EXCLUSIVE: Sunderland mum warns people not to joke about pregnancy on April Fools Day

A Sunderland mum has warned people not to pull the April Fools Day joke about being pregnant after she delivered her stillborn son.

Baby Louis in his scan/photo permission from Kirsty McGurrell.

[DISCLAIMER: Some of the images in this piece may be distressing].

Kirsty McGurrell lost her son Louis in 2009 after carrying him for 38 weeks.

The 28-year-old from Shiney Row, Sunderland said: “I started to experience pains. I went into hospital and they put the Doppler machines on to listen for a heartbeat. Three machines later they gave me a scan and then it was confirmed that Louis’ heartbeat had actually stopped and he’d passed away.”

“Two days later I had to go back into hospital and I was induced and I had to go through full-blown labour and deliver Louis. He was born six pounds, seven and a half ounces.”


Baby Louis who was born sleeping/photo by Kirsty McGurrell.

“We were on a normal delivery suite. We could hear babies crying around us. When we left the delivery suite, we had to leave with an empty car seat.”

Ms McGurrell is now mum to Louis, 6-year-old Mitchell and 4-year-old Oskar, but told people not to joke about pregnancy.

Family: Kirsty with her partner Michael and their two sons Mitchell, 6, and Oskar, 4/photo by Kirsty McGurrell.

“Pregnancy is not a joke. To see somebody joking about being pregnant when you have just lost your baby – it’s not right. It’s quite hurtful and upsetting.

“Think about the women who you are sitting next to – she could be having fertility problems, she could have lost a baby.

“The last thing you want to see is family and friends joking about being pregnant,” Ms McGurrell added.

Claire Jenkins, 33, from County Durham has also experienced losing a child.

Claire and Sue Jenkins on their wedding day/photo permission from Sue and Claire Jenkins.

She said: “I find April 1 pregnancy jokes very upsetting as joking about a life isn’t funny.

“When I fell pregnant it was one of the happiest days of our lives, sadly it was short lived. I felt sad and angry because I had lost our long hoped for baby.”

For support, contact SANDS on 0808 164 3332, email their helpline – helpline@uk-sands.org, visit their forum or find your local support group.


  1. I recently lost my baby at 28 weeks, she was stillborn on 20.12.16. I’ve anyone makes ‘April Fools Jokes’ of this nature on social media or to me they’ll no longer be my ‘friend’. It’s heart breaking to think anyone might even this of doing this.

  2. I know how they feel as i went into labour at 22 weeks give birth to my little girl which passed away the same day at sunderland hospital. I had to watch her take a last breath and it killed me as she was class as a miscarriage. I know have a 3 month old little boy called harley-george and i had him at 39weeks 5days.

  3. Thank you for this article . I understand what you are saying for I myself have had more than one loss myself and still Childress. This said this , this is my story the world does not stop. I know people don’t mean any harm despite my own feelings just as every mothers day when cards are on the shelf presents being bought and signs everywhere when I haven’t been able to carry 1 of my own. Our stories are unique so please guys don’t stop others enjoying jokes or Mother’s Day because of your or my individual pain . This article frustrated me for very different reasons .

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