We thought long and hard about starting a family. Was it the right time? Were we both in a good place with work? Did we have enough space? When we decided to start trying for our first baby, we knew we had made the right decision and we couldn’t wait to be parents.
She was perfect throughout pregnancy; we were the lowest of the low in terms of risk and we were excited about being able to have a home birth.
I went into labour on a Friday evening, so we went to bed to try and get some rest.
In the morning, my contractions were picking up, so a midwife was sent to us and we continued throughout the day and into the evening and at 7.30pm she was ready to be delivered.
This was the best moment of our lives; we couldn’t believe we were about to hold our first child.
Her head delivered, and then she suffered shoulder dystocia and after 19 traumatic and terrifying minutes her body was delivered, but there was no heartbeat.
Our beautiful baby had died.
Our world had completely fallen apart in 19 minutes.
My partner had witnessed the whole thing and I couldn’t see how he or I would ever be able to come to terms with what had happened.
The overwhelming feeling of guilt was eating me up from the second I found out she had died, and I knew I would need to seek help.
I knew that I wouldn’t be able to process what had happened to us without a professional.
I found The Haven after being referred by my GP to a mental health charity who then referred me on.
I had an initial conversation with an advisor and knew straight away that they would be able to help me work though our loss.
I felt such a sense of relief after speaking to The Haven, like I’d been scooped up and someone was there to make sure I was OK.
The weekly sessions were such a safety net because I knew I could talk to her about how my week had been and we could work through all of the feelings I’d been having.
The sessions were difficult, but the advisor was encouraging and gentle and I always felt as though it was easy to be honest.
I was given loads of suggestions of things I could do alongside the sessions to help me process my thoughts as well as homework, and because of the structure of the Time to Heal programme I always knew what was coming up next which was helpful for me.
I can’t thank The Haven enough for the time and tools they gave me to forgive myself and let go of the false guilt I was feeling, and I know that the door is open if I need their help again.