A North Tyneside woman whose baby boy was born sleeping has spoken of her heartbreaking experience of losing a child.
After two miscarriages, Natalie and David King were “over the moon” when they discovered they were pregnant with their little miracle Milo on January 4, 2021. Their baby boy allowed the couple to finally start the family they had dreamed of so much after a difficult IVF course.
Natalie, from Wallsend, said: “We’ve been going through IVF since 2018 and suffered a few miscarriages but finally got it with Milo in 2021.
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“We were absolutely over the moon, thinking this was going to happen, we’re finally going to start our little family.”
But on July 23, 2021, Natalie, 31, was rushed to the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) in Newcastle after experiencing pain. Her son Milo was sadly born sleeping at 29 weeks on July 25, 2021 and weighed just 2 pounds and 2 ounces.
Natalie said: “I woke up one morning, it was just a normal Friday morning. I started my day and then I started having pain. I was rushed to IVR and the moment I arrived, Milo had already left.”
Natalie explained that she spent much of her pregnancy in hospital due to hyperemesis, severe or prolonged vomiting, and had to be given fluid drops to keep her hydrated. When she arrived at the hospital on July 23, she was diagnosed with severe pre-eclampsia, which had caused her blood pressure to rise and her heart rate to drop.
Natalie said: “They must have spent 48 hours trying to keep me alive and I also had 36 hours of labor to rescue Milo. It was a really traumatic time.
“We stayed in the hospital for two more days after having Milo just so we could hang out with him, take pictures, hold him and say goodbye. Then it was time for us to go home, which was absolutely awful, I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.
“Going to the hospital, having a baby, and then having to go home without a baby is horrible.”
While in the hospital, Natalie and David were given a keepsake box to store sentimental things in Milo’s memory. It was provided by 4Louis, a Sunderland-based charity which works to support families across the UK who are experiencing the loss of a child.
The charity provides bespoke keepsake boxes to hospital units and hospices across the UK and Ireland, along with other life-saving equipment such as Moses baskets, cuddly beds and bereavement support. Since losing Milo, Natalie has volunteered her time to help the charity.
She visited 4Louis in Sunderland to help create keepsake boxes and also raised funds, with the help of The Family Tree Day Nursery, in Howdon, to buy a cuddly bed embroidered with Milo’s name, which allows bereaved families to stay with their baby for a longer time to give them a chance to say goodbye.
Natalie said: “Our world fell apart and we didn’t know how we would go on, but our pain opened a whole new door to 4Louis who have been amazing since Milo died and so many other families who have experienced the sorrow of losing a child.”
Now Natalie is preparing to skydive on October 29 at SkyHigh Skydiving in Peterlee to raise money for 4Louis. The skydive will follow Baby Loss Awareness Week, which runs October 9-15, 2022.
Natalie said: “I’m absolutely terrified and it’s not something I would choose to do, but I think if you want to raise money for charity you have to step out of your comfort zone and do something. something you normally wouldn’t do.”
To help raise funds for 4Louis, Natalie created a JustGiving page. Anyone wishing to donate for their fundraiser can do so by following this link .
She added: “As hard as it is sometimes to tell my story and keep going, it’s knowing that [Milo would be proud] that drives me forward and pushes me to do it.
“I know there are so many families out there who are going through this and not talking about it. What if I can just reach out to someone who’s been through the same thing with my story and let them know they’re not alone , that’s what keeps me going.”