Mum’s 2,000-mile trek in memory of her stillborn son
Most people think stillbirth is a rare occurrence ... Sadly, this is not the case, it is more common than people realise
ANORTH Somerset mum has decided to raise awareness and money for stillbirth research in memory of her baby son.
Mum Cate Donnegool said there were no words to express the anguish felt when the midwives confirmed her first child no longer had a heartbeat.
After delivering Raz, Cate was allowed a few days to live with him, introduce her baby to family members and even take him home.
Those days are now cherished memories to Cate, from Dundry.
She said: “I was a bit concerned when I didn’t feel any movement for a while. I called up the central delivery suite and they told me to have a cold drink and lie on my side.
“When I still couldn’t feel anything I went in for a scan. I had no idea at this point how serious it was.
“The midwife told me she couldn’t find a heartbeat.
“I was devastated, the bottom of my world fell off. I never expected to hear that news. You are told to keep an eye on their movements but you don’t realise how important they are.”
To help create a lasting legacy for her son, 36-year-old Cate is walking 2,000 miles, mainly around Bristol. She began the challenge on Raz’s first birthday and will take her final step on what would have been his second, December 9.
She said: “Most people – me included initially – think stillbirth is a rare occurrence, the result of a freak accident or negligence. Sadly, this is not the case, it is more common than people realise.
“The UK has one of the worst stillbirth rates, 15 times more common than cot-death. One in every two hundred and twenty babies is stillborn in the UK, that’s ten per day.
“Over 3,200 families every year who don’t get to take their precious little person home with them. Families whose lives are forever changed.
“We can’t fight it unless more people are aware of it.”
After falling pregnant with her second child, Cate was terrified throughout the nine months her baby would be stillborn.
“I was off-the-scales worried throughout,” said Cate.
“But I had a lot of support from the St Michael’s team. I had a consultant and they knew me really well on the delivery ward.”
All the money raised from Cate’s feat will be donated to Manchester Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre, which is the only dedicated stillbirth unit in the UK.
Work achieved so far at the institution, has seen stillbirth rates cut by almost 30 per cent in Manchester since 2011.
If you want to donate, go to www. justgiving. com/ fundraising/ 2000miles.
Cate Donnegool is raising money and awareness for families who have a stillbirth