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Kamie and Dale

Brief Outline: Kamie has had two daughters born prematurely at 20 and 21 weeks. Her daughter Hope was born at 20 weeks showing no signs of life. A couple of years later when Kamie was 30, she was pregnant again, with her new partner Dale. Their daughter Lottie was born alive at 21 weeks but died shortly after birth.
Background: Kamie and Dale live together. Kamie is 31 and is a sale advisor. Dale is 32 and is a power station operative. At the time of the interview they had a baby aged 4 months and also two children aged 8 and 10 years from previous relationships.

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This was Kamie’s second pregnancy and she had been feeling unwell throughout. At 20 weeks her waters broke and she went to hospital. The doctors recommended they put a stitch at the opening of her womb (cervix) to try to delay her labour and birth. However before this was done Kamie started to give birth. Her daughter Hope was born showing no signs of life. Kamie had to go straight back to work which she found extremely hard. Kamie and her partner grieved very differently following their daughter’s death. This put a strain on their relationship and they split up shortly afterwards. 

A year later Kamie and her new partner Dale decided to try for a baby. Kamie became pregnant but she had a miscarriage at 10 weeks. Two years later they tried again and Kamie became pregnant. Kamie had her cervix checked at 14 weeks of pregnancy and everything was progressing well. However at 21 weeks Kamie felt her waters break and Dale took her to hospital. Kamie and Dale had to make the decision to have Kamie’s pregnancy induced knowing their baby would not survive as she was told the infection was life-threatening for Kamie and her baby. Their daughter, Lottie, was born alive and she lived for fifteen minutes. As Lottie was born alive, Kamie was entitled to maternity leave and she took 9 months off work. She was offered counselling and a funeral for her daughter. This was very different to her experiences with her previous pregnancy. The time off and support have helped her recovery.

Kamie and Dale decided to try for another baby. Kamie had a stitch put in her cervix at 14 weeks. She found the pregnancy extremely stressful but her pregnancy progressed well and her daughter was born at 36 weeks.
 

Kamie described just having a bit of a stomach ache before her waters broke and she was rushed to hospital to give birth.

Kamie described just having a bit of a stomach ache before her waters broke and she was rushed to hospital to give birth.

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I just had a bit of like stomach ache. I didn't feel right. Couldn't get in at the doctors. Couldn't get - I rang the midwife up, she said nothing was wrong with me. So I got in at the doctors like the following Monday. But it was too late by then. I'd gone into town, and to drop my daughter off at school. I felt even worse, so I went to the pub. I rang the hospital up, and just said, "Look, I really need to see somebody, I don't feel right." I went to the toilet, and my waters went down, down the pub toilet. So I rang my Mum and Dad up, and they come and got me. Took me straight to [local hospital]. They said my cervix was short. They went to book me in to go to [specialist hospital], to see a specialist about putting a stitch in. But as [laugh] - They'd gone out, I went to the toilet, and her foot fell out of me on the toilet. So obviously labour - that stomach ache, it was labour, and things like that. And that was it then.
 

Kamie had a post-mortem for her daughter Hope but as this was inconclusive she decided not to have one for Lottie.

Kamie had a post-mortem for her daughter Hope but as this was inconclusive she decided not to have one for Lottie.

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But I just wanted to find out why. But even when we went to see [doctor] to find out why - Because we didn't do the post-mortem with Lottie, because I knew basically there would be nothing wrong. Because it was exactly the same as last time. And I thought I'm not cutting her all up, just for the sake of - there's nothing wrong with her. Whereas with Hope I donated you know, bits of slides and things, thinking there was something wrong. But I couldn't do it this time. But they - they took the placenta and everything. And everything come back fine. I had no strep B, I had nothing this time. But it just felt like you was just hitting a brick wall all the time, and - when you was asking like why, and you just get no answers. 
 

Kamie felt she wanted to talk more about their loss than her partner Dale.

Kamie felt she wanted to talk more about their loss than her partner Dale.

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That's the biggest thing, is having that support around you, to guide you. And just don't feel like you're alone, because you're not [in tears]. Because it can be really dark and horrible. And obviously men and women grieve differently, don't they, which doesn't help. 

Mmm. Do you think you've both grieved differently with Lottie, or?

I mean, we. Like Dale didn't want me to keep talking about it, whereas I wanted to talk about it. You do think of them every day. But knowing that you shouldn't really talk about them every day, you know. But I did feel like we was going like that. But we kind of stuck together, and muddled through, and tried to support each other in different ways.

What do you think has helped? What's been good?

Just having that year, just to have family time. And enjoy each other again, and. Do things. And make memories, and just making the –

Do you mean having the time off work?

Yeah, it helped. Like we went on holiday. We went abroad twice. Went to Cyprus, we went to Turkey. Just having that time, just to sort your head out. Yeah. It helped loads. Even though like financially you're a bit stuffed, but you knew you had your maternity pay. That helped. And it helped us get by. 
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