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IsaacPaul.net

Isaac's Age: 13 Yrs and 10 Mths.

Here through extracts taken from Cathy's journal is Isaac's Life Story:

Isaac Paul Harber was born on 6th December 2005, at 11:34 am.He weighed a healthy 4lbs 14oz.He is registered as stillborn.

13th June 2006

Dear Isaac,

I have decided to keep a diary in the form of letters to my beautiful baby boy who was taken from me so cruelly last year. On your stone it says you are forever in our hearts adn always in our thoughts. My lovely boy - are you watching me, seeing how much it hurts that you are not here with us? Maybe I should start by telling your story - Daddy and I started trying for a baby in March 2005. We so much wanted to have another child, and to give Jacob a brother or sister.

On May 23rd 2005, we found out I was pregant. I had been to see Mr Gillot, a rheumatologist I believe, as I suffer from arthritic-type pains in my wrists and joints. He'd given me a steriod injection - I almost said something about possibly being pregnant, but didn't because I'd thought I was pregnant the month before, only for it to be a false alarm. Anyway, the injection really, really hurt and all day I started to fret about whether I was pregnant. So that evening, about 6om whilst Daddy as doing the washing-up and Jacob was watching TV, I went up to the bathroom and did a test - it showed positive straight away!

I remember sitting at the top of the stairs for a moment before going down to tell Daddy. We were so pleased, but also a little worried as Daddy's job wasn't permanent - we knew that he'd have to look really hard for another job. We were going to keep it quiet for a few weeks - I remember the next day driving to Lincoln (Wragby) for an appointment, feeling all pleased with myself. Clive and I - I just realised that I called Daddy, Clive - your brother does that sometimes when he's being naughty! Anyway we went to the doctors that week - he checked whether ther was going to be an risk to you because of the injection, but all he could find was that there was a slightly higher risk of cleft palate. Daddy and I determined not to worry about it too much, but to wait for the scans. There was no question of an abortion - we would have coped whatever.

Later that week ... Daddy gave me permission to tell my colleague Lucie about you. She was sad about her Grandad dying, but talking about you made her feel better. It's funny because I told your Grandma adn Grandad about Jacob on the day of Uncle Bob's funeral. It all seemed so natural, and part of the going cycle of life.

That weekend was my cousins Beverley's wedding. Daddy and I had decided to tell my parents after the weeding, so as not to take the shine off her day. Daddy enjoyed teasing me by eating brie, which I love but couldn't have. Late that evening we told my parents and they were so excited. Grandma was especially pleased that you would be due in January when it's also her birthday.

A couple of days later, Whitsun bank holiday, we set off with Jacob for a fortnights holiday in Holland. We had a lovely time - although morning sickness kicked in - you were definitely making your presence felt! One day we took a trip to De Efteling Theme Park - you would have loved it. We vowed to go back with you and it was there that I bought you something - a little ball from the shop. That was the day we told Jacob about you - he was thrilled to bits! I will never forget the grin on his face - although he was adamant he wanted a little brother, definitely not a sister.

Throughout the holiday we thought about names. We already knew that if you were a boy you were Isaac Paul (after you uncle Paul). A girls name was much harder, and although we did settle on the and Amber (which Jacob didn't like because he said it was too traffic lighty!) we never really stuck with it. In later months I did become more certain that you were a boy and I was so pleased - I'd had dreams of having a little boy call Isaac for years. I'd envisage you playing with your big brother and toddling about after him ...

... I remember your first scan - you were wriggling around. Daddy could see you and he said that you didn't like being pressed on. I was enchanted by you - it was like you were real for the first time. Eventhough I'd felt so ill with the morning sickness, because I didn't look pregnant I could quite believe that I was.

I worked so hard last year. Your dating scan showed you were due on January 18th (2006), so we worked out that I oculd finish on December 9th (2005) and have annual leave before starting Maternity leave in January. I thought if I did that then I'd have more time with you when you were born. So all I kept thinking about was 9th December - we could have a week before Jacob finished school so I could relax adn really focus on you.

Sometimes I got afraid that we wouldn't make it, and then I'd tell myself not to be so silly - I should have listened to myself.

At your 20 week scan we aske dthem to tell us whether you were a girl or a boy. Well - you awkward little monkey! You would not get in the right position would you? Poor Mummy was in all sorts of positions but you weren't having any of it and you wouldn't show us.

