Heidi Welsh’s 8 year old daughter, Evie, takes great pleasure in choosing a Mothers’ Day gift for her mum.
On the card she writes “Dear Mum. Love from Evie and Ellie”.
Evie takes great pains to always include Ellie – who was stillborn in 2017 – in the rituals and celebrations of family life.
Ellie tragically died in utero at 38 weeks gestation – just three days before Heidi's scheduled caesarean and right before Mothers’ Day.
Heidi describes what her first Mothers’ Day as a mother of two was like last year.
“After Ellie died I tried my hardest to approach the day in a celebratory way, by focusing on my daughter, but my heart just wasn’t in it. I felt numb and flat. I wasn’t really there – I was just going through the motions,” she said.
“The death of your baby is the worst thing you can go through – it’s so multilayered.”
This year Mothers’ Day will present both challenges and blessings for Heidi and her family. They are approaching the first anniversary of Ellie’s birth and Heidi is also due to give birth to her third child.
Her identity as a mother will shift again as she learns to navigate another significant milestone without Ellie there to witness it.
“Since Ellie died everything has changed. My whole personality has changed. What you expect of yourself and others changes and what you prioritise changes too,” Heidi explains.
“We had a moment in time with Ellie and then we had to let her go, but she’ll always be my daughter and I’ll proudly remain her mother.”