Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Having to Wait 48 Hours to Give Birth Knowing Fearne Was Dead - It Was Horrible; Couple Turn Their Grief into Support for Other Families

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Having to Wait 48 Hours to Give Birth Knowing Fearne Was Dead - It Was Horrible; Couple Turn Their Grief into Support for Other Families

Article excerpt

Byline: CHRIS KNIGHT Reporter christopher.knight@trinitymirror.com @C_M_Knight

PARENTS Andy and Gemma Race suffered unimaginable heartbreak when their baby girl was delivered stillborn.

Fearne Race was born at the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) in Newcastle last November after 25 weeks, weighing only 720 grams.

Months on from their heartbreaking loss, Andy and Gemma, from Walker, Newcastle, have emotionally opened up on their traumatic experience and their attempts to help other parents suffering similar experiences.

It was on November 2 that mum Gemma realised Fearne was not kicking as usual at 6am and, after raising her concerns, a visiting midwife struggled to find a heartbeat.

Worried Gemma was rushed to the RVI, where she and Andy were quickly delivered the devastating news their unborn daughter had died.

Andy, 33, said: "There was no warning, it literally came out of nowhere. It was horrible."

But the couple's nightmare was far from over. Gemma was advised to take a tablet to induce labour, and had to wait 48 hours to return and give birth.

The room used for stillborn deliveries was unavailable, which meant Gemma had to endure her 12-hour ordeal surrounded by expectant mothers. Andy added: "Finding out the news and then having to wait 48 hours to give birth knowing Fearne was dead - it was horrible.

"The days just went really slowly. There was nothing anyone could do and I found it cruel. Gemma had to give birth in the same ward as the other expectant mothers, which was tough. They were the worst 48 hours of our lives."

Fearne was blessed shortly after birth by a chaplain.

Months on from the tragedy, Andy has spoken of the continuing impact of the unexpected loss on the family and the strength the couple have gained from their 14-month-old son Bobby.

He said: "We have good days and bad days, the tragedy of losing a child has put a massive strain on us as a family. We were lucky enough to have a lit-tle boy to give us something to live for. …

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