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Time To Share Tommy's Story - Danielle Low

So I'm a mum to four boys: Tommy, 14, Alfy, 14, Ellison, 7 and twins again Ralph & Jasper, 2 years old.

 

Tommy is my Angel (Alfy's twin) 

 

So in 2006, I took a pregnancy test for it to instantly show up positive. I was over the moon, we were over the moon and our families were made up for us.

 

Then off we went to our first scan, the lady was scanning away and asked us “Do twins run in the family?” I said laughing, yes my partner is a twin. She replies with “Well congratulations mummy & daddy you're carrying TWINS!”...

 

I laid there and just laughed, then cried with happiness. George (my husband) had the biggest smile on his face, he looked so proud, his eyes were lit up; we were both like kids on Christmas Eve.

We left the hospital, our hands full of double pictures, and sat in the car completely in awe of each other.

Then the phone calls started, “All went well with the scan… Mums, Dads, Nans, Grandads, Auntys, Uncles, THERES 2 !!!”

 

Every one was made up.

 

We went shopping the next day and we brought 2 teddies and 2 blankets, then I was planning and thinking about the Babies’ room. There was only one cot I wanted and I had my eye on a lovely double pram, it was so much fun.

 

Everything was going to plan, all the scans were ok, King's College trip all was ok and then came the day we will never forget… 

 

I was getting all excited sitting in the waiting room, for our 25 week scan to see how our boys were getting on. I had George and my nan with me who were both so super excited too. 

 

We go into our appointment and I’m laying there and I can see a baby and a heart beating. Then the sonographer, Dan was his name, took my hand and said “Danielle I'm so so sorry, Twin 2 has no heartbeat” I replied laughing "he always mucks about try again.”

 

“Danielle I have, I'm so sorry one of the twins has died.”

 

My nan was absolutely heartbroken, my George looked broken and I just felt physically sick 

and numb.

It didn't make sense, I only saw them last week at a scan. 

I was taken into a side room with a lovely lady called Sarah, she sat me down and told me it was very likely that I would go into early labour to have (Alfy) because my body will reject the baby that has died (Tommy). I had Steroid injections and was checked on twice a week. I was told Tommy would attach to my Placenta and there would be no baby to see or he would not resemble a baby. 

 

Luckily I got to 34 weeks has a emergency C-Section    

A healthy baby boy, Alfy and a sleeping Tommy who looked everything like a baby, a memory I will never forget. We stared at him for 2 hours; me, George and my mum then he was taken away. George and my mum were sent home and I was stuck on the ward alone, no one with me, no family. It was just me and Alfy. It was awful spending a night on my own, I was in tears. I've never felt loneliness like it.

 

The hours stood still and no midwife asked if I was ok or how I was feeling, nothing.

I was in for 2 days, they were the worst days ever. 

I left the hospital on Sunday 21st January 2007.

 

I came home and was planning Tommy's funeral. It was all sorted, I had had a long time whilst pregnant with the boys so I knew what I wanted. I called the Hospital every single week, it was soul destroying, I just wanted to lay him to rest and be able to put all my time and love into Alfy.

 

So finally on the 1st September I had a meeting at the Hospital to find out why Tommy died. I was told sadly I had a blood clot in my placenta which stopped it working and that's how we lost him. In the meeting I told them I had been calling since January, I wanted Tommy home. I want to say goodbye, and my family needs closure. She looked at me like I was talking in a different language. She replied “what? u still haven't had him back?” Umm No! So the following week I got a call saying we can collect him. 

On the 19th September we went to Southend hospital, where we were told to go. We walked in and a lady gave me an envelope. I look puzzled but think “ok they have cremated him” so I got in the lift with George and opened the envelope.

 

To my shock I had been given 6 tissue blocks, I was sick everywhere. George didn't know what to say. We came home and I called the hospital all I was told was they will find out and I will get a call back.

I didn't. Instead I got a letter 19 days later to say that Tommy had been thrown away in clinical waste on 23rd April 2007 ( my brother's birthday ).

 

I could not believe what I was reading. My heart was already broken but it was mending because I had Alfy and I had something some people walk away with nothing.

 

But this just shattered me. It felt I'd had my heart ripped out my chest, my hands shook, I felt emotions and pain I've never felt ever in my life. 

 

He was gone forever and I have nothing apart from pieces of body parts. Why has this happened?

Everything changed. I had nightmares, anxiety, I wouldn't go out. I was at a point of no return. I didn't want to be here anymore. I was offered no support in my life and my relationship and any friends' relationship I had was over. I was existing because I had to but I was broken.

 

I then got a grip. With the support of my Hubby to be and my best friend I made a complaint. It went on for 5 years but we got there in the end. I was terribly depressed and was diagnosed with PTSD, the nightmares were horrific.

I'll never get my baby boy back that I left at the Hospital. He was perfect to me and his dad, a small sleeping angel.

 

I won my case for negligence but they never offered me Counselling. I funded my own for 15 months. Thank god I have an amazing Hubby, supportive friends and families on both sides although we did lose quite a few close friends.

 

14 years down the line I've learned to live with it, the pain never goes. As I write this my heart hurts, my breathing is hard, I feel like it was yesterday. 

 

Tommy will be a part of us forever and always. I lost a piece of me in 2006 that will never be replaced.

I am very lucky that I have some amazing Friends that always acknowledge Tommy whether it's big or small. 

 

The effects this has had on our life has been massive and still now the pain can easily be slipped back into.

 

Then, never in my life did I think I would have any more children and i found myself again with a positive blue stick 

In 2018 we went to our first scan and I knew the minute she scanned my belly. I saw them. Yes, twins again so I had to tell her to stop. 

 

I got off the bed and had to walk outside, my heart felt like it was going to explode. I was being sick and shaking it felt like I was in a movie, everything that happened before flashing up in my head.

 

How can this happen again? What about poor Alfy? 

 

My hubby (20 years together) is my rock. I love him more and more, he’s my absolute world. He said “Danielle sort yourself out, here’s some water. Calm down, let’s go in to see these babies.”  

 

So I did. I was 13 weeks with two very active monkeys. I knew they were boys and I was right. 

 

Fast forward 37 weeks, I had my C section and came home the next day to my boys. My pregnancy was fantastic, Ralph was born 6lb and Jasper was 5lb; absolutely perfect.

They’re 2 years old now and they fit in perfectly to my crazy family of boys.

 

 I have good and bad days still, my anxiety it’s awful and I still get night terrors x