TINY FOOTPRINTS MAKE AN IMPRINT, NO MATTER HOW SMALL YOUR DONATION IT WILL LEAVE IMMEASURBLE MEMORIES.
This is the story of my little angel, Reggie Ross Dan Wise.
At the age of 22, my partner Ross and I were over the moon to announce my pregnancy with our little boy Archie. It was the start of our beautiful family. On the 19th of July 2013, Archie Harry Wise was born, and we became the proudest parents in the world. I had always desired to be a mother, and Ross longed to be a father: so it wasn't very long until Ross and I decided to try for another little bundle of joy. Three months after giving birth to Archie, I found out I was pregnant again! Words couldn't have described how happy we were. Unaware of what was to come, we prepared for my second son to enter the world. As any parents would, we bought our double buggy, endless new born baby clothes, nappies and all the essentials. We couldn't have been more overwhelmed.
In February 2014, Ross, Archie and I went on our first family holiday. I was four months pregnant at the time and the relaxation was well needed. My partner Ross suddenly came down with a 'headache' shortly after we returned. After five weeks of Ross going repeatedly to the doctors (whom only considered it as a headache), we were told news which broke all of our hearts. Ross was diagnosed with three types of cancer;(skin, lung and a brain cancerous tumour) in early April. Being 6 months pregnant at the time with our second child, the pain was unbearable but I stayed strong for Ross, Archie and our unborn baby.
On the 9th of May 2014, Ross lost his battle and I couldn't have been more heartbroken. I didn't think anything could get any worse. I was 7 months pregnant, and I had just lost my partner, and both of my children had lost their father. Although I had to deal with the stress and heartache, I fought on. I had to keep focusing on Archie and my unborn son Reggie.
As the weeks turned into days until Reggie was due, I was so excited. Archie was going to be a big brother, and I was finally going to have my two baby boys together. On the 9th of July, I was going about my day-to-day routine and everything was perfect. The feeling of my baby kicking me was beautiful, and ever so precious. The day after, I started to get what I thought were labour pains. Reggie was coming!
Waving goodbye to my younger Brothers and Sisters, I told them the next time they saw me, I'd be bringing Reggie home, and they'd become Aunties and Uncles once again. I left for East Surrey Hospital with mix emotions, but I was just so happy that my little Reggie was coming.
After all I had been through; I didn't think it was possible to get any worse: but I was wrong, so wrong! 'I'm sorry, but we can't find a heartbeat.' Those words will haunt me forever. I was in absolute shock, they must be lying. Reggie was my light at the end of the tunnel. I was in total disbelief but after demanding four foetal heart scans and their confirmation, I was told that Reggie had gained his angel wings.
There aren't any words to describe the pain, the heartache and even the anger I had at that moment. I had already lost my partner, why would my baby be taken from me only eight weeks later? I knew, being 9 months pregnant, I'd need to go through the traumatic, natural labour with nothing to gain. My heart wasn't broken- it was shattered.
I gave birth to my beautiful boy, Reggie Ross Dan Wise at 9.11am on the 11th of July 2014. He was beyond perfect. He had ten toes, ten little fingers, two ears and the cutest little nose. The only thing which was missing was his heartbeat, which I so desperately longed for.
Archie, nearly a year old- came up to the hospital to see his little brother. I finally had my two sons together, just in a way I hadn't imagined. Archie loved him, shouting 'brother, bubba' and giving him endless kisses and cuddles. I was the proudest mother in the world.
I was very ill, in a life threatening position infact, and as a result I had an emergency blood transfusion. My mind was all over the place, but I knew one thing for sure and that was my little Reggie was coming home with me.
After the hospital insisting Reggie was to stay at the hospital morgue, and that they would arrange the funeral and that I should return home without him, I knew that wasn't an option. He was my son, not their property.
Even after being placed in the Sand's room in East Surrey Hospital, a cuddle cot was not available. However, after my mother and I demanding one, regardless to what the hospital regulations were, we finally received one. Not once was this option given to us. In the eyes of the hospital, Reggie and I were not to make a bond or connection as he was already gone. I think it's shocking, that mothers and families are not aware of the option of taking their baby home.
On the 17th of July 2014, 6 days after giving birth: I returned to my home in Crawley, West Sussex with my baby Reggie and the only cuddle cot in East Surrey Hospital also. This allowed me to have Reggie at home to create such precious, loving memories which will be forever treasured.
Reggie was home for his big brother Archie's 1st birthday on the 19th of July. A beautiful memory that I can share with Archie when he is old enough to understand. Reggie remained at home with his family until the 23rd of July: which was the day we laid him to rest.
I would do anything to change my story, and have my son in my arms, but life had a different plan. With my pain, heartache and story, I hope to help other parents who sadly have to go through the heart-breaking reality of having a stillborn. We can't take away the pain, but we can help to create precious memories in the so little time we have our angel babies on earth for.
My aim is to raise as much money for cuddle cots. This raises awareness to mothers to inform them of all the other options available to them through-out this hard time. You can take your baby home. You can go against the hospital's norms. You can do anything to help ease the pain.
Please donate in order to get another cuddle cot into hospitals up and down the UK, a pound or ten. Every penny is needed and welcomed.
Thank you for reading my story, and hopefully together we can make a change.