Tuesday, September 6, 2011

How to break the news......

To you I might sound like I talk about my daughter all the time, but to me I miss and choose to remember and honour Yasminah's memory by keeping her as a part of my life in everything I do. She is and will always be our first precious daughter.

The moment we lost Yasminah is often revisited in my thoughts and memories on a daily basis. Especially when I learn another little angel has grown their wings, and another family is now going through the same heartache and swirl of emotions we experienced when we lost our daughter Yasminah. Knowing they are probably struggling to share their heartbreaking news with those who care about them.

How do you tell the people around you, the people who love you, the people who are waiting to hear news of your beloved child's arrival, that instead your baby has passed away. It is an incredibly hard hard thing to do and something you never ever think about or dream one day you will have to do.

I was on bed rest and waiting to reach that magic milestone of 38 weeks. My reasons are my own, but I felt it was in my child's best interests to be delivered safely into this world via an elective cesarean and to avoid any complications that may arise if I chose to have a VBAC, knowing Yasminah would require some special care once she was born to have casts to correct her feet. At least if we had some control over her arrival, all the care and assistance she needed would be available.

However I only made it to 37 weeks and 2 days when very unexpectedly Yasminah passed away in utero.

We realised we had no control over anything, and as much as we had planned and prepared for our daughter's arrival, we didn't know that our much anticipated and loved first baby girl would be born sleeping. All plans went out the window. Inititally I still wanted to have a cesarean and couldn't believe it when the hospital told me that they thought it would be better if I had her naturally, as having a second cesarean would mean all future births would be cesarean and I would also be limited to how many babies I could have. How on earth could I deliver a child naturally who had passed away. Why wouldn't they take her out straight away. Our medical team knew that we wanted more children and urged me to consider having a VBAC. They would monitor me closely to ensure my scar didn't rupture during labour and that things wouldn't progress too quickly. I was given the option to allow nature to take it's course and for me to go into natural labour which could take a few days or a few weeks, or to come back the next day and start the induction process. I have told Yasminah's birth story briefly before so wont re post it here tonight.

But one thing that was incredibly hard was telling people our daughter had passed away. Everyone was waiting for the phone call to tell them we had our baby, but I don't think anyone expected to receive the news we had to tell them. We decided we would only tell immediate family and friends. Many of our friends knew I was already on bed rest in hospital and waiting to have her later that week, so it was hard to avoid. Many of my friends had sent me text messages the very morning of the day she passed away. One friend sent me this message: Take care and if you are still in there on the weekend without a baby we will come keep you company otherwise we will see you at home with the bub! 

Another one ~ Not long now! xo ~ Keep me up to date on everything ~

The announcement: I wasn't strong enough to call anyone to tell them of our loss. At the time they were confirming that there was no heartbeat, my best friend, who was 39 weeks pregnant was calling me, instinctively knowing something was wrong. I couldn't answer the phone. Then the hospital staff asked if they would prefer they call my husband to let him know. I wanted to let him know, but not like this. He already knew from our earlier conversations that afternoon that I was concerned something was wrong, but I don't think he ever thought he would hear my next words whispered through a sea of tears "Leave Zach at home, don't tell anyone but she has passed away".

It is a grief and loss and incredible pain that a much as you can try to explain to someone, unless you have lived through it, unless you have been there you will never truly understand.

My incredible, strong, supportive, loving husband, fighting back his own tears had to tell everyone that Yasminah had passed away. The evening that she passed away, the 24th of March 2009, we called our parents, then our siblings, then our close friends from our bed. Both lying down touching my big belly, willing her to move and for this to all be a nightmare that we could wake up from. It became too much to call everyone, so we made the decision to hold off telling anyone else until the following day.

Hi all, Yasminah fought well, however she passed away peacefully last night. She is now playing with the angels in heaven.  

Then when we arrived home, we discovered that someone had posted a message on our Facebook page, so we had to let everyone else know what had happened.

Thursday 26th March at 09:58am our precious little girl walked into our lives and left footprints on our hearts

I was in shock, but I was also so incredibly excited that I was going to finally meet my baby girl! I had been dreaming of meeting her and probably a few days before her birth I had a dream that Yasminah was born but for some reason I couldn't hold her. It didn't matter how much I reached out for her, my arms could not reach her. I remember discussing this with my husband and he shrugged it off, putting it down to the possibility that she would be admitted to special care to have casts placed on her feet and maybe that's why I wouldn't be able to hold her straight away. Maybe someone was trying to break the news to me, about what was about to happen..........

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