A MUM has told of the heartbreak she and her husband suffered when they lost their first child during her pregnancy.

Karyn Jenkins and her husband Andrew lost daughter Sophie Louise in 2012 at 22 weeks.

They made the decision to terminate the pregnancy when doctors told them she would not be able to survive once born, due to serious health complications.

Karyn faced the further ordeal of not being able to immediately see her tot when she delivered, and was then left devastated when a mix-up meant she missed the cremation.

Now she is a driving force in the installation of a special new memorial tree in Gourock Park where all local bereaved parents can take time to remember.

She is working with the charity Simpson's Memory Box Appeal (SiMBA) and the council to bring it to fruition.

The 32-year-old has told the Tele how the charity helped her cope with the trauma of losing her little girl.

Karyn said: “I had my 21 week gender scan and they said that I was low on fluid in the womb.

"I was sent to Paisley to get checked and they found that Sophie Louise wasn’t regenerating fluid, and said it didn’t look like she had any kidneys.

“We were told that if we continued with the pregnancy she would be in pain and die shortly after birth.

"They laid out our options and the doctor was great at offering advice.”

Karyn and Andrew listened carefully to the advice from medics before making the decision.

She said: “Not wanting our daughter to be born in pain, we made the decision to terminate the pregnancy.

"It was the most horrible thing knowing we had stopped the heartbeat.

“But I couldn’t continue knowing she would be born in pain.”

Andrew, 35, added: “We didn’t want her in pain.

“We knew she wouldn’t survive."

After making the decision Karyn still had to deliver Sophie Louise.

She said: “I had to deliver in the labour ward with crying babies and newborns but the staff put us in another room at the end of the hall.

“It seemed to take forever and I got an infection, so they needed me to deliver so they could look after me.

“I couldn’t see her as I was so ill.

"They wrapped her up and took her away.

“I cried in the labour suite but afterwards when me and Andrew were in the family room it hit me that I had nothing to show for six months of excitement.

“I cried when I left the hospital knowing I’d left her behind.”

Karyn found comfort in the pictures and the hand and footprints she was given by hospital staff but her heartbreak didn’t end there.

They had chosen Sophie Louise’s coffin, placed a teddy in it and were given an approximate date and time for the cremation to be confirmed at a later date.

However, this didn't happen and when Karyn got in touch to ask, she was told her daughter had been cremated the day before.

She said: “I was devastated. We missed it because the day wasn’t confirmed. I thought about what I was doing at that time the day before and realised that the memory box from the charity Simba had been delivered and at the time I was looking through the pictures of her and she was very much on my mind.”

Karyn was so appreciative of the help she received from the charity she made a leaf to be displayed on their Tree of Tranquility in Glasgow.

The hand crafted, life sized sculpture is made from copper and each leaf on the tree represents a baby who has died.

Karyn, mum to five-year-old Bradley, born 14 months after the loss of Sophie Louise, and Sophia, two, then decided to try and get a Tree of Tranquility installed in Inverclyde.

She, her sister and her friend have all lost children and wanted a place where those in Inverclyde who had lost babies could go.

Karyn said: “For four years I queried whether one could be installed in Inverclyde.

"When I fell pregnant with Sophia it went on hold but afterwards I picked it back up and on December 11, 2018, Bradley’s fifth birthday I got a call to say that it was going ahead and would be installed in Gourock Park.

"I cried because I was so pleased.

“Baby loss is so common in Inverclyde and I felt it would be good to have something local, somewhere here for people to go and remember.

“The council have been fantastic.

"They have been so accommodating and willing to do what they can to help and I really do appreciate their support.

"They have worked with staff from Simba to make this happen.”

A fundraising page has been launched to cover the costs of the memorial, with a target of £16,600.

Karyn said: “I want it to be the people of Inverclyde who got the tree, not just me or the council - I want it to be a community thing.

“I think it will help a lot. A few older people have been in touch with me to say that they never received anything after losing their child and some didn’t even know the sex.

“Having the tree would be really nice, somewhere to go to remember and the leaf would be something physical to remember their baby by, something to show they were a person and that they are missed.”

* To donate towards the fund for the tree visit https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/InverclydeTreeofTranquillity