A mum from Margate who lost her baby son has raised money for a cuddle cot to help other grieving parents create lasting memories.
Stacie Goddard donated the funds to Cariad Angel Gowns, a stillborn and neonatal loss charity, and the special cot was handed over to Gore Brothers funeral directors in Margate on Tuesday (April 30).
The cot consists of a cooling box and mattress which can be put into a moses basket, cot and pram and stops the baby’s condition deteriorating, meaning parents who lose a child will have more time with them afterwards.
Stacie says it was an emotional moment and bitter sweet.
“For parents in Thanet who sadly lose a baby, it means they will get to spend time with their babies that isn’t rushed,” she said.
“They can take their baby home and they’ll be able to dress them, cuddle them and even spend the night with them.
“They will be able to be a normal family just for a few days or maybe weeks.
“It will make a huge difference in the grieving process especially for those whose babies weren’t born alive, because you don’t have any memories at all so those precious times, you’ll be able to create those.”
Stacie and her partner Stephen lost their baby Peter – named after forever young character Peter Pan – on July 1, 2016.
It followed a routine 20-week scan where they discovered the devastating news that their unborn son had renal agenesis, meaning his kidneys were unable to form. A lack of amniotic fluid also meant his lungs were unable to develop.
Stacie was induced at 22 weeks and baby Peter, who weighed a tiny 420g, survived for just a few minutes, dying in her arms.
Stacie and Stephen did not have access to a cuddle cot, instead having just 16 hours to spend with him before they had to leave hospital and he was sent to a funeral home.
“We basically had access to a big freezer in the shape of a bed and it was ugly and you knew when you walked into that room that a baby had died,” she said.
“If we’d had the cuddle cot, we could have taken him home with us and we could have had days, maybe weeks, with him.
“We had to try to cram a lifetime’s worth of memories into 16 hours and that’s just impossible.”
After Peter’s death she created Angel Parents, mums, dads, rainbows and TTCs (trying to conceive), a group aimed at supporting others going through the dreadful suffering of infant death or miscarriage, as well as those trying to conceive despite obstacles.
In October, Stacie, who has a daughter Aurora, two, and Stephen, 11 months, won a Butterfly Award, run by Finley’s Footsteps charity, recognising her work helping others.
Stacie continued her campaign and raised £1,700 for the cuddle cot to be gifted to Gore Brothers and an extra £200 so Cariad can supply clothing, burial gowns and memory packs, too.
“Peter would be coming up to three years old now and it’s really helped me to be able to help other people,” said the 24-year-old.
“It’s my way of keeping his memory alive because whatever I’m doing, I’m doing it for him.”
The small cot can fit into moses baskets, cots, prams and beds and is for children up to 18 months, depending on their size.
Grieving parents can also get in touch with Cariad Angel Gowns for clothing and memorial packs.
Alex Gore, company director at Gore Brothers, says they are grateful to Stacie for raising the money for the cot.
“When parents lose their baby it is devastating and with this cot we can now offer them the gift of time with their child, either at one of our branches or at home,” he said.