Wednesday, 13 January 2016

It Seems Like Yesterday by Kristina

In loving memory of precious Neve and Charlie.  Forever loved.

It seems like yesterday but it’s 9 and 8 years.
I never thought I would know how it feels to get out of bed and try to put one foot in front of the other and to put on that smile.
I was a nurse: I had seen people die and I had helped people survive. I had cared for premature babies born at 24 weeks who went home.
I had held a mother’s hand as I told her she would not take her baby home. Watched her whole world be shattered.
I cried tears with her and with my own mother when I finished my shift.
Never did I think I would be that mother.
Sadly I am, and not once but twice.
No one tells you about the 1in4.
I was blind.
My first pregnancy was planned. We were so excited. Everything was perfect.
Well almost: my mum was battling ovarian cancer so this baby was her reason to battle.
We had our 20 week scan and we saw our baby kicking and moving. Little did we know 3 weeks later we would meet him.
I was visiting mum in hospital when I felt just exhausted. I thought it was because I was working full time as a nurse and visiting mum every day.
I called in sick to work and went home and slept. I woke with bad cramping in my back.
I didn't think anything of it. But as the day went on it became worse. All of a sudden I realised this was labour.
As I made my way to the hospital I knew it would be ok we live in a world of miracles.
I was told I was 6 cm dilated and that he had a head full of hair.
I was also told at 23+5 weeks they would not save him.
I kept saying but I work here you need to help him. The look on my doctor’s face told me they wouldn't.
That night after a 6 hr labour I gave birth to our very handsome first son Charlie.
He was so long just like his daddy.
He did have lots of hair.
We had him for 2 minutes. Those 2 minutes were the most beautiful 2 minutes.
We held him and gave him enough love for his life time and ours.
I remembered singing twinkle twinkle to him.
He was just beautiful.
That night I lost my son my mother decided to give up her fight for life. 12 days later she went and met him in heaven.
I will always remember her words. "If they can take a baby there is no point to fighting anymore."
That night I slept in 5 minute intervals. Each time waking and crying for my baby.
The next day I was told I had to plan a funeral!
Funeral? What did they mean? How could I possibly bury a baby so tiny?
I went on auto pilot. Choosing a coffin, songs, words.
How can you choose a song when he didn't get to live.
We did - we chose “Over the Rainbow” and “Tears in Heaven”.
We had a beautiful ceremony, not a funeral. We cremated him and took him home.
The next few weeks are a blur as mum's funeral was next.
I still had my bump. I remember the looks and the pity stares. My breasts had just stopped leaking -
another thing I didn't know would happen.
We were thrilled and nervous to find we were expecting our first daughter two months later.
We were closely monitored with Neve. We went private with her. Our obstetrician was amazing.
She too was a great pregnancy. We made it to 23 weeks and I cried every day that week. As I knew what could have been.
At 32 weeks I had a small bleed and cramping. We were sent to a bigger hospital to be monitored. I sat there for 2 weeks on bed rest an hour away from family and friends.
I kept a diary I spoke to her and I patted her.
We were sent home at 34 weeks.
She refused to budge. She was way too comfy.
I went in on the 7th August at 41 weeks.
She was kicking me and it hurt.
Little did I know  that would be the last movement I would feel.
My waters were broken and from that moment the contractions were so painful. I kept saying to my husband something is wrong please help me.
The midwives said it’s because your waters were broken.
I knew it wasn't.
Finally they told me to lie down and they will put a CTG on me.
My whole world came crashing down.
They couldn't find it. They tried different probes.
I knew when the unit manager came to try it was happening again.
They took me down for an ultrasound. No pain relief.
There she was. Perfect and still. The words
"I'm  sorry, there is no heartbeat."
What do you do?  Scream.
The pain of contractions was nothing compared to my heart shattering.
6hrs later I gave birth to the most beautiful curly haired little girl. NEVE
She was perfect. Beautiful pouting lips and big chubby checks.
They placed her on my chest. I was so in love with her.
We kept her in our arms for 24hrs. Once again singing to her. Kissing her.
She had wrapped herself in the cord and pulled it tight. She stopped her flow of oxygen.
Once again we went home empty armed.
We planned her funeral and once again chose songs.
With Charlie we decided to let him run free.
We took him to our favourite beach.
We wanted him to see the world.
He is in every ocean we see.
We never thought it would happen again.
With Neve she is here with us in our bedroom.
We celebrate their birthdays. We sleep with their blankets.
I still cry for them. I still miss them. I still wonder what ifs.
There were days I couldn't get out of bed. Let alone shower.
Then there were days I would put on that happy face.
I'm not the person I used to be. Fun, silly, carefree and most of all always happy.
Now I worry, stress more, pretend.
This is not a easy journey  but I walk this journey because my babies were real they mattered. They are loved.
They have taught me to love hard and to make it count.
My babies are the reason I chose to try again. I have my two miracle rainbow children who along with Neve and Charlie are helping me on this journey.
As I know what it’s like to say goodbye.
I know what it’s like to be broken.
I know the true meaning of the word mother.
I know others know too.

If you require support after reading this blog please contact
Sands on 13 000 72637

Kristina Riley

Kristina is a children's nurse and a counsellor.
She has four beautiful children.
Charlie and Neve are her two angels who are the  inspiration for raising more awareness about stillbirths and pregnancy loss.
Her two miracles Maya and Zack are the reason she keeps moving forward on this journey of grief.
Her husband Curt is also her inspiration to raise awareness for fathers and their grief.

There needs to be more awareness for us all.


  1. No mother should have to bury a child and my heart aches for what you have been through. Our son was born at 19wks during a text book perfect pregnancy. Cause unknown. I went into labour without realising and he was delivered by his daddy, sleeping but oh so perfect.
    Thank you for sharing your story and continuing to raise awareness for stillbirth and baby loss <3

  2. Thank you x I'm sorry for your loss x

  3. Thank you x I'm sorry for your loss x