I was 17 when I fell pregnant with Ruby-Leigh. My relationship with her dad was unstable and I was still in foster care at the time. I’d been in care from the age of seven. I hadn’t had the best start to life; I never really knew my mum so having my own little family meant everything to me.
The pregnancy was difficult and there were a few scares along the way, but on 16th October 2014 I gave birth to my precious little girl.
She was tiny – 3lbs 14oz – but she was perfect. I remember sitting by the side of the incubator all night, watching her sucking her little thumb. I couldn’t believe she was here and that she was okay.
Then my world came crashing down a month later when I woke up to find my girl not breathing. I phoned an ambulance and was told how to perform CPR on my tiny baby. Within minutes I was in the back of an ambulance on the way to hospital.
Alarms were going off in A&E. Ruby was rushed to be resuscitated. It felt like 1,000 doctors were handling her at once. I wanted to follow them, but was asked to wait outside. When I saw the doctors leaving the room I just knew. Ruby had died.
I was all on my own at the hospital. I was heartbroken and just wanted her back. I asked to hold my baby and we were put into a room together. She had wires through her nose and a cannula in her hand. I had pictures taken of me holding Ruby for the very last time and the hospital took her hand and foot prints. Ten hours later they told me I had to take Ruby to the chapel of rest, but I wasn’t ready. I couldn’t leave her on her own, I just couldn’t.
Ruby’s post-mortem stated she was a perfectly healthy and well-nourished child. The cause of death was SIDS. I wish SIDS was spoken about more openly so people are aware of the importance of safer sleeping for babies.
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