A couple left heartbroken after the sudden death of their baby have praised Burton's "amazing" midwives for their support during the traumatic process.
Emma and Gareth Whiting say they do not know what they would have done without Burton's Queen's Hospital’s Snowdrop Suite.
Emma, 27, and Gareth, 31, were delighted when they found out they were expecting their third child, but at 35 weeks pregnant the pair became concerned that Emma was experiencing reduced movements from the baby.
A trip to Queen's Hospital at Christmas time on December 20, last year, to get checked out confirmed their worst fears that their baby boy had died.
Emma, from Kings Bromley, said: "I went in on the evening with reduced movement and I was seen by a student midwife called Beth who was absolutely lovely. She put me on the monitor to try and find his heartbeat but we couldn't find it. It wasn't unusual because he would normally lay with his back to my front and this was always harder to find so she called another midwife and decided to get me a scan.
"At the time we thought it was probably the way he was lying so we moved to a different room and there was a consultant and another midwife. At this point I knew something wasn't quite right.
"It was so silent you could hear a pin drop and I remember saying: "oh this is quite scary isn't it." The midwives all apologised and said it was so the consultant could concentrate and that is when she took my hand and told me there was no heartbeat and he had passed away.
"I didn't know what to do. I screamed, I cried, I was completely heartbroken.
"I was 35 weeks pregnant and so near the end."
The shocked pair were then moved to the Snowdrop Suite, a specialist ward for bereaved parents, where they were sat down by staff who discussed the next steps with them. Emma was later allowed home and returned the following day to start the induction process. This would see Emma give birth to her son after being given drugs to induce her labour.
She said: "It was in the Snowdrop Suite that we met another midwife, Jo, who was lovely. I went home that night after taking a tablet to stop the hormones and went back in on the Friday morning to start the induction process.
"Jo who was really accommodating and nothing was too much trouble. She kept popping back to check on us but all we could do was wait for the tablets to work. I had to take one tablet every four hours for four times.
"It seemed to take so long but Jo was with me the whole time and I was also looked after by a lovely midwife called Charley and a student midwife called Liz. Charley chatted with me at 3am, listened to me, watched me cry and didn't judge me at all - she was amazing. She told me Jo had texted her to see how I was."
To make matters worse Emma’s first induction did not work, leaving her physically and emotionally shattered.
She said: "I was gutted, heartbroken and tired. All I wanted was my baby but I also just wanted to be home so I could spend Christmas Day with my other two children Noah, six, and Belle who is three.
"The following day I was supported once again by Jo and Sam the bereavement midwife who was with us the whole way through.
"Jo was so busy that day but there was not a moment that she wasn't there for me if I needed her.
"Later that night I started my second attempt at induction. I was hopeful that this one would work but I was nervous too. A midwife called Susan sat with me through the night and kept me hopeful, my contractions were finally starting and she was helping me get through them.
"At about 5am she came in with a little white knitted blanket her friend had made which had been donated to the Snowdrop Suite and she chose us to give it to which was such a lovely thought. It was now Christmas Eve and my contractions were in full swing and I was on my fifth and sixth midwives Katy and Sam. I knew Sam because she delivered Noah and it was really nice to have a friendly face. They were both amazing and got me through what was the hardest labour I have been through.
"I gave birth at 11.07am and he weighed 5 pounds and 13oz."
Emma and Gareth named their son Reuben William, and he is now affectionately known to them as Little Roo.
Now the pair have issued a heartfelt thank you to the team which cared for them during what they say was the hardest time of their lives.
Emma said: "Every single midwife I had while I was in hospital over those four days were amazing and I literally cannot thank them enough for their love and support.
"Right from Beth the student; it must have been a really hard thing for her to see that first time but now she has had that experience which for a student must be a massive thing.
"To the midwives I had while in labour if I didn't have these ladies I don't know how I would of got through what I did; they kept me going when I felt like I was failing and couldn’t do it.
"Then there is Sam and Jo from the bereavement team who are well known in the town for the great work they do.
"The Snowdrop Suite is a massive asset to the hospital. It is separate to the delivery ward and very private and we got second to none care while we were there.
"What happened to us has changed our life but thanks to them, they made it that little bit more bearable to get through."
The Snowdrop Suite is a private area where bereaved parents can spend precious time with their baby and receive specialist support from the hospital’s midwives.
Queen's Hospital also has a quiet room, which includes a giant image of a tree on the wall where parents can add a leaf bearing the name of their baby.
Special memory boxes are created and given to parents to bring them comfort following the loss of their baby. They can include photographs of the baby along with castings of their hands and feet.