On the 9th June 2021, I gave birth to my 4th and 5th babies, my second set of twins.
I had a healthy and textbook pregnancy, both babies grew as they should and were delivered at 37 weeks and 3 days. We came home the next day with our completed and happy family.
Fast forward 13 weeks and 6 days, we enjoyed a wonderful day at our local play cafe with Hazel’s nanny, her brother Cody, and her twin sisters Olivia and Ivy. We came home, gave her and Cody their evening baths, snuggled them up and let them sleep in their pods on the sofa whilst we watched television. At 11:30pm, we took them up to their cot, changed their bums and settled them for the night. Hazel woke, cooing, smiling and wriggling all over as she always did.
We went to sleep peacefully and happily, until 3:15am, when Cody cried for his dummy.
Phil (my fiancé), put the dummy back and noticed Hazel had rolled onto her front, something she’d just learnt to do!
He turned her onto her side, her favourite way to sleep, and noticed a stillness. He scooped her up and woke me shouting that she wasn’t breathing. I pushed on her chest and shouted her name, shaking her slightly in the hope she was in deep sleep. I knew this wasn’t the reality, as she was freezing cold, white, and completely limp.
I called 999, screaming down the phone that she wasn’t breathing. Phil’s parents live a minutes’ walk from our house, thankfully, so Phil ran with her in arms to his dad who is a retired fire fighter in the hopes he could save her.
When I made my way round with Cody, leaving the 3 other girls fast asleep in bed, I arrived to her grandad performing CPR. The ambulance arrived not long after, even though it felt like a lifetime, they took her into the ambulance and began working on her.
By this time, Phil’s mum had run round to our 3 other girls and the police had arrived at both Phil’s parents’ home and ours.
We were blue lighted with them to the hospital, where doctors and nurses were working tirelessly to save her, but we knew she’d been gone long before we found her.
The doctor delivered the official news and the world crashed down around us.
We spent 3 and a half hours with her, in and out of the room between tears and distress. The hospital looking after us and her every step of the way, until the local detectives arrived to go through the course of events. As they should, many questions were asked regarding what had happened, and her body was checked for any marks. Crime scene investigators were in the house for most of the following day and removed the mattress, blankets and comforters that were in with Hazel at the time.
It was surreal to say the least.
Once we’d said our final goodbyes, we left the same hospital without her that we’d left just 13 weeks and 6 days before with her and her brother snuggled into their car seats.
We have a beautiful memorial table for Hazel in our living room, so her sisters can always see her happy and smiling. They often chat to her photograph and leave drawings and notes for her there too.
We are yet to reach her birthday or the anniversary of her passing, but we plan to let her sisters and eventually Cody buy a small gift to go into her memory box each year. We will also release eco-friendly balloons, as her big sister Isla’s first question to us after finding out Hazel had passed was “How will Hazel get her cards, or see her balloons if she is in heaven?”.
After understanding the work The Lullaby Trust do first-hand, I’ve wanted nothing more than to help raise funds to help keep their services available to families like ours. And to fund the all-important research they do in the hopes of one day finding a way to detect and prevent the tragedy that is SIDS.
We have joined in with Bake it for Babies, held a tabletop sale and raffle at a local pub, left donation boxes at local shops and pubs, had a donations box at Hazels funeral service and we are currently planning a Tots PJ party, coffee morning and a climb of Ben Nevis! As a family this has given us something positive to focus on throughout, and we hope that any funds we raise will be able to someday stop other families having to go through this awful experience.
If you have experienced infant loss and want to share your story, click here.