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Mum says not knowing where baby’s ashes are is ‘greatest pain’ after miscarriage

A Scots mum has bravely spoken out on her miscarriage and said ‘not knowing where her baby is now’ is the ‘worst pain of all’.

Debby Munro delivered her ‘beautiful, perfect’ daughter, Teddy, stillborn on June 21 this year at just 18 weeks.

Mum-of-three Debby, from Glasgow, says that over three months on, she is yet to receive confirmation of Teddy’s cremation and where her ashes are scattered.

The 39-year-old newborn photographer has opened up on her experience to mark Baby Loss Awareness Week.

Debby and Stephen Munro with their sons, Kirk, Harris and Logan and their dog, Scout

Debby told the Record: “Talking about what happened has been too difficult up until now.

“In my line of work, lots of clients had been asking me how my own pregnancy was going and until now, it’s been too hard to open up.

“But with it being Baby Loss Awareness Week I thought it would be a good time to talk about it.

“The worst pain of all is not knowing where our baby girl is.”

She added: “While I was still in hospital, we opted for a group cremation for Teddy, where her ashes would be scattered in a garden of remembrance afterwards.

Mum says not knowing where baby's ashes are is 'greatest pain' after miscarriage
An earlier scan of Teddy Iris Munro

“We were told we would be contacted and given a location, so that we could visit.

“We’ve contacted the labour ward and bereavement midwives, who tell us they’re yet to receive any information.

“It’s heartbreaking. We want to be able to grieve properly.”

Debby says she has been unable to obtain any information about what is causing the delay.

There were ‘no warning signs’ during Debby’s pregnancy as she and husband, Stephen, 41 and sons; Kirk, 17, Harris, 15 and Logan, 10 patiently awaited the arrival of their baby brother or sister.

Mum says not knowing where baby's ashes are is 'greatest pain' after miscarriage
Debby Munro had a ‘normal pregnancy’ with ‘no warning signs’ as she opens up to raise awareness

But things took a tragic turn during a scan where Debby hoped to find out the gender of her little one.

She said: “I went to the scan at around 17 and a half weeks with my friend and fellow photographer, Louise Cairns.

“Louise would be told the gender, for Stephen, the children and I to find out through a planned gender reveal the next day.

“We were really excited.”

Sadly, baby scan clinic staff revealed that there was ‘no heartbeat’.

“At first I was in total disbelief, I thought there was something wrong with the machine,”Debby added.

“When it hit me it was like an out-of-body body experience, I wailed out in pain.

“The experience was horrific.”

Less than one week later, after breaking the news to her family, Debby went into induced labour on June 21 and baby Teddy was delivered.

To add to their heartache, the family were unable to find out the gender of their precious baby for a further eight weeks until after a post-mortem was carried out.

Teddy had been born with her legs crossed and those involved with her care were scared of moving her legs in case it damaged her tiny body.

However, the gender neutral status of their baby helped her parents choose Teddy as a name.

“Teddy was born with her legs crossed,” Debby said.

“We couldn’t move her legs and therefore couldn’t find out the gender.

“Teddy is gender neutral and we loved it for a boy or a girl, one scan picture looked like a teddy too, so it was perfect.

“Holding my baby in the hours that followed was also like an out-of-body experience; I was heartbroken but happy to hold my baby.”

Mum says not knowing where baby's ashes are is 'greatest pain' after miscarriage
Debby Munro has bravely spoken about her experience to mark Baby Loss Awareness Week

Teddy was given the middle name Iris, in tribute to Debby and Stephen’s first dance song of the same title.

Courageous Debby penned a heart-wrenching blog about Teddy to mark Baby Loss Awareness Week, which runs from October 9 to 15.

She wanted to remind parents that the ‘danger zone’ does not end at 12 weeks during a pregnancy.

Debby said: “All we want to do is raise awareness.

“I titled the blog post, ‘I Forgot’ because I forgot that the 12 week scan isn’t the be all and end all.

“You’re not past the ‘danger stage’, miscarriages often happen in the first 12 weeks, but they can happen after that point too.”

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NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHS GGC) apologised for the ‘difficulties’ the Munro family have endured.

An NHS GGC spokesman told the Record: “Our thoughts continue to be with the family at what must be a very difficult time.

“We are sorry that the family have had difficulties in getting information about Teddy Iris’ ashes.

“We will contact the family to give them the information they have requested and apologise that it was not made immediately available to them.”

For more information on Baby Loss Awareness Week head to the SANDS website.

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