22 September 2014
Noah was born still after a normal and otherwise ‘textbook’ pregnancy. I carried our beautiful boy to 41 weeks gestation. Besides some morning sickness in the first trimester, I felt great throughout the pregnancy, and all routine tests and ultrasounds were normal.
It was a Sunday morning, we were 7 days overdue, and I felt strange when I woke up. I thought perhaps I would go into labour that day, but was concerned as I hadn’t felt Noah move since waking. I had a cold drink, a hot drink, something to eat, and even bounced on my swiss ball, in an attempt to get him moving, but he still didn’t move. I phoned my midwife, and went to the hospital to have his heartbeat checked… and it was as sudden as that… he was gone.
An enormous haze of emotions enveloped my husband and I, as we then needed to make decisions that no parent should ever have to make in their lifetime.
I decided to be induced, and gave birth to our beautiful little boy at 10:52 am, on the 22nd September 2014. It was the most incredibly wonderful but most suffocating moment of our lives. There are really no words to describe it.
We still have no clear reason why our little boys’ heart stopped that day, something I struggle with enormously. This is why, Brendan and I have decided to support organisations such as the Stillbirth Foundation and Still Aware to ensure that both vital research into early detection, awareness and prevention of stillbirth continues to grow.
Noah is 1 of 6 Australian babies born still every day in this country.
In Australia, 1 out of 135 births will be a stillbirth.
In approximately 40% of cases the cause of the baby’s death is not known.
This journey is incredibly hard, one I wish my family and I were not on. However, despite not having my son in my arms on this earth every day, my job as Noah’s mother remains… my job is to raise awareness and assist prevention, break the silence of stillbirth and hold space for other parents like us, who lose our precious children much before their time.
Unfortunately, through this journey we are granted a gold pass. An ‘invites only’ exclusive pass, to an incredibly special society, a community of parents, parents just like us. Parents who know what it is like to hold both elated joy and excruciating pain in our heart at the very same time. It was with great admiration that I met Claire Foord of Still Aware, who like us, had lost their precious Alfie. As I read Claire and Brad’s pregnancy and birth story, it resonated with me, and I felt I needed to help them raise awareness of Stillbirth in any way I could. You see, throughout this process, perhaps one of the things which amaze me the most are our stories, how incredibly alike so many of them are. This is why we feel it is important that we continue to tell them, it is important to share our stories of ‘textbook’ pregnancies, and normal births. It is important to inform women that stillbirth is not simply an adverse outcome of a high risk pregnancy and/or risk taking behaviour during pregnancy.
It can happen.
We should talk about it.
In fact, it happens to six families in Australia every day.
Six families lose their beloved baby every single day, six families too many.
Written by Noah’s mum, Meleseini Tai-Roche