“When they needed to move me into another room, I knew Rosie had died.
“My child had died and she was still inside my body.”
Louise Danson paused as she recalled the moment she knew she had lost her first child.
The nursery was ready, a hospital bag was packed and everything seemed well until tragedy struck in May 2019.
The 33-year-old had gone two weeks past her due date and visited Tameside General Hospital for an induced labour.
But her world came crumbling down when midwives couldn’t find a heartbeat.
Louise, of Stalybridge, was hooked up to a monitor to check on her baby – who she named Rosie – ahead of her arrival.
After a while, a midwife asked if Rosie’s heartbeat was 'usually hard to find'.
It was in this moment, Louise said, that she knew something was wrong.
“When she put me on the monitor and couldn’t find her, I felt sick,” she told the Manchester Evening News .
“Rosie used to keep me awake all night and I woke up one morning and realised I’d slept through.
“I thought to myself, ‘In a few hours, this will be a story to tell people’. I was in denial that it must have just been the monitor machine.
“I didn’t look at my husband Ian and he didn’t look at me. We didn’t speak.
“We had an unwritten thing that we both knew something was wrong.”
Louise and Ian were taken into a room where two doctors were waiting for them.
They then broke the earth-shattering news that Rosie had died.
The couple were taken to a bereavement suite at Tameside General Hospital where a midwife explained the benefits of giving birth to Rosie.
Louise continued: “My child had died and she was still inside my body. It’s a traumatic thing to think about when you’re in shock.
“When your child dies in that way, and you come home with nothing, you still have the urge to grow your family.
“With a C-section, that’s major surgery and there’s a longer wait for your recovery.
“I was given a different kind of induction medication that was a bit stronger and went into labour through the night.
“On the Monday afternoon, Rosie was born.”
Louise and Ian, 33, stayed at the suite where both families came to meet their daughter.
The couple spent three precious days dressing, bathing and holding Rosie as they grieved as a family.
Louise, who gave birth to her second daughter Lottie in July 2020, added: “The only way to describe it is just denial.
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“The feeling in my stomach told me. I got these awful knots in my stomach and I just pushed it away; I clung onto anything.
“Even when the midwife said we needed to go to another room I thought, ‘Great’, but deep down, I knew.
“When they told me there was no heartbeat, the minute after they told me I remember thinking ‘It’s fine, I’ll get through this. I will sort this out and then I’ll have Rosie’.
“I kept forgetting she had died. It’s like my brain didn’t want to accept it had happened.”
Louise described feeling 'terrified' at the thought of giving birth to Rosie – but also determined to “do it for her”.
She continued: “I didn’t know whether I was able to do it.
“After getting my head around briefly that Rosie had died, I then felt a determination that that’s what I was planning to do for her.
“I couldn’t do much for her, and this is something I wanted to do. I wanted to get her here in the best way possible.
“After a while, there was fear. Because what does a dead baby look like? You come up with a range of ridiculous images in your head of what your child will look like because they’ve never died.
“The second she was born, they put her on my chest like normal. There was a huge wave of sadness and of course, I cried and felt very sad.
“But I had just met my child and I got to see her face. We were really proud.”
On August 1, Louise will run the London Landmarks Half Marathon in memory of Rosie.
All money raised will go towards charity Tommy’s, an organisation which carries out research into the causes of miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth.
Louise said: “Lottie’s hair has changed loads since she was born and I think, ‘What would Rosie’s hair look like?’
“She has brought a huge amount of joy to the family.”
Donations towards Louise’s half marathon can be made by following the link by clicking here.