Founder of Finding Rainbows
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I'm Natalie the founder of Finding Rainbows, which I set up in 2013 after the loss of my baby boy Kaiden.
Kaiden was born early at 26 weeks due to my blood pressure and placenta not working correctly. At the 20 week scan we were told Kaiden may not make it and had to have growth scans every week. My pregnancy was so scary and worrying but I was being looked after by a wonderful team at St Marys hospital in Manchester. I will never forget DR Jo Gilliam, she was wonderful. At every scan she would reassure, me the best she could, and laugh about how Kaiden was a little wriggler and wouldn't stay still for his measurements. She would tell me how shocked she was that Kaiden was so active , due to the lack of blood flow to him he should be lethargic ...but not my kaiden he was a little fighter.
I felt so sad sat looking at healthy mummies to be in the clinic. I felt so full of blame ... Why wasn't my body keeping my baby safe?
The day came when Jo said to me 'I'm so sorry but Kaiden needs to put on 110 grams in the next few weeks to be able to have a chance of life and be able to fight once he is born.' The plan was to wait till 26 weeks to have him by cesarean section and take him straight to NICU. But if he didn't manage to put on the 110 grams I would have to give birth to him sooner and he wouldn't make it .
So many nights I spent crying in my pillow and worrying everyday. I was so sacred, it was like it was a living nightmare and I wanted to just wake up.
The day of the scan came, I lay there with tears in my eyes shaking not knowing what would happen to my baby. Jo put the gel on my tummy and started to look at him, after a while she turned to me and said ' Well Natalie he's only gone and done it, he's gained the 110 grams. From that day we know he was fighting and so were we.
On the 7th March kaiden was born weighing only 1lb 2.5 oz, he was ventilated and taken to NICU as he was unable to breath on his own. I was in a lot of pain and had to sleep for a while, as the nurse's gave me morphine the feeling of being helpless and not able to be there for my son was so hard. But as soon as he felt strong enough I was wheeled up to see him. There were all these noises of the medical machines around him he was so tiny and helpless lying there, still too young to open his eyes.
My heart sank and I started to cry and a sense of shock came over me. I thought how will my boy get through this he's so tiny.
Life on NICU was so hard, every day was a battle from one hour to the next. We couldn't hold him and I couldn't do all the natural things a mother does. I had to just hope and pray for my boy. He had good days and bad days, it was like living on a roller coaster, never knowing what the next day would bring.
During the time Kaiden was on NICU he had eight operations and contracted sepsis, NEC and many other illnesses. I use to sleep at the hospital and being away from Jade and Kyle, my children, was hard. I felt torn, but Kaiden needed me.
There were nights I stood with him all night and had no sleep. I was exhausted. One particular day the doctors were all around him and I knew it was bad. They said they had to transfer him to Alder Hay Hospital to drain fluid from his heart. I was a mess and the doctors said he could die at any point... my life came crashing down. They blue lighted him over to Liverpool in an ambulance and we had to follow behind. When we arrived I was frantic I didn't know were they had taken my son and was asked to wait in a waiting room. Time stood still. After what was like hours a doctor came and told us he and pulled through the operation but was still very weak and had to be put on an oscillator, a breathing machine that shook his whole body, it was a step up from the ventilator...my baby was growing weaker, I knew in my heart. But I was told 'Where there is life, there is hope' and I needed to hold on to the only thing I could and that was hope.
Kaiden was so poorly, he was now not responding to me, my touch or my voice, but we still read his story's and played his songs to him.
On the 15th May 2012 the time came to say goodbye as there was nothing more the doctors could do. I held him in my arms and watch my beautiful boy take his last breath. My world fell apart.
'I will never be the same, but I will carry on in your memory Kaiden and I promise to be there for others who need a friend and support from Finding Rainbows.'
There will be more posts on Kaidens' story ...thank you for reading xxx
Ashton Under Lyne
My name is Amanda, I am a mum to a 2 year old little boy. I currently work as a support work and have done for the past 10 years. I was born in Zimbabwe, Africa, and I have lived in the U.K from being a youngster.
My dad passed away 15 years ago and at the time I was too young to understand what was really going on. In the African community children are not allowed to go to funerals and as a result of that, over a decade later, I've not been able to fully grieve for my dad. Death is not something that we easily talk about and everyone avoids talking about it for obvious reasons.
I joined Finding Rainbows so I could reach out to my friends and family who have lost their angels. Hopefully with the support of Finding Rainbows I will be able to change the views of people from my cultural background, to enable them to speak about loss and be able to reach out to someone to get the help they need.
I joined Finding Rainbows because they have blessed me a lot and I wanted to give something back to the community and say thank you.
Ashton Under Lyne
I am the newest member of the Finding Rainbows team. I have been in contact with Finding Rainbows for coming up-to 2 years now and the support I have had is amazing. I'm glad I've had them because I don't know where I would be without their support...so now it's my turn to be there for others that need my support.
Let me tell you my story and why I needed support.
I have two angel babies, my first child was born in March 2009, he was the love of my life, on the 2nd May my life changed for the worst. My beautiful boy passed away in his sleep.
I thought my life was over, I didn't know what to do. I became very depressed and thought I'd be better of dead...I even tried a few times, until I met my partner Dominic. He gave me a reason to be here, he was my rock, I had my second child Bradley in 2011 and Jake in 2013, both brilliant babies who are a handful now lol.
In 2016 my life changed again after giving birth to twin girls in the January. I had a horrible pregnancy and delivered at 28 weeks, I was told neither of them would make it through the night, I was such a mess and so far away from home. That night we got them both christened and I told my baby girls they had to fight for mummy and daddy and their brothers, which they did. Not only did they make it through the night but one little girl made it home after a very long 10 weeks. I couldn't be prouder of Grace, she is a little star. Abigail was very poorly and was on life support right up to the end, for 103 days the doctors tried everything to get her off it but due to medical reasons they just couldn't do anymore.
We agreed that we would try her on a different support and if that didn't work then we would let her go and end her suffering. It was the hardest decision myself and her father had to make. After a massive 6 hours on the new support her tiny body gave up fighting and she said goodbye in her daddy's arms. She was such a fighter, but we said goodbye on the 10th May last year. Once again my life felt over, I didn't know whether I was coming or going, but thanks to the support from my children and Finding Rainbows I got through it.
I will be a year on Wednesday that my little girl joined her brother in the sky and I miss her so much, I just hope she is not winding her brother up to much. I also have my little man Leo he is 16 weeks old and he was a shock. I found out the day after I buried Abigail that I was pregnant and a lot of people were not happy and some of them told me to have a termination but my son was here for a reason and there was no way I could say goodbye to another child.
This is me and my story I hope I meet a few of you and I can support you on your journey just like Finding Rainbows supported me.