Content warning: This post deals with infant loss and may be triggering for some readers.
In late January this year, my family suffered a terrible tragedy - my daughter Isla passed away at two days of age due to complications from birth. She was full term. It was a completely normal pregnancy. Until we presented for the induction.
It was all very unexpected.
It was the bottom of my universe falling from beneath me.
It was the most awful, painful and existential crisis I’ve ever faced.
Bec Sparrow on losing her daughter Georgie. Post continues below.
As a medical doctor working and training in obstetrics and gynaecology, it made me question my speciality, my life and my perception of vulnerability for everyone I know and love. I thought of all my patients who have been through this same tragedy - how did they survive?
The memories of her bath flash before my eyes. Holding her as she died in my arms. My husband dressing her in her final resting clothes. Clutching her body to me and crying harder than I’ve ever cried before. Seeing the grief and despair in my parents, my husband and our extended family. The dismay. The injustice. The cruelty.
We picked her coffin. We collected locks of her hair. We had the most heartbreaking of family photos. We registered her life and death. She is still on my Medicare card - how can I ever take her off?
My milk came in. That really hurt. That was insult to injury.
We cremated her. We spread her ashes. We cried. And cried.
She was perfect. She had my dark hair. She had heart shaped perfect lips. The softest skin.
Flowers, cards and parcels of food filled our deck, living room and kitchen - our loving friends could only look on in horror and dismay. We came home without our daughter in our arms. We packed up her clothes, her cot, her room. We replaced it with the memory box and urn.