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Cuddle Cot - Heartfelt Donation

Parents’ Who Lost Baby Make Donation to BID-Plymouth They Never Want to Use

A couple who experienced unfathomable loss has channeled their sorrow into a way of helping others who may someday know their pain.

By Rich Harbert, Old Colony Memorial

A couple who experienced unfathomable loss has channeled their sorrow into a way of helping others who may someday know their pain.

Joe and Amy Loud thought they were stopping at BID-Plymouth hospital for a routine checkup last June when doctors in the BirthPlace informed the Sandwich residents that their son had died in the womb.

Crushed and shocked by the sudden, horrible reality and the immediate need for surgery to deliver the stillborn baby, the Louds were completely unprepared for the mourning process thrust upon them.

The BirthPlace staff recommended the couple spend as much time as possible with their angel. But the couple was unprepared for the added cruelty that time quickly brings to the remains of stillborn babies. The couple cuddled their little boy and took a couple of quick photographs to remember him.

But Amy needed rest after her surgery. And when she woke and asked to see her baby, time had already taken a toll on his angelic appearance.

After months of counseling, the Louds learned that nurses were correct in advising them to bond with their child. But they also learned there is an alternative approach to helping families grieve the loss of a stillborn baby – a simple, but essential advancement that lets parents spend all the time they need with their child.

A bassinette with a cooling pad known as a CuddleCot can quietly and discreetly preserve a stillborn baby’s remains right beside a mother’s hospital bed, giving families precious time to mourn their loss.

Thanks to the Louds, the BirthPlace now has a CuddleCot for the grieving families of stillborn babies. The Louds would prefer that it never comes out of the box.

“We hope it sits in a corner and collects dust,” Joe Loud said this week after the couple donated the device to the hospital.

The Louds were celebrating their 10th anniversary together and already had a 6-year-old son when they learned in late 2016 that Amy was pregnant again.

Pleasantly surprised, the Louds shared the news with their boy, Lukas, during the holidays and began making plans for a new addition to the family.

Luke was a bit of a miracle baby. Early in that pregnancy, doctors told Amy that she had suffered a miscarriage and that she had lost him. But when Amy went in for an ultrasound, Luke’s little heart was beating away. He was born in April 2010.

The second pregnancy started smoother. At every check-up, Amy was told she was right on target for delivering a healthy baby. It was Amy’s turn to pick the first name and she settled on Landon once the couple learned they would be having another son. Joe picked Joseph as the middle name, in honor of his dad.

The baby was due on July 7, 2017, but on June 13 Amy noticed he wasn’t moving quite as much. They scheduled a check-up for the next day, before attending Luke’s Flag Day celebration at school, and figured to leave the hospital with plenty of time for the performance. It was the start of a nine-day stay.

“We thought we’d get a quick checkup, but this time we had the opposite experience. They were not able to find the heartbeat. The mood changed. Something wasn’t right. That’s when we got the worst news we’ve ever gotten, that at some point Landon was not able to function and he passed in the womb,” Joe Loud said. “It was devastating.”

The couple learned Amy was suffering from preeclampsia, which caused high blood pressure, and HELLP syndrome, a related life-threatening liver problem.

The couple went from worrying about being late for their son’s school presentation to making decisions that would reverberate through the rest of their lives.

After the baby was delivered, the hospital staff wanted to know if the Louds wanted to spend time with Landon and hold him and maybe take some pictures. At the time they were not even sure what to do, but they later learned their instinct to cuddle Landon was healthy and natural. “It was a shock and really hard to comprehend what was going on around us,” Amy Loud said. “I’m glad we spent time with him, but what they did not tell us was that if we did, the first moments would be the best.”

Overwhelmed, and still dealing with her own medical issues, Amy let nurses take the baby back to the nursery so she could rest. “I was exhausted, but I wish I knew how even a few hours would have made a difference,” she said, noting how Landon’s appearance changed dramatically in just a few hours.

Joe and Amy took Luke on a healing trip to Cape Breton after her release from the hospital. But their recovery really started after they joined a support group. There, they learned that other hospitals have begun using CuddleCots as a way to ease the grieving.

Amy set up an online campaign to collect donations for the device. Family, friends, colleagues and strangers quickly put the fund over the $4,000 goal needed to purchase a CuddleCot. They gave it to the hospital Saturday and are already working toward raising money for another CuddleCot for another area hospital.

“We hope it never has to get used, but we’re excited by the idea that when someone unfortunately does need it, it will lessen the pain and give them the moments we’ll never get back,” Joe Loud said.

The Louds said they have come to realize that there are a lot of people who silently endure lost pregnancies. “We dedicated it in Landon’s name so hopefully someone will look at that and say, ‘It’s not just me; we will survive this.’ Amy Loud said.

The Louds also said they are blessed to have received such good care from the nurses at the BirthPlace and want to recognize their care by making something good of a bad situation. They also said they would be happy to help anyone going through a similar experience and can be reached via email at

This story originally appeared in the February 13, 2018 Old Colony Memorial. Reprinted here with permission from the Old Colony Memorial. 

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