Little Reuben Steven Joseph Stock came into the world on the same day as the royal baby and his mum says the whole family couldn’t have had better care.
Weighing 7lbs and 3oz – the same weight as Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s baby Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor – Reuben needed special care as there were a few unexpected complications leading up to his birth.
Reuben’s delighted parents, Kirsty and Adam Stock from Holme near Carnforth, said the kindness, compassion and care they had received from hospital staff working for University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) was outstanding.
Reuben was born at 2.07pm at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary (RLI) on Monday, May 6, and it was a day the family will never forget.
Kirsty, who works in marketing at Sedbergh School, said: “The care we have had has been fantastic. The midwives and other members of staff have been so helpful and supportive.
“I was due to be induced on the 18th of May but that was changed to May the 4th as there was reduced fetal movement and Reuben’s growth was slowing down.
“I came in to be induced and ended up needing to have an emergency caesarean section.
“When I was told I needed to be induced early we had lots of questions. The staff gave us very honest answers and made us feel much more confident.
“They had three goes at the induction but I kept feeling that Reuben wasn’t himself. The heart monitor was not reflective of the ones he’d had before and I felt comfortable to say that.
“I was monitored and so was he. His heart rate dropped and he needed to come out.
“I had amazing one-to-one care with a community midwife called Jane Dewhurst from Helme Chase Midwifery Unit who we’d met before. Jane happened to be doing a shift on the unit at Lancaster that day and when she saw what we were going through, she stayed with us the whole time.
“I was frightened so just to see a familiar face was amazing. She didn’t have to stay the whole time but she did.
“She held my hand throughout the entire operation and explained everything.”
Kirsty said she had looked at various maternity units at different hospitals before deciding to have her baby at the RLI.
She explained: “We chose the RLI as we were so impressed with the way the staff spoke to us. We are glad we chose Lancaster.
“The staff listened to every concern we had, especially when we were worried that Reuben wasn’t doing well and that there might be something wrong. They listened all the way through and took steps to remedy things. That really matters when you feel so out of control because you don’t know how your baby is doing.”
Adam, who is originally from London and works for an accountancy firm, said: “We’ve had such a good experience; the care has been brilliant.
“Reuben is our first child so we didn’t know what to expect. What was great was that every time we’ve been to the hospital we’ve seen pretty much the same person every time. That has really helped. You’re not in a room full of strangers.
“They gave us all the information we needed and enabled us to make our own decisions. We could have gone for a natural labour but Kirsty and Reuben weren’t ready so we made the right decision to have the operation. The staff helped us to make the best decision in the circumstances.”
Kirsty, who is originally from Staveley, said: “I have really struggled with breastfeeding. Reuben just hasn’t been latching on and the midwives have been wonderful about this too.
“They have helped me to try everything. That has been really good. We still have more options to try. The care I’ve had has made such a massive difference to us. They have been so caring – it makes me feel quite emotional.”
Kirsty’s mum and dad, Trish and Brian Johnston, her sister Lizzie and Adam’s parents, Shirley and Michael Stock, are all looking forward to spending time with Reuben.
Reuben was given a special teddy with a ‘Royal Baby’ t-shirt on the day of his birth donated by Build-A-Bear.
Kirsty added: “We will always get a good ‘heads-up’ when Reuben’s birthday is approaching!”
Carol Carlisle, Head of Midwifery, Obstetrics and Gynaecology for UHMBT, said: “We are delighted that Kirsty and Adam appreciate the high level of care provided by our team.
“It is lovely to hear that our colleagues went above and beyond to look after Reuben, Kirsty and Adam.
“We wish them all the best in their family life and thank them for their kind words.”