We spent so many happy hours choosing our daughter’s name and it feels so unfair to not be able to say her name every day, all day as we would if she were here. In these pages I have used her name liberally – Evelyn, Evie, to try to even the score, bump up the number of times her precious name is mentioned. I like to think that every time someone reads her name here it is another brick in her memorial, another link to this world, something to root her here.
To help me make her real in the months after she died, to tell myself she was here and she was mine, I wrote down everything I could think of that made her exist. I’d like to share my list with you:
Evie – the facts that make you real
- You lived for 38 week and 3 days inside me and 55 minutes in the world.
- You liked to kick every evening when daddy was home from work. But every time daddy tried to have a feel you’d stop! But daddy did feel you lots of times too.
- You liked music, daddy would play Coldplay’s ‘fix you’ and you would try to kick the phone away.
- In your 20 week scan picture you wouldn’t show us your face, you peered over your shoulder like a Hollywood movie star denying your fans a picture.
- You didn’t cause much discomfort to mummy, other than your feet in my ribs on the right-hand side!
- You always stayed in a good place for labour in the final few weeks.
- You grew really well and were a good weight – 7lbs 8oz.
- You had beautiful long limbs and big feet!
- You have the colour of daddy’s hair and my waviness.
- You have the shape of daddy’s eyes and ears.
- You have mummy’s nose, cheekbones and chin.
- You were cold and limp.
- You were injured on your head and bruised on your nose.
- You were stuck too long and didn’t get oxygen.
- You never opened your eyes.
- You never cried.
- You didn’t see your mummy or daddy.
- You died in a hospital 20 miles from home.
- You never saw your home, your bedroom, your clothes and toys.
- You aren’t here now.
- You are buried under a beautiful garden.
I also wrote down everything that made me really her mum. This was particularly important before we had our second daughter as I was a childless parent until 14 months later we plunged once again into parenthood. Again I’d like to share it:
How am I a Parent?
- I love Evie with my whole being, unconditionally, an all-consuming love of a mum
- I gave birth to Evie, let them do what they needed to get her out no matter what the cost to myself.
- I carried her for 38 weeks and 3 days. Nurturing her, talking, singing to her.
- I passed our love of music to her because she would kick when she heard certain songs.
- I felt her kicks and moved her around so I could be more comfy.
- I bought Evie everything she needed to live comfortably with us.
- We named you Evelyn Kay Rose – you are named after your two grandmas – each of your middle names.
- I had hopes and dreams for Evie, what she would become.
- I had hopes and dreams of what we would do together as a family.
- I thought about how I would raise Evie
- I hoped this journey to bring a new life into this world would make us better people
- I wanted to devote myself to Evie and what she wanted and needed.
- I wanted a family and family life.
- I planned to have a baby, I was so happy to be having a girl – I knew we were having a girl.
- We keep her memory alive through donations, Evie’s garden and displaying her pictures.
- We talk about Evie to our second daughter Poppy. She knows your picture and helps us take care of your garden – she eats the strawberries we grow there!
Until next time, do what you can to find your smile again.