This is my Mum and Dad’s wedding photo. Twenty years of age and within a few months not only would she lose the baby she was carrying she herself would come close to death.
In the early days of writing the Dreaded Light script (after she had given me permission to tell a fictional story inspired by her encounter with the Medium) I asked her a few times if we could have a chat about what happened when she lost the baby as I knew very little. It seemed to me she was avoiding the conversation, which was totally understandable.
I had actually decided not to ask again and but an Aunt made a suggestion. Rather than a conversation I could ask her to write it down as maybe that would be easier than talking about it.
I asked and she wrote me a letter explaining everything she could remember about what happened. It’s as difficult for me to read now as it was the first time now I know why she struggled so much talking about it. I am reproducing the letter here with her permission:
26th November 1970 (I was 20) Your Dad was away on a managerial course with work. I was full term and due any day. I had been for my latest ante natal check that morning. The Doctor told me I would probably go in the next few days. No concerns, all was well. I had arranged to meet a girlfriend for lunch. I had to cut the lunch short though as I wasn’t feeling great. She suggested I should get a taxi but I thought I would be okay on a bus. I was staying with my Parents at the time.
Halfway home I had to get off the bus to be sick. I flagged a taxi who wanted to take me to hospital but I insisted he take me home. I wanted home to my Mum. I thought I might feel better if I had a bath. My Dad had to kick the door in. There was blood everywhere. I was losing a lot of blood.
In the ambulance I was drifting in and out of consciousness. They drove to Ross Hall Hospital in Paisley where I was due to deliver. I heard later the Doctors were angry because this was clearly an emergency and I should have been taken to Rottenrow Hospital. They rushed me to Rottenrow but I don’t even remember arriving.
I woke up ten days later in Intensive Care. I’d had a few blood transfusions. All I wanted to know was who had my baby. A Doctor came and told me the baby didn’t make it, it was a girl, born alive but didn’t live long. The bleeding had been caused by the afterbirth slipping down.
I was told I was in such a bad way a Minister was praying by my bedside. Before I woke up my in laws had arranged for her to be buried in their family plot. If she had been a girl I was intending to name her Michelle but I changed my mind and called her Angela as she had gone with the Angels.
I left hospital carrying a pot plant and a small travel bag. I cried for days.
Twelve months later I had you with no complications in the same hospital. Though they did take me in a week early to keep an eye on me. Angela would have been the first grandchild on both sides so a year later you can imagine how terrified we all were. No wonder you were spoiled. Your delivery went without a hitch. Thank God. Or maybe we should thank your big sister xx