Local Voice – Sydell Brigden – The Baby Box That Saved Me


Following our article about women that suffer from miscarriage being offered ultrasound images, Sydell Brigden contacted us. She wanted to share her heartbreaking story. We have done minimal editing to her story as we feel it is important for her story to be shared in full.

Sydell’s Story

Six years ago on which seemed an average day I got home and had no idea I was pregnant. We’d been trying but I’d had my period as normal. That day didn’t feel any different from any other until I had to go to the bathroom.

I’m not trying to be blunt, gross or embellish it was like something from a horror film. Something clearly wasn’t right. I called my then partner and we rushed to Westbourne Hospital. I know you’ll be thinking why there but when you think there’s something wrong logic isn’t the first thing it’s panic and fear.

Sadly I had lost a baby, a baby which would have been loved and was very much wanted. That wasn’t the end though, it was just the start.

One Year Later

A year later after hoping and wanting I finally fell pregnant, although the sadness was my then partner began to be emotionally abusive and had many affairs.

Mutual friends didn’t even know I was having his baby, they knew he was having a baby and I was just not that we were having it as parents together. That’s what happens when you are or was a sociopath with narcissistic traits.

I went on to split with my then partner, I didn’t want to I wanted the perfect family but I wanted it the right way. Not through his families pressure and abuse.

So I broke free and did it alone, all was well and the baby was healthy. My first born was a week late, I used to live in London and it was daunting so I booked in on my due date.

I had to visit Hull Royal with what I thought was a routine visit only to find out there had been a misunderstanding with my first borns due date etc.

The Worst News

There was something wrong and I had no idea, I went in for a scan and the nurse said she needed to talk to someone. I remember feeling numb, my mind was blank as I laid tummy out on the chair.

Taken through the room of ladies all waiting to be seen I was taken to a room full of people to be told in a cold voice “sorry your baby is dead”. That was it, that’s all I got. then I was taken into another room, I sat and waited and a doctor gave me a pill to bring on the inducing and sent home. Home, with a dead baby inside me, thankfully a friend came to the hospital otherwise I am unsure what would happen.

What happened after was like something surreal, I felt like I was losing my mind and in the end, a friend called and I was back in the hospital. I had to give birth to my son naturally but it all felt still very much numb and like a cloud was over my mind and I just couldn’t and wouldn’t accept it all. It was close to Christmas in Hull Royal, I was induced, throwing up, and my two friends by my side. I am well aware not everyone has people around them, I am and was very lucky.

Born Sleeping

A huge room, peaceful and quiet. Eventually, it was time for my son to arrive, I couldn’t bear it so put a blanket over my head. I didn’t want to remember my son with an imperfect vision. How my friends coped I have no idea. Their strength for me was astounding.

My son was taken off and clothed, wrapped up and out in a cold cot and was allowed to stay with me overnight. His little body wasn’t in a good way but his face was perfectly soft and his eyes closed, born sleeping, born deceased. I got some comfort in the fact I could be with him a little.

Then father Michael came to Christen him, that was important to me and made my grieving that little bit easier.

Returning Home

Eventually, once I had calmed, a week or so later I was allowed to go home, home was empty, still and daunting. I wanted to be back in the hospital where I felt safe and wanted the drugs I had been having because the pain emotionally arrived where before they were numbed. I even remember going to see my doctor ask for them and was denied.

I’d been in therapy whilst pregnant as I had never been in an emotionally abusive relationship and couldn’t understand what was happening, why and how to control things so it didn’t go on to mentally affect me. I was also going through some legal issues so life was upside down and that wasn’t at an end.

My plan was to take my son traveling with me, I had enough money to not work for at least two years and wanted to feel free. So getting home to an empty house was chilling, I remember feeling blank and emotionless to anyone.

The Funeral

I had to of course plan the funeral. My nana had passed not long before my son and the same funeral director looked after Elliot. If you’ve never seen a babies coffin I hope you never do! Tiny and sat on my knee in the funeral car, pulling up at the crematorium everyone was there.

No one could really have said anything to me that was of comfort, words went in and out. To friends reading this, you’ll understand there’s no malice in that statement that was our time, our day and you saw me know I was just trying to get through it.

That tiny coffin held my whole world there are no words and the pain still buts so deep. I’d give anything to change the loss of my life, bring him back and have him running around causing chaos. Months after his death I came into some serious money, met someone, and decided to start writing. Things got better. Don’t get me wrong, I have not forgotten. I still think of my son, I love him.

My Box With A Blue Lid

The reason I write this is because I was given a baby box with a blue lid and it was full of things to remember my son. Including my son’s hand and footprints. I light the candle from the box with the lavender oil every anniversary.

I remember the midwife coming to see me and telling me that she saw a lady all alone, with a pink box on her knee, alone outside in a wheelchair. I couldn’t rest so went on to raise money, one thousand pounds and gave the money to Sands Stillbirth charity.

Thankfully, Rick Roberts of Beverley shaved my hair for free a year later, which were the fundraising came from, I felt refreshed and like my son’s death wasn’t in vain.

Sydell Brigden
Sydell having her hair shaved.

Moving On

The box isn’t a sad remembrance it’s a practical tool to save memories and I am thankful for that gift.

My son wasn’t buried. I had a cremation because I had no idea what to do with the ashes or where to lay the body. The ashes remain with me, I walk past them every day but really never think about it.

Babies deaths are not the taboo people say they are, women openly talk to me about my son and I happily reply. I believe I went on to inspire women, with a movement of women liberating themselves and shaving their heads too.

I wrote a fair few blogs about my loss and how I worked through it. Strength comes from many sources I encourage you to be your own. I truly learned about myself and became a much better and happier person since and you can too!



Admin and Editor of Hull.Today

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