I’ll never forget the shift in thinking that occurred when I first became pregnant. The instant I saw those faint pink lines nothing else seemed to matter except keeping my baby safe and well.
But no matter how hard we try as mothers to protect our growing babies, some things in life are outside our control. No one knows this better than Emma Fairbairn of Wales, who took to social media on May 26 to express her deep grief and anguish over the loss of her unborn son Flynn. Fairbairn was six months pregnant with Flynn when she was involved in a serious car accident after working a 24-hour shift at her job, a home for adults with learning disabilities.
Initially, her son appeared to be unharmed, and she felt him kicking on her ambulance ride to the hospital.
“Must’ve had someone watching over me today!” she shared at the time. “Can’t stop looking at the state of my car thinking how bad it all was. So lucky my baby is okay after scans and listening to his heart beat.”
But overnight at the hospital, it was discovered that her baby no longer had a heartbeat.
“It was devastating,” Fairbairn tells Babble. “I was looking at the screen while the doctor was scanning and I couldn’t see [the heartbeat either] — but I needed to be told for it to register. Looking back now I think I was being a bit naive thinking he would survive.”
Fairbairn shared her sorrow in a Facebook post that’s since gone viral, writing:
“His poor little body couldn’t take the pain or stress from the horrific crash yesterday and there was nothing I could do to save him when my body was meant to keep him safe and up until late last night I thought it had.”
Along with those heartbreaking words, Fairbairn included a sonogram of her son who she delivered stillborn two days later.
“The [birth] experience was horrible,” she tells Babble. “My main injuries from the crash were around my stomach and hips which is obviously where all the pain is when in labor.”
But knowing she wouldn’t hear a cry at the end was of course the very worst part. “My whole world has been ripped apart,” she says. “I had so much planned for the two of us.”
It’s been just over a week since her loss, and Fairbairn says she’s been “so up and down,” and that the experience still feels surreal. “Sometimes, when I talk about it it just feels like I’m telling someone else’s story.”
But this brave mother continues to share her heart and her photos with the world, including a birth announcement she posted on Facebook for her baby boy, born on May 28, weighing 1 lb., 6 oz. In an interview with HuffPost UK, Fairbairn shared that she was able to spend two days with Flynn in the ward where she gave birth.
While her time with baby Flynn was cut entirely too short, Fairbairn tells Babble that her sweet firstborn will never be forgotten. She recalls how he was always moving around like a “little monkey” during ultrasounds, and how he always used to “(kick) me late at night when I was trying to sleep as well — it was like he had his own little personality.”
Fairbairn’s friend, Jasmine McGinley, has since set up a A GoFundMe page to help cover unexpected costs. “Although we can’t take away her pain,” McGinley writes, “we can help with funeral expenses to help give baby Flynn a perfect funeral.”
The outpouring of support after her viral post has been “huge,” Fairbairn says. “I have had hundreds of messages with people sending their thoughts and sharing their stories and also adding me into support groups for bereaved parents which I’ve found has helped massively.”
While tiny baby Flynn’s time here was brief, it’s clear that his mother’s love for him is enormous and eternal.
If you would like to donate to baby Flynn’s funeral fund, you can do so now at Fairbairn’s GoFundMe page.