In 2018 we decided (Kirsty and Brent Schwegmann) we wanted to expand our family and give our 3 children then 6,4 and 2 years old a much wanted sibling. We sadly suffered a miscarriage at 12 weeks, in March, that year. This was our first experience at any kind of loss, and we were devastated. We decided to continue trying and fell pregnant again in September. Due to the loss and Kirsty’s age, we were placed under consultant care which gave us much more access to the doctors and hence frequent scans. Everything looked fine and we were told that it was a healthy pregnancy. The doctors said that we shouldn’t worry and we were low risk. At 17 weeks we went for a private gender scan, found out we were expecting our 3rd daughter, and named her Naya Alice. While we were there they struggled, at first, to find the heartbeat, this was scary, but also reassuring that she was doing okay once they found it. We then started to prepare for her arrival, our children were very excited, we bought her outfits and created her place in our family.
On the 23rd of January 2019 everything changed. This was the day of our 21 week scan and the day our lives would never be the same. We sat in the waiting room, feeling really anxious. A few days before, Kirsty had felt her bump wasn’t growing and Naya’s movements had reduced. We put it down to anxiety due to our previous loss. As we sat there Kirsty grew more and more worried and felt that something just wasn’t right.
We will never forget the first words said to us, as Kirsty lay on the bed and the sonographer began the scan. She looked up at us and said “Sorry I can’t find your baby’s heart beat”. Such a small sentence but it will haunt us forever. They called for a second opinion, but we knew she was gone. They confirmed all our worst fears, Naya had died.
We were moved into a counselling room, and were supported by a bereavement midwife. To be honest we don’t remember much of what was said at first, but they explained what would happen next. We couldn’t believe this was happening to us, 2 babies gone in 9 months. We were booked to come back in 2 days, for an induction.
We had to tell our children that their sister had died and wouldn’t be coming home. This was the hardest conversation we have ever had to make. They were heart broken and didn’t understand why, or how to feel. All they knew was sadness.
Kirsty went into labour the following evening, at home. We rushed back to the hospital and were met by our bereavement midwife Jo. Without who, we would never had got through any of it. We were taken to the bereavement suite, which was away from the labour ward. It was an amazing room specially designed to help support and comfort parents. Kirsty experienced a full natural labour.
Naya was stillborn at 02:03am on the 25th January 2019 weighing a tiny 150 grams. She never cried, she never took a breath. The silence was haunting and something we will never forget. We spent the next day with her in her crib, saying our goodbyes, letting her know just how loved she was and forever will be.
We came home from hospital, with a memory box, but no baby. We then began our journey as a family with Naya missing. All the support we received was directed to us as parents with no support for our children who were grieving for their sister, as much as we were. We didn’t know how to help them and support them, nor could we find any for them.
Over the months the children’s grief continued and we found our own way to help them all. From all this grief, we decided to honour Naya and help her siblings, and Naya’s Wish was born.
Naya’s legacy continues as we look to help and support all children through loss.