Mom Planned a 'Dead Baby' Cake Smash After Her Son Almost Died at Birth & People Aren't Having It

Zombie cake smash
Amanda Queen Photography

Amy Louise's journey to motherhood was both painful and difficult. After doctors pronounced her newborn dead, her miracle baby managed to prove everyone wrong and started breathing again. Now that she's recovered from the emotional turmoil of both her pregnancy and delivery, this mom from Australia isn't taking things too seriously and was excited to celebrate her boy's first birthday in a special way that honored his incredible birth story. But of course, haters online slammed this mom for her "gruesome" cake smash before understanding what she went through to inspire it.

  • Louise planned a zombie cake smash for her son, Phoenix, after he almost died during an emergency C-section on Halloween night.

    From the time that Louise found out that she was pregnant, part of her didn't think Phoenix would make it, thanks to the extreme morning sickness she was experiencing due to hyperemesis gravidarum. "I don't even have the words to explain what it feels like, but the nausea was so violently overwhelming, I couldn't move, you couldn't even open my eyes," she tells CafeMom. "Lifting my arms was a struggle, my throat was torn and my gums were so weak I could suck mouthfuls of blood out of them with ease."

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    After she wasn't able to keep even water down for eight days, Louise's placenta fully tore away from her uterus wall. She was rushed into an emergency C-section at 36 weeks, where she overheard specialists commenting that there was no heartbeat. "I was delirious, the room was spinning, I felt so much agony but all I could think was ‘no heartbeat? What do you mean no heartbeat?' It didn’t take long and the baby was taken out of me," Louise says. "All I saw was a tiny purple foot, no scream, no cry, not a sound."

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  • Phoenix was believed to be dead for 13 minutes after his birth -- but then he miraculously came back to life.

    Zombie cake smash
    Amy Louise

    "A doctor comes and sits next to me ... I said, 'he's gone isn't he, he's dead?' The doctor squeezes my hand. I knew he meant 'yes,'" she says. "Flashes of tiny white coffins flash through my mind. Months of sickness and torture and pain. Months of depression. For nothing. Nine months of hell just to bury my son. I couldn't believe it. I didn't even feel sad, I felt furious."

    Louise's weak body began to shake and she needed a blood transfusion, but then the room stopped. "There was so much going on I barely heard it, but from over near my son, a nurse cried out, 'Thank you! He’s come back! He’s come back,'" she recalls. "Did I just find out I'd lost my son but he came back? My little soldier, after 13 minutes of no heart beat, he was alive. My little baby had come back from the dead on Halloween."

  • She immediately fell in love with her "zombie baby" -- and the nickname stuck.

    Zombie cake smash
    Amy Louise

    "On that fourth day [in the NICU], I got to hold him; it was the greatest, most emotional day of my life. He was beautiful 7 pound 12 ounces of perfection right there on my chest. 'I love you my zombie baby,' I said as I kissed his hairy head."

  • For his first birthday, Louise wanted to do something to represent Phoenix and what they went through.

    The couple originally started calling Phoenix "zombie baby" in utero because she was planning on dressing up as a pregnant mom with a baby coming out of her bump for Halloween -- until his early arrival changed those plans.

    "I do special FX makeup and I was going to attach a bloody baby doll hand to my big belly looking like the zombie baby was tearing through my stomach," she says. "Turns out, it happened for real on Halloween, a little baby who had passed away was ripped out of my stomach. Then he came back like he was my little Halloween zombie."

  • He's her Halloween zombie baby, so he needed a celebration to match.

    The talented mom planned for a bloody brain cake made out of fondant and dressed him up in a distressed costume before completing his hardcore makeup and letting him dig in. "What better than a zombie-themed cake smash for the tiny baby boy who was pronounced dead and then miraculously alive again on Halloween?" she asks. 

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  • But the pictures weren't received well -- at all -- by many moms online.

    According to Louise, as soon as she shared the spirited photos on Facebook, the negative comments started flooding in. People slammed her, writing things like "that’s absolutely disgusting to put your baby in a theme like that," "what kind of a mother dresses their son as a dead baby," and "this is so offensive to all the women who have lost their children."

  • Louise was even kicked out of Facebook groups because of the shoot.

    After sharing the photos, Louise says she was removed from mom groups on Facebook because of her "obscene and offensive" pictures. "I was, in all honestly, slaughtered by these mothers," she says. "And to be fully removed from mothers' groups over the photos because they were compared to inappropriate and gore material -- that is what floored me the most." 

  • She wasn't surprised that some weren't fans, but she never expected to get personally attacked for the photos.

    Both Louise and her husband knew that the photos were different and aren't the type of thing that everyone likes, but they never thought people would get so personal with their disgust. "What shocked us were comments saying 'what terrible parents to make a 1-year-old wear such a scary costume,' 'you are going to scar him for life and you should be ashamed,' 'your kid is going to grow up to be a serial killer if you put these kinds of ideas in his head,' 'this will get your son bullied if anyone ever sees them,' and 'you must be evil to think this is okay,'" she says. 

  • But she couldn't care less if haters don't like it, because she's beyond proud of her little zombie.

    "They didn’t know our story. They didn't even bother to learn, and we didn't care," Louise says of the parents who were so quick to judge her. And if people still want to troll her for her little boy's celebration, she has a message for them:

    "You guys know you can scroll past something on the Internet if you don't like it? Your nasty comments aren't going to change ANYTHING, so stop wasting your time trying to find something to be outraged over. You aren't perfect; nobody is. So stop acting like your opinion matters to a stranger who's done something a little different."

halloween first birthday birth stories