Author Archives: Melody's Mummy

capture your grief

Essence. Capture Your Grief

Essence

Day Three of the Capture Your Grief project. A little bit more about who they are. My reason behind this project. The essence of her being.

 

Who Are They To You?

She was going to be our rainbow honeymoon baby. We’d lost two babies through early miscarriage before her; conceiving her on our wedding blessing night gave us the key to our new married life together. Adding her to the to children I already had. She is my third child, she will always be my third child – now the middle one. My older two were so excited about having a new baby in the house, we all were. Although I’d had the miscarriages, after taking home two children, I had assumed that she would too. We simply never imagined anything other than brining home a rainbow, as that’s what Rainbow babies do; right?

 

Do They Have A Name?

We didn’t know her gender until the week she was born; so, we often played about with names. Had she been a boy, she was going to either Xavier Or Gabriel Severus. Our original choice for female name was Autumn Amelia. Autumn, because we thought it as a gorgeous name, and Amelia after Amy Pond from Dr Who. Anyway, that year there was a singer on one of the singing shows, and her name was Amelia; we knew it would probably become popular.

I often had boxset marathons due to having Hyperemesis and not being able to go too far from a toilet, many names popped up. Then Christmas 2011 came that all important Dr Who episode, “Hello Sweetie…” Melody Pond was introduced to us. (River Song). We both instantly said how much we loved the name; her middle name comes from NCIS character Caitlyn (Cate).

I remember when she was born, and we were told that she was alive; then asked her name. I felt so proud telling them her name; not knowing whether we would see her again alive.

 

What Is The Meaning of Their Name?

Melody is a Greek name which means song. I am so pleased we went with a reasonably unique name.

Essence

 

xx

capture your grief

Purpose. Capture Your Grief 2018

Introduction

Day Two of the Capture Your Grief Project. Today is about sharing why I am doing the Capture Your Grief project. From the beginning – 2012 was the first Capture Your Grief project, I was also in the first months of being a bereaved Mum. I wasn’t sure what I was doing with it, but it soon became a good resource to speak openly about the loss of our daughter. I had many people read them, it seemed to help other people understand a little bit of what I was feeling at the time.

I used it as an excuse to openly talk about her, like I had permission to do so. I always say the previous year will be my last; last year I didn’t complete it.

Purpose

So, 6th year for me. As I didn’t complete last year’s I am determined to complete this year. But I also know not to beat myself up for not completing it.

My purpose for Capture Your Grief this year is to continue talking and sharing our daughter. I would like to raise as much awareness as I can through this project, for the support group I run and most importantly to talk more about the babies who live but then die.

A lot of the awareness for baby loss is focussed on the babies who don’t live past pregnancy, which is fantastic. But when you see messages, poems which include just these babies it makes babies like mine feel less important. So, my purpose is to keep talking, reconnect with parts of grief; with parts of love that I have forgotten.

Baby loss isn’t just one month, it is forever, whether you chose to talk and remember or not. I think people who have never experienced that often forgets that any type of grief can last a lifetime; but of course, with losing a child it is a lifetime we also lose.

See you tomorrow.

xx

https://www.facebook.com/CarlyMarieProjectHeal/

capture your grief

Sunrise. Capture Your Grief 2018

Introduction

Today marks the first day of Pregnancy and Infant Loss awareness month. It is a chance to speak openly and share experiences; to break the taboo that is baby loss.

This is a project put together by fellow bereaved Mother – Carly Marie, a way to share thoughts on baby loss, sharing our babies and raise as much awareness as possible. I have once again decided to give it a go; I didn’t complete last year’s – it was the first year I didn’t complete it. So, I will take one day at a time.

 

Carly Marie - Capture your grief 2018

First of The Month

The first of each month is always a reminder of the anniversary of loss, the first of the month when you’re excited for what’s to come as events move closer. In 2012 we had a discharge date of May 2012; it was our goal, what were all clinging on to – leaving the NICU behind us. Early April 1st of the same year I remember getting a couple of excited text messages stating she’d be “home next month”; we were all so excited, only a month to go.

