I've just been to see Holly. Four weeks to the day of me last seeing her and a postmortem later, I saw my daughter.
I didn't even know 4 weeks ago that I would be able to see my baby again. I guess I thought that was it once she had gone away for her postmortem. So initially, when the funeral director mentioned us seeing her, I held back. I retreated back into myself. I wasn't sure I could go through the heartbreak of physically having to leave her little body again. To be honest, I am still not sure how I will be able to do that again.
However, I got home yesterday to my husband telling me that Holly was now with the funeral director and we can see her if we wish. There was a sudden change in me. How could I not want to see the person I so lovingly long for? Knowing that Holly was only about 10 minutes away from us, how could I not see my baby girl. Every fiber of my body was yearning to be reunited with her.
So we get taken into a little room, dimmed and with candles. In front of us lies our little baby in her white coffin. I glimpsed at her little face and I was terrified. I started to cry. But not because I was scared of what she would look like but more because I was scared of reality. Allowing myself to open up to what had happened. I took another look and I cried, I cried and cried because there she was. Holly was real all along.
The last four weeks have been sad. Incredibly, soul crushingly hard. But I have to keep going. You carry on doing things that need to be done. I think about her almost every second but although I wish it would, the world doesn't stop for Holly and there are things that I must do. Seeing Holly today though, it brought it all back. It did really happen, she was really there and she will always be there. I am so sad for her, I am so sad for my husband and I am so sad for my eldest daughter, who will only know her through our memories but I am so happy that I saw Holly today. I saw my daughter and she is just as beautiful as she always has been.
So now I am talking to you. Isn't it sad that the happiest day in the last 4 weeks is seeing my dead baby girl? It is something that no one should EVER have to do. No one should EVER have to kiss their baby goodbye for the last time and no one should EVER have to plan a funeral for someone so small.
Holly died from congenital heart defects. An abnormality of the heart which occurs soon after conception. They range in severity but sadly for us, Holly had 7 of these abnormalities. Having any one of these abnormalities would have been bad for Holly but the combination of them all made it rare and lethal. Congenital heart defects are the number 1 birth defect in the UK and the number 1 cause of death from a birth defect. It kills twice as many children as cancer every year. Most often, these heart defects are found too late and this was what happened to us. For the babies that do make it, they face an uncertain life full of dangerous surgeries such as heart transplants. More awareness needs to be raised which is why we are asking for donations to the charity, ECHO -Evelina Children's Heart Organisation instead of flowers at her funeral.
I never, ever in a million years imagined that this would happen to us but it did. It can happen to anyone. I will never be in a place to find a positive from this situation but I hope donating may provide us some comfort in honour of our little Holly.
I have set up a just giving page in the hopes that I can do something from this awful situation. If you aren't coming to Holly's funeral, then I ask that maybe you could donate in Holly memory and all the other babies who have been affected.
On the 7th September 2016 at 25 weeks gestation, Holly was born, still after a battle with complete heart block.