Baby Tilda Barn Dance: Looking Back

On Friday evening

David and I

With Esther and William and some close friends

Went back to the place where we celebrated our wedding

Jennie & David-449

The hall where we danced

All afternoon, through the evening and into the night as husband and wife

Husband and wife with a secret baby bump

A secret Baby Tilda bump!

This dance

Less than three years on

Was very different indeed

Though many of the same people were there

The Baby Tilda Barn Dance

Was a wonderful whirlwind

An emotional and exhausting day

But our hard work paid off

I think

It is hard to tell after all the months of work

If people enjoyed it or not

But I hope that they did

And I am so grateful to everyone who came along

Some people travelled for hours, days

To be with us

From across the country and beyond our borders

Over the seas!

Thank you


barn dance small

On the eve of the barn dance the magic began

As we took things we would need to the hall

And started to fly the pink and purple flags

Now so symbolic of Matilda Mae

As the children rolled down the grassy banks

I took a moment to remember

To look back

And forward

Just Tilda, Rainbow and me

barn dance eve bump

On Saturday morning we were at the hall by 9

Balloons were blown

Flags flown

Fairy lights lit

And the hall adorned with sparkles and stars

the stage

Raffle prizes were displayed

The marquee was erected

And then filled with Beebies Baby Store delights

setting up tent

Friends and family came together

And worked hard

To get The Baby Tilda Barn Dance off the ground


At 12.00 we were just ready

As the doors opened

And our guests began to arrive

ready set go

I have to admit that the day passed in a blur for me

A blur of smiles and tears

Giggles and heartbreak

I was wearing a very special Matilda in Wonderland dress from Babes with Babies

And every time I tried to tell people about it

I started to breakdown

matilda in wonderland

I missed our beautiful daughter so much that day

Seeing many of her little friends

Joining in the festive fun

Made me realise how much she and we were missing

God bless you Matilda Mae

our matilda mae

The hall filled quickly

People spilled out into the play tent

And onto the field beyond

Children explored the play park

Families ate picnics and BBQ and ice cream

the hall

There were buckets of drinks donated by our sponsors

bloom and bubbles

And crates of colourful toddler snacks

drinks and snacks

Pots of bubbles were dotted around

entrance hall

And bountiful balloons

Enough for all the children to have one or two or three

Throughout the day

balloon ending

Esther and William accidentally released a few of their balloons

They brought me to tears more than once

As they shouted to the skies

‘There you go Baby Tilda. I got that balloon for you’

It makes me well up writing this now

Thinking how much they love and miss their sister

And how much it means to all of us

To remember her the way that we do

The Dr Zigs giant bubbles were a favourite thing

Sending rainbow kisses to the sky

Catch them Baby Tilda

They are filled with our love and memories of you

rainbow bubbles

In the glorious sunshine

Of this late spring day

The final day of our Month of Mae

Children crafted

crafty esther

Hooked ducks

Had their faces painted


Everyone was taking part

And enjoying the fun of the fair

While inside the hall the music played

And the barn dancing began

dance 1

How we danced

We swung and skipped

And tried to gallop!

