Saturday, May 23, 2020

Another Kiss And You'll Be Mine- Robert Palmer Girl Makeup

"You're gonna have to face it, you're addicted to love"


Ever since I first saw it as a child, I've been fascinated by the iconic music video for Robert Palmer's Addicted to Love. I don't think I saw his other videos like Simply Irresistible until I was a lot older. I always thought the women in the videos were so cool and glamorous . It could very well be where my obsession with red lips originated. I first tried this makeup look for a Halloween party almost 12 years ago and I've wanted to recreate it for my blog for a long time. I finally got around to it yesterday. I was having a bad week and I wanted to wear some makeup that made me feel powerful. That's what red lipstick does for me. The combination of the sculpting blush, strong brows, smoky winged out eyes and glossy red lips made me feel incredible. I highly recommend trying it if you're not feeling great, as ridiculous as it may sound, it made a huge difference to my mood. 

I examined the two videos and the makeup is very slightly different on each of the models. I wasn't trying to exactly recreate the makeup but more adapting it in a more modern way to suit me.

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It's clearly not an inclusive music video by any means as all of the women have fair skin. The makeup is quite full on which I love but if you know me, you know I'm not a fan of heavy coverage but I wanted to stay true to the makeup in the video so I mixed two of the high coverage foundations in my collection. The bareMinerals BAREPRO is probably one of the lightest fair foundations that I own and it's probably better suited to oily skin types so I mixed it with the Estée Lauder Futurist as it's a slightly darker shade and more hydrating formula. 

I sculpted my face using the Fenty Match Stix in Amber to contour and then the Milk Makeup Matte Bronzer in Baked almost as a sculpting blush just under my cheekbones. I then applied Glossier Cloud Paint in Dusk to further sculpt the sides of my face and I left my cheeks bare. I applied some on my temples too in the space between the tail of my eyebrow and the arch. It's a typically seventies and eighties way to apply blush and I tried to tone it down a bit but it doesn't look as strong in the photos as it did in person but that's probably a good thing if you were looking to make this look more "wearable". Although I really do love the strong contouring blush look. 

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I made my brows quite strong and actually used three products to do so. I firstly filled them in with a thin crayon, the Urban Decay Brow Beater and intensified the darkness with the Inked Brow gel and finally brushed them into place and added some volume with Glossier Boy Brow. Looking at the photos after I can see a slight gap that I should have filled under the arch on one of my brows but that's ok, my makeup is never perfect.

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It's hard to tell from the stills of the video what eyeshadow shades were used so I decided to go with a mixture of different shades of brown and then some black to intensify the outer corner. You could also have used blacks and greys but I thought the browns suited me better. I started with a pale shade all over my eyelids and then a medium toned brown in my crease and winged it out. Then I used the Urban Decay 24/7 Eye Pencil in Perversion on my outer corner both on my lower and upper lash line and blended it out into a wing. I then used the matte black eyeshadow over that winged out shape and gradually built it up until I was happy with the intensity of colour and the shape. I used two different browns to blend out the black and soften it. 

I haven't done my eyes like this in such a long time, I was actually nervous thinking I'd mess it up but I absolutely love how it turned out. I think this smoky winged out eye would be so flattering for so many people. Using brown along with the black just made everything much softer and more flattering. I applied lots of the Le Volume de Chanel mascara is it's the most volumising mascara I currently have in my collection. I cleaned up under my eyes and made them as bright as possible by using both the IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye which has amazing pigment to cover dark circles and then the bareMinerals bareSkin Concealer on top of that.

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Clarins Beauty Flash Balm
*bareMinerals BAREPRO Performance Wear Liquid Foundation (Fair 01)
Estée Lauder Futurist Hydra Rescue Moisturizing Makeup (1N0 Porcelain)
Fenty Beauty Match Stix Matte Skinstick (Amber)
Milk Makeup Matte Bronzer (Baked)
Glossier Cloud Paint Cream Blush (Dusk)
Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter (1 Fair)
Kevyn Aucoin Eyelash Curler
*Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion
*Urban Decay Brow Beater (Dark Drapes)
*Urban Decay Inked Brow (Dark Drapes)
Glossier Boy Brow Grooming Pomade (Brown)
*Urban Decay Naked Ultimate Basics Palette (Slow, Nudie, Faith, Lookout and Blackjack) Currently out of stock but the Born to Run palette has very similar shades
*Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil (Perversion)
Chanel Le Volume de Chanel Mascara
*IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer (Light/ Ultra Fair)
*bareMinerals bareSkin Complete Coverage Serum Concealer (Fair)
Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder (1 Fair)
Pixi Glow Mist
No7 Precision Lips Pencil (Red)
Lisa Eldridge True Velvet Lipstick Colour (Velvet Morning)
Glossier Lip Gloss (Clear)


To finish the look I applied a small amount of Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter on my cheekbones, bridge of my nose and cupids bow and then powdered the centre of my face with the Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder. I tried this powder for the first time this week after my friend Andreea sent it to me because it was too light on her. So many people I know have raved about it to me over the past few years and I can finally see what all the fuss was about, it really is a gorgeous powder.

I had a few options for my lips but in the end I decided on a matte lipstick with a clear gloss on top. In the video, the women are wearing quite a bright, almost orange red, so I used Lisa Eldridge Velvet Morning and topped it with the clear lip gloss from Glossier for a vinyl lipstick look. I lined the edges of my lips with a slightly darker more classic red liner.

