I guess I have always had an artistic streak, I loved to paint and make clothes when I was younger. After my HSC I was presented a choice, whether to go into a creative industry, like fashion design or pursue another strong interest of mine – dietetics. I chose the latter and I am still today practicing as a Clinical Dietitian and I love helping people to become motivated to improve their health and wellness.
Until recently, my only creative outlet was decorating my children’s rooms. Olivia, our first child, was born in May, 2011 and is a great kid who loves her beautiful room. Early in 2013, we were excited to find out that Olivia was going to be a big sister. All progressed well and I guess, you could call it a routine pregnancy, Until October 20th, 2013.
It was my father in laws birthday and I couldn’t feel our baby’s movements. I had an awful dream the night before of our baby crying and I put my hand gently on her and she stopped weeping. Unfortunately our worst nightmares were confirmed when that evening our doctor told us there was no heart beat seen on ultra sound- our baby had died. Later that night i gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, who we named Ilaria.
It is a pain I will never forget...
From that day on, along with our families, we have gone through unimaginable grief and have been put into situations that we struggled to comprehend. It has been a long journey and to be honest, it is something that will never leave us. We have pictures of our Angel Ilaria around our house and talk about her all the time. We have since been blessed with our third child Sienna Ilaria, who is a bundle of joy. Sienna represents a very anxious journey that we conquered and the joy she and Olivia brings has helped to fill a really dark space with bright shining lights.
Everybody deals with grief differently, my husband worked harder and tried to fight in his own way, where I took to painting and then to making pillows for Olivia and Sienna. It was my release from reality, a therapy almost.
I made a few pillows for family and friends and soon I had lots of requests to make pillows, so I set up a website, an Instagram and a Facebook page.
I see this site as an opportunity to raise awareness for Stillbirth. It is surprising how prevalent stillbirths are, with 6 stillborn babies a day born in Australia and this figure has not changed in more than 2 decades!
Stillbirth can be very taboo for some people and for how prevalent it is, it shouldn't be. These babies are still our children and although they didn't take a breath, they still existed. Ilaria was my second born. she lived in my womb for 34 weeks and played a huge part in our lives and I'm so Proud to be her mummy.
This site also allows me to continue my passion and love for the making of these pillows. in a strange way it gives me joy to be able to share this love with others and it gives me so much pride for my precious little girl’s name to be remembered and never forgotten.
5% of sales from all Miss Angel Ilaria products is donated to the Stillbirth foundation, to help fund all of the great work they do to help raise awareness and pioneer research to discover ways to decrease the incidence of babies leaving us way too soon.