Baby loss was one of these topics that I knew happened but wasn’t something I gave much thought to as it was never my reality, little did I know I would be part of that world and that my journey would change the lives of others.
We got pregnant in 2017 with our daughter Ellie. Our pregnancy up until the twenty weeks scan was normal, we did a birth relaxation course and we felt excited.
After our 20 week scan, we were sent for further testing as I have a heart problem, this was just to ensure Ellie’s heart was okay.
Appointment day arrived.
At the end of the appointment, we were asked to sit down in one of those bad news hospital rooms. I knew it was one of those rooms as I had found myself sat in the same room with my parents in 2004 when the doctor came in to tell us my twin brother had died when we were 15. It took me back there in my mind and I remember listening to the consultant but not really engaging with his words.
The consultant explained that what they could see, there was a problem with our daughter’s heart and that it had not formed properly, he said he wasn’t sure at this point just how compatible with life she would be but it wasn’t looking great.
We left the hospital broken, I remember driving back and the sky was completely overcast, the clouds broke and it started to rain, it was like the world cried for us that day and my god did we feel its pain. The following weeks were a rollercoaster, we were sent for further testing, one moment there was hope then that hope was shattered, the constant up and down rollercoaster of emotion was exhausting.
After a tiring three weeks of not knowing what our outlook was, we were finally told that the severity of Ellie’s condition meant that she would not survive following birth, we were given the option to continue to full term with the pregnancy or to have a termination for medical reasons which meant ending the pregnancy at 23 weeks.
We both decided that even though this was heartbreaking, we still wanted to honor Ellie’s death and make her birth something we would remember. We still chose to take forward all the relaxation techniques as we had planned to do.
The drive to the hospital was sad, we knew that this was our last journey together as a family. I was feeling Ellie moving inside my tummy, I held my belly, I didn’t want to let her go but I knew that it was me that was keeping her alive. My body was her life support and this life support was soon to be switched off.
Ellie was born on May 12th surrounded by the love of myself and my husband.
I decided to take some time off sick as I worked for as a nurse for a community mental health team then and just knew I couldn’t go back to that role which involved working with people who were suicidal or at risk. I decided to take some time out of the NHS and set up a wellness business – Relax With Lucy & Co. I had been fortunate to complete training over the years in Acupuncture, Massage, Meditation and Reiki and so I wanted to use these skills to help others while I helped myself to get back on track.
I also decided to train to teach hypnobirthing in Ellie’s memory as I felt so empowered following her birth to help others and so for some years after her death I worked to help other couples to deliver babies in a relaxed way.
I kept being pulled back however to the fact that there are many families who are having to deliver babies who have died and who are having to do this without any guidance from a holistic point of view. I knew I wanted to change this.
I had no idea what I would create but I knew this would be Ellie’s gift to the world.
I obtained some funding and I set about creating something.
I wanted to use what had helped me and to put it into some sort of tool that families could use when preparing for a baby that has died.
This is how the Ellies Gift App was born.
The Ellies Gift App is an app that advocates techniques to promote comfort and relaxation aiming to reduce anxiety during the birth of a baby that has died. It has quick tutorial videos to help teach families simple relaxation techniques that can help, it also has downloadable Mp3 tracks and resource tools such as baby loss birth plans and what to pack in your hospital bag checklist.
Having also completed mindfulness training over the last four years, I am now offering specialist relaxation and meditation mp3s and videos for free for our baby loss community. This is something I am now offering, I am now working collaboratively with many different organizations to get my message out there.
I see my work as the continuation of Ellie’s little life. Her life has been short but the effect of her being here and the actions that have been taken following her death have gone on to touch so many lives.
This is Ellie’s Gift to the world.
To access free baby loss recordings – download the free app – Insight Timer and search Lucy Livesey.
To access the Ellies Gift app search Ellies Gift on the Playstore or access via google by searching Ellies Gift.