I'm so happy with how it turned out, like I said for some reason I was nervous to try this, mostly because I hadn't worn a smoky eye in a long time I was convinced I would mess it up, but I took my time with the blending and I loved how it looked. This eye look would be great with a more neutral lipstick or gloss too but I just adore how empowering it is to wear glossy red lips with strong eye makeup.

What do you think of this look? Would you wear it all together or is there one element you prefer?

Emma x



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**Glossier products are affiliate links, if you choose to shop via those links I will receive a small percentage of the sale but it won't cost you anything extra.


Sunday, May 17, 2020

Como La Flor- Selena Quintanilla Inspired Makeup Look

I posted a makeup look on my Instagram yesterday and asked people to guess who inspired it. I had some great guesses like Dita Von Teese, Anne Hathaway, Lily Collins, Debi Mazar, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor and Katie Jane Hughes. It was quite a classic look with strong brows, a small cat eye and full red lips. so it really could have been any of those people but it was in fact the beautiful Selena Quintanilla. For anyone who hasn't heard of Selena, she was a Mexican-American recording artist born in Texas and known as the "Queen of Tejano music". Tejano is a style of music originating in the Texas- Mexico border region. 

Sadly Selena is probably most famous for her death. She was murdered in 1995 when she was just 23 years old by Yolanda Saldívar, the president of the Selena fan club who had also been managing one of her boutiques in San Antonio. Selena and her family suspected Saldívar was embezzling money from the fan club and boutique and on March 31st 1995, Selena met with Yolanda to discuss her suspicions. She shot Selena in the back and she later died in hospital. Yolanda Saldívar is currently serving a life sentence. 

Selena's untimely death has overshadowed her career which was at its peak at the time she was murdered. She won a grammy in 1993 for best Mexican-American album and had recorded her first English language album, Dreaming of You, which she was hoping would be her crossover album for success in the US. It topped the Billboard charts in August of 1995 four months after her death. She was played by Jennifer Lopez in a 1997 film about her and there is a Netflix series based on her life due to be released this Summer. 

There is so much more I could write about her incredible achievements from her short life but instead I'd encourage you to read about her yourself and listen to her music. She was so talented, her voice was incredible and she was by all accounts a wonderful woman who was taken from the world too soon.  

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As you can see Selena was also incredibly beautiful with a signature style and makeup look (she was compared to Madonna for her style). The other day I was inspired to create a makeup look based on the one she wore so often. Natural skin, bold early nineties brows, some slight definition of the eyes and a small cat eye with fluttery outer corner lashes and full red lips in a signature shade which was supposedly a shade called 'Brick' by Chanel which sadly has since been discontinued. It's pretty much a classic fifties Hollywood look but with a nineties twist with the shape of the brows and the lined lips. I wasn't trying to emulate her or look exactly like her at all. I just wanted to create my own modern version of her beautiful and glamorous, classic look that suited her so much. 

I wanted to keep my skin looking quite natural and luminous so I used a combination of Glossier Futuredew and the No7 HydraLuminous foundation which is one of my favourite foundations I've ever used. I'm almost finished my second bottle of it and I will be definitely buying it again. 

I used the Urban Decay Inked Brow on my eyebrows as I wanted to make them look darker and more groomed, not as bushy as they usually are. I tried to get as thin a shape as I could considering how big my eyebrows are at the moment. I then gave some soft definition to my eyelids with some matte eyeshadows and a thin line of Glossier Pro Tip as Selena's signature eye look usually had a very thin cat eye just to elongate her eyes. I added some mascara and a few individual eyelashes from Ardell at the very outer corners of my eyes for a more winged out look. It's a fairly simple and classic eye makeup that you could wear anywhere. You could use a thin angled brush and some black eyeshadow too if you aren't crazy about liquid liner. 

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Fenty Beauty 'Ma'damn', MAC 'Ruby Woo', Charlotte Tilbury 'Red Carpet Red', Lisa Eldridge 'Velvet Ribbon', Pat McGrath 'Elson', No7 'Brick'
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*Glossier Futuredew Oil Serum Hybrid
No7 HydraLuminous Moisturising Foundation (Porcelain)
Fenty Beauty Match Stix Matte Skinstick (Amber)
Milk Makeup Matte Bronzer (Baked)
*IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer (Light/Ultra Fair)
*Urban Decay Inked Brow Longwear Brow Gel (Dark Drapes)
Glossier Boy Brow Grooming Pomade (Brown)
Kevyn Aucoin Eyelash Curler
*Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion
*Urban Decay Naked Ultimate Basics Palette (Slow, Nudie, Tempted and Faith) Out of stock but the Naked 2 Basics palette has ver similar shades
*Glossier Pro Tip Brush Point Liquid Eyeliner
Milk Makeup Kush Mascara
*bareMinerals bareSkin Complete Coverage Serum Concealer (Fair)
Glossier Cloud Paint (Dusk)
Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter (Fair)
No7 Precision Lips Pencil (Fire)
Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Lipstick (Ma'damn)
*IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Powder
Pixi Glow Mist
Ardell Individuals Duralash Naturals Knot-Free Short
Duo Eyelash Adhesive Dark

To finish off my skin I did some light contouring and bronzing and a hint of a neutral blush as the main focus of Selena's makeup was always brows, eyes and lips. I lined my lips with two different liners, one true red and a darker red to contour my lips very slightly. I then applied the closest shade I had to Selena's signature red which is the shade Ma'damn from the Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Lipstick range. It was actually my first time using it and I loved how it felt and looked on my lips. I swatched some similar shades above so hopefully you can see how it compares to other red lipsticks. I brought the colour right to the edges of my lips and used a lip brush to get a precise line so that they looked as full possible without over lining them too much. I've done variations on the look for years and it's always one I come back to when I want to feel good about myself. I'd even go so far as to say it's probably my "signature" look too. I hope you like the look and that I did Selena's makeup justice. I wanted to add some details about her too rather than just referencing her makeup. Let me know what you think and whether you've heard of Selena.

