Touching reason there are windmills everywhere in Tunbridge Wells

Iris and Brent Constant came up with a special way of remembering their daughter

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A young couple has spoken of the heartbreak they suffered after their baby daughter was stillborn – and of the touching way they have remembered her.

Iris and Brent Constant have been placing tiny windmills around Tunbridge Wells, Kent, in memory of "the most beautiful girl in the world", their daughter Everly.

They have also been spotted in Camber Sands, left, and in Eastbourne - and as far away as Tenerife and Disneyland.

Everly, who would have grown up alongside her brothers Ashton, 3, and Jackson, 6, died in Iris' 38th week of pregnancy – just two weeks away from full term.

"I already had two boys, so when I found out it was going to be a girl, it was just the best thing," said Iris, who is 31 and from Southborough.

"I was over the moon. Everything was pink and my family were so excited."

Credits: KENT LIVE WS

Iris and Brent Constant have been married for two years

Iris said when she went to sleep the night before she found out she had lost her baby, everything was fine.

"The next morning, I woke up and went to get out of bed, and my bump felt different.

"I was on top of the world – no stress or anything – I was a very different person. Even though I still had two weeks to go, I thought maybe she was ready.

"I wanted to show her moving to someone, and she wasn't. I had been told they slow down a bit near the end, but I started to worry in my own head.

"I felt like everything had gone really slow. I think after that, I kind of knew, but didn't really know how to deal with it.

Credits: KENT LIVE WS

Windmills pictured in Camber Sands, left, and in Eastbourne

Credits: KENT LIVE WS

Windmills on the border of Tunbridge Wells and in Rusthall High Street

"It was like I was looking in on someone else's life."

Later that day after Brent rushed home from work to take Iris to hospital, doctors confirmed their baby no longer had a heartbeat, the Kent Live reports.

There was nothing they could do to save her and the cause of the stillbirth is still unknown. Iris went ahead with a natural birth two days later.

Everly Constant was born on May 27, 2017.

"After the birth I didn't know what to expect – I was too scared to look at her," said Iris, "But I did, and fell in love immediately.

Credits: KENT LIVE WS

The windmills have appeared in Lady's Gift Road and Bishops Down Road

"She was so beautiful, and everything I thought she would be."

Iris bravely described her feelings in the days following the birth of Everly.

"You don't look into these things until they happen, so you feel like it's just you in the whole world that it's happening to," she said.

"We planned our whole life around her, and got everything ready. We already had two healthy boys, so we didn't expect anything to go wrong.

"When I was made aware of how common it is, I was in shock. The day I was told, I felt incredibly alone. I thought, why is this happening to me?

"The midwife said it was one in every 16 babies – I had to check she didn't say 60.

"I only knew of one other person who had been through it before, which goes to show it's a taboo."

And now, Iris and Brent want to beat the stigma and tell the world about someone they will remember "until our Everly after".

Brent, 33, said: "The whole situation is hard. I am just so, so proud of Everly.

"I'm proud of them both – it's bad enough for me, so I can't even imagine how bad it is for Iris.

"I wanted to be there for Everly, so I made sure I was, but it was hard because I didn't have long with her.

"She's my princess."

Credits: KENT LIVE WS

Someone even took a windmill to Disneyland

So Brent who came up with the idea of the windmills to remember his daughter, and the couple posted it on Facebook so their friends and family could do the same.

And they said they had not expected so many people to join in, with the small gestures appearing all over Tunbridge Wells – and even as far away as Tenerife and Disneyland.

Iris said seeing these windmills around the town was "very comforting".

"People don't know what to say to you, or know what you are going through," she explained.

"You get avoided sometimes, and people are shocked by it – but other people have come up and hugged me.

"I would like people to just acknowledge it and tell me they're sorry, and then we can talk about other things."

And in the days and weeks that followed, Iris found reading online blogs by people who had gone through the same thing very helpful.

She added talking about what happened had also proved beneficial.

"The support we have had from the funeral ladies to the bereavement midwives, and friends and family is what have got me through it so far, even though this is just the beginning," she said.

She also found Sands, a stillbirth and neonatal death charity, extremely approachable as they would answer a phone call at any time of day.

According to the charity, 15 babies die before, during or shortly after birth every day. The NHS says there are more than 3,600 stillbirths every year in the UK.

Sands can be contacted on helpline@sands.org.uk or 0808 164 3332.


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