Mom to Rory Marshall Richardson

January 28, 2012 – February 20, 2012

Leeds, England

At 19 I found out I was pregnant, our little serendipity – happy surprise. On the 6th September we found out we were having a baby boy and the first name was decided in an instant. Rory has been my favourite name for years; when I was little it reminded me of lions, and Daddy loved the name, too, luckily.  The middle name was decided when my Dad fell critically ill with cancer. One day in the hospice he said to me, “Alice, don’t you dare name that little boy after me. I don’t want that and I’ve always hated my name anyway.” I didn’t name him after my Dad’s first name; I choose my Dad’s family name that he gave me as Rory’s middle name. A few days before my Dad died, I told him that my baby’s name would be Rory Marshall Richardson. Only Rory’s dad, my Dad and I knew Rory’s name before he was born. Rory was like a little light at the end of a tunnel, not just for me and Nathan, but for my whole family. It was something to look forward to after the loss of someone so important. My 13-year old sister was overjoyed, more than what was normal. We needed Rory.

Rory finally showed up four days after his due date. Just short of three days in labour, Rory Marshall Richardson was born at 14.29. He was a huge baby weighing in at 9lb 14oz – he was 2ft long. He was never going to be small like him Mummy (5ft 2in); his Daddy is 6ft 5in and still growing, and my Dad was 6ft 3in. He had the biggest ‘tiny’ feet and hands, he looked like both of us – so much. We took him home (to my Mum’s) and for two weeks he was loved and adored by everyone. He wasn’t a screamer and he loved a good cuddle with anybody. Everybody said how beautiful he was – he looked like a little adult all in proportion, not gangly, not cubby. He was the best 20th birthday present (he was born 5 days before I turned 20). On the 14th February, Mummy, Daddy and Rory moved in together. OUR FIRST HOME. He was gaining an ounce a day according to the mid-wife.

The morning of February 20th I woke up to Rory not breathing. He was rushed to the hospital and pronounced dead. He was only 3 weeks and 2 days old. His funeral was on 7th March. All his massive family that he had never met came.

Rory’s grave gives me some peace. I like to keep it simple – with windmills, butterflies and dragonflies on sticks, and a vase. For Father’s Day I made a plaque for my partner – it has Rory’s full name on it and the Celtic football symbol on it (Rory’s dad is a massive Celtic fan, so much so that for his 21st I bought him a baby Celtic football kit 18 days before Rory was even born – it is now framed in our bedroom wall), the plaque was made on a bit of wood from what would have been Rory’s cot and I used pyrography to make it, which is like burning the wood with a red hot piece of metal to write and draw pictures. Yesterday I also finished making him a mobile of all my favourite animals – with stuffed teddies.

The thing I find the hardest about Rory’s death is not knowing why. SIDs or Cot Death has NO explanation. They say I did everything right…but if that’s true, why is he not here?? I will never know the cause. He was perfect, a really healthy baby, there was nothing wrong, his heart just stopped working. Why? I guess we’ll never know…

You can contact Alice at

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  1. Alice,
    First I am so sorry, I’m so sorry for the loss of your precious baby boy & also for the loss of your Dad.

    My heart is truly broken for you,our stories have little on common but there are small similarities & my heart aches knowing you have faced so much on such a short amount of time.

    I hope you know you are incredibly strong, I am holding you in my thoughts and prayers & wish for gentle days & comfort for you & your family.


  2. I just want to say how sorry I am for your loss. I lost my precious baby boy nearly 11 years ago to SIDS , so I understand your pain. Sometimes it still feels like yesterday.

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