Happy 1st Birthday Ruby
It's been a year since you took your last breath; and sometimes it only feels like yesterday. It has been the toughest year for me and your Daddy – I wish you were still with us so you could see how much we love you.
When I woke up on Monday 23 February 2015, I thought it was going to be a normal day.
I did all the usual things I would do before work, when I got to work all of a sudden I felt something, and I didn’t know whether it was the normal pain I had been having for weeks. I rang the hospital, explained what I was feeling and was told ‘we have already seen you recently with the same pain and it is normal.’
I accepted what I was told and kept telling myself its nothing, I got on with my usual stuff at work and the clock kept ticking. The pain was getting more and more intense but I tried to forget about it - thinking it was normal.
At around midday I couldn’t handle the pain any longer, I couldn’t speak because it was so intense and I just knew something wasn’t right.
I got so scared, I called your Daddy, called your Mama Kulj and Mami Jas and I broke down because I was terrified that I was going to lose you.
Your Daddy rushed me to hospital and I just didn’t want to believe that something was wrong even though I was in agony. When we were on the way, your Daddy’s words were ‘If they tell you she’s coming early then it’s all going to be okay, just please don’t panic.’ I kept thinking, this was not possible, I’m not in labour.
It had just gone past 1.00pm when we got to the hospital and we were waiting in the waiting area, I just didn’t want to be called in. They called us in, we went into the triage room and after checking, the Registrar told us that I was in active labour and you were going to be born at just 26 weeks and two days. My heart sank, I didn’t know what to say or do. Your Daddy was holding my hand tight and kept telling me it’s going to be okay. I knew he was worried too, he was just saying that to keep me strong.
I called your Mama and Mami and all I said was ‘Can you come down please, she’s going to be born early’. Your Daddy called your Thaiji Sab to come to the hospital until your Mama and Mami arrived.
Your Daddy and I just wanted what was best for you and for you to get the best care when you were born - your health came first. We were taken to the delivery room. I was in pieces because this was not what we imagined and I didn’t want to think the worst. Your Daddy kept reassuring me, kept telling me to be strong. I didn’t imagine that I would be giving birth to you early, in my work clothes and without having anything to dress you in after you were born. To get me through, I kept trying to tell myself, no matter how tough this labour was going to be, I was going to have beautiful daughter at the end of it all.
A consultant came over to explain what they were going to do after you were born because you would have needed special care until you would be ready to go home. I kept asking if you were going to be okay – the consultant kept reassuring us that many babies are born early and you would have just as good chance of survival as any other premature baby.
I was in agony and I just wanted you out quickly and safely. I didn’t think anything else could possibly make this worse until they told us you were breech position.
Hours went by and you still weren’t born. The only thing that kept me going was the midwife telling us ‘your daughter has a really strong heartbeat and she’s fine’ and I remember at one point there were around nine people in the room including consultants, nurses, midwives and registrars waiting for you to be born but you were stuck and they all left the room except for two midwives.
Just minutes after they all left, you were finally born at 6.11pm – the midwife took you to the other side of the room but you were still in front us where we could see. You came so suddenly, the other midwife was calling for emergency help.
I kept looking and I could see you moving. I kept asking if you were okay and your Daddy said it’s all okay, the Consultants were working on you. I could see them but I needed reassurance, I needed to know you were actually okay.
After 15 minutes we were told you were going to be OK and I just looked at your Daddy because all we had was hope that the consultant said you were going to be okay, and that’s all I wanted to believe.
A few minutes later we were told the devastating news that that there was nothing more they could do to save you.
Everyone says you forget about the terrible labour you have had when your baby is born and that is true – the moment you were born I forgot about all the pain I went through for hours but the moment they told me that was the end, the pain was back, and it was ten times worse.
We all held you, you were beautiful and so perfect. You had thick black hair and your Daddy’s face. When I held you, all I wanted was for you to open your eyes, I just didn’t want to let you go. The tears wouldn’t stop and it was like my life had turned upside down in just one day.
That night I didn’t want to accept what happened, I didn’t know how to accept it or what to say to anyone. I kept thinking, what did I do wrong in my pregnancy, what did I do wrong that morning or the night before, was it something I ate or something I missed? I had no idea and no one had any answers. That night was the longest night ever and that feeling of not having you inside me was the worst. I kept waiting for you to kick and move but there was nothing.
We went home the next morning, which was hard because I felt I had left something behind and I was missing something. Everyone was so supportive and they let me grieve but I still couldn’t explain to anyone what I was going through. You had been inside me and only I knew what that felt like and what relationship we had.
Days passed and I carried on grieving. Your Daddy was broken too but kept a strong face. I also had your family by my side to get me through each day as well. Your Daddy and I wouldn’t have been able to get through those days without them.
We then had to start thinking about your funeral and we wanted to do whatever we could for you. On the day before your funeral I had to dress you for the first time. I never imagined that my first time dressing my beautiful daughter would have been at the Funeral Directors. I was asked if this was something I wanted to do, and I did, it was my duty as your Mummy. Dressing you that day was the hardest thing I have ever had to and even though I knew this could never happen, I kept wanting you to open your eyes to me.
The day of your funeral was even harder, especially for your Daddy when he carried your casket. I couldn’t believe what we were having to do. We wanted to give you a lovely send off and everyone who loved you dearly was there.
In this last year, there have been many people who have made me feel guilty that it must have been me that did something wrong during my pregnancy, and ever since the day you were born I have been beating myself up about it every day, wishing there was something that I could have done but I have to accept that there was nothing that I could have done to save your life.
This last year has been really tough and you will always be a part of me and Daddy. We just wish you were still with us – we will never be able to explain how much we miss you and how hard it is without you.
Love you always… Mummy xxx
If you, or a friend or family member has suffered a bereavement, we're here to help. If you would like support, please call the Bliss helpline. You can also visit our coping with loss pages for support and advice on coping with the death of a baby.