Tommy’s Rainbow Clinic supported me after I lost my daughter

Chelsea, 32, lives in Greater Manchester with her partner and 2 sons, Jacob and Mason. After their daughter Maddison was born sleeping at 28 weeks in 2017, the couple were devastated. The team at the Tommy’s Rainbow Clinic in Manchester supported the family through their next pregnancy, which brought them rainbow baby Mason. This is their story.

I was so excited for my son to become a big brother

I couldn't wait for Jacob to be a big brother, so when I found out I was pregnant with Maddison in 2016, we were so happy – but also nervous, as I had previously had a couple of miscarriages and we were worried things might not work out

The pregnancy was hard from around 7 weeks. I was admitted to hospital with hyperemesis (morning sickness), and the nausea carried on up until Maddison was born. Since I’d had some blood clots in the past, I was also given blood-thinning injections throughout the pregnancy. Despite my past losses, I started to relax a bit once I got to 12 weeks, as I thought everything would be okay from then on. 

One day, I noticed Maddison wasn’t moving as much

At around 27 weeks, I called the midwife, as I noticed that Maddison wasn’t moving around as much as she normally did. I was told to go and see her at the local community centre, where she listened to heartbeat and said that everything seemed fine. 

Devastating news at my 28-week check-up

A few days later, I went back to see the midwife at my 28-week appointment. She told me she couldn’t find the baby’s heartbeat, so I was sent to hospital to be checked by the team there. 

They confirmed there was no heartbeat, and that my little girl had gained her angel wings. I was taken to the delivery room and was then transferred to the Butterfly Room at North Manchester Hospital, where I was induced on 28th of March 2017.

Maddison was born sleeping at 8.54pm, weighing 1lb 8oz – our tiny, beautiful little girl.

Our bereavement midwife was really supportive

Looking back, I feel as though I wasn't taken seriously when I reported reduced movements. I was just told it could have been that my placenta was in front of the baby, and they didn’t really investigate it any further. 

We decided not to have a post-mortem, but we had support from my amazing bereavement midwife, which was a huge help to both of us. People often focus on the mum when it comes to baby loss, but it’s really important to remember that losing a baby has a huge effect on the partner, too.

I found out I was pregnant again soon after

Only 3 months after Maddison was born, I found out I was pregnant. It all happened very quickly. Although he was already one to Maddison, we really wanted to make Jacob a big brother, so we were happy to be expecting again.

Tommy’s Rainbow Clinic supported me through pregnancy after loss

During this pregnancy, I was under the care of Prof Alex Heazell and his team at the Rainbow Clinic at St Mary's Hospital in Manchester. I was due to have my first scan with them at 17 weeks, but I went in at 14 weeks to be seen beforehand, because I was so anxious after losing Maddison. 

The care I had was amazing. Prof Alex did regular scans, checked the blood flow through my placenta and monitored our baby’s growth, which made me feel so much more relaxed about the pregnancy.

I was on fragmin injections to help blood flow and monitored up until my rainbow baby, Mason, was born at 38 weeks on the 15 March 2018 – just 2 weeks before Maddison’s 1st birthday.

We’ve raised money for baby loss charities in Maddison’s memory

To keep Maddison’s memory alive, like I promised her I would, I decided to do some fundraising for Tommy’s, to help fund their research into stillbirth, miscarriage and premature birth. On 23 August 2020, I took part in the Manchester Fun Run and raised £235, as well as more funds for other baby loss charities.

Monday 28 March 2022 was Maddison’s 5th birthday, so I wanted to raise more money in her memory. We set up a fundraising page and raised £500 for Tommy’s. This is a thank you from my partner, my family and me for the support we had from the Manchester team.

Maddison will always be a part of our family

We were heartbroken when Maddison died, but we will always include our little girl in everything we do.

We buy her gifts, and the boys even add her name to the cards they write. She is their sister, our daughter, and she is so special to us.