Emma x


*PR Samples
**Glossier products are affiliate links, if you choose to shop via those links I will receive a small percentage of the sale but it won't cost you anything extra.



Thursday, May 14, 2020

Dreaming Of The Green And Gold

I'm back with a makeup post today, but firstly I wanted to say thank you to anyone who read my last post. I'm aware most people don't bother with blogs much any more but I have been writing on Ol' Green Eyes for almost ten years now (in June) and I don't intend on stopping any time soon. This blog has always been an outlet for me, creative and otherwise and I appreciate those of you who took the time to read about something that has nothing to do with what I usually write about here. It's been so therapeutic for me to connect with so many people who sent me messages saying that they had read my words. This world of beauty blogging has brought me so much joy, especially at this, the most difficult period of my life. I am thankful to have this outlet and to continue to use skincare and makeup as a form of self-care and creativity.

These photos were actually taken back in March, St. Patrick's Day to be precise. The last day I remember being truly happy. It was before lockdown and I was off work and had a lovely relaxing morning. We went for a walk around an empty Dublin caressing my still pregnant belly and talking about the future as we always did on our day off walks. I wasn't going to even bother writing a post on this look but I figured it was the last makeup look I did when Milo was still alive and for some reason that made me feel compelled to share it.

I had purchased the Bodyography glitter pigment in the shade Prism in November and hadn't gotten around to creating a look with it yet. Since it's a duo chrome green/brown I thought St Patrick's day would be the perfect opportunity to try it out properly. I decided to create a green and gold look so I added another Bodyography pigment called Bubbly in the centre of my eyelid for an extra pop, almost like a spotlight eye. The base is just a mid-toned matte brown swept across the socket of my eyelid and Prism blended out all across my lid. I mostly use my fingers to apply these glitter pigments as it gives the best intensity of colour. I then take a densely packed synthetic brush and blend out the edges carefully before using fluffier brush if I feel I need to finish any blending.

If you're looking for natural and radiant skin, I highly recommend this base combination- Glossier Futuredew and Clarins Skin Illusion Foundation. Obviously it depends on your skin type, if you have more oily skin this combination might be too much but I have combination skin and I just apply Futuredew where I want the most shine and then I'll smooth whatever is left over onto the rest of my face. I think I've said it before here but any time I look back at photos of my past makeup looks I'm always the happiest with how my skin looks when I'm wearing Skin Illusion foundation. What I really love about it is that it just evens out your skin tone and gives such a natural and radiant finish to your skin. Because the texture is quite light and easy to blend, it's the perfect foundation for layering with the likes of Glossier Futuredew as it doesn't feel like I'm wearing lots of makeup. It just makes your skin look hydrated and fresh and doesn't mask your natural complexion. My friend Céline is also a huge fan of this foundation, so please go and have a look at it on her if you want to see it on a darker skin tone than mine.

I do have dark circles too so I apply a small amount of concealer only where I need it, mainly in my inner corners and under my eyes closer to my nose. I like to use a hydrating concealer that has great coverage (my favourite is the bareMinerals Complete Coverage Serum Concealer) and I find this technique means that you can apply very little concealer so that your base still looks natural and seamless. I like for my concealer to be the same shade as my foundation rather than lighter. However If I do find I want a touch more brightness I'll add the smallest amount of YSL Touche Éclat Illuminating Pen just to attract some light to that area.

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Glossier Invisible Shield Daily Sunscreen
*Glossier Futuredew Oil Serum Hybrid
*Clarins Skin Illusion Foundation (101 Linen)
Milk Makeup Matte Bronzer (Baked)
Fenty Beauty Match Stix Matte Skinstick (Amber)
*IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer (Light/Fair)
*bareMinerals bareSkin Complete Coverage Serum Concealer (Fair)
*Urban Decay Brow Beater (Dark Brown)
Glossier Boy Brow (Brown)
*Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion
Bodyography Glitter Pigment (Prism and Bubbly)
Kevyn Aucoin Eyelash Curler
Chanel Beauty Le Volume de Chanel Mascara
Glossier Cloud Paint (Dusk)
Kevyn Aucoin Glass Glow Face (Prism Rose)
*IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Powder
Pixi Glow Mist
Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G. Lipstick (Bitch Perfect)

I kept the rest of my makeup quite neutral, applying my favourite neutral blush shade, Glossier Cloud Paint in Dusk on my cheeks and Charlotte Tilbury Bitch Perfect lipstick which is a great warm nude shade for fair skin tones. I also applied some of the Kevyn Aucoin Glass Glow Face in Prism Rose on my cheeks for an added sheen to my skin. The more I use this the more I love it. I think this plus Futuredew plus Skin Illusion is the holy trinity for super radiant skin. Obviously it completely depends on how you have prepped you skin for makeup too. In case you don't follow me on Instagram, I created a story highlight on my page called "Glowy Skin" and featured the skincare and makeup products I use to get a super radiant base. If you like my style of makeup be sure to have a look at it and if there's any looks you'd like to see me try or if there is any of my previous looks you would like to watch me go through again, please do let me know.

