bereavement · Childbirth · childloss · grief · infantloss · Labour · miscarriage · pregnancy · stillbirth · Uncategorized

And I waited …

It’s been a year – I was 33 weeks and 4 days pregnant.
You took me in to a side room and you told me he would die.
You got out a piece of paper and you wrote on it.
We had 3 options. And not one of them resulted in life.

I returned home with my dad,
I kicked off my shoes as I walked through the door.
I picked up my laptop and I started planning his goodbye,
Before I had even had the chance to say ‘hello’.

Within hours I had made decisions.
Decisions I shouldn’t have to make for my child at all,
Let alone before he had the chance
To even. come. home.

The Funeral Director was picked.
It was someone we knew would take care of my son.
I knew she’d help us give him the perfect send off,
And treat him with respect; with nothing but love.

Come night time I had chosen my baby’s coffin.
Chosen his burial outfit, and picked out his burial place.
I had sorted for a memory box to be delivered to our home;
The home at which his presence would never grace.

And then I waited.

With every single kick or movement I felt,
I wondered if it was the last time.
I’d breathe huge sighs of relief and let out a tear
When the next one came – ‘for now, he is fine.’

I stayed awake for as many hours as I could,
Not wanting to miss a single moment with my son.
For I knew that one day, and one day soon,
That he would die – his time would come.

I started writing a letter for him,
To be read out at his funeral when saying ‘goodbye’.
And with every word penned a tear would fall down my cheek,
As I felt him moving and dancing within me, alive.

I laughed at my ever expanding bump,
At how big he had made me grow.
Then in the next breath I would cry,
For the little boy I would never get to know.

And then I waited.

I started looking online at what it’d be like,
Giving birth to a baby not living.
Would he be cold? Would he be floppy?
The thoughts that entered my mind weren’t forgiving.

And then I started grieving.

I started grieving for this beautiful little boy,
Still moving and living within me.
I grieved for his first steps, first laugh, first cry,
I grieved for his eyes that I’d never see.

And day by day, he got stronger.
His kicks became more frequent and forceful.
20 hours out of every day he would move,
And so I became hopeful.

Maybe, just maybe they were wrong.
Maybe he was going to be okay?
So I allowed myself to smile at the thought,
That he could come home one day.

And I waited.

I was living in limbo with few people knowing,
Receiving messages off people asking when I was due,
Telling me we needed to catch up,
And how they were so looking forward to meeting you.

And all the while I knew it’d never happen.
I knew that my baby would never come home.
I knew that the next time those people saw me,
You wouldn’t be here, you’d be gone.

On the one day I found strength to leave the house,
I bumped in to old friends.
‘When are you due?!’ they’d ask with excitement,
Not knowing your life was coming to an end.

I went home that day and put my girls to bed,
I put on his song: Dock of the Bay.
I put earphones in, blocked out the world,
Got in to bed, and there I would stay.

Until I woke up the following morning
With his song still on repeat in my ears.
I could feel the pillow beneath my cheeks sopping wet,
I put my hand to my face to feel tears.

And just like that, like a ton of bricks on my head,
I noticed his movements were slowing.
They were sparse.

They were weak.
And just like that, I knew he was going.


The end was coming.

And I waited.

Natalie Oldham.





3 thoughts on “And I waited …

  1. I am so sorry 😦 NAIT is terrible! I pray that screening becomes standard. No one should have go though this pain.


  2. I can relate to the terrible waiting. To trying to enjoy the rest of our time together while at the same time dreading the inevitable end. I can also relate to the strategic planning regarding the death. To reading up on stillbirth. Wanting to know as much as possible, to (somehow) be prepared. To hoping against hope that we will have some time together after birth, because her kicks continued to be so strong. She surpassed expectations, but not that one critical expectation. And here we are without her.


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