Derbyshire family heartbroken after son is stillborn - WARNING - contains images some may find upsetting

editorial image

A family who could not even get a birth certificate for their son when he died during labour at 21 weeks want the law changed to legally recognise their baby.

Pictured below is the family holding baby Leo which some readers may find distressing.

Ryan Wagstaff and Lily Barron with baby Leo who was stillborn

Ryan Wagstaff and Lily Barron with baby Leo who was stillborn

On Sunday, November 29, Lily Baron, 17, gave birth to Leo, who was sadly stillborn.

However, because Lily was only 21 weeks into her pregnancy when Leo was born, he has not been acknowledged in the eyes of the law and has no birth certificate.

Lily said: “Half an hour before he was alive and kicking in my belly, he was real and he did exist.”

Her mum, Natalie, 39, said: “We were given a recognition certificate from the nurses but the fact they couldn’t register his birth is just another unnecessary blow.

“He was perfect; he had fingers and toes, he was a tiny little boy but it was obvious he was a baby.”

Lily, who has been with partner Ryan Wagstaff, 20, since she was 13, was excited about the pregnancy.

“We went for a private scan at 18 weeks and knew we were going to have a little boy and we had bought his clothes, cot and Moses basket.

“To leave hospital without him and come home and see all the stuff we had got ready for him it breaks my heart.”

The law changes at 24 weeks as this is the time that medical staff think babies would be able to survive outside of the womb on their own.

This rule affects things such as paternity leave so legally, Ryan was not entitled to take time off work to mourn for his son.

Lily had a normal pregnancy and said even morning sickness was down to a minimum but she started getting pains on Thursday before.

“I went to the hospital and they thought I had a water infection so gave me antibiotics.”

She was back at the hospital on Saturday and in the early hours of Sunday morning returned again.

“I was crouching on the floor telling the nurses I was having contractions, it was only when I stripped down and was examined that I saw the nurses face drop and we both knew I was giving birth.”

Following a tough year, which started with her being physically attacked, Lily was just starting to get her life back together.

“I thought he was my happy ending but why was he taken away from me?”

Lily and Ryan, both from Chesterfield, spent 16 hours with Leo and now only have memories and photographs to hold on to.

“We have had the funeral for him and laid him to rest. There are good days where you can look at photographs and smile and the bad days the pain in my chest is unbearable,” she said.

“More needs to be done to help support mums in my situation, and I think the law does need to be changed so we can have a birth certificate for the baby I gave birth to.”

In 2012 the former minister for women and equalities Maria Miller campaigned to lower the legal limit at which a pregnancy can be terminated from 24 weeks to 20 which would then have knock-on effects of when a baby is considered legal in stillbirths.