Told by: Claire
On Friday 25th November 2011, my baby girl Keira Kate was born and died. She was 21 weeks. We had found out a month before that our baby had a severe and complex heart defect that she would not be about to survive. We were told that there was nothing that the doctors could do for us. And so we were faced with the agonising decision of whether to allow our daughter to continue to full term and then die or to allow her to go early and possibly suffer less. I decided to be induced. I knew that I wanted to give birth to my daughter. I wanted to see her and hold her. And I wanted to protect her from further suffering. I was in labour for four days. Her actual birth was surprisingly quick. She was perfect. My husband and I held her, took photos of her, wrapped her in a blanket, marvelled at her. And eventually, we let her go. The nurses took her hand and footprints for us and we’ve kept that little card framed between two photos of her tiny hands and feet. I had to have a D&C afterwards, but we were able to go home that evening. That was the hardest part – going home without my baby. It’s now been three months, and it’s still hard. Some days are better than others, but then, some days are worse. I miss my little girl. I miss the life I had dreamt for her. I miss the family we were to become with her. But I celebrate that she was here, that she touched our lives, that she made us into parents. It has been an enormous comfort to have had those short hours with her at her birth. It has helped that she has a name, that she is acknowledged as our daughter. It has helped to have photos of her. I so desperately want more time with her, but I am so grateful that I could at least see her and hold her and know her as mine.