Monthly Archives: October 2014

Day Twenty One Relationship #captureyourgrief

Losing a child changes everything, shakes your world like you would never imagine, relationships cracked, fragile, some so broken that they’re irreparable, much like a fixed smashed glass, the cracks will still always be seen. It is hard to believe that the one most important relationship a woman should have as an adult, has become one of those. 
Dynamics of relationships have changed, like the one I have with Melody. 
In the beginning, it was easy to hear that she was in a safer place, she wasn’t alone, she was no doubt having fun “up there in heaven”. 
I have said before how I struggled with the bonding, and even after death struggled to hear over and over again that Melody was felt by every body else, but me. 
This is something I am working on, it may sound strange to hear, building a relationship with a baby who has died, but when I feel like she isn’t mine, for me it is very important thing to re-learn. 
It isn’t easy to build a relationship with someone who is no longer here. 
To learn that Melody is mine and John’s daughter, 
just as a living child isn’t passed around, Melody isn’t to be either. She is ours. 
We’re wearing our grief for her, in what is comfortable to us. 
Of course the other important relationship is that with my husband. 
Before Melody he had his own background, and that is not my place to say, but we’d had two miscarriages before we fell pregnant with her, these I thought had brought us close together, John moved in after our second one, because he couldn’t face leaving me alone again. 
Melody was born and if it were even possible we became closer, he understood when I couldn’t visit her alone, he understood when I needed his hand. 
He even learned that breast milk is warm, 
and not refrigerated (refrigerated boobies) as it’s pumped. 
No matter how stressed we were, how hard it was doing the NICU journey, when other people let us down dramatically, we knew we were there for each other. 
Then she died, he carried me, he never one let me go, 
I was terrified he’d leave too, not being able to give him a take home baby, 
my body rejecting 3 of his babies, at that point I had no idea, how we would survive. 
Even after she died and our relationship got attacked by people accusing him of abusing me, brainwashing me.  
I thought this would drive a wedge. 
But this relationship is something I look upon every single day 
and wonder what on earth I have done to deserve to keep our marriage, so strong, unbroken. 
I know that I am incredibly lucky

Day Twenty Breathe #captureyourgrief

You would think that breathing is the most natural thing in the world, it’s what makes us alive, keep going. 
Only when you become a bereaved parent, the breathing becomes heavy, your heart so heavy you can feel it weighing a tonne inside your chest, every beat felt, maybe even heard. 
For me Spring makes me feel a lot like this, so heavy, my body feels so heavy, because I guess it knows that is incomplete. 
A broken heart is actually indescribable, for me I cannot put into words what it feels like. 
Today was about breathing in your surroundings, grief can overwhelm us, and that of course is OK, but also we need to be able to relax, and learn to breathe without the missing person. 
During the Spring, or when John and I find things particularly bad. 
We walk, and walk. 
(30/5/2012 7:36am 15 days after she should have come home)
In the very beginning, we had no idea what to do with our selves, my older two children would go to their dad’s, we’d be left home in silent. 
We were supposed to have had a hospital trip or a baby at home, we had neither. 
I felt like a failure as a mum. 
We’d get up at 6am and walk, it was a time we could avoid people, avoid the road crossing the explanations, the pity eyes. 
We held each other’s hands, stepped forward, sometimes would be in silence but most of it, the only sound was our footsteps, or the odd car. 
John and I help each other breathe. 

Day Nineteen Give #captureyourgrief

Like to think I give something to our community, in the form of ears, virtual and real hugs. I wish I could give more. 
I will every now and again, take some time out and dedicate that time in making pictures with the babies names, something small, for me personally I like to see Melody’s name being remembered, I think other people like them too. I haven’t added their names, just Melody’s as it’s not my place to share theirs. 
Wave of Light 2013 a dedication to all the babies in my immediate baby loss community, although I was very disappointed with the turn out that night, watching the candles burn, to remember the babies really was beautiful.
Fundraising for charities, currently Count The Kicks. I can’t do anything for Melody, like buy her toys, take her for days out, but I can do this, give to a charity, to help other mums to never have to feel the pain of losing a baby.
Finally I am part of the most wonderful organisation that I have ever heard of. We secretly write to each other once a month, sending cards and thoughts to another baby loss mum, to let them know they’re not alone. Third month we reveal ourselves with gifts to spoil the mama at the other end, I do receive too, but to be honest knowing that I can put a smile to my secret sister’s face makes it feel amazing.

