A GRIEVING couple who lost their little boy to a miscarriage have called for more awareness and support for traumatised parents.
Gareth and Rachel Brann lost their son Mason at just 22 weeks – just over half way through the normal pregnancy period.
He was born weighing only 1lb 2oz and was not strong enough to make it.
At Rachel’s 20-week scan doctors had found no problems and despite a postmortem no reason for Mason’s sudden arrival has ever been found.
Now the Linthwaite couple are on a mission to help other people suffering after the death of a baby.
Rachel, 29, said doctors had thought an infection might have caused her waters to break so early but tests had found nothing.
She said: “At exactly 22 weeks my waters went. I went into Calderdale hospital and they discovered 90% of my waters had gone.
“They kept me in hospital under supervision but five days afterwards I went into labour and I lost my little boy.
“They never found any reasons – they took loads of blood from me, they did a postmortem they checked everything and they double checked and they found nothing.
“It’s really difficult to live with the fact that there was nothing wrong with me or Mason.”
Losing Mason at 22 weeks meant the death was classed as a late miscarriage meaning the couple got no birth certificate or entitlement to maternity leave.
Gareth added: “It’s a bit sad that he wasn’t registered. If it was one week later he would have been a still birth.
“A lot of people think he wouldn’t have been fully developed but I’ve held him myself and he was perfect.
“To call it a miscarriage is disgusting.”
Although the hospital did everything it could the couple said they found the bereavement process a struggle and looked for support elsewhere.
Just three weeks after Mason’s death they discovered SANDS, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity, and went to their first meeting.
“We felt like we needed to talk to other bereaved parents. We said we’ve just got to go and stay positive,” Rachel added.
“Seventeen babies in the UK die every day – there’s not enough awareness and there’s not enough done to stop it and find out why,” added Gareth.
“It is way too high in this day and age and we want to raise the profile and get more money and research spent on it.
“We got good care but we want to raise the aftercare. We weren’t given any contacts like SANDS.
“Knowing now how big an organisation they are it just baffled me that nobody at the hospital even thought to recommend them.”
Rachel said she felt it was so important she was now thinking of training in counselling in a bid to help bereaved parents.
She said: “There will be people sat at home in Huddersfield, Halifax and Dewsbury in absolute bits.
“If they can just get a little bit of support and a bit of positivity focused on them it will make a massive difference.
“The grieving process is hard, we’ve managed to get through it together by talking about it and helping each other but some couples aren’t so fortunate and that’s why people should go.
“There’s no need to be alone at all.”
Gareth, 27, said the monthly meeting wasn’t just for mums.
“Everybody thinks it’s all about the women and they do forget about the men.
“Obviously Rachel had to go through the labour, but I had to watch her go through it and it’s the most horrendous thing I’ve ever had to go through, so obviously I’ve been affected by it as well.”
Last month Rachel and Gareth were joined by 12 other parents for a sponsored walk round Haworth.
They raised £1,000 for SANDS, after their £500 sum was matched by Rachel’s employer, Natwest Bank in Huddersfield Town Centre.
To find out more call 020 7436 5881 or go to go to www.uk-sands.org