I hope everyone is doing as well as they can be in this strange period of time we are living in. Try and be kind to yourself and those around you and I hope no matter what you're going through you can still find the joy in the small pleasures of life.

Emma x



*PR Samples
**Glossier products are affiliate links, if you choose to shop via those links I will receive a small percentage of the sale but it won't cost you anything extra.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Our Son Milo- My Experience of Pregnancy Loss

Today is International Bereaved Mother's Day. In March when I was just one day short of being 19 weeks pregnant, I lost my son. This is something I never dreamed I would have to write about. I say "have to" because I need to write this out, I need to get it out of me and share my experience. Even if no one ever reads this, I have to write it. I've written hundreds of variations of this in my head over the past six weeks. I have lay awake night after night going through everything that happened, visualising every single detail, and hoping for a miraculously different outcome if I wish for it enough. Hoping to still be pregnant. But I'm not. My son is gone and there is nothing I can do or say to change it. 

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I didn't know where to start this story so I suppose I'll begin by saying that I had never planned to have any children. My whole life I never felt that urge to procreate. I had talked about it time and time again with various friends, family members, strangers online who felt the same and boyfriends. There are numerous reasons why I had made the decision not to have children, some of which I don't want to talk about publicly. One of the biggest reasons was being scared of everything that could go wrong. I know I sound like a pessimist but I see myself more as a realist. I didn't take this decision lightly. I thought about every possible outcome, the good and the bad. One of the happiest days of my life was the day my sister told me she was pregnant and then another was the day my niece was born. I bawled tears of pure joy when I held her for the first time. I thought about how it must feel to hold your own child if this is what I felt as her Aunt. Of course, seeing my sister and her husband as parents and how wonderful but also how difficult being a parent could be, made me think about everything in a different way. 

I thought about how my niece was by all accounts a healthy child and how much more of a challenge it would be if your child was born with any number of issues. I thought about my sister and how she was so sick as a baby and how much it effected my parents and how difficult it must have been for them seeing their young daughter in hospital for so much of her early years. 

I thought about my own mother and my boyfriends mother who both lost three babies, the family members and friends who have gone through unspeakable pain losing babies. I thought about everything that could go wrong during pregnancy and childbirth and childhood and all throughout a persons life. I didn't think I could put myself through that. 

Of course there was other reasons like financial. My job, although permanent, isn't exactly the most well paid and I don't have much savings. My boyfriend is self-employed and we pay a lot of rent for our one bedroom apartment. It wasn't exactly the best environment to raise a child. I just didn't think it would be a good idea for us to have a child. But when I found myself pregnant last December, none of that seemed to matter anymore. 

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My period is usually quite regular so when I was a couple of days late I started to worry. I had had a couple of "scares" before but for some reason it felt different this time. By day three I knew something had to be going on. On day four I was so sure that I didn't go to my work Christmas party "just in case". My boyfriend was working that night, it was a Saturday. I text my sister and asked if she happened to have any spare pregnancy tests lying around from when she had my niece but she didn't. She said she'd pick one up in the supermarket on her way in to see us the following day. It was ten days before Christmas and we were planning on going for brunch and exploring the Christmas market in Dublin Castle. 

When she arrived in she said there wasn't any in the supermarket so we'd get one after brunch. She ran into the Euro shop (as it was the closest place) and picked me up a box of two as I was too nervous to go in myself. I carried the test around all day while we wandered around Dublin. We took the two photos above and I thought the lyrics were rather apt when I looked back at the photos later. 

When I got home that evening my sister, brother in law and niece came in for a while. I couldn't wait any longer so I went into the bathroom and took the test. I held my breath while I watched one line appear and then another faint line. I thought maybe it wasn't working properly so I called my sister in to look at it. I knew by her face what it meant. I asked her to go and get the other test and I took that one too. Another two lines. I burst into tears. Not from sadness but from pure fear. In that moment I knew how much was at stake. I knew how much could go wrong and how our lives were now on a completely different path to the one we had imagined. My sister sent my boyfriend in and I just wrapped my arms around him and started crying. I was shaking. I was terrified. I knew that he was scared but also secretly happy and that put me at ease despite the immense fear. 

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We talked about it all night but we knew it was best to not get too ahead of ourselves and to call the doctor the the next day and get confirmation. But I knew I was pregnant. I like to think I'm quite in tune with my body and I knew it a couple of days beforehand. I felt different. I didn't even need the tests to tell me. 

The following day I went to work as normal, but I met one of my best friends who I work with on the way in and I just couldn't keep it to myself. I showed him the photo above and after almost dying from shock he reassured me that it would be ok. It was strange telling someone, it made it feel more real. I couldn't get a doctors appointment until the next day so on Tuesday morning I left work and met Simon on the way to the nearby doctors office. I told her I had two positive tests and she took my urine sample to test. She left it sitting there and before even checking to see the results she started asking me about combined care and what hospital I wanted to go to and handing me pamphlets and print outs about what not to do when you're pregnant and telling me what supplements I needed to take. I was just crying and holding Simon's hand completely overwhelmed by all of this new information. Then she looked at the test and confirmed what I already knew and sent us on our way. I left the doctors surgery and just started bawling. It was so much to take in, my brain couldn't comprehend it. We went and got some breakfast and Simon kept reassuring me through all my "what ifs" and "how can we". 