Day Eighteen Gratitude #captureyourgrief

This will be a slight repeat on previous days. 
It’s hard to bee grateful for some things when your baby died,
especially when she should have survived. 
I am grateful to my immediate family, the children I have brought into the world and the man that holds my hand, to never lets go.  
Losing Melody has helped me to see people for their true colours, that sadly some really are only out for themselves, this may sound bitter, but actually it really isn’t, her dying has helped to protect us further from people like this, a warning that we don’t deserve to be surrounded by folk that will bring you down. 
I am so incredibly grateful to have health, and healthy children; being a bereaved parent as I said makes you mindful, there are other parents who don’t get to keep their children. 
To know that the death of a child shouldn’t make me want to “cuddle my children more” 
Not only does that rub it in the face of s newly bereaved parent, but a death, should not make you want to love your child more. 
They are so precious, so small for such a small time. 
Finally grateful to the peace that she gave me, she has taught me so much about being a better mum. I was never very confident as a mum, still not, but when you can’t parent all your children, to let them be who they want to be, to chose their hobbies, to let them do things, when I wouldn’t have been allowed to. Life is far, far too short for missed opportunities, and I will do everything in power to be completely different to what I ever had to deal with. 
For that alone I am grateful for. 

Day Seventeen Explore #captureyourgrief

I have ever really sat and thought about how far I have come from the initial heartbreaking words to here today. 
It’s been Two Years Six Months Two Weeks and Two Days since we heard the words. 
I am still very much learning and growing from this journey, and I think I will continue to do so, and it’s certainly something that I will live with forever, just at different levels. There are things that Melody will miss, and I know that she will miss, so that level will be something to work with, but the days in between are somewhat lighter than they were 2 years ago. But that can’t be mistaken for being over her…because I am not, I won’t ever be. 
My thought pattern has certainly changed, I am a lot more mindful of others, but I think the downside to that, is expecting others to be mindful too. That can be quite draining. Seeing things that could be sensitive, when actually it isn’t to the person being insensitive, that person just hasn’t had their eyes flung wide open. It’s something I am trying to work on, to let it hurt less. So many things to work on, so much to learn. 
I struggle deeply this time of year, I was pregnant with her, remembering the dark nights the excitement of Christmas 2011 being the Christmas before having a baby in the house. 2012 I was pregnant again, but no baby in the house until 2013. 
Am I Stuck? This is quite a hard one, with her death being preventable, it is something that pulls me down greatly. No real definitive answers, she quite simply should have been here. but she isn’t, I am living every single day knowing there could have been other options, but I think that is the one thing keeping me stuck.
I am comfortable with being Melody’s mum, as you’ve read there are days where I struggle with the concept of being a bereaved parent, but never Melody’s mum. I don’t want to protect everyone else’s thoughtless minds, I need to protect Melody from them. 
I will keep going.
Is there a peace or anger with my thoughts? A peace I guess that because my body let her down with HELLP meant we could meet her, be with her. The anger is that everyone else let her down too. At my body, at the ungratefulness of people in their easy pregnancies. 
But of course this comes back to mindfulness, a comfort and being stuck, all at the same time. 
The changes I need to make to get to the next step, is to stop worrying about what others think, to not listen to the people who beat and bruise me because of their guilty conscience, but to focus on healing, to figure out how to tie a knot in between the people close, and for the unsupportive ones to eventually fall off through lack of circulation. 
I don’t want to be cured of my grief, because my grief for Melody is adjoined with love for her. 
I have learned that leopards don’t change their spots, non bereaved parents truly have no clue, and that is ok, because even I wouldn’t wish this pain on anyone, to have their child ripped from them, but to have the pain bottled an a little taste, may give a minute feel to the way John and I feel. 
Finally I do believe that grief and healing can work side by side together. It has to if I want to survive to carry on living, there has never been an option to – Give Up. 
A new skin. An invisible tattoo, no ink, no scars but you know that something is there, it is a permanent part of my life, it may itch from time to time, and days where it just isn’t noticeable, but nothing or no one can ever change that part of your skin.
I am getting used to it.

Exploring the new me. 
With my three of my best friends in the world 
(of course aside from John 😉 )
This night out was my first “big” night out in two years. 
We laughed, we danced. 
Because I am STILL human. 

Day Sixteen Retreat #captureyourgrief

The Wave of light last night, the Pregnancy and Infant Loss awareness day left me speechless, the level of support through on line, the candles burning bright was humbling to see. 
But then it brought out the darker side of baby loss, how actually few people really think about others, and what others are feeling. 
The Baby Loss community gets battered and bruised in every single day, to watch every one else have Mother’s Day with all their children, to watch the announcements without a thought to anyone that could be hurting. 
We’re not precious or irrational, a thought or a remembrance to say the least. 
Compassion and empathy, for one day… 
One day where lost babies are remembered, one day is nothing, absolutely nothing in comparison to a bereaved parent waking every single day missing their child. 
But sadly it really shows that baby loss, unless you’ve felt the pain, is something that can’t be understood, and a reason why it is such a taboo. I feel incredibly defeated..
Today I wish I was here. 
But my retreat today, is getting lost in my preparation for a project I am having a go at. 
National Novel Writing Month. 
To write 50,000 words (at least) in 30 days. 
I had a go at the 10k one in July, but failed by a few hours. 
But at least I can say I tried. 
Can get lost in a magical world, a form of escapism.
Dancing like nobody is watching is Melody’s little sister..
Pouting girlies.
I have to
 Keep Going.
Keep Breathing. 
Keep Talking. 

