On Wednesday 11th October 2017 after a short, straightforward labour our first child was born. Henry came into the world calm, alert and apparently healthy; after nine months of waiting we were finally meeting the small human we’d made together. Weighing 6lb12oz, with auburn hair and brown eyes we both agreed he was the most beautiful person we had ever met and we were completely in love.
We had two happy, normal hours together as a family of three before Henry became unresponsive, floppy and stopped breathing. Doctors tried to resuscitate him for thirty minutes but couldn’t save him, just like that our son had died. Instead of taking our baby home we handed him to a stranger to be sent away for a post-mortem and walked out of the hospital with empty arms.
To date (March 2018) we have no answers about why Henry stopped breathing, he seemed perfectly well at birth and nothing has been found on his post-mortem. There is an ongoing inquest to try to establish a cause of death but we have been warned it’s unlikely one will be found.
Henry may be physically gone but he lives on in our lives and is part of everything we do. We remember the time we had with him: the 38 weeks he lived in my womb and the two beautiful hours after he was born. We speculate about who he would have been, what he would have liked and disliked and what his personality was like; our family talk about him often and include him in their lives. We never shy away from saying Henry’s name and write it everywhere: on paper, in the snow, on the condensation of the shower screen. His presence fills our home, his photos are on display and in every room are physical reminders that he existed: pregnancy paraphernalia, his cot, a car seat, little outfits lovingly bought for him in the months before his birth. He is my first thought in the morning, my last at night and most of the ones in between. Henry is our firstborn child, the one who made us a mother and a father, his physical absence doesn’t change that and he will always have a place in our family. He is missed more than we could ever put into words, but our love for him is no different to the love any parent has for their child.
I plan to write a regular blog about my experience of child loss, please feel free to join me here on my journey navigating life after loss and learning how to parent my missing son. This is the not the motherhood I would have chosen, but it’s mine nonetheless.
Georgia & Martin
Henry’s Mummy and Daddy