Breaking the stillbirth taboo - Mum speaks out on baby Enzo's first birthday
PUBLISHED: 09:59 28 February 2019 | UPDATED: 10:07 28 February 2019
Like most parents Heidi and Luke Gibbs were excitedly looking forward to the birth of their child, a boy they had already named Enzo.
When he arrived early on March 2 last year he was perfect in every way, but he never took a breath and they left hospital feeling utterly empty and devastated.
Ahead of his first birthday Mrs Gibbs, 35, of Somerville Avenue, Gorleston, has been shopping for gifts she would have given to her little boy as he cut his first teeth and took his first steps.
Instead she is handing them over to the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston after raising money via sales and sponsored events, as well as an online donation page - and says she has been comforted by process.
“My little boy was stillborn on March 2 last year,” she said.
“And coming up to his birthday was going to be a mega hard day but we are trying to make it a really beautiful day.
“Obviously I miss him so much but this has given me something to concentrate on.
“I have still been able to buy him things and it has been very comforting,” she said.
“Each year in the lead up to his birthday we are going to raise money and donate it to different charities in Enzo’s name.
“Before I went through this I would shy away from anyone talking about stillbirth but since I have gone through it I realise people do want to talk about it.”
As well as raising money and telling everyone about the son she lost Mrs Gibbs is keen to break the taboo of stillbirth.
She started by posting a picture of Enzo’s hand on Facebook, and was encouraged by the positive response to include a picture of the baby’s face topped by a knitted hat and wrapped in cosy blankets like any other newborn.
Unlike some mothers who have a chance to prepare Mrs Gibbs, who has four other children, had no idea her baby was not going to be alive.
Her other pregnancies had been problem-free but Enzo came early at 30 weeks, four days. He tipped the scales at 3lb 7oz.
Having met others in the same situation online she is keen to talk about the subject and encourage others to do the same.
Next year she is raising money for Hana’s Gift, a charity that supports bereaved parents in Norfolk and which helped her pay for Enzo’s headstone.