Nicky Ledgerton attended the White Feathers Retreat in July 2016 following the loss of her baby boy in 2009. This is her story and how we helped.
“My husband and I were living in the city, living a full and happy life and I was one of the founding members of a successful family business which was established in 1997. When I became pregnant, we decided to move to a rural location to be closer to family and local schools.
On 19th June 2009 I gave birth at just 26 weeks of my pregnancy term.
It had started with pains while I was at a work seminar. I was discharged from the hospital as a nurse told me it was just the baby turning. The following day the pains started again and this time there was bleeding as well. Again, we went to the hospital and we were reassured that there were no concerns. That same night the pains worsened and I would never have known I was going to give birth 10 minutes after arriving at the hospital.
We were in complete shock. Our baby was born in the amniotic sack. He was placed in an incubator immediately. He looked so perfect, but wasn't making a sound.
The next seven weeks would be a roller coaster of highs and desperate lows.
We were told to prepare for the worst. Although he grew from 1lb 2oz to 5lb, a brain scan revealed that he would have no quality of life and no means of surviving without apparatus.
The decision was ours to turn off his life-support machine.
We didn't want to prolong his suffering and so over the next few hours I held him. I could feel a slight breathe on my chest, he was strong and brave.
When the funeral was over and weeks turned into months, I realised my whole identity had disappeared. I had also had some tests which revealed I would never be able to conceive again as I had entered into Early Menopause. It was too late. All my hopes and dreams of being a mother were gone.
I didn’t return to work and for seven years I remained frozen.
The grief had struck me so deeply I didn’t know who I was anymore. When we lived in the city, I had a full and busy life which gave me a purpose. To find out I was pregnant, deliver him early and lose him eight weeks later was the most traumatic and horrendous loss we as parents will ever experience.
It changed my life forever and I felt my life would never be the same again and neither would I. I thought I was a lost cause with no future. My confidence had slumped along with my self-esteem.
I am amazed how it helped me.
It has been such a positive experience, beyond all my expectations.
The whole experience at White Feathers Retreat provided me with a safe and loving space in which I could fully express myself and be heard. During the highly skilled various processes I was able to let go of my grieving wounds and in turn, take major steps in claiming back my life.
Nadine and her team helped me to relinquish thoughts and ideas that were running my life and blocking me from moving forward.
White Feathers Retreat with Lighthouses Therapy Services for baby loss has really supported me to make major transitions in my life that were much needed. I have transitioned from being stuck between the life I had, not knowing who I was anymore, to a new life now filled with hope.
This is a very powerful, much needed transformative service for anyone who has gone through infant loss or miscarriage. Everyone is unique in their experiences and Nadine and her team understand this and therefore every process is designed uniquely for each person.
Since the retreat I have made inroads to starting up my own business with the help of the after-care support made available to me.
I have grown in confidence and can honestly say I have got my life back.
I am at peace with myself in the present and feeling very positive about my future.”