On the 13th November I will be jumping out of a plane to raise money for the charity Sands. This is for my works annual charity event and Watt Property are kindly paying the full amount of the sky dive so that every penny we raise can go directly to the charity. Sands was only a charity I heard of recently but one I wish I had learnt of sooner. The reason I am choosing this charity is the amazing work they do for bereaved parents who have faced the unimaginable pain of loosing a child.... A support I could of done with back in May 2014. I am very nervous to share such a personal experience and haven't really shared my story with many people, even some of my family are unaware of what I went through but if I am going to raise funds and awareness I think it's time I shared it.
In January 2014 I discovered I was expecting baby number two. Not long into a new relationship I was very shocked and wasn't quiet sure that we where ready for this... I gave myself time to think and came to the decision I was always going to make... I was keeping the baby. Soon after the relationship started to fall away for many reasons. I was soon faced with being a single parent to not one but two kids... I was scared but determined... I just had to look at my first born Rachael to see what happiness was coming my way..Bringing a child into the world is priceless after all. The first 12weeks flew in and my pregnancy was going well... Identical to my first pregnancy. No sickness... Massive bump (one I tried to keep covered). Everything was great... Until the day of my 12 weeks scan... A day I will never forget... 17th April 2014. Along with my close friend Kelly-Anne we drove to Roodlands hospital and sat in the waiting room for my name to be called. A couple just walking out with their scan photo in their hand with a smile from ear to ear. It was my turn... I lay on the bed... Big belly out... The lady squeezed the cold jelly on my belly and moments later there was my baby wriggling about on the screen in front of me... Long arms and legs kicking away... It was love at first sight... One thing I did notice was the size of the baby's head. Remembering Rachael's scan she had this huge head. I said to the woman 'god the baby is tiny how far along am I?' She confirmed I was 11weeks and 3 days and agreed that the baby was just a tiny toot. Moments later she was asked to assist another member of staff. She told me she would be right back and that she wanted to have a really good look at the baby and get a really good picture. She was back after a couple of minutes.. Rolled over my belly a couple more times and then put the equipment down. She then said the following words... Im going to be 100% honest with you..I'm not happy with how the baby is growing.. Your baby has a condition called Anencephaly... This was the first but not the last time I would hear this word. She explained that part of the baby's skull and brain had not developed and that this would never grow. She wanted to refer me straight away to the Royal infirmary where there was a specialist team. She couldn't get through so she sent me away to wait for a call. I walked out of the room in floods of tears... Everyone in the waiting room looking at me with the saddest expressions. I wasn't one of the lucky parents who got given good news and it was clear to see. Arriving home I had a phone call asking me to come straight away to the Royal where a doctor had cancelled the rest of her day to see me. I instantly realised how serious this was that they where desperate for me to come in. I met my mum there and we walked through triage looking for the right place. As we are walking through a lady was running after us and asked are you Rebecca?! Why where they waiting for me in a panic!?
We got placed in a room which had purple walls a coffee table and 2 chairs with a box of tissues in the middle.... (We got placed in this room a lot over the coming weeks and called it the bad news room) I was taken by the doctor into a scan room. With various midwifes also present. The screens where turned off and monitors turned away from me. It was silent... All I could feel was the tears running down my face. We where taken back to the bad news room where it was confirmed.. My baby did have Anencephaly. She also mentioned the phrase incompatible with life. She then went on to tell me that this condition was a form of spina bifida and one of the worst kind your baby can have... My baby would not survive after birth... May not even survive the birth and may not even survive through my pregnancy. I was devastated... Why me? Why my baby?
I was sent home with a head full of unanswered questions. I had to decide if I was to carry on to the end knowing what the outcome would be or to have them put me into early labour. I took over 2 weeks to decide what I wanted to do. I became very ill in those two weeks.. Loss of appetite.. I lost a stone in weight and was in unbelievable pain.
On the 3rd May 2014 I walked through the door of the Royal at 10am and walked out at 7pm having gave birth to a baby girl at 1.36pm who I named Charlotte. It was one of the worst days of my life... My mum and sister held my hand through it all. She was absolutely perfect with little hands and feet.. 10 tiny delicate fingers and 10 toes.
I arranged her funeral once she was ready after her postmortem. Just a small group... Again the experience was very hard. The day after I collected her ashes and felt a weight off my shoulders that I could finally bring her home to be with me and her big sister. Her postmortem revealed she also had a bad case of spina bifida on top of the anencephaly.
I got through it eventually with the support of great friends and family but in ways I wish I had that extra support from people who have had similar experiences and could understand the pain I went through.
I think what Sands do is incredible and a very worthy charity. One I wish I had used. I hope I have managed to raise some awareness for them and also Anencephaly. This may of been preventable if I had been taking folic acid before Charlotte was conceived.
Thank you so much for reading my story. I will be very grateful of any donation you can make 💗💕 Rebecca x
I will also be jumping alongside my bosses husband Beany... We have chosen to split the money raised with our sponsor sheets between Sands and CHAS ❤️
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