Couple Bury Their Premature 23-Week-Old Baby Boy to Honor His Humanity

International   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Dec 20, 2017   |   12:11PM   |   Washington, DC

A British couple whose baby died after a premature birth on their honeymoon plans to memorialize his life, even though the government will not.

Jamie and Vicky Waite, of Leeds, Yorkshire, said the doctors would not give their son, Nathan John, a birth certificate even though he was born alive, the Daily Mail reports.

I haven’t been able to do anything for my baby boy – he is not recognised in this world as existing,” his mother said. “I have to do everything I can and the only thing I can give him is a plot where he rests and headstone to symbolise his importance to us.”

The family recently buried their son, and they hope to soon erect a headstone as a symbol of his value as a human being.

The Waites said their son was born while they were on their honeymoon in Spain. Vicky was 23-weeks pregnant at the time.

“We honeymooned as a family in Cala’n Forcat, Menorca. We flew out on Friday, May 19 – it was just a week’s break, we went with a family we are very close to,” Vicky said.

“Four days into the holiday I woke up to bleeding and I felt very uncomfortable – this was at 9am. We called the doctor out from reception and he rushed me into hospital and said my baby was coming now and there was no time to fly me out to mainland Majorca.”

Nathan John was born alive that day and died a short time later.

“I was told my baby boy had been born and was still alive but would not live for long. My husband wasn’t with me at this point, he wasn’t allowed in the room,” Vicky said. “Ten minutes later, the doctor came back and said my little boy had died, and asked if I wanted to see him for a minute.

“My husband came back in the room at this point and Nathan John was passed to me, wrapped in tissue. We cried as we held him; my head was all over the place and I didn’t really know was happening,” she said.

Vicky said they were heartbroken when they called their family back home and shared the tragic news. The couple traveled back home, and their son’s tiny body was sent to them several days later, according to the report.

Here’s more from the report:

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They went to the registry office in Leeds to try and secure birth/death certificates, but were told they could not be issued as Nathan was born abroad.

The grieving couple were allowed to arrange a burial for their son at Cottingley Crematorium in June – held just three days before their eldest son, Jamie Luke’s third birthday.

Vicky was told aged 23 she would not be able to have children naturally and had suffered four miscarriages before falling pregnant with her eldest son, Jamie Luke, aged 33.

Vicky said: ‘It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do – carrying his tiny coffin into the crematorium was heartbreaking.

She said she had her wedding dress made into clothing for Nathan.

Now, the family is raising money to erect a headstone at the grave site where his body is. Currently, there is a wooden cross to mark his location, according to the report.