I knew the day was coming. We had talked about meeting with the consultants again on the day we left the hospital. 6 weeks away felt like a lifetime to wait, and at that time, I had no real questions to ask as it all seemed so surreal.
The weeks passed, and I remember dreading the thought of returning to the hospital, for fear of all those feelings attacking me like a tornado. But soon enough, I found myself sat in the hospital in front of the Doctor who had been primarily responsible for Harry's care, and the Doctor who was in charge of those giving my care.
Hearing the paediatric consultant talk about what happened in the first hour of Harry's life was heart wrenching. To hear how the staff had worked so hard to resuscitate our very poorly boy, and all the efforts made by him after his very prompt arrival to the theatre, it just showed us how amazing the care in this unit is and the lengths that were went to, to try and save our little man. I had no questions at all for this Doctor as I knew in my heart, everything was done absolutely correctly and efficiently and with no expense spared. I will be eternally indebted to this man, and his team.
It was listening to the obstetrician that was the incredibly hard part. I had so many questions for him as I could not seem to get my head around how this had all happened and how things couldn't have happened differently, to save my dear son's life. All my questions had answers and my head was clearer, until I asked about the screening process for the condition my placenta and cord had. I was told that there is the equipment and training in place to scan for this condition, however it is not routinely scanned as "it would add a further 3 minutes onto each scan" and this would have a massive impact on the resources available if it were to be included. 3 minutes.... 3 minutes?! 3 MINUTES!!!! That's all that stood between me and my baby being delivered safely. I couldn't bear this thought. I burst into tears. How can this be?! I was livid.
All I could think when driving home was how awful it would be for another mother to go unscreened and to suffer this hideous heartache, for the sake of 3 minutes. For god's sake, a sonographer would check the sex of the baby for a couple, which has no medical bearing whatsoever, yet to check the insertion of a cord is too much to ask. How can I change this? Who can I speak to? I considered writing to the head of the RD&E hospital to request a change in policy but I wanted to help more women than just locals, so I created an e-petition, going straight to the Department of Health. With the help of 100,000 signatures we can have this change discussed in the House of Commons, so I hope that we can reach this massive target!
I have suffered two months of absolute agony and I miss my little boy, desperately, every day. I think of how he might look now, aged two months, all the milestones he is missing. I think of how William would be adjusting to life with his new brother, how I would be coping with nightfeeds or juggling a toddler and a newborn. All these things could have been a reality for me, if only I had been given those 3 minutes.
Please sign my petition at: www.harrycunninghamtrust.co.uk/e-petition.php and tell everyone you can... The innocent lives of hundreds of babies can be saved with this test, and you never know which baby might be taken unnecessarily next.
Thank you x