Mother Shares Tragic Story Of How Her Baby Died While She Breastfed Him
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Featured Image Credit: Laurie Jade Woodruff
Bereaved mum Laurie Jane Woodruff, from Sheffield, decided to speak about the devastating loss of her son Arthur following Baby Loss Awareness week 2019.
When Laurie discovered she was pregnant for the first time in 2014 aged 25, she felt like she'd found her "purpose in life".
Laurie had been enjoying her pregnancy ("I loved being pregnant; I felt really good"), and it had been running like clockwork.
The only issue came in Laurie's final trimester, when doctors discovered baby Arthur's growth has fallen off the centile chart - a metric used to track baby's growth during pregnancy.
"It was only towards the end when he stopped growing, he fell off of the centile and that's when they sent me for an emergency scan," explained Laurie.
But when Laurie looked into little Arthur's face for the first time, after he was born by C-section on 6th January 2015, it was the "best moment of [her] life".
What followed was a blissful start to her first-time motherhood, until, just six weeks after Arthur's birth, Laurie awoke from a co-sleep to find her baby cold in the bed beside her.
"It was like what see it films, I was overwhelmed by the love I felt for Arthur," she told Tyla.
Laurie and Arthur were allowed to go home one week later, where the new mum took to motherhood easily.
"It was tiring, but I just found it really easy. I made it my life and just committed to that as my main focus - and I loved it."
Arthur loved cuddles, and would rarely settle in his own cot. On 26th February, on a particularly cold night, Laurie had woken up to feed Arthur, and after, had settled with him in her bed.
But Laurie's world was turned upside down when she woke up hours later to discover Arthur lifeless next to her.
"I went to bed as normal, I was really exhausted. I had him in bed with me and I was cuddling him. He would never settle in his own cot, he just liked to be cuddled and with me. I remember it being a really cold night and I woke up and he was dead.
"It was weird because I had a vision that something bad was going to happen the day before. I had a vision of being in this horrible car crash, I knew something was off."
Arthur's death was pronounced dead as a result of sudden infant death syndrome and taken to mortuary.
The following weeks were filled with swamping grief and countless trips to visit her son's body.
"It was horrific, it felt like I was living a nightmare, it was really tough, just the darkest time of my life. I couldn't function normally, the grief was overwhelming. I cant believe how powerful grief is," Laurie recalls.
"I just wanted to sleep all the time. I felt angry, and there were times when I just didn't feel anything at all, it was just a mixture of emotions. It was just very dark."
Laurie says she "felt very connected to [Arthur] in those first few weeks" recalling a time she had been collecting a CD - Somewhere Over The Rainbow - for Arthur's funeral.
"I'd been visiting him everyday in the mortuary, and my family said I should probably stop going so much and just leave it a few days help me accept it more.
"So I didn't go for two days and we were driving past the shopping mall and I thought I'd nip in to get the CD.
"I literally walked through the side entrance and straight away bumped into Sandy, the main lady who had been looking Arthur at the mortuary. I just knew it was Arthur saying 'come and see me'."
It took Laurie around a year and therapy to come to terms with Arthur's death, saying she finally realised "it just wasn't meant for today."
The following year, Laurie became pregnant with Henry, who was born on 11th June 2017.
But Laurie's labour was traumatic. Doctors took baby Henry away from his mother after the emergency C-section and they were not put skin on skin. Laurie suffered post-natal depression soon after, because of what had happened with Arthur.
"I couldn't bond with him for a while," she says. "I felt like people thought I was incompetent because of what happened with Arthur."
But things are different two years down the line, and Henry has grown into a healthy, happy baby.
Laurie, now an astrologer, psychic and psychotherapist, dedicates her life to helping others heal with her business Luna Attic.
"I feel even more since I've started in my line of work" says Laurie of baby Arthur. "It's comforting knowing there is something after."