Daniel's Story


We found out we were pregnant with Daniel in August 1991.We had only been married a few weeks but were over the moon because I had only ever wanted to be a mummy.

We spent all our time from then on popping in and out of baby shops looking at things we were going to buy.

I was very, very sick and seemed to be spending whole days with my head down the toilet and mentioned it to the doctor who said not to worry because it was quite normal. Apart from that we progressed nicely and had no problems, by 14 weeks even the sickness had stopped.

I was really getting into the whole idea of being pregnant by now and spent large amounts of time just talking to my stomach, I wanted my baby to know my voice when it arrived.

I was due to go for my first ultrasound on December 15th 1991,but my hubby came down with gastric flu and not wanting to go alone we put it off until after Christmas when the hospital opened back up.
We got an appointment through for January 15th 1992 and I remember feeling so very excited, I was going to see my baby for the first time.

I lay down on the bed and had the freezing cold jelly smeared all over me and the radiographer began," there" she said" hats your baby's heart, it looks fine and is beating strongly". She then showed us his tiny arms and legs and went up the back where she became VERY quiet, I just thought she was paying attention to her job and was so transfixed on the screen I just let her get on. It was only when she moved to the head then turned the screen away that I began to panic, I got that hot feeling in my stomach you get when you know something is wrong. She didn't speak again for about two minutes and then said I needed to lie down as she thought my baby's head was down behind my pelvis. She laid me totally flat, by which time I was crying and terrified for my baby. She proceeded to move the scanner around on my stomach, at times pushing down so hard it hurt and I thought I would wet myself. She then said "I think I better get a doctor, stay there". He came back in with her moments later and without a word looked at the screen ,then nodded and said "would you please follow me to my office". We got up and followed him through a packed ante-natal department and sit down in his office.

He then told us our baby had a condition called ANENCEPHALY ((this is where the brain fails to form correctly and the cranial bones do not close around the head properly). I then remember feeling like I was on another planet, outside of my body watching myself, I was so dizzy I thought I would fall off my chair. He said I would have to come into hospital the next day and be induced and deliver my baby now. I asked him if I could carry on with my pregnancy as I felt uncomfortable with just giving my baby up. He was then very brutal and said" there is nothing you can do for this baby, it's condition is incompatible with life and it will die anyway, plus carrying on with this could be very dangerous to your health and that of any future pregnancies". I left there feeling I had no choice but to come back  the next day. It was the most torturous evening of my life, I could feel him moving and I couldn't believe soon he would be gone forever.

We arrived the next morning to find out my obstetrician was still away and a junior from his team was filling in. He explained how they would induce me with a peccary and give me another every few hours. We were given a whole host of forms to sign which my husband did as I couldn't sign a form allowing them to do an autopsy on my baby and we were told they have to not so)).

They checked their diagnosis again and to my horror Daniels heart had stopped, I feel he knew what was going to happen and thought I was giving up on him so he left me. I still feel so guilty.
They gave me my first peccary at noon and I progressed steadily through the night without any pain relief (I felt I had to be in pain to make up for what my son was going through). After 18 hours my water broke and within another three hours my son was born still.

DANIEL KIERAN CHAM:17th JANUARY 1992 at 9.17am.

They took him out of the room straight away and I didn't even know he was a little boy for 20 minutes, until the nurse who delivered him came back. We then asked to see him and were told by the idiot doctor that he didn't want us to because of his appearance, I didn't argue much, I felt I had no fight left, how I wish I had stood up for what I wanted in my heart. I will forever miss the chance to have held his teeny fingers in mine once and to kiss the soft bunched skin on his cheek. So many regrets.

An hour or so later we asked when we could have him for a funeral and were told by the same idiot doctor that as he was only 23.5 weeks and so wasn't entitled. I felt they may as well just kill me there and then because I didn't want to live with how I felt right now. I now know how wrong the things I was told were and this not only adds to my grief but also my guilt, I let him down so bad by being so weak and not being brave enough to say hang on what about what we want.

I left the hospital the next day with empty arms and an even emptier heart.

All I have for my son are the feelings in my heart and the memory box we made for him containing cards and messages of sympathy people sent us and the few pieces of clothing we brought for him.

When we got the autopsy results they also said Daniel had most of his spinal column missing (spina bifida) as well. Nobody ever talked things over with us until I moved doctors 2 years later and the fabulous doctor I have now and who has helped so much looked through my notes and explained everything to me.

There are so many things I would do differently given the chance and also so many things I will never forgive either myself or the hospital for.

But, the most important thing for me to do is remember that even though we will never know what Daniel looked like he had a meaningful life because he taught me how to love in a way I never thought possible. I have felt so much sadness since I lost him but also so much love and I hope to return it all to him when I hold him in my arms again one day.

I will finally get to hold those teeny fingers and kiss that soft bunched cheek
.

 

 

 

From your sister Jordan

 

Flying Without Wings 
by Westlife.

song playing

Everybody's looking for that something,
One thing that makes it all complete,
You find it in the strangest places,
Places you never knew it could be.

SOME FIND IT IN THE FACE OF THEIR CHILDREN,
Some find it in their lovers eyes,
Who can deny the joy it brings,
When you find that special thing,
You're flying without wings.

Some find it sharing every morning,
Some in their solitary lives,
You find it in the works of others,
A simple line can make you laugh or cry.

You find it in the deepest friendships,
The kind you cherish all your life,
And when you know how much that means,
You've found that special thing,
You're flying without wings.

So impossible as they may seem,
You've got to fight for every dream,
'Cause who's to know,
which one you let go,
WOULD HAVE MADE YOU COMPLETE.

Well for me it's waking up beside you,
To watch the sunrise on your face,
TO KNOW THAT I CAN SAY I LOVE YOU,
AT ANY GIVEN TIME OR PLACE,
IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS THAT ONLY I KNOW,
THOSE ARE THE THINGS THAT MAKE YOU MINE,
AND IT'S LIKE FLYING WITHOUT WINGS,
'CAUSE YOU'RE MY SPECIAL THING,
I'M FLYING WITHOUT WINGS.

YOU'RE THE PLACE MY LIFE BEGINS,
AND YOU'LL BE WHERE IT ENDS,
I'M FLYING WITHOUT WINGS,
AND THAT'S THE JOY YOU BRING,
I'M FLYING WITHOUT WINGS...

 

 

 

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