A heartbroken young mum had just 40 minutes to say goodbye to her stillborn baby.
Millie Wylie, 23, tragically lost her son Lenny when she was four months pregnant at the Liverpool Women’s Hospital in September and is now campaigning to set up a baby loss charity to keep his memory alive and help people going through the same ordeal.
Millie, who has two other children, Sonny, four, and Louie, two, is aiming to set up a registered charity with the aim of improving support for pregnant women who have to go through delivering their miscarried babies.
She told how a scan revealed that Lenny had no heartbeat, and she opted to go into hospital for medical management. However, after the traumatic ordeal of giving birth to Lenny who had passed away, Millie then had little time to say goodbye to her beloved son in the hospital, reports LancsLive.
Millie, from Skelmersdale, said: “I knew about baby loss, but I did not know it was that common. It was very traumatic and very sad as I was almost four months pregnant.
“The scan was at Liverpool Women’s Hospital, and they said there’s no heartbeat. They told me, and then we got a second opinion, and then they took me through the early pregnancy ward where everyone was talking about pregnancy. They should have support wards and more support.”
“They offered me to go home and let Lenny pass in his own time, but I chose the medical management, and went in for that. Once I had given birth, I had forty minutes to say my goodbyes.”
“I was frozen. I didn’t know what to do, and it didn’t hit me until about a month ago. People suffer with grief in different ways, and I didn’t know what to think. There was no one to speak to about it.
“It’s absolutely crazy, the whole approach to baby loss is so stigmatised – that was my personal experience. Yet I can’t fault the hospital at all – that was the approach towards baby loss itself. It needs to be more acknowledged – there’s no official help around baby loss. I still don’t think they know enough about it.”
Now Millie is aiming to set up a baby loss charity called ‘Lenny’s Love’ in her son’s name, which will provide support and materials such as special ‘comfort bags’ for parents receiving treatment for baby loss in hospitals.
The special ‘comfort bags’ aimed at parents currently going through baby loss will include toiletries, pyjamas, underwear , clay babies with angels, a leaflet containing Millie’s own story, a personal notepad and a list of support contacts.
There will also be memorial bags for people who have suffered previous baby loss, and Millie also aims to work with hospitals and set up a website for her charity. The organisation needs to raise £5000 in order to become a registered charity.
With the aim of achieving this, a special fundraising event is set to take place at The Buffs, a community club on Ormskirk Road in Digmoor, Skelmersdale, on Sunday, August 28 from midday to 7pm. It will feature games, stalls, raffles, music, dancing and a moving tribute tree for baby loss.
Millie added: “It will be so nice to keep a child’s name alive. This is Lenny’s legacy to the world.” In a statement, she said: “I’m fundraising on behalf of our charity we are raising to register, Lenny’s Love. Lenny’s Love aims to provide and distribute comfort bags to maternity hospitals around the north west and gradually move around the UK to many more hospitals.
“Comfort bags are designed to bring a little comfort to bereaved parents suffering the loss of a baby through pregnancy, stillbirth, ectopic, and terminations for medical reasons. We aim to provide counselling & retreats for mental health in regards to baby loss and would love to help support the funds of funeral flowers and/or headstones.
These funds are vital to help us register as a charity in which to receive a charity number and so we can provide much needed vital support around. Please support us, we cannot do this without you all.”
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “Every pregnancy loss is a tragedy, and ensuring grieving families have access to the support they need is one of our highest priorities.
“We are expanding access to psychological and talking therapies within specialist perinatal mental health services, including by rolling out 33 new Maternal Mental Health Services across England by March 2024.
“The first ever government-led Women’s Health Strategy for England was published on 20 July and pregnancy loss is a priority area within the strategy.”
A spokesperson for Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust said: “Liverpool Women’s is always committed to being sensitive and supportive to everyone who experiences the loss of a baby or pregnancy.
“We understand every person and their wishes are different and we always aim to tailor our support to meet individual expectations. We also maintain support and dialogue with families following a loss to offer continued support and to allow people to feedback on their experience.”