Parents’ stillborn son heartache

Dominic Leo Lord with his parents Viki and Daniel (s)
Dominic Leo Lord with his parents Viki and Daniel (s)

A couple whose baby son was stillborn are determined to make something positive out of the tragic loss of their “beautiful little angel”.

Baby Dominic Leo was stillborn on June 2nd after mum Viki Shaw went into natural labour at Burnley Birthing Centre.

I am still his mother and he is my son. When we do have another one day I will tell them about their special big brother who is now an angel

Viki Shaw

During the labour, however, midwives told her there was no heartbeat and when Dominic Leo was delivered at a bouncing 9lb 3oz. he was stillborn.

“It is such early days for us and we are still coming to terms with our loss,” said Viki.

“It’s so hard, but we are trying to stay strong and brave together for him. I have to believe we will have better days. We have wonderful family and friends who are so supportive and truly lights on this earth. I do know already that I cannot imagine never talking about him or being ashamed to.

“We all expected him just like any child and that is why his memory is worth keeping alive as best we can. I want people to know how special and beautiful he is to me and all our family.

“I am still his mother and he is my son. When we do have another one day I will tell them about their special big brother who is now an angel. He is always with us in our hearts.

“This is a really sad time for us, but we are trying to make something positive come out of such tragedy. I don’t want just negative to surround my angel baby, we are wanting something positive to come out of such a difficult time.”

In his memory Viki (28) and her partner Daniel Lord (29), who live in Nelson, are raising awareness of stillbirth and also raising money for charities that help other families in the same situation.

They are working for SANDS, the Stillbirth and NeoNatal Death charity, Friends of Serenity, a local charity which provides support and comfort to newly bereaved parents and to provide cold cots for the birthing unit.

Cold cots make it possible for parents to stay with their stillborn babies for a little while, to help them come to terms with their loss and say their goodbyes.

The cold cot at Burnley enabled Viki and Dan to stay with Dominic and make precious keepsakes, and Viki’s mum Janet and sister Becky were able to meet him. Becky made an album of pictures the family will treasure.

“These are memories we will cherish forever,” said Viki, who set out to raise money for one cold cot, which costs around £1,570, but now hopes to raise enough for two.

“We know it won’t bring our son back, but if we can help other families suffering the same loss we will be a little happier,” said Viki, who was a support worker at Calico, Burnley, where she says they have already held a fund-raising day for her.

She has nothing but praise for the staff at the Burnley Birthing Centre who cared for him and in an email to the hospital she said: “Just wish to extend my gratefulness to all the midwives who looked after myself, Dan and Dominic.

They were all truly fantastic. The two midwives at Dominic’s birth, Lisa Shorrock and Rachel Magee-Thorpe, were so wonderful – even though it was truly the most horrible time, they made us feel as looked after and as comfortable as they possibly could. The midwife who looked after us more whilst in the Serenity Suite was called Lyndsay and she was fantastic also.”

Viki was very moved when some of the midwives attended Dominic’s funeral.

She said: “It was such an emotional day, but meant a lot them being there and they all told me how lovely his service was. I will never forget each of them and their kindness at such a difficult time.

“The day Dominic was born was truly the happiest and saddest day of my life all rolled into one.”

Born in Harle Syke, Viki attended Briercliffe Primary School and Mansfield High School.

Their fundraising has begun and more than £700 has already been donated to SANDS.

They are holding an event at the Inn on the Wharf, Burnley, on October 3rd, and are appealing for raffle prizes.

People can see what is happening on Facebook and donate online at www.facebook.com/events/992136907493247/; their justgiving page at www.facebook.com/Dominic LeoLove or www.youcaring.com/dominic-leo-s-appeal-help-us-raise-funds-for-cold-cots-394954