Phoebe Hope was born via emergency cesarean section at 24 weeks weighing a tiny 1lb 8oz. Phoebe was rushed into neonatal care and was ventilated. Despite being so small and vulnerable, Phoebe remained in a stable condition for the first three days of her life and was nicknamed ‘Feisty Phoebe’.
On day four, Phoebe developed an infection and started to need more intense medical intervention to help her breathing. Unfortunately Phoebe was unable to fight the infection and her blood gases became really poor. At 7 days old, Phoebe’s life support was withdrawn and Phoebe peacefully passed away in my arms.
I spent some time with Phoebe after she passed and I was given a memory box with different keepsakes in. I was also given access to a free professional photographer who came and captured precious photos of Phoebe.
The following two weeks after her death are still a blur. I remember the overwhelming feeling of grief kicking in whilst trying to plan a funeral and continue to be a mum to my other daughter, Lily. I felt so alone and as if nobody else understood what had happened or how I was feeling. I felt as if I would never be able to get past these feelings and that I would never feel happiness again.
I am now 3 years on and this does not mean the grief has gotten any less but I have found my ‘new normal’. I still think of Phoebe every single day. I still cry. I still look at photos over and over and this will never change.
Now I have turned my journey with Phoebe into something positive. I have set up a peer support group which support parents who have experienced a death in neonatal care in Greater Manchester. I work closely with Spoons around bereavement support.
I have taken my passion for helping others in similar situations and turned it into my career! I am now a funeral director and this role allows me to support grieving families and make the process of arranging a funeral as easy and as smooth as possible.