The aim of providing Family Rooms within maternity units is to offer parents the opportunity to spend further precious time with and prepare to say goodbye to their baby in peaceful and private accommodation. Family rooms are the most special place; a place where we can't change the sadness of what has happened but we can and have changed the feel and the sanctuary of the space. Time spent in our family rooms making the most precious of memories, time together as a family, with family and friends, time that can never be replaced will now be time spent in the most perfect surroundings. Here is an artists impression of how the family room will look after the refurbishment.
Chloe Low-McCallum used the family room in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and was also supported by staff in the Princess Royal Maternity Hospital when she had her beautiful little girl Ivy Rose. Here is Chloe's Story explaining just how much the family room and hospital staff from porters to midwives helped her through her saddest time.
"Once I had told the doctors I was ready to let Ivy-Rose go they moved us both from special baby care to a room just off the maternity ward. It was still part of the ward but far enough away from all the new parents welcoming their beautiful babies into the world. Both the paediatrics team and midwifery team knew how important it was that I was away from such joy and happiness as I had to say goodbye to my own beautiful baby girl.
When I got to the room 2 minutes before Ivy-Rose there was a midwife waiting to welcome me with a polite smile on her face, I can’t remember her name but she introduced herself and I still remember her soft-spoken voice. She told me she was sorry that this was happening and as they brought Ivy-Rose in past her she peaked in then looked at me with the kindest smile and said “Ivy-Rose is absolutely beautiful just like her mum” and at the time I just said thank you not really thinking about what she said but looking back her comment was one from my experience that really sticks out and really brings comfort to me even to this day.
She then asked if I wanted privacy when turning off Ivy-Rose’s life support or if I wanted her to stay with me, since I had my family I said she didn’t have to stay. She then explained what would happen, once they remove Ivy-Rose’s tubes the paediatric doctor would come in every 5-10 minutes to check for a pulse and formally pronounce Ivy-Rose as deceased.
I just sat there staring at my baby girl, numb.
Once we turned the life support off, the paediatric doctor came in about 5 minutes later and formally pronounced her as deceased. I held Ivy-Rose in my arms just weeping, cuddling her so tight praying this was just a bad dream.
The midwife came back and told us if there was anything at all we needed just to press my buzzer and she would be straight along, nothing was too big or too small she was there to help. She also asked me and my family when was the last time we ate, it was the previous afternoon since we last ate, she made us all tea and brought in the biggest plate of toast. Little things like this really make a huge impact, not only did she want to care for me and Ivy-Rose but she also went above and beyond for my family too.
My family were allowed to come and go whenever I wanted them to, which was very comforting. The room was very spacious so it allowed my big family all to come and spend time with Ivy-Rose and I. I told family and friends they could visit but I don’t want any tears, I don’t want the only time Ivy-Rose is on this earth to be full of tears and sadness, although it is the worst time in my life it is also the happiest as my baby girl defied all odds and made it to be with me on earth even if it was only for a short time.
The midwife welcomed all of my family and friends, got everyone tea or coffee even though the room had tea/coffee making facilities and she also comforted any visitors who had to leave the room to grieve. We spent 5 days in this room with Ivy-Rose, we met 3 midwives in that time who were all so kind and loving towards us all. They were there when we needed them 24/7 and they also gave us space when we wanted it, I honestly can’t explain how amazing these midwives are. They made such a heart-breaking experience just that tiny bit bearable, without them I wouldn’t have had a peaceful, calm 5 days of pure love with my daughter. They treated Ivy-Rose like any other baby.
I didn’t want to leave Ivy-Rose alone at any time, so when I was showering, at the toilet or getting changed they would come in and cuddle Ivy-Rose and rock her like a “normal” new born.
After 5 days we were moved to the Lola Commons butterfly room on the special baby care ward, at first this was very hard as I had to walk by all the teeny babies to get to Ivy-Rose but I also got to see all of the amazing paediatric team and Ivy-Rose’s special baby care nurse Tracey. They all regularly checked in with us to see how we were doing. It wasn’t just like it was their job to do this, you could tell they really did care. We spent a further two days in the Lola Commons room. It was beautifully decorated, had a comfortable bed, tv, kettle and en-suite. Again I was allowed family members with me whenever I wanted them to be there. The midwives from down stairs would also pop up to see how we were, which was really comforting.
When it came to saying my final goodbyes to Ivy-Rose it was the hardest thing I have ever had to do and probably will ever have to do. The hospital staff were so kind to us, they told us what time the porters would be here to take Ivy-Rose to get her post-mortem. That time came and I physically couldn’t hand my daughter over. The nurse came in and just hugged Ivy-Rose and I, she told me she would try and arrange for the post-mortem to be done a little later to give me time to say goodbye. I got an extra couple of hours. In that time she sat with me and Ivy-Rose, she told me that although I am saying goodbye, Ivy-Rose would always be alive in my heart. I remember sitting speaking to her for a good hour and then telling her to call the porters, I was ready to let my baby girl go. She hugged me and told me how strong I was and how proud of me she was, coming from basically a stranger this meant so much. She left the room to allow me my own space and time to say goodbye and then she came in to tell me it was time.
I had Ivy-Rose ready in her little white dress, white hat, cardigan and mits, she really did look like a beautiful angel. The nurse helped me wrap her in her blanket that she had with her since the minute she was born. I kissed her and said goodbye. I handed her to the nurse and she left the room. I was heartbroken, it is an indescribable feeling, there is no feeling like it.
The nurse came back and hugged me, she told me there was no rush for me to leave and if I needed anything I was just to send a family member along to get her. I packed up all of mine and Ivy-Rose’s belongings and left. As I was leaving every staff member than came into contact with us all came to say goodbye to me, it was so comforting and honestly without the nurses and midwives I could not have gotten through that week. They are something special, I can’t thank them enough. 💕"
Our family room projects can range from a few thousand pounds to over sixty thousand pounds. Put simply we couldn't continue to renovate these essential rooms without the support of our incredible fundraisers
We would like to say a huge GOOD LUCK and thank you to the multidisciplinary team in the Princess Royal Maternity Hospital who are bravely sky diving for SiMBA! Led by Ellen, 14 brave jumpers will launch themselves from a plane on Monday the 25th of February (after their initial jump on the 8th of February was postponed due to bad weather). These amazing fundraisers are truly inspirational,not only have they have already raised over £5,000 to be allocated directly towards the family room refurbishments in the Princess Royal Maternity Hospital but they are supporting and raising awareness for SiMBA and the support that is available every day. Their family rooms will make a dramatic difference to bereaved families, they are doing all they can please show your support and donate by text now.
We are also honoured to be one of 3 chosen charity partners for the wonderful St Patrick's Day Charity Ball in Glasgow all proceeds from the event will be split between : SiMBA, Calums Cabin and Possibilities and all monies donated to SiMBA will again go directly towards our family room refurbishments in the Princess Royal Maternity Hospital, Glasgow.
Support our Family Room refurbishments
Please donate here to support the refurbishment of SiMBA family roomsDonate today