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Kirsty & Nathan’s Story – For Savannah.

My husband Nathan and I married in 2022 and found out we were expecting our first child early in 2023. Sadly, I had a very small bleed at 10 weeks and found out we had miscarried somewhere in the two weeks before. We were devastated but determined to continue trying to expand our family and conceived again in May of that year. Again, I had minor bleeding from weeks 6-16 of that pregnancy but thankfully our baby girl was unaffected.

Though I remained anxious due to our previous loss, the rest of the pregnancy continued normally and safely and we could not have been more excited nor more prepared for the arrival of our longed for daughter.

On 4th February 2024, three days before her due date, I noticed in the late morning that I hadn’t been aware of her kicking that day but figured it was part of very early labour and popped to triage for a double check and confirmation that we should be preparing for her arrival in the next day or two.

Sadly, it was the opposite news. Five doctors later, nobody could find her heartbeat and we were told Savannah had passed away. We opted for induction that day and I delivered our daughter early on 5th February, just two days before her due date and weighing a perfect 7lbs11 with a full head of hair.

It was the single most devastating moment of my life, whilst simultaneously being the most beautiful – how could it not be when I had the honour of meeting my daughter for the first time?

Nathan and I spent the rest of the day with her, before leaving her in the care of our bereavement midwives that evening. From that point on, I had to figure out how to be a mother without a child to care for.

The first few weeks were exceptionally dark, nobody could comfort me, only visiting the Chapel of Rest and holding my daughter would help. During those hours, we could read to her, swaddle her, rock her to lullabies and music from our wedding, and tell her all the hopes and dreams we had for her so she could know how truly adored she was.

Nathan contacted Petals on my behalf as he recognised I needed support that went beyond the capability of him, our family or our friends. I was not the kind of person who would seek external help previously but I needed to be able to show truly how broken I was, without the fear of scaring and upsetting the people I loved most.

Slowly, the weekly sessions with our Petals counsellor helped me to begin to accept that although I could not take care of Savannah in the physical sense, I could continue to find ways to be her mother. That is a personal journey for any parent in this position however for me, that meant:

  • Visiting Savannah every day at the Funeral Directors before she was laid to rest, then visiting her grave thereafter
  • Fundraising in her name to give back to the charities that had brought us comfort
  • Baking each week for the bereavement midwives (our earthside angels during this) and the wider midwifery team who cared for us with the utmost tenderness and respect
  • Creating a flowerbed in our garden with tall flowers that we can cut and take to her grave
  • Putting together “Savannah’s Library” – a collection of books from the fiercely loving circle of people around us who have all been so impacted by her passing. This collection of books will stay with the bereavement midwives ready for any families that find themselves in this position, in the hope that maybe spending a few minutes reading a story to their baby will bring a moment of peace and some lasting memories like it did for our family.

Savannah’s Garden

Savannah’s Library

I have no doubt that over time, the ways in which I feel I can best mother her will evolve, and my ability to cope will ebb and flow in its strength. Some days I am buoyed by the love I have for her, and it powers me through, and others it physically brings me to my knees.

However, through all of this, I know that when I need it, I have the help and support of Jane, our counsellor, who can be the sounding board I need throughout this journey. Navigating the funeral, post-mortem results (inconclusive) and battling the guilt of longing for another baby were made bearable by the support of Petals.

Our hope for the future is to one day take a sibling to Savannah to introduce them to their beautiful older sister who will always be watching over them.