A young Bridport couple aim to raise money for Dorset County Hospital’s maternity unit following the loss of their young son.
Alfie was stillborn at 27 weeks but for nearly two months during the pregnancy hospital staff did everything they could, said mum Chloe Hutchings 21.
Now she and partner, mechanic Thomas Deane, 29, want to raise at least £1,000 to thank staff for their unstinting care and efforts to save Alfie.
It was at Chloe’s 20-week scan that staff noticed there was a problem with the placenta.
She was diagnosed with intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) – a condition the hospital sees just a handful of women a year.
Chloe said: “All the way through from when we had the complications at 20 weeks the maternity unit were absolutely fantastic, we could not have asked for any better “They called me every week to make sure I was all right, if they could do anything extra.
“They went the extra mile.”
When she was first diagnosed staff explained fully what could happen.
Chloe said: “They did tell us straightaway that we might lose him.
“It was very difficult. You go in for your 20-week scan to see if it is a boy or girl, you don’t expect to be told you have to go to Southampton tomorrow.
“I want to tell our story so people know how good the hospital is.”
They had fortnightly scans but at 27 weeks pregnant Chloe felt the baby move much less.
She was booked in to have the baby but at 27 weeks and three days she went into labour.
She said: “My body decided it was not going to hang around until the Thursday so I went into labour at home.
“I went to Dorchester at five to five in the morning and had him by five past.
“There is absolutely nothing the hospital could have done differently or any better.
“They have a bereavement suite up there in the maternity so you are not in with the other mums and it is soundproofed so you can’t hear anything either.
“They have memory boxes donated by Sands UK (the neonatal and stillborn charity).
“You can spend as much or as little time as you want then they took him to the chapel. You can sort the funeral arrangements out or the hospital can, which they did which was lovely.”
Because of the care she received Chloe said she is not too frightened to try for another baby again.
“We are thinking about trying again in a few months’ time but want to do some fundraising first and if I am going to chuck myself out of a plane I had best not be pregnant.
“They can’t say it won’t happen again but the chances are very slim – this happens to between one and four people a year in Dorset County Hospital.
“But we want to raise the money first.”
Chloe, who works for Agincare, has a virginmoneygiving.com page if anyone wants to donate and she will be publicising events as they are organised.