I have written this blog post 100’s of times, always in my head, mostly during the wee small hours when my mind wanders and I resist the urge to run down the stairs and let my thoughts pour onto the keys.  This is the first time that I have dared to sit in front of the keyboard.  There are so many things that I would like to say and yet I struggle with putting my thoughts out there and sharing my experience.  Like any girl (Ha . . I think I’m still a girl), I worry what people think and putting yourself out there as a photographer and even more so when you are a photographer who blogs . . . it’s daunting.  But the internet has been an amazing resource for me and sure hey, don’t people blog about their outfits (#WIWT – what I’m wearing today) and their dinner (#food), I think it’s ok to blog about Saorlaith Treanor.  Isn’t it? I wrote blog posts about her big brother Donnacha, and sure why not one about Saorlaith?  

 Saorlaith is an old Irish name that means – Noble Princess.   I have decided to share the story of our “noble princess” because I hope that it will help us all, and possibly help others.  I am learning that it is easier to be honest and open and talk about things.  Burying feelings and putting up a front is exhausting.  I think I’d much prefer to be an open book, and deal with what is before us.  And sure you know what, I am mighty proud of Saorlaith.  I’m happy to talk about her.  As most of you already know we lost our dear, sweet, beautiful little girl 10 weeks ago today.  It is surreal how time moves on, whether you are a willing passenger or not.  Our sweet beautiful baby girl: Saorlaith.  As much as we have been affected by her short life, we have been astonished at how her story has touched the hearts of so many.  This main aim of this blog post is to say thanks.  We are deeply grateful for the cards, flowers and the most thoughtful gifts that people have sent us from near and far.  It is no exaggeration to say that the kindness that people has shown to us, has helped us enormously.  Very often on the days when my heart drops a beat because I am thinking of my little girl, and what might have been . . . a card is delivered or an email flies into my inbox.  Please know that every single card, email, facebook / instagram comment has given us some strength to carry on.

My little Saorlaith.  What is there to say?  Well, we love her.  Thats all.  Isn’t that the most important thing?  We love her.  We loved her from the very first time we knew of her presence.  For four months before her birth we knew that we would not be able to take her home, and watch her grow and flourish and just be our Saorlaith.  We knew that the cruelest fate awaited us all.  Many times I have debated whether it was better to know or not?  I cant answer that.  Knowing that our little baby was not going to be with us for long, or ever at all, meant that I diverted all my attention to the pregnancy.  We talked about baby treanor so much, that Saorlaith might as well have been sitting beside us each morning eating porridge and watching fireman sam with Donnacha.  I didn’t miss a kick.  I recorded her heart beat. I took photos of my bump every single day.  Saorlaith might not have been coming home with us, but I wanted to capture her existence with us, because she is important.  Very important!

I hope that this blog post doesn’t come across as preaching or eluding that I am some type of super human, and found all of this easy.  It wasn’t easy.  I promise you!  Any woman who has carried a baby . . . well . . . I don’t think I even need to say anymore. . . you know.  You know what it is like to carry and love your baby before you have ever met it.  It was the hardest thing that our family has ever experienced.    I was so naive.  I didn’t know that you could go through a pregnancy and know that your baby definitely wouldn’t survive.  I didn’t know that there isn’t anything that can be done with the lungs if they didn’t kick in properly when they are meant to.  I just didn’t know!   I am not going to dwell on the waiting as it’s too sad, and I don’t want you crying into your phone 😉

Knowing did have it’s advantages.  We prepared as much as we could.  I knitted a blanket.  Paul and Mickey made the casket.  Donnacha drew some pictures.  The two grannies knitted clothes.  My sister, Michaela knitted a blanket.  The uncles flew home from abroad and bought teddies.  Friends helped knit rows onto the blankets.  I picked her funeral hymns.  Michaela and I learnt pieces of music to play at the funeral.  I met with the photographer; Paula.  We met the priests.  We planned the wake.  All whilst pregnant.  Surreal, but there it is.  I want to publicly thank our families for helping us get through the last few months.  As difficult as it was for us, I know that it was hugely difficult for them also.  They had to put a brave face on, and face the world.  I know it wasn’t easy, and we are especially grateful to you all.  I have had amazing support from friends and colleagues.  I’m so grateful for all the sticky buns, the listening ears and you joining us to say goodbye to Miss Saorlaith.

