Everlasting Eve

Felicity Pasztaleniec, mum to Eve, shares her heartbreaking story of the perfect pregnancy turned to pain


Eve was our little miracle baby after years of fertility treatment. My husband Dave and I chose her name because it means ‘Life’.

But at just 29 weeks into my pregnancy, my doctor told me… “I’m sorry, there is no heartbeat.” These are words I never thought I would ever hear. Instantly, my hopes and dreams of having a family were shattered into pieces.

The impact of losing her felt infinite.

We had a perfect and straight forward pregnancy with no complications or issues, until at 29 weeks I realised I couldn’t feel Eve moving as much.

I tried not to worry, as we’d just had a scan a couple of days earlier and everything had been perfectly fine.

A few days passed, until on the Easter Monday we rang our obstetrician. Concerned but not worried, and arranged to go into our local rural hospital to be checked.

I was ushered into the birthing suite where the nurse was struggling to find a strong heartbeat.

That’s when I knew something wasn’t right. I could hear my heartbeat, but nothing from my baby.

Due to COVID restrictions at the time, my husband Dave had to wait in the car alone. I asked to see him and they thankfully allowed him into the room with me.

After another 45 minutes the doctor confirmed what we had never thought would ever happen – we had lost our precious baby Eve.

As a bereaved mother, I know all too well the pain, sorrow and disbelief of losing a child.

Perhaps child loss is part of your own story? Or maybe you are one of the thousands of grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles and friends closely impacted by a devastating loss.

The unique thing about child loss is that it doesn’t just impact parents. It has ripple effects throughout entire communities.

That’s why we need your help today, so Red Nose can fund more desperately needed research to save little lives.

Did you know that research is the only way we can unlock the answers we desperately need to save little lives?

It could help find out why our little Eve no longer had a heartbeat. And it could even prevent deaths. Eve could be with us today and you would never have heard from me. Yet I’m here, asking you for help.

Research is such a powerful to way make a difference. It could save little lives. It could prevent parents from hearing the devastating words “I’m sorry, there’s no heartbeat”.

For a limited time, if you give before 30 June 2024, your generous gift will be matched $1 for $1 up to $100k. Click here to DOUBLE YOUR GIFT today >

No family should experience the devastation of being told that they will never hear their precious little one cry, or get to see their first smile.

After our heartbreaking appointment at our local hospital, we had to drive three hours to Melbourne, where Eve was born at 10:29 the following morning.

Dave drove us that whole way. And although he was just as devastated as I was, he was an incredible support throughout everything. From delivering the news to family and friends, holding me through every moment during labour, signing all the autopsy papers and liaising with the funeral home to make sure they took care of Eve – Dave was the best birthing partner you could ever imagine.

Yet, I know that he felt so helpless in such an out-of-control situation. We were in this together, but he had to see things that I didn’t, and feel things I didn’t, which was so traumatic for him too.

I am proud to say that from the moment Eve was born she was shown dignity and honour, from a room full of warm hearts and weeping eyes.

I thought her birth was going to be the most agonising and traumatic moment of my life. But it was the most beautiful and joyous moment.

We were lucky enough to spend two precious days with Eve before we had to say goodbye, which was as excruciating as it sounds.

And I’m sure you share my heartbreak when thinking of the thousands of families that will face the loss of their baby or child this year.

We desperately need more research to help prevent little lives from being lost.

In the weeks and months after our loss, Red Nose provided Dave and I with a safe and supportive environment to talk about Eve and to process our grief and loss.

It meant so much to have somewhere we could cry, we could laugh, or we could sit in silence – where words were not needed to fill the empty space.

Finding a community of other parents whose babies had died – sometimes many years before – made us feel less alone, but also so grateful for the things we were able to share with Eve that many parents in the past did not.

We had access to amazing bereavement services, thanks to generous donations from amazing Red Nose supporters.

No reason was determined for why Eve died. Dave and I miss her every day.

Sadly, we know we are not alone.