what happened on that Sunday? Nothing unusual.
We woke early and Alfie was making
himself known (although we didn't know at the time that would be the
last time we would feel him move)
It seemed like he'd had enough and was
coming out the way he was pushing against Andrea's tummy. We got up
and got on with things. Andrea was feeling a bit poorly, tummy pain
but nothing unusual. Dinner came and went and Andrea felt a bit
worse so she went off to bed.
About four o clock, the eldest kid
Jason came downstairs and said 'J, mum wants you'. I went upstairs
and Andrea was in the bathroom holding some toilet roll. She said
look, it had blood on.
I tried not to panic, called the
delivery suite who said we needed an ambulance. We declined, as we
needed someone to look after kids so we called Andrea's mum who came
straight over. Meanwhile Andrea got worse so we called an ambulance
Whilst waiting for the ambulance Andrea
went a horrid grey colour. I freaked out, started pacing, wishing
the ambulance to arrive. An ambulance car pulled up with a paramedic
who came in and started to look after Andrea, asking things, talking
to her and whilst he was doing that a proper ambulance and crew
They came in and saw Andrea and decided
to get her straight to hospital. I was doing things like picking up
bus timetables thinking I was coming home later. Silly me. I managed
to find Andrea a pair of knickers and a nightshirt and that was that
we were off to hospital in an ambulance lights and sirens.
The ambulance went the wrong way to the
hospital along the ring road. Andrea was pretty much out of it but
it struck me odd. I found out later the ambulance crew was from
Halifax and were just following the computer but even if we would
have gone straight to the hospital things probably wouldn't have
I thought going to the hospital, that
they would just look her over say everything's fine and send us home
so weren't too concerned. They was a scare the Monday before when
Andrea called me at work saying she had been to the doctors and her
blood pressure was sky high, so I left work and went to the hospital
with Andrea. They checked baby's heart beat, Andrea's blood pressure
and tightenings and everything was fine so we went home. We had an
appointment two weeks later on the 7th so we weren't too bothered.
We spent the following week until the Sunday talking about the best
thing for Andrea and baby for the rest of the pregnancy.
Back to the Sunday, we left home at
4.20pm, got to the hospital at 4.40pm and were taken to the delivery
suite, room 5. That's when it hit me. I was to become a dad.
Fantastic! Andrea was being wired up to this and that, things were
very confusing. They put a heartbeat monitor an Andrea's tummy and
they couldn't find one. It crossed my mind, what if the baby's died
but it passed as quick as it came and I said to the midwife, It's
just the baby, it lays towards her back." "Now you tell me!" she
said. They bought in a scan machine and started trying to find the
baby. Andrea wasn't watching, she couldn't, but I was sat right in
from of it. Our baby wasn't moving. I was scared, what's happening?
I started to realise the impossible. The baby we wanted so much and
so loved was dead.
They crowded round Andrea and shut me out. I stood up and was just
close enough in time to hear them say, "The baby's dead." That was
5.20pm. My world collapsed. How? Why? When? Surely me and Andrea
should have been together when they told us? The first thing I said
was, "Ok, baby's dead, take care of Andrea." Then I asked for a
I thought they were going to take
Andrea away remove the baby and that was that, but things had only
started to go bad. She was losing loads of blood internally,
bleeding so bad that caesarean wasn't an option. That night was
awful. I'd lost my baby and was going to lose my girlfriend too.
That what I thought anyway. She was so ill, so many machines,
monitors and wires. We needed each other and cuddles, but we
couldn't with all that. They gave her some gel and broke her waters
eventually at 9pm. My mum, Andrea's mum, the kids, they all paid
visits that night but briefly.
Eventually at ten to two in the morning
the final stages of labour started and at 2.05am Alfie Sam Crowley
was born. He was so beautiful. I've never felt such love for anyone.
We held him straight away and the feeling was magic. We talked, we
cried. I told him how much I loved him and cared for him. How much I
wanted him. I showed him the sky and all the time the pain inside
was so bad. My son, my one and only son dead. Thoughts of the
funeral were running through my head but how bad is that? My son was
born and I was thinking about burying him!
We stayed in the delivery suite till 9
that night when we went to the bereavement suite on M3 where we were
given a room at the end of the ward away from all the other mothers.
We had to take Alfie up under the blankets so as not to scare
anyone. How cruel. Being with those new babies was terrible, why
couldn't ours be awake and screaming? I went for a coffee at 6 in
the morning on Tuesday and heard a baby crying and that's all it
took for me to cry.
The following days were strange,
everyone being so sorry, knowing not what to say, so many people and
Everything was a blur but every moment
with our baby counted. We couldn't have him home to live so those
few days would be our only experience of being a family. On the
Wednesday we had a naming ceremony. Alfie was in his smart clothes,
a nice little suit. We didn't know at the time we were spending our
last few hours being able to hold him, love him and change him. My
strongest memory of the day is just before the funeral director came
to take him away. I placed him in his cot facing the window to the
most beautiful sunset. It was a lovely golden orange and the moment
was perfect. We were then told the funeral director had arrived so
we said our goodbyes and cuddled our baby for the last time.
He came home on the Sunday, the night
before his funeral and we had planned a nice family night. We were
all going to give him a love, Andrea to change and bath him. We had
bought him a new outfit to wear and a big coat so that he wouldn't
get cold but the funeral director said it wasn't a good idea to hold
him or change him. This really hurt. He was supposed to spend his
night in his moses basket but instead he had to spend the night in
All we could do were hold his hand and
kiss him. Not all we wanted but enough. This was the only time we
would be together as a complete family me, Andrea and all the kids.
It was such a special night. We took him to bed with us at night
time in his casket and he laid besides our bed all night.
The morning of the funeral came, people
coming and going, then we had the service. It was nice, just what we
wanted. I had decided that I would be the one to carry our baby's
coffin and I did. He stayed on my knee all the way to the cemetery.
It was raining but by the time we got
there it had stopped. We had a small graveside service, the vicar
said a few things and I read a poem. Then our baby was laid to rest.
I wish now I had been the one to lower his coffin but I didn't.
Leaving the cemetery was not easy but we had to.
Finishing this a few months after it
all happened is like writing about something that has happened to
someone else not me. I still can't believe when I start to think
that I've lost my son. I know where he is, I know he's at rest but
I've lost him. There's nothing I can do to bring him back, he's
gone. But he's always with me inside my heart, inside my mind. I
know now he's safe and at peace. I know that he will always be my
baby, my son, and that there's nothing anyone can do to stop the
pain or take him away from me. Alfie will forever be with me in my