Sometimes you get a client that you just know you were meant to help , they have a goal they have to achieve and you need to help them achieve it.
Steve is one such client , we always do our very best for our clients it is our aim to help all our clients be the best they can be.
When someone comes to you with the sort of goal Steve wants to achieve then you know you have to take out all the stops .
When Steve came to me , he was not in the best of form we talked and he told me what he wanted to do, his answer stopped me in my tracks it was ” Simple I have decided to run 100km non stop! A Race to the stones”
Here is some of Steve’s story . It is long , but it deserves to be read it will I hope touch your heart as it did mine
Did you know 17 babies are stillborn everyday in the UK.
Their beautiful little lives are ended before they have even begun.
17 families devastated every day
Before I go further just let that really sink in for a second…..
My name is Steve and back in 2009 my wife and I became one of those statistics.
What I am going to do is a personal milestone, to acknowledge that although I will never forget my first boy I feel I have come through the other side.
Today I have 3 beautiful healthy kids and an absolute inspiration of a wife and The time is right to “pay it back” to one of the supporting charities that helped my wife through her most darkest hours – SANDS
I want to rewind back to 2009. It is very easy to do because even 6 years on the sequence of events and emotions are burnt on my mind.
I remember waking up in the morning and I could see on my wife’s face that something wasn’t right. She looked at me with a knowing look. She said she hadn’t felt the baby move for sometime. My first reaction was “don’t worry its probably asleep”.
“It” because we didn’t know if it was a boy or a girl
So we contacted the maternity ward and they said to come straight in. That 30 minute drive felt like 3 hours. Eventually we reached the maternity ward and I will always remember the room we went into it was Bay B. Ironic I thought.
The midwife hooked us up to the machine that checks for the baby sounds. My feelings were, just wait for it, and the heartbeat will be there any second like some train or horse. However the midwife was rooting around over and over and over again.
She then said I’m just going to call the doctor ! I can not describe the wave of panic that comes over you at that point and my wife looked at me for comfort.
My heart was coming out of my chest I had no words or comfort. I just held her hand and started to pray for a good outcome. I’m not religious but it’s funny how you look for higher assistance when you are subjected to such desperate situations.
Just then a very smartly dressed consultant came in wearing a dickie bow of all things. It’s funny the things you remember that aren’t important to the situation.
He then took hold of the machine and moved the pads around. This was for at least a minute and then all of a sudden like the cold light of day calmly said to us I am very sorry but there is no pulse
BANG !! – There it was Probably the single most worst thing you will ever hear in your life.
Your child, the one your beautiful wife has carried, suffered for and loved for 9 months was dead. My wife was in her 39th week!
I can not describe what that change of emotion from one day elation to the next of devastation does to you.
Your body goes into self protection mode. You go numb, you feel your not in your own body, you are in denial but yet when you tell family and friends you become surprisingly calm as their emotions start to outpour.
the next day or so is a blur of bad news rippling across your family and friends and receiving massage after message of sympathy which at the time you just fob off.
And the real kicker, we are put into a room next to the delivery suite where you guessed it, we are hearing healthy babies born. Of course we don’t begrudge these people but you do ask the question why us ?
You can’t mull over it, you won’t be getting an answer on that !
So the next huge challenge if we hadn’t already had enough. My wife has to deliver our stillbirth son. Now I have always had respect for my wife, but I cannot describe how this increased in that delivery room that day.
I have no words for what emotions she must have felt along with the pains of labor. Only she knows.
What I do know is that day cemented my love and respect for her. After a good few hours my wife finally gave birth to our son. The emotion – elation !!
How can this be you could ask? Again I have no answer. He looked perfect only the mere fact he wasn’t Alive. That is very hard to take when you physically have him in your arms.
We were very grateful for the short time we had before we had to hand him over to the hospital for funeral arrangements.
That’s right funeral arrangements for your newly born child. Doesn’t compute does it !
The midwives were absolutely brilliant and they took hand prints and footprints. I thought it was a little strange but I am thankful for that as today we have these safely stored away in his memory box. We also took countless photos as well.
When we arrived home we were greeted with all the little clothes we had brought in preparation and of course the empty nursery.
My wife could give a better account of how empty we felt. For me it was a day for the wife 9 months of anticipation.
Over the coming days we sat down and organised the funeral. The hospital were great in arranging the funeral which was held on site and I managed to summon up enough strength to say a few words. I needed to do that.
We chose a few songs that we thought appropriate and to this day if I hear them on the radio I have to turn it off. It takes me right back to the little coffin sat in front of us.
At this point I would like to recognize and thank various people. Our families, Our friends.The consultant.The mid wives,The vicar,The crematorium
Our boy was scattered on a beautiful garden area specific to children. With a wooden and brass star surrounded by flowers and heather. It’s such a peaceful place and we visit on regular occasions to swap over toys.
This put a line under the first chapter but the following months became a challenge. As we started to grieve In isolation my wife craved support and I craved a bloody great hole which I could hide in.
I felt bad that I couldn’t support my wife In the manner she desired so much but this led her to a new network of support and although I don’t know these people personally they played the biggest part in this recovery. This was simply a group of extraordinary women that had been through the same thing and had set up a social network support group.
My wife spent countless hours speaking to them and this certainly helped where she was at, along with the counselling and the support of count the kicks & SANDS, I could see my wife turning a small corner.
I chucked myself into work and sport.
For a period of time I could sense the only option was to go our own way and separate as we were kind of dragging each other down and slowing the recovery.
However I had a moment of genius and my wife reluctantly agreed – we got a dog. It was a border collie pup and my God did we bite of more than we could chew. He was a terror, but at the same time he was brilliant – he certainly took our mind’s of day to day mundane emotions.
Guess what a few months later my wife was pregnant – this was 2011 by now.
The dog got shipped to the folks who still have him today and he’s a little more calmer than when we had him.
The next 9 months were a paranoid one as you can imagine, however, thankfully under some great consultant led care my wife gave birth to a beautiful healthy baby boy.
As the months went by and we got acclimatised to being parents, I couldn’t help but think about what if our stillborn boy and our new son were together, but this wouldn’t be the case as we wouldn’t have had them together like that and you think that your new son wouldn’t then be here.
It’s a weird thought process but I can imagine parents that have had rainbow babies would understand.
A rainbow baby is one that is born after a stillbirth if you were wondering.
So fast forward to 2016. Add two further beautiful children, add two parents that have learnt a lot of empathy towards parent hood, add two very loving and respecting parents and you have the foundation of a happy future.
Of course you will have ups and downs but having gone through what is the worst scenario a parent could we are well prepared to hit any challenge head on as a family unit.My Beautiful, Strong & Living Wife – Lucy,My First Boy who I will never forget – Roan, My Kids, my legacy – Evan, Noah & Maggie,
7 years on from losing our son there has been a number of life events that have, shall we say taken priority of the rawness of loss.
Our beautiful kids, work, personal activities etc….
However I have never taken a step back to appreciate where I really am in this recovery 2016 is a year of reflection and positive action
On New Year’s Eve I made a promise myself to start such action.
The first port of call was to raise money for the charity that supported my wife through her darkest hours.