Mum shares baby loss to raise awareness

PUBLISHED: 08:00 15 October 2011

Archant

A MOTHER from Weston has spoken of the agony of losing a baby in a bid to raise awareness for Baby Loss Awareness week.

The week is running from Sunday until October 16 and will end with an international candle lighting at 7pm on Saturday.

Miscarriages, stillbirths and sudden infant death affect more than one in four people in the UK.

Susan Tanton and her partner Paul Sales, from Longbridge Road, lost their baby daughter, Sienna, in May 2010.

She died without warning in her cot at just 17 days old.

Susan and Paul have been together for 10 years and they had three healthy sons, Sebastian, aged four, Leo, aged five and Noel, aged seven, before Sienna.

There had been no symptoms and Sienna seemed perfectly healthy.

Susan said: “She was a beautiful little baby girl with a healthy skin colour.

“She was a very easy baby, fed well, slept well and never cried.”

On the tragic morning, Susan had taken Sienna with her in the car while she took her eldest son to school.

After changing her nappy, Susan took Sienna back home and put her in her crib while a friend called round to visit.

Susan continued: “A while later I asked my friend to wake her while I made my son’s lunch for nursery and this is when we found that she had passed away.

“It was an absolute shock and the worst feeling in the whole wide world.”

Paul tried to resuscitate her before the ambulance arrived and took her to hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

The post-mortem revealed that she had died of an undiagnosed infection, staphylococcus aureurs, which had passed into her bloodstream.

She said: “You always wonder, ‘did I miss something?’, but we were told there was no way we could have known.

“We were told that the infection had got into her blood stream and this could have taken her within two hours.

“Losing Sienna is the hardest thing I have and will ever have to deal with in my whole life. Not only has it changed my life forever it has also changed my children’s lives forever too.”

She said she had to explain to her children what had happened to their baby sister.

Susan said: “We told them she was up in the clouds, but we also explained how your heart works to keep you alive.

“I never dreamed I would be explaining death in so much detail to my children at their age but instead I find myself having to tell my seven-year-old where his sister is.”

She said she was glad of Paul’s support and the tragedy had brought them closer together as a family.

She said it also helped to speak to other parents who had been through the same thing by using internet forums on the Foundation for the Study of Infant Death’s website (FSID), www.fsid.org

She said: “I always say that I would rather people talked about Sienna as I love talking about her to anyone that will listen, she is my baby even if she lives in heaven now and a very important part of my life.

“I will remember her and talk about her till the day I die weather that makes people feel awkward or not.

Susan has also been fundraising all year for other parents who have been through the same heartbreak.

She has raised more than £7,700 since Sienna died for FSID and a special baby care unit at St Michael’s Hospital, Bristol.

More than 24 babies a day are stillborn, pass away within a month of birth or suffer from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

SIDS claimed 316 babies’ lives before they were one year old in 2009.

On Saturday people from around the world will light candles simultaneously to create a ‘wave of light’ in memory of the babies they have lost.

FSID has a free helpline on 0808 8026868.

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