Everyday I remind myself that Eve is our precious gift. A gift that will forever keep on giving.

Our journey towards parenthood wasn’t as easy as we had anticipated. However, in September 2019 we found out we were pregnant.  At the 12 weeks scan we were elated to find out we were having a little girl. We chose the name Eve, which means life.  We were so excited telling family and friends.

All the scans and appointments, throughout my pregnancy, indicated nothing other than a perfectly normal, and very healthy baby and mum.

However, at 29 weeks I felt something a change in Eve’s normal movements. I was immediately scanned and monitored. The happy sound of Eve’s heart-beat was music to my ears, and the feeling of her kick, washed away any nervous worries. I went back into my pregnancy bliss bubble.

Several days later, over the Easter break, I noticed little to no movement. I hesitated, thinking I was just being overreactive.  We eventually rang our Obstetrician who immediately sent us in for a foetal monitoring at our local Hospital. I remember saying ‘if you don’t hear from us its good news, which I’m sure it will be’.

Soon after this phone call, our lives changed forever.

When I heard the words ‘I am sorry there is no heartbeat’ a trap door opened from underneath me. All I could do was fall and watch our dreams, our hopes and our future disappear into a void of darkness.

Our daughter, Eve Pasztaleniec was born silent, and beautifully still on April 14th 2020 at 10:29am. Everything about her was so perfect, yet the room was filled with this eery stillness and silence.

Following the birth, my immediate need was to hold and embrace Eve. All I wanted to do was hold Eve as close to my heart as possible.

I loved watching my Husband hold Eve. I loved how he looked at her, but the sadness in his eyes broke me into a million pieces. This was the moment I let out an aching cry. I could feel my heart sinking into this unknown world of grief as I realised this nightmare was real.

Many memories from these few days continue to challenge my thoughts and emotions today. There were the heartbreaking and devastating phone calls to family, none of who could be with Eve due to COVID lockdown. The most devastating moment was saying our final goodbye, and leaving the hospital with broken hearts, and empty arms without our daughter. These memories continue to bring a heaviness to my heart, tears to my eyes, and a weakness to my knees.

While I process and absorb the heartbreaking memories, we created many beautiful memories with Eve, including a wonderful collection of photos from Heartfelt.  Eve was surrounded by loving, kind, compassionate and caring people (in person and in spirit), and I cherish and hold onto these beautiful thoughts and memories with me today, and have done so every day, since the day Eve was born.

Eve is our precious gift. She is a gift to us that keeps on giving by filling our teacup every morning with LIFE, LOVE, STRENGTH and HOPE.

Felicity Pasztaleniec is mother to Eve, born still on April 14, 2020.