Grant: 3 weeks
When I found out I was pregnant for the first time, I was truly excited and could not wait to become a mum. At my 12 week scan, I was told that I was actually 14 ½ weeks pregnant so my due date was earlier than I had expected which was fabulous news. My pregnancy was straightforward and each day was a day closer to meeting my baby. David and I found out that we were expecting a boy – I didn’t want to know but David did and we could not make a final decision on what to do. The hospital gave me the results in an envelope and told me that it was up to me whether or not to open the envelope. Having this information in my hand changed everything – I ripped the envelope open as soon as I could and was delighted with the result. I am so glad of this now as I feel I had more time spent with my baby boy, rather than just the 26 days he was with me in the world.
Grant was born 11 days late on the 22nd May 2007. He was a perfect little baby and was thriving in every way. We were inundated with visitors when we got home from hospital and everything appeared normal in the life of a family with a newborn.
Our world was turned upside down 26 days later on Sunday 17th June when tragedy struck. I woke up in the morning to find Grant blue next to me. I screamed and David woke up and tried to waken Grant. We both knew it was too late but were completely numb with shock. I had been up with Grant during the night and he was a bit grizzly but he was settled. I think looking back that he was saying goodbye to me and I will always be grateful for that last grizzly cuddle I had with him.
David phoned the paramedics and we both phoned our parents. The ambulance was here within minutes and they were fantastic but obviously there was nothing that they could do. Then the horrifying ordeal started – lots of police arrived and there was many questions. I couldn’t think about anything apart from my baby. I wanted all the police to go away and wanted to be left alone with my baby. This obviously didn’t happen and I was left outside in the ambulance for what seemed like an eternity until the police gave permission to leave. It was awful and what made it worse was the fact that the police would not let David come to the hospital with me – he had to stay and answer questions. Looking back at the ordeal we faced, it was apparent that we were being treated as suspects in Grant’s death.
After giving Grant a final cuddle before leaving him at the mortuary, I returned home only to be told that I had to leave the house again as there were police officers needing to run investigations and I shouldn’t be around to witness it as they would be removing some of our property etc. Once again David was not allowed to come with me.
Eventually David came to my parents but we were then faced with more interrogation when the Family Liaison Officer visited to question us on the events leading up to this awful morning. She told us that some of Grant’s things had been taken by the police but they would be returned to us at some point. At this time we were not really told to expect long timescales so I had to keep chasing to find out what was happening and try to get Grant’s stuff back. After a long period of time, I finally phoned the Procurator Fiscal directly only to be told that he had instructed the police to return my things a while back. I was distraught but that afternoon police arrived at my door without any warning to deliver everything back. To add insult to injury, they returned baby bottles with mouldy milk in them!
About 4 1/2 months later we finally got a letter from the Procurator Fiscal asking us to attend a meeting to discuss the outcome of the investigations. That was a very hard meeting and I was shaking throughout. At last – we had clearance and were told that we were ‘no longer under investigation’ and the ‘case was closed’. No cause of death could be determined so Grant’s death remains a SIDS case. Relief swept over me but at the same time intense anger. I could not come to terms with the fact that my healthy baby had slipped away for no reason at all.
During the traumatic events and for a long time afterwards, I got a vast amount of support from my doctor and health visitor. They were particularly supportive when I found out I was expecting another baby.
SCDT have been great from the beginning. At the time of my loss, a Bereavement Support Worker visited and then I was put in contact with a Befriender. Talking to her helped me enormously as she had been through the same awful experience and could relate with all my anxieties, anger and emotions. I have met lots of other bereaved parents through the Trust and we all share a special bond. Our angels are altogether now and we support each other always.
Since our loss, David and I have worked closely with the trust and have done quite a bit of fundraising. We have met some fantastic people and I now befriend others who sadly find themselves in this awful situation.
We have 2 children now, Isla and Ewan but their big brother Grant is still very much part of everyone’s lives.
I miss Grant every day and my grief is still as strong. Time helps but the numbness, anger and fear is still there and everyday remains a challenge. There are still many milestones to reach and overcome. Grant would be 5 this year and therefore should be starting school in August. I know others have had to deal with this and there is a support network with the Trust. I am friendly with some other mums whose little boys should also be starting school this year – we will all be there for each other at this difficult time.
June 17th 2007 was also Father’s Day and instead of celebrating with our son, we had the worst day of our lives. This year marks the fifth anniversary of losing Grant and it is even more significant this year as Sunday 17th June is once again Father’s Day.
Missing you more than words can say Grant. I think about you every minute of every day xxxx