About It's From Elsie

Hello, I'm Elsie's mum, Kate. I had a beautiful pregnancy. I was healthy and so was Elsie. I loved my tummy immensely and I miss it every day. I read to my tummy while I was pregnant, and it was one of the things I was most looking forward to as a mum – reading stories to my baby.

Kate and her mum

During a routine check at 39 weeks, my midwife had concerns with my blood pressure, and I was later diagnosed with pre-eclampsia. I was induced after that pretty quickly and they said, ‘This time tomorrow, you’re going to have your baby in your arms.”

Elsie was born on the 16th August 2022. I was absolutely elated and so in love. She had long fingers and toes like me, beautiful strawberry blonde hair and fair skin, bright eyes, a little nose and the sweetest little ears. I loved her hand on my chest and the smell of her head. Elsie wore outfits, had nappy changes, met my family, had a bath, a sneeze and was patient while we both learnt how to breast feed together.

Whilst we were in hospital, I started to feel unwell. I was taken to theatre and had retained placenta removed. I also had a postpartum haemorrhage and received many blood transfusions. The next morning, Elsie suddenly became very very sick.

She was taken to NICU (neonatal intensive care unit). I was wheeled down to NICU disoriented and broken. There were teams of people around Elsie all the time but when I was wheeled close to her I leaned over and said, ‘Mummy is here. I love you darling girl’ and she lifted her arm. I know she responded to my voice.

The next day, a Neonatologist told my family and I that Elsie would not survive, having diagnosed her with Necrotising Enterocolitis, a gastrointestinal disease which causes part of the bowel tissue to die. It was a sudden onset with rapid deterioration. From pure joy to pure devastation. I remember screaming and trying to pull out my hair. It was like a sledgehammer. I was numb, a robot and dead inside.

No words can describe the immense intense grief and searing pain of Elsie passing away. Being on maternity leave without Elsie, in the midst of grief and postpartum changes, felt like an impossible life to be asked to live. I realised the only way I could survive this life would be to live for Elsie every day.

I would get out of bed for her because she is the bravest person I know.

My long-term goal is to have ‘Elsie’s House’ a space for bereaved mums when they leave the hospital without their baby and to support them in their 4th trimester.

I love you so much, Elsie. I carry your heart; I carry it in my heart. Love mummy. xx