Leo's journey

As the morning comes they decide on an emergency operation.

Story by Annalise Muller, 

As I'm typing this I'm struggling what to say because I don't even know how to start. So much has happened to this little boy.

I suppose I will start at the beginning of my pregnancy I tested in April earlier this year, I see that faint line, James (Leo's daddy) also sees it, I didn't know what to think or feel at that moment I just had my youngest William last August it's all a bit fast.

I was making my eldest James some breakfast as will was still on milk at the time and I remember throwing the loaf of bread at James (Leo's daddy) saying just put the rest away. I just sat with my kids and stared for minutes on end trying to process what the hell I just saw.

As the days went on and it settled on us we both started to get used to the idea, at the end of the day it was our faults, we needed to take care of our baby like we're doing our others.

My first midwife appointment comes, bloods taken all successful, the next day I'm booked in for my 12 week scan, sonograoher is pleased he was growing well no concerns there.

I just need to be in consultant led care and have extra scans because I have small babies , which is normal for me but they need to take precautions and keep an eye on him.

A few weeks pass by I've been enjoying my pregnancy apart from feeling very anaemic.

Zoe (the midwife) came out to me at that time, he was a very strong boy it was different to James and Williams. Still no concerns but low blood pressure which again normal for me I don't really do much.

Friday 31st August at 9am: I wake up. I'm excited on this day because I get to find out if I'm having a girl or boy so I post a status "today's the day". James (Leo's daddy) comes to get me in his car a few hours later to take me to my scan. We talk about getting a balloon when we get out for our big reveal and doing some shopping in Corby for him.

I have my ultrasound and she's looking and what does she say? Well, there's a scrotum and I'm thinking here we go again. I was right you was wrong James! No concerns were raised here either so we take our picture of Leo and I'm walking to the shop on the phone to my mum, you're having another grandson! I can hear them all at home going woo, I knew it, told ya. 

So I buy this balloon for £3.45 saying it's a boy! Take it back to the car, take a picture of my scan and announce our news meet baby Leo, due 12th January 2019. 

We're on our way to Corby now and everything is going well Leo decided to start kicking on the journey and it's the strongest feeling I had and I was like WOW that was amazing baby! Music is blasting but I don't know what the hell is playing but I'm happy I'm thinking about my new baby boy I'm absolutely ecstatic. 

In the distance I see a car in front of us this blue ford focus. He isn't moving and he's in the middle of the road I'm too chocked up for words thinking what is he doing and the only word I got out was "BABE" and smash!

All I hear is this massive BANG, the cars shaking I'm screaming 'Oww babe help me Oww' - I can't see. I'm in shock.

There's airbag dust everywhere steam coming from the radiator, I can taste blood in my mouth and it's pouring out. When the car finally stops I see James and I can hear our car still going beep as he's left his ignition on.

At this point I'm screaming for someone to help my baby all I'm saying is "MY BABY IS HE OK?". 

James drags me out the car I stand up and I have this random pushing feeling in my stomach which I'm guessing was my uterus rupturing but at the time I didn't know that it was my uterus I thought I was in labour.

I'm shouting " I'm pushing". The people helping are so confused so I'm like "I'm pregnant". An A&E nurse that just came of her shift quickly rushes over to me and lies me down at the side of the road checks to see if she sees anything she says it's not your baby he's still in there love he's okay.

He was in fact still in there I'm very confused. A vet comes over and gives me her red blanket and a fire brigade gives me gas to help me breathe James has cut his knee right open and seems to be having trouble breathing but I'm more concerned about Leo I'm still constantly asking about him.

Two ambulances arrive to my relief and I calm down. They put blocks around my head and strap me to the stretcher I'm wheeled in and rushed off in lights & sirens. When I approached the city hospital in Peterborough I'm taken straight to resus. I'm absolutely fine just in a lot of pain so I wait, there where nurses coming in passing messages from James he's the same.

They tell me they're going to take me up to the maternity ward soon to check on my baby. 

When it was time we did go up there , they did an ultrasound they see him and his heart he's okay they said they pointed to him. And they did an amniotic fluid test which was negative means I did not lose any of my waters.

I was then taken to a room near James to rest for a bit on the a&e ward and I know it was near him as I could hear his loud mouth talking and they wheel me by and I see him we both cheer up and give each other a wave.

