Published on 15 October 2019
A mum who lost her baby at 23 weeks pregnant after he developed a rare genetic condition set up a support group for other bereaved parents.
Stacie Goddard had no idea anything was wrong when she went for a routine scan at 20 weeks but was given the devastating news that baby Peter had not developed kidneys and would not survive.
His condition meant he was not producing any amniotic fluid, which usually surrounds babies in the womb, and his lungs would also not be able to develop.
Throughout the traumatic ordeal, Stacie received outstanding care from midwives and has been left with treasured memories and keepsakes including a recording of her baby’s heartbeat.
Stacie, who shared her story for Baby Loss Awareness Week, said: “My son’s legacy will live on. I have helped thousands of women to cope with the loss of their babies and even helped most to go on and have their rainbows.
“I went on to have two very healthy, special babies after losing my Peter. I am very passionate about raising awareness for our babies, and I will continue to talk about my son’s condition, and pregnancy and infant loss, until it is no longer a taboo subject.”
Peter was born on 1 July 2016 weighing just 420g after Stacie’s labour was induced.
She said: “I made the most of my time with my baby still inside me. I spoke to him every day and sung to him as well. I used to play chase and tickle his feet when he stuck them up.
“I wanted a second opinion and I went to that last scan with such hope that nothing was wrong with my baby.
“But the consultant said the baby was suffering and that he was being crushed as there was no fluid to protect him. I knew at that point I had to make the most painful, selfless decision, and let my baby go peacefully and pain-free.”
Peter was born at the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate, and midwives delivered him onto Stacie’s chest.
She said: “I’ve never felt a love like it before. I cried my heart out for my little man who was so perfect on the outside.
“I was so lucky to have the midwives capture the moment he was put on my chest, a photo that will forever hold a special place in my heart.
“I spent that day holding him kissing him and taking as many pictures as I could, the midwives also took photos and also did his footprints for me. I looked at every tiny detail and held his beautiful hands.”
Since Peter’s death, as well as supporting other parents, Stacie has raised money for a cuddle cot that means parents can spend more time with their babies – it keeps the baby cool so parents can take them home to say goodbye.
She also won an award for her work helping others, and is organising a ‘Wave of Life’ event at Margate clocktower on Tuesday, 15 October from 8pm to 9pm. Bereaved parents are invited to bring candles to light in memory of their babies, and can also bring photos if they want.
For more information, see her page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PAILsupport/