As part of Sands 40th anniversary this year, we will share 40 stories by 40 parents, family members and friends affected by the death of a baby. Starting during Sands Awareness Month and our #FindingTheWords campaign, we aim to show the sheer number of people who are affected by the tragedy of a baby’s death, help other bereaved parents to understand they are not alone and raise awareness of the issues surrounding stillbirth and neonatal death. Visit our 40 stories for #Sands40 to view other blogs in the series.
My partner Andy and I had our first child together, Finley, on the 18 August 2015. Thirteen months later I was pregnant again.
During our 20 week scan we found out that twin 2 had a heart condition called Transposition of the Great Arteries (TGA). He was due to go for open heart surgery at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital as soon as he was born.
Unfortunately, our twins were born at 30 weeks by emergency C-Section. Dylan weighed just 3lb 1oz which meant he was too small for the operation and he passed away 16 hours after birth.
The nurse who looked after Dylan was so kind, she stroked his head, talked to him, bathed him, took photos, and did hand and footprints.
Marie Austin is our bereavement midwife from the honeysuckle team at Liverpool Women’s Hospital. The team care for your baby, make sure they are comfortable and peaceful.
They gave us a large memory box containing all of his tubes, anything he had touched, the blanket he was lying on in his incubator – still with his smell on, lots of poems, cards, a lock of his hair, a balloon to send to the sky, a candle and angel holder, his first tiny nappy, his Vaseline, a key ring and a star necklace too.
They have a beautiful parents’ room, where you can spend time with your baby and make memories.
Mark Heymans from ‘Remember my Baby’ captured the most beautiful photographs of our baby and us as a family. Before doing so he asked if he could he touch Dylan, and he looked straight at him and said: “Hello little man.”
On the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) ward where our son Nate was for 6 weeks, they put a photo of a butterfly on his incubator. This is their sign to show that we had experienced child loss.
On Mother's Day they gave me a card with a photo of Nate inside and it said: “To the strongest mummy I know.” At Easter we were given an Easter chick with an egg inside and another card again with a photo of Nate.
We have set up a Just Giving page and raised £205 so far to raise awareness and funds for the hospital. I have had keyrings, pens, and birthday cards for heaven babies made.
I have also created a Facebook page called Dylan’s Day and it is with my passion and sheer heartache that I will fight to raise awareness of baby loss and support those on the same journey. I am the provider of two support groups one that is just for people who have lost one or both twins.
The Liverpool Women’s Hospital have a chapel and Reverend Anne blessed our boys in the hospital and arranged the most wonderful Mother’s Day service. She came over to the Wirral to lead Dylan’s funeral. The work that goes on in this hospital is extraordinary.
It has been so hard to cope with the grief and happiness of a newborn, especially for Andy’s eldest son Ethan, 9, who has lost his baby brother. However, by talking about Dylan it helps us to remember he is always a part of our family.
Picture: Kate Sharp and Andy Green's son, Dylan.
15 babies die before, during or shortly after birth every day in the UK. We want to reduce this number, but we need your help. Support Sands now to help ensure a bereaved parent doesn't have to cope alone. Thank you.