I'm then discharged that night. James isn't and I'm worried sick.

His mum and sister came to pick me up and I stayed with them. Something still didn't feel right I hadn't felt Leo at all, I had whiplash so couldn't sleep all night I struggled in and out of bed.

I ended up back at home on my own a day later and James went back to his mum's. Everything is okay but I'm still struggling I'm in excruciating pain with my pelvis and can't walk.

A couple of days later I'm chilling watching TV and I go to the toilet and to my horror there is blood.

Now I'm used to this as I've had problems with William and losing blood. I call the maternity ward anyway and they want me in asap. I let James know and I waited for a couple of hours until a midwife came to see me at this point tears are starting to form on my eyes she's standing there with that "look" on her face that says it all to me and we couldn't hear a thing other than my own heart.. she says she's going to get a doctors opinion so they push me into another room this was different to the others it was peaceful and had a nice purple floral duvet cover on the bed but I didn't look at the sign on the door when I went in it was a private room for me.

She says it's better than hearing those ecg out there and I was like oh okay, the scan was wheeled over to me and it's very cold and painful. The doctor takes a while before he says anything he puts the Doppler down and goes "sorry I can't find anything" and I just turn white and cold I try to cry but tears don't form eventually after he leaves me alone I'm drenched in my own tears I ring James and he's also in tears he says he can't get to me so I send him £60 for a taxi, he arrives and they said I'm staying over night they need to make a decision on what they want to do in the morning as the scan also doesn't look right there is a lot of damage they can't work out.

As the morning comes they come in and decide on an emergency operation.

I can't eat or drink for hours until it's over so they start stabbing me with these cannulas dressing me in my gown.

I'm shaking I've never had an operation before and they where really reassuring "Annalise we won't let nothing bad happen to you we just need to get your baby out safely to keep you safe. You will be asleep and when you wake up you can have a cuddle with him". 

So an hour later about 11am I'm taken into theatre I've got to drink this fluid and a mask is put over my face they start pumping in the gas and that's all I remember.

I wake up and I'm being wheeled back into my room I see James and I'm asking where Leo is. The heartbreak on his face I've never seen that before in a man.

They said they will get him for me in a minute. I'm settled and ready for my baby, he comes through the door in a little Easter looking Moses basket he's wrapped in white blanket he looks peaceful so I get him out and hold him as close as I could I stare at him for minutes on end looking at him like I did James and will when I first met them figuring out his appearance I'm in love, but he's freezing and regardless of the fact he's passed as a mum I try and wrap him up to make him warmer and as I type this I'm stuck with a massive rock in my throat right now.

I was on morphine and I wasn't thinking straight I was treating him as a live baby. Rocking him, kissing him, talking to him. Telling him not to cry I said "its okay mummy's here don't cry baby it's all over you're safe I got you".

Three days later me and James leave our baby boy after spending lots of time with him. I leave with a massive memory box two teddies, flowers (bunch of red roses) and a giant bag full of medication I even have sharps.

We go to stay with my brother as he went through the same thing. We decided to see Leo every Wednesday before his funeral. I last seen him at co op funeral care in town where he had this beautiful white coffin with his name and date of birth engraved on it, it was a cold room but I didn't care I snuggled with Leo again I told him I'm sorry I couldn't save him and I loved him millions of times and kissed his face

21st September was the day of his funeral at 930. I'm wearing a white summer dress because he lit up my life and he was beautiful and carrying one of his teddies James is in a black shirt and some trousers. We decided we just want to be there and the directors. I had a poem for him too called forever in my heart which you can find on Google. I walk over and the director of the funeral is also called James, he said Leo is here in his car but we're just waiting to start. As we walk over a man in a black suit and hat is leading Leo's car to us.

They open the boot and I see my babies casket again it's beautiful I pop the teddy on top and me and James carry him in his coffin into the ceremony. We put him down where all the curtains are surrounding him.

The director read a few lines then said my poem for him. He played Leo's song you will be in my heart by Phil Collins and that was the end it was so quick as his life was so short, my heart crumbled into pieces that day.

I finally got his ashes two weeks later. They now sit on a shelf with lots of beautiful lights and memorial items along with his box and teddies.
04.09.2018 forever in my heart X X X

Thank you so much for reading