Great Wyrley mum Kim Preston knows only too well how important a good support network is after sadly losing her baby daughter Felicity in October 2015.
Kim had had a normal pregnancy and was hoping for a natural delivery when she went into Walsall Manor Hospital.
“My contractions stopped and I was given something to get them going again,” explained Kim. “But things weren’t right. When she was born Felicity was placed on me but she was taken off me again as she didn’t cry. I remember wanting her to cry and feeling really worried as they did CPR on her. It’s your instinct as a mother.
“I was then told there was nothing more they could do to save her.”
It was while Kim was having stitches that her health deteriorated and she ended up having to go into theatre for surgery on a ruptured uterus. After the operation she was taken to the Intensive Therapy Unit before being moved on to a ward.
She vividly remembers coming round from the anaesthetic and trying to make sense of what had happened.
“I was groggy and struggling to get things straight in my head but what I did know was that my baby had died, she had been stillborn, and everything else seemed to be a blur,” she said. “We were given a memory box and within that was a card for Sands the Stillbirth and neonatal death charity.”
Kim made contact with the Wolverhampton group and spoke to befrienders there which she says helped her and husband Steve.
“I can honestly say the group has been a wonderful support. When you’ve lost a baby you go through all sorts of feelings and you really do wonder what’s normal. The group helps you to understand that you’re not the only one to feel this way.”
Kim has since trained to be a befriender for Sands and the charity has recently opened a support group in Walsall to run alongside the Wolverhampton one. It meets every other month and the next meeting is on Monday 5 November 7-9pm at Walsall Fire Station in Blue Lane West, WS2 8NU.
Kim has two sons George aged five and Sydni, one, who was born prematurely and spent 11 weeks in neonatal units in Stoke and Walsall.
“It was important to me to try and get pregnant as soon as it was safe to do so after we lost Felicity because I could never come to terms with the fact that I’d come out of hospital without a baby,” added Kim.
“We will never forget our daughter but with the help of Sands we are trying to focus on the future with our boys. I would urge anyone else who has experienced the loss of a baby to take up the support that is available because it can be a great comfort to talk to others who have been in the same situation; they know exactly how you feel.”