Simon went home and I asked him to pick me up some folic acid and vitamin D supplements on his way and I went back to work. I thought I should probably tell my manager since my job is quite physical and I kew I wouldn't be able to do as much heavy lifting as usual. I burst into tears as soon as I told her and she kindly told me to go home as she could see I wasn't fit for being in work. 

It was a difficult Christmas as we had this huge secret we couldn't tell anyone about and I had to now avoid all the usual Christmas and New Year social situations in which drinking alcohol is a huge factor. Even spending Christmas eve in Simon's brothers house was hard as we were presented with wine and blue cheese and I didn't know what to say as I would usually partake so I just went to bed. Even on Christmas day I wanted to tell my parents so much but I knew it was still so early and I didn't want to get their hopes up just in case something bad happened. 

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Those first couple of months were the hardest because I just didn't feel like myself at all. In work I had to hide it from my colleagues and I avoided seeing my parents and all my friends because I knew I'd have to make excuses for not drinking and doing other things. I also felt nauseous for the first three months and had no appetite most of the time. I ate because I knew I needed nutrition but I went off a lot of foods and I had no desire for my usual daily coffee. I didn't eat dinner for about two months, instead I tried to eat a larger meal earlier in the day and then have toast and apples or more bland foods in the evening. I was so tired in the evenings and kept falling asleep on the couch every night. I made sure to take my pregnancy supplements every day. We tried to focus on the exciting things like choosing a name and what he or she would look like and how exciting it would be to finally tell everyone. 

We decided that we would book the NIPT test which is a blood test that looks for chromosomal abnormalities and you can also opt to find out the sex of the baby early. We hoped it would be one less thing to worry about if the results came back in our favour. We also thought it would be exciting to find out the sex early. It was booked for ten weeks and it took two weeks to get the results. I was so nervous going in for the test because I always just assumed something would be wrong. On the day, we also got a scan as part of the test and I finally saw my baby and heard the heartbeat. Tears rolled down my face as I could finally see a real baby on the screen. It was an incredible feeling and it was then that I felt so much love for this little growing baby. Up until then I had felt protective and had been doing everything I was supposed to as far as not eating certain foods or having too much caffeine etc. but when I heard that heartbeat and saw the baby it was a new level. Simon held my hand and we smiled the biggest smiles at each other seeing our baby for the first time. We got a print out of the scan which you can see above. We also found out the baby was measuring bigger than the ten weeks we thought I was, from the scan I was actually ten weeks and five days which meant my new due date was August 14th, a day before my birthday. I got my bloods taken and we began the nerve wracking wait for the results. A phone call would mean bad news and a letter would be good. 

Now that we had the scan photo I couldn't wait any longer to tell our parents so that Saturday we went to my parents house and I handed them the scan and waited for their reaction. My mam screamed and cried, I've never seen them so happy in my life. It was so amazing to finally share our news. A second grandchild for my parents. The following weekend we went our for lunch with Simon's family as his brother, sister in law and niece and nephew had been away in Brazil so this was the first time we had all been together since Christmas. They were all so happy for us, it was amazing to have this new connection with his family. Telling our families made everything so much more real and so much more exciting. 

I prayed for the letter from the hospital every day. It finally arrived on the Friday before we were due to go to Disneyland Paris. I happened to be off work early and we met at one of our favourite local cafés for lunch and opened the letter together. LOW RISK. MALE. A boy. We were going to have a son. I cried and cried tears of joy and relief. It was one of the best days of my life. One less thing to worry about and we now knew we were having a boy. My dad worked close by so we called him with the news and he came around to us and we celebrated and hugged and I was so happy to tell him he was going to have a grandson. 

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I finally felt relaxed for the first time since we found out I was pregnant. That Monday we flew to Paris with my brother, sister, brother-in-law and my niece and we spent four days in Disneyland Paris. I couldn't go on a lot of the rides as they aren't safe for pregnant women but it meant I had lots of time with my niece and got to bring her on all the rides for small children and, as sad I was to be missing out on the rollercoasters, I was embracing all this time I was getting to spend with my niece because I figured it would be the last time just the two us would get to spend time together for a long time. We had the best time all together and it was a trip I'll never forget. I got to bring my son to Disneyland. We talked about the next time we would bring him and how exciting it would be to see his face. We made so many plans in our heads. 

Our first big scan was booked for the Friday morning after we came back from Paris. I was so excited to see him again in the ultrasound. I was actually 14 weeks that day and it was so exciting to see how much he had grown in a month. I got all my bloods done and medical history and everything looked perfect. I got an appointment card for all my follow up appointments and antenatal classes which I was so excited to attend. We went out for breakfast to celebrate and sent our families the photo of the new scan. 

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We took these photos in Disneyland with the first item of clothing we bought for him. I posted the photo on Instagram that day and finally everyone knew our wonderful news. It made it so much more exciting seeing how happy all of our friends were for us and hearing other peoples stories and everyone told me how amazing it was going to be holding him for the first time and the love you have for your baby. We were getting so excited for our new future as a family. We had been talking about names from the beginning and when we found out we were having a boy there was only really one name that stood out to me and that we both loved. We didn't tell many people, just our families, but we had named our son. Milo. 

