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Dad welcomes rainbow baby during lockdown

Dad welcomes rainbow baby during lockdown

Sensitive subject: This story includes discussion about childbirth, and this may be a sensitive subject for some readers.

One of our Customer Services Advisors and his partner have welcomed a miracle baby into the world – in secret.

Ben Moorhouse And Gaynor Thompson With Apollon

For Ben Moorhouse, 37, and his partner Gaynor Thompson, 39, the birth of their son was a huge relief after their daughter Kallipateira was tragically stillborn in 2018 at just two weeks from Gaynor’s due date.

Further tragedy struck last year when Gaynor miscarried their second child at nine weeks so when the couple from Halifax found out they were expecting again, they understandably didn’t want to tempt fate.

While news of the miscarriage came on the same day as the couple picked up an award for their fundraising efforts, which have included raising money for a bereavement suite for their local maternity ward, news of Gaynor’s latest pregnancy was also coincidental.

Fittingly, the couple found out Kallipateira was going to have a brother or sister on the remembrance day they had organised to commemorate their daughter and mark the lives of other babies who had died.

Incredibly Ben and Gaynor managed to keep the entire pregnancy a secret from friends and family. Working through the first weeks of her pregnancy, Gaynor had a legitimate reason to disappear as her bump became noticeable when we went into lockdown.

Ben said: “We decided to tell nobody apart from work managers for our own wellbeing. We didn’t want cards, congratulations or requests for updates.

“Lockdown helped us a great deal to help keep the pregnancy under wraps especially in the last trimester. We know how cruel life can be.”

Gaynor added: “There wasn’t a day of the pregnancy when we didn’t feel scared of something bad happening.

“Privacy was important to us, too, because we’d made friends with other parents who’d had stillborn babies and we were conscious of their feelings of loss and distress. We thought it would be insensitive to them to celebrate our happy news while they were grieving.”

In fact, it was not until their son was two weeks old that they finally introduced him to his unsuspecting grandparents.

Weighing just four pounds, eight ounces, Apollon Alexandros Moorhouse was born three weeks early at Rainbow Clinic, so called because a ‘rainbow baby’ is one born after bereavement. The clinic is part of the Tommy’s Research Centre at St Mary’s Hospital, which looks after women who have suffered stillbirth or neonatal death.

Ben explains the meaning behind the unusual name: “We named our son Apollon, in reference to the Greek God of rainbows, light, medicine, prophecy and music.

“His middle name Alexandros is in honour of Professor Alexander Heazell who cared for us and Apollon at the Tommy’s Rainbow Clinic. In Greek this name means protector of men.”

While the new family arrival will bring much joy for the couple and their families, Ben explains that the heartache lives on.

“We made a promise to Kallipateira while holding her in our arms that we would do her proud by helping others and making a difference in her honour and by hopefully one day giving Kallipateira a brother or sister.

“Apollon will bring us much joy in his own individual way but this does not mean the pain has gone away. Our grief for Kallipateira will always be there but Apollon will help us and we look forward to him learning all about his big sister.”

Since setting up a foundation in Kallipateira’s name, the couple have raised £17,000 for a suite for parents who have had stillborn babies at Calderdale Royal Hospital.

For more information, see www.kmfoundation.co.uk

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