I am always the mum whose baby died

One Step Closer...

One Step Closer…

Life is very busy at the moment, but not busy how I ever imagined it would be. I never imagined that I would be sat here preparing press statements, comments, being interviewed and scrutinising every document I receive in relation to the death of my little William.

I remember so well receiving William’s death certificate and putting it in the folder with his birth certificate. You don’t get a folder with the death certificate, it’s not free either, we had to pay for the privilege. When I opened the folder I thought, do I put it in front of his birth certificate, the OCD inside me needing it to be in date order, but the mother inside of me knew that it always had to be William’s birth certificate that had to be right at the front. William’s birth such a defining moment in my life. A moment that re-defined me as a person. No longer Melissa Mead, personal assistant, friend, sister, girlfriend, but mummy, a title that supersedes any of the former. A title I never thought I would have, a title I took seriously, a title that I did not treat lightly. A title that some are not blessed with, others blessed with children, but perhaps not deserving. Not me, I have the best title. I am William Mead’s mummy. I was born to be William’s mummy, I will always be William’s mummy, but I can no longer look after him like most mothers are able to. As I sat there for half an hour, reading William’s death certificate, I knew what the answer was, that it would be placed at the back, at the bottom, behind everything else that mattered. The world was a richer place when William was born and so much poorer when he died. Simple tasks insignificant to others, but tasks that consume me. Sad isn’t it, that I have to worry about such silly things, I should be worrying that William isn’t putting his fingers in plugs or staying up to late not how to file his death certificate.

The worry never stops. I worry about him now, is he ok? What is he doing? Is he sleeping ok? Is he lonely? Does he have little friends? I hope they’re not feeding him broccoli, he really doesn’t like it. William went to Heaven with no instructions. He wasn’t prepared, I wasn’t prepared, William was never supposed to go. It is not something any parent should ever have to knowingly prepare for, or have to endure. We are all used to death, and what it means. As we grow older, we begin to lose grandparents, eventually parents. It is not something that we invite, or wish to even happen, we hope that it doesn’t happen when we are young. We do hope that our parents, and older generations live a rich life, live their dreams and see younger generations being born. The natural order. The order we don’t like but expect and have come to accept. We have wonderful memories of our grandparents, tales of times gone by, always being able to get that extra packet of sweets because ‘we’re cute’. When we begin to lose loved ones as we age, what we are left with is memories. Memories of them, memories of their life, their achievements, memories we have created together, that we can look back on with happy tears. What I’m left with is imagination. For those who have lost a child in pregnancy, a baby born sleeping, or a child lost like William, we have some memories, but mostly what we are left with are imaginations. Would William enjoy school, what would be his favourite subject, would he prefer to read a book or play sports. Would he want to become a lawyer, a train driver or a professional footballer. I will never know. I will never know whether he would marry, whether he would marry a man or a woman, I will never know what his children would look like, what my grandchildren would be called. I will never get to experience that love, that pride of watching my little boy grow into a perfect young man, watch him create his own life, and have his own family.

Like you, when you share on social media precious moments you have with your children, when they master how to walk, when they swim 25 metres, when they are in their first nativity, when they ask silly little questions that only little children can ask, I need to share William too, but how can I share William? I cannot post that William started school today, I cannot share that William won his first spelling competition. I cannot share William like you are able to share your children. Regardless, I have to share William with the world, to teach you all about the little boy who lived. William did live, he lived for 382 days, and William’s 382 days have made more of an impact on this world than my 29 years ever will. The world needs William, just like I do. When I share William, I share with you little stories, but mostly I share with you William’s legacy. Sharing William’s story enables me to raise awareness of what happened to him, make sure the mistakes in his care do not happen again, and to make sure that anyone I come into contact with, whether that be physically, or online, knows what Sepsis is. That is William’s legacy, to save the lives of other children, and in doing so, for every person I engage with, I get to show them William’s little face. And that is how, a mother who has lost her child is able to feel pride.




