“The most likely outcome is your daughter will die.”
The words even now 7 weeks later echo in my head.
In the early hours of Sunday 17th December, it was seemingly all any of the doctors I saw said to me. It was the beginning of a nightmare we are now fighting our way through, attempting each day to survive. And what do you say when someone is repeatedly telling you that your precious 2 day old baby, born perfectly healthy is now more likely to die than survive. It was the start of a lack of words.
In the days and weeks that have followed I have heard so often a silence that is deafening. People crossing the road to avoid the awkwardness of trying to find something to say to me, the all-out absence of contacting us or those who have decided we must have had enough time to get over it by now so never mention Lexi. It’s been an added pain in this agony and so maybe this will be a way of helping to find the words. Explaining everything that has and is happening, so you don’t have to cross over the road away from us. Or giving you something to ask us about so you don’t stay away. There may be no words sometimes but there are a few that have broken my heart beyond repair and that was hearing “Alexa has died now.” So, if you are worried something you might say might upset me, please don’t. Nothing will compare ever to hearing that.
In truth our nightmare has really only just begun. We have a lifetime to survive without our sweet little Lexi. A lifetime of memories to live without her. So, we take it each day at a time. No expectations of how it will be. Never knowing what might suddenly trigger a memory of what’s been or highlight something that never will be.
When Lexi was born on 15th December 2017 I had no idea what I would have said to someone whose baby had died. I’d thankfully had little experience. I’d only known a handful of people who had spoken of their experience of losing a baby in pregnancy and not known anyone whose child had died. Now I am part of this horrible club of parents whose children have died I have been flooded with stories of every way imaginable to have had a child die. It is heart-breaking how many people have reached out to me and told me of their own experiences. So in amongst finding the right words I hope to speak up for those that have lost their voice. I won’t hide away, I won’t be someone to try and survive this alone. My words will help me and hopefully somewhere someone else.
And so that is how I start. Working to understand the words we have heard, the ones we haven’t and the ones we need to say.
For in those moments when someone tells you your baby has died there really are no words….