As I had sort of expected, there was no obvious cause for Zoe's death - although there was a surprise in the blood-work that they did on Nicole after Zoe was delivered. She may be positive for antiphospholipid syndrome - one of the blood conditions that I have been monitored for the last 3 or 4 years as St George's (the one that predisposes me toward clotting). For us both to have it is unusual, to say the least. The consultant said that, while this was not a cause per se, in cases where the mother has this syndrome, there is an increased incidence of cases of stillbirth. She was quick to emphasise that, even if this was the case and we had known about it beforehand, there was nothing to say that things wouldn't have happened in the same way. Even if we had induced Zoe earlier and she had been delivered safely, there was nothing to say that she would have survuived. It's pointless playing the "if" game in any event - there are too many...
I found it really odd to think that Nicole and I might have this same unusual blood condition, and even though I knew it was impossible, I felt fleetingly responsible for what had happened to Zoe. They had to re-do the test, as the pregnancy could have caused a false positive, so Nicole sat and waited for hours while I went to work. Another three weeks to wait now before we'll know, one way or 'tuther.
On the way back to the College, I stopped in at St Margeret's church, in the grounds of Westminster Abbey, where I would quite often come at lunchtime to be quiet and talk to God, but I found I couldn't sit still and grew quickly agitated and angry and left again.
Work was a mixture of a welcome distraction (we had visitors that needed to be introduced to the work of the department) and a pain in the whatsit - I don't think I accomplished a great deal. Tomorrow will be the seventh aniversary of the day that I started at the College - as a proper employee, not in the kitchen, and I'm marking the occasion by going to the all-you-can eat Chinese buffet to stuff myself.
The diet starts the day after tomorrow.