Tears of joy, tears of sorrow
The 2010 BHMA student essay competition was for the best 1,500 word essay on the theme ‘The story of my illness’. There were 59 entries; most were good, some very good but the judges felt this essay was the best.
The only statistics I could find were from 2009 stating that 316 babies died in the UK every year as a result of sudden infant death syndrome. In my calculations that meant that near enough every day, barring a few weekends, a mother somewhere in the UK woke to find her precious baby blue and lifeless. I spent most of my pregnant days fretting that if I did have my baby, if it even arrived alive, would it die too? The thought frightened the life out of me as I caressed my growing tummy and prayed that it would never be me. Five weeks after my baby Eva was born I had a dark sickening change of perception about cot death. I watched my husband cuddling Eva and thought ‘well at the end of the day if she did die, it wouldn’t actually be so bad’. Admitting that now makes me feel sick but I’m telling you this because you need to hear it. You need to know how I felt, so you can help people like me.