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By week 16/17 I was starting to see a proper bump and at the beginning of March I felt my first proper movements. I had just been to dinner with some friends and I came home and sat chatting to Simon. It was quiet and all of a sudden I felt this whirling in my abdomen. It was like nothing I had felt before and it was incredible. Simon took this photo of me as I sat there in tears feeling my baby boy properly for the first time. It was magical. 

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But less than a couple of weeks later the magic subsided and a nightmare began. I woke up on Wednesday March 18th to light spotting and discharge and I was worried straight away. I googled it as you do and apparently it was completely normal to experience light spotting. My mind was eased and I had no other symptoms, I felt completely fine so I decide to go into work. Everywhere was starting to shut down and there was a weird atmosphere in the city centre. No one knew what was going to happen with covid-19. I was of course worried how it would effect me and I got quite upset that day and with the spotting too I was close to tears a couple of times. I text my sister and asked her and she said it was normal too but if anything changed I should ring the hospital. I kept checking for any changes throughout the day but it seemed ok so I felt better. 

As I walked home from work I started to feel waves of light cramps. Similar to period cramps. I had had them before once earlier in the pregnancy and they just went away after a while. I knew that could happen so I wasn't too worried. I got into bed when I went home and tried to sleep but the cramps were becoming more painful and were coming in stronger waves. I went to the bathroom and there was more blood than before so I shouted at Simon to call the hospital. We couldn't get through on the phone so we ordered a taxi and got there as quickly as we could. I had been off work sick the previous week and had a lingering cough so I was given a mask to wear and sadly Simon wasn't allowed in with me because of the new restrictions so he had to go home while I was placed in a room on my own in isolation as a precaution. I was so worried and being there alone made it so much worse. I tried to just breathe through the cramps and concentrate on my surroundings to distract myself. The midwife checked my oxygen saturation and looked for a heartbeat with the doppler machine and I breathed the biggest sigh of relief when we told me she could hear a strong heartbeat. 

She said everything seemed normal but they just wanted a doctor to do an ultrasound and a cervial exam and then I could go home. She could see the cramps were painful but because the heartbeat was ok it was probably nothing to worry about. The doctor came in and did the ultrasound and once again I was so relieved to see Milo on the screen and see his heartbeat. The doctor said everything was fine and that if anything changed I should come back in. He didn't do a cervical exam, he just sent me home. Simon walked up to meet me and after a couple of hours of torment and being so scared we were both so relieved that everything was ok. 

We walked home and had dinner and I took some paracetamol and went to bed as I was exhausted. I was still having the cramps but I hadn't had any more bleeding so I just tried to get some sleep. 

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I woke up a couple of time during the night and the cramps were still there. I drifted back to sleep and then at about 5.30am I woke up and could feel the cramps had gotten stronger and more painful. I also could feel that my pyjama botttoms were wet. I went into the bathroom and my underwear was covered in blood. I shouted for Simon to call the hospital. He was on the phone to the midwife giving her all the information when I sat down on the toilet and felt two huge "clots" come out. I looked down and I saw Milo and I just started screaming and crying. In that split second he was gone. It was over. My son was dead. I completely lost it. I could hear Simon on the phone telling the midwife what happened and she told him to call an ambulance so he did. I held tissue up to me to stop the bleeding as I wandered around our apartment in circles, wailing crying, saying to Simon, "he's gone", "he's dead". We both cried and cried and waited on the ambulance. I was broken. Simon managed to help me get dressed and I lay on our bed sobbing until the ambulance men arrived. One of them got Milo and the placenta from the bathroom while the other took my vitals in the ambulance. We drove to the hospital and were given masks straight away and led into one of the other isolation rooms. I couldn't stop crying. I couldn't believe what had just happened. So quickly he was just gone from my body and I couldn't do anything. I couldn't save him. He was too small. 

The took my blood and blood pressure and a doctor came and did a cervical exam to see if there was anything left inside me and thankfully there wasn't so I just had to wait for the bleeding to stop instead of having to go through a D&C. My womb had emptied itself. The midwives were so wonderfully kind and genuinely heartbroken for us. They continuously apologised for their appearance wearing their PPE but we understood it was important to stop any possible spread of the virus. I was tested for covid-19, an added awful experience on top of everything I was already going through. A swab in the back of my nose and one in the back of my throat. I would get the results in a few days, they were negative. 

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They asked if we wanted to see him when we first got there and at first I couldn't imagine it. What I saw in the toilet, I couldn't see him like that again. They said he was perfect, perfect and tiny and they put a little white knitted hat on him and he was in a little basket. After a while we said we would like to see him. I had to get that image of him covered in blood out of my mind. They brought him into us and I broke down as soon as I saw his perfect little face. His skin was red having not developed his fat yet. He looked like Simon, there was no denying it. Not like me at all and I loved that he looked like his daddy. You could see his tiny eyelashes and eyebrows and his fingernails and beautiful lips and nose and ears all so perfect and tiny. He just needed more time, time he would never have. My heart broke all over again seeing my baby that I would never get to raise. I would never see the colour of his eyes or hear him cry or speak or sing. I would never know what his favourite food or music would be. I wouldn't get to buy him his first Christmas presents or bring him to Disneyland or introduce him to his amazing family who were so excited to meet him. I'd never change his nappy or feed him or dress him or hear him call me "mama". His entire future that I had been dreaming of flashed before my eyes and all the things he would never get to do. The family we dreamed of was gone. Our son would never get to grow up. He would only get older now in our dreams. We were completely shattered. Our hearts pulverised. 

