Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond

Birth Story

Olivia had Hydrops Fetalis and died during birth.  Her mother writes her story to help other parents understand the support available and their rights.

My story is not a very happy one, but I truly believe that it is one worth telling so that other parents are able to prepare themselves properly.

She died during the birth. I had had to be induced as Olivia had Hydrops fetalis, which is fluid retention around the baby and the baby's vital organs. The doctors said that she would have a less than 5% chance of survival, and at birth her head was already the size of a full term baby.

I tell this story because the hospitals often do not give you information on support groups such as SANDS and SIDS which are vital when you are given such tragic news. I feel that they believe that they know best and have the right skills to help the parents through the difficult time. To a degree they are right, but had my husband and I not gone and seen a SANDS psychologist for 2 weeks before we made our decision to be induced, I believe that it could have affected our marriage and I might possibly have become unbalanced as a result of our trauma.

The psychologist told us exactly what our rights were and what questions we should ask the specialists. She even helped me to stop myself from telling the doctors to "just take the baby away, I don't want to see it" knee jerk reaction that I had, to seeing Olivia, cuddling, kissing, dressing, giving a name giving and blessing service. All these things have helped my husband and I to get to the stage that we are today, at 10 weeks pregnant, and positive about this pregnancy, knowing that at the end we will have a healthy baby and that our experience has made us realise that having a baby is not a god given right, but a blessing.

Anyway, thanks for reading this. This the first time I've written about it and I feel so totally calm, and proud of my little girl, that in her death, she really did give me life, and hopefully the ability to be the best mother that I can be.

Thanks and regards Samantha Richards