Monthly Archives: February 2016

Birthday Art

When Melody died back in 2012,it left us dates,empty dates. Dates with nothing to show but a heavy sinking feeling. An obvious void,of a day kind of list….OK it is hard to explain, if you’re not in this situation. I’m sure if you are,you’ll understand.
To attempt to fill this emptiness,wrapper less,non-party day,we asked if people on our pages if they could possibly remember Melody,in unusual/arty designs,by writing her name.
We’d done this a few years ago too, I wasn’t going to this year but decided at the last minute we would.

We received loads. So many different beautiful designs,a lot of thought had gone into them,making it felt that at the moment of writing,Melody was being thought of,somewhere.

As you can see they really are beautiful.

We’ll scrap book them all,we love them,it’s not really right to have a photo album for them, so scrap booking is just as perfect.

We’ve had over the years the same few people who do these things,who stick around. The new people who’ve just joined our circle, also join in remember.
Over the years,the very sad things is we’ve come to know who is and who isn’t there.

Over the past few weeks,we’ve had several conversations of people admitting they’ve no idea what to say to us.
Here’s the thing.
We really are very normal..well give or take a few tweaks ūüėČ

Yes,we do have a daughter who died,yes it is unbelievably painful..but we do still like to be spoken to,included in things.
We’re not scary,we’re not contagious.
I’m just someone who loves to talk about all of her children, even if one is no longer here.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who took the time to tells us,we were in your thoughts.

Her Birthday Treats

Frozen Fever Birthday Cake

 A Brave Scottish Princess, for of course our brave fiery Princess
Daffodil plant pot…We have one too!

Her latest Gnome (who doesn’t stay with her, after a bad experience we take him home)

Birthday Colours..

There was a balloon, but far, far too windy to leave there. It is at home too. 

Four

This time four years ago, a whirlwind of decisions, transfers and a three minute warning that our baby was being delivered.
In the morning I’d been told to remain as nil by mouth, although I’d just finished my sneaky piece of toast.
Trying to remain relaxed from a night of being poorly, I attempted to read my Harry Potter book,book four. I’d been in hospital for a few days so I decided I needed to read these books,whilst I had nothing better to do.
My consultant walked in,I needed more blood taking, before we would deliver me I had to read book seven.

That book mark remained in book four.

Transferred back to the ward to awaiting instruction that I could eat.

The doctor came,walked by my bed jokingly said,how would I like a baby today? Well, not really…
Three minutes later he speeds past the bed, tells me he’s booking a cot and he would see me in theatre..

Three minutes. At least 10 people surrounded my bed. John whisked off for scrubs. Forms and pens,for me to read and sign.
Later discovering I was minutes from seizing.
A Reminder that I needed to remove my eye brow bar.
The eye brow bar that wasn’t returned to my eye brow, yet four years later,I still attempt to fiddle with it.

Wheeled to theatre,where our gorgeous little girl was born,kicking and squeaking.

This time four years ago. She was here.

Four years ago Melody was born,670g of cuteness.
9 inches of feistiness.
I had two visitors that evening,I was so excited about telling the world about our tiny,precious girl. This tiny girl who was born at 26 weeks, had 10 fingers,10 toes; that she had made a noise when she was delivered. That although the gestation,she was a baby only miniature.
One visitor refused to look at my precious photos, I felt hurt and confused about why he didn’t want to see our perfect miniature princess.
The other visitor,he almost snatched the camera out of our hands to see our new bundle. Made the moment gentler.

It seemed crazy, that this micro baby,was ours

.

Four years seems such a life time ago that all this happened,four years and no four year old to show for it.
Almost four years since we held her warm body in our arms.
I can just about remember stroking her forehead, her smell. Kissing her tiny nose.
Four Years.
I wish,an empty one at that, that she was here celebrating her fourth birthday.
Her final months of play school before beginning her next journey.
I wish she was starting school this year.

 The bravest, sweetest of little girls.
At four years old she’s not as big as other four year olds.
She likes dancing, she never sits still.
She’s cheeky. Certainly a monkey with her name.
She’s bright,so bright…the brightest star perhaps.

