THIS beautiful baby picture shows three pairs of tiny feet nestled together on a blanket.
It is a photo of a treasured memory of newborn babies and one parents everywhere will recognise.
But for Cat and Mike Blewitt it is extra special, as it is one of the very few precious memories of their triplets Jack, Lottie and Rosie.
The couple lost all three babies days after their 20-week scan in May this year.
But with the help of incredible bereavement midwife Nicola Taylor they have managed to cope with the grief.
Cat and Mike’s story moved the audience — including Chris Evans — to tears at The Sun’s Who Cares Wins Awards.
And Chris, 52, was so touched by the couple’s story, he invited them on his BBC Radio 2 Breakfast show along with Nicola, 46, who picked up the Best Midwife gong at Monday’s star-studded event in central London.
As Baby Loss Awareness Week launches, Cat, 30, and Mike, 36, from Tamworth, Staffs, have shared their heart-wrenching ordeal to highlight the issue.
Cat, a primary school teacher, says: “Baby loss is such a taboo subject. We want people to talk about it more. It’s a vow we made to the triplets.
“If it helps one other person, that will be amazing — it will be their lasting legacy.”
The couple, who met six years ago, started trying for a family after they got married in February 2017.
They discovered they were expecting triplets at an eight-week private scan.
Cat explains: “We just wanted to check everything was OK. The sonographer said there’s not just one heartbeat, so we thought it was twins.”
Mike added: “She held up three fingers and said, ‘No, it’s triplets’. We both went, ‘wow’.”
Cat was put under the care of Heartlands Hospital in Birmingham, as they have a specialist neonatal unit.
They found out the sex of two of the babies at Cat’s 20-week scan.
She says: “We were told we were having a boy and girl, but we couldn’t find out all the sexes because of the way one of them was lying, so it would be a surprise.”
Two days later, Cat was at home when she started suffering from back pain.
Cat says: “I went to bed early but the pain was so bad it kept waking me up. I woke Mike and said, ‘I think we need to go to hospital’.”
They arrived there at 3am and Cat describes what happened next as a “blur”.
If it helps one other person, that will be amazing — it will be their lasting legacyCat Blewitt
She says: “Mike went to park the car and, as I walked into the hospital, my waters broke. I couldn’t see so I thought I was haemorrhaging blood.
“I thought I was dying. It was the most scary and traumatic experience.”
Cat made it to the labour ward before giving birth to Jack, followed by Lottie.
The chance of survival at less than 22 weeks is close to zero and Cat says: “We were told nothing could be done.”
Mike adds: “I felt completely helpless. I can’t describe what it was like watching my wife go through that.”
But they were given hope when there was a 15-minute break in her labour.
Cat says: “I thought we were going to be able to keep one baby and she would stay inside but, unfortunately, my waters broke. All three babies were placed on my chest and they hugged each other. They were looking at each other and smiling.”
Cat, her voice cracking with emotion, adds: “We told them how much we loved them.”
The babies were then passed to Mike to hold. He says: “I saw their little chests moving up and down and their hearts beating. I remember a photo being taken and I’m smiling. Later, I thought: ‘Why on earth am I smiling when the worst thing in the world is happening? But looking at their faces I was so filled with love.”
Cat adds: “In that moment we were a family. It’s almost like time stood still.”
The couple spent a precious hour and a half with their triplets before they died — within minutes of each other.
Cat breaks down as she says: “They passed away with smiles on their faces. They knew they were so loved.”
They were taken to the Eden Suite, the hospital’s special maternity bereavement ward, where they met midwife Nicky.
Jack, Lottie and Rosie were placed in cuddle-cots, which kept them cool to allow Cat and Mike precious time to bond with their babies. Cat says: “We were able to spend three nights in hospital with our babies. We never felt like we were being pressured to leave.”
All the midwives on the unit are trained in photography. One of Nicky’s photos shows just how tiny the triplets’ feet were — so fragile that their skin is translucent.
Nicky also took casts of their feet and hands to put inside a special memory box.
Cat says: “The photos and hand and foot prints are all we have of our babies. They are so precious to us.
“But we went home holding our memory box when it should have been our babies. We felt so empty.”
Mike adds: “Instead of having three babies, we came home to silence.”
In that moment we were a family. It’s almost like time stood stillCat Blewitt
The couple were so overwhelmed by the support they received from the Eden Suite they decided to raise £1,500 for a new cuddle-cot. Cat says: “We smashed that because we’ve raised £8,000 so far.”
Mike adds: “We’re still struggling but we wouldn’t be anywhere near where we are without Nicky and the team.”
The couple decided to share their experience to help raise awareness.
Who Cares Wins
Winner of Best Nurse Kat Mayer, who collected her award from Chris Evans, described the evening as “the best night of my life”.
She came to the bash with her boss and two pals from Lincoln County Hospital.
They made the most of their night at the after-party.
Although the couple are still coming to terms with their grief, they would like to try for another baby in the future.
Cat says: “We can’t wait to give Jack, Lottie and Rosie a younger brother or sister. We will tell them about the triplets when they are old enough to understand.”
Mike adds: “They may not physically be with us but they will live on with us.”
Bacon praises lifesavers
Richard Bacon was reunited at the Who Cares Wins awards with the medics who saved his life.
The star, 42, who had suspected pneumonia, spent more than a week fighting for his life in a medically induced coma in the critical care unit of Lewisham Hospital in south-east London, this summer.
After meeting five of the medics who helped save his life, Richard said: “It’s wonderful to see them even though you never know quite what to say. It feels embarrassing to say thank you because they have done so much for me.
“How do I say the right thing to people and a team and a hospital that went to such lengths to keep me alive?”
Matron of the critical care unit Martine Rooney, said: “It’s so fantastic to see him doing so well. Some patients find it frightening to come back, so we don’t see people very often.”
- There were numerous celebrities at the Who Cares Wins awards – including Rod Stewart, Penny Lancaster, Professor Green, Mark Cavendish and Chico. But no-one got asked for more selfies than Dr Alex George, Jack Fincham and Paul Knops from Love Island.
Maybot so hot
Footage of Theresa May doing her ‘Maybot’ dance at the Who Cares Wins Awards went viral.
She did her trademark move when she came on stage to present the award for Best Neonatal Specialist.
Vicky Pattison was more excited by the fact she and the Prime Minister were wearing similar outfits.
She posted on social media: “I’m basically just buzzing because me and Theresa are both wearing trouser suits. Coincidence?! I think not... (That’s right, I’m t-dag’s fashion inspo!)”