My name is Luke Wright and I’m a bereaved father who had a baby boy.
He was stillborn on Friday August 13th at 12:06am and his name is Alfie-Lee.
When I found out that me and my partner Kirsty were expecting Alfie, to say I was excited, over the moon, nervous, is an understatement.
Everything was fine up until Kirsty was 24 weeks pregnant when she started feeling dizzy, sick, her back was hurting and her ankles were swollen.
We went to the doctors and they said it’s normal through pregnancy and try to take it a little easier. So she did, started to rest more, put her feet up more but nothing seemed to change.
Then 26 weeks and five days into the pregnancy that’s when my life changed forever.
Kirsty was at work and suddenly she went blind, couldn’t see anything and couldn’t move from her desk. Her colleagues at work took her to the doctors and that’s when they discovered her blood pressure was so high she shouldn’t have even been conscious.
They rang for an ambulance to take her to Leicester Royal Infirmary, and on the way to the hospital Kirsty suffered a stroke and very nearly died. That’s when we think Alfie passed. If it wasn’t for Alfie taking to brunt of the stroke for his mum, I would have lost them both.
They got to the hospital and Kirsty went for a scan and that’s when both of our lives changed forever, she was told what no parent ever wants to hear: “I’m sorry we can’t find a heartbeat.”
I was still at work, with my phone in my locker, knowing nothing of what was happening so Kirsty had to go through of all this on her own with no one by her side to give her a hug and console her, which is where I felt I should have been and doing.
I finally got to the hospital about two hours after she first went to the doctors. We were in hospital for three days before we got to meet our beautiful baby boy.
We were on the maternity ward with all the other mums and dads having their babies and going home; that was hard to take and hear.
After Kirsty gave birth to Alfie she was offered all sorts of support, which I thought was great as she had gone through something so traumatic, that until it happened to us we’d only ever heard about in the papers or magazines.
I was offered nothing, which didn’t bother me at the time. I thought, why should it? Kirsty was the one who had to go through all of this on her own until I got there. It wasn’t until we got home, that’s when it all hit me like a brick wall that we should be bringing our baby boy home, and I’d nearly lost Kirsty.
So I didn’t talk to anyone, I didn’t want to talk really, I had to stay strong, be strong. I had to be there for Kirsty so she could grieve and have an ear to chew or a shoulder to grab on to and cry on.
I didn’t feel like I should grieve as she had to go through so much on her own before I got to her. I felt like a failure, a massive failure as a father and partner. I was supposed to be a man, the protector, the person to fight away all types of danger to protect my baby and my partner.
After Alfie-Lee’s funeral I turned into a selfish, self-destructive plonker to be very polite. I wouldn’t talk to Kirsty much. I’d always be in a foul mood, always angry, looking for an argument about everything and anything.
It all finally came to head in December, a few days before Christmas, we had an argument which I caused and she just broke down in front of me, she told me if I don’t change and sort myself out then that’s it we were done. Finished. She couldn’t carry on like this.
That’s when I broke down and reality hit me, I’ve been doing all of this putting Kirsty through hell on top of what she was dealing with. After I broke down, we spoke and I told her how I felt how much of a failure I felt not being there with her. I still do to this day. After I opened up I felt alright so we moved on.
In December the following year we had our beautiful little princess called Skye-Louise, she was born with spina-bifida along with many other health complications. Skye is a full time wheelchair user, and she is now 7.
Having Skye helped because I had to focus on her; I’ll never forget about Alfie, how could I he’s my baby boy? I couldn’t really dwell on the past I had to focus on the here and now. Life ticked on I was still rather angry and moody, and I couldn’t understand why!
It wasn’t until last year that I came across a tweet about Sands United Northampton and what they were trying to achieve and the awareness they were spreading. I got in touch with them, they were really helpful, very welcoming even though I’d never met any of them. I was due to go down after Christmas, to meet them all, then they message me saying that a Sands United team was being formed in Leicester where I live.
So I went along and I can honestly say that being around fellow dads that have gone through what I have helps massively and the support from all the lads is second to none. I’m now the co-chairman and manager of Sands United Leicester. I can honestly say this has helped massively. I feel different in a good way now, and Kirsty has said my mood has lifted no end since I joined the team.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story. Luke Wright proud father of baby Alfie-Lee.