Remembering Ada

Emma and her husband Nathan have three beautiful children. Lottie, who is 4 and a half, Ada and rainbow baby Otis. This is their story.


The story of our beloved Ada is one our family holds very close to our hearts. And it’s one we want to share with you, if you can hold this space for a moment.

When I am asked how many children I have, I always answer three – Lottie, Ada and Otis.

When I was pregnant with Ada and made it through the first trimester, I was ecstatic. My dream of giving my oldest daughter Lottie a baby sister was coming true.

Dreaming about who Ada would be and what our family would be like, was my favourite part of the day.

I would imagine the girls playing together, perhaps sharing a room, and looking out for each other at school and beyond. I dreamt of an entire life with my two girls together.

We chose the name Ada early on and easily. And I adored it. I talked to her constantly, wrote her name in notebooks, on scrap paper and whenever I had a pen in my hand.

Every night, we used to read books to our eldest, Lottie, about becoming a big sister. She was just as excited as we were. Despite her young age, she understood everything and together we shared our hopes and dreams for the future.

Late in my pregnancy, Lottie began putting nappies on her doll, feeding her, carrying her and patting her to sleep. She would hug and kiss my belly in moments of quiet. We spoke often about all the ways life was going to change when her sister Ada came home.

Preparation was key, so I was told.

It just never entered my mind that these would be the only memories we’d have together with Ada alive.

Our Lives Changed Forever

September 19th, 2021 was a completely ordinary and lovely Sunday. That night I sat reading Lottie her bedtime story. Then suddenly my heart sunk to the bottom of my stomach.

My mind was focused on Ada. Why wasn’t she moving? When did she move last? Why did I feel such dread?

I put Lottie down, walked into the kitchen and started to cry. That was the beginning of our worst nightmare.

The next day, at 32 weeks following a low risk, well monitored, smooth pregnancy — we lost our Ada.

Despite a full autopsy, genetic testing and every available investigation of myself and Ada, her death remains unexplained. I’ve been told that it happened suddenly and quickly.

This might seem inconceivable, yet sadly, I know I’m not alone.

Every day in Australia, nine babies continue to die suddenly and unexpectedly. That’s nine little lives cut short. And nine families forever changed. Every single day.

That number is not just a statistic. They are real lives. And one of them was my precious Ada.

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.

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

Child loss doesn’t just impact parents. It has a ripple effect throughout entire communities.

That’s why we need your help today, so Red Nose can continue to provide support to anyone facing the heartbreaking loss of a child or baby.

Your generous gift would mean so much to heartbroken families, like mine, who are going through the most unimaginable pain. Click here to donate >

Getting Grief Support

In the hospital, I was given pamphlets about child loss. At first, I didn’t even read them.

Eventually, when I felt I was ready, I picked them up and joined a Facebook group. Then, around eight weeks after Ada’s death, I joined my first in-person support group with Red Nose.

The space to sit and talk about Ada at the support group made me feel safe, held, and understood.

On my first night, I met another bereaved mum and we have been a huge support to each other ever since. Not only in our shared grief, but also through subsequent pregnancies and now navigating newborn life.

Early on I attended a session on self-compassion and I’ve also attended a number of group sessions for parents with living children, which I also found very supportive.

Both in-person and online groups have been invaluable in making connections and building a support village.

The Journey of Child Loss

For families at the beginning of this journey, I want you to know the indescribable pain you are feeling is valid.

Yes, your child dying really is that bad. It’s unbearably unfair, heart shattering and completely re arranges your entire life.

And it will never leave you.

But it’s important to remember that it won’t always feel as all-consuming and intolerably heavy as it does at first.

It doesn’t get easier, but it gets ‘different’. The pain ebbs and flows more, with each passing day.

After a while, you start to come up for air and slowly have more moments of reprieve.

You are forever changed, as you should be. You created a beautiful baby who only ever knew love, and that fact can’t ever be taken from you.

Hold on, don’t give up.

You are worthy, you are loved and it is not your fault. Your baby lives on through you and the rest of your family.

Encouraging loved ones and others in your support network to say your child’s name as often as possible can really help – something so simple can make such a huge impact to a parent who has lost a child.

We chose our daughter’s name with so many hopes and dreams attached, so much love.

And we imagined saying it a million times a day.

So, for others to say it out loud, or write it in a card or on a social media post, to acknowledge Ada’s life and her impact, it’s incredibly meaningful and healing for us.

It’s a way to show that every little life matters and deserves to be celebrated, and that bereaved families are deserving of all the support we can give.

Everybody grieves differently. But what we all have in common is that it stays with you forever. You never get over it.