My partner was killed... while I was pregnant
Sally-Ann came to Tell and Sell Stories wanting to share her story as a tribute to her partner Ron, who died when she was pregnant - just two days after their baby scan. She wanted to appear in a women's magazine rather than a newspaper, so I secured her a deal with Woman's Own magazine. After the story had been published, she told me she was really glad she had gone through the process and that I had made it an easy and enjoyable one.
Originally, Sally-Ann never wanted to be a mum. Working as a successful business woman, it simply wasn't on her agenda. Her partner Ron already had three children and told Sally-Ann: 'There's no love like it.' But still, she was adamant motherhood wasn't for her. She met Ron at a salsa class and, after exchanging looks across the dance floor, he invited her out for a drink. As they got to know each other, Sally-Ann confessed she didn't want children. But she loved hearing Ron talk about his own, a smile on his face as he described them. As Sally-Ann and Ron spent more time together, she realised something - she was falling in love. They became a couple and, months later, Sally-Ann met his children. At the park, Ron's daughter leapfrogged over a post. She tried to get her dad to join in, but he said: 'I can't, if I miss, Sally and I will never have babies!' Surprised by Ron's comment, Sally-Ann hoped he was joking. But the topic kept coming up time and time again. Seeing what a great father Ron was, Sally-Ann realised she was beginning to come round to the idea. Perhaps she could be a mum after all? They spent a year trying for a baby but nothing happened. Sure it wasn't meant to be, Sally-Ann tried to put it to the back of her mind. Then one day, she was lying in bed with the flu when she realised something. Her period was late. She took a test and sat in the bathroom gaping at the positive result. This was it, she was going to be a mother. Ron was of course delighted. At 13 weeks, they went for their first scan. Watching the blob on the screen, Ron smiled. 'It's not twins!' he said. As the weeks passed, Sally-Ann struggled to adjust to her changing body. She didn't mind the bump, but the back pain and chubby ankles were driving her mad. 'How much worse is this going to get?' she asked Ron. 'I think you look beautiful,' he smiled. They began to look for a family home. But then they got some sad news. Ron's uncle had passed away. The funeral was a week later, two days after their 21-week scan. At the hospital, the sonographer beamed. 'It looks like you're having a girl,' she said. Looking at the screen and hearing the heartbeat, Sally-Ann began to get excited about meeting their daughter. Back home, Sally-Ann couldn't stop looking at her scan pictures. It was all so surreal. Over the next few days, she didn't see Ron. He was packing up his house ready for their move. Then came the day of his uncle's funeral. Sally-Ann texted Ron but she got no reply. Later she found out he'd never arrived at the funeral. Soon two police officers came to her house. They sat her down and glanced at her bump. Then one of then said: 'Ron was involved in a road collision today. I'm very sorry but he died at the scene.' They had to be wrong, Sally-Ann thought. But the officers explained a driver had swerved to avoid a stationary vehicle and gone straight into Ron's car. Sally-Ann's mind span. She couldn't take it all in. The love of her life was dead - just two days after their baby scan. Once the officers left, Sally-Ann began to cry. Everything reminded her of Ron. Most of all, her bump. She was pregnant with his child, what was she meant to do now? How would she cope without him? And how could she tell her daughter she had no father? Ron would never even know what his little girl looked like, it just didn't seem fair. Finally, Sally-Ann went into labour. With a friend by her side, she gave birth to her daughter, Daisy. She had so many similarities to Ron. All of a sudden, it felt like she was with him again. That was it, she decided. She had to do her best to raise their little girl - she had to do it for Ron. But back at home it wasn't easy. She had to cope all by herself, seeing to Daisy when she cried through the night, soothing her and feeding her. With a newborn baby, there was no time to grieve properly. But whenever she felt like giving up, Daisy reminded her to carry on. Sally-Ann is waiting until Daisy is older to tell her about her dad. For now, they visit his grave regularly. She has no doubt Ron would be proud of his daughter, she just wishes he was here to meet her. Sally-Ann never dreamt she'd be a mum, but thanks to Ron she has the most wonderful gift she could ask for.
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