Guest Post by Cassie Kennedy
On the 12th of October 2013 will mark the 1st Birthday of my son Dex Thistleton. Sadly, we will also relive a terrible nightmare that unfolded at that time also.
On Tuesday the 9th of October 2012, I had gone into the hospital for my routine 36+1 week checkup. Dex was very active and his heartbeat and size were healthy.
We went home knowing he would be here soon. His sister had arrived at 35+6 weeks weighing a massive (for gestational age) 6lb4oz. And it was obvious that I was running out of room fast!!!
At home, everything was organised and in its place. I finally finished putting all his stickers on his walls on that Tuesday night. This was the finishing touch to his beautiful room.
We had chosen not to know the sex throughout the pregnancy in order to have a surprise. But everyone was sure we were having a boy!
I woke on Thursday the 11th of October 2012 with the onset of very early labour. I knew this was it! So we took it easy I got my daughter Ramani ready for school and my partner Ryan decided to go for a quick surf (as any parent knows there’s not much me time when a bubba arrives so it was his last surf for a while!). I went off at 8.45am to drop Ramani to school, on my way I felt Dex give a few kicks. After I returned home at about 10am something didn’t feel right. Ryan was calling every 30 minutes to check in on me. When he called at around 10.30 I told him I was concerned because I hadn’t felt Dex move since on the way to school (normally this wouldn’t alarm me, but for some reason I just knew something wasn’t right). Ryan spoke calmly and told me that he was probably just going quiet to get ready for the pending labour. It made sense but I wasn’t completely convinced. So I started to drink icy cold water and lay down to see if I felt anything…. Nothing! So I moved to my sides and poked and probed him to get him to move…. Again Nothing! Then as I lay there my labour signs were slowly easing off until there was nothing….No movement and no labour.
At this stage most people would panic… I didn’t. I carried on with the rest of the day hoping labour would start again and that Dex would wake up and start kicking again. I felt off and a little sick. That evening we had anti-natal classes so we went along they were held next door to the hospital. I mentioned to Ryan that if I hadn’t felt Dex move by the end of the session then I would like to go and get checked. He agreed.
There was no change, so we went off upstairs to see the midwives. They checked me straight away. Within 3 seconds of the Doppler being placed on my stomach I knew. They picked up my heartbeat which gave my partner hope. But my instant reaction was that it was only mine and not the baby. They proceeded to get the portable ultrasound machine, and again when they placed it on my stomach… Nothing, just nothing.
It was confirmed Dex had left us. It was 10pm that night and we were told to go home and get some rest as they were going to induce labour the next day. I didn’t sleep a wink. My life was shattered and I just laid there and held my stomach and cried hysterically for hours.
I couldn’t believe my worst nightmare had come true. I never thought it could happen to me. I’m young (30 then), live a healthy lifestyle, do not drink alcohol, no coffee, no smoking, none of the foods on the do not eat through pregnancy list, you name it – I was a model pregnancy advocate and IT HAPPENED TO ME!
Dex was born at 6.03pm on the 12th October 2012 at a healthy 7lb2oz, big big boy! An autopsy was performed although it did not provide any answers.
On the 1st of September 2013 I will be participating in the Bridge to Brisbane – running in honor of my son Dex Thistleton!
I have raised nearly $4000 for Sands Queensland so they can continue to support families who experience the loss of a baby.
I also run the Bridge to Brisbane for STILLBIRTH AWARENESS & RESEARCH. I have now embarked on a lifetime goal to see that more research is done. Awareness and talking out loud about stillbirth is the key to building our knowledge. I was never asked throughout this whole ordeal about anything I experienced through the pregnancy. This should be the midwives & doctors first question. How can stillbirth rates ever be decreased if no questions are being asked?
Cassie is currently listed 8th in the Top Ten Individual Fundraisers on Every Day Hero. A perfect example of her determination to increase awareness of stillbirth, raise funds for Sands Queensland, and help other bereaved parents. If you would like to support Cassie and Sands, you can donate here.