Supporting anyone affected by the death of a baby and
promoting research to reduce the loss of babies’ lives
Created by Barry Thompson © 2010 - 2019 Derby Sands, all rights reserved
Charity registration number 299679
A Letter to Nathaniel
Written by his mummy.
Little Nate, my little man, I just don’t know where to start.
When I found out I was pregnant with you I was so excited, but so frightened too. I couldn’t stop worrying that I was going
to lose you. Seeing your little heart beating at 8 weeks was wonderful, who could have known that it would struggle to
keep growing? I still worried though and despite seeing your heart beating again at 10 weeks and 12 weeks and hearing it
beat at 15 weeks, I just knew something wasn’t right.
I’ll never forget the sonographer and the way she was looking at you during your 20 week scan, daddy kept telling me to
stop being so pessimistic. Eventually she told us what I had been dreading, that she had seen a number of things which
concerned her and that we would have to wait until Tuesday to see the consultant. What a rollercoaster of emotions, 3
days of waiting until we could find out. The consultant tried to be positive, but the list went on. Did we want to test and
find out what was wrong with you? There was only a slim chance of miscarriage… but what if I lost you? How could I have
ever forgiven myself? That isn’t what mums are supposed to do; it just went against every instinct. I wanted to protect
you forever; I wasn’t going to put you at risk.
Every scan which went by told us to start to prepare, a number of ‘subtle differences’ could be indicating a ‘chromosomal
abnormality’. We just carried on and hoped that it might be something manageable. I just wanted to be able to look after
you, to take you home and look after you. I didn’t care that you would be different; as long as you were able to be happy,
I knew I would do everything in my power to make you the happiest little person on this earth.
Feeling you grow inside of me was such a pleasure; I enjoyed being pregnant with you and feeling every little movement.
You hiccupped every day, just like your big sisters used to. Rubbing my tummy and feeling all your little limbs growing and
stretching was still so magical.
When the time came towards the end of the pregnancy, when they could safely test you we decided to find out. I knew in
my heart and my head that I should expect the worse, nothing we had seen so far had suggested otherwise and all of my
motherly instinct had told me to be ready.
It was fatal, non-viable, and not compatible with life. Very rare.
I knew that I would do all I could for you when you came, what else can a mother do? I didn’t know what to hope for
really, but I just wanted to be able to meet you and tell you how much I loved you. The doctors laid it on the line, you
were going to die. We knew that Nate, but we still wanted you more than ever. Daddy and I decided it was time to find
out your sex, we wanted to name you while you were kicking about and make you a little person.
A son, a little boy, little Nathaniel Charles. I was so thrilled, I knew you were a boy.
I was so scared the day you came, so frightened to let you go. I wished I could keep you inside of me forever. The labour
was fast and you were such an easy delivery – thank you. My first wish granted, no traumatic labour, no C-section, you
kept me safe. When they rested you up on my chest and I felt your skin on mine I knew you were alive. The midwife told
us, “There is a little heartbeat”. I told you I loved you, I loved you, I loved you - as quickly as I could. Wish number two, I
met you and you saw me and heard me tell you I loved you.
They cut your cord and you started to cry, there was life inside of you and you were going to give it a good fight. A cuddle
for your daddy, wish number three granted.
You kept going, you suckled on me briefly and I felt you take some of my milk. Even after you found that tricky, you took
my milk from a special little bottle. Wish number 4, I got to feed you.
We wanted you to be baptised so much, just hold on a little while longer. You did, we had a little baptism for you, wish
We got you dressed and took lots of photographs, you were just so gorgeous little man and you kept letting us have more
and more memories of you. You waited to meet your grandma, your Uncle Mike, your big sisters and your granddad. I
hadn’t even wished that far ahead, but you just gave and gave.
You were so peaceful and so content, you grumbled when we changed you and you grumbled when you got hungry. But you
were comforted by our voices, our touch and by us holding you. You were just like any other little new born.
We never imagined we would get to bring you home, I was so scared but I knew I wanted you to be here with your family.
You knew that would be best too didn’t you? You knew I didn’t need to worry, you knew you had a purpose, to bring us all
together, to make sure we always remembered you as a part of our family.
You were no burden, you let us change you and feed you when you were sad and you made content little coos and squeaks
when we held you. You were peaceful in your moses basket and you were peaceful in my arms. We knew we would have to
let you go at some point, we kept telling you how much we loved you and how much you had already given us. We had one
more wish, the most important wish we had been making since the first second – we didn’t want you to suffer. We told you
that you could go, not because we were ready to let you, not because we would ever be ready to let you go, but because
we knew we had to and we wanted you to die with us, here at home, in no pain.
It was selfish to wish you would open your eyes and look at me one last time; it was selfish to wish you would pass away
peacefully in your daddy’s arms. How could we keep asking so much of you, when you had already given us everything? But
you did keep giving. You let me feed you in the night and you calmed down when me and daddy cuddled you. You said
good morning to your big sisters and then you lay quietly in your basket while daddy made coffee and mummy played
babies with Isobel and Sophie. Then, as I drank my coffee next to you, I saw you open your eyes widely. I shouted for your
daddy and he picked you up, you looked at me and I held you close. I knew though, I knew we were going to lose you
soon. Your grandma and granddad came in and saw you one last time and then left you to be with me and your daddy. Your
daddy got to cradle you in his arms before your little heart slowly stopped beating. I felt it with my finger, slowing down
and the life inside you gently extinguishing. You didn’t make a sound, you didn’t struggle for a single breath, you didn’t
cry in any pain. Thank you Nathaniel, thank you for being so strong.
I know you were here for a reason, you wanted us to stop taking life for granted. You wanted us to appreciate things
more, you wanted us to appreciate each other more. We do Nate, I promise you we do. Your little life has taught us so
much, your strength has given us so much strength. I promise you that we will always stay strong for you. We will work so
hard to be the best mummy and daddy we can be to Isobel and Sophie, now always and forever. Your daddy and I will
always look after each other and you will keep us strong. We’ll never forget you.
Baby Nathaniel was born at the Royal Derby Hospital on 22/10/2013 and fell to sleep for the last time at home, on
One year later, Nathaniel’s mummy gave birth to a healthy baby girl, who is giving the family lots of comfort, but will
never replace their precious son.