A devastated father and mother described their heartbreak at watching their newborn die in their arms seven minutes after she was born.
Peter Oakes and Kayleigh Kavanagh held baby Dollie-Mae for seven minutes until she passed away.
The 25-year-old mom and 22-year-old dad had just settled into their new apartment when they found out that they were expecting their first child.
Speaking to Liverpool Echo, Peter said his wife’s pregnancy was going smoothly until week 15 when Kayleigh experienced bleeding.
“It was terrifying. We showed the hospital the clots because we were so worried, we just knew it wasn’t normal,” he said.
But Kayleigh was sent home and they were told that bleeding can be normal in pregnancy.
A scan revealed that Kayleigh’s waters had broken early (preterm prelabor rupture of membranes PPROM).
Kayleigh spent three weeks in hospital needing iron and blood transfusions.
“At first they did not seem too worried as they said our baby was growing well, but we were both panicking,” Peter expressed.
“Then we were told her lungs weren’t growing meaning she wouldn’t be able to breathe when she was born and that she could be severely disabled with cerebral palsy.”
PPROM carries an increased risk of going into labor early and infection. At 22 weeks, Kayleigh was already in labor.
“She was born alive. Everything about her was perfect, she looked like a perfect, tiny healthy baby,” Peter said. “I was the first to hold her and she wasn’t moving, but [her heart] was beating, I could feel her, it was heart breaking.
“I passed her to Kay, and she took her last breathes on her mum’s chest.
“We chose the name Dollie-Mae before she was born and when she came it suited her so well because she looked just like a little doll.”
He continued: “There were two people in the hospital who were amazing and helped us through, Danielle and Mel, they checked we were okay and helped us sort getting prints of Dollie’s hands and feet.
“We now have little keyrings so we can keep her with us at all times.”
Talking about their baby girl’s death has helped the couple through the pain.
“My dad told me the best way through the pain and grief was to talk about her and share the memories otherwise it can just build up,” Peter added.
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