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Havering woman speaks about losing her child for Baby Loss Awareness Week

Zoe Fitzgerald raises money for baby loss charity SAND (Credit: Havering Council)

A woman from Havering has explained how she lost her baby to mark Baby Loss Awareness Week. 

Zoe Fitzgerald was only 25-years-old when she found out she was pregnant for the first time. Tragically, it was also the moment doctors told her she had lost her child. 

“I never knew I was pregnant,” she explained. “I felt unwell on 26 December 2014. I was having stomach cramps and unable to go to the toilet, but I thought maybe it was a water infection.”

After the pain grew worse, Zoe decided to go to A&E where she was told she had a water infection, given antibiotics and sent home. 

The pain did not go away and eventually grew so intense that she collapsed at home and was rushed to hospital by her dad.

She was immediately admitted to the intensive care unit where she was told she had a full body infection and was borderline septicaemia. 

Zoe also received the surprise news that she was 38 weeks pregnant. 

“On the day it was all a bit of a blur,” she added. “I can’t really recall much of what happened between the bathroom and the ward as I was going through so much shock.

“You hear these stories of people saying they were pregnant and they didn’t know and you think “yeah right”, but that was exactly what it was for me.

“I had a regular period, I was on a weight loss diet, had no bump and was on the pill, so it was really bizarre. It’s like what you read in a magazine, only it happened right in front of me.”

Zoe lost the baby and spent three to four days in hospital where she was told she had pre-eclampsia and was treated until she was well enough to go home. 

She explained she went through “a bit of a rough patch” after losing baby Teddy and was not prepared to deal with the loss. 

The 25-year-old was put in touch with SANDS, a baby loss charity, which she has continued to support by fundraising, telling her story and taking part in their monthly challenges to raise awareness. 

“It was a bit surreal to find other people who had gone through this and I wanted to be able to help them,” said Zoe. 

“There is not a lot of awareness out there so I wanted to be able to help. We fundraise, but we also do fun things as it’s important to see the fun side of things.”

Havering Town Hall is one of many buildings that will be lit up, half in pink and half in blue, on the evening of Friday, 15 October. A global wave of light will pay tribute to those who have experienced loss. 

“This is a sad time for the many parents across the borough and the country who have tragically lost their babies,” said councillor Jason Frost. 

“The week helps us to acknowledge this and to make them aware that we are not only standing with them, but that help and support is available.”

Havering Children’s Centres and Butterflies Peer Support Group offer support to local families who have experienced baby loss, and parents who are pregnant after baby loss, or have had another child after losing a baby.

You can contact them by emailing butterflies@havering.gov.uk

For more on this story, and the latest on our other local and national news, listen to Time 107.5FM

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