Next Friday 15th April will be 6 months since Ollie passed away, next Saturday will be 6 months since he was born. 6 months or half year, feels like a milestone in someone’s life. If Ollie would have been physically here with us, he would have been 6 months old, but sadly instead we are 6 months into this journey…a journey we never thought we would be on.
After 6 months of waiting, we finally received Ollie’s post mortem results on Thursday 8th April. Whilst it was an emotional day (no parent should ever have to read a document entitled ‘Ollie Watson Post Mortem) it brought us some form of closure, that we finally were told once and for all that nothing could have been done to save our little boy. The results were given to us by the doctor who delivered Ollie, Mohamed, and I am SO thankful that he was our doctor that day. We feel such a connection to him because he was one of the very few people who saw our son, held our son and treated him with the dignity and respect he deserved.
The cause of death was Placenta abruption, which I’ve always said was the case and what we were told in the hospital. Whilst we will keep the rest of his results private, we finally have an answer. I spent the majority of the meeting asking many, many questions such as ‘Was it because I fell?’ ‘Was it because of the retching from the morning sickness?’ ‘Was it because I had a sweep?’ but no, it was none of those things. There was no reason or explanation why, it just happened, it was just one of them things….
I was told I have a 4% chance of this happening again if we were ever blessed enough to fall pregnant again. That statistic petrified me, 4 out of 100…4. That means if I was to be pregnant 100 times (lol) then this could happen 4 out of those times. But Reece said….well that’s good, that’s 96% chance it won’t happen. An outlook which is positive for a change. A plan was made in the event of a future pregnancy, extra checks, extra scans, induction at 37-38 weeks, additional monitoring, blood tests, rainbow clinics. I said well what about this time, why wasn’t all of this done this time? And sadly, there is no answer. I was a low risk, text book pregnancy with no risk factors. Ollie was full term and ready for labour, there was no warning. I was not offered induction because it was not medically safe, Ollie died at 40 + 5, induction was booked at 40 + 7… I had no reason to believe he was unsafe. Another pregnancy is dangerous, but not impossible or not advised.
For 6 months I have been so angry, angry at the trust, the midwives, the doctors…bitterness towards people who brought their babies home when Ollie didn’t get the chance. The guilt has made me physically unwell that I didn’t induce him early, that my placenta failed him, that we were unable to see him when he was born. The shame of our situation and our decisions has almost floored me. But Thursday has taught me that I can’t live like that any more. Stress is a huge indictor for fertility, ovulation and cycles and I have so many physical stress symptoms that my doctor said ‘this cannot continue anymore, you have to try and move forward and leave this discussion in this room, there was nothing you could have done’.
From when I started this blog back in January and my Instagram page, I found it an incredibly helpful outlet for my grief. Speaking to other women in the same situation, making OJ’s, posting about how it feels to lose a baby…all of these things I have done to make people (and myself) feel less alone and to try to break the stigma surrounded by baby loss, as well to make sure Ollie’s story is heard as far and as wide as possible. But when is enough, enough? For the rest of my life I will tell his story, speak his name, remember him, talk about him, involve him, see him, think about him, dream about him…I don’t need to make myself unwell in order to do that anymore. Baby loss is an incredibly important topic and is something I will ALWAYS be a part of for the rest of my life, but I also can’t overwhelm myself with the topic to this extent anymore. The constant reminders of our loss have got too much for me to cope with day to day. I have to try and move forward and incorporate my grief into day to day life without making myself unwell in the process. I want to grow and evolve and form some form of life for myself, whilst happiness isn’t part of that picture at the moment and may not be for a long time, eventually I want to be happy again. Because we get one life, just one, that can be taken from us at any moment. I don’t know how long I have left, no one does, but I know Ollie did not get that chance, so I have to be that chance for him.
Ollie’s DNA will remain inside me forever, and I see for him. My body does everything for him, just like when he was inside my tummy, and for that purpose I owe him a life. My life. Our little family would like to grow and to focus on positive outcomes I need to take a step back from my consuming grief and try to see what possibilities are in front of us. We may not be blessed enough for that, that might not be God’s plan but we won’t know until we try, and we can’t let fear stop us from living.
Ollie will never be forgotten, the impact he has had on so many lives is something I am incredibly proud of. He was so loved and is still loved so much, his legacy will always live on and we will think of him every single day. No matter what, Reece and I are parents, we always will be and not even death can take that from us.
I want to continue to post on my page and my Instagram but in more of a different tone, a tone of positivity, day to day life and the future. This doesn’t mean that my days are positive, most days are dark, but some days aren’t and that is what I need to focus on for myself and for my family. Moving forward does not mean I am forgetting him, or that it gives anyone else the ‘permission’ to forget him, it means I am accepting that this is our story and that this is Ollie’s story.
I’ve started to run again (something I was too afraid to do before now…) eat healthier, sleep better, I’ve put all of the baby loss books away and started to read something funny that I felt I didn’t deserve to read before (Marian Keyes – Again Rachel) I’ve put Ollie’s post mortem report in a box and left it there, I’m writing my book, we have a memory tree in the works at Calderdale Hospital in his memory and for now….that’s enough for me. I’m still in weekly therapy and the flashbacks are becoming less frequent, I still cry every single day but perhaps for a shorter time. We have a break booked to Portugal, Nice for my best friends Hen Party, my best friends wedding, Reece’s 30th, Rome…this is not what we thought we would be doing, but we are…and nothing can change that, but acceptance. We still speak his name every day, say good morning to him, bring blue bear with us, remember him and his cheeky personality. He is with me, all the time. It is not goodbye, it’s see you again one day…
And until that day comes, I have to try.