Monday, February 2, 2009

Sophie Cleo's Story

We found out we were having a girl on the day we were to fly out to Egypt. For whatever reason I was convinced we were having a boy and was genuinely shocked when the 19 week ultrasound showed we were having a girl. I instantly became completely besotted with the fact that I would have a little girl to show the ropes of life. We travelled so excited about the possibilities and had decided on the name Sophie while floating on the river Nile near Luxor. Sophie was a Queens name and as a second name as we were among the Pharaohs what better name than Cleo! So from then it was Sophie Cleo. Adrian (hubby) even crumbled and bought us both a 'Cleopatra' cartouche we could both wear.

Life was fantastic and Sophie kept growing and growing.

By the 28the week as I had had previous issues and the fact that I was small for my due date my doctor wanted to send me for a growth scan. Instead of being underweight Sophie was in the 95th percentile. Two weeks later she had reached the 97th! I fronted to the OB the following day feeling so happy and healthy and so excited. We had the discussion around dates around 19th Jan for a caesarean and agreed this was the safest way to deliver.

I had however been feeling pain for the last few months in the lower left part of my stomach and feeling like I needed to support Sophie. I had even looked at buying a support of some kind but these were usually used for women having multiple births and I was small for the size of her. It was assumed these were normal growing pains of pregnancy. I found getting up and down from a sitting position was always painful for the first few steps and as time went on Adrian commented a few times at how other pregnant women we knew glided along and I looked like I was constantly struggling. I am certain these early signs.

It was a Friday morning and I was 32 weeks and I woke up in a fair amount of pain. Never having been in labour before called the birthing clinic to find out what I needed to do. They suggested the normal have a shower, food, panadol and try and rest. After 3 1/2 hours of nothing working we went to the hospital.

Sophie was monitored with 150bpm, the pain was still there and there was a suggestion of a urinary tract infection. I had had them before and this was nothing like what I had experienced but I was told it could be more painful in pregnancy. We waited... After almost 3 hours the doc arrived and admitted me for monitoring. My OB was away that day but was coming back that night to see me. The pains were still there but were less frequent and there was no sign of labour. Getting out of bed and walking was painful and I felt the need to hold my stomach as a support when I walked.

The following day the pain was less severe and I was able to move about more. Getting out of bed was easier and I was more relaxed. Sophie was still sitting around 150bpm and was kicking as normal. I remember the monitoring hurt that afternoon and continued for about an hour after the monitor was taken off. Still not knowing what was wrong and trying to eliminate things I was kept in overnight again. So Sat night around midnight Adrian went home and I went off to sleep.

Just after 1am I was woken up with severe pains in my upper abdomen. It felt like I was being cut with a knife across my whole stomach.. I was in agony. I called for the nurse, the scale of pain was at a 10. Both our heartbeats were normal at this point, Sophie seemed to not be stressing. They called my OB and a midwife came in to ask me some questions and I was rushed to the birthing suite.

There were so many people around me, monitors, and midwives. My doctor was trying to find her heartbeat but it was very faint. We saw Sophie on the ultrasound; her heart beat was about 90bpm. She was still kicking, but the kicks were painful. All I could do was look at Adrian and get strength from him. Then I felt another kick which was like a knife had stabbed me. At that moment I was I was rushed into theatre like a scene out of ER. I remember looking at my doctors face and seeing such fear in his eyes. I thought and prayed.. worst case would be that if I woke up with a hysterectomy but I had my baby girl life was perfect.

Our beautiful 2.5 kilo girl had kicked through the upper part of my uterus and ruptured it completely, I was bleeding internally. Her oxygen was cut off instantly; there is less than a 4 minute time frame as once the uterus is broken. They tried for over half and hour to revive her while my doctor saved my life, I had a 50:50 chance of survival.

Sophie was brought out to Adrian after 1/2 and hour and he spent the next few hours talking and cuddling our little miracle. How I wish I was able to feel her warmth as he did.

Almost 5 hours later I woke up in intensive care and saw Adrian at the end of the bed, I was still surrounded by theatre staff and tried to focus on his face. He came up to me and held my hand. I heard him ask if anyone had spoken to me and the doctor was about to. I focused again and looked for a sign but saw tears in his eyes. I raised my eyebrows in anticipation and he shook his head. At the same time my doctor held my other hand and they were both in tears. His words were not real, "I'm so sorry". The pains were my uterus stretching dangerously thin then rupturing but I was not bleeding, her heart rate was perfect until the final few minutes.. no normal sign of rupture. How could they have known?

The next few days were a blur. We both were living a complete nightmare and wanted to wake up... but never did. Visitors came and went, family and friends trying to console us. But no one could. The life we had planned was over and we had no say in it!

We were able to spend as much time with Sophie as we wanted. Once I was out of intensive care and in a ward they brought Sophie to us. The midwife was so loving talking to her as she handed her to me. I remember being completely paralysed and not wanting to look at her... seeing is believing. I felt her weight as she was placed into my arms and I looked at our beautiful girl for the first time. Such intense joy and sadness in the same moment. She was perfect in every way. I stared at her beautiful face and stroked her head, her hands and feet. Everything was as if she were just sleeping. She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. We did not want to let her go.

The following few days we spent some time with Sophie and each time it became harder. We marvelled more and more at her perfection, we sang to her, we danced with her, we told her stories and kissed and cuddled her. We would have loved to take her out into the sun to let the heat warm her face but I was unable to go out. We also arranged to have her Christened and had a private ceremony in the hospital room.

On Friday 19th December we got the chance to say one last goodbye to her in her pretty pink dress. We gave her a picture of all 3 of us a few weeks before, a teddy to cuddle (daddy named her Penelope) and daddy's business card in case she ever wanted to call! I took some glitter and gold love hearts and covered her in sparkles... every little girls needs sparkles. We laid her to rest in a beautiful baby area at Rookwood so she can play with the other children there. I don’t remember much of what was said that day but I remember the day was warm and there was a breeze that saved me from passing out. It was as if the breeze was her kissing us and letting us know she was with us.

Psychically I am healing but emotionally neither of us can see light at the end of this tunnel. I now have 2 scars on my uterus which was saved thanks to my OB but I have been advised not to try naturally again as my life is at risk. We are looking into other ways to become parents.

Adrian now wears my cartouche and I wear Sophie's. We will always have a peace of her with us.

Sophie Bear, our darling girl, mummy & daddy love you so very much. We hope that you enjoy playing with the puppies and other little children in heaven. We miss you more than we could ever say.


  1. I am so sorry, I have been reading all your posts with tears streaming down my face. She is so beautiful. I could not even begin to imagine the pain you are going through. I wish you all the strength in the world to survive this.

  2. I am so sorry Sophie is not with you....she is so beautiful! It is the worst loss ever! I have just started reading your posts....I wish you a bit of peace each day as this is a long journey.
    Sending you love, Brooke

  3. I just found your blog though Hope's Mama Sally and I want to tell you how terribly sorry I am for the loss of your beautiful beautiful Sophie.

    Wishing you peace.


  4. I am so sorry for this terrible loss of your most beautiful girl. Sending you hugs. xxx

  5. I'm so sorry you had to say goodbye to Sophie. Your story brought me to tears. Sending you love and a (((hug))).