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Lottie-Jette's Little Life

My angel grew her wings to stillbirth at 37 weeks in Nov 1996. I called her Lottie-Jette. 

 

I was only young when I had Lottie. She wasn't planned and I had just come out of care when I got pregnant with her. I had felt poorly, but I thought that was due to my lifestyle at the time. When I found out that the 'ill' was actually morning sickness, I was completely shocked. My life was quite all over the place. I considered, with my social worker, an abortion...but I just couldn't do that. 

 

I made the decision to get my life back on track, and to clean my act up for the baby in my tummy. I went to college whilst I was pregnant with her. My life seemed to be coming together. At 29 weeks, I was shopping in Leeds. I thought that I had wet myself, and went home beaming with shame. At home, the "wee" wouldn't stop. I didn't understand, but I thought that I should get help as I felt a little bit of pain. I rang the Dr who sent me to hospital. There it was confirmed that my waters had broken. I had started to dilate, but was given drugs to stop my labour. 

 

I was taken to the ante natal ward and there I remained for the next 8 weeks. there were a few times that I started contracting, but was put on a drip and given steroids to mature my babies lungs. The nurses on the ward became like family to me. I watched as ladies came in and most went again within 48 hours with their babies. 

 

At 36 weeks, it was decided that I would be induced on the Monday. I was asked by a junior Dr if I wanted to go home for the weekend. Having not been out in 8 weeks, I agreed. I was young, and just wanted to have this baby and move on. 

 

At home on the friday I tried to sort out baby things and a nursery. By the Friday night I sat down, quite tired. All of a sudden there was a massive kick. So hard that it winded me. My friend reckoned it was time for baby to come as it didn't have enough room in there. I went to sleep, in my own bed, for the first time in 8 weeks. In 3 more days, my baby would be in my arms. I realised I was happy. On the Saturday, I slept in for a while. When I got up, I was a bit dizzy. I went to watch TV downstairs. I felt 'funny', not ill, just odd. I couldn't think why. After teatime, I was still off. I put my hand on my tummy, and it dawned on me, the baby hadn't moved. I couldn't remember anything movement wise since the kick the night before. My friend said that babies don't move so much at the end, and maybe the big kick was it moving round the right way for birth. 

 

I decided to go in the bath. that was the place where my baby always moved, and I loved watching it.

I got in the bath, NOTHING.

I prodded, nothing.

I poked, still nothing.

I didn't understand. I decided to ring the hospital ward. They said the same as my friend. They said if I REALLY wanted to I could go back to the ward and they would put me on the monitor. However, they suggested I stay at home. I waited another hour, wishing with everything inside me for something. NOTHING.

 

I asked to be taken to hospital. In the car on the way there, I felt something. I cried and said "I can feel it".  My friend said, we are nearly there now anyway, so might as well go in. I got back to the ward and I explained what had happened, but that it was okay I had felt movement in the car. The midwife said to go back to my bed and someone would pop along to see me in a minute. 

 

Eventually another midwife came and asked me some questions. She wanted to have a listen in to baby. I laid down and let her with the doppler thing. She put the probe on my tummy, nothing. I looked at her, she said maybe baby was in an awkward position, she tried a few other places, nothing. I was getting worried again. She tried once more and there I heard the familiar lub-dub lub-dub of my babies heart beat, I smiled. The midwife didn't. She said she was just gonna go get someone else to have a listen. During the time she had gone, I said to my friend "you heard it didn't you" she answered yeah. I said "maybe there is something like baby in wrong position and she needs someone to help her". "yeah" my friend answered.

 

Two midwifes finally came back. The new midwife asked to have a listen, and told me her hands were cold! More gel, and the probe back on in the same place as the other midwife had put it. "lub-dub, lub-dub, lub-dub" there it was, but she was moving the probe. I didn't understand. Then a Dr appeared. He asked if it was okay if he did a scan. I agreed and they went off to get a portable scanner. I wanted to know what the matter was. The Dr had said they needed to just have a wee look and see what was going on. the curtains were pulled around my bed and a scan machhine on a little trolley was brought in. A little Telly and everything. I told him that we heard the heartbeat. he nodded. The Dr put some jelly on my belly and scanned me. He turned the TV away from me.

 

The Dr said that they were doing a scan as the heartbeat I had heard was my own. How could it be I thought, my heart is in my chest they were listening in to my tummy. Then "I'm so sorry Kelli, your baby girl has died, there is no heart beat" I hadn't even known till then I was having a girl. I could hear a scream, I didn't know where it was coming from. It took me quite a while to realise that was me screaming. In the time it took to realise, my bed had been moved with me on it to a private room on my own. I was saying they were wrong, that they were lying or they had made a mistake. They definitely needed to check again.

 

I was told they were sure. I was given something to make me sleep and left in the room with my friend. I drifted in and out all night I wanted them to do something, but they werent. I was crying in my sleep.

