Brenda Gabriel knew that her tiny miscarried baby was a valuable human being, even if the British government refused to recognize it.
Gabriel miscarried her unborn baby after just 14 weeks of pregnancy. The British government will not issue a birth or death certificate for babies who die in the womb before 24 weeks of pregnancy. So, the grieving mother had no documentation recognizing that her baby existed.
But Gabriel knew her unborn child – barely the size of a lemon – was not a blob of tissue but a living, unique human being.
The Daily Mail reports she and her partner, Bradlee West, of north east London, decided to hold a funeral for their child, believed to be a girl, on Nov. 29 to honor her short life.
“We had decided to name her Skylar Grace Gabriel-West, a name I always loved and which means ‘eternal life,’” Gabriel said.
“’According to the law, parents can’t be given a birth certificate if their baby is born dead before 24 weeks, so there is no documentation that acknowledges the loss of our baby. But we think Skylar was a real child by that stage, not just a blood clot, and deserved a proper send off,” she continued.
The mother of three living children, Gabriel said her pregnancy with Skylar was unplanned but not unwelcome. She said she and West felt happy when they discovered she was pregnant in August.
But their dreams of another child were crushed a few months later when Gabriel had a miscarriage. It happened as their family was celebrating her in-laws’ wedding anniversary.
“I couldn’t believe that, from discovering I was pregnant in August to having my baby cremated, had taken just three months,” she said. “It had been an emotional rollercoaster, going from surprise, to delight and then heartbreak in such a short space of time.”
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After she delivered her baby’s body, Gabriel said the hospital connected her with a bereavement nurse who suggested the idea of a funeral. She and her partner liked the idea.
“… I felt like each child had their own character, even our unborn child,” she said.
On Nov. 29, the couple held a private funeral for Skylar to give her “the send-off she deserves.” They bought a tiny white coffin that was barely the size of a shoe box, chose special music and placed several knitted baby items beside her coffin as they grieved, according to the report.
Her parents recognized that although Skylar lived just a few short months, she was a valuable human being. She was unique and beautiful. And she was loved.
“A baby is a baby,” Gabriel said. “At 14 weeks, she would have been roughly the size of a lemon, and her body and limbs would have formed.
“I believe the babies choose their parents, and I am so happy Skylar was ours, even for the shortest amount of time.”