A grieving couple are bravely sharing heartbreaking pictures of themselves cradling their stillborn daughter to raise awareness about the needs of parents who have lost a baby.
Having a stillborn baby is unbearably painful, but the grieving process must be made all the more painful when, as you’re learning your baby has passed away, you’re surrounding by the sounds of gurgling newborns and happy parents welcoming their healthy babies into the world.
But sadly, that’s the reality many parents of stillborn babies have to face and its something one couple, who have just been through the heartbreaking process, wants to change.
Maria Grennan, 37, was almost a week over her due date with her first child when she noticed her baby was not moving.
Doctors told the mother-to-be and her paramedic husband Stuart, 36, that their baby had tragically died due to an unknown condition.
Maria gave birth to Maggie on December 5 at Worcestershire Royal Hospital and the couple spent several days in a special bereavement suite saying goodbye to their precious daughter.
But the couple say their experience was made much more difficult because while Maria was delivering Maggie, they could hear women giving birth to healthy babies in an adjourning room.
They are now trying to raise £10,000 to fund a soundproof maternity bereavement suite at the hospital where women can have their stillborn children in peace.
Speaking about her tragic experience Maria Grennan, an ambulance control room operator said: “During the toughest time of our lives we were put in the care of Worcestershire Maternity Bereavement Suite.
“Here we had complete privacy and treated with the upmost respect and compassion by everyone who entered the room. We had a private garden and no limitations on visitors or time restrictions.
“We were able to spend so many precious moments with our beautiful daughter, bathe her, dress her, sleep with her next to us and enable family and friends to meet her.
“Without this suite we are certain we would not be as strong as we are now and sadly we are not alone, so much so that a second suite is needed,” Maria explained.
“During labour we had to move to a delivery suite and had the trauma of listening to another baby being born next door, the most beautiful sound but equally haunting during our experience.”
“There is an opportunity to sound proof two delivery suites in the future and if we can prevent another couple hearing this during their own tragic time then we want to help.
“The bereavement midwife officer and all the midwives have been an amazing support and are continuing to support us during this difficult time.”
Maria and Stuart have decided to pose for heartbreaking photos with their daughter not only as a way of saying goodbye to Maggie, but also to raise awareness of the issue and encourage people to donate.
“It was just heartbreaking. It was just such a horrible shock as there is no way we could have prepared for it,” Maria says.
“I could not feel any movement in Maggie, so we went to the hospital on Saturday December 3 where we found out.
“Words cannot describe the emptiness and pain and love we feel, but we are so proud of our little Maggie and we hope to turn our tragedy into something positive and give something back in her memory.
“Our little angel Maggie was just perfect which makes it so much harder to understand why this happened.
“We have never known love like it, we will never forget her.
“We are so determined to make her short life a positive one and the only thing that is keeping us going is our determination towards Maggie’s Legacy.”
Since launching the appeal days after Maggie was stillborn, the couple have raised £3,759 towards their £10,000 target.
To donate to the bereavement suite appeal, visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/maggieslegacy
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