A mother gave birth to a stillborn baby while in a coma, but thanks to a refrigerated cuddle cot she got five days with him
31-year-old Charley Moran also believes that the infant sacrificed himself for her so she could recover and take care of his brothers and sisters
A woman from Burnley, Lancashire, spent five days with her stillborn son after she gave birth to him while she was in a coma. 31-year-old Charley Moran also believes that the infant sacrificed himself for her so she could recover and take care of his brothers and sisters.
The devastated mother was rushed to the emergency room in May after she contracted sepsis from a kidney infection she got when 25 weeks into her pregnancy.
The mother-of-five was immediately put into a medically-induced coma, only to wake up three days later and find that she had already given birth to a baby boy. Although it's quite rare for women to give birth naturally while in a coma; it sure is possible, as in Charley's case. The baby weighing only 1.8lbs (less than a bag of sugar), was named Timothy; unfortunately, he didn't survive at birth.
Charley, however, managed to spend five days with her son making memories with him. The stay-at-home mum is now raising money so that she can fund a cuddle cot that will be useful for families who want to spend some time with their babies who are stillborn.
Speaking about which, she said: "He's my little guardian angel, he gave his life for me. I gave birth to him while I was in a coma and I didn't remember any of it. I didn't remember birthing my son. They told me I had stage four septic shock, and that my body had started shutting down, but once I'd delivered him I started to recover," reported the Daily Mail.
She added, "Everyone told me to look at it like he'd been released to help me because I was needed back at home to look after his brothers and sisters. He gave up his fight so I could win mine and come back to them. I found it very hard to take. I was thinking 'what baby should have to give up its life to help its mum?' I delivered him naturally and he was born at 7.14pm on May 4 weighing 850g. I just remember them bringing him back into the room and placing him in my arms. It felt like I'd been robbed of the chance to give birth to him. I had my family, partner, and two nurses break the news to me that my son had passed away."
"I don't know how to put into words how that felt, I was destroyed. I broke down, I couldn't understand what had happened to me. It didn't feel real. I had no memory of delivering him and no scar as I didn't have a c-section. I think that would have made it feel real, it was like a dream. I had this beautiful little boy and I just wish he would have made it until the Sunday when I woke up and they brought him to me but it was not meant to be."
Charley and her partner, Chris Stott, 36, were able the entire time cuddling, talking to, and taking pictures with their son Timothy who was placed in a cuddle cot that was kept next to Moran's bed in the Burnley General Hospital. She said: "I stayed with him until the Thursday then I had to let him go because the cuddle cot could no longer preserve him. In those final days, I was able to cuddle him, talk to him, kiss him, sing to him and change him. I told him about the things I wished I could have done for him and that he could have done with his brothers and sisters."
She said: "We knew he was due before the children broke up from school so we wanted to spend the summer with him so that his siblings could get to know him. My 21-month-old girl Illeana is so bossy so it would have been amazing to see how she reacted to him. We didn't get as long with him as we'd hoped we would. We wanted to take him outside into the gardens, but it wasn't feasible. He'd started to deteriorate, and we knew it was time to let him go. I was devastated. But it was so important that we were able to make memories and take photos which were thanks to the cuddle cot. At least I got to show him some of the love I should have shown him when he had been delivered."
"We had identical bears, I had one beside me in hospital, and Timothy had one in his cuddle cot. When he was taken to the morgue we swapped them so he had the one with my scent on it. He had massive feet which were completely out of proportion to his body like my other children. We say big feet means a big heart. All my children have the biggest feet and the biggest hearts."
Until three weeks before Timothy's death, Charley says she didn't even know she was pregnant. During her first antenatal appointment, she was diagnosed with the urine infection. Speaking about the infection and how it led to her such disturbing consequences, she recalls feeling pain in her back, and as she had contracted sepsis nine months before due to a kidney blockage, she decided to go to the hospital to get it checked out. The day after that, however, the infection made its way into her bloodstream, and everything in her body started shutting down.
Recalling the visit to the hospital, she said: "I was diagnosed with stage four sepsis shock and they put me into a medically induced coma." However, she does remember asking the attendants about her 'baby,' Between them taking me to the theatre and putting me in a coma I just remember saying 'what about the baby?."
Charley said she 'agreed' to be put into a coma as she thought if it's difficult for her to fight the infection, how could a tiny baby fight it alone: "I agreed to them putting me into a coma because I wanted to fight the infection and save my baby. I thought 'if I can't fight it how can this tiny baby? I would have done anything for that tiny little boy. I keep thinking 'why didn't I notice or do something about the infection before?' I'm always going to feel like I could have done more. He was my baby, and my responsibility, there was nobody else that could protect him. He was growing inside me, and I should have protected him."
The couple, especially Charley, takes comfort from talking about Timothy with her four other children - 11-year-old James Moran, 7-year-old Amelia Stott, 6-year-old Liam Stott, and 21-month-old Illeana Stott. She said: "It took us about six weeks before we were able to show the pictures to our children. We now have a framed picture of Timothy's perfect little feet on the wall. We sat the kids down and said to them 'when Mummy was poorly she was pregnant and the baby died from an infection that almost killed Mummy.'"
Speaking of how hard it was to answer her children about Timothy, she said: "My 11-year-old was very upset and asked me why he couldn't be saved. We talk about him all the time, we're going to make sure his memory is kept alive. We had a memory guardian bear made and the children talk to it every day. We tell the children when they see a white butterfly that it's Timothy come to play with them. It doesn't matter where they are if they see a white butterfly they shout 'hello Timothy. Are you coming to play?.' Even though he's not here they acknowledge they have a little brother. We had him cremated and will place his urn in a flower plant in the garden so he's there with his family where he belongs. I'm struggling to cope, but I'm trying to keep going forward because of the children. When they've gone to bed, I have my time when I can grieve, and feel sad."
She is now on a mission to raise £1,500 to fund an extra cuddle cot for the Burnley Hospital. "I want to thank the NHS. Even though he couldn't be saved they helped me and gave me that time. They let me make the decision on when to take him to the morgue. Any time I feel stressed or upset I feel like I have his protection. I'm trying to do this in his memory and to honor the sacrifice he made for me."