A young couple had a devastating and heartbreaking experience with stillbirth. Instead of having an abortion, they decided to give birth to their little girl, who they knew would never take a breath but whom they wanted to share even a moment together to honor her life and to allow their family a chance to grieve.
Samantha was 39 weeks pregnant when she went into the Upper Ferntree Gully hospital on June 25 this year, expecting to give birth to baby Talia. But on the way into the hospital, her motherly instincts told her something was wrong. Doctors confirmed her fears.
Talia’s heart had stopped.
Samantha was told to return the following morning to naturally give birth to her stillborn daughter. “We really did grieve, hard, in those 12 hours we went home,” Phil said.
Samantha desperately clung to what little time she had to grieve with her beloved baby whose body began deteriorating shortly after she was born. There was barely enough time for the couple and their son Ryder, 3, to bond with the baby girl before she was gone.
The next time they would meet would be to say goodbye forever.
“To love someone, who’s never going to love you back the same, to talk to a baby that you’re never going to hear talk back to you,” Samantha said. “When Phil first held Talia, they were the things that were going through his head. She’s never going to cuddle me back, she’s never going to kiss me back.”
“That side of it’s tough.”
But the couple isn’t angry.
In fact, the couple is now helping others dealing with stillbirth.
When a mother delivers a stillborn baby, the baby is born without any signs of life at or after 20 weeks of pregnancy. According to the National Health Service, there are around 4,000 stillbirths every year in the UK and 1 in every 200 births ends in a stillbirth. Every day in the UK, eleven babies are stillborn.
While it is largely unknown what causes fetal death at this stage of a woman’s pregnancy, these are some factors that may contribute: placental problems, birth defects, poor fetal growth, infections, umbilical cord accidents, and chronic health conditions in the pregnant mother.
However, regardless of the cause of death, losing a baby is always a devastating experience for a mother and her family. Many doctors and psychologists suggest that families spend time with their baby before they are sent to the morgue. This is important because it can bring the family closure and time to form a lasting bond with their baby.
In the past, this has been difficult for hospitals to facilitate because warm rooms cause the baby’s condition to deteriorate quickly. This is why the new cuddle cot invention, or “Moses-basket” is so beneficial for bereaved families.
As LifeNews previously reported, the CuddleCot cools the baby’s body and allows the baby to stay with the family for a longer period of time, granting them the closure they need. So far, the CuddleCot has received positive reviews by many hospitals around the world.
Now, a family in the United Kingdom has benefited from the invention and wants to help others do the same.
Instead, they want to channel their grief to provide them with strength to help other parents in the same position.
“For me now, I want people to know it does happen, and I don’t want Talia to be a taboo subject; she’s my daughter,” Samantha said.
“The last thing you want is for people to forget about your child.”
That’s especially important for Ryder who innocently replies his baby sister is “up in the stars” when asked where she is.
“I just want people to know that if it happens to someone they know, it’s OK to talk about it,” she said.
Samantha and Phil wanted to ensure others could grieve with their stillborn children, and so raised $4500 to donate a CuddleCot to the Angliss Hospital.
Very few hospitals in Victoria have the device. The couple is now raising money to donate a CuddleCot to a second hospital in Melbourne’s east.