I found out I was pregnant with our first child after returning from a beautiful holiday in Europe in 2022.
I surprised my husband with the news on our 3-year wedding anniversary. My 'gift' to him was the positive pregnancy test wrapped up in a little box. We were over the moon. What followed for the next seven and a half months was a really healthy pregnancy and absolute blissful happiness, while we waited for our baby to arrive.
At my 31-week scan, everything looked perfect and my doctor commented on my baby's 'strong heartbeat'. 10 days later, I returned home from work and sat down on the sofa only to realise that I hadn't felt my baby kick that day. It just didn't feel right, so I called my hospital and they asked me to come in right away. When I got there, two midwives used a doppler to try and locate my baby's heartbeat but said they were having trouble doing so and called my Obstetrician to come in and do an ultrasound.
The ultrasound confirmed that my baby's heart had stopped. It was the most earth-shattering moment of our lives.
My husband and I held each other and wept. We were sent home that evening and returned to the hospital in the morning to be induced. On Friday 3rd March 2023 at 11:14am, I delivered my beautiful baby boy Jude. He was the most beautiful, perfect little angel I'd ever seen in my life. We got to spend 24 precious hours with him, before saying goodbye and returning home with empty arms and broken hearts.Prior to this happening, I had never even considered the possibility that I could ever lose my child. I don't think I'd ever heard the word 'stillborn' before. What haunts me is the fact that, in the week leading up to this, I had noticed that Jude's movements had decreased, but I hadn't known the importance of this.
I hadn't known that the slightest change in movement could indicate that something is wrong. Had I known, I would have presented to the hospital sooner and perhaps my baby boy would still be here today. I feel let down by my healthcare provider, who had a responsibility and duty of care to educate me on this. I will never understand why he didn't.
To my baby boy Jude, I miss you with every fibre of my being and it's so sad that I have to live in this world without you.
Remembering Jude Wheller, born 03/03/2023. Story written by Natasha and Ian Wheller.