Surrogate family praises QA Hospital in Portsmouth for its support

A SURROGATE family from Portsmouth who lost their baby girl before birth have praised Queen Alexandra Hospital staff for their support through 'such sad circumstances.'

Thursday, 6th May 2021, 1:43 pm
Updated Thursday, 6th May 2021, 6:46 pm

Just before Christmas last year surrogate mother Hayley Aldis attended the antenatal clinic at QA Hospital for a 20-week scan along with parents-to-be, Sarah and Gareth Evans.

However, the trio discovered the baby, named Carwen, had died.

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Caption: Surrogate mother Hayley Aldis thanked QA Hospital for its support. Picture: PHU NHS Trust

They were all offered support from a dedicated team including bereavement midwife Stephanie Fretter and midwife Layla Toomer, who had cared for Hayley in a previous surrogacy journey.

Hayley was admitted to the Nightingale Suite two days later and medically induced for labour.

The 39-year-old from Portsmouth said: ‘On the day our first midwife Benedetta Tibaldi - who probably caught the brunt of our emotion, reflection and anxiety - was just what we needed. She was calm and warm and was not afraid to appropriately befriend us.

‘I imagine that supporting families in the Nightingale Suite could potentially be a difficult experience. She achieved the right balance of sympathy with professionalism, alongside humanity.

‘As my induced contractions became more intense, midwife Claire Cass sat with me from almost the start of her shift as my discomfort increased.

‘She carefully balanced tending to Sarah and Gareth, who were in shock and grieving for their baby, with treating me as her patient needing theatre. How she managed, I will never quite know.’

In line with International Day of the Midwife (May 5) Hayley, Sarah and Gareth wanted to thank all the midwives who supported them.

Sarah added: 'We had never experienced a birth before and, despite it being in such sad circumstances the whole team at Portsmouth not only helped us cope but were able to give us precious memories of our daughter Carwen, and her arrival in this world, that mean more than I can ever say.

'Textbooks can only teach you so much but the intuition of the team as to what was needed by each of us at any given point was exemplary. As was the care and support we were given in the weeks that followed.'

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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