Little did we know then that the next time that I saw you, you would be dead. Just writing that brings it all back - the fear and the anguish and the sorrow and the guilt. But this is your story Isaac, and I wnat to tell you about the good bits too.

We'd bought you a beautiful pram. A Jané Powertrack 360°. It had real wow factor. I was chuffed to bits with it and couldn't wait to be pushing it about, with you in it. Poor Jacob though - we bought the pram and couldn't afford to put him into childcare over the summer. Luckily Daddy worked at home but it meant that Jacob had to amuse himself at lot of the time.

In November they finally agreed I could have a caesaren because of all the problems and difficulties I'd experienced with Jacob. They told us you would be born on January 12th 2006. I was so excited. We arranged for Grandma and Grandad to come and stay to look after Jacob. Daddy finally got the office sorted so that there was a room for your things. We were going to paint it on December 10th and rearrange the furniture in out room so you could fit in the first few months. I got thrilled going through your things and enjoyed planning buying you more stuff when I'd finished work.

I'd got you a beautiful baby blue (see - I must have known you were a boy!) rocking seat. I think that was my favourite thing we bought you. And your blue blanky that you have you now - are you warm enough sweetie? And now the moment has come when I have to tell you what happened.

On December 3rd we went to IKEA in Leeds to get you furniture for your room. I felt so big and heavy and tired. The next day we stood in line for 2 hours for Jacob to see Santa - he kept hugging my tummy to tell you about Santa. Oh - I forgot to tell you about when I first felt you kick. It was on Jacob's bed! I could feel you but they couldn't, it was just us. Later on though you could play with Daddy and kick at me when he patted you. We really liked that.

So why why why can't I remember if I felt you kick that weekend? I could feel you moving - but I could feel you moving even after they told me you'd died, apparently its the fluid.

On December 5th I was working in the morning, coming home for lunch, going to the midwife for my Rhesus injection - the anti-D and then working from home. I had my meeting - and I swear I felt you move then but I can't have can I?

Then I came home and Daddy and I had lunch before I drove us up to Winterton because Daddy had hurt his neck. When we went to the appointment Rose was there with a student midwife. I had everything checked, had the injection - horrible! Rose said that the next time she saw me we would talk about my birth plan. Then I got up on the bench and Rose pressed the trumpet to my belly and said she could hear your heart. She then passed the monitor to the student (I forget her name). She couldn't find a heartbeat. I started to get scarred and looked across to Daddy. I oculd see he looked worried too. Rose couldn't find the heartbeat either, so she rang the hospital for us to go down there. Although she stayed calm, at no point did she tell me it would be alright. I remember that - she couldn't could she?

All the way down to the hospital I clutched my belly, praying you were ok. I was shaking and crying so much when we got to the hospital. I felt sick. Just a few days before we'd been so happy there when they told us when you'd be born.

When they took us in for the scan, I lay back and looked at the ceiling and Clive's face (sorry - Daddy's face). But I knew. I knew because if it had been a false alarm she would have said straight away and she didn't, she was silent. But I kept hoping and praying. But then she turned off the machine and said the words no woman ever wants to hear - 'I'm very sorry, but I can't find a heartbeat'. I screamed and turned to Clive - he had tears in his eyes and we just sobbed, clinging onto each other. We stayed like that for some time - at one point I was aware of her running out of the room and then coming back in ...

... The scan lady told me that sometimes it helps to see the screen. I turned and could see your heart wasn't beating. I just turned away - I couldn't cope. I knew that Daddy had been watching you - he'd seen the whole thing. I did ask if you were a boy or a girl and she told me you were a little boy. I just clung to Daddy crying 'Oh my Isaac, my Isaac'.

We were taken into a room and left for a while in a state of shock and disbelief. Only a week earlier I'd visited the doctor with pains in my pelvis - she'd listened to the heartbeat - it was there and it sounded strong and healthy. How could you just go - just like that?

At some point I phoned your Grandma - she couldn't believe it and I had to beg here to stop making me repeat it, it was too awful to comprehend. Mr Roberts, the consultant, told me I'd have a caesarean the next morning and that I could go home or stay in hospital overnight - he said that some women choose to stay in because they're scared. I felt that the worst had happened and honestly didn't care what happened to me anymore. I just wanted to be with my baby Isaac.

After a barrage of tests we left the hospital. I rang Lucie to tell her what had happened and then went to collect Jacob from Mel's, who had taken him home after Mum had phoned her. I had to whisper to her what had happened and try to hold it together for Jacob.

