We were overwhelmed with love and joy, but these emotions were paired with disbelief, heartbreak and total devastation

Claire and Luke’s daughter Selah was stillborn in September 2017. This is Selah’s story.

A perfect day

On Saturday 23 September 2017, I had just reached 41 weeks pregnant with our sweet girl. My husband Luke and I had had a lovely day out shopping. We’d visited our favourite coffee spot, walked and talked in the sunny weather, and got dressed up to go out for a lovely dinner. Luke even had a haircut so he could look great in photos when our daughter arrived. It was the most perfect day. 

Shock and heartache

The following day at 2am, 5 hours into labour, we were in hospital when a consultant spoke the words, “I am so sorry, your baby has died.”

The shock, disbelief and heartache were crippling. We cried and prayed for a miracle to happen.

The news was so traumatic, it caused my contractions to stop and the process of labour came to a halt. Before we knew it, my husband and I were being bombarded with information about what to expect next. They recommended induction to encourage labour to start again and then delivery with pain relief. They also talked about us meeting with bereavement midwives. 

Our minds were full. We were totally confused and couldn’t even begin to fathom what was actually happening. We had had an amazing pregnancy with no signs of anything being wrong. Our baby girl had been wriggling just moments before. What on earth had happened? I had no idea how I was going to deliver our dead baby.

I was in labour for around 20 hours before we asked for a c-section. Contractions were coming moments apart but, in my heart, I wasn’t ready to deliver our baby. The midwives and consultants were telling us that there was no rush to deliver and that they could break my waters and give more medication to try to move things along. They said we had another 48 hours to work with. I couldn’t endure another 2days of pain.

Emotionally, I was done. We were done. My mind was going crazy and I honestly could not go any longer knowing that what followed was going to be the most difficult moment we’d ever have to face.

Meeting our daughter

On Monday 25 September 2017, our dreams came true. We met our daughter. We finally got to see who she looked like, what her hair was like and find out how much she weighed. 

We finally got to hold our biggest dream in our arms. We got to kiss her, snuggle her and smell her cheeks. We danced with her, we sang to her and we took communion with her. We got to bath her and then snuggle her in a fluffy towel afterwards.

Selah was perfect in every possible way. She was 7lb 8oz of absolute perfection. She was born, soundly asleep, 10 days past her due date. It didn’t seem real that she wasn’t alive and wriggling in our arms. We were so overwhelmed with love and joy but those emotions were paired with disbelief, heartbreak and total devastation. It was the most intense combination of emotions.

Selah, our beautiful little one, thank you for changing our lives. Thank you for giving us greater joy. Thank you for making sure we live life to the absolute fullest every day. Thank you for helping us dream bigger. You are so beautiful and so perfect. You will forever be the greatest, most significant and most treasured gift we have ever received. To our sweet sweet girl, Mummy and Daddy love you.