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I had suffered health problems including Rheumatoid Arthritis since I was 26. I had been so ill that I readily agreed to go on a drug called Methotrexate which meant I would not be allowed to fall pregnant. When my health improved and as I neared my 30th birthday, I begged my wonderful Rheumatologist to allow me to come off the drug. It took over a year to persuade him, 18 months to come off the drug and 6 months for the drug to leave my system.
On 28 February 2006 I took a pregnancy test as I was due to have an operation to remove my wisdom teeth the following day under general anaesthetic. I had the faintest positive test on the planet and turned up to the hospital a gibbering wreck. The hospital tests showed negative. However, I was truly pregnant and later learnt my due date was 8 November 2006 (the day before my 10th wedding anniversary).
Due to my health (I was still on lifetime steroids) I was under Consultant care (also the most wonderful man). He looked after me so well and I had a "perfect" pregnancy - no sickness, no bleeding, all measurements spot on. I was, however, told that I would have my baby at the end of October 2006 (8 Nov was still accurate for dates, but they felt I should not make it to that date). On 14 June (my 32nd birthday) I had my "big" scan and begged the hospital to tell me the baby's sex (I was desperate to know). Despite it being against hospital policy, my husband and I were told that the baby was a boy and from that point was "George" after my Rheumatologist.
I struggled through the hot summer (my office was 91 degrees at one point) and counted down the days until my maternity leave. I left work on 29 September. Exactly one week later I had a routine scan (my 10th). I instantly knew something was wrong as I had seen the Consultant's face with the scans so many times before. He told us that there was no heartbeat. He would get another Consultant to check. I realised that there was no hope - if he hadn't found a heartbeat there wouldn't be one. I knew I would have to give birth and the hospital arranged for an area of the hospital to be allocated to me where I would be away from the main labour ward. I gave birth at 7.19am on 7 October to a 4lb 7oz baby boy. I will never forget the kindness shown to me by the two Midwives, Emma and Jill, nor the Consultant and later wrote to the Chief Executive telling her of their kindness. So much respect was shown to my son and I desperately miss him.
Next came all the vile things....registering the birth/death, the funeral (no-one should have to attend their child's funeral) and then the firsts....My due date, 10th wedding anniversary, Christmas, Mother's Day...To give birth, but not be a Mother is one of the hardest concepts to comprehend.
I lost my son due to a single blood clot and all causes have been eliminated so it looks as if simply a one off - I still do not know whether that makes it easier or harder, but I have a reason. I am lucky. Some people do not.
I could have taken my full maternity leave, but knew I would go stir crazy. I, therefore, returned to work on 12 December, which has not been easy as I am a Family Lawyer - imagine a client in front of you with a new baby born 2 days after yours.
I am still here...still surviving and the good days outweigh the bad. My husband has been wonderful, but husbands get left out so much with people asking after the mother. I desperately hope that one day he gets the opportunity of our baby calling him Daddy.
Kristy, mum to George stillborn 07/10/06
Update May 2011
I lost another 3 babies in February, May and November 2008 again with no apparent cause before giving birth to a beautiful baby girl, Eleanor Rose Richardson. She was born 10 weeks early in December 2009 and is very healthy.
Unfortunately, I now have advanced Pulmonary Hypertension and Pulmonary Fibrosis. I had heart failure in August 2010 and was given 2-4 months to live. However, following surgery to insert an IV line into my heart which administers a continuous drug to reduce the heart pressures I have been given another 2 1/2 years. I am now on the transplant list at Papworth Hospital for a heart and double lung transplant. A group of friends are doing a skydive in June 2011 to raise money for the hospital www.justgiving.com/lucy-willis2