Sitting Jacob down to tell him his baby brother had died was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. I don't think the enormity of it really sank in with him - how could it? He wanted to know why - I couldn't answer him then and I still can't answer him now. Grandma and Grandad arrived and I was still in a daze, trying to organise things for work and for the hospital. I was in a state of total disbelief and kept repeating 'This can't be happening'. All the time, I expected someone to come and make it all better but nobody could. We didn't really sleep that night, any of us. I'll never forget Grandma walking me out to the car the next morning - I was so afraid. I didn't want it to be real. It didn't feel real.

When we were taken to a room to wait to go to surgery there was a cot in it. I burst into tears and Rose had it removed. I wasn't prepared for having to go into theatre without Daddy - he had to put on a funny hat and gown before he joined us.

I was so scared - I kept reciting the Lords Prayer and praying it had all been a dreadful mistake and that they'd pull you out bawling your head off. But I never felt you being born - it was so quiet. Rose bought you over to me - Daddy said you looked like your brother and its true, you do. I wasn't prepared for how cold you were - I thought you'd be warm because you'd been in my tummy, but you weren't. Oh my darling, you looked dead, it was clear you'd been dead a while but why didn't I know? I torture myself with that - why didn't I know? I feel I've let you down so much - I didn't know when I made you like I did with Jacob and I didn't know when you died ...

Wednesday, 14th June, 2006

... I've been thinking a lot about being in hospital. Here's what happened next

I lay with you next to me while they stitched me up. I had to have a gas mask on and for a while drifted pleasantly - I could hear people, but it sounded muffled and far away. I wonder if that's what it was like for you in my tummy? One time we listened to a CD of how noises woudl sound to you, and I marvelled at how much you would actually hear. They took me down to recovery and luckily Daddy was able to join me. They took us up to the ward and Grandma and Grandad came up. Just after they came in, the midwife bought you up. You were in a beautiful white brodie anglaise moses basket. Grandma and Daddy cried over you (Grandad left, it was too difficult for him). Strangely I couldn't cry - I didn't really begin to cry until we left the hospital. It was only later, much much later, that Heather from SANDS explained to me that a combination of shock and the drugs meant that I was unable to cry.

And now I have to confess something - I was afraid of you, sweetheart. I'm so sorry, I don't know why. I wanted you with me, but I was afraid as well. Maybe if I'd been able to hold you properly, and give you a cuddle it would have been different, but I couldn't. I did lay with you snuggled in the crook of my arm for ages and ages - that was nice. I was scared of your brother when he was born too, perhaps its just me and babies! At some point Daddy and Sally (a young midwife who cried - she had never encountered this situation before) dressed you in the outfit we had bought in Grimsby Mothercare. It was the only proper outfit we'd bought for you (another thing I was planning on sorting when I finished work). It was a green outfit and you looked so cute. Unfortunately, Daddy couldn't find the hat and I was too drugged up to tell him it wsa there until after the photos had been taken. I regret now that we didn't get photos of the 'pixie hat' - you looked so lovely.

The chaplain came to see us and we arranged that we would have a blessing for you the next morning - Mel came because we'd wanted her to be Godmother, something we told her later on. After the blessing Daddy had to go and register you so I asked for you to be taken back - I didn't want to be with you without Daddy because that felt unfair. I think I was afraid too, and also in my head felt that you had gone anyway, all I had was a body. Grandma stayed with me, but what could see say? Still now - what do people say? Nobody can give me what I truely want can they?

... On Wednesday 7th December (2005) we said our final goodbyes to you - we knew we would never see you again as you were changing sweetheart. Whilst you were with us, Jacob phoned to tell me all about being in the school play - I found it so difficult to have one child so full of life on the phone to me, whilst my other child lay lifeless next to me. After a while we asked them to take you, and you were gently removed from our care ...

Your funeral was held on 22nd Decemeber. I was amazed at how many people came - loads from work, family, friends, village people. You were a real part of the community and you remain so - Jacob's friends, ALexander and Chloe love to come to the grave to sort the flowers. They all argue over whose doing what! ... You had a beautiful white coffin and you were buried in your green outfit, snuggly blue blanky and a little teddy bear Jacob had chosen for you. You also have 3 white roses on the coffin and both inside and on top is a copy of the letter Daddy and I wrote, which Uncle Paul read out at the funeral. Later on we brought Jacob up to put flowers from him.

End of excerpts

We had a post mortem performed on Isaac, results of which are inconclusive, we don't know, nor will we ever know why he died.

Clive and Cathy