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Aimee and Michael's Story

 

Aimee and Michael Tulloch have had to endure the loss of three babies – Eli, Storm and Isaiah – who all had short lives before they sadly passed away in hospital.

In 2013 Aimee fell pregnant after three years of trying for a baby and two rounds of IUI.  She gave birth to Eli at 23+4 weeks due to an infection in her placenta.  Eli lived for just four days and died in Aimee’s arms. “That evening Michael and I left the hospital without our baby. We left with a piece of our hearts missing, for it never to really be mended. We had to get used to the raw pain that was ripping through us. Life had changed forever.”

In October 2014 they had IUI treatment again and on Halloween found out they were pregnant again. “We walked around in a daze, were we ready to do this? Would everything be ok this time? There wasn't any excitement just the feeling that I had a job to do.” 

At the seven week scan they found out they were pregnant with twins.  “Our world had changed again but this time for the better. We allowed excitement to come through and started to plan. This pregnancy was going to be different. I had regular scans tests, swabs etc. But by 20 weeks I became really anxious. Worried, thinking what if something goes wrong? At our 20 week scan we found out we were having a girl and a boy. Everyone was so excited for us that we were going to have twins, a boy and a girl. At 24 weeks I relaxed slightly. We had got to viable gestation.” 

At 24+6 days Aimee went into hospital with Braxton hicks. Her waters started to leak around her little girl, but both babies were doing well and Aimee was given antibiotics to control any infection. But contractions happened shortly after and Aimee was in labour. She laboured with her little girl, Storm, for two hours and five minutes later Isaiah was born. The room was full with three midwives, three doctors and two neonatal teams, one for each baby.

“Minutes later Storm's doctor came over with her, 'I'm so sorry we couldn't save her, her heart rate was slow when she was born and it just got slower’. Storm lived for 17 minutes and I never got to see her alive, I never saw her move, I didn't get to tell her I loved her.” 

Isaiah was stabilised and before being taken down to neonatal was shown to Aimee and Michael. He was big for his gestation, a good colour and didn't need much help breathing. “Just as he was wheeled away he did a little sneeze. I'll never forget that and hold it close to my heart. We spent some time with Storm before going down to see Isaiah. Emotions felt very strange. I was grieving the loss of Storm but had hope for Isaiah.”

When Aimee and Michael got down to Isaiah the nurses were really positive but were just having a little trouble keeping his oxygen levels up. The doctors in neonatal weren't concerned but after lunch they wanted to talk to Aimee and Michael.  They explained that they just couldn't keep Isaiah's oxygen levels up. They couldn't understand why and the best thing would be to have him out of the incubator and to spend some time with him.

 “I couldn't believe we were here again. The doctors were shocked too. Why was our third baby about to die? Life was so unfair. By the time we got Isaiah out of the incubator his oxygen levels were at 30, when they should have been at 80+. Storm was brought down to us so we could all be together. When Storm was laid next to Isaiah his oxygen levels shot up to 70 and stayed there for some time. After two hours we gave the nod to turn off his machines. Isaiah died in my arms and had lived for 11 hours.”

“The reason I went into labour this time? There isn't one. Nothing. No reason. Just one of those things. The reason why Storm and Isaiah didn't survive? There isn't one.  This we find so hard to deal with. They should both be with us now, causing us sleepless night. But there's only silence.

“The next day, we were again walking out of the hospital without our babies. With empty arms and two more pieces of our hearts missing. After losing Eli the pain was unbearable, but becoming pregnant with the twins gave us some hope and some happiness back. Now we were back in the unbearable pain. This time was slightly different as the pain wasn't a shock. It was a familiar pain that I knew we could and would have to cope with. Every day it hurts, but some days it hurts so much it takes my breath away.

“I've learnt how to bring myself comfort. I have a tattoo of all three of their footprints and names on my ankles, so they are always with me. We have laid pebbles at the Sands memorial garden in the National Memorial Arboretum. At Christmas we follow our tradition of letting off three rockets – one for Eli, one for Storm and one for Isaiah.”






 

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