nicola’s Story – Isabelle Faith Patterson
It’s scary how many still believe babies run out of room.
Midwifes still give this info out and Kicks Count are working to stop this. So I’m helping along with others to raise awareness.
My story with reduced movements – Isabelle Faith Patterson
I was a normal healthy pregnancy until 25 weeks. My babies movements started to decrease and I let professionals know, but I wasn’t listened to. I knew her pattern, I knew she wasn’t moving as much.
I went in several times (at least 8 times) but pretty quickly discovered our hospitals policy along with some other hospitals is still 28 weeks to be scanned or monitored. So all that happened was they checked for her heartbeat every time and said she was fine and I needed to relax. Isabelle wasn’t my first baby, I wasn’t crazy, I knew something was wrong. But they knew I had lost my first born baby girl late into pregnancy and they just said I was over worrying and paranoid because of this.
I was rushed into hospital by ambulance really faint, a temperature and heart rate 3 times it’s normal rate. Heart rate problem was normal for me, I have a heart condition. All that happened was, they gave me anti sickness, checked her heartbeat and said it was a bug and sent me home.
It got to 7pm and I hadn’t felt Isabelle move for a few hours. I called up my mum and she said don’t worry, she’s probably just sleeping and I had my 4D scan booked for the next day anyway. But I couldn’t shake that something was wrong, so I rang up and they reluctant said to go in once they heard my name yet again.
I sat waiting to be seen for 2 hours, poking and prodding my tummy to get her to move and I got nothing back each time. But I still didn’t click in that she was probably gone.
I was taken into a room, asked why I had gone in so I explained she hadn’t moved in a few hours and she tried to find her heartbeat with the Doppler. The Doppler batteries kept turning it off and on so after about ten minutes she tried the CTG machine, that wasn’t picking it up either. At this point I saw her face, she said Isabelle was probably just in my back, but I saw her face, she looked white. She said she would go and get the portable scanning machine and off she went to get it. My mum and me just sat in silence, I think deep down we knew, it was written all over the silence and ten mins later she came back in. She came back in with the scanner and said she would be back in a minute after she got some gloves, but then she came back in and said she found a doctor in the corridor and he would do quick scan but I didn’t believe her, I knew Isabelle was gone and so did she and that’s why she had got the doctor.
He asked the same why I was in etc and then he put the scanner on me, he held it there for ten seconds and moved it off again and looked at the midwife. He pushed around on my tummy and put it on again and this time he wasn’t quick enough to move it off me. Isabelle was shown on the screen still with no heartbeat and I knew. She wasn’t moving, there was no flicker, there was no sound. It was the worst possible moment because the woman next door had clearly just given birth and as you heard the baby be delivered, he put his hand on mine and at 9:58pm said I am so sorry there’s no heartbeat anymore. I just laid there screaming no, it took minutes for tears to come because the shock took over. They said they would give me a minute to take it all in and would be back.
The midwife was the first to hug me, my mum was still, she couldn’t move and hadn’t moved since he said the words there’s no heartbeat, she was frozen. She snapped out of it when I asked for her to come over because I needed her. I told her before she does anything, ring Paul because I can’t do it. She went to the other side of the room and called him and all I heard was her say Paul I am so sorry and even though he wasn’t on speakerphone you could hear him should please no Karen. She called my sister after him and my sister said she was dropping her works night out and coming straight to the hospital.
The midwife came back in and I asked what happens next and she said I can either come back home or stay in over night. If I choose to go home it’s totally my choice and I will come back in the next day at 8am to see the consultant and take the first induction tablet. I said I wanted to come home and be with Paul.
So we drove home in absolute silence and the only thing I did was post on my group to tell people she was gone. The minute Paul opened the front door I collapsed onto him. How he stayed strong I will never know but I am so thankful he did. My mum stayed for a few minutes till he got me inside and then said she would give us some space and she was only over the road if we needed her no matter what time.
It was 11pm so we went straight to bed. I collapsed entering the bedroom seeing the crib next to the bed. He helped me get into bed and he fell asleep pretty quickly. I laid there all night poking my bump telling her I was sorry I didn’t protect her. I’m sorry I didn’t say goodbye. I’m sorry I couldn’t save you. I think I managed to get an hours sleep after I spent hours crying and reading the replies saying they were in shock and so sorry.
