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From the moment we found out our baby girl’s heart was no longer beating…….

This letter is a year and 2 months overdue. It's taken me this long to put words together to express my incredible gratitude. On the 1st of January 2015, my daughter, Ivy Anne was stillborn, just shy of 21weeks. This was unexpected although we knew she was sick. 

From the moment we found out our baby girl’s heart was no longer beating we were cared for. I don't recall much from the exact day except the instructions given to return for induction. We arrived on 1/1/15 and were greeted with compassionate women who instantly showed us our room and allowed us privacy. I don't recall every name of every person who helped us that day and the following day but I do want to especially thank the people I can remember the names of, so please forgive me if I have forgotten others. 

Our Obstetric Dr journeyed with us for only a few short weeks. I was blown away by her care for me during those weeks and her interest and time. Her job was the hardest, telling us that our baby girl had died. Thank you for being so gentle. For allowing me to scream and take time in that room just in disbelief. Thank you for taking it slowly with us. 

Thank you being at the follow up appointment six weeks later. I thanked you in person with tears in my eyes but I will never feel like it was enough. Thank you for looking me in the eye and confidently telling me that it would be OK to have another baby. For having confidence that my next baby would be healthy (spoiler alert, read the end of this email!) enough to have here in Ulladulla. Thank you for sitting with me as I went alone to that follow up appointment so I wasn't alone. And for explaining everything so I would understand. And thank you for the hug! 

The first person we met from the unit was Leonie, a midwife. The way she sat with us and got to know us was incredible. Leonie, took time to be in our world which to us, had fallen apart. Leonie spent time with us and told us it wasn't our fault, words we needed to hear. She spoke with compassion and explained everything so well I felt safe and secure in her care. There's so much more I want to say but really don't know the right words to express how thankful I am that you had cared for us that day. You not only explained what we were about to experience, but also prepared us for the upcoming months of grief. I am almost positive you were sent from heaven! I didn't see her for the delivery but she came and saw us the next morning. Another midwife looked after us that day but your smile meant a lot, thank you. 

The day rolled on and so many kind faces met us. Social workers, people to take my blood, to give me pain killers, to make sure we knew what was going to happen etc,etc. We were well taken care of as I have said already. I don't remember everyone's names especially during the labour process but I am thankful for each and every one who was involved.Two people I remember especially from when the time came to be moved into the birthing suite (although Ivy came just before we got through the doors!). 

The first midwife we came into contact with was Sarah, (I think this was her name). The chaos that was those first few minutes as we were rushed to the delivery suite, I can only remember having my eyes closed and being in a total state of panic. I wasn't ready. I was never going to be ready to say hello and goodbye to the baby girl we desperately wanted. When we arrived in the birthing room I opened my eyes and saw you. You put your hand on my shoulder and told me I did a good job. The fact you took that moment to speak into me has made all the difference in how I remember that day. So thank you for that. I also believe (although the morphine might have clouded this part) you were the one who also took photos of Ivy for us as well as capture Ivy's hand and footprints. Thank you, thank you, and thank you! These are precious lasting memories that we will hold onto. Especially on the days our hearts ache that little bit more, remembering the girl we had to say goodbye to. Thank you. 

Paula, after the chaos had simmered down, you allowed my baby girl to feel real. You gave her dignity as you spoke to her (the same way you would a living baby) as you gently held her and passed her between my husband and I and prepared us to move back to the unit. I still shed tears to this day remembering how you spoke to my little girl. You placed value on my child, who never got to take a breath on this earth. I felt peace in that room as I held my tiny angel. Thank you for valuing her life and speaking to her the way you did. I will never ever forget those moments. 

We were able to have our girl until midnight. The morphine and whole experience we had left me quite tired in the end so I'm not sure who came in so gently to take her away but thank you for letting that be a peaceful moment. Thank you for the time we got. Six uninterrupted hours to say the goodbye we never wanted to say. Thank you for the privacy in those moments and all for being so kind and gentle with us. 

Thank you to whoever dressed her in that pink dress.Thank you to the social worker who we met the next day. Who answered questions and brought our girl in to say our final goodbye. 

Thank you to those who remembered to also take care of my husband too.

Thank you to whoever remembered to leave us with her blanket and the Bears of hope package. 

Thank you to the lady who called ahead to let me know that I was receiving mail about that day so it wouldn't come as a shock and I could prepare myself. 

There are memories from that day that are obviously very painful. But it's so important to me that I remember these moments too. And that I am thankful for them. 

So, a year and 2 months later I am writing to you holding my precious baby girl named Grace Amarise. She was born on January 17th 2016. Handpicked for earth by her sister in heaven. Her big brothers adore her and we feel so blessed. She will know about Ivy, as will her brothers. Ivy is a part of us and will never be forgotten. 

I don't have adequate words to express my thanks once again for the way we were so well cared for during our time with you. For us, it was a sad time but I truly do look back and feel so thankful that our care lessened the blow just that little bit. We felt loved and supported, understood and valued. So thank you, from the bottom of my heart. 

Blessings,

Amanda Clanfield 

 

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