‘Her first cuddle was her last’: Mum shares heartbreaking story of baby girl who passed away four hours after birth

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  • A mother from Australia has shared the heartbreaking story of losing her newborn baby just four hours after giving birth.

    Melissa Ryan, a mother from the Sunshine Coast in Australia, shared a beautiful photo capturing her last cuddle with her baby girl, Evelyn Rose Ryan, before she passed away.

    In a post for her friend’s blog in which she was nominated for the Mother of the Month segment, Melissa wrote about her experience of losing her baby without warning, to TAPVR – a fatal heart condition.

    Melissa, who has a four-year-old daughter and a sixth-month-old son, described how she had a caesarean birth without her husband present, due to him being ill with a bug and at risk of infecting the baby.

    ‘On the 19th of February 2015 at 8:51pm Evelyn Rose Ryan was born via a cat 1 caesarean, weighing a tiny 2005grams, 42cm tall and a head full of perfect brown baby fuzz. Once she was born Shane came to the hospital.’

    Evelyn struggled to stay awake for as long as possible, giving her parents some treasured time with her.

    ‘Our little girl gave us four short hours with her, she was struggling but she squeezed our fingers and looked at us the whole time.’

    Devastatingly, Melissa and her husband Shane were told that it was just the machines keeping their baby alive and that she could no longer survive on her own.

    ‘She coded and we were told there was nothing else they could do, the machines were all that were keeping her breathing. She was then placed on my chest as I admired everything about her I wanted to remember every detail, her smell, her fingers, her nose she looked so much like her older sister but with hair.’

    Melissa recalls how intense her feelings of love were, ‘I never thought I could love someone as much as I did in that moment and I wanted to feel the weight of her on my chest for forever.’

    Now, Melissa strives to talk about Evelyn whenever she can, although her story is a difficult one she says, ‘honestly its the only one I have to tell and I like talking about her.’

    ‘Evelyn would be almost 2 this Christmas and as time passes her name is spoken less, we cry about her less and me daydreaming of what should have been is less.’

    ‘What is not less is the raw heartbreaking pain I feel when I do think about her, I pull out the clothes I knew she was never going to wear and I cry for her. I read what little things I do have that have her name on it and I sob. I listen to the song played at her funeral while looking at her photos to take me back to that night as tears stream down my face. It may seem like I am torturing myself by doing these things but it is what I do to remember her and in some weird way it helps.’

    Melissa wants to spread awareness for babies ‘taken too soon’ and continue to tell Evelyn’s story.

    She says that she will be getting her through this Christmas by focusing on on her magic: ‘This year my magic will be found in watching my son’s first Christmas, spending the summer with my 4 year old, and celebrating the constant love and support I have from my husband.’

    Melissa hopes that sharing her story will help other mums feel like they’re not alone in their struggle and can relate.