Paul wasn’t well enough to go in with me so family took the kids and he stayed home in bed. My mum was with me for the entire process. We went in and I was given booklet and packs on baby loss and what happens. I met the consultant who said she was sorry and did I understand what had happened as I seemed really calm. I didn’t cry, I didn’t say a word. I don’t think it had even sunk in by this point. She asked me to sign the paperwork saying I consented to induction and I was given the first tablet and told that would start to thin my cervix. But with me having previous babies it may set my waters off so if it did and with my history of rapid labour I had to go straight in. If not then I was back in on Monday. I also met the midwife who would support me from start to finish and she gave me Isabelle’s memory box to take home and look through before I had her.
We left and my mum stayed at my house the Sunday night just incase and at 4am Monday morning I suspected my waters were going so we went straight in.
At 10am I was given the second tablet and told this would induce the labour and I would now be here until the end. I asked the midwife how she could say the end when my end had already happened, she was already gone. She didn’t know how to answer me, she just looked at me with tears.
I had already spoken to my birth photographer and explained Isabelle was gone and she offered to drop all costs and come and photograph it for free. Even though she had never done anything like it before.
She arrived about half n hour after I had taken the second tablet and asked what photos I wanted and I just told her to shoot everything she could.
Contractions started ten minutes after the second tablet and were bearable for a few hours and I was so tired, the midwifes gave me diamorphine after a few hours to try and help me relax and drop off into a sleep as I was still only 4cm. My sister arrived to see me on her works dinner break and would leave after an hour. But only twenty minutes after they gave me diamorphine,contractions picked up and they recommended all 4’s to try and ease them but minutes after I got into that position I told them I needed to push and they said don’t be silly your only 4cm but they called in the midwifes anyway. Sure enough it was time to push. It took half n hour of pushing to break my waters and Isabelle was right behind them, the waters took more effort than Isabelle and the midwifes had never seen so much water, it soaked the entire double bed and the floor. Seconds later Isabelle started to appear and in 3 pushes she was out.
The only thing I remember after this point is my first words when she was put on me, “She really isn’t going to cry is she” and at that point everyone broke down.
I don’t remember much after this. I went into a complete trance and the only memories I have are the photos and I don’t even remember the photographer being there!
They took her away and dressed her for me whilst I delivered the placenta and when it was delivered my mum asked was it supposed to be that small and the midwife just looked at her and shook her head. At this point I didn’t realise anything was even wrong.
My mum hoped Isabelle would show some deformity to show why she was stillborn but there was nothing, she was perfect. The photographer said her job here is done and thanked me for giving her the honour of doing it. She said she was going home for a bath and to sit and cry and we both gave each other a hug.
The post she made when she got home made me so upset. She truly was honoured to do this for me and that I trusted her.
Isabelle Faith Patterson was born at 28+1 – 19/12/16 – 14:55pm – 2lb 2oz ❤
On the 22nd December 3 days before Christmas. I held my little girl for the last time, said “goodbye princess”, put her in her Moses basket and watched the nurse wrap her up so nobody on the corridor would see and then carry her in her basket out of the room and that was the last time I saw her tiny perfect little face. ❤️
Post mortem results came 4 months later and revealed that my placenta wasn’t even half the size it should be due to infection and was starving her, her movements slowing down were proof of that. She was fighting for her life and I couldn’t protect her! The hospital have now admitted if they had listened to me and scanned me she would’ve been saved and now I have to live with that. Me being so poorly two days before, was the infection taking hold.
Mummies, always listen to your instinct ❤️❤️
Decorating your babies coffin and carrying it is something you never want to go through. Nobody should EVER go through that and for some they will have too. But don’t let it be because of bad information when your child could have been saved. ❤️❤️
Lots of babies are totally ok and just being little monkeys most of the time. But just sometimes, something may be wrong, listen to your baby and your body
Thank you for reading Nicola’s story.
Please take her message on board; seek immediate help if you are worried about your baby. Don’t be afraid to bother your hospital, but at the same time don’t be fobbed off – listen to your baby and your body.
Get to know your baby’s pattern, and seek immediate help if your baby’s movements alter in ANY way! Do NOT under any circumstances trust a home doppler.
Kicks Count, so Know your Bump.
Together, we can help reduce the rate of stillbirth and neonatal deaths. Please support us by sharing.
Love from Katie. Xx