For Orson

This blog is dedicated to Orson.

I am so sorry. I love you so much and will always love you.

My memories

If you lose a child through stillbirth you do not have any memories of them apart from the pregnancy. Orson's death hurts so very much. I never got to hold him and tell him I love him. I never got look after him like a mother should. However I am comforted by the thought that he was always with me and so never experienced being alone even when he died.

The following are some of my most distinctive memories of my pregnancy and Orson. They are in no particular order. I hope I always remember them.

* Feeling Orson's head when I touched my stomach on the right hand side just above my hip. He never moved once my waters broke. I could always put my hand there and he was always there.

* Recording Orson's movements. I didn't feel early movements, in fact it wasn't until my waters broke at 21 weeks that I actually started to feel more consistent movements. In the last few weeks when I found out there was no fluid around him a midwife was very concerned about stillbirth. She advised me to watch the movements very carefully. I was so worried I started to record them. Some days he would move every hour, others not so much, I saw patterns emerge, for example after about 4pm he was usually quiet for a few hours until after I had eaten and mornings were generally quieter than the afternoons.

* Feeling Orson kick me twice very distinctively whilst in hospital just after my waters had broken. I was talking to a doctor at the time and immediately after the kicking I felt a gush of fluid leaking out.

* The joy I felt on the many occasions when after a few concerning hours when Orson didn't move and I finally felt him move.

* The happiness at knowing Orson continued to grow at each growth scan following the 50th percentile.

* Learning that Orson weighed 4lb 11oz at birth. Roughly the average weight of a baby born at 34 weeks gestation and less than 1 lb lighter than M.

* Seeing and holding Orson after his birth. I held him three times. Each time a midwife handed him to me. The first time S was with me. It was an hour or two after his birth. The second time S was not with me. it was early in the morning the day after he was born. The midwife showed me his feet and hands whilst I held him. They were perfect. The last time was the hardest. S was with me and we had to say goodbye for the last time.

* My early pregnancy memories include the joy at learning Orson was okay at the scans after the three occasions I had bled.

* Hearing Orson's heartbeat for the first time when I was 16 weeks pregnant.

* Learning Orson was a boy at 19 weeks pregnant.

* Seeing Orson on the ultrasound scan when I was 19 weeks pregnant. At one point the ultrasound technician zoomed in on his head and upper body and we saw him drink. It was absolutely amazing to watch.

* Feeling Orson move for the last time. I woke up at about 7:30 am on the day of his death. I immediately felt lots of movements from him and drifted back to sleep happy in the knowledge that he was okay. I may have felt a couple very light movements later that morning but at the time I was not certain they were movements. i think probably they were but will never know for sure.

* A few days before Orson was born I was at the hospital having a heart rate trace for Orson. The midwives and doctor spent ages trying to find his heart beat. But the whole time he was moving, they could even feel his movements on my stomach. They eventually called a consultant to scan me, she took 5 minutes to find the heart beat but we were sure he was okay because of all the movements.

* Watching Orson's heart rate be recorded at the hospital as the midwives did the many heart rate traces to monitor him for stress.

* Drinking lemonade and eating sweet things such as chocolate. Orson always moved after such occasions.

* The couple occasions when S felt Orson move by putting his hand on my stomach.

* After my scan at 19 weeks but before my waters broke when M pointed to my stomach and said "baby brother."

* The funeral. The little light brown coffin with brass handles and a plaque with Orson's name on it. A single flower on top. Telling Orson for the last time that I was sorry and that I loved him. And goodbye.

* Walking around the crematorium grounds after the funeral with S for a very long time. The silence, peaceful vibe and the beauty.