Parents’ Stories

If you are a newly bereaved parent, we hope that these touching stories from other families about their precious babies, will give you some comfort at this difficult time.


My husband, Euan, and I were so thrilled to find out that we were pregnant with our first born. The first few months were filled with nervous excitement, as we pondered what like would be like “this time next year” when we had our little one making our team of two into a trio!

All was fine after the 12 week scan, and we came away from the hospital as two proud parents-to-be, just cooing over our scan photo. My husband was convinced he could see that our baby definitely had my nose.

The trip to the hospital for the 20 week scan didn’t go as well. Although our baby looked healthy and had a strong heartbeat, unfortunately, my cervix had opened slightly. We were taken great care of – seen by a consultant immediately and kept in overnight to have a stitch placed around my cervix the next day. We were hugely anxious – everything had been going so well until now, and neither of us had any idea that this is something that could happen.

Although the procedure went well and I was sent home – when I came back to the hospital the following week, I had to be readmitted as they were concerned that my cervix might open again meaning there was a risk I’d go into labour early. Euan and I were trying to remain positive, but on 2 June when I was just 22 weeks pregnant, I went into labour.

There was nothing that could be done to stop this process, and my husband and I knew we now had to face the inevitable – that our baby would be born just too early to survive.

We had to decide really quickly on a name – we’d talked about a few different names for both boys and girls, but neither of us ever thought we’d have to pick a name for our child who we wouldn’t be able to take home.

The neonatal team gave us all the options and asked us what action we wanted to be taken for our child when they were born – whether we wanted them to intervene to try and prolong their life, or to do nothing. We made the heartbreaking decision to take no action. We knew our baby would be just too small, so we decided that we wanted our child to be born, and then for them to know no pain, and only love.

At 6.33pm on 2 June – I gave birth to our beautiful son Wallace (“Wally”). I couldn’t believe it – a boy! We were told that there was only a 10% chance that he would be born alive, and he was. Euan and I were able to spend 2 wonderful hours just holding Wally, telling him how much we loved him and kissing him. I was surprised at how long he was – he was definitely going to be a tall boy, just like his dad. And Euan was right, he did have my nose!

Wally lived for just 2 hours – although such a short time, he knew only our love – and I take some solace in that. I feel so lucky and honoured to be Wally’s mum. I know everyone says it about their child, but he really was the most beautiful, perfect little boy.

We stayed in the hospital for 3 nights – with Wally in a cold cot lying between Euan and me. Although these were by far the most horrendous days of our lives, we talk so fondly of that time when we had Wally with us. We had a little naming ceremony for him in the hospital too. I can’t reiterate how well we were treated by all the staff at the hospital, who made such a special effort to treat us with kindness and talk to us about our son. Having our midwife take Wally’s body away before we left the hospital was the most painful thing I’ve ever had to experience, and I’m still not sure how either of us managed to get through that.

In the months soon after we lost Wally, Held in our Hearts were a real saviour. Having someone to talk to about Wally, to share my thoughts and feelings, and often just cry with was such a support during those really dark days. And still now, 11 months later, I chat regularly to my peer supporter – who has been a life saver. I really can’t thank her or the charity enough. Some days I still don’t know how Euan and I manage to get up and survive each day. Painting a smile on our faces to the outside world, when inside we are living without the best piece of us both. But Euan and I still find ways to include Wally in everything we do. For his due date – we climbed Ben Nevis to honour him. Every morning and evening, I go into the room that would have been his nursery and kiss a little blanket that we wrapped him in. We talk of Wally constantly – what he’d have liked, how kind I know he’d have been, and who he’d have grown up to become.

The next big milestone is his birthday. I’m not sure what we’ll do, but we’ll honour him in some way – and every 2 June now includes a donation to Held in our Hearts too.