“When the nurse said there was no heartbeat, my world stopped…”

Following a scan when she was seven months pregnant, Lynette was told that her baby had died. The heartbreaking news came as a total shock to the then first-time mum, who was advised to go home to collect an overnight bag and return to the hospital to give birth. “We were completely devastated,” she remembers. “I had pictured the perfect pregnancy and the perfect baby, but it wasn’t going to be like that. Everyone was very gentle and supportive, but coming back with my hospital bag was so distressing. I looked like any other expectant mother – someone even wished me good luck on the way in.”

Lynette was admitted to the Abby Suite where she gave birth to her little boy, James. She and her husband Matt were able stay overnight and spend precious time with their son. “I remember every detail,” Lynette says. “James was tiny but absolutely beautiful, and looked like any other newborn. We both cherish every second that we spent with him.”  However, the Abby Suite is situated right next to the delivery suite. “All we could hear was the healthy cries of other people’s babies. It tore our hearts out, knowing that James would never cry and that we’d be leaving with empty arms.”

Our plans for Woodland House mean that in the future, women, couples and families facing the shock and distress of losing a baby will be able to spend time as a family in a quiet, comfortable, non-clinical space away from the main hospital building. At Woodland House, they will be given all the privacy and support they need during one of the most upsetting and difficult personal experiences imaginable.

“It is so hard to be in a place that is so geared up for new life” says Lynette.  “When the time came to say goodbye to James, we were taken to the family room. Walking through the corridors with all the pictures of newborn babies was awful. We left by the back entrance to avoid seeing other mums and dads with their babies. Having Woodland House will mean so much to families facing the unbearable pain of losing their child.”