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Reffley mother of daughter born without skull backs King's Lynn hospital suite plans

Having already had one miscarriage, a Reffley mother was left in a state of “huge shock” after being told her daughter was born without a skull.

Alex Bush, her husband Matt and the family decided to carry to term before she was born sleeping at 40 weeks.

The family were told the baby had a fatal diagnosis of anencephaly, a serious birth defect in which a baby is born without parts of the brain and skull.

Alex Bush with her children Travis and Saffron at the grave of Temperance. Picture: SUBMITTED
Alex Bush with her children Travis and Saffron at the grave of Temperance. Picture: SUBMITTED

Mrs Bush, who is mother to Travis, 10, Saffron, 7, and Eden, 19 months, has backed plans for a new Maternity Bereavement Suite at Lynn’s hospital after hearing other babies crying while she was grieving in the Waterlily Birth Centre.

She said: “We had got married and she was almost like our honeymoon baby, a bit of light for us.

“I remember being told the head had no skull and immediately thought if there is not skull how do you survive as it protects the brain?

Alex Bush with her daughter Eden. Picture: SUBMITTED
Alex Bush with her daughter Eden. Picture: SUBMITTED

“I knew it was bad straight away and it is indescribable, that pain and heartbreak.

"We found out at the 12 week scan that Temperance would be born without a skull and decided to carry to term, she was then born sleeping at 40 weeks."

The mother had a further two miscarriages before he rainbow baby Eden was born.

She described the Whispers from Wings support group for grieving mothers in Lynn as a “massive lifeline”, especially during lockdown.

Mrs Bush explained: “There were virtual meetings during lockdown and you speak to other mothers who just get it.

Charity of the Year 2020
Charity of the Year 2020

“Sometimes they can just look at you and see you are struggling; there does not have to be an anniversary or diagnosis day for it to be hard. Sometimes it just hits you when you don’t expect it.”

Regarding plans for a dedicated Maternity Bereavement Suite, which would be completely soundproof and separate from the Waterlily Centre, Mrs Bush said a peaceful environment is vital.

She added: “When I went into labour, we rebooked an induction after 38 weeks and it was very noisy in there. Midwives were saying do not come into the corridor due to babies being born and I felt quite isolated.

“Although Temperance was alive at the time, I knew she was not coming back home and was going to die. It is quite hard when the induction failed and you go back into a consulant’s room which did not have a bed.

“It was almost like a soft bench right next to the toilets for the ward so it was quite noisy and no peacefulness.

“You need that really peaceful environment away from the mass of crying babies. Families need that peace and comfortable surroundings to say goodbye. My two older children appreciated the time with the baby.

“They still have days where they get upset by Temperance and still miss her.”

To donate to the QEH plans for a new suite head to www.justgiving.com/fundraisingqehmaternitybereavementsuite

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