Lucy tells us about the difficult birth and tragic loss of her first child, Elouisa
“My pregnancy was normal and Elouisa was healthy at every stage. At 42 weeks, I wasn’t giving any indication of going into labour and so went into hospital to begin induction. In the middle of the night, I started having waves of pain which weren’t really bad but too much for me to go to sleep. I thought my waters had broken so I turned on the light but quickly realised it wasn’t water but blood instead.
“I was rushed into theatre and was in shock as everything went on around me. The doctors couldn’t find much movement and only a very, very faint heartbeat. I was rushed for an emergency C section and Elouisa was born without a heartbeat. The team then resuscitated her for 22 minutes.”
“Elouisa’s initial tests and brain scans made it very clear that she had been without oxygen for too long and her brain wasn’t functioning properly. My husband Tom and I were told that Elouisa was not going to live and we had to make a decision as quickly as possible about the next steps for her. We had to decide whether to take her off life support or send her to another hospital for cooling treatment which could prolong her life by a certain amount of time.
“We felt it was the best thing for her to be taken off life support and Elouisa lived for another 40 hours. She breathed for herself for all of that time. She woke up once and she fed and opened her eyes and cried. It was amazing but awful at the same time. She was perfect; beautiful, strong, and everything we had hoped for in our daughter- just, devastatingly, she was not able to stay with us.”
Elouisa died in Lucy’s arms 48 hours after she was born.
“On 9th September, when Elouisa would have been six months old, Tom and I decided to do something special in her memory. On Tom’s way to work, he kept seeing a Sparks poster so we did some research to find out more about the charity. It fitted really well, especially as they fund research into cooling treatment for babies who are starved of oxygen at birth, like Elouisa had been. We set up a Justgiving page and asked family and friends to donate and so far, over £8000 has been raised in Elouisa’s memory.
“We want to support the research that Sparks funds for babies that have suffered oxygen deprivation at birth. For them, the cooling treatment can really make a difference. The treatment prevents further brain damage and can give babies a better quality of life. We do not want anyone to go through what we have been through. If at all possible, we want to try and give parents some relief in the knowledge that their babies and children are having the happiest and most active life that they can thanks to Sparks’ research.”
You can get involved and help raise money for Sparks Charity. Plus, join our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram communities to stay up-to-date with our work. Help us improve children’s lives forever, through the power of research – donate today.
Read more stories