At first, they don't tell you anything. Even though everyone in the room, including you, knows deep down that your baby has died, they won't confirm it. Instead they say 'don't get upset, calm down, these dopplers are sometimes unreliable, I'll go and get a different one'. They tell you you're going to go to hospital and they'll be able to sort you out there. They don't tell you that it's almost certain that your baby has passed away and that there will be nothing anyone can do.
They can't prepare you for this; they can't say it softly. There is no shying away from it. I'm afraid your baby has died. They don't tell you that it's okay to scream when they confirm your worst nightmare but they hold your hand as you make a sound that could only come from someone broken beyond repair, a scream that carries so much pain and sorrow, a sound that breaks all hearts who hear it as you realise this is really happening. They don't tell you that you'll be so thankful that they didn't give you the Caesarian that you are begging them for because what you're going through is cruel. They don't say that you'll be so proud of yourself for bringing her into the world the way you always intended and that it'll make you excited for any future births, not more scared. They constantly tell you how amazing you're doing.
They don't tell you that they're experienced in this; that they have to deliver a sleeping baby every week. They don't tell you how common it is - every one in 200 babies. Why don't they prepare you for those odds beforehand? I was prepared for everything... apart from this.
They don't tell you what she'll look like; that she'll be discoloured and her skin may be torn. There is no time to prepare you for that. They don't tell you how hard it will be to look at the baby you have longed for and dreamed of. They don't say that you will still love her despite her absence and you'll love more intensely than you would've done had she been alive because you only have a matter of hours before you have to say goodbye. They are there for you and your partner though; they stand by you through the whole thing. They tell you how beautiful she is and how cruel it is that this has happened. You can see the love and regret in their eyes; they're wishing with everything they are that things were different, just like you are. They ask if it's ok to be there when you have your baby's blessing and tell you to let them know when the funeral is because they'd love to be there.
They don't tell you that their heart is breaking too. They don't tell you, but you can see it in their faces. When they came into work today, they were expecting a day full of happiness and excitement; of course they don't want to have to deal with this but they do and they do it tremendously. They don't tell you but you see the tears that fall down their faces, you see them collapse into each other as they leave the room, you hear them sobbing outside your Suite. They don't tell you, not until afterwards, but they're grieving too; they care about your baby and they hate what is happening to you. It's extremely comforting. You forge a strong relationship very quickly. They're the only people in the world who know your baby too; you want to talk to them every day and they'd be happy to listen. They're extremely important people.
They encourage you to get her dressed, bath her, have photos and take prints of her hands and feet. They say 'it's up to you but don't regret anything... You only have this one opportunity so make sure you do everything you want to; you don't have to look at it straight away but at least you have the option later on if you want it'. You'll listen to them because you trust them implicitly; at this point you will probably do anything they told you to. They tell you everything you need to hear and they help you with everything you decide to do.
They don't say anything as they walk you to the Chapel of Rest with your baby; they just hold your hand as your partner carries her. They don't say anything as you say your final goodbye and put her to rest but they're right beside you to hold you up if and when you shatter. They don't say anything when you lock eyes with them at the funeral; they just blow you a kiss and nod knowingly as tears stream down their faces.
Nobody tells you how incredible and invaluable your midwives are.
I thank mine at every chance I get.