" My Tiny Rosebud - Olivia "
by Kate Larson
My name is Kate, I am married to a very loving, generous and very very patient man. I have two daughters. My first born is Poppy, she's two and a bit and she is the light of my life. My second is Olivia. Olivia was stillborn on 14 September 1995. She has a very special place in the deepest part of my heart and in the highest point in my thoughts.
Olivia was born at 30 weeks by Cesarean after I noticed she wasn't moving around as much as usual. I rang the Doctor in the small country town that we were in at the time and the nurse there advised me to lie down for a little while and wait to see if the baby moved some more. Over night I waited and then was advised to go directly to the Maternity Ward at the hospital which was about an hour away. We got to the hospital and were sent down to admissions. Then, when the staff at admissions realized I didn't need to be admitted they sent me back up to the Maternity Ward. The nurses picked up a heart beat which was much to my relief. The Doctor on call came in and had a listen and told me it was my heart beat that they picked up and that I had to go down to have a Cesarean immediately and that there was a chance that I would lose the baby. Of course I thought great, I'll be taking my baby home a bit early.
When I woke up from the operation my husband was there next to me and through the haze of anesthetic he told me that the baby had died. My mind was in a fog from that day onwards. My body moved of it's own free will. I was in automatic mode. Pethadene made the next few days bearable. We named our baby Olivia and the nurses brought her to me. Eyes closed, sleeping, it looked like. I wanted to shake her awake and realize it was all a bad joke. That they had it all wrong. My little angel was lying in my arms but not making a noise, not searching for food, not holding onto my finger, not wriggling, not crying, not anything.
We took photos, the nurses took photos and cut some of her hair for me. They gave us her arm band and an unused tape measure. Little momentos of my tiny rosebuds existence. Nothing really to hold onto though. My Mother and my Sister flew from Sydney to be with me and we cried, alot! People came to the hospital and brought flowers, how ridiculous, they should have been coming to gaze at my little angel but she was in another town having an autopsy. So not only did I not have her at my breast but she was hours away on an operating table alone.
I had a counselor but no-one told me what I should or shouldn't do. I wanted to take off all her clothes and look at her little body. To hold her to my bare skin and keep her there. My husband didn't think I should so I didn't.
We went to Rockhampton (2 hours drive) for the Cremation and we dressed her and put her into her little white coffin and said goodbye.
My husband was very strong, I thought, until the coffin went through the doors to be cremated. That was the first and last time I saw him cry for her. I don't understand why he can accept it so readily.
This is the letter I wrote to my little girl and put it into her coffin with a rose from the dried bouquet I have sitting on my dresser;
To darling little Olivia,
Then we came back to Sydney and tried to resume our normal lives. Huh, what a joke. The worst part is having to tell people when they ask "Have you had the baby?" Facing people that you know are going to ask you.
Not taking all Olivia's clothes and her nappy off and looking at her little body to
check for birth marks,
I went to the hospital sooner
The Tiny Rosebud God Picked to Bloom in Heaven
The Master Gardener
Thank you for reading this very long message. I feel much better now that I have written it all down and that whoever is reading it will understand how I feel.
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