 

The Sunday morning. I was woken up by my Consultant saying she was very sorry. I told her that they were wrong. that my baby had moved. That they needed to help her. She said that they were sure, and that she was very sorry but my baby had died. I thought "I will prove this" I was going to be taken to delivery suite and induced. "Good" was all I could answer, that way my baby can be born and get help.

 

On delivery suite, I was taken to a room that was a bit like a bedroom. I was given a gel pessary to start my labour. I was encouraged to walk about, but told to ask for pain relief if I needed it. I had already decided long ago that I was only having gas and air. Hours and hours later, I had a little bit of back ache, but nothing major.

 

I was examined and I had made no progress. Sunday became Monday. Monday turned into Tuesday, more pessaries, more examinations, more offers of pain relief. I asked for a C-section. That my baby needed to come out. I was told that having a c-section this young could cause complications for future pregnancies and unless it became an emergency they would not consider it. I begged on more than one occasion that day.

 

Tuesday dragged into Wednesday, still nothing. I was tired, emotional, my mind was whirring. That morning, it was decided a drip would be put up to start me off. I was told that with this the contractions would come thick and fast and that I shoud consider pain relief. I said that I didnt want my baby to be affected by the drugs. The midwife looked at me in pity, she put her hand on mine and told me that my baby wouldn't feel anything now. I cried and cried, they were wrong, why couldnt they understand. I decided I was going to sue their arses off when my girl arrived kicking and screaming. 

 

A chaplain arrived at some time that day. They tried to explain once again. I told him that they were wrong. He asked if I wanted to see the baby and if I wanted her Christened. I just cried in frustration.

 

From nothing to BOOM, my contractions started. I had gas and air, and I cried. I was given pethadine, and I felt a failure. I was put on a monitor, but instead of two straps they just put the top one on me. I had been in hospital 8 weeks, I knew that there were meant to be two and I asked why not. Again i was looked at and gently told that it wasn't required now. Why did they not understand?

 

On Wednesday night, in the bedroom on delivery suite a TV was blathering on. Lily Savage. i was not interested. All of sudden, I needed to push. My friend went to get a midwife. I was examined and then told that I was ready to push when I wanted to. 

 

Suddenly there were people in the room, PUSH Kelli;

I can't, I don't want to, I am afraid...

PUSH.

At twenty-five  past 8 on the night of wednesday 6th November 1996, one more push and my first daughter arrived. She was silent. I screamed with frustration...then in the final pisstake, my pathetic body went into shock. 

 

A while later, they asked if I wanted to see my daughter. I was scared, I didn't know what to expect. I had seen my nanny's dead body and a few months later my Grandads. But I didnt know. I asked what does she look like. The midwife held my hand and said, she is beautiful. I nodded. I didn't know what the time was, I didn't care. The world should have stopped as far as I was concerned.

 

A few hours later a midwife brought in a moses basket, a white one with different coloured  spots on. She placed it at the end of my bed. Again I felt fear. my friend started to cry. I was scared. the midwife asked if she wanted me to get her out. I nodded. The only light was from a little bedside lamp. The midwife reached in and picked up a bundle she lifted her gently and she was placed into my arms.

 

I looked down as the most beautiful baby I had ever seen was laid in my arms. My daughter. The tears rolled down my face. She looked like she was sleeping. I had picked out the name Charlotte Elizabeth for a girl. But looking at her, it didn't seem right, I whispered Lottie. She had a little bonnet on, but from underneath it I could see a crop of the blackest hair I have ever seen from that day to this. Lottie-Jette, for her jet back hair. I held her little hand, five tiny fingers, same on the other hand. She was perfect. Out of the window, I saw fire works and the stars. I told her in her ear that every night I would send a kiss up to the stars for her to catch. And that everytime I saw a firework, I would remember her.  The time soon came for me to have to let her spread her wings and fly. they took her away. And they took a piece of my heart with her.

 

Lottie-Jette was cremated on a snowy day a few weeks later. Her ashes were placed in a remembrance garden. I was such a mess that I could no longer make decisions. All I remember is her tiny white coffin and the bear made of flowers that I had got her.

 

I hated the world, and everyone in it, for such a long time afterwards. I thought it was unfair. I thought I had been punished. Drugs and alcohol numbed the pain, I didn't care. I wished I was with her. I tried to be with her. I was bitter. A few months later my body had symptoms of pregnancy. A test was positive. I went to the hospital and was given a scan, nothing there. My mind so badly wanted Lottie to still be in there, that it had made my body think it was pregnant...just another cruel reminder of how fucked I was.

 

16 years later, I am still here. Every night, I send a kiss up to the stars, just like I promised. 

 

LOTTIE-JETTE

06.11.1996 - The day my life changed forever

The day that I became your mummy xxx

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About the Author

I am a mum with 4 little angels and two Earthlets. I had a stillbirth in 1996, Identical twin girls born 15 weeks prem in 2003 - who died aged 8 weeks and 18 weeks respectively. I 2011 I had a miscarriage at 13 weeks. I am the founder of Rainbow Rhythms, a free fetal doppler loan service to angel families in subsequent pregnancies.

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