‘She was tiny, perfect and dead’

A grieving mother has revealed the “unbearable pain” of discovering her longed-for baby was stillborn.

Antonia Mitchell was towards the end of her pregnancy last year when she noticed her unborn baby, already named Shoshana, had stopped moving.

She went to hospital where doctors confirmed Shoshana had died. In the early hours of the following morning, Shoshana was born via c-section, “beautiful, perfect and dead”.

“During our time in hospital we were able to spend time with Shoshana – to stroke her mass of dark hair, marvel at her perfect little hands, despair that she had my thighs and contemplate how she would have ever forgiven Simon for passing on his malformed feet,” Antonia wrote in Shoshana’s eulogy.

“We got to cuddle Shosh, love her, tell her our dreams for her and finally let her go free, knowing that she was already ahead of us and as always waiting for us to catch up.”

Antonia says the months since the tragic death have been terrible, not least because she never feels like she is able to talk about her loss.

“My husband Simon and I want to talk about her,” Antonia told the Daily Mail. “But people do not want to interrupt me with thoughts of my loss when I might be having a good moment, never realising that I am always aware that she is not here with me, she is never far from my mind.

“I always want to talk about her, I am just rarely allowed to. They do not ask because of fear that I might upset them, or I might cry and they will not know what to do, or worse still that I might damage their child or unborn offspring with my tale of loss.

“So what does it feel like to lose your child? To say it hurts does not quite cover it. It feels like you are going to be break in two. I honestly thought that my rib cage was going to snap, that something was wrong with me, the pain was almost unbearable, and I realised that this was true heartbreak.”

To help support grieving families like the Mitchells, donate to Heartfelt, which takes beautiful portraits to help parents remember their beautiful babies.

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