Born on 30th August 2019, and weighing just 5lbs, our beautiful baby girl, Harley Rae Jones entered our lives and made our world perfect. We really couldn’t believe that we’d made such a pretty little princess… However, unbeknown to us and the midwives, Harley had been starved of oxygen during the latter part of the pregnancy and after an hour began to deteriorate rapidly. Constantly trying to reassure ourselves that she would be fine, with trips to neonatal and several tears, we were eventually transferred to Leeds LGI, almost 10 hours after she was born.
After 2 days of further tests, scans and more wires/tubes/oxygen pumped into our poor baby girl, we were given the devastating news that she wouldn’t survive a third night and we had to prepare to say goodbye to her – she was just 2.5 days old. Lou and I have never felt pain like it; love, grief, shock, anger hitting us so soon after being the happiest people on the planet. Our perfect world had been torn apart in the most devastating way.
Just a few weeks later, and still hopelessly trying to come to terms with it all, we met Beth & Andy, founders of the Henry’s Hope Charity. That was at our first meeting and something that we were both apprehensive about going to. However, over time, we found that we weren’t the only people to have suffered baby loss and talking with parents in similar situations really has helped.
When Andy mentioned doing a dad’s walk, I couldn’t commit to it quick enough. The Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge is a walk I did at college and in my late 30s, so I’m proud to be doing it again. Only this time as a dad in my 40s, but more importantly, a dad to Harley who I know will be as proud of me for doing this, as I am of her for putting up the fight she did.
My dad, Bill, is also joining us, doing his bit for Harley while helping to raise awareness of how baby loss affects all aspects of family life and that support has to be there for everyone!
This is my story and this is why I am doing this walk.
Daddy to Harley Rae Jones 30.08.19-01.09.19