On Monday the 5th May 2003 Nia started getting pains in her back and abdomen and at around 9.00pm we drove down to Ysbyty Gwynedd to get her checked over. The results were good with a strong heartbeat, she was told she was in the early stages of labour and so at 11.00pm we decided to go back home. The following morning I went to work and phoned at around 9.00am. Nia said she was awaiting the Midwife. At 11.30am I received a message telling me to come home, when I arrived the house was empty, Nia had left for the hospital. Apparently the midwife had arrived and given her an internal examination which showed she was 3cm dilated, the baby’s heartbeat dropped at this time and it was decided that Nia should go in. I washed and changed arriving there myself at 12.15am. I walked excitedly into the delivery room and kissed her on the forehead. The midwife then asked me if I had seen the Sister and I said I had not, I was then informed that they could not detect the baby’s heartbeat and that things did not look good. My heart sunk as I looked at Nia, she had her eyes closed and I hugged her. She was then taken downstairs for a scan where we were told very softly that we had lost our baby. The walk back to the Labour ward was very long and painful and the doctor advised Nia that it would be better for her to go through with a natural birth rather than caesarean and so things were set up and injections given. Blood tests showed that her white blood cells were high indicating an infection and an epidural could not be given so Nia was given an injection of diamorphine and also put on a morphine drip which she could administer herself every five minutes, along with gas and air mix to help relieve the pain. I then went to phone our family, which was emotionally very hard to do. At around 6.00pm she was examined and was 4cm dilated. A drip was inserted to speed up the process. Our family had arrived by now and many tears were shed. I sat with Nia throughout and every time there was a contraction she would indicate with her thumb that she wanted a shot of morphine whilst inhaling gas and air with her other hand. At 2.00am the birth was under way and very soon the baby’s head was showing, as I was sitting down next to Nia I could not see much so I asked if I could move closer, when I looked down the head had been born, it was at this point that the Midwife removed the umbilical cord from around the neck, which at the time we though was the probable cause of death. Another strong push by Nia and the baby was out, our little baby daughter was born and we were to call her Mai Wyn. I was allowed to cut the cord thus releasing her into this world, after a quick wipe over she was handed to Nia and they both looked beautiful together. I then got to hold her and just sat down looking at her in my arms, so perfect and warm and kissed and cuddled her with all my love, these were emotional times indeed. I went to tell our family, namely Nia’s mother and brothers and Jill her sister in law, and my sister who were all sitting in the staff rest room, then returned for another cuddle with Mai Wyn. Nia had by now delivered the placenta and we were shown another probable cause of her death, which was a rupture at the base of the cord probably due to it being pinched during the early stages this morning. She was taken away to be washed and dressed and returned to us in a moses basket looking as if she was fast asleep, we were then left to spend some time alone with her which we used to the full, sharing all our love with her and cherishing every moment. Our family then came and everyone got to hold her, it was another emotional scene. After Mai had been taken away and further blood samples had been taken from Nia we were allowed to go to sleep for a few hours, it was now 4.30am and the birds were beginning their dawn chorus. We were bought breakfast then I left for home for a shower and change, and to fetch some clothes for Nia, the house was full of baby things and I picked up a cardigan that Nia had knitted and sat down to cry.  I returned at 11.00am and shortly after some close work colleagues of Nia’s arrived and it was crying time again. We were allowed a final look at Mai Wyn before leaving the ward with a small booklet containing her hand and footprints, a lock of her black hair and some photographs, which the midwife had taken. It was a sad journey home and we arrived to an empty house and mourned together.

Mai Wyn was buried on Tuesday the 13th May at 10.30am at Coetmor Cemetary. It was a small family affair and I carried her little coffin from the car to the grave. After a short service she was lowered down by Nia’s brother Dylan, and John my brother in law. As she was lowered the sun came out and warmed us all to the heart, we returned later that afternoon and shared a quiet moment by her grave.

 

Berwyn