A Cuddle from Aubrey-RVH CuddleCot

On October 2, 2015, our lives were forever changed.

We were preparing for the much anticipated arrival of our 2nd daughter.

My contractions started very late October 1.   I couldn't believe it! My due date was October 2 and I was thrilled that they were so accurate . It looked like we were having this baby on October 2!

Contractions continued throughout the night approximately 10 minutes apart.

Our first daughter was born via scheduled c-section, due to her positioning however everything I was ever told, read or heard, indicated we had lots of time to get to the hospital, based on the current timing.  So I decided to try and get as much sleep as I could that night/morning.

When I woke in the morning, contractions were still about the same rate, perhaps a little less frequent.

After sending our daughter off to school, it had occurred to me that I hadn't felt the baby move since waking. I wasn't overly concerned as she was up bouncing before I started contractions and her movements, looking back, caused me no reason for concern.  AND IT WAS MY DUE DATE :) I just thought she was likely sleeping since we had an active night.

I had some juice and a piece of candy to get her moving...but it didn't do anything. I waited a little longer and still nothing.

I turned on my phone and within seconds of searching I saw the word stillbirth and stillborn.

I kept putting it out of my head.  It couldn't be possible.  It was my due date, I was in labour, there were no previous indicators that something was wrong and according to my OB - it was a textbook pregnancy for both me and her.

We grabbed my hospital bag, packed with her newborn outfits and all the recommended items and made our way to the hospital.

Once we were admitted to Labour and Delivery, the initial triage nurse was having a difficult time trying to find a heartbeat. 

Minutes felt like hours.  Just waiting to hear her little heart beat. Telling yourself over and over and over that everything is going to be ok.  This can't possibly be happening.

I remember my husband, Scott, laying on the ground, feeling sick to his stomach, trying to process what we were pretty sure was happening, without yet being told.

After using a mobile ultrasound within L&D and failing to hear or see a heartbeat, another unit was requested from radiology.

Once the radiology ultrasound  unit arrived, within minutes we heard the words that are forever embedded into our heads and hearts; "I'm sorry, there is no heartbeat".  Those are the words that no parent ever wants to hear. EVER.

Our world just stopped. We couldn't breathe. We couldn't think.  We couldn't move. Just cry.

I remember asking the medical staff to leave the room and sobbing hysterically with Scott.  I remember asking over and over, how is this happening??  I remember feeling (and wishing sooo bad) like it was all a bad dream.  Like I was really beside myself. It just couldn't be.

At that time, we had no idea what had happened to our baby girl but it was suggested that perhaps it was the umbilical cord.

After over 30 hours of labour and a very painful and traumatic 3 hours of "active" labour, Aubrey was delivered on October 3, 2015.  She weighed 8lbs 10oz and was 22 inches long. 

The umbilical cord was wrapped around her torso and one of her ankles.  

Aubrey was such a beautiful baby.  Her features were so perfect.   She looked just like she was sleeping, as if nothing was wrong.  It was so hard to understand.

She spent the entire time in the room with us, the  bassinet just a few feet away.  Her body slowly deteriorating and changing before our eyes.  

Leaving the hospital the next day, without Aubrey, was one of the most difficult things we have ever done.  
So much sadness and hurt, shock and confusion. 

We are forever indebted to family and friends for  showing us what compassion really means and getting us through some of our darkest days.

We were also very fortunate to have a wonderful support system within the hospital.  Our team of nurses were continually ensuring  we were taken care of and always reminding us to stay as long as we needed.  

In honour of Aubrey's memory and her 2nd anniversary, we are sharing our story in an attempt to create more awareness.    

We have also been given approval by Royal Victoria Hospital, to kickstart something new and revolutionary for the hospital and ultimately for this area.

We are fundraising to purchase a CuddleCot™ for RVH.  
The CuddleCot™ is a machine that has a unique cooling system that helps preserve the baby's body by slowing the natural deterioration. This allows the baby to remain with the family providing the family time they want. The CuddleCot™ cooling pad is placed in any moses basket, crib, pram or bed; it is connected by a specially insulated hose and is quietly cooled using the CuddleCot™ cooling unit. The CuddleCot™ system comes in its own carry case with different size cooling pads for premature and full term babies 

With your help, we would love to be able to give this gift in Aubrey's name and therefore requesting your financial assistance.

We ask that you donate whatever you are comfortable with.  Big or small, your donation will help us reach our goal and will ultimately make a difference for another family who has also suffered such a devastating loss.

It would truly mean so much to us, to be able to give this gift in our daughter's name.  Please share our story.

Thank you for your continued support!!
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Stacy Twyne 
Barrie, ON

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