STILLBIRTH is uncommon, but unfortunately not rare.
In Australia, one in 120 births will be a stillbirth or a newborn death.
Yet many hospitals across the country still do not have access to a cuddle cot.
That is why Madeleine and Trav are trying to raise money to supply two hospitals with a cuddle cot.
In honour of their daughter Anabelle.
For her memory; as her legacy.
“I felt like the only way we could parent her was to do something. We couldn’t do anything else. We didn’t have her here,” Madeleine said.
“We had to honour her in some way and there’s heaps of hospitals that still don’t have a cuddle cot.”
A cuddle cot is a cooling system used inside a specific bassinet so parents can keep their babies with them, uninterrupted; to make the only memories they will get with their precious child or children.
“We were lucky to be in a hospital – and in an era – that had a cuddle cot available to us. The time we had and the memories we made with Anabelle are what is holding us together,” Madeleine said.
“It helped us greatly with our healing. We got to spend two nights with our girl before saying goodbye,” he said.
“We want to help families who will sadly walk this road by giving them time with their babies.”
With two cuddle cots costing $12,000, the couple has already raised almost $8000. And that is just from family and friends.
Now they want to open it up to the community to help them raise the other $4000.
Echuca and the Royal Women’s hospitals already have cuddle cots so the couple are still trying to decide where the cuddle cots will go.
But it really doesn’t matter where they go — as long as it’s helping grieving families.
“We wish this didn’t happen but the reality is it does and it will happen to other families and we just want to give that opportunity to the next family who walk this horrendous road,” Madeleine said.
“Stillbirth and baby loss is not a topic people like to think about or talk about, but this is our reality,” she said.
“It happened to us, it happened to my parents, it has happened to many wonderful and strong families, and sadly it will happen to more.
“We want this to be Anabelle’s legacy. We want her life to make a difference to someone who will walk this heartbreaking and devastating journey.
“We raise this money for all the babies who couldn’t stay and for their amazing parents who keep surviving.”
To donate, go to https://cuddlecot.gofundraise.com.au/page/MadeleineGilby