Day Fifteen Community #captureyourgrief

The Baby Loss community hold the most amazing, inspiring people. 
Those who raise awareness to save lives, those who help to save lives.
 And those who just hold each others hands, from a far or from afar or close by. 
I am indebted to them. 

Although for many I have never met, I wouldn’t ever be without them. 
Their strength blinds me. 

So not only am I lighting the way for Melody, and her accompanying sparkles, the lost babies through pregnancy, and after. 
But to raise a glass to the people I call my
friends, for understanding. 
A community that is often attacked, and told to be silent, 
yet every single mum and dad I have spoken to, stand stronger than ever before. 
You’re my family, And I love you.
I remember all the babies gone too soon.
And of course I remember 
Our beautiful girl Melody Caitlyn
26/2/2012 – 01/04/2012
I miss you. 

Day Fourteen Dark/Light #captureyourgrief

So today I am finding really hard, I want to be open and truthful about this, but as always I am worried about everyone else, and backlash. 

This year is the first time, I’m wondering whether to carry the project on. 
I don’t know if I can do this any more. 

But I guess this is what today’s could be aimed at. 
Nobody said that when our baby died, we would also be “mourning” the loss of friendships, discovering that people can be picky in what they support fellow family members in. I had better support network, when my husband left, than when we buried our child. 
And when my dad died, there was compassion. 
Nobody ever told me to replace him or get over him. 
He never went to a better place, or that it was one of those things.
The isolation, the not knowing what is the right way to feel, how to act. 
Before losing her you would engage in conversations about 
not knowing what to do if your child died, 
“I wouldn’t be able to survive”.

Well actually you have no choice but to survive, 
to fight almost every single day to get your child acknowledged. 
To watch people’s backs turn, the support decrease, because whilst the rest of the world/friends/family are bored of hearing that we have lost Melody, nothing will change. 
People’s boredom, and desires for me to stop talking about her, will not change that she died. 
It really, really hurts. 
Maybe it really is “just” me. But at times it is incredibly lonely place
How my parenting and even my personality has changed, nobody ever told me this. 
Nobody said I would lose empathy, and that I would come across as cold in certain situations. 
Aside from the most darkest part of my life, and the darkest even I am not ready to share. 
There is a light, brings friendships from when you never would have expected, strangers becoming your best friends, trusting people you have never met with things you would be too worried to share else where. 
I can’t even describe what a privilege it is to be stood along side the most amazing, inspirational women, families I’ve ever come across. The women, who have gone through far more, but are still breathing, standing and even smiling. 
That is the light right there
The light has taught me to be supportive, to offer a non judgemental ear, to not get wrapped up in the taboo and to fight to not only break the silence that is baby loss, but to keep my precious daughter’s memory alive. 
I met and said goodbye to the most beautiful, brave young lady, 
she is my daughter.
And I am not afraid to speak about her.

Day Thirteen Season #captureyourgrief

For us it would have to be of course Spring. 
It is an exceptionally hard time of year for us, the constant reminders, even down to the flowers. So, very painful. 
February right through to the end of April, is so heavy. 
May is almost like the month where we’re trying to learn to breathe again. 
The month that should have been. 
If it wasn’t for my daughter’s birthday in April, could quite easily sleep through it. 
Not keen on April in the slightest…(we also lost my dad in April too), horrid month. 
The day she was born you see, was absolutely glorious sunshine and although I never stepped outside that day, I could see it beaming through, just before she was born and then after whilst I was in recovery. 
I do wish I had taken more notice of the weather. 
How could I? When I had just had a tiny baby girl. 
Although I didn’t see her for 6 hours. 
For the 35 days that she was alive for we had the most amazing Spring sunshine. 
We wore vest tops and flip flops all through March. 
(Sunshine beaming on her pillow)

Had picnics near NICU, whilst we waited to see her again.
Daffodils became her flower a firm favourite of ours, but also ones that bring a lot of pain. 
A painful reminder of who she was and what we have lost. 
But perfect for lost NICU babies, beautiful, but don’t live very long. 
They were her funeral flower, it’s all I now see them as. 
A blanket to keep her warm. 
Of course the yellows to match too. 
It’s hard to explain the way we feel. 
Spring will never be the happy new beginnings for us. 
But it will always be Melody’s reminder. 

Day Twelve Music #captureyourgrief

The piece of music I really wanted to use is Sia –  My Love. 
It is the ONLY song, I feel connects me with Melody, however, 
I couldn’t find an original video and not a cover, as a cover would just not be good enough. 
We had it played at her funeral
So today I want to share with you a piece that I have fallen in love with 
(thanks to my Grey’s Anatomy addiction)
I really, really hope the slide show I have put together works, 
just a tiny fraction of our journey with Melody. 
Here is the song I have chosen.
Kate Havnevik – Grace


Thank you for Watching