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I was admitted to the gynae ward and more bloods were taken, blood pressure, showing the midwife the pad I was wearing so she could see how much I was bleeding. Lying on the bed holding Simon's hand we made the phone calls we never thought we'd have to make. I felt sick. I called my sister and told her, hearing her crying and knowing I couldn't see her was torture. I couldn't face telling my mam and it was still early so I rang my dad because I knew he would be up for work. There is nothing quite as heartbreaking as hearing your father crying. I am sitting here in tears writing this and remembering those phone calls. I'll never forget that feeling. A pit in my stomach knowing in a couple of phone calls I was breaking the hearts of my family and dashing their hopes and dreams for the future. 

I listened to Simon tell his parents and his brother through floods of tears. We've known each other for almost 14 years and that morning was the first time I've seen him cry. 

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They brought us lunch, it had been about 7 hours since I woke up and we were both starving. We didn't feel like eating but we knew we should. After a while the bereavement midwife rang and asked if we wanted to spend some more time with Milo so we said yes and they brought him into us. She apologised for not being able to bring him in herself but as we were technically in isolation she wasn't allowed to. We understood of course. We sat with Milo and I sang to him and told him how loved he was by us and by his family and that I was so sorry I couldn't take care of him anymore. 

I can't explain the absolute aching feeling of looking at your tiny son and knowing you will never see him grow up. It's not something a person should ever have to experience. 

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The midwife took more of my blood and explained the next steps, they would examine my blood and the placenta to see if they could find what went wrong. She asked if we wanted to sign off on having a post-mortem examination done. This would only happen if I tested negative for covid-19. I was reluctant at first because the thoughts of his little body being examined like that made me so upset, but we agreed and signed the paperwork thinking if it could give us any insight as to what happened it would be a good thing. 

Once they were happy that the bleeding had slowed down they said I could go home. We left the hospital after almost 12 hours, past the people leaving with fully grown babies in car seats and walked the short walk home. I cried the whole time. This wasn't supposed to be how it happened. Leaving the maternity hospital is supposed to be happy. This was torture. 


At this stage the country was going into lockdown so we couldn't see any of our family or friends and we still haven't, more than six weeks later. It's been agony. Crying over video and phone calls. Not being able to hug my mother and be comforted by her. Not being able to all be together and grieve together. Nobody being able to come to the chapel in the hospital to meet Milo before we said goodbye. 

Over the next few days we spoke to the bereavement midwife on the phone about our options, did we want to bury him or have him cremated, etc. It was surreal making those decisions, something a parent should never have to do. The Sunday after it happened was Mother's Day. It was supposed to be my first. But now I had no baby in my womb, I had no baby to hold. It was all taken away from me before I had the chance to experience it. 

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On the Monday we got a phone call from the bereavement midwife who told me my results were negative so they could go ahead with the post- mortem. She said we could go in later that day and see Milo again and talk about the arrangements in person. So we braced ourselves to go back to the hospital and see our baby boy. She had taken hand and foot prints for us, we got to spend some precious time with him. It was such a tiny amount of time. We told her we would prefer to have him cremated as that's what we both want when we die. She gave us the option of a coffin or a basket, we chose the basket thinking it was less harsh than a tiny white coffin. She said they would make a name plate for it and we could either collect him ourselves and bring him to the crematorium or they would bring him or we didn't have to go at all. We decided that we would bring him ourselves as we wanted to spend as much time with him that we could. 

I was filled with dread all week knowing what we were going to have to do. That Friday, we drove to the hospital and went into the chapel and wrapped him up in his basket. We wrote him a letter to put into the basket, a photo of his mammy and daddy, a primrose flower from the plant Simon's mother had given me for Mother's day and my Little My from Moomin doll. I kept the rose that was in the basket with him the whole time. Carrying him in that basket out of the chapel and into the car and driving to the crematorium. I was inconsolable. We listened to the Beatles and through clouded eyes and with a broken voice I sang to him one last time. "Though I know I'll never lose affection, for people and things that went before. I know I'll often stop and think about them. In my life, I'll love you more". 

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We were met by the kind man who works for the chapel. He brought us into a room with white curtains and soothing music and a small table at the end. He said we could take as much time as we wanted and then when we were ready, to leave the basket on the table and press a button to close over the curtains. We sat down and held the basket together and talked to Milo and told him we love him and we'll see him again some day. After a while we decided we had to just do it. So we placed the little basket on the table and closed the sheer curtains. We were told we could collect the ashes the following week. We got in the car and drove home in tears. It was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. Saying goodbye to him, knowing I would never get to touch him or hold him or see his beautiful face ever again. 

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The following weeks since then have been a mixture of every emotion you can imagine. We have been in our own isolation bubble of grief, not seeing anyone we love. We have been given such kind gifts, my work friends got us flowers and a care package, our families sent us little things to cheer us up, the only thing they could do. Real life and internet friends sent cards and packages and they all put a smile on our faces. We even got a delivery of baked treats from one of our favourite local cafés, Slice. 

