Baby dies in mum’s arms as she holds him for first time after ‘problem-free’ pregnancy

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A mother who had no problems during her pregnancy watched her baby son die in her arms less than 24 hours after he was born.

Alison Taylor, from Bootle, Merseyside, lost her son Isaac in January 2020 and has spoken about the devastating experience as part of Baby Loss Awareness Week.

After a pregnancy with no issues, Alison went into labour at full term and her husband Paul took her to Liverpool’s Women’s Hospital. Once there she gave birth in less than an hour.

But doctors soon discovered Isaac was seriously ill with underdeveloped lungs, and Alison and Paul were told the devastating news he wouldn’t survive, The Liverpool Echo reports.

It came as a huge shock to Alison, who has another child, Archie, 8. She said: “I had a bit of a bad time with my first son in birth, but I only ever thought about myself because I had a healthy child before.

“I was always scared about giving birth, but I never, ever once thought ‘what if the baby dies?'”

Shortly after he was born doctors noticed Isaac was struggling to breathe and he was transferred to a neonatal unit for further support.

Initially Alison hadn’t realised quite how serious it was.

She said: “They were taking me to theatre and the consultant from the neonatal unit said ‘can you take mum back in the room.’ I said ‘oh my god he’s dead.’ She said ‘stay calm’ and I knew then it was serious. They don’t hold theatre up for nothing.

“I said ‘is he dead?’ The consultant said ‘no but he’s really poorly.’ She did give me a heads up it was serious and he might not live, but she said ‘I need to do scans and tests before I can confirm what my concerns are.'”

Alison went to see Isaac before she was taken straight from the neonatal unit to theatre. Alison said: “Theatre was horrendous. It felt like forever.

“They brought me back from theatre and they said ‘there’s nothing we can do for him.’ It was horrendous obviously, but at that point I hadn’t even told my little boy we’d had a baby because obviously it was so fast I had to go to theatre.

“My husband rang his mum because she had our little boy and said ‘he’s really poorly and he’s not going to make it.’ I wanted Archie to meet him before he died so he did come to the hospital.”

The results of tests and a scan showed Isaac’s kidneys had failed, which had caused his lungs not to develop properly. This meant the newborn was unable to breathe on his own and Alison and Paul were told the devastating news there was nothing else doctors could do for him.

Alison said: “We decided to turn the life support off. It was 9pm and I said ‘I don’t want to watch him suffer that’s cruel.’

“I said ‘is there absolutely nothing you can do?’ [The consultant] said no, so I said I want it to be on my own terms. I’d rather he didn’t suffer. I asked them to take the tubes out so I could hold him. I hadn’t held him at that point because I hadn’t been able to.”

Alison got to hold Isaac for the first and final time before he died in her arms less than 24 hours after he was born.

She said she would like to thank Claire House Children’s Hospice for the support they provided to her and her family both before and after Isaac’s death, from taking the newborn’s footprints, to arranging family photographs and helping them to make funeral arrangements.

Alison said: “We were really lucky to get Claire House – some people don’t get it. We feel like it eased the process.

“We stayed with them for five days. It was that emotional support because you don’t sleep, you don’t eat. They gave us advice and guided us.”

Baby Loss Awareness Week – which runs until October 15 – offers those touched by pregnancy and baby loss to share their experiences in a safe, supportive environment and know that they are not alone.