Death before life

The stillbirth of her daughter leaves a woman struggling with feelings of guilt, sadness and anger

I won't ever forget Sunday, 16 May 2004. It was the day my life changed forever. It was the day I discovered the treasured daughter I had cocooned inside me for nine months had died.

There was no warning. I had been through a textbook pregnancy, with normal scans, tests, ‘perfect’ blood pressure and good health.

The only blip on the radar had been my penchant for worrying — a trait I possessed long before my husband Peter and I started planning our family. And, having worked as a pharmacist in a hospital with a busy maternity unit, I knew how things could go wrong.

I didn’t worry too much when I passed my due date and, because I was so well, we decided to delay induction.

However, it was just four days after my due date that I felt the familiar anxiety start to rise within me. That morning, I passed the mucous plug — surely a good thing. But, as the hours wore on, I realised I had not felt my baby