For the first couple of weeks all we could do was cook food and watch Schitt's Creek which was our saviour. It gave us something to smile about on those desperately dark and lonely first few weeks. I baked, and cooked comfort food like lasagne. We went on walks by the river and talked about everything, and what could have been. We looked at photos of Milo and cried endlessly. We stayed up late because I haven't been sleeping well. Night time is the worst because the darkness makes me think of everything that happened and relive it. When I go to the bathroom in the middle of the night I can almost feel the blood. I have nightmares and flashes of it all. I lie awake and kiss his face on my phone and imagine holding him and smelling him and everything I won't get to do. Photos of a baby should make you happy, they shouldn't break your heart. 

I couldn't go on instagram or any social media because I kept seeing ads for baby stuff because that's all we had been looking up beforehand. Seeing other people with newborn babies or announcing their pregnancies or giving out about their kids, it was all too much for those first few weeks. Now I look at people having babies and I'm so happy that they didn't have to go through this. 

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Every Friday when I should be another week down I torture myself by looking up what size he should be. That was my favourite thing to do every Friday morning, I'd wake up for work and check the size and screenshot it and send it to my family WhatsApp group. A strawberry, an avocado, an onion, a cucumber. 

Two weeks after it happened I had the worst panic attack of my life. I guess it had just been building up and was bound to happen eventually. I was open mouthed, crying and struggling to breathe and just repeating over and over again "I want my baby" and "It's not fair" and other things I'm sure. Simon held me and cried with me and made sure I was concentrating on just breathing. Simon said it was so scary to see me like that but it was just incontrollable. The sorrow had to come out.

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There are so many things that are not spoken about regarding pregnancy loss. I knew the statistics, I knew people who had experienced it but you never think it's going to happen to you. I was so worried the entire pregnancy, but everything had been going smoothly. It felt so right, Simon and I kept saying how it was "meant to be". We hadn't planned on having a child but it just happened so it had to be right. Didn't it? Before I even took the test I felt so protective of the little life I knew was growing inside me. I had such a strong feeling from the beginning that we were having boy. I just knew it. I was so excited to see Simon become a father. I imagined it so many times over the 5 months, I was so excited to go for walks and visit our families and all the things we won't get to do. Just because we weren't planning it, doesn't mean he wasn't just as loved and wanted as any other baby. 



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Like I said, there is so much about losing a baby that isn't spoken about. I have talked with so many women over the past six weeks who have been through this and every single one has a different story to tell. All equally heartbreaking and equally valid. It doesn't matter what stage of pregnancy, it's about your connection to the baby and how much you loved and wanted it. No one tells you about everything that happens afterwards. Endless bleeding which is a constant reminder of the trauma you went through and what you don't have. Just when my bleeding started to ease off I got the most intense period of my life. The cramps and bleeding were so triggering and brought back all of that trauma right to the surface again. This past Thursday was the first day I didn't have any bleeding whatsoever since it happened. I know everyone is different and everyones body heals at a different pace. It also depends on what you went through. I'm thankful that mine was natural and I didn't have to have surgery. But the trauma of giving birth to my son in my bathroom will never leave my mind. I kept saying to Simon I just want to forget. I don't want to see him in the toilet and the blood and hear myself crying in agony. I wish I didn't remember it. But I do, and I have to turn that into something good. 

I have become a more empathetic person through this loss. I've had people say every kind of thing to me, everyone means well, but I now know what not to say to people who are grieving. Telling someone "at least you can get pregnant" is not helpful, just because I got pregnant that doesn't mean anything, I still don't have a baby, it doesn't guarantee I could get pregnant ever again or even if I did I may never carry a baby to term and who's to say I even want to? I can't imagine putting myself through that again. I spoke to women who have been through 2, 3, 4, 5 and even 6 miscarriages and I honestly don't know where they got the strength from. All of this has shown me the insurmountable strength that us women have inside us. 

We are still waiting on the results of my blood tests and the post-mortem and I can just feel it hanging over me. The midwives told us the chances of finding out what went wrong are slim and we should be prepared to never know. I don't know which would be better, knowing or not knowing. I have no one else to blame so I blame myself. I keep thinking it must be something I did or didn't do. But deep down I know it's just something that happens sometimes and there is no explanation. 

I spent 33 years of my life not planning on having a child and now that it's been taken from me I can't help but feel like this cruel fate is something I deserve. I'm angry and confused and I don't think I will ever understand it and I suppose I have to accept it and find a way to be ok with it. That unbelievable love that parents have for their children, it's very real. People told me I would feel it and I did, I felt it as I caressed my abdomen on the couch every night and sang to Milo and told him I loved him. I felt it when I first saw his heartbeat and I felt it more strongly than ever when he no longer had a heartbeat. 

I am now grieving for a life I will never have, for a love I can't give, for a little boy who I can't hold. I am grieving for my future and for his, I am grieving for memories I'll never make. 

Milo has given Simon and I the most incredible gift. He has bonded us for life. He has deepened our love and our connection to a place I couldn't have imagined. We have suffered though one of the worst things a couple can go through and our love is stronger for it. We have taken care of each other over the past six weeks and we will continue to do so in honour of our baby boy. I told Milo we will keep living for him, we will experience life because he cannot. We will see and hear and smell and touch for him. And I know I will see my son again some day. He will always be with us and we will love him until the day we die and beyond. 

Emma x

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