Couple donate baby grows to Pilgrim and Lincoln County hospitals in memory of stillborn son Ernie

ITV News report by Emma Wilkinson

A couple whose son was stillborn at 24 weeks are raising money to buy and donate baby outfits to parents who might find themselves in a similar situation. 

Jessica Hunt and Aaron Bradnam went through the IVF process and with one viable embryo, Jess became pregnant. But after a routine scan, the couple were told that Ernie no longer had a heartbeat.

Jess told ITV News: "What happened next was a whirlwind. You are bombarded with information about inductions and whether you want a burial or a cremation. I was induced and gave birth 4 days later.

"In that time we had no option to find an outfit for our son that fit him and that we chose. We were offered a gown that he could wear and there were some cardigans and hats, but it’s not what we would have chosen to dress him in."

Jess’s sister was able to find a baby-grow that was right for them, but the couple said it is not easy for parents in the midst of a stressful and traumatic time to source an outfit that is suitable and they are often expensive. 

So they have set up a fundraising page in order to purchase and donate premature baby-grows to hospitals, giving parents more choice about how to dress their stillborn baby.

Aaron said: "You feel like your world has ended and you are trying to take in and process so much information at that time, so we hope by making these baby grows available, it can be one less thing for parents to worry about."

"We’ve got a range of outfits for different sizes and weights and some have Velcro on the arms so it is easier to put them on."

Jess said by helping other parents, it’s also keeping Ernie’s memory alive:

"When you lose a baby, your worst fear is that they will be forgotten. So that’s why it was really important for me to do this, and have the little tags on that say ‘with love, Ernie.’ It keeps his name out there."

The couple have so far purchased more than 50 outfits to donate to Pilgrim Hospital in Boston and Lincoln County Hospital - where Ernie was born and where they say they received excellent care. But they are hoping that is just the start and Aaron is planning a cycling challenge to raise more funds and help more families.