We were delighted to soon be parents and were days if not hours away from meeting our little baby. Unfortunately the unspoken fear of all parents was confirmed and our baby boy died a matter of minutes before being born. We are completely devastated but want to attempt to do something positive for our beautiful boy Theo.
A few of us have decided to participate in a series of fundraising events throughout 2017, to promote awareness and fund vital research into stillbirth in the UK.
After a healthy and happy pregnancy we went to hospital the evening before our induction was planned, as the baby’s movements seemed less than normal.
We were hugely relieved to find our baby’s heartbeat was still strong when we arrived at hospital, however while still being monitored he started going downhill quickly and after an emergency cesarean section our baby was born sleeping.
The team at Queens Hospital Burton-on-Trent worked tirelessly for almost 40 minutes to try and revive our boy, but were unable to despite all their best efforts. You could see how much it meant to the team involved and how affected they were too, much more than just a job for everyone involved and many of the midwives even attended Theo’s funeral.
Although we thought our baby was a boy, we didn’t know the sex of our beautiful baby Theodore Andrew Swinburne (Theo) until our worst fears were confirmed. Nickie had been given a general anesthetic so didn’t know what had happened, my first words as a father were “He didn’t make it” as I tried to find a way to tell Nickie our precious baby had died after 41 weeks of unconditional love and care.
The thought of another set of parents or family going through this is horrible, but worse still is that 15 babies are stillborn or die within the first 4 weeks of birth each day in the UK, often with the cause unknown. This rate is worryingly high compared to other developed countries. The rate is coming down, with Sands contributing to this but it’s still far too high.
We have responded the only way we know how and that’s to celebrate our little boy, tell our story, raise awareness and aim to raise some money for Sands. It’s still a daily struggle but taking some positives steps is really helping. Sands do some tremendous work from extensive research, to working with midwives and health professionals, plus supporting bereaved parents and their families.
Dave (my twin brother) and I have decided to ride the London to Paris bike ride in Theo’s name and to raise money for Sands. We also plan to do the Great North Swim with my amazing wife Nickie and also add in run to complete the trio – now confirmed as the Edinburgh marathon! We have an ambitious target of £3000, but we’re determined to do it and hopefully exceed it, as it truly will make a difference and help fund the vital research into this often uncomfortable and taboo subject.
Thank you for visiting the page and reading our story, absolutely any donations and the smallest amounts would all be hugely appreciated.
Andy & Nickie Swinburne xx
Twitter: @for_theo #fortheo