How Did You Know That Something Was Wrong?

This is a question that came up in my radio interview yesterday, and it really got me thinking! How did I know that Sophie has passed away… because I knew before I got to the hospital; I was convinced that, although I had been there 3 times during that week for the same thing, I knew that on this occasion they wouldn’t find a heartbeat, I just knew that she had died.

I do strongly believe that I had a ‘gut’ feeling on the lead up to her death, and I also feel that women should be listened to much more if they feel there is a problem… it’s just an inbuilt feeling which is hard to explain; women are very in tune with their bodies and very often they just ‘know’.

On that particular morning, when the movements had stopped and I had a ‘heavy’ sensation in my belly, I ‘knew’, and I didn’t rush to the hospital as I couldn’t bare to have it confirmed. I tried my home doppler and all I heard was an empty silence, no blood rushing through the placenta, no heartbeat… nothing… just silence. And I just ‘knew’.

Paul was trying to remain positive and it just broke my heart, because I knew that in a few hours his world would come crashing down; the children had no idea that there was a problem and that shattered my heart as I knew that I would have to tell them that their much longed for sister had passed away. My parents and Paul’s parents were so looking forward to Sophie’s birth… and I knew how devastated they would be when we told them.

So, in answer to this question, I just ‘knew’, I didn’t want to be right but I knew I was. How did you know that something was wrong? Were there any signs or symptoms? Or was it just a ‘gut feeling’?

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Petition and Media Attention Update

Hello Everyone

Thank you so much for all the support you have shown so far! I am overwhelmed but there is still a long way to go! Just thought that I would give you a quick update so that you all know what is happening…

As you know Sophie’s Story has been in the mirror twice which has really helped to push the petition, we have also been in the Kent Messenger Newspaper recently and had a very supportive letter from the House of Commons; I have been contacting people to try to gain more publicity and have now been invited to join the ‘All Party Parliamentary Group on Baby Loss’ in The Houses of Parliament in Westminster, this is an amazing opportunity, and it means that our voices will be heard! Yesterday I had an interview with BBC Radio Kent which went really well too.

If you can then please share the link to the petition again! It would mean so very much to gain as much support as possible! Thank you… and don’t forget to ask others to share too!!! https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/cut-stillbirth-rates-by-half

Awareness: Please like the Sophie’s Angels – Raising Awareness Facebook page if you can.
Support: If you have been affected by stillbirth, miscarriage or infant death, then please feel free to join the Sophie’s Angels Support Group.

Thank you so much for your continued support

xxx

Letter from the House of Commons!

I have, today, received a letter (which I’ve posted below) from Helen Whately at the House of Commons; she is our MP and the letter is very encouraging! In the letter she states ‘I agree with you that we must raise as much awareness as possible about baby loss. Our stillbirth and neonatal death rates are not as good as they should be given that we have one of the most advanced healthcare systems I the world’.

She has also given me pointers on who I can contact next, and asked me to contact the ‘All Party Parliamentary Group on Baby Loss’ as they are also campaigning to reduce the stillbirth and neonatal death rate, this was set up by two MP’s who have also suffered loss. I will be contacting them tomorrow.

She then goes on to say ‘I have written to the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt to ask about scans and what assessment the Department of Health has made for routine scanning post 20 weeks’.

This is amazing, we still need a lot more signatures, but the awareness of the problem IS being raised, and recognised. This wouldn’t be possible without your support… So thank you xxx

To sign and share the petition please click here.

To Join Sophie’s Angels – Raising Awareness, please click here.

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Cutting the UK Stillbirth Rate by 50%

The government are aiming to cut the stillbirth rate by 50% by 2020, although I am sceptical on whether or not they will achieve this unless they implement doppler scans and the Growth Assisted Protocol (GAP) for all pregnant women; at present GAP is used for high risk pregnancies, but as it only costs 50p per pregnancy it should be used for all pregnancies. It has been proven that regular doppler scan can reduce stillbirths by 50%, and GAP can reduce stillbirths by 22%.

Each year, more than 3,000 babies are stillborn in the UK, and 1,500 of these are thought to be preventable, Britain has one of the worst stillbirth rates in the developed world. Prof Kypros Nicolaides was interviewed by the BBC, he said ‘offering all women Doppler scans, which measure blood flow between the placenta and foetus, could save 1,500 babies a year’ Many stillbirths (like Sophie’s) are caused by placental insufficiency (if the blood flow is abnormal, babies are starved of food and oxygen). This can be spotted by a Doppler scan, but most hospitals use these only on the 15%-20% of women who are deemed high risk – as per national guidelines.

The BBC also reported that ‘All pregnant women who attend Prof Nicolaides NHS clinic at King’s College Hospital in London are offered the Doppler scan at 12, 22 and 32 weeks of pregnancy. We have demonstrated through extensive research that you can identify more than 90% of these cases and can easily avoid them, and we can do so through very simple adjustments in the way we deliver antenatal care’ He offers the additional scans with the support of King’s administrators, but consultants at other hospitals have been told to stop because they were acting outside NHS practice guidelines.

St George’s Hospital in London has also introduced the scan to all first-time mothers at 20 weeks, which costs £15 per mother if given at the same time as a foetal anomaly scan. Since this introduction, the hospital has seen its stillbirth rate drop by 50% in three years.

Prof Gardosi’s method involves measuring the pregnant woman’s bump and recording the measurements on a personalised growth chart. Prof Jason Gardosi, director of the Perinatal Institute in Birmingham, set up the Growth Assisted Protocol (GAP), which costs 50p per pregnancy, and can reduce the stillbirth rate by 22%. It works by giving each mother a customised growth chart developed using her height, weight at beginning of pregnancy, ethnic origin and how many children she has had. It tells her how large her baby is expected to be, for each week in the pregnancy and if the baby’s growth falls outside the expected “norm” for that individual woman, the mother is given extra scans to check that the baby is thriving.

Feel free to sign my petition to ensure that doppler scans and GAP are used for all pregnant women, you can find the petition here.

Click here join Sophie’s Angels Miscarriage, Stillbirth and Infant Death Support Group
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