The Story of Flora and Oakley

I know how important these bereavement suites will be to families like mine, so if you can, please donate and help support the Royal Berks Charity raise £40,000 in this special Christmas Appeal - Nicky, mum to angel baby Flora and rainbow baby Oakley

In the early hours of Thursday 11 February, at 31 weeks and 4 days, Flora stopped moving and we were told the devastating news that there was no heartbeat.  On Sunday 14 February, Valentine’s Day at 7.34pm, Flora was born sleeping.

I didn’t know that the Royal Berks Hospital had a maternity bereavement team, but on that day I was glad they were there.  Hayley and Louise, bereavement midwives were with us through the whole process, answering all of our many questions and ensuring we were given the time and space to be new parents to our daughter.

We spent 24 hours with Flora. She was so delicate and tiny we were scared to touch her in case we hurt her, but the bereavement team were wonderful in helping us to hold her and I was able to enjoy being a mum even if it was only for a short time

Having a dedicated space like the bereavement suite is crucial for women who have experienced pregnancy loss or death of their baby.  Currently the suites at the Royal Berks are located within the main maternity unit. With the money raised from the Christmas Appeal, Royal Berks Charity will be embarking on a project to ensure all new bereaved parents and their families have a quiet and private space, away from other new parents and their babies, to grieve their loss.

The care of the bereavement midwives was so important in encouraging us to try again when we felt ready.  When we discovered we were pregnant with Oakley, we had a mix of feelings and were elated to see her heartbeat at our 8-week scan. Thanks to the Rainbow team, a group of dedicated midwives who look after expectant mum’s who have experienced previous pregnancy loss or death of a baby, we were able to relax and felt reassured by their expert care.

Throughout the pregnancy, Oakley was tiny and so I didn’t always feel her moving, one minute I would, then I wouldn’t. After what had happened with Flora I was understandably anxious and concerned but no matter how many times I contacted the team I was never made to feel like a burden.

With the support of Juliette and Jos, two of the Rainbow midwives my preference plan and care plan were recorded, which really helped me to process what was happening – the Rainbow team were my positivity when I couldn’t be.

It was all a bit overwhelming when Oakley arrived; the team arranged for us to have our own private room so that we had time to get used to our baby being here, healthy and wriggling around, processing feeding her and just knowing she was ok.

Baby loss is still such a taboo subject. Sometimes life throws really rubbish stuff at us and we need to know it’s okay to talk about it.

Get in touch

Royal Berks Charity,
Royal Berkshire Hospital,
London Road,
Reading RG1 5AN

© 2021 Royal Berks Charity.
The working name of the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust Charity.
Registered charity number 1052720

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