Martha Watson’s Story
In loving memory of Martha Watson.
Our princess angel Martha Watson 10/08/06 -12/08/06
My husband and I had been married just over a year when my mam died of cancer. This was the catalyst for us to decide to start a family.
I quickly became pregnant with our first child. It was an amazing time for us and our families. Looking forward to an exciting future.
My 12 and 20 week scan went well and my pregnancy progressed beautifully with no complications.
At 9 days overdue I went to see the midwife who performed a sweep and excitedly told me I was already 1cm dilated. I woke up at 4am with regular contractions and headed to delivery suite. My labour progressed well but I became very tired towards the end. It was decided that an assisted delivery with ventouse would be the best. At approximately 6pm I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl.
It was clear from the moment she arrived that something wasn’t wrong. There was no crying, no movement. The staff took her straight round to special care at Wansbeck while they sorted me out. Once I was ready a nurse came to see us and told us to ring our families. Our daughter was on a ventilator and managing well she weighed 5lbs 13.5ozs. We went to see her and the on call Dr from the RVI was already there.
We took one look at our daughter and called her Martha Toward Watson. She was perfect, 10 fingers 10 toes, beautiful skin and a tiny bit of hair.
We were transferred to SCBU at the RVI and a cubicle sorted on Ward 32 for me and Andrew to sleep in. We went to see Martha in the Red Area of SCBU and we were so proud and overcome with these immense feelings for someone so small.
The first day passed in a bit of a blur of tests on Martha to see if they could determine what was wrong. The more I watched Martha the more I knew there was something wrong. She never opened her eyes, cried or moved, yet here in SCBU there were tiny babies doing more than her.
Around tea time the consultant came and sat down with us to give us the test results. The news was devastating, Martha had no brain activity and therefore nothing they could do to help her. At that point we decided to make the hardest decision ever, to put Martha onto palliative care to keep her comfortable and pain free until she died.
They kept her on the ventilator so that our families could come in and meet her. We also had a christening on SCBU with everyone there. The nurses on the Unit helped Andrew and I bathe and change her which was such a precious, simple thing for us to do.
One of the nurses then accompanied us round to our cubicle on ward 32 where they took Martha off the ventilator and left her with us in our arms.
Over the next 24 hours Martha survived with us. Sharing our time, we constantly told her how much she meant to us and how much we loved her. She finally stopped breathing late at night in my arms in a room in special care. We left her there with the nurses devastated that our first child had been with us for such a short time.
The next morning our consultant and one of the nurses came to see us on Ward 32. They had taken foot prints of Martha for us and some hair to put in a locket. They had also taken some precious pictures. Martha was still in special care in a little room wrapped in blankets in a crib. She looked beautiful, our little angel.
The staff at SCBU made an impossible and heart wrenching situation easier. Their love and compassion went above and beyond.
We now have 3 amazing children (one who had a tiny bit of input from special care) but we will never forget the impact that the SCBU staff had on our lives. Martha was our first daughter and we will never stop thinking of her.