Baby joy for grieving pair

Shaun Bell and Vicky Smith from Red House, Sunderland,  are expecting a baby in July a year since she had a miscarriage. They set up a charity 4BabyBell to help support others in the same situation.
Shaun Bell and Vicky Smith from Red House, Sunderland, are expecting a baby in July a year since she had a miscarriage. They set up a charity 4BabyBell to help support others in the same situation.
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A SURPRISE pregnancy is helping to heal a grieving couple’s broken hearts.

Vicky Smith, 26, and partner Shaun Bell, 32, felt like their world had fallen apart last summer when they lost their first child 13 weeks into pregnancy.

To help ease their pain, Vicky, from Red House, set up the 4Babybell charity to reach out to others devastated by miscarriage.

Now she is elated to be pregnant once more and wants the youngster, who she’s dubbed her “rainbow baby”, to give hope to others.

Vicky, who is 26 weeks pregnant, said: “We’re going to have a boy called Jacob and he’s our little miracle.

“We weren’t really planning to get pregnant at the time.

“I wasn’t very well and was depressed, and had been planning to go back on the pill.

“But finding out I was pregnant lifted me straight back up.

“I never thought it would happen. I never thought I would get my baby.

“Now I want other mums and families to know that it can happen.”

In the eight months since setting up 4Babybell, Vicky and her family and friends have raised about £8,000 for the cause.

Thanks to their efforts, early miscarriage boxes, filled with keepsakes to give comfort to families, are in place in hospitals across the country including Sunderland Royal Hospital.

Over Easter, Vicky’s best friend Gavin Brannen, who would have been baby Bell’s godfather, raised further funds by cycling the Coast to Coast bike ride from Whitehaven to Sunderland.

Other funds have been raised by charity nights, a zip wire and by taking part in the Boxing Day Dip.

“The support we have had has been overwhelming,” said Vicky.

“Our motto is ‘miscarriage: break the silence,’ because we want to break the taboo that surrounds it.”

Vicky, a community staff nurse, is eagerly awaiting Jacob’s arrival on July 21.

Also that weekend, the charity will host a stall with 4Louis, which helps families affected by stillbirth, at the Sunderland International Airshow.

l For more information visit www.4babybell.co.uk.

Twitter: @sunechokaty