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Rainbows for Brodie – my late miscarriage story

I can honestly say that choosing to see and hold Brodie was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

I am incredibly lucky to already have my rainbow baby – Murray, who was born in November 2016 following 2 years of infertility and an early miscarriage in August 2015.

Myself and my husband felt so grateful to have him, however, after a lot of thought we decided to try and get pregnant again in 2019. I stopped taking the contraceptive pill in September 2019 and got pregnant naturally during this first month! Early on there were signs I was miscarrying, however, scans at both 7 and 9 weeks confirmed I did indeed have a baby with a heartbeat. We got to see our beautiful healthy baby again at the 12 week scan and now we were in the so-called “safe zone” we shared our happy news with all of our family and friends.

Our 20 week scan took place on Tuesday 21st January 2020. The midwife started scanning but very quickly stopped and turned to me and said the awful words “I’m so sorry Yvonne but there’s no heartbeat.” The baby had stopped growing at approximately 16 weeks. Completely devastated, we were told that I would have to be induced into labour and deliver the baby in hospital. I had absolutely no idea what to expect next.

We arrived at the hospital early on Thursday morning and were shown to a private room far away from the rest of the maternity ward. By 12 noon I had been given my first pessaries to induce labour, with more to be given every 3 hours. Our midwives popped in and out of the room regularly, checking on me and making sure we had everything we needed. Unreal discussions also started about whether we wanted to hold our baby, have a post-mortem, arrange our own cremation etc. Decisions that no parent should ever have to make.

The cramps and contractions really started during early evening, after my 3rd lot of pessaries. My waters broke around 10pm and I managed to doze off a short time later. The next thing I remember was waking up, knowing that I needed to push and that my baby was ready to be delivered. Brodie arrived peacefully at 00.08am on Friday 24th January 2020. Amongst my tears and exhaustion I remember simply asking the midwives if the baby looked like a real baby. They answered yes and asked if I wanted to hold him. I can honestly say that choosing to see and hold Brodie was one of the best decisions I have ever made and I know I would have regretted it for the rest of my life if I hadn’t seen him.

I didn’t know what to expect but he was absolutely perfect – a perfect tiny baby, about the length of my hand and with all his fingers and toes, eyes, ears and button nose. He was placed in a tiny crib then kept in a “cool cot” beside my bed. We made sure to take plenty of photos of him, which I am so glad we did, especially the photos my husband took when he was first born. We received a memory box provided by an incredible charity called SiMBA, which has proved to be a huge comfort moving forward. Also, I will never fully be able to put into words how grateful I am to the midwives who looked after us – their kindness, professionalism and support was unbelievable and made a hugely traumatic experience as easy as it could be for us.

We left Brodie in the hospital’s special room for bereaved parents on the Saturday evening. Leaving him there is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. We chose to hold our own service for Brodie at our local crematorium, with just myself and my husband attending. Although it was an extremely difficult and emotional day it’s something we will never regret doing for our special boy and it allowed us to say a proper goodbye.

One of the readings at Brodie’s service was a poem called “Look for me in Rainbows”. For this reason, seeing a rainbow will now forever remind me of him and the brief time we had together. Since losing him the whole world has been engulfed by the COVID-19 pandemic, however, one of the small things keeping me going is the sudden appearance of big, beautiful, colourful rainbows everywhere. Every time I see one I am reminded of my darling baby boy, how much I love him and how lucky I was to meet him. I have painted several rainbows with Murray which I will keep and treasure forever and one day I will tell him that our rainbows were for Brodie.