Caitlin shares with us precious Dantè Angel Kilduff Sherriff.
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My son my last my only - when I found out I was pregnant it was a miracle as I was never supposed to be able to get pregnant ever. I was so excited I was going to be a mum. soon after I became homeless and was sleeping in my car for a little; I soon found a room to rent and was starting to get everything I would need for a baby when I went for a ultrasound at 13 weeks. I cried my eyes out, I was amazed that that was my baby so perfect. I found out I was having a boy then as well as there was no way at missing it - even the doctor was 99% sure. I was so happy as on top of all the doctors saying I would never have children, I lost my partner 3 years ago and even though I was struggling with everything I wanted to make sure I had everything for my son. When I felt him kick for the first time it was amazing and every little thing would put a smile on my face.
When I was 20 weeks I went in for a ultrasound. I was so excited to get to see him. The doctor started checking everything and explained everything she was doing. At the end she asked someone else to come look at something - afterwards she told me that my midwife would tell me if there was anything wrong. I was a little worried but my next appointment was only a week away - the day before I got a phone call asking if I could go in for another ultrasound and they could do it the same day as my midwife appointment. The next day I went in to the hospital when they started checking everything, but when they got to his heart I knew something was wrong by the looks on their faces - my heart sank. They took me to a room and asked if I wanted someone with me - I said no as I had no one. They then told me my son had 2 life threatening heart defects. When I left I sat in the car for 30 minutes crying.
I had to go back in the next day to see a heart surgeon: they did more ultrasounds and I lay there for a hour while 4 different doctors looked at his heart – and they then told me my son had hypoplastic left heart syndrome and interrupted aortic arch. They asked me if I wanted to continue my pregnancy and if so explained that he would have to have heart surgery within the first week of being born and stay in hospital until he was 3 months and then have 4 more surgeries after that. I knew that no matter what I wanted to hold my son, I wanted to feel what lots of other mums get to feel, so they transferred me to a hospital that had specialists so he could have as much chance as they could give him to live. Soon after I became homeless again as the people I was living with where having problems.
On the 23 November 2014 I woke up and noticed I was bleeding. I went in to the hospital and they found that my main waters had broken and they would like me to stay in hospital until my body went in to labour by itself – they told me that while he was still inside me he would be fine. That afternoon I didn't feel right, so they did an ultrasound to check on him: as they were doing that his heart started slowing down. I could see the screen and I watched my son’s heart stop beating. Everything inside me went numb - all that was going through my head was that I had to get as much as I could so I can remember him – things like feet and hand prints and photos. They soon started my labour. I had already called his father and asked if he would come but he hung up on me - I tried for a hour to call him but he wouldn't pick up
For 6 hours I screamed for him and cried at 6:55 am on the 24 November 2014 at 2 5 weeks 4 days gestation my son Dantè Angel Kilduff Sherriff was born. I got to spent 12 hours with him and they were the most amazing hours of my life. When I left I didn't have anywhere to go so I slept in the car out the front of his father’s house. I then had to organise everything by myself while I was still homeless. His funeral was so beautiful. I never cried until after everything was done. It was the day I picked his ashes up - that’s when it all hit me.
Looking back i wouldn't change a thing as I'm never going to have another child. I got to hold my child, something I was told I would never get to do. My name is Caitlin, I'm 25 and my son was born was here and was loved every moment of his life and I will love him every second of mine. I love and miss you Dantè Angel Kilduff Sheriff.
Thank you for letting me share my son’s story so he can live on in the memories of others. My angel forever I love you.