She says: “I was thrilled but even more worried. If my body couldn’t manage one baby, what hope did I have with two?”
But after a difficult pregnancy, she gave birth to Ruby and William at 33 weeks.
“I couldn’t believe they were OK until they were placed in my arms and then I just sobbed with joy,”says Nikki. “It was my third birth but the first time I’d held a live baby. It was a moment I feared I would never see.”
Nikki was devastated to hear about Kelly Brook’s loss.
“I can’t explain the sympathy I have for her and all the range of emotions she will now go through.
“It takes me right back. The first few months were just a blur of tears and a constant feeling of sadness. It gets easier but it doesn’t go away.
“It really can make or break your relationship as you both grieve in different ways. People have to remember that it isn’t just Kelly who has lost a baby, but boyfriend Thom Evans, too.”
Nikki still marks what would have been her babies’ due dates andthe dates they were born and says: “It was more like a stillbirth than miscarriage.”
Stillbirth is when the baby is born dead in the final trimester – after 24 weeks. And while other countries have seen a fall in stillbirths, the UK’s record is one of the worst, with no improvement in 10 years, ranking us 33rd worst in the world.
UK Sands: Stillbirth and Neonatal Death charity called the latest statistics, which were published in medical journal The Lancet only last month, “alarming”.
Chief executive Neal Long says: “With 11 babies dying every day, it’s a national scandal, which has persisted for far too long. This seemingly endless death toll of thousands of babies every year has the most terrible long-term impact on parents and their families.”
Ruth Atik Bender says that statistics for late miscarriage are more estimates than fact.
“Births, terminations and stillbirths are recorded by law, but the birth of a child before 24 weeks may not be because it is called a miscarriage and there is simply no official audit of miscarriages.
“The most important thing to remember is that although miscarriage is common, late miscarriage is rare and there is no data to suggest otherwise. The best you can do is follow the guidelines to keep you and your baby safe.”
What mums-to-be should do
Charity Sands advises all mums-to-be to do the following as part of a normal pregnancy:
●Eat well and stay healthy.
●Avoid alcohol and drugs.
●Avoid infections, such as listeria and salmonella.
●Book early and go to all your antenatal appointments – regular monitoring can pick up early signs if your baby is not developing well.
●Report any bleeding or abdominal pain immediately.
●Be aware of your baby’s movements. A reduction in movements can indicate something is not right, so if you notice a change that worries you, call your midwife or maternity unit straight away.
●Talk to your midwife about the risk factors for stillbirth. If you are at higher risk your pregnancy care should take that into account.