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Devastated mum went from expectant mum to being told baby had died in 5 minutes

Parenting - By Mirror
Grace Hutton has since had two more children after George

A mum has described her devastation at being told just weeks before she was due to have her first baby that he would never arrive.

Grace Hutton had been "nervous" and unsure of what to expect in the lead-up to the birth.

But her excitement turned to tragedy as the mum was told that her son George had tragically passed away in the womb.

Grace, now 39, was 32 weeks pregnant and medical professionals could give no explanation as to why her baby had died.

Grace has shared her story for Baby Loss Awareness Week with the hopes of raising awareness for other expectant mums, reports Lincolnshire Live.

She lost her son nearly a decade ago, and hopes hearing about her experience will help other families.

The occupational therapist said: "I think the weird thing is certain things will completely floor you, even 10 years on, all those emotions will come rushing back especially when you hear other stories or other experiences that people have had and it takes you right back there again.

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"The thing is that it happens far too much but you don't come across it and it isn't talked about, I wasn't aware of it before George, I didn't know that my baby could just stop breathing and I also didn't know that I would never know why.

"Within five minutes I went from being an expectant mum who was having a normal pregnancy, classed as low-risk with only a bit of morning sickness to complain about, to being told that my baby had died."

A tribute to the son she lost

It was October 22, 2010, and Grace had driven from her home in Bolton to her sister's house in Amersham to attend a family wedding the next day.

When she arrived at her sister's house, Grace said she was worried because she "hadn't felt the baby kick in a while" but reassured herself that it was nothing serious.

However, towards the evening, Grace and her sister decided to go to the emergency department at the local hospital, where she had an appointment with a midwife.

Grace added: "My sister was waiting outside the room with her partner, she'd not long given us the exciting news that she was also expecting her first child.

"Ryan, my now-husband, was 50 miles away at home waiting to hear how me and the baby were.

"Until that evening I kept reassuring myself with hopeful thoughts - 'it had been a bit of a rush that morning’ and ‘maybe the humming of the car had kept the baby sleeping’.

"But when I was sat waiting to see the midwife, I knew in my heart that the baby should have kicked by now.

"The midwife tried to listen to a heartbeat and when she couldn’t hear anything she left the room and then returned to complete a scan.

"She then turned to me and told me that my baby had died - and that was it."

After receiving the devastating news, Grace described "being on autopilot" and just "going through the motions".

"For the first few mornings it would take me a few seconds, when I first woke up, to remember what had happened and then I would experience that devastating feeling again of complete and utter heart break," she added.

Although Grace knew that her baby was no longer alive, she said her body "needed telling" and it would be another four days before she could be induced into labour and give birth to her son.

During the 48 hours that she and her husband spent on the labour ward - where she said the nurses were "amazing" - Grace said there was "no escaping the sound of babies and knowing that we would not hear our son cry".

While on the labour ward, the young mum said she had several questions going around her head and was nervous about what to expect when George was finally born.

The 39-year-old added: "Our son George was born at 7pm on the Tuesday, October 26. I remember before he was born being very unsure about meeting him, how would I feel? What would it be like?

"But now one of the things I wish for more than anything is that we’d had more time with him.

"As soon as he was born all that went through my head was that you just want to protect him and want him with you no matter what.

"This October it will be 10 years since myself and my husband held George."

In the weeks afterwards, Grace said it was difficult to be around other people's babies and that she struggled to go into the baby produce aisle at supermarkets.

While it was difficult to be around babies at the time, Grace also said the "last thing" she wanted was for people to feel unable to celebrate their own pregnancies around her.

But it wasn't just difficult for her as a mum and Grace said that fathers who have lost a child are often forgotten about in conversations around grief and bereavement.

She added: "I am very thankful of the support I had from friends and family. My husband was amazing, I know people asked him how I was but I’m not sure how many people asked how he was coping.

"He had after all experienced everything I had - grandparents had also lost their grandchild, aunties and uncles had lost their nephew. The death of a baby touches so many people."

She lost her son just weeks before he was due

Ten years on and Grace has two young children - aged eight and six - who are both aware of their brother and have "talked about him to their friends".

Each year around the time of George's anniversary, Grace said her family always do something special to mark the occasion and it "isn't scary to talk about him".

"It has helped us to process, it's the norm for us to talk about him, we talk about him a lot, and they ask questions about him and they talk about it," Grace added.

Despite having been able to find peace with the sadness of losing a child, Grace said that baby loss is something that should be talked about more and even now, she finds herself caught out by unexpected triggers.

The Lincolnshire mum added: "I still talk to the midwives as part of SANDS - a charity that supports families experiencing baby loss - to help with their training and it's still hard not to be quite tearful even though its ten years on.

"It's such a deep-rooted emotion that you just find that it's hard to get your words out, it just takes you by surprise even now.

"I can remember watching a film once and there was a scene about somebody going for a scan and there not being a heartbeat and it instantly and powerfully brought back all those emotions, it is a trauma."

She has since had two more children.

And since the onset of the pandemic, Grace said she has been concerned for parents who are going through these difficult experiences but are unable to have the support around them.

"I think it's probably really poignant at the moment the need of support, recognising how difficult it must be at the moment, going to scans on their own and getting devastating news," she added.

"Baby Loss Awareness week (which is from October 9 to 15 every year) helps us talk about what is very difficult to talk about, but talking about my son is what keeps his memory alive. It is deeply important to me that I do talk about him and want to."

"I often wonder if I had known more about stillbirths, would this have helped me pick up any signs earlier that something was wrong. Would I have done anything different? This is why I feel it is important for us to talk about and raise awareness about baby loss."

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