• Katy Rigg

Lisha and Jaxon - 28th March

A rainbow baby is a term used to refer to a baby born following a miscarriage or stillbirth. Subsequent pregnancies can bring mixed emotions - from anxiety, guilt and fear, to immense joy and healing. Lisha gave birth to baby Jaxon after a miscarriage that needed theatre management. This pregnancy and birth brought complications too, not least because Jaxon was born one week into the national lockdown and birth partner restrictions were tight. Despite this, her story is full of positivity and incredible physical and emotional strength. What a warrior.

Jaxon was born on 28th March 2020, a week into lockdown. His due date was the 1st April, but after scans showed his growth appeared to have slowed right down, it was decided early induction would be the safest option. We hadn’t found out pink or blue - the first time of three to have a surprise!

I was asked to attend my last growth scan alone. I had my scan and the consultant decided to plan for induction on Friday – four days away.

I told Jack when I got home and he was shocked our baby would be coming so soon! At this point, he could be with me for the whole of the induction - phew. We would just have to break lockdown rules and allow my mum to look after our girls whilst we were in hospital. She had been at both girls’ births, and we had planned for her to be here this time too, but only one birth partner was allowed. We were disappointed but understood; I was just relieved Jack would be with me the whole time. I work at the hospital where I’ve had all my children, and on Wednesday night, I received a text giving me heads up that Jack would no longer be allowed in for the entire induction. Active labour only. After one high risk birth and one fast birth I felt scared suddenly. 

Friday morning came, Jack dropped me at the ward doors with mine and our baby’s bags and kissed me goodbye. I made a promise to myself I wouldn’t cry. There are worse situations, I told myself. Families were unable to see dying relatives, but ours was a happy time! I was given the pessary to start things and was told they would check in 24 hours. The midwives apologised for me not being able to have Jack with me - it wasn’t their fault, and they said it felt so strange to see mums alone in labour. At 9pm, a lovely midwife, Jess, said she was able to break my waters. ‘Ring Jack,’ she told me. ‘And I will do it when he’s here on the labour ward so he doesn’t miss anything.’

Jack arrived and my waters were broken at 11.20. At 02.09 I delivered our rainbow baby. A baby boy! The midwife told me I would be home in the morning - a perfect birth! Seconds later she calmly asked Jack to pull the emergency buzzer and explained there would be a lot of doctors entering the room very quickly. I was haemorrhaging again. After half an hour of trying to control the bleed, they decided I needed to go to theatre. I went to theatre not knowing my baby’s weight. I had only cuddled him briefly, and my mum didn’t know she had a grandson or that I was so poorly.

I returned from theatre on high dependency observations. A 2600ml blood loss meant cannulas all over with fluids and antibiotics, 15 minute blood pressure and pulse checks and a catheter. I had been given a spinal block in theatre and had no feeling, I couldn’t move. It dawned on me then, I wasn’t going home anytime soon. But Jack would have to. He was allowed to stay until dinner time the next day when I was stable enough to be moved to a post natal ward. The hospital was empty and the midwives were amazing. When we were allowed home, Jack wasn’t allowed to re-enter the ward. I met him at the car park with the help of a midwife carrying my bags whilst I had our baby, Jaxon. 

The visits from family were through windows, the midwife appointments were reduced and in full PPE. Post natal care was reduced massively. It felt surreal - my older children doing Skype calls to have lessons with their teachers whilst cuddling their baby brother! We were very grateful for the family bonding time but felt saddened that we couldn’t share our newborn with the rest of our family. Luckily he has now met all the family and had cuddles but it hasn’t come without worry! 

Here is our lockdown rainbow baby, Jaxon Arthur.

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