Throughout her pregnancy, Aimee Green had longed for the moment she would finally meet her daughter. As a result, she planned everything meticulously, including her home water birth. So, when her daughter died during delivery, the distraught mom blamed herself.
Aimee and her partner Ryan Conroy live in the town of Saltash in Cornwall, England. And in November 2017 the young couple’s lives were set to change forever, as they prepared to welcome their first child into their home.
What’s more, Aimee and Ryan couldn’t have been happier about the prospect of welcoming a baby. And after a near-perfect pregnancy, the pair were certainly ready to meet their little girl. Instead of delivering her daughter in the hospital, though, the 23-year-old mom-to-be wanted a home birth.
So, when Aimee’s waters broke on her due date, the couple sprang into action. Ryan had already stocked the house with snacks for the four midwives who would help to deliver his daughter – all that was needed to do, then, was to fill the birthing pool and crank Aimee’s labor playlist up.
As the mom-to-be prepared for her delivery, though, she contemplated how her life was about to change. Indeed, in February 2018 Aimee would write on her blog, “It was mid-contraction on our second-floor banister that it suddenly hit me like a train: by tomorrow we will finally be meeting our little angel.”
And the opening stages of Aimee’s labor went smoothly. Her midwives constantly reassured the mom-to-be that her baby’s heart rate was fine and that she seemed perfectly happy. So, Aimee tried to relax until after eight hours of labor, it was time to push.
It was at this point, though, that the reality of childbirth set in for Aimee. “The pushing stage was the most horrendous pain I have ever felt in my entire life,” she later admitted on her blog. “After a good few pushes and a change in position, I remember uncontrollable tears running down my face.”
Of that occasion, Aimee continued, “I was completely overwhelmed with fear, happiness, sickness and excitement.” However, despite her fluctuating emotions, the 23-year-old tried to keep calm for the sake of her unborn daughter. “I repeatedly chanted to her, ‘Come on, baby girl, we can do this, we can do this,’” she later revealed.
Eventually, then, the time came for Aimee to deliver her daughter, and she would later detail how “the wait for another contraction was eternal” as she had pushed with all her might. Something didn’t feel quite right to her, though, and so she informed the midwives that the baby “was stuck.”
Aimee added, “The only way I can describe [it] was that [the baby] was on a bungee cord, getting lower and lower with each push and then springing back up again until the next contraction.” But by this point, the expectant mother had little option but to keep pushing.
Then, finally, Aimee’s baby daughter, Luna Valentina Conroy, finally emerged into the world. Tragically, though, it was not quite the joyous occasion that Aimee had expected. She later wrote, “I looked up to see the faces of [my midwife] Lizzie and Ryan stood side by side. This image still makes me feel sick – why isn’t everyone smiling?”
Recalling the agonizing moments following Luna’s birth, Aimee added, “I was passed Luna for all of a split second. Even then, I tried to push her away to see her face and get a look at her, as she felt like a jelly baby. This was not the feeling of euphoria I was expecting – why isn’t she crying, what’s going on?”
Before Aimee could process what was happening, however, her daughter was ripped from her arms and transferred to a resuscitation table in the kitchen. Meanwhile, Aimee herself was removed from the birthing pool and bundled in towels as midwives tended to her baby.
And myriad questions were racing through the young mom’s mind at that time. “What was going on? Why wasn’t she crying? What are they doing to her? Am I okay? Am I alive? Am I dreaming? When will I wake up?” she later wrote.
It turned out that Luna’s umbilical cord had ruptured during labor, draining her little body of blood. And while the tiny baby was immediately taken to the hospital, but there was sadly nothing doctors could do for her.
In the days and weeks that followed her loss, then, a distraught Aimee wrestled with her conscience. She felt guilty, particularly about her decision to have a home birth. “It was my fault,” she later wrote in her blog, adding, “Why didn’t I listen to them all and have a hospital birth?”
The heartbroken mom also revealed how she couldn’t stop apologizing to her loved ones, including her partner. She continued, “What had I done? How was I going to apologize to Ryan? What if he falls out of love with me? I can’t lose him as well? My family hate me.”
Later, however, Aimee and Ryan learned that their desire for a home birth had had no bearing on Luna’s fate. “It has been confirmed by consultants and placenta and umbilical cord tests that this would have happened even in the hospital,” Aimee told People in March 2018.
In the wake of Luna’s death, though, Aimee and Ryan wanted to honor her legacy. So, the brave couple established a fund in a bid to support others in the same position. They aim to help bereaved parents through their experiences and eventually provide retreats for grieving families.
And even though her labor didn’t have the outcome she’d longed for, Aimee treasures those special moments with her daughter. “My labor remains an incredible memory,” she wrote on her blog. “Calm, comfortable and even better than I had envisioned. It was absolute perfection.”