Monthly Archives: April 2016

The Community

It is utter shit being in this community.
None of us chose to live within it or have any part of it.
If we had a choice it would never exist. The order of life would be as it is meant to be…burying the elderly. Not the children before us.
Being a bereaved mum I live and breathe it every single day,there’s no day off,no baby sitter for. No break.
Once the first year is done, or the days that surround birthdays and anniversaries are over,people get bored.
Once they’re finished getting the attention, they also then get bored of giving the attention.
Can’t be bothered.

The community, no matter the day,whether it’s a birthday a milestone, just a shit day, they are there,with their understanding ear. (Or eyes). Remember. No nudging,no asking or even a mention.
Together standing side by side. Giving something, anything to know that within that community your baby will never be forgotten.
They’ll never be just one of those things,or an attention tool.
To them. Your baby is as important to them as they are to you.
Because simply we’re in this together. As one. We look out for each other.

Today,while remembering her beautiful baby on their birthday a fellow mama took a moment to also remember mine.

Amongst the bluebells.
We really aren’t just a community.
We’re a family.

She didn’t get in.

Had things worked out like the majority of parents, I’d be waiting eagerly to find out if she’d gotten in to the only school we’d have put on the list.
She’d have been going to play school with her little sister today,excited that she’d be going to the school in a few months.

But she didn’t get in.
She didn’t get offered a place.
She didn’t get a letter.

The tiny,secret hope that actually she may get a letter just for an acknowledgement that she was here,she existed. To see her name in an official document, outside her death certificate.
But of course that won’t be so.

She never got the chance ” to grow too fast”.
These type of days are another of those missed milestones.
Having a birth 4 years ago, but not having a four year old to do the next stage with.
Missing milestones are an ass, a type to floor you for a moment in time, counting to the next,because you know the next will be harder than a pinch.
An unused school uniform.

I’m not writing to make people feel sad or guilty for their excitement. That’s not what I want.
I’m writing today Monday 18th April to give Melody an acknowledgement that she deserves.

Melody has not been offered a place at the school we would have chosen.
Melody stopped growing.
Just another day.

Ruins

I don’t dream about her much these days,well not dreams I remember.
The early days were awful, nightmares…I can’t even bring myself to speak about them,purely because unless you’ve encountered such a loss, it would be hard pressed to have some understanding, or even not being judged as a complete nutcase.

But last night. It hit me hard,it was the type of dream,that no matter how many times I woke the dream continued.
Waking up this morning tired,drained.

Today,I’ll share this one,simply because for me it is exactly how being a bereaved parent feels like at times.

Working in a red bricked building, a building I recognised but I couldn’t quite grasp what it was. I knew where I was but I felt lost. As I walked around with my husband,it soon became apparent I was at the hospital. Corridors,doors everywhere. They still didn’t look completely recognisable.
We could hear a baby crying,it wasn’t a loud cry, all the doors we tried were locked or had nothing behind them.
The cry remained at the same volume no matter which direction we stood,where we walked the crying followed.
We found an unlocked door it lead to a room full of incubators.
The door behind us slammed shut, we tried the door but it had locked too. Leaving us trapped in the room.
The incubators were empty.
The cot cards all said Melody, but there were nurses to each incubator,tending to an empty plastic box.
It was confusing. Nurses looked at us,pity eyes. Heads shaking. Yet no body moved from their spot. Another door at the other side of the room was slightly open.
Heads down we made a run for it.
The door led to the outside,open air.
But it wasn’t what we were expecting.
As we turned to look at the building, it was a crumbling ruin. Nothing seemed in one piece, rubble replaced the corridors we had not long left behind.
The door we’d used was the only thing that remained standing.
Incubators smashed on the floor, cot cards strewn from the wind.
There was no explosion, no earthquake.
This thing happened, nothing was the same as it was five minutes a go.

We tried to run,but the rubble was surrounded by metal fences,high with barbed wire circling the top.
The further we went the more fences appeared. It was never ending.
The building seemed a distance away,the crying baby remained.
No matter how we tried there was no escaping.
Stuck.
We fell to floor,heavy with defeat,the night sky drew in.
Our eyes closed, simply because there was nothing else for them to do.

When we woke,sky was grey,but bright. The rubble and fences were still there, but the ruin looked somewhat beautiful.
Daffodils stood in front of the door,they’d also replaced the broken incubators.
Everything was the same but different too.
Escaping was still not an option.
A new day.

I wake up. Confused.

No matter what we do,if I push her to the back of my mind,if I stop talking, sharing photos of her,nothing changes.
I’m still her mum,I’m still  a mum of 5.

I could try to escape many times over. But I can’t erase what’s happened. So this is one reason I’ll carry on.
As I can’t forget, I’ll embrace it instead.

Everything is different.

To day is the day, I have to remember the loss of our girl. A date which should never have even been in our radar, in our calendar.
April Fool’s Day.

I did everything I could to keep her safe. I stopped smoking when I got my positive. I refused runny eggs, didn’t eat a thing that could hurt her.
I rested when I was told to, when things were going wrong with my body, I did everything in my power to keep her safe.
She didn’t get to come home.
We never once caused her pain or let her suffer. All we ever did was love her.
Expressed milk so she could have the best start in life, became anxious when she had to have separate feeds.
She still didn’t get to come home.

Four years ago,at 930am. Not only did our baby die,we of course lost her future.
First steps, first day at school, finding out who she would have been. I still can’t fathom that I don’t know my own daughter’s eye colour.
I’m told not to focus on things like that. I’m not. It’s just one of the many things we don’t know about her.
We’re allowed to wonder.

We encountered secondary loss too. Family,friends,career everything changed.
It’s been the most challenging thing I’ve come through. When at times people call people like me brave,but truth be told I didn’t have a choice. Neither of us did. She may not have been here very long but she still mattered.
We’ve had to get our heads around her dying,then we had to focus on why people walked away, turned their backs…changed.

Like I said yesterday we weren’t the only ones who’ve changed.
Secondary losses for me has been incredibly hard to deal with, somewhat ashamed to admit being let down by the very people who are supposed to pick you up when you fall. We didn’t just fall…

Everything has changed.

The realisation that for some,for outsiders looking in grief is boring,and ugly. It isn’t meant to be anything else.

Since losing her we’ve had our hands held tight by the people who shine the brightest. Particularly Melody’s Nanny. Never ever failing to mention her.
Our circle of friends have become tighter.
We walked away from that hospital dazed,numb.
Not knowing what would happen from there.
It was scary.

If I were to go back to my early days self, I’d remind myself it is OK to breathe. It is definitely OK to cry. Whether it in public or at home. The only people who matter in your personal loss is you.
I regret wasting my early grief on people who quite clearly, didn’t have the patience for us.
My energy was wasted.
What ever you are feeling is normal…it is normal to you. Nobody can tell you how to behave,or to judge what you do.
None of this is normal.

We’re here.
Still standing.
Still breathing.

Yesterday,on the anniversary of her final good day,we took to the beach,remembered her as we always do when we’re close to the beach.

Today we visited her,gave her some flowers and a minion.
We had lunch. And smiled.

I love that little girl so much, she’s my 3rd baby and always will be. Nothing can ever take those 5 weeks away from us.

I wish she was here.
Forever our baby she’ll be.