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About Abbie

Abbie Grace Cowell was born sleeping on 1st October 2010 at 04.26am, weighing 5lbs 4oz, daughter¬†of Katy and Paul and little sister of Harriet…..

Following a healthy and uneventful pregnancy, at a routine check with the midwife at 35 weeks we discovered that our baby was in the breech position. Following several scans we were booked in to have an elective caesarian section on the 4th October 2010 at 38 weeks. The nursery was prepared and set up and our hospital bag packed ready for the day.

On the morning of Tuesday 28th September Katy felt fewer movements, but after listening in with our hand held monitor, we heard a strong heartbeat and so were reassured that everything was ok. This was backed up by more movements later in the day.

The following morning Katy did not feel any movement, for the first time in weeks she had slept solidly all night so was unsure if there had been any movement during the night. Katy knew something was wrong, and we listened for a heartbeat but were unable to find it. We tried to convince ourselves that this was because the baby had moved position during the night but deep down Katy already knew the baby had died.

We called the antenatal day unit and were told to go straight in for monitoring. It was then that our world came crashing in on us as we were told that they couldn’t find our baby’s heartbeat. From here we were sent to the Maternity Unit at Hull Royal Infirmary to see the consultant where we presumed the baby would be delivered straight away. We were surprised to be told that Katy would have to come back to be induced 2 days later and she was given a tablet to start shutting down the placenta.

The following hours passed in a haze and we sat up all Wednesday night trying to take in what had happened and realising the full enormity of what we were going to have to face in the coming days.

On the evening of Thursday 30th September, Katy went into labour at home and we drove to the hospital in disbelief that our baby was going to be born dead. Abbie Grace Cowell was born by normal delivery on Friday 1st October at 04.26am weighing 5lbs 4oz. She was absolutely perfect, like a tiny little doll. It was only as she was being delivered that we discovered the umbilical cord was wrapped tightly around her neck 5 times. This was established as the cause of her death.

We spent the next precious¬†2 days with Abbie in the hospital’s bereavement room.¬†We were ‘lucky’ that the hospital had recently purchased a cold cot which meant we could keep Abbie with us continuously and¬† we were able to bath and dress her and get as many precious cuddles as we possibly could. On Saturday 2nd October we had a naming ceremony for Abbie and introduced her to her immediate family.

Saying goodbye to Abbie and walking out of the hospital late Saturday night with empty arms was beyond heartbreaking. The rest of the world was continuing as normal and ours had stopped. The time we were meant to be getting to know our baby was spent organising her funeral. The support of our family and friends was unbelievable and the realisation that Abbie was loved by everyone helped us through our tragedy. It took us a long time to realise that life does go on and to overcome our guilt and to try and be positive. The pain never goes away, but time makes it easier to bear. Abbie is and always will be a huge part of our lives and our family and not a day goes by that we don’t miss her.

“Even the smallest of feet have the power to leave everlasting footprints upon this world”

Lisa Clark 2009