10 thoughts on “I am always the mum whose baby died

  1. You write so movingly and full of love. I always cry when I read what you have written, for you and the other grieving mothers and fathers. He is a beautiful little boy. I send a circle of love to protect you and your loved ones xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your writing is beautiful but I can always feel the depth of your pain. William is so beautiful. I think of him every day. I lit a candle for him in a church in Istanbul on New Years. I am sure he is being looked after as you would wish, with no broccoli 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We lost our daughter just a little over 3 months ago. She was born post term @ 42wks and only lived for 10minutes, apparently she died from complications resulting from meconium aspiration. I blame myself every day why I didn’t question our delivering team more and why didn’t they push for a speedier delivery when it was evident she had passed maconium in the womb. I am so sorry to read about William and so angry on your behalf. He should be here, this was preventable. I will be thinking of you both.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am so sorry to hear about your beautiful daughter. I think regardless of however much others are to blame or are to fault, as parents we always lay the blame in our own laps. We assume responsibility for their lives. Even though we know that it isn’t our fault, it is ingrained in our make up to protect. Sending you strength xx


  4. They don’t make tissues big enough to dry my tears after reading this. It is so so sad. Oh God, how can you write such moving words.


  5. Came across your story after my 530 am feed with my 6 month old baby girl… I couldn’t even imagine. You are so strong. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I hugged my little Amelia a little extra this morning. I hope you find peace. God bless.


  6. Thank goodness you are raising awareness of Sepsis. My little boy got it at 10 weeks old, he did have a rash and I took him to A and E, he had a lumber puncture and was admitted for 10 days on IV antibiotics and I thought they were being cautious for meningitis until I saw his discharge form which confirmed septicaemia but it’s only from listening to you that I realise just what a close call we had. The fact that we have been this close the condition and still in the dark about its true implications makes me realise how little it is publicised and that more new parents need to be better informed – me included. My sons rash showed up as he has very pale skin but it did Blanche so I remember being relieved that I did not think it was that serious, it was more his high pitched crying and fever that caused me to take him to hospital which I thought at the time I was being a fussy mother and would be laughed at, it seems like we had a close call. The frightening part is that I had no idea how much danger he was in and I can’t see how any other mother would know any different either.


  7. Dear mommy, I’ll start by apologizing about my poor English. I have met your precious baby boy William on the pages of the Daily Mail online. I wish I haven’t. From the moment I saw his fluffy cheeks and his eyes (they look so warm just like a deer’s eyes) I just felt in love with him. And I probably will for a long time from now on, if not for the rest of my life.
    I am 32 and a mother myself of the most adorable little thing I have ever seen, my precious baby boy Gabriel who is 1 year old and 1 week. He is my everything to me and this says it all.
    Four years ago I lost a baby while still in my tummy. I was heartbroken. It was our long waited and wished baby and we could not be happier when we found out I was pregnant. To me it seemed the end of the world. Whatever whoever was trying to comfort me, I knew nobody could ever feel my pain. To me it did not matter I have never seen the baby, it actually made it worse (blaming myself that I should have taken the little body and cuddle him/her instead of leaving him/her at the hospital), it did not matter it was only a few weeks old, nothing mattered. From the moment I saw that little dot on the screen and heard a heartbeat I knew I am a mother and I have a baby. The coming days and years were hell to me. I hated people on the streets for being able to laugh and have, in my opinion, the life that was taken from me. I hated mothers with babies for being able to live what I was denied.
    Three years later I had my precious Gabriel. He gave me my life back, I can now say that I am alive (in the past I guess I was just trying to survive because I had to).
    The pain did get easier as I was told and, the most important thing, I started to see the good aspects of all I had to go through, not only the negative side. I also used to focus on things and details that were hurting me, my husband told me I liked to torture myself. Now I decided to think about it like that: I will never forget my first baby (named by my husband Space Monkey 🙂 at the first ultrasound) and the fact I do not cry all the time does not mean I stopped loving or thinking about my precious baby. No. And it does not make me a bad mother. Now I decided to focus on the fact that life is unpredictable, there must be something that controls the Universe and this time around things had to happen this way. the most important thing was that I realise that not everything must happen here, on earth. I am sure there is something more than our material existence and all this life course we all have to follow because the society teaches us to do so. Believing in that, whoever asks me if I have babies, I proudly say: I am the mother of two: one in the Heaven and one on earth.
    If i could i would give you your little William back, but i can not.
    But I do hope all the best to you and your husband and I truly wish one day you could see yourself not as the mother whose baby died, but the mother whose baby lives somewhere else, who did an amazing thing and gave all her love to her little boy, filled his 382 days with happiness and joy and deep inside you, you know that you still have a baby, present forever in your heart.
    Give you a huge, long and strong hug!


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