I don’t remember the drive home from the hospital that day, I also have very little recollection of the following day. I have tried so very hard on numerous occasions to try and remember, how I felt, what I was thinking etc. but all to no avail. So I’m afraid I’ll have to skip those days and just continue with our story…..
Tuesday 6th December 2016, I got out of bed and ran myself a bath. I was due to be back at the hospital for 10am, so I got myself ready as quickly as I could. Both mine and Lennon’s hospital bags were packed (they had been for weeks) and they occupied an empty corner of my room, I bent down and lifted mine and I stared at the bag left behind. That bag contained my hopes and my dreams, the hopes and dreams I’d been so busy perfecting over the last 40 weeks and in the blink of an eye, they were gone. I laid my bag on my bed whilst I tied my freshly washed hair back and I gingerly followed Lennon’s father down the stairs and out of the door.
The next thing I knew we were stood outside of the bereavement suite in the hospital pressing the intercom button to gain access. A suite, that only a couple of weeks prior, I had no knowledge of. How I longed to have that blissful ignorance back once again. We were directed to ward 8 and shown into room 10, we were to make ourselves at “home” in here whilst we waited for the consultant to come around. About 5 minutes went by when she entered the room, she entered with another girl who introduced herself as Jenny, she would be my midwife. I was given 2 options for induction, I could be given the smaller dosage which would be topped up every hour or I could be given the full dosage all at once, to hopefully speed the process along. I opted for the latter.
Jenny administered the medication via pessary at exactly 10:30am and as she tidied up the little trolley she had brought with her, I got off the bed. Lennon’s father was sat on the sofa to the left of the bed whilst “Homes under the hammer” (a television program here in the UK) played on the TV in the corner. I remember asking her rather harshly “How long” this whole process would take, I don’t know why but I just needed to know. I remember my horror as she nonchalantly replied “I’m hoping labour will start before my shift finishes at 8:30pm tonight”! So not only had my baby died but, I was facing the possibility of waiting for labour to start for another 10 hours yet, lucky me!
In an attempt to take my mind off things Jenny told me about the memory boxes the hospital offered, on behalf of the 4Louis charity. These beautiful boxes allow parents to make and store memories of the small amount of precious time they spend with their little ones, and are made for bereaved parents by bereaved parents. Poor Jenny, everything she was saying I just agreed to. I was too numb to do anything else, and so she left the room. I sat down next to Lennon’s father on the sofa, feeling a little “uncomfortable” but believing this was from the pessary I thought nothing of it. Within about five minutes I was totally engulfed in pain, pain that I had never experienced before, every part of my body felt as though it was ripping apart slowly. At 10:45 Jenny entered the room once more, she put the package in her hands down on the sofa and informed me I was in labour. My mother (who chose to follow us to the hospital) just arrived as Jenny had turned on the gas and air.
I persevered with the gas and air for what felt like an eternity (in actual fact it was only 1 hour) and then I allowed Jenny to administer the Diamorphine and anti sickness injection into my right thigh. It was at this point that something profound happened……. Lennon’s father who was sat right beside me clutching my hand, passed me a drink (nothing special right? wrong!) He forcefully instructed me to “take a drink” and I looked at him rather puzzled, noticing my curiosity he quickly remarked “You’re about to have another contraction” and without even getting chance to take the drink from his hands, that searing pain consumed me once again. How on earth he knew when my contractions were coming, is something I still can’t explain. I used to believe it was because we had such a strong and unbreakable bond, but, unfortunately people change. All I do know is this, the man who was once my soul mate and is a complete stranger to me now, was certainly excellent that day……
The physical pain was only to last for a little while longer, and just over 2 hours after induction the absolute love of my life silently entered the world just as the John Lennon song “Give peace a chance” started to play. Born at 12:42pm weighing 5lb 10oz, Lennon George Carr-Stout stole my entire being, in a way I never believed possible. He was perfect! He looked just like his father, his head covered in an absolute mass of gorgeous black shiny hair and he filled my arms perfectly. We had already chosen a birth outfit for him, Lennon’s father had bought him a little elf outfit (merchandise from the film Elf), it was supposed to be used for cute photographs and future blackmail attempts for him to do household chores (under the ransom of us showing these pictures to his friends as he got older). As it turned out, it was the outfit we laid him to rest in.
My little Christmas elf stole my heart instantly, he was beautifully perfect in every single way. Everyone stood around us crying and I remember asking “why are you crying”? “Look at how perfectly beautiful he is”. Shock (while it lasts) is such a wonderful thing. I had no tears (at that point) why would I?! I had just given birth to the most beautiful, precious and perfect little person my eyes had ever seen, the only difference being, his little heart failed to beat……