We knew that Rhianna had died, three days before she was born, so we knew what we were doing when we went into hospital and into the delivery suite, because we and the midwives knew what has happening, we were taken to a room slightly off the ward, not in the middle of the ward but to the side.
Delivering a stillborn child is a completely different experience to a normal birth!
There is no hearing that first cry.
Instead there is silence.
There is no excitement.
When both the boys were born, Mr L was up waiting for a hold.
Rhianna we sat still.
Almost waiting to be proved wrong, hoping against all hope she would cry. She didn’t and we sat in silence.
No screaming baby.
An unhealthy silence.
When the boys were born they were both given to Mr L as soon as possible.
Rhianna we were asked if we wanted to hold her, she was put in a little cold basket and brought over to us.
There is no assumption.
When the boys were born there were smiles, from us, from the midwives.
With Rhianna there were silent tears, rolling down our cheeks and the midwives eyes were full of pain, its funny the things you remember. I remember our lovely new midwife, blonde, young, and eyes filled with pain! Such big eyes filled with sorry and tears, tears for our dead baby but trying so hard to be professional.
There is no getting your baby to feed, or changing their nappies, there is none of that.
There is silence, sitting with the person you love the most and making small talk as there is really nothing either of you can say.
There are photos but they are never enough. They are never right, and they never fill a lifetime of photos like her brothers.
You try to capture everything possible in a few hours.
But it is never enough.
The silence is overwhelming.
You’re asked the strangest questions, would you like your child blessed?
We said yes, and the hospital vicar came.
No massive family event.
It was just Rhianna, Mr L and I sat on the bed and the hospital vicar.
It was what she needed, what we needed, but oh so strange.
I don’t really remember it well.
It was never what I thought I would be doing.
Never what I imagined.
But I do remember the silence between the vicar talking.
The look of sorry!
You get that all the time when you have a stillbirth, nearly 6 years later it is still a look you get when you tell someone for the first time.
The look of sorry.
It’s something you never ever get used to.
I remember having to make a decision on a private burial or a hospital burial, I remember staring at the midwife and not really knowing what to say!
We went for a private burial and were given a number for the funeral home to collect our baby girl.
All these things we never had to do, we didn’t understand and we had no clue.
But the hardest thing, harder than giving birth, or knowing that she had died was the fact that we had to make the decision when we wanted Rhianna to leave us, when we wanted her to be taken away.
How do you decide that?
What part of your being as a mummy or daddy says yeah its ok now you take our baby away?
How do you do it?
I don’t know how we did it to this day.
I just know we both decided at the same time, which made it easier, but were we really ready?
Are you ever ready for your baby to leave you for the very last time.
To put simply it is something you know you have to do, but you will never be ready to be asked to tell them when you are ready is asking the impossible question. No one is ever ready.
No one ever wants their longed for baby to leave them for the last time!
And then its you!
Just the two of you and silence.
Waiting to go home.
On your own.