4Louis is an amazing charity that supplies us with the beautiful memory boxes that we give to bereaved parents.
Nothing can take away the pain of losing a child, whether it is in early pregnancy, at around the time of birth or after delivery but these boxes allow us to help parents make and keep precious memories of their babies.
Louis’s mum Kirsty lost her little boy at 38 weeks, shortly before he was born.
This is her story.
On the 9th April 2009 I received the greatest news of my life, I was 2 weeks pregnant. Everyone who I told was so excited for me and people followed my pregnancy on facebook. I loved the whole experience of my pregnancy from the first scan to my bump getting bigger even loved been kicked morning noon and night.
On the 6th December I turned 38 weeks and it was then everything went tragically wrong. It was about 9:30pm when I felt a heavy drop in my womb, and the pains started. I like everyone else thought I was going into labour so had a hot bath and some paracetamol like the midwife would have told me to do. By morning the pains had not subsided, so after numerous failed attempts to contact my midwives I went to hospital.
Sitting in the Day Unit on the Maternity ward, the midwife put the heart monitor to my bump to listen to my babies heart beat, but there was silence. So I was taken to a side room where I received a scan to look for the heart beat. The worst was then confirmed, my baby had died! Devastation hit, the waves of emotions that hit everyone close to me was unbelievable. We had spent months preparing for a healthy baby, instead on the 10th December I give birth to a beautiful sleeping angel, Louis Robert Joseph Knight.
As a focus for my grief, I have decided that I would like to help mothers of babies that are stillborn and raise funds to make the experience as painless as possible. 17 babies are stillborn everyday in the UK and very little is available to help these mothers rebuild their shattered lives.
The memory boxes provided by the 4Louis charity are yellow and say ‘Sweet dreams’ on the side. The contents come with a yellow, pink or blue theme.
The ones we use on the unit contain –
A box for a lock of hair
A card for the parents to write a letter or poem to their baby.
A pair of teddy bears; one for baby and one for the parents to keep.
An inkless wipe for hand and foot prints
A clay impression kit and photo frame.
A CD for storing photographs
A glass angel in a presentation box
These boxes are provided free of charge; to us, our maternity unit and many other neonatal and maternity units up and down the country.
The 4Louis charity has also provided us with –
A moses basket
A digital camera and linked printer
A cuddle cot for our bereavement room. This is designed to fit inside a moses basket and enables parents to spend up to 72 hours with their baby.
All this equipment has also been provided free of charge.
We are so grateful for the hard work and support of the 4Louis charity. Neonatal units in the UK rely on charity and donations for everything apart from basic equipment and staff wages so without 4Louis we wouldn’t be able to provide bereaved parents with photographs, a memory box or the opportunity to spend time with the baby for more than a few hours after losing them.
Thank you Kirsty, Michael and the rest of the 4Louis team.
Your little one will never be forgotten.
For more information, to make a donation or to sponsor a memory box please visit http://www.4louis.co.uk.