Mother's promise to girl who died in her arms
Amum is fighting to raise awareness of a complication in pregnancy which cost the life of her baby daughter. Charlotte Withey's heart-breaking story began when she was just over 16 weeks pregnant with her daughter and realised she was losing fluid.
She suspected it might be amniotic fluid and at her 20-week scan her worst fears were confirmed – the liquid which should have surrounded her baby, whom she and partner Ashley White had named Leighlethia, had all but gone.
Charlotte had suffered pre-term premature rupture of the membranes, known as Pprom.
The 22-year-old, from New Parks, Leicester, said: "Babies need the fluid to allow their lungs to develop properly.
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"The specialist doctor said Leighlethia's chances of survival were slim.
"I felt like running out and hiding.
"I put on a brave face but I felt a lump in my throat when he gave us the option to induce the pregnancy now or keep on going and hope for the best.
"I knew deep down I could never forgive myself if the pregnancy was induced."
Leighlethia made it to 26 weeks before Charlotte went into labour. She was admitted to Leicester Royal Infirmary on June 4.
"She weighed 1lb 13oz and the doctor scooped her up in his hand," said Charlotte.
"Doctors worked to stabilise her and I could see her tiny face, with her tiny little eyes looking at me."
Leighlethia was transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit, where doctors tried to save her.
But the tot's lung collapsed and doctors said there was nothing else they could do.
"At 9.30pm, nine hours and 45 minutes after she was born, Leighlethia took her final gasp of breath in my arms," said Charlotte.
As she copes with her grief, Charlotte is determined to do what she can to raise awareness of the condition.
For a start, she would like to see nationally recognised awareness days for the condition.
"Pprom is hardly known about," said Charlotte.
"I want to get it out there and talked about more.
"I knew nothing about it until it happened to me – you never think something like this will happen to you and I was left feeling as if it was my fault.
"I have made a promise to Leighlethia we will get two awareness days in her memory.
"I would also like to set up a charity to support other people going through the same thing.
"There needs to be more research into this condition."
In addition Charlotte, who has two other daughters, Layla, two, and Lydia, one, has set up a petition and is urging people to help support the cause.
Charlotte has set up a group on the social networking site Facebook at:
The petition can be found at: