If you don’t follow my bump blog, my facebook page or Twitter you may not have heard about my awful news. I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl last Saturday, she was stillborn. I wrote a post on my bump & baby blog (link) but many of you were asking where I have been on Makeup & Beauty so I decided to post this special blog post here.
As a little tribute to Olivia and to help facilitate some well needed healing, I thought it would be nice to compile some of my good memories and photos taken over the past two weeks.
This is my last Pregnancy Week by Week photo, taken at 31 weeks. My husband took it in Lanzarote. I had a blog post drafted but never got to push it live since I was admitted to hospital a few hours after I arrived home. In the post I mentioned I had noticed Pre-ecplamsia signs and that I was starting to feel concerned.
This was taken the night before I found out Olivia’s heart had stopped beating. I felt so unwell and yet I have such lovely memories of this evening. I sat in the beautiful gardens in the Rotunda with my husband, my mam and Eve. Eve ran around the grass barefoot and we sat in the sun. This was the last time I felt Olivia move in my tummy. I’m comforted by the fact that she could hear our voices and we were all together at the time of her passing.
My last bump picture before I delivered. The bump is very tiny for 32 and a half weeks. The labour developed very quickly. This was taken moments before I called the midwife to tell her I was contracting. Within a few hours Olivia arrived. I will treasure this photo since it’s the last one of her in my belly.
Labour & Birth
Giving birth was amazing, regardless of the outcome. I was in labour after induction with Eve but my labour didn’t progress and it ended in a C-section. I have only gorgeous memories of Eve’s birth – I spent the night epiduraled up the hilts, crocheting her a hat. I wasn’t afraid and the entire experience was serene. My labour on Olivia involved pain, both labour and from a broken heart, and yet it was magical. There was no time for an epidural, there was leg cramping between pushes and it was still amazing. I feel proud that I delivered her myself and despite knowing her fate I desperately wanted to meet and hold her. I don’t know how, but in the midst of this devastating event, positivity has reigned. My labour, delivery and the days I could go and hold her made it amazing,
This is coinín. Eve has the larger version, she adores it. We were planning to buy the mini version for the arrival of our second baby before I reached 40 weeks. Instead we picked up two, the first stayed with Olivia after she was born and the second stayed with me for those few days. When the time came to say goodbye, we swapped. That way she would have something of mine and I of hers.
Olivia’s service -We used the phrase ‘Codail a Síogín, go ciúin is go sámh’ for Olivia. Its Irish for Sleep Peacefully, little fairy.
My husband had trouble finding premature cloths at short notice. This came from Mothercare and is made for babies who weigh 3 pounds. It’s absolutely tiny (the bear is the size of my thumb). There is a velcro closing, designed for babies in incubators. I never would have imagined I would be buying baby clothes that small.
After I delivered Olivia the lovely midwife gave us this beautiful memory box from Féileacáin (Stillbirth & Neonatal Death Association of Ireland). It reads Always loved Never Forgotten. The box had a camera, a crocheted blanket, 2 tiny bears, a small memory box and a kit for taking hand and foot prints. It’s such a gorgeous idea and it provided us with so much comfort.
We have found ourselves using the phrase ‘thank heavens for small mercies’ a lot over the past few days – The sun shining the day of Olivia’s ceremony, the bird that chirped happily on the windowsill throughout the service, the fact that our angel wasn’t born living into the world only to suffer and accept the same fate anyway.
The staff at the Rotunda Hospital, Dublin, were amazing. I want to thank them for their efforts in making this traumatic time as manageable as possible. They are phenomenal, each a every one of them. I look forward to being back in their care again under happier circumstances. I would also like to send my love to Sinead and Grainne, two lovely girls I met in hospital. Both are awaiting the safe arrival of their babies. I had many a good chat and giggle with them in the first few days and they were there after the worst happened. I look forward to hearing their good news soon and want to thank them for lending me an ear.
We chose this piece of music for Olivia’s ceremony. We used to play it into the bump so it seemed fitting as a send-off. Also the title of the piece is Transformation (by The Cinamatic Orhcestra), very appropriate I think.
I also want thank you all so much for your support. You have no idea the comfort I get in reading your comments and messages here and on Facebook and Twitter. I can’t believe almost 11,000 people saw that post. It feels good that so many of you know about my Olivia. For those of you who have been through this and are still living and smiling – you are an inspiration.
I will be returning to regular beauty posts now. God knows, a girl still needs to talk about lipstick – I know you understand :)
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