Being a mum doesn't just happen when you give birth, it starts as soon as you find out you are expecting.

Our daughter Ada, our first child, died shortly after she was born on 29th August 2020. She was delivered by emergency cesarean at 31+4, following admittance to my local day assessment unit with reduced movements for the second time. Sharing our story is important to me and her dad.

Our Ada

Navigating pregnancy during the pandemic was tough. My partner wasn't able to attend any appointments or scans, we weren't able to tell family about our pregnancy in person and I spent the majority of the seven months indoors - but trying to find a way through our grief was a whole other ball game. 

I like to think that ‘mothers instinct’ made me go to the hospital on the days when Ada wasn’t moving like I was used to. I sometimes worried that I didn’t know her movements, or if she had a routine, but I did. I just knew when something wasn't the same.

The first time she was okay but the second time, just four days later, she wasn't.

I worried about calling that second time. I thought I could be overthinking, or that I was being a nuisance by calling and asking for advice. I told myself that everything was OK last time, so this time would probably the same. 

When we first lost her, I really wanted to spread the word straight away. I wanted to tell any expectant mum to listen to their bodies, and to recognise their baby's kicks and little routines. I still want to do that, which is why sharing our story is so important to me and my partner.

Mother's Day Still Matters

The bond and love I had for Ada right away was something that I cannot even put into words. I loved and cared for her from the moment I knew she was there.

We may not have the all of memories that other families have and we will not get to make any more, but we do have memories. The way she used to kick so hard it made us laugh, and how she would use my bladder as a pillow! We also have things we associate with her, like the colour orange, and the rain .. it always seemed to rain when I went for a scan, and the day before she died it absolutely poured. 

We'll still acknowledge Mother’s Day this year. This Mother's Day will be my first as a mum, but I don't have my baby here in my arms. It may not be the same as if Ada was here, or even if we weren’t in the middle of a pandemic, but I know that Ada’s dad (my partner Graham) will still do the things he would have done if she had survived.

It broke my heart to be called a mum when Ada passed away. I didn't think I was - I didn't feel like I was. But now, six months later, whilst it still breaks my heart, I feel proud. I am a mum. Ada may not physically be here, but she's in our hearts and we love her so much.