It was September 2013, just 4 months after our wedding and I couldn’t believe my eyes when those two pink lines appeared on my pregnancy test! I excitedly waited for Andy to come home from work to tell him the most amazing news. We were having a baby! This was the moment I became a mother.
Excitement grew as the months passed for our new addition who was due to arrive in May 2014. I had such a carefree pregnancy, everything was just amazing including the fact we didn’t find out the sex of our baby. We both loved the idea of having a surprise even though so many people thought it was strange we didn’t want to find out. We would both always say as long as our baby is healthy it doesn’t matter whether it’s a boy or girl!
Fast forward to May & I remember the weather was beautiful. I had been in slow labour for a good few days by this point and was exhausted but I was just so excited to meet our baby! Labour was in full swing by the Friday morning and at 22:38, I gave birth to our beautiful baby boy. Lucas John Bradley, born Friday 16th May 2014, weighing 7lb 5oz. Life was perfect.
The next day we were discharged from the hospital and headed home with our brand-new addition. The whole family visited that weekend and everyone was over the moon & besotted by our beautiful baby Lucas. The days passed in a bit of a blur but we were in such a beautiful hazy new-born bubble. Little did we know that was about to pop in such a tragic way.
Lucas seemed a healthy new-born and aside from gaining a lot of weight (8oz in 2 days) and having a spot of jaundice, but we were told there was nothing to worry about by the midwives. Day 12 came along and we had the day planned. We saw the Midwife in the morning who was slightly concerned about Lucas’ jaundice but agreed to wait a few more days and re check it again. We also headed back to hospital where Lucas had his hearing test, he passed it with flying colours. From here is where things spiralled out of control.
We had driven to Mothercare from the hospital to buy a few more things and as we put Lucas back into the car he wouldn’t stop crying. He hadn’t seemed to like his car seat so we decided to start driving as that’s when he would usually fall asleep. We drove a few minutes and then stopped again as he seemed so upset. The only way I can describe the sound of his cry was like a distressed animal. I tried to feed him but we knew something wasn’t quite right so we called to make an emergency doctor’s appointment which we headed straight to.
As we arrived, Lucas needed oxygen straight away and he had a very low temperature of 34 degrees, so the doctor called for an ambulance. Call it mothers’ instinct, but I just knew that there was something very, very wrong. Minutes later paramedics arrived and whisked us into the ambulance to be blue lighted to hospital. Lucas was brought straight into resuscitation as we arrived and after an amazing team of Doctors, nurses and consultants did everything in their power to save our son, Lucas took his last breath at 4:35pm on Wednesday 28th May 2014.
Our lives were truly shattered, we had no idea how we could carry on living without our son. We had gone from having what seemed like a healthy new-born baby boy one minute, to him being gone the next. Our trip to the doctors to Lucas dying had all happened in less than 2 hours. The most sudden and traumatic experience of our lives.
Those first days and weeks without Lucas passed by in such a blur, but we were so lucky to have so much family and friends surrounding us and keeping us going. I plucked up the courage to join the Sands forum online and the baby loss mums on there were so amazing! Many of them are my lifelong friends now, which is incredible.
When Lucas died I wasn’t as aware as the baby loss community which we find now through Instagram, but over the years I have created so many friendships through those little squares and I feel privileged to know so many other baby loss mothers and call them my friends. I truly believe without a good support network, we would have stumbled and lost our way.
We said to each other after Lucas had died that we couldn’t let this break us. We soon realised we wanted Lucas to have a positive impact on this world. We didn’t want his death to define our lives and make them negative, or for people to see Lucas as a bad thing that had happened to us. I think all any parent who has lost a baby wants, is for their child’s name to be spoken and for their child to be known. This was my promise to my son. I want him to be known, remembered & loved forever. I know he already is by so many and to me that is just incredible and means the absolute world. So, to each and every one of you who follows our life after baby loss whilst remembering Lucas with us, thank you so much.
We have since gone on to be so lucky and blessed with two beautiful rainbow baby girls, Emmy & Esme. We continually fundraise for Great Ormond Street Hospital’s heart and lung centres for children in memory of Lucas, as he died from a heart condition called pulmonary hypertension of the new-born. I also now have my own small business which has all been inspired by Lucas too. Great things have come because of our son and we know his legacy will last a lifetime!
Twelve days with our baby boy could never have been enough, but we know just how lucky we were to have that time to create so many special memories with him. Those memories will last us a lifetime.
Thank you for reading,