Heartbroken mum says it feels like ‘losing a limb’ after devastating stillbirth

A mum has told of the “heartbreak” and “numbness” at having had a stillbirth and says it feels like she has “lost a limb.”

Daisy Ashcroft, from Shoeburyness, Essex, is trying to come to terms with the loss of her daughter Dorothy Penelope Blue Warner who was delivered at 37 weeks on August 21, 2022.

Doctors had confirmed the lack of a heartbeat before she gave birth to Dorothy, reported EssexLive.

Daisy, a student midwife in her third and final year, was eight and a half months pregnant and said she had been “really excited” to have some time off with her son Charlie and her soon-to-be-born daughter.

But the week after she started her maternity leave, it turned out that Dottie was upside down, in a ‘breech’ position.

Daisy had an ECV (external cephalic version) to turn the baby around, and it appeared to have worked.

“I went home that afternoon. Unfortunately, at some point between then and me coming back in the next day concerned about the lack of fetal movements, Dottie passed away,” she said.

“It has been the most surreal few weeks since then; hearing the consultants confirm the lack of heartbeat for our daughter, having to go in for an induction and labour the day after, delivering my baby who wasn’t alive, then dealing with post-mortems, her funeral and grieving whilst staying strong for our son.

“It is the single most heartbreaking thing that both myself and my partner have been through in our life, and having a funeral for our own baby was just something I cannot even describe. It’s a completely numbing experience.”

She and her partner said that rather than flowers or tributes at Dottie’s funeral, they would prefer friends and family to donate to SANDS, a charity that researches and raises awareness of stillbirth as well as supports families affected by it.

Daisy said: “I know that we are going to go on to have more children, we both do want more, but it’s heartbreaking that among our friends and family we’re now ‘the couple who sadly lost their baby’. I feel like we have been tarred with a brush from this experience, and no amount of time or subsequent babies will ever change that.

“I will always regret not taking more time to smell her, hold her for just a few minutes longer. I think about her most of the day, wonder what she would have done in life or whether she would’ve been like her brother.

“It seems so cruel that although she was full-term and ready for life, I will never know her. I feel like I have lost a limb.”

Daisy and her family are determined to help raise awareness for stillbirth.

“I know there are so many families out there suffering the same loss as us, and it is the most heartbreaking situation for any family to go through,” she said.