Mother who nearly died giving birth bonded with her stillborn son before saying goodbye

The last thing Lynsey Bell remembered before she was rushed into theatre was being given the devastating news that her baby would be stillborn.

Following a difficult pregnancy, the nursery nurse began haemorrhaging just minutes after doctors revealed baby Rory would not come into the world alive.

But, after plucking up the courage to hold Rory when she awoke from a coma two days later, Mrs Bell, 32, resolved to make the most of the short time she had with her little boy.

Precious: Lynsey and Mark Bell spent as much time as possible with their stillborn son Rory, pictured

Recovery: Mrs Bell, who had three other children when she fell pregnant, nearly died giving birth to her son

Poignant moment: Nursery nurse Mrs Bell hold’s Rory’s tiny hands as he wears a ring around his two fingers

Over the next 15 days, nurses kept Rory in a cold room so Mrs Bell and her technical operative husband, Mark, 32, could see him as often as possible.

The grieving couple changed his nappy, rocked him in their arms, read him stories and bathed him to help grow a bond and say goodbye to their baby boy.

Last night Mrs Bell, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, admitted she was ‘scared’ to look at her son at first, but eventually realised she owed it to Rory to nurture him – like she would her other children – before his funeral.

Treasured: Rory Bell, who did not come into the world alive

‘Rory was my son,’ she said. ‘I needed to care for him, I needed to change his nappy and get to know him.

‘I drank in every perfect little feature of his body. I took photos of his face, the back of his head and his tiny fingers and toes. I changed his nappy and rocked him in my arms, and my bond grew and grew.

‘For 15 days as I recovered, we saw Rory as much as we wanted.

‘My only fear was letting him get too warm. I wanted to preserve my boy for as long as we possibly could.’

Mrs Bell said that, when it was time for her to be discharged from hospital, the couple visited Rory in the ward and later at the funeral home, before taking him home for the first and last time.

She added: ‘For one special night, we did everything we would have done during his first year.

‘We cuddled him in bed, we read him stories and we changed and bathed him. Our families came to say goodbye, each taking a turn for one last cuddle.’

Mrs Bell and her factory worker husband already had three children, Daisy, ten, Max, seven and Poppy, four, when she fell pregnant unexpectedly with her fourth child in December 2013.

After developing the potentially fatal condition pre-eclampsia with Poppy, Mrs Bell knew her pregnancy was likely to be problematic, and she kept a close eye on her health.

Scans at 28 and 32 weeks, however, revealed the baby was not growing properly. As she neared her due date, her blood pressure soared and her hands and feet became swollen.

Then on August 1 2014, five weeks before the baby was due, Mrs Bell was struck down by terrible pains and went to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, believing she was in labour.

However, when midwives tried to find the baby’s heartbeat, there was nothing there. Doctors confirmed Mrs Bell’s worst fears – that Rory was no longer alive.

Minutes later, as she prepared to deliver her son stillborn, however, she began to haemorrhage and was rushed into theatre. She lost 15 pints of blood and doctors were forced to perform a hysterectomy to stem the bleeding.

Special bond: Max and Daisy Bell visit their baby brother’s grave, which is covered in moving tributes

Cuddles: Mrs Bell spent 15 days nurturing her son Rory, pictured together, before saying one final goodbye

Always remembered: Daisy, eight, Max, six, and Poppy Bell, four, hold a photograph of their little brother

She also needed dialysis after her kidneys began to fail and spent two days in an induced coma, before waking up to be told she had almost died.

Doctors later revealed that the pre-eclampsia had caused her placenta to detach from the womb, causing the haemorrhage.

Mrs Bell admitted she was terrified of seeing her son at first.

She said: ‘I didn’t know what he was going to look like. I was scared. [When] I reached out and touched him, he was cold and his cheeks were hard.’

Devoted: Mr and Mrs Bell, pictured left and right running to raise money for childbirth charity Tommy’s

Loved: Daisy, eight, Max, six, and Poppy, four, make hearts with their hands as they remember baby Rory

Rory is buried alongside her grandad and she keeps a candle burning in a glass lantern for him.

Although she and her husband still have bad days, she said she feels lucky to be alive.

She said: ‘People often feel awkward about mentioning Rory’s name around me, but I love talking about my son. He’s just as much a part of our family as our living children.

‘I’ll never forget my special baby, and for as long as I’m able I’ll keep his candle burning.’