I hope you are still with me, and I haven’t sent you diving for the Kleenex.  I just wanted to share our sweet little Saorlaith with you.  Saorlaith has changed me.  She has changed me more during her short time with us, than any self help books / retreats / meditating  or counselling ever could.  I am a better person because I am Saorlaith and Donnacha’s mammy.  I don’t think I was a terrible person before, but Saorlaith has given me a special gift.  I don’t really know how to explain it.  I just feel different.  I am settled.  I know what’s important.  I always did, but it’s a different type of “knowing”.  I know that life is short and you have to live in the moment.  I know that I have to live for Saorlaith and I have to live well.   I have ventured back into photography recently.  I am happy to take photographs.  I have weddings and family shoots this summer and I’m happy to be busy, doing what I love.  I am happy trying to live well.  I want to make Donnacha and Saorlaith proud.  I want to do the best I can.

It’s not easy, and I don’t pretend it is!  I know people deal with difficult things on a daily basis.  I know we are not the first family to face this challenge.  I miss Saorlaith and yet I am so grateful that I got to hold her, kiss her and comfort her.  I got to watch her blow bubbles and I got to see her daddy cradle her in his arms.  The sight of Paul holding his little girl: Saorlaith, and bathing her so tenderly, is something that is ingrained upon my heart.  I am so grateful that I have been lucky enough to have given birth to two beautiful babies.  I became a first time mammy in December 2011 and I became a “new type of mammy” in February 2014.  

So . . . after a lot of typing, I just want to say a simple;  Thank you!  Thank you for thinking of us.  Thank you for thinking of our sweet little Saorlaith.  We are forever grateful.  I know that Saorlaith is with us.  I know that she is helping us through this.

Saorlaith is loved xxx



** Photo credit – Paula O’ Hara



Beautifully written, extremely moving, Thank you for sharing.xx

Grainne Cullinane

Vanessa, you are amazing and inspirational! You are an incredible mammy for all that you’ve done for your little girl. Lots of love xo

Beautiful and so sad – in our thoughts daily. Saorlaith left a mark on so many of us in her short time here xoxo

Your Children are very lucky to have such a brave and courageous Mammy and Daddy. Your Beautiful Daughter has left her mark on my heart and I’m sure on the heart of all those who have read your touching tribute. God Bless x

Beautifully written and very touching – thanks for sharing Saorlaith’s story !

Beautiful blog Vanessa. You write with such hope and bravery. I’m so sorry to hear your news and yet so happy that you got to meet your beautiful baby Saorlaith x

Pádraigín Salem

Such a beautiful tribute. I so moved by your heartfelt words. You are a wonderful mother. Xox

My favorite part: “I know what’s important. I always did, but it’s a different type of “knowing”. I know that life is short and you have to live in the moment. I know that I have to live for Saorlaith and I have to live well. I have ventured back into photography recently. I am happy to take photographs. I have weddings and family shoots this summer and I’m happy to be busy, doing what I love. I am happy trying to live well. I want to make Donnacha and Saorlaith proud. I want to do the best I can.”—you are doing a wonderful job at being real and honest and that in and of itself is truly beautiful. Thank you for sharing your noble princess with us, and thank you for encouraging me to love my family well, and to not take any second for granted. You are greatly loved all the way in sunny Southern California!

Ana aka iluvframes on IG 🙂

Wow vanessa you are an inspiration ..your 2 beautiful kids have a very courage and loving parents as you and paul and they are very proud of you xx

A stunning account of the most precious and heartbreaking moments imaginable. Our thoughts are with you and your family. Love Suzanne & John xx

Beautiful Vanessa .the photos are just so precious.

Vanessa you are amazing, you have touched my heart with your words. Baby Saorlaith is so lucky to have you as her mammy, brilliant daddy Paul and big brother Donnacha.. You are always in my thoughts. X

Such a devastating story, yet full of love and joy at having carried and loved your baby. I’m in awe of your attitude and openness. The pictures are an absolute treasure. I have to say I shed many tears reading this post – my little boy was born 10 weeks ago next Friday and I can’t imagine my life any different to how it is today. All I can offer is my best wishes and much love. xxx

Beautiful, a very moving and difficult thing that you shared. Thank you

Beautifully written, I have thought of you so many times especially when driving past your house. Your a brave strong woman. X

Vanessa, this is beautiful. This is just so honest and written straight from the heart. You really are amazing xx

You are all inspirational Vanessa . X

Heart breaking reading from start to finish Vanessa. But yet your strength, bravery and adoration of your two babies is so incredibly uplifting. I haven’t seen you in Almost 14years, if I correctly recall, but I think of you so often as your posts make me well up each time without fail. You’re an inspiration. Much love, Marietta xxx

Beautiful words.x

Just look at her so cute Proud Aunty xo

Brenda Colton Sheehan


Beautiful vanessa. Thank you for sharing. Your an inspirational family x x

Thank you for sharing the story of your princess. This is one story I will never, ever forget. You are a tremendous person and the best mummy a child could ever wish for. Thoughts and prayers from all at Churchill P.S. xxx

Sorcha MhicAonghusa

Beautiful words V. My love to you, Paul and Donnacha. X