I am so unbelievably lucky to be her mummy.
She has shown me so much. Taught me things,about people, about the world around me.

I just wish my birthday announcement could be different,the same as every other parents’ birthday messages.
But of course it’ll never be.

So here I am wishing you a Happy 4th Birthday. Wherever you may be.

I love you baby girl.

We have decided to attempt to raise some money for her birthday until the anniversary of her death on 1st April. 
Raising money to be able to provide butterfly boxes to newly bereaved parents in hospital. 
We never had one because of our circumstances. 
That’s hurt and has added a tiny portion to the rubbish we’ve dealt with.¬†
So,we would like to make sure no other families are left feeling the way we do. This year’s chosen ‘birthday” charity is¬†
Who provide these boxes as well as support. 
So we have set a goal for £600,which will go to our hospital and provide a number of butterfly boxes to give to heartbroken families. 
Today I’d like to share the link, I don’t want anyone to feel pressured,and I don’t like to come across as begging.¬†
But just in case this is our just giving page. 
Would mean so much,even just £1 towards our goal,for her birthday and lifetime period. 
Would be amazing. 
As always thank you for reading. 
It bloody hurts. 

Numb

The day before, before a birthday we can’t really celebrate.
The day I should have been shopping for last minute gifts,balloons and cards,worrying if I’d got everything ready.

You see I’m OK most of the time. I’ve found a happy medium,where I can laugh hard.
But then there’s days like today. The day before her birthday. I’ve done better this year,as previous it’s been painful for weeks. But it has only ached hard(er) this last week or so….until today where it hurt like hell.

Where the tape and glue hasn’t been enough. My mind taking me back to the beginning, the sheer raw, agonizing beginning…OK not quite, because had it been the beginning, I’d have only just recently held her,kissed her,smelt her in.
But of course I’m not.
I’m just having a moment.
A moment where it’s almost a struggle to breathe. To cry until your lips hurt.

Go through my head once more..
Why?
Why didn’t we get a call sooner?
Why didn’t she get seen sooner?
Why the hell is this our life? What did we do to deserve having her snatched away?

I want to rub my nose against the top of her nose,snuggled in tight to my face. To remember her grip on the tip of my finger because her hand wasn’t much bigger.

I don’t understand. How we switched her off, how we’ve reached 4 years,in what feels like a blur.

Today I feel broken, battered and bruised.

On This Day

I’ve reached the stage of heavy, few days to go until her birthday.
I re-enter the days as if it were yesterday.
I know many people will wonder why I still struggle all these years on, or why I still speak about her, about where we’ve come from.
About her.
Because I love her.
Because she is my daughter. She may not have been here for long but she was ours. It is hard to miss someone, who we barely got to know. But I do miss her. Of course I miss who she would have become.

I cannot imagine never being able to speak about any of my children, their school day, their activities, their loves, their hates…..so to not speak about Melody, for me is just not an option. I don’t talk about her as often as I did in the beginning, more because I worry about everyone else. But because there are still times where it hurts like hell. I’m in a place where I can enjoy life, but this of course doesn’t mean I am over her, or time has healed me…I’ve just learned to live with what has been dealt to me.

I love social media, I love the “On This Day” Function, reminds me of so many wonderful things we have done as a family. But then it hits me with memories of our girl.

Today for instance..

Another trip to the ward for monitoring, I was hoping I would be in and out in no time! I‚Äôd been advised that I would need to allow half a day for the appointment, however when I arrived the HCA said that it¬†wouldn’t¬†take that long and would only be more like an hour. So I text mother who had given me a¬†lift to say I¬†wouldn’t¬†be long and could she turn back round.
I sat waited while my BP, urine and bloods were done. When a doctor came and stood in front of me to tell me there would be a possibility of delivery in two weeks!!!
TWO WEEKS????? WHAT THE HELL!!

A lovely midwife walks in where I burst into tears, she pulls the curtains around to explain that I would need two steroid injections 24 hours apart to help mature baby girl‚Äôs lungs for early delivery. Even the lovely midwife began to cry‚Ķbless her…..

