Heartbroken mum gives birth six days after boyfriend murdered in knife attack
A heartbroken woman gave birth to a baby girl six days after her partner was murdered in a frenzied knife attack.
Already a mum to twin boys, Natalie Preece and her boyfriend Michaelee Emmett were excited to welcome their new addition to the family.
But one night in August 2014 everything changed when Michaelee was stabbed to death by a teenage boy, Wales Online reports.
The dad, then 29, had walked the 16-year-old home from the Stone House pub in Cefn Forest, near Blackwood in Wales, after seeing he was drinking underage.
Along with a friend, he’d dropped the boy off with his parents but then was attacked when he grabbed a knife from inside the house.
Michealee suffered a deep wound to his liver and died a month later in hospital, where he had been lying in a coma.
He died just six days before his daughter Lola-Grace was born.
His attacker, Connor Doughton, was jailed for a minimum of 15 years for the brutal killing.
And his partner Natalie meanwhile was left struggling to deal with life in the aftermath of his death.
She had twin boys Logan and Riley to bring up, as well as being the mother of a newborn baby – with little time to grieve for her loss.
"It was difficult, with everything else going on and trying to manage the boys’ feelings as well as my own and looking after a new baby," she said.
But now the children are older, life has changed dramatically.
"In the beginning, I can’t say they were fine because they were only young so they didn’t understand," she said.
"They were only just eight when it happened so they were still children.
"They were too young to understand the full extent.
"But they do ask. They’re at the age now where they look up things on the Internet and they read.
"I’ve told them the truth from the beginning.
"I thought I don’t want to hide anything if they do read it. They know everything."
Dotted around the house are memories of Michaelee. Pictures with the kids and angel wings on the Christmas tree are small reminders that he still is a part of his children’s lives.
But that’s something Natalie, now 32, is keen to keep going.
"She [Lola-Grace] was only six days old, but she does speak about her dad a lot," Natalie said.
"I always encourage that. I try and involve him – if they have homework where they’ve got to put their family, I always put their dad.
"School have even said she’s got up on her own and just stood up and started telling her friends who her dad was."
Then, two years later, Natalie met current partner Dean Bumby, a cement truck driver who works in Newport.
Soon after, Natalie fell pregnant with baby Rayah.
But she said she felt a certain stigma by moving on.
"It was difficult," she said.
"You don’t want to upset anybody by moving on. That’s the way you’re made to feel. But you have to get on with things and move on.
"It was quite nerve-wracking.
"With the boys, I didn’t want them to meet too soon. They got on with him and they had their disagreements, but they do get on now.
"I was a bit nervous because I didn’t want to upset anybody. I don’t think I told anyone for a while.
"I didn’t want to upset the boys. I didn’t want them to think I’m bringing Dean in to take over that role of their dad.
"We’ve said from day one that’s not going to be the case. I think they accept that fact.
"In the beginning, I did feel a bit guilty. You just have to accept that life does go on for everybody."
Then on June 25 this year, baby Rayah made her arrival – born in a car park.
"She was five days over," Natalie laughed.
"There were no signs all day and then out of nowhere, from start to finish, it was 50 minutes.
"I can’t remember much because it happened so fast. They brought a wheelchair out but I was like it’s too late, the head’s already out."
The experience was very different to when she gave birth to Lola-Grace.
"It was nice for it to be a happy moment," she said.
"It’s brought a bit of joy to everybody.
"They love her, the boys, now she’s a bit older they tend to fuss over her a lot more. She was small at first, so they were a bit afraid.
"I had Mike there when I had the boys, but I didn’t have him with Lola.
"It was nice to have a stress-free [experience], knowing there’s going to be someone there to go home to and help."
But despite her new family, Natalie said the hardest bit has been getting help for her sons, who are now 12 years old.
"It is still a struggle," she said.
"With the boys I am still struggling. I’ve literally had to fight for four years to get them any sort of help.
"Only in the last month has that been put in place.
"It’s not so much Riley as Logan, but he was closest to his dad out of the two. It’s affecting him massively now.
"It’s affected Logan so badly. It makes you think how many children are out there going through the same situation.
"I think if they get help early enough, they help to understand and can move on. I don’t think they’ve moved on. I think they’re still stuck four years ago.
"They’ve been through a traumatic time. They need that help to see there is a life they can live.
"I think I was offered help but I think I refused. I had so much going on and obviously I had a newborn baby and the kids kept me going.
"I woke up one day and thought I have to do this for the kids."
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