I was 38+ weeks and had my last check up on the Tuesday afternoon, blood pressure perfect, baby’s heart perfect, measurements all perfect and was happy to discover our little one was fully engaged and ready to go. Our pregnancy had been perfect too, each and every check up was textbook. After some contractions began Tuesday night I was just so excited with what was to come… although the contractions didn’t progress Wednesday I just played it down to Braxton hicks. It was early Thursday morning that I had a sinking feeling something wasn’t quite right. Bub hadn’t moved through the night as normal… again mind telling me… “they must be getting ready”… and “Don’t be silly, stop overreacting”.
Even though I think I already knew I still was not prepared for the silence in that room as we all listened to try and find that heartbeat, a heartbeat that wasn’t there. And then the only sounds were my own primal screams as I realised this nightmare was coming true.
Everything that happened next was an out of body experience, a daze, an alternate universe.
I made the calls, completed the paperwork, sat in nowhere land with my husband trying to fathom what we were about to do.
We decided to go home before returning later that night to start induction to deliver our beautiful baby, just not in the way we had ever imagined.
Our time at home felt like a dragging eternity but it was so important. We cried, hugged and got to place the things away that would never be used when we returned. Such a pit of emptiness, a crater of despair as these baby items we were so excited for were placed behind a door which would be hard to open for a quite a while. The weather cried with us- outside the wind and heavy rains replicated our hearts.
Although we stayed at the hospital that night we decided to start the drip early the next morning even though I probably wasn’t going to get much sleep anyways it gave us time. As the dreadful morning came we understood the magnitude of the task at hand, birthing a child we would never hear cry. But I wanted to birth like we intended – naturally and with as little intervention as possible. We made it together, my body knew what to do and it was just so powerful, beautiful but heart-wrenching.
And so our little girl had arrived – she was perfect in every way, petite from head to toe and my gosh she looked just like me. It was quite a shock considering I had totally convinced myself it was a boy through my pregnancy. The clock stood still in these moments of holding her and even the sun began to finally shine through the windows of our room.
The hours that followed were some of the most precious moments of our lives even though they were also the most hardest. We were given gifts that could never be repayed – photos, feet and hand prints, memory books and a box for our keepsakes. Mostly however we were given time. Time to be, time to hold, time to cry and have her with us through the use of the cuddle cot.
It was all these moments that strengthened out love but broke our hearts. Whilst this outcome was so painful, Eva chose the most peaceful path into this world. What we hold onto is that we did it, we survived something so unimaginable and we are still surviving.
We choose to not stand silent and to raise awareness.
We choose to share our story to let everyone know our little Eva is alive in what we do every day.
We are angel parents x
Written by Amanda & Jim, Eva’s parents.