On 8 September 2019, Gavin took on the Great North Run in memory of his two snowdrops, Sam and Sarese Larkin. This is his story and reason for running.
10 and a half years ago I met my wife, Patrice. We were expecting our first child early into our relationship. Our baby’s due date was September 29th 2010.
I remember when Patrice broke the news we were expecting. I was so happy. I was going to be a dad. I got so excited and told everyone where I worked that I was going to be a dad. We had everything planned within a couple of weeks.
In early January our first scan appointment was fast approaching which is usually at 12 weeks but ours was 16 weeks instead. A week before, we were out shopping for baby stuff when Patrice had a cramping feeling. She said, "I don't feel right" and went to the toilet.
She came back looking nervous which is very uncommon for Patrice. She said that there was blood, so we left the shop and went to the maternity assessment unit for a check-up.
Whilst there my wife said she felt like the bleeding was getting heavier. She came out of the bathroom with tissue rolled up ever so carefully. We went somewhere private where she broke down in tears.
She had passed the baby. This tiny little foetus was in the middle of the tissue. I will never forget that image and the look of devastation on her face. I didn't really react to what had happened for a good few weeks.
We didn't get a scan picture and didn't have anything to show for what we had gone through. So, we named it Sam and got the name tattooed on our wrists.
Fast forward to 2014. We have a healthy boy and girl. We found out we were due our 3rd baby. After 2 successful pregnancies we were very hopeful this one was going to be okay.
We had a scan at 12 weeks and everything was great. Heartbeat and measurements were spot on. Same again at our 16-week scan everything was great. Everything was going to plan, and my partner was getting a proper bump.
I was so excited again. We both were. It didn't even cross our minds that anything might go wrong.
Yet here we were again this time at our 20 plus week scan. We were so excited as we were possibly going to find out the gender of our baby. We were laughing and joking with the sonographer and full of good spirits.
Then I watched the sonographers face straighten a little. My stomach had this awful knot feeling inside. There wasn't a heartbeat. This time it hit both of us straight away we were in tears.
I couldn't even talk I felt absolutely gutted. Like it was my fault somehow. I had gotten her pregnant, so therefore I had put her through this again. We left the room an absolute mess. We really didn't expect this to happen again. The heart had just stopped beating.
It was a missed miscarriage according to the nurse and Dr that spoke to us. Although it was devastating we had a scan picture this time, which we are so grateful for. We thought we were lucky in even getting that this time.
We knew that from the scan picture we had that she was a girl. So, we named her Sarese. Sadly, though the scan picture we had has faded and we now have nothing again.
These past two years I've been on a bit of a lifestyle change and have lost 6 stone. I am now healthier in mind and body. I thought I would challenge myself by doing something in their memory. Something I will be able to look back on and have something proper to remember them by.
I am taking part in the Great North Run for me and my wife in memory of our two snowdrops Sam and Sarese Larkin.
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Our beautiful baby girl was so perfect, I looked at her little face and waited for her to cry to prove that they were wrong, but she couldn’t.
'No one expects this to happen to them and no one can tell you how you’re meant to act. My pregnancy and birthing plan had disappeared over night and I had two sick babies who I was unable to care for. I felt totally alone with my own feelings and felt I had nowhere to turn.'
1 in every 250 pregnancies ends in a stillbirth in the UK. That's 8 babies every day.
A preterm birth is one that happens before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Globally, more than 1 in 10 pregnancies will end in preterm birth.
Statistics about early miscarriage, late miscarriage, recurrent miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy.