ROSEVILLE (CBS13) — Time with their baby was limited.
Phoebe Ferguson was born with no heartbeat. She’s one of some 24,000 U.S. babies stillborn every year.
But the couple who lost their baby girl at birth want other grieving parents to have a tool to cope.
The Cuddle Cot is used to refrigerate a stillborn baby so Mom and Dad have enough time to say goodbye.
He had perfect hands and feet and a fitting name—Phoebe; flawless like the bird.
“They wiped her off wrapped her up put a beanie on her head,” said Stacy Ferguson.
Her fragile head was protected in her mom’s arms.
“She was 9 pounds, 2 ounces—she was super healthy,” she said.
If only those were Mom and Dad’s happy tears.
The Fergusons are back home in Phoebe’s bird-themed nursery six months after their first daughter was born. But throughout the tour, Stacy and her husband Gavin can’t help but look back to the time they snapped the pregnancy pictures.
“It was an event I will be able to replay vividly in my head for the rest of my life,” Gavin said.
It was around Stacy’s due date that doctors discovered a problem—Stacy had to deliver immediately.
“I went to the hospital to give birth, knowing she had passed away,” she said.
She gave birth naturally, but the room was silent. Phoebe never cried or moved those tiny fingers and toes or blinked her eyes.
The hospital brought in a volunteer photographer who would capture their final moments. But their time was too short, and now they’re giving the gift of time to other grieving parents.
The couple donated a Cuddle Cot to Sutter Roseville in Phoebe’s honor. He name is engraved on the front.
The device acts as a refrigerated bassinet attached to a cooling system and stored in a blue chest.
It’s the first in Sacramento, containing letters written by parents who have faced the same tragedy.
“Because when it happens, you’re pretty sure your life is over,” Gavin said.
The Cuddle Cot initiative is a worldwide network of parents whose babies don’t make it. For Stacy and Gavin, their limited time with their baby brings on a smile every time a Phoebe bird flies by.
“I always wanted my daughter to be named Phoebe and she passed away and my mom says well now it’s an even more perfect name,” Stacy said.