Grieving mum spends 16 days bonding with daughter who died shortly after birth

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  • A grieving mum has spoken out about the time she spent with her daughter, who passed away shortly after she was born.

    Baby Evelyn passed away four weeks after her birth, after being diagnosed with a debilitating chromosome abnormality after a 20-week scan. She was sadly born with an underdeveloped brain, narrow airways in her nose and lungs and a narrow aorta.

    Her parents Charlotte Szakacs, 21, and husband Attila, 28, were then given the opportunity to spend 16 precious days with their baby after her death, with Charlotte creating a Facebook page, Evlyn’s Story, to document their journey.

    ‘So many people have never heard of parents being able to spend that time with their babies and other mums reached out to me saying they think it would have helped so I really want to raise awareness,’ Charlotte explained.

    ‘I know it might not be the best option for everyone but for us it was so important to be able to have that family time – and just properly cuddle our little girl.’

    The pair spent 12 days in a hospice, where Evlyn was kept in a refrigerated ‘cuddle cot’ used in many hospitals and maternity units across the UK, and then were allowed to take her home for four days ahead of her funeral.

    ‘I think having the time with her made such a difference,’ Charlotte added. ‘Being able to do so many of the things you imagine like taking her out in her pram, it really helped emotionally.’

    ‘I was really nervous about bringing her home because I didn’t know if it would feel right but it was so nice to have her there. And it wasn’t just for us but for Evlyn so she got to come home.’

    ‘The funeral was really difficult because then reality really started to kick in. Even though we’re in so much pain now, it is a relief to know that Evlyn is in a better place.’

    ‘I would love to have her here, I would give so much to have that, but we have no idea what her life would have been like. At least now she isn’t suffering.’

    Bereavement expert Erica Stewart, who works with the charity Sands, told the Mirror Online that the process of parents bonding with babies after their passing was more common than many people realise.

    ‘There’s a small window of time [after babies die] for parents to create memories,’ she said.

    ‘One of the things they are offered is to spend time with their babies. Most parents take this option. It’s quite a normal thing.’