Paula’s Story

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Hi my name is Paula
In march 1999
I was only 16 years old and expecting my first baby. This come as a shock but it just felt so natural that I was going to be a mother even though I was so young,  it felt right.
Not everyone agreed and my parents were going through a break up when I found out. This made it very difficult as we had to move out of our family home life was changing but all
I could think of was that I had so much to look forward to. My pregnancy was far from smooth.

In the first trimester I visited the hospital often due to bleeding but despite the bleeding my baby was still there and still alive. Me and his dad split up and didn’t really see each other or speak. He came to scans but didn’t support me. At 20 weeks I found out I was having a little boy. We was so happy.  I was so in love. He made me feel like I had so much to look forward too despite my family breaking down and me and his dad no longer being together. When I was 22 weeks I began to have pains. I didn’t know what they were so I went to my doctor who sent me to the hospital where I was monitored and informed I was having contractions. There was a risk I was going into premature labour. I was given steroid injections to boost his lungs. This went on for some time – in and out of hospital with pains. Then at 28 weeks I was in labour. I was put on a drip to stop the labour.  I did whatever the hospital advised and put my faith in them. The labour stopped and a few days later I was sent home. At home he would kick for hours and I would play with his tiny foot under my ribs and it had become a game. I felt so much love – he was my world. I had picked up his beautiful pram and prepared for his arrival over and over.

Then on the 7th November 1999
I was at home alone on the phone to Ciaren’s dad when I felt like I was wee-ing and couldn’t stop
myself and I said I had to go. I called my mum and she came straight over and phoned a ambulance.  I was so scared and embarrassed. The paramedics were amazing. When we got to the hospital they confirmed my waters had gone and that they was keeping me in and hopefully get me to 36 weeks. I was 33 weeks plus I was told I’d be given antibiotics, a scan and hourly temperature checks. I got none of these. On the morning of the 9th November I remember the midwife coming and listening in and Ciaren kicking out. I smiled.  He was cheeky.  As the morning progressed I became very unwell being sick bleeding and having really bad pains. I went to the midwives who told me to bath and they’d be over to check. I waited and waited then lunch time arrived and a midwife came to see me. Put me on the monitor but could not find a heartbeat. I knew I knew my baby had gone. She tried to reassure me and said we would go to scan. But in my heart I knew I knew he had gone. We got to scan and there it was my baby boy had died, “no Heartbeat”

I jumped off the bed and said I had to go.  I was in shock and panic. How would I tell everyone. I had failed.  I had let everyone down.  I was taken to the family room at the bottom of the maternity ward were I could hear babies crying.

I picked up the phone and dialled his dad’s number.  I will never forget the words “he’s gone” and I hung up
My life was over. Then I had to be examined and I was in labour and taken to the ward. But this was not how it was meant to be.

I was meant to be feeling happy, happy I’m going to give birth to my first baby.
But my baby had gone.  My darling little boy 12 hours of labour and Ciaren entered the world silent.  Not a cry not a screech nothing.  The doctors were right my baby had really died.

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