Laci was my third child, a lovely surprise. I had a text book pregnancy, one of my easiest actually. All was perfect until I was 37+4 weeks and I felt no movement so I went in to triage to be checked over. I went in myself and fully expected to get there and Laci to start jumping around and make me look silly but that’s not what happened. Her heart rate was sky high and still no movements were picked up so the doctor decided delivery was my only option. Still thinking nothing of it I happily had my waters broken and delivered 3 hours later, my baby was ‘flat’ and was quickly taken away and resuscitated. What seemed like a life time soon passed and the doctor handed me my beautiful perfect little baby and congratulated us on her birth. My life was perfect, complete now with my three daughters I really couldn’t have been happier. We were moved up to a ward and my husband sent home as it was the middle of the night. Moments later my life changed forever. The nurse on duty looked at my baby, scooped her up and ran away with her. I had no idea what was happening but still didn’t cross my mind how bad things were about to become…..
My husband was called in to meet my daughter at the Sick Kids hospital to sign consent forms for surgery (I was to stay in hospital to recover). Next thing I was being told I had to get to Sick Kids asap, it was bad news. Laci had been for surgery, me and her dad sat and listened as we heard how sick our girl was. We had just met her and were about to lose her. She was born with intestinal gut malrotation with ischemia and vulvulus, basically her small intestine had attached back to front and twisted, 90% of her bowel was dead. The doctor explained how he had taken it out and untwisted it all and tomorrow would operate again to give her a second chance at life. However we had been told that if she did live she wouldn’t make it past 10 years and we would never get her home, she would never eat or drink and spend her life in pain with infection after infection from continual lines through her little body, we had a choice to make, let her go peacefully or keep her alive with machines. By morning time and her second operation little Laci had gotten worse, more than 95% of her bowel was now dead, any decision we had to make was gone, our girl now was going to die that very next day, heart broken to say the least. The staff organised a play therapist to come in so our older girls Maia (10) and Cerys (7) could spend some ‘play’ time with their sister, they made hand and foot prints from clay, painted them for prints and both had a cuddle from her. Telling they girls their sister wasn’t coming home is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Our close family and friends came in to meet our precious bundle, some from Sweden and Spain too. We were told that when Laci’s machines got switched off we would possibly get from half an hour to an hour tops with her breathing on her own, but no our brave little fighter fought on for eight and a half hours all by herself, I was so proud. I just sat numb, cradling Laci after she died, not talking nothing just numb, broken, why my baby?! Walking out of that hospital and leaving her behind ripped me apart, I collapsed and have no recollection of the journey home.
What Laci had was so rare doctors only see it once every 10 years with the severity she had it, often twisted bowel can be ‘fixed’ and I’ll always question why for the rest of my life.
After Laci’s death I begged my gp to let me be sterilised, I never wanted to be pregnant again, ever!! He refused cause of my state of mind etc so I was right back on the depo jag, however someone up there had other plans for us, 41 weeks after I gave birth to Laci I was back in the royal giving birth to our little rainbow baby, Josh. Our gift from above, I can honestly say that boy saved my life. No one can ever replace my precious princess, but to be blessed with her brother has helped us all.
I still see Ruth the counsellor, I feel I never got chance to grieve properly with being pregnant so soon and had a break down when Josh was 10 months old, that’s when I found Held In Our Hearts and Nicola and Ruth and I’ll be forever grateful for the help and support.
Thank you for reading our story. Sarah xx