We even had a go

At do-si-do

dance 2

We weaved and winded

Up and down

We clapped and slapped

Til our hands were sore

dance 3

Some of us were much better than others

But we all smiled and laughed

We all had fun

But we also all remembered

Exactly why we were there

In the dappled sunlight

In the dappled sunlight

People were so generous with the raffle

The people and companies who donated prizes

The lovely ladies who spent much of their day selling tickets

And the fabulous people who were so grateful for the prizes that they won

It was also an honour on Saturday

To meet the very beautiful Emma from Cosatto

And officially receive the cheque for £1329

That Cosatto have raised for The Lullaby Trust in memory of Matilda Mae

cosatto and raffle

Cosatto also donated a Giggle All Star Travel System to the raffle

The raffle that raised a little over £842 on the day for The Lullaby Trust

Thank you all

With all my heart

Thank you

Between the raffles we partied more

Young master William loved the dancing

And it was a joy to watch him

And see the happiness on his face


Magical moments from the day

Were captured by Virtual Booth

Thanks to the lovely ladies at Bump PR

The photo booth was fantastic family fun

And helped people make memories to treasure for always

bump booth

As the day turned to evening

The lights twinkled across the stage like stars

Reflected on the sea of pink and purple flags

People gathered together

Their little ones in their arms

To sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

And to take a moment

To really remember the reason we were all here

Because one of us was missing

essential matilda mae

One so small

Taken too soon

One bright shining star

One little baby

Who should now be a toddler

Our beautiful Matilda Mae

violin star

As Classical Babies began to play

The tears began to fall

classical twinkle

And there was no stopping them

I wept and wept

One daughter in my arms, one daughter in my womb

One daughter in the sky

I wept and wept as I am sobbing now

For the cruelty of any baby having to die

For the pain and heartache in everything I do

Because my daughter died

Aged just 9 months

Suddenly and unexpectedly in her sleep

Leaving us behind

Leading us to this day

A dance in her honour

Raising money for the charity that may one day be able to tell us why she died

Why our baby daughter died

So here you go Lullaby Trust

We danced the dance

We remembered her and honoured her


We raised £1429

I am not sure of the total we have raised these past 16 months

With all the walks and the marathons, the sky dives and the dances

I think the total is now close to £35,000

Please use it wisely

And I hope that one day

There will be a reason

For why our baby

And so many others like her

Have to die

God bless you Matilda Mae

Be at peace x


There are so many people I need and would like to thank for their contributions to The Baby Tilda Barn Dance especially Ami, from Beebies Baby Store. I will be back with perosnal thank yous but for now, thank you everyone for all your support and for remembering Matilda Mae.

10 thoughts on “Baby Tilda Barn Dance: Looking Back

  1. Oh Jennie I am sobbing reading this, finding it so hard to write threw a stream of tears. I hugged you that day and could have hugged you all day just to make sure you were ok and not feeling alone. It was a wonderful day enjoyed by all, and importantly we all remembered Matilda, as many of us always will. Your beautiful blog baby, means so much to us all. Im so happy that I was also to contribute to the total money raised, the raffles were amazing and it was lovely to win, though I wouldn’t have minded if I didn’t. Take care Jennie, till next time. ((Hugs)) xx

  2. Another one in tears here too! As I read this I wished with all my heart that this had not been necessary, that we would be reading about Matilda’s escapades.
    But I will never see another balloon that sails to the sky from it’s holder’s hand and think oh no, poor child has lost a balloon, I will now be thinking that it is going up to Matilda and all the other children in the sky so that they can have a balloon too and join in a party somewhere around the world.

  3. It was such an honour as it always is, to be part of such a special, beautiful day in Tilda’s memory. We all enjoyed the day so much, from beginning to end. A very happy, happy family memory for my half term with my boys. Matilda Mae is so very, very good at getting this city girl out of her town-house cocoon into the countryside and fresh air to make magic memories with her boys that they’ll remember forever. So many things have happened for my family that wouldn’t have happened but for her…. I think of these days as precious gifts that she sends us with a smile from heaven xxxxx

  4. We were thinking of you all dancing for Matilda Mae that day … wishing we could have been there, wishing it wasn’t happening at all, glad that it was in her memory and sad it wasn’t with her running amongst your guests, but knowing that she was there with you all, in you all, catching the balloons and bubbles and love that were sent her way.

    Congratulations on all you’ve achieved Jennie, you have done so much to introduce the world to your magical daughter and to raise funds in her memory to help work towards other families going through the heartbreak you have … I know you don’t like being called inspirational but in our eyes you are … Ellie and Hope x

  5. Jennie I can’t see the keys for tears. I truly can’t stop. I am so glad Chloe and I could make it, but so sorry we couldn’t stay for the end to hear Twinkle, Twinkle. For me it was the bubbles; seeing David create huge bubbles then watching his face turn to the sky and see them blow away up to your darling daughter. My heart ached for you all. What you have done over the last 16 months is nothing short of incredible. To turn your pain into something so productive, so important, so selfless. To potentially save the lives of so many other babies, and save many other parents going through what you have.
    Sadly I am one of those people whom you mention in posts and comments. One that never knows what to say so then says nothing. I am so sorry. I thought of nothing but Matilda on Saturday, and she fills my thoughts at some point every single day. It makes me so sad to think of the friendship she and Chloe would have had. Two little pickles getting up to mischief together I’ve no doubt. I am so so pleased Chloe is in one of your photos from Matilda’s special day (typically pinching lots of toddler snacks admittedly!). And I had not realised until I looked at the photos that her dress was covered in stars! :-)

    Take care of yourself.
    Lots of love always xxx

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