It broke my heart to leave without my daughter in my arms

Sonia from Birmingham sadly lost her daughter, Angel, a day after she was born.

My husband and I got married about 3 and half years ago when we were 29. The following year, when we both turned 30, we decided it was time to start trying for a family and I became pregnant soon after. My first pregnancy went really well, and I worked up until I was 37 weeks.

My little boy arrived into the world via emergency c-section and was just perfect.

Life with a new-born

When we arrived home with our son, it took me a lot longer to recover than I’d expected. I felt numb from my c-section and didn’t feel like my usual self. I also found breastfeeding difficult and I struggled to get my son to latch on. I live with my in-laws and felt a lot of pressure to spend time with family when all I wanted was alone time. After a couple of weeks passed, my mental health began to suffer, and I was diagnosed with postnatal depression.

I began to feel a little bit better a few months later. I was out shopping with my husband and 3 month old son when I realised that I was feeling very tired. Deep down, I knew that I was pregnant again. I took a test a month later and it came back positive. We were both very surprised and didn’t know what to do. A few weeks later we had an early pregnancy scan and found out that we were 8 weeks pregnant.

A little fluttering heart

We saw our baby’s little fluttering heart beating and fell in love. We called it our little ‘Jelly Baby’ as it was wriggling around so much.

At 16 weeks we paid for a private scan to find out our baby’s gender. I’d always dreamt of having a little girl and I was thrilled when we found out that we were expecting a daughter. That’s when the online shopping started – I adored buying little dresses and bought so much for her. During the May bank holiday, we had a gender reveal party. We bought a special cake and when we cut it, pink sprinkles appeared. It was such a happy time.

Again, my pregnancy progressed very well, and my daughter was due to arrive almost exactly a year after our first son had been born.

Contractions started

On Friday 9 August, my waters broke. This was 2 weeks earlier than I had expected and my first reaction was that I wasn’t ready. I had booked a nail appointment for the following week. I just didn’t feel prepared.

We went into the hospital that evening and I was taken for a c-section the next day. Even though I didn’t feel prepared, I focused and felt mentally ready for what was ahead. Everything seemed to be going well – they’d monitored my baby’s heartbeat and I’d been feeling her kick all evening. I just couldn’t wait to meet her.

Our daughter’s arrival

Our daughter was born at 5.49pm. We heard her cry as soon as she arrived. She was a nice big chubby baby with tiny little eyes. She was all pink and lovely and she was placed into my husband’s arms. When I was taken into recovery, I had skin to skin with our little girl and breastfed her for 45 minutes. It was a very special moment as she latched on very easily.

My sister-in-law arrived at the hospital with lots of pink balloons and teddy bears. My husband dressed our little girl with a little dress I had bought decorated with the phrase “little sister”. I felt so overwhelmed and so happy.

I couldn’t sleep that night at the hospital. I stayed awake all night and tried to feed our baby, but she didn’t seem interested. My husband and I noticed that her feet were purply-blue, but the nurses reassured us that this was normal.


The next morning, our daughter had all her new-born checks. They told us that her heartbeat was strong and she was well but I was still concerned that she wasn't interested in feeding. A few hours later, I had her on my chest doing to skin to skin when I noticed the side of her face changed colour, but as my husband put her back in the cot she changed back to her normal colour.

I went to the bathroom and when I came back, I noticed my daughter wasn't breathing and her lips, which had been as pink as a rose the day before, were blueish in colour.

My husband pressed the emergency button and the midwifes rushed her off. The minutes that followed were the hardest of our lives. After 10 minutes, someone took us to a room and told us that our baby had passed. I couldn’t bear to stay in the hospital and asked to be discharged.

I woke the next day with empty arms and an empty stomach. I just couldn’t believe what had happened. We named our daughter Angel because, in our culture, we believe she is now back with God. When she was born, she reminded me of a beautiful pink rose, so I call her my pink rose. On Friday 30 August 2019, we held a funeral ceremony for Angel and it was the hardest day of our lives.

No answers

On the morning of Tuesday 29 October 2019, I found out that the results were back from Angel’s post-mortem. After 3 long months of waiting, we were told that the cause of her death is unknown. That’s it, no answers. I was in tears reading the report. My perfect, healthy little girl was ready for the world. My Angel was perfect.

I carried my little girl for 9 months and kept her safe inside me. I listened to her heartbeat at every appointment and felt her move like crazy. All of this, for her to be in my life for only 24 hours & 31 minutes.

Now my little daughter will always be in my heart forever. We will always love our little Angel.

1 in 4 pregnancies end in loss – and most parents never find out why due to a shocking lack of research. It doesn't have to be this way – and Tommy’s research is finding the answers. But research into pregnancy loss is currently seriously underfunded compared to other medical conditions. 

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