Jemma Potter was 27 when her daughter Kyla was stillborn.
Layton and I met back in 2007, we fell in love, we bought a house, we got a dog and we got married. We were so happy with life and we were ready more than ever to start a family.
After five years of trying, we finally got pregnant through fertility treatment; we were so happy and excited.
Everything went perfect the whole pregnancy was a wonderful experience.
At 41 weeks, I had a stretch and sweep to kick things off & as the labour progressed, I jumped into the birthing pool as planned.
By 4:10 am on 7th March 2014 my little girl arrived, I could hear everyone saying, “She’s here, your baby girl is here”. Words can’t explain how happy I was.
When I laid eyes on her for the first time she took my breath away, she was so beautiful.
I felt pure love for her.
But she didn’t open her eyes, or move, or cry, she was floppy and silent. Words will never describe how perfect she was.
Holding her for those precious 16 hours while she was on life support, feeling her warmth, holding her hands, stroking & kissing her head, the most treasured memories of my girl.
She had zero brain activity, all her organs had shut down, she had gone, her eyes never opened once, she never took a breath on her own.
We had to make the most heartbreaking decision and take her off life support.
I’ll never forget the pain of those first few months, it hurt like nothing else, she was gone just like that, and we were supposed to just carry on.
We had to learn to live again in this new world we didn’t want to be in, learn the new normal, the new normal we hated so much my girl was gone and I didn’t understand why our arms were empty, she was perfect.
We got the post-mortem results back, but through some huge error the midwife lost our placenta, so we can never fully be 100% sure of it being GBS but the doctor who went through the report fully believes it to be group B Strep, something I have never heard of. And of course, I wasn’t tested.
A mother was all I wanted to be – my arms empty, we couldn’t give up.
We became pregnant with our rainbow baby. The end was all I could think about, having a baby alive and kicking in our arms. At 35 weeks on a routine appointment with the midwife, I mentioned an itch that started on my palms. Little did I know my baby would be born via C-section 5 days later.
Turned out I had ICP cholestasis, my bile levels were quite high, I was back in a nightmare my baby at risk. We couldn’t go through this again, and thank God for my amazing midwife who got us in touch with an amazing OB he agreed best to get this baby out.
Our little boy Charlie was born at 35 weeks 5 days weighing a very healthy 7.11 pounds. He came out crying, when I heard his cry, I can’t even explain how that felt, he was breathing and alive.
He looked just like his beautiful sister, full head of dark hair, button nose, kissable lips, just perfect.
Our hearts are scarred and they will never fully heal but Charlie has brought us so much joy, he has helped us learn to love and smile again.
I will always tell my girl’s story, she was here, she mattered.
To lose our girl to something I had never heard of or wasn’t even tested for breaks my heart.
We will always be GBS & ICP aware and I will continue in helping and making pregnant women aware of both of these life-threatening things, so important to be aware and save all these precious babies’ lives.
My girl could have stood a chance and I want every baby to have this chance.