Kate was referred to the Rainbow Clinic – a specialist clinic for families who have experienced stillbirth – after her son Scott died following complications in her first pregnancy.
Our son Scott died at 28 weeks following a premature birth. My husband Neil and I had known for some time he was poorly. The doctors told us he had congenital problems with his stomach and heart, so we were braced for a difficult pregnancy, but then I suffered a placental abruption, where the placenta separates from the lining of the uterus, and had to have an emergency caesarean. He was born far too early and far too ill to make it.
When I fell pregnant with Celia, we were overjoyed. A baby was something we both desperately wanted, but after what happened last time I couldn’t help but feel afraid that something might go wrong. It was such a relief when I was referred to the Rainbow Clinic where I knew there was a specialist team who understood what we’d been through and knew how it felt for me to face another pregnancy.
Some of my anxieties and fears were allayed immediately just knowing I had that support, but I still struggled to feel reassured the pregnancy would go well, especially after investigations at the Rainbow Clinic confirmed there were issues with my placenta again. I felt so anxious I couldn’t wait for my next scan just to check that everything was ok. But my doctor, Alex, and midwife, Suzanne, had been through this before with hundreds of women in similar situations and they knew exactly what to do to help me through my fears.
I never went for more than two weeks without a scan and if I was really worried about something I could come in for a heartbeat check with Suzanne, arrange additional check-ups with Alex, or even just phone up for a chat. When the clinic was closed on weekends and in the evenings, the team made sure it was easy for me to go to triage at Saint Mary’s, especially around the 28 week mark, around the time Scott died, which was a really difficult time for me.
They were great with Neil too. He really wanted to come to a lot of my appointments because he had fears of his own, and not necessarily the same ones as mine. With Scott’s birth being such an emergency, he hadn’t made it there in time, so he worried that would happen again, but they took the time to talk through his concerns.
When I left the hospital with Celia it was a really big thing.
When I started at the Rainbow Clinic, I wasn’t ever sure that I’d walk out of the hospital with a baby, but as the weeks progressed they started to make me believe that was possible.
On June 23rd 2014, I left Saint Mary’s with a beautiful baby girl. Celia’s amazing, she’s so happy and curious; she loves doing everything – apart from sleeping! But after everything we’ve been through, a few tired mornings could never take away from knowing we’re waking up to our own little family.
Watch Kate’s experience:
Tommy’s PregnancyLine, for expert advice: 0800 0147 800
About the Rainbow Clinic
The services delivered by the Rainbow Clinic are the result of research into the treatment needs and desires of families who have experienced stillbirth or neonatal death. At Saint Mary’s, it has reduced stillbirth rates by 19%. The Clinic continues to deliver research into the causes of stillbirth with its aim to reduce stillbirth rates even further.