Being Teddy’s Mum


If you don’t already follow Elle aka @feathering_the_empty_nest you should, her feed is an oasis of ‘calm-tastefully-put-togetherness’; (all the sort of things I hope to achieve but never quite manage it). Not only does Elle have exceptional taste she is also doing wonderful for things for baby loss awareness.

In May 2016 Elle and her husband lost their precious son at just a few days old, here she shares a glimpse into that time and the legacy Teddy has left behind:

  • After a full term, healthy pregnancy; Edward Constantine Wright, or “Teddy” as he’ll always be known, came into the world on Monday 16th May 2016, at 6.45pm and weighed 6lb 2oz.  I remember thinking “how tiny” he looked.

  • I felt like the proudest Mum who had ever lived when I wheeled him down the corridor in his little tank, as we made our way to the ward.  Bursting with pride, I wanted to show him off to the world.

  • During that first night, as we were sleeping; Teddy stopped breathing.  My world stopped turning.

  • The nurse ran away with him, his little arm falling limply to his side. I will never un-see that.

  • As sense of panic ran through the ward as we saw lights flashing and figures running; they were trying to save our son.

  • Half an hour, or so, passed and we were visited by a paediatrician who told us we had a “Very sick little boy”, but they had brought him back.

  • Teddy was in the SCUBU, and was going to be transferred to a NICU at another hospital.  Truth be told I didn’t know what either of these things stood for, why would I?

  • I now know that SCUBU means “Special Care Baby Unit”; they are able to look after most poorly babies, but not those who are critically ill.

  • NICU means “Neonatal Intensive Care Unit”; it’s here that they care for the babies like Teddy who are very unwell after birth, or those who enter this world early.

  • We went to the NICU later that day to follow Teddy who was taken in a specialist ambulance.  When we got there, I couldn’t really take in what was happening.

  • Teddy was rigged up to so many machines; all beeping and monitoring his every function.  My heart ached to hold him, but I couldn’t touch him.

  • He looked so tiny lying there; so tiny and helpless.

  • Our parents came to meet him.  My Mum stroked his little head and spoke to him.  I didn’t think I could feel any prouder of him, but I did in that moment.

  • The consultants kept on meeting with us; they were trying to find out what was wrong with Teddy and they were running every single test they could on him to find possible clues.

  • Teddy’s condition was deteriorating; we had been in the NICU for over 24 hours and he was just two days old.

  • We spent every moment we could with him; willing him back to life; wishing so hard that he would just open his eyes.  I used up every single wish I am ever likely to be granted in this lifetime.

  • I hated seeing him with wires coming out of him; I hated it so much.  I wanted to rip them all out and run away with him, but I knew they were keeping him alive, and I knew that the team in the NICU were doing everything in their power to keep him comfortable and make him better.

  • We read him a bedtime story over his tank, as we stroked the back of his neck.  We were a proper family of three.

  • The following day the doctors told us that Teddy wasn’t getting better; that he wasn’t going to get any better.  That we had to let him go.

  • I howled with pain and dropped to the floor.  I felt like I could physically feel my heart breaking in two.  My Mum and husband held me as I sobbed.

  • Our parents were so sad; I kept saying sorry to everyone.  I felt guilty and it felt like it was all my fault. Bringing your baby into the world is supposed to be the happiest event of them all.  How had this happened to us?

  • We had a matter of hours with Teddy to do all of the things we hadn’t been able to; hold him, change him, and create memories to try and last a lifetime.

  • At 8.30pm on Thursday 19th May 2016 Teddy took his last breaths in our arms; no wires or machines, away from the sterile environment he had been in for those days, in a hospital room surrounded by his family.  As he did we read bedtime story; “Guess How Much I Love You?”, as he slipped away, knowing we were there and knowing how much we love him.

  • I didn’t feel afraid, because I didn’t want Teddy to know I was. I wanted him to feel safe and loved, in that moment and forever.  

  • After Teddy died we left the hospital and drove home, with an empty car seat in the back and a bag full of clothes and nappies he never wore.  In that moment, I felt like the only person who had ever left a hospital empty armed and broken hearted; I felt completely alone.

  • I didn’t believe in “heartbreak” until I lost Teddy; but those days that followed his death I swear I could feel my heart breaking, it was a very real and physical pain, one that I will never forget.

  • In the months that followed, I realised that, sadly, I wasn’t alone; that thousands of babies die in the UK every year.

  • I am proud to say that many of these incredible Mothers who have lost babies and are now honouring them through charity work, and writing, have now become my dear friends.

  • My husband and I agreed that we would never let what happened to Teddy define us in a negative way; that he would never be the reason that we didn’t or couldn’t in life, but the reason that we did.

  • I wrote many letters to Teddy in the weeks that followed his death, and I made a promise to him that I would do everything I could to ensure he was remembered and that he created a legacy that would continue to save the lives of other sick babies.

  • In January 2017, I began writing my own blog “Feathering The Empty Nest”, a story of how my home came to save me after losing Teddy.

  • Blogging has been both cathartic and a brilliant way to connect with even more wonderful women who are experiencing this kind of Motherhood.

  • Now I never feel alone, and I would hate to think that there is anyone out there who is feeling that way.

  • Lots of my time is taken up with writing and replying to all of the lovely people who get in touch; but much of it is also taken up fundraising for Teddy’s Legacy fund.

  • So far, we have raised over £35,500 for the NICU who cared so lovingly for Teddy and who worked tirelessly in those days to try and save his life.

  • We will never be able to thank them for all that they did for Teddy, but hopefully the money that we are raising will help to save the lives of other sick and premature babies so that less families have to leave the hospital empty armed.

  • I now volunteer on the NICU committee, so I also get to be involved in the decision-making process of how the money raised is then invested back into the unit and the staff; it is both an honour and a privilege to be involved in.

  • My blog isn’t just about Teddy and baby loss; it’s about home, fashion, lifestyle and lots of laughs along the way.  Learning to laugh again after loss can be really hard, but I like to think that my humour and outlook has helped us through.

  • If it wasn’t for Instagram and blogging, goodness knows where I would be today.  Meeting other women who experienced what I have, really did save me, and for that I will be eternally grateful.

  • I really hope now that I am writing that my words can do the same for others, and I really hope that I am keeping my promise to Teddy and creating a legacy that he is proud of.

  • Teddy may not be here with us now, but he is, and will always be, so very loved.

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  • Reply Sam June 19, 2018 at 9:47 am

    My heart hurt reading that. You’re incredibly inspiring and wishing you all the absolute best in carrying on honouring Teddy. How lucky he is to have you as his Mum.

  • Reply mumneverknows June 19, 2018 at 10:16 am

    When you think there are no words, she finds them… Xx

  • Reply Katie Yarde June 19, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    What a brave woman. Thank you for writing and sharing these words. X

  • Reply Mandy Bestwick June 19, 2018 at 8:01 pm

    Amazing, strong lady. Teddy would be proud to have a Mummy like you that does such amazing work when many of us would crumble. My heart aches for you xxx

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