(Excerpt from Mayflower’s Rainbow)

With a Social Media update…
One steroid jab down another to go, relieved it was in one’s leg and not me arse! Though have a dead leg now! Fingers Crossed they’ll work nicely! X

Comments showed how scared we were. We were desperate for those two weeks, we wanted longer.
But there was no way I was leaving that hospital…
I am scared I am going to forget her.
The “bad” days are now very few and far between. I speak about her not as often as I did.¬†
I am scared that the memory of her is so distant, I wonder at times, whether she did happen. Whether she did exist? 
For me to speak about her, helps me to feel less scared, that one day I’ll wake up and won’t remember her whole life.¬†


At Least…

Aside from “There’s no heartbeat”. ” She won’t survive”.
At least has to be just as ugly. Because there is nothing “least” in the world of baby loss.

“At least she wasn’t too old”
“At least she was only premature”
“At least she didn’t come home”
“At least you didn’t get to know her”
“At least you know you can do it”

“At least you have other children…”

This has to be one of the biggest things to have to hear from someone who has all their children stood next to them.
Or from someone who couldn’t possibly decide which child they could do without. Of course I wouldn’t want or expect them to.
I feel so incredibly lucky to have the children I have at home with me. So damn lucky.

Today is the 10 day count down until our daughter’s birthday. I’ve been doing reasonably well,keeping myself busy,doing new things, making different plans.
But today it has hit me. That once again instead of shopping for last minute present, planning a birthday or a tea party. I am trying to decide what flowers to buy for her grave, which oasis shall I choose? A number 4 or a musical note?
Which cake shall we have? For a child that will never taste a piece. But we can’t have a birthday without cake.

Today having that heavy feeling,that heaviness that comes with the run up to a date. Where I am so,so lucky to have my children with me..yet all I wanted to do was stay in bed.
I never did the, stereotypical grieve in bed,or rock in the corner,crying all the day.
You know because that is what bereaved parents do…we’re crazy…..
Or so media would have you believe.
I wanted to shut down for a few hours today.

I cancelled one lot of plans I had. But luckily for me they’re an understanding bunch of ladies.
But I couldn’t shut down. Couldn’t just lock myself away.
I’ve a toddler and a baby who need me (my older munchkins are at their dad’s today). One of whom has been crying most of the day due to allergies unsettling her.
An inquisitive toddler,who too needed her mama.

So no shutting down,no staying in bed. No breakdowns.
I’ve bottled the tears so much in the past,I’m not even sure the function is there any more!

So here I am writing it out,sticking this shit out once again.
Because quite frankly there is no at least…

The Sun will come out tomorrow.

Never Ending Story

Your friend,your family member has something so unimaginable happen to them. The happy moments,the most wonderful news…changes.
In an instant. So suddenly everything is different.
Your friend,your family member,their baby, their beautiful child dies.
It’s not the way it’s meant to happen. Not the right order.
But it does,it has happened.
What can you do?
What can you say?

Be there,be that Rainbow in the family’s storm.

Don’t be the person who friend requests on social media,to someone you barely know,to watch the devastation unfold and offer nothing in return.

It is not a holiday,and you are not a tourist – sightseeing.

Their baby’s death is not your loss, it can make it incredibly hard for the parents to grieve in front of you, if they see that you’re grieving harder than they are. A death of a baby is indescribable, the bereaved parents aren’t always strong enough to carry the grief of their friends and family too.

Never be afraid to say the baby’s name, honestly it hurts more if you just ignore that there ever was a baby who died.

Assume nothing.

Never be afraid to ask questions.

The effects of baby loss lasts forever,but sadly the initial support shown to parents, be it friendships or professional support doesn’t last that long.
Grief is boring. It’s dull and ugly.
Once the initial change has happened, people’s lives move on,the attention has gone.
Of course that is fine.
But it can leave the parents feeling lost,confused questioning everything.
Never leave them feel lonelier than they already do.
Cutting contact, turning your back without an explanation, hurts. As well as the grief they have for their baby,they now have a secondary loss too.

