Gemma’s Story

Hubby and I decided to try for a girl after having 3 boys who are 6, 5 and 3. I did the test early to find out bubs gender and we found out we were having another little boy! We were all so excited to be completing our family and the boys were excited to meet bub.

Elii was due 6th October 2022 which was our wedding Anniversary! It just seemed like it was meant to be. Come August 5th and I had my first Midwife appointment at 30wks pregnant as the perinatal team lost my paperwork twice! My Dr had faxed my referral twice at 12wks and 15wks gestation. I didn’t hear from anyone till 28wks when they called me up and apologized to me and made me my first appointment.

At that first appointment I told them I was having pains so they sent me upstairs to the birthing suite where I had a gyno dr come in and do an ultrasound and says to me “you have an overactive uterus you just need to go home and rest” I’ve had an overactive uterus before and it didn’t feel the same, my blood pressure was high but since it was fluctuating, they sent me home.

Fast forward to the 14th August 2022, I had some pains but I thought it was just overactive uterus, so I took it easy that day. Made kids dinner and got them into bed and asleep. It was around 11pm and I decided to take Panadol and have a warm shower (that’s what midwives in Australia NSW tell us to do whenever we call up in pain).

I went to bed and thought I would try sleep it off, I was having contractions but I knew the hospital wouldn’t care to see me at 32wks gestation. Around 1am I woke up to what felt like my waters breaking, gush of it! I jumped out of bed and looked down only to see it was all blood, I panicked and ran to the bathroom and yelled out to hubby “im bleeding!!” he sat up in bed confused and stayed there while I called my mum who lives 5 houses down and I called emergency services who sent an ambulance asap!

The paramedics rushed me into hospital and when I got into birthing I had so many drs and nurses around me, 2 were assessing the towels I had between my legs to see how much blood was on there but I had a dark pink and black towel so they couldn’t really see. The paramedics didn’t tell them that my bathroom looked like a crime scene. I told them my legs felt pins and needles and numbish.

They were monitoring bub and I; they did a speculum and ultrasounds. Then all of a sudden, the nurse in charge pressed emergency button and said Prep her for OR. I needed an emergency c section asap as bubs heart rate had dropped quickly. This was after an hour of being monitored and them waiting to see how things went.

3:10 I was rushed down with hubby following, 3:18am they prepped me for c section and the last thing I remember is my arms and legs being strapped down, the cold stuff of the antiseptic on my belly and I was knocked out.

They got Elii out at 3:21am, he was born floppy and unresponsive, apparently, he showed signs of life so they started to resuscitate him. They worked on him for 20 mins, they eventually got an oxygen tube down to help him breath. I awoke at 6:50am and asked where’s my baby?? They said he was upstairs in Special care nursery; they wouldn’t take me up to see him until they got my blood pressure under control as they had trouble waking me also. My blood pressure was 150/200 and normal blood pressure is 80/120.

I was taken upstairs finally and they waited for hubby to come and talk to me which I thought was weird but ok I thought. Hubby said to me “you just need to spend as much time as you can with him, mum and sis are on their way up also” I thought ok shits bad, his mum and sis live 12hrs away! But they jumped on first plane up to be with us and thankfully on a plane it takes 1hr and 30 mins.

I first saw Elii around 7:20am and he was so beautiful, he looked like his brother Callum with the dark hair and lashes. He looked like a wog boy like his daddy who is Greek. I was in awe of how beautiful he looked. Then I saw the tubes going everywhere but no one could answer how bad he was. They had a lady come in to check his brain and hubby was watching the monitor and kept shaking his head and I knew then that it wasn’t good. She said I’m sorry there’s no brain activity, I said so what does this mean? He won’t recover? She said no. Then a nurse stepped in and I said Isn’t there something you can give him to help him???? Something to help his brain!? She said no. At that moment time stood still. Our beautiful baby was brain dead and there wasn’t a damn thing we could do about it.

Hubbys mum and sis came in, I already had my mum and 2 best friends there. We told them the outcome and we all cried together. We took him off oxygen at 12pm and everyone that was there got to hold him without cords. Hubby and I had skin to skin with him also. He passed in his daddy’s arms around 5pm. We have never been so heartbroken in our entire life. He was so perfect! He was a big boy 5pounds 3oz and he looked fine but he had gone without oxygen for some time due to placenta abrupting. The hardest part was walking out of the hospital without our baby and know he would be taken to the morgue. I got to spend 2 nights with him in a cold cuddle cot which I am forever grateful for and I had a friend come in to get castings of his hand and feet for a frame as she’s done my other 3 boys. We also had a professional photographer come in and take photos for us. I found out I had undiagnosed gestational diabetes and undiagnosed preeclampsia which caused the placenta to come off the wall.

Arranging his funeral was heart wrenching, we barely ate for weeks, barely did anything. I forgot how to live like a normal person. And to this day some days are harder than others.

We aren’t sure if we will have another as its still so raw but maybe one day. All I know is that our family will never be complete now. We attended bears of hope in support for pregnancy and infant loss and did the 4.3km walk with our boys. I have also donated a bear to bears of hope for another family who goes through the same loss as us.

Forever missing our Elii Archer Gidman 15/08/2022

Gemma wears a pink top and the rainbow skirt.  She sits on the porch of her house with the skirt flowing around her.  Her young child stands in front of her.

Gemma wears a pink top and the rainbow skirt. She stands on the porch of her house.

Gemma wears a pink top and the rainbow skirt. She holds the skirt out to the side.

Gemma wears a pink top and the rainbow skirt.  She sits on the porch of our home with the skirt spread out around her.  Her young child stands in front of her.

Gemma wears a pink top and the rainbow skirt. She sits in front of a row of Christmas stockings.

Gemma holds her son, Eli, who passed away after he was born.

Gemma's son, Eii, who passed away shortly after birth.

Gemma holds her son, Eli, who passed away after he was born. Her husband holds her as she holds their baby.

Gemma holds her son, Eli, who passed away after he was born. She is kissing his cheek.

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