Little did we know that after these messages were exchanged and that when we reached the hospital that morning, everything would be different. That May would come and go, a discharge date would just be a day in the month that only we would remember.

April 1st, she died. October will always be the half way point, six months since – six months until. I remember hitting six months, it seemed like such a significant time which had passed; yet felt like no time had passed at all. Wondering how we were going to get through each day, let alone another six months with Christmas and her birthday during the following six months.

 

 

Sunrise

I remember waking up from the first longest night after she died. My eyes were closed, but I hadn’t slept. Everything about my body felt heavy, weighed down desperately hoping to know that I had been asleep, and it was all a terrible nightmare. It was strange knowing there was a sunrise, yet our daughter had only just died the day before; it didn’t seem right, none of it did.

That year we had a heatwave during the whole time she was alive. When she was born Spring had arrived with her, she had brought glorious sunshine; there is stayed until her funeral. I got sunburnt in March and was wearing vest tops and flip-flops. Beautiful weather, it made our trips to the NICU bearable, dreaming together of what our sunny days would be like once she left, how she’d love playing with her brother and sister.

Just a couple of weeks prior to her death, she was able to feel the sun on her face through the window, she wasn’t keen, but we knew one day she would love it. That was the only way she ever felt the sun on her face, no and between her toes; or an ice cream by the sea.

 

sunrise

She never witnessed a sunrise.

guest post

Guest Post Submissions

Once again I am opening up a corner here for October Guest  Post Submissions. I am running a series of posts throughout October – Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month.

Last year I opened it just for Neo and post-neonatal deaths.

This year I would like to open it up to anyone who has lost an infant; included during and shortly after birth. You may not want to specifically share your baby, your story but maybe raising awareness of how you come to lose your little one. I, for one never knew babies could die of sepsis even before leaving the hospital; I had always thought it was an infection you pick up going about your daily business.

Maybe you have a letter to your little one or something you want to say to the world.

I would like to run a mini-series to run alongside to include grandparents, aunts, uncles and siblings of children lost. Looking at a different perspective of losing such a young relative; or watching your family member go through such pain and maybe feeling helpless.

 

Special Information

  • Submissions are open from 14th August 2018 – 14th September 2018.
  • Posts should be a minimum of 300 words
  • You can add a photo if you wish
  • All gestations welcome
  • All ages welcome
  • I will link back to any blog if requested.
  • I will share on my social media outlets
  • If you wish to stay anonymous then please let me know.
  • I will schedule the posts from October 1st

Mums, Dads, Grandparents, Siblings, Aunts/Uncles who have lost a child, grandchild, brother/sister, niece/nephew.

Having an understanding of such a complex type of grief can be so difficult, leading to feelings of loneliness.

For one month, I am aiming to bring not only awareness of baby loss in general, but to bring people together in their grief. It is incredibly hard to understand something when you’ve not been through it.

 

If you would like to add something then please email me

melodyandme35@gmail.com

We’re in this together.

little daffodils pregnancy and infant loss support service

Little Daffodils – In Memory

Little Daffodils
When we first lost our daughter, there was virtually nothing to support us. Cruse came out and were brilliant – but only for me.
Other places, we found had set policies and how people are supported. Which meant that her age put a barrier, too old, too young or didn’t die the “right way”.
It made us all the more isolated, which is the opposite of how we should have been treated.

Setting up little daffodils was my way of trying to bring awareness that all losses needed to be supported in the way they deserve.

Now it is the last thing I have to do with Melody. The last thing I can do to change things in her memory. I’ve thought many times of giving up, doing this sort of thing alone is bloody hard work

The thing I find incredibly difficult is that I have to fight to get melody recognised, she’s official in the eyes of the law; birth and death certificates, but when it comes to baby loss awareness Post-Neonatal gets lost. It feels like a fight to get little-daffodils out there. It wasn’t meant to be this hard. That said, I can’t just give up little-daffodils, it is literally the only thing I have left to remind me that she existed. It is the only thing that I HAVE to do.

The blog I can take a break from