So a week ago Emily and I took another small step forward in our life without Poppy here with us. We never move on, we just move forward with life. Poppy you will always be a part of our lives, a part of Reuben’s life, you will always be our first born, our baby girl.
We finally got the news that 15 months since we lost her, the hospital have finally admitted negligence. They finally admitted that if they had done things differently on that day then Poppy would still be with us. I still don’t really know how I feel about this. I feel a greater sadness knowing, officially now, that Poppy’s tragic death should and could have been avoided. I feel let down, angry that a service you should be able to trust and rely on has let us down.
Mostly this news just brings back to the surface my utter heart break that Poppy isn’t here. That pain is always there, that hole in my heart is always there but some days, some weeks it just rises higher than others. Any one thing can trigger it to boil up. I know it will always be like this, good days and bad days. You do somehow learn to deal with it all better. I still have days where I can’t cope with it and I’m not the best version of myself that I can be because of it.
Emily and I always knew that something had gone wrong that day. A series of events that lead to Poppy being born so poorly. So poorly she would only be with us for 3 days. 3 days that I treasure, relive but wish could have been more. A lifetime of memories snatched away from us. A little brother who will never get to meet his incredible big sister.
In some ways it vindicates that feeling that I wasn’t imagining that something had been wrong. That we weren’t looked after as we should be. Poppy was our first baby, we didn’t know what going into hospital was going to be like. We trusted that everything was running as smoothly as it should. We didn’t know they were thinking about closing the unit that day. We went in with all our hopes and dreams. We left there with fear and uncertainty, heading to another hospital to be with our baby girl in what turned out to be her own days with us.
After telling people what had happened to Poppy it slow became clear to us that we hadn’t been looked after correctly. Now we are not blaming one single person. What happened to Poppy can not be pointed at one person. A series of events, decisions and issues lead to Emily and I becoming the 1 in 10 parents that day.
The hospital was very busy that day, the ward was short staffed. Sounds a familiar NHS story. These factors added to Emily not being monitored as often as she should have been while in labour with Poppy. To the point that she was in distress and it had not been picked up early enough due to a lack of monitoring.
Getting the hospital to admit fault and give us an apology is a journey within the journey that is baby loss. It is road that can take a long long time. A road thats end is still too far in the distant to see. Sadly when this road ends it will lead back to the road we are on without Poppy with us. Trying every day to give her a legacy to be proud of, to include her in all we do.
Starting The Fight For Justice For Poppy
When Poppy died we were asked if we wanted her death referred to the coroner. We were told that this can take time, not just a few weeks or months but years. It was never a question we had to think about. We have to do this for Poppy, make sure that we get answers as to why you aren’t with us baby girl.
Despite the time it is going to take we wanted Poppy’s death referred. We had to know if there was something underlining with us that may have caused her death. Did we pass something on to her? We need to know for hopefully future children we hope to have. It took 4 months for the post-mortem to confirm that we hadn’t given Poppy any underlying medical issue. It confirmed that Poppy had died due to a lack of oxygen to her brain in labour. Resulting in a brain injury she would never recover from.
The coroner liaison officer given to us has been so caring and understanding. In a job that must be so hard, he showed us and Poppy so much compassion. He has been brilliant. When you are thrown what seems a million medical words after you just lost your daughter, and you just don’t know what your doing, he took us through it step by step. From post-mortems, to being told that Poppy’s death was going to an inquest, he was there to guide us through it.
We are still 2 months away from Poppy’s Inquest. We have had to have an Inquest Review. That was such a strange day. A day fell of emotion and stress. I’ll open admit I didn’t handle it well to start with. I was under a cloud of uncertainty, a cloud of pain. I didn’t know what to expect but the hospital trust would be there, the people who told us that nothing would have changed the tragic outcome of Poppy’s death.
It hurts that they said almost a year ago in a serious incident report that nothing would have changed Poppy’s death. Why couldn’t they just admit that they made mistakes. Why has it taken 15 odd months for them to actually admit it. To see the pain it has caused Emily, to see her blame herself when she has nothing to blame herself for. She is Poppy’s amazing Mummy, my incredible wife.
There is still a long way to go, we still have to go to the inquest. Spend 3 days going over in detail what happened to Poppy. It will open up all the wounds, it is going to be hard but we will do it for you Poppy. What has been nice in a strange way is how long this has taken to get to where it is. We’ve only had to deal with it in small steps. There was an lot to do right at the beginning, painful decisions to make. Things like; Are we ok with a sample being taken from Poppy’s brain, do we want her brain repatriated. All things you never think you’re ever going to have to deal with amd handle. But then as the weeks went on, while experts looked over things we had a chance to grief and move forward with our life. We’ve had time to recover from each part of this fight. Preparing for the next part. We will fight so this never has to happen again to another parent.
As well as wanting justice for Poppy, we want to help make sure this doesn’t happen to other parents. I would never wish this on anyone. The pain of losing a child is awful. It’s shit, no other word for it. It is so nice to see the Health Security Jeremy Hunt take steps to help parents get answers and to stop others from experiencing this tragedy.
All I know is that this is another step forward for Emily and me. A little closure on an aspect of Poppy’s death. Another step forward with our grief. It just makes me miss Poppy so much. I mean I do anyway, god ever day I miss her. Not a day goes by or will go by that I won’t miss her. Always in my thoughts, forever in my heart. Always.