We discovered we were expecting Sophie on 7th August 2015 which was our wedding anniversary; we had been trying for ages so to see that line on the pregnancy test was the most amazing thing and from the start we were convinced that Sophie would be a boy. We already had 3 gorgeous boys so we just assumed that this baby was a boy too. At 6 weeks pregnant I began to bleed; we were nervous because we had unfortunately had a missed miscarriage in January 2015 which followed the same pattern. However, we were relieved when the scan showed a healthy heartbeat and no known cause for the bleeding. I was offered weekly scans as the bleeding continued; the blood loss increased gradually until I had a major bleed at 9 weeks; this time I was rushed to A&E where I was seen as an emergency patient. The on duty gynaecologist performed an ultrasound and discovered that I had developed a large hematoma (blood clot) which was located near the placenta. I was warned that if the hematoma didn’t dissolve then we could lose the baby, and at this stage the odds were 50/50 as the hematoma was still being fed by a blood vessel and continued to grow.
The bleeding and weekly scans continued until I was 16 weeks pregnant, occasionally heavy enough to warrant a trip to A&E, and each time we were convinced that we were losing her but we saw a healthy heartbeat at each scan. We had a private gender scan at 16 weeks and discovered… to our amazement… that we were having a girl!!! We were overjoyed and our boys were so excited to be expecting a sister. As the bleeding had ceased, the baby was growing at an average rate, and the hematoma had dissolved we were given the fantastic news that we now had average odds (98%) of a successful pregnancy. The rest of the pregnancy was uneventful with the normal pregnancy aches and pains!
I had a growth scan at 29 weeks with showed a normal, healthy, baby girl. However, when I was nearing 35 weeks I began to notice a reduction in movement. I went to maternity triage for monitoring; her heartbeat was fine at that moment so a scan wasn’t needed. The next day the movements were far less and almost non-existent; I assumed that she was in a position is which I couldn’t feel her as she had been fine the previous day. The following day I felt that something was wrong; my stomach felt ‘heavy’ and the movements had completely stopped. I went with my husband to maternity triage and we were given the news that our gorgeous daughter had passed away. I was 35 weeks.
Two days later we went back to the hospital to be induced, and after only a 3-hour labour, our daughter was born silently on to my tummy. Sophie Louise Kirk was born sleeping on 11th March 2016 at 2.09pm weighing 3lb 2½ oz; she was a perfectly healthy little girl born without breath. At first we couldn’t comprehend how a baby of 35 weeks’ gestation could simply pass away without their being anything wrong with her so we set about finding answers to help us, as a family, come to terms with her death.
We decided to have a full post mortem and a series of blood tests to try to find answers. The post mortem showed a perfectly healthy baby girl; but from my blood tests we discovered that I have antiphospholipid syndrome (sticky blood). This can cause the blood to form clots and it was therefore very likely that a clot developed at the base of Sophie’s cord which would have significantly reduced her oxygen. This could have also been the reason for the miscarriage in January 2015.