Friday, July 6, 2012

Memories from the past two weeks...

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.
 31 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.

 Eve in the garden at the Rotunda Hospital, Dublin.

This was taken the night before I found out Olivia's heart had stopped beating. I felt a little unwell. I had cramps up my side and across my lower back, like in early labour.  I also had a temperature - which was put down to the fact that I had been given a steroid injection to help develop the baby's lungs in case she needed to be delivered. I also had a headache that paracetamol couldn't lift and yet I have such lovely memories of this evening. I sat in the beautiful gardens in the Rotunda with my husband, 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 was initially told that by labour would take days as they needed to induce me slowly because I'd had a c-section previously. I wasn't offered a repeat section because of the risk of rupture. The idea terrified me beyond belief but it felt so right when it actually happened. 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 as amazing as giving birth to Eve.

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 clothes 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.

This is the lovely piece of music we chose to have played at Olivia's ceremony. We used to play it into the bump and feel her wriggle. It's also called Transformation (by The Cinamatic Orhcestra), which is very fitting I think. It's such an uplifting piece. It was perfect. 

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.

Take care,

Amy x


  1. ♥ I can't even express in words how reading your posts had made my heart feel... You are such a strong, amazing woman...

  2. Oh Amy, I had tears in my eyes as I read this. The strength and courage you are showing right now is awe-inspiring. I cannot imagine the kind of pain you must be in right now. My heart really does go out to you and your family. Rest in peace, Baby Olivia.

  3. This post is beautiful. I can feel the love that you have for Olivia and I have no doubt she felt it as well. She is blessed to have such a wonderful mommy :). I'm glad you've been able to find comfort in the small things. You have been in our daily (hourly, etc.) prayers. Love you.

  4. I remember this time very well myself, so your story lifted my heart in ways that I find hard to fully express. I will always think of the sun shining when I think of Olivia, with her sister dancing in the garden. Since her birthday and my son William's birthday are only one day apart, I will forever honor them both when the last days of June come upon us each and every year. These are the children of of hearts. They will never be forgotten; they will always be cherished.

  5. Such a beautiful story, you should be so incredibly proud of yourself, know that you are in my prayers. xxxxx

  6. You, your family and Olivia are in my prayers. It is so sad that you had to go through this. May your baby girl rest in peace. xxx

  7. Amy your ability to see the light in this difficult time is truly inspiring. I pray that your healing continues for yourself, Ray and both your families. I was so sorry to hear about Olivia but I take solace in that she is up above smiling down on you, a beautiful angel, who was too pure for this world.

    I will see you soon in Maureen's for a cup of tea

    Gemma x

  8. You should be so proud of how you have been so positive about everything. I had to skip through some of this post because I literally stated tearing up reading it!xx

  9. Your courage well and truly inspires me. You are one very brave lady! Beautiful Olivia will be up there waiting, you will meet again one day. All I can say is that time is a great healer. The pain won't ever disappear but it will be easier to manage. Take time out for yourself, cry all you need to, but make sure you cuddle those close to you extra tight. Keeping you and your family in my thoughts. Amie xx

  10. Amy, you are amazing, truly. Such a beautiful post and your positivity so inspiring. Eve and little Olivia are so lucky to have you as a mummy. The memory box you were given to take prints of her hands and feet is such a lovely idea, such a treasure. My heart and thoughts go out to you, your husband, Eve and your family.
    Odette xx

  11. All the best for you Amy in this difficult moment. I send you all my love xxx

  12. Amy you are so brave for sharing your story and Im sure Olivia would be very proud of the inspiration you are..All the best for you and your family in the future xxx

  13. This was a beautiful post. Your strength, even in grief, is remarkable and beautiful.