Listen,hear what the parents have to say, don’t change the subject, show obvious twitching; talking isn’t to grab attention. Speaking as anyone else would be about their child.
Baby loss isn’t contagious. Actually someone else’s loss could help save your baby.

Hard as it may be, don’t compare, no two losses are the same…even if they are…every person’s grief is different. It is as individual as the loss itself.
Nobody has a right to judge how you grieve.

Child loss to those parents last a lifetime, the grief is never ending.
But the help with friends, family, the ones who stay, who linger. Are the ones who are cherished and remembered.
You’ll truly never know how much being that person will mean to them.

Holding On For Dear Life

February 7th 2012 23+1

I began to feel slightly headache-y, which¬†wasn’t¬†disappearing with¬†paracetamol, accompanied with some¬†blurry¬†vision I just¬†didn’t¬†feel right. So to be on the safe side I booked myself into see the midwife, due¬†to my history of Pre-eclampsia¬†when I‚Äôd had my daughter, I was aware of the symptoms, I kind of knew it was too early but I just wanted to be safe and get checked out….
(Excerpt from Mayflower’s Rainbow)

On this Day four years ago, something wasn’t right. But having clear test results days later, I knew at that moment I could breathe a sigh of relief. A false alarm, it was far too early to have this.¬†
Counting down the days until her birthday. 
Keeping my self busy; too busy to think too much. 
Too busy to remember that, I really should be shopping for something for her birthday. 
I don’t even know what she would have liked.¬†
Of course I am told not to dwell on this, not to think about this too much. 
Why shouldn’t I?
I have an almost four year old, and I have no idea what her favourite obsession would have been? 
Crafts?
Princesses?
Would she have been a Tom Boy?
I am allowed to wonder. 
I have been busying myself to make a different future for us. 
Different support for other people too, by becoming a breastfeeding peer supporter. 
But my busy brought an unexpected pinch. 
Breastfeeding journey has been emotional, including the time I had to express for our dear little girl. 
That, I can speak about. It was something I had been able to do for her, very much under pressure to express but I did. Speaking out about our neonatal pumping journey felt amazing. 
I’d cracked it, I had cracked the speaking out without tears, without tilted heads, but to other women who generally wanted to hear AND to listen.¬†
It felt great knowing I could do this. 
Then a video came, about skin to skin and kangaroo care, a beautiful thing to watch. 
Then I get hit, as if I’d been punched in my stomach, a glimpse of the poorly, premature babies.¬†
The wave of new pain arrived again. 
We weren’t allowed to have skin to skin often, we had it, don’t get me wrong.¬†
Given the importance of kangaroo care, it was never enough. 
It hurt, so much. 
These precious babies being cuddled better. 
Mine…gone.¬†
I do sometimes wonder whether had we been phoned sooner, could I have cuddled her better?
A fairy tale dream perhaps. 
Always felt like she never belonged to us. 
What ever is out there, will never be enough. 

23 Days old, we get to have skin to skin. 
Tucked in to my bra, she was tiny, warm and happy.
Albeit wet from a teary shower. 
The power of skin to skin, is amazing. 
I wish we’d had more.¬†
I had a moment, left the room tears dried. 
Remained standing. 
Working on a project involving Melody, something I needed to do. 
Feeling incredibly honoured to be asked for an input, I knew I could do it, just words, reflection. 
Speaking about Melody. 
Felt wonderful getting it down again, bringing her memory to the forefront of my mind. 
Then…
The neonatal doors were closed; there was a privacy board around a cot. We walked in, attempted to walk to where our little girl had been the day before, when we realise that the cot behind the privacy board was indeed our daughter. She’d been moved to ITU over night.
A doctor came to us, and told us that she¬†wouldn’t¬†survive….¬†

Floored for a moment. Wondering why I did this to myself. 
But I’m not *really* doing this to myself, this is me, us. Our story.¬†
Could feel the tears coming, it isn’t torture, it hurts.¬†
But why wouldn’t it?¬†
Our baby died. 
I am trying to be busy, to be strong. 
To be brave. 
But I really am holding on for dear life…