When a pregnant Sarah Manvell and her husband went for their 20-week routine ultrasound, they received the worst possible news – their baby had no heartbeat.
After experiencing her own loss, patient Sarah Manvell teamed with Sherry Moon, LGH Patient Care Coordinator for the Perinatal Program to develop the Memory Boxes to help parents grieve and honour their infant after stillbirth, or “baby born sleeping.”
Global News paid Lions Gate Hospital a visit on Tuesday, December 8.
Reporter Tanya Beja came to learn more about the Memory Boxes Manvell created. They are special boxes filled with thoughtful items given to parents grieving their stillborn infant.
Sarah’s experience also kickstarted a discussion among staff on what experiences could be improved upon and expanded. Until Sarah’s experience, parents of babies born sleeping typically left the hospital with nothing but health pamphlets.
While the medical community and society have come a long way from neglecting to mourn the death of a baby who has died before birth, care providers are now recommended to encourage and guide distraught parents to spend time with their sleeping baby – whether it’s bathing them, getting imprints of their feet or simply swaddling them in a baby blanket and cuddling with them.
Sarah’s story has now come full circle. The term “rainbow baby” is used to describe a baby born after a loss. She and her husband, Simon, are happily expecting a “rainbow baby” to be delivered at Lions Gate at the end of 2015.