During June 2017, as part of our 15 babies a day initiative, we will share 15 blogs by 15 people who have been affected by the death of a baby. By doing this we aim to show the sheer number of people who are affected by the tragedy of one baby’s death. Visit our 15 Perspectives webpage to view other blogs in the series.
Hi I’m Susy and this is my story: On 11th March 1974, at a small community hospital in Farnborough my parent’s first baby daughter Katheryn was born. The midwife asked my mum if she had her dates right as she seemed small for a full term baby. In fact she was two weeks overdue. My mum and dad got to hold her briefly but it quickly became apparent she was poorly and she was rushed to another hospital nearby. My mum was told not to visit as it would be too upsetting and was kept on the same ward with other crying babies until she asked to be moved. Katheryn died aged four days old.
As early as I can remember, my younger brother and I knew we had a big sister and we would visit her grave every year with my parents. We would clean her head stone and lay beautiful cut flowers. Over the years I would be reminded that although she wasn't with us my parents would never forget her. One such moment was when my mum’s father died and her message on the funeral flowers read "Dad, please look after Katheryn for me."
My mum has recently told me she wished a charity like Sands had existed to support them as it was different back then. Mum recalls people crossing the road to avoid her, 'the lady whose baby had died'. A close friend would let my mum take her baby boy for walks in his pushchair which she said was a great comfort to her at the time.
Although I never experienced the grief of Katheryn’s death, I do feel great sadness for my parents that they didn't get to see her achieve the same milestones as me and my brother, that we didn't get to grow up with our big sister but most of all that Katheryn didn't get to know how amazing her parents are.
In memory of Katheryn Louise Gould. My big sister who I never got to meet.
15 babies die before, during or shortly after birth every day in the UK. 15 too many. We want to reduce this number, but we need your help. Support our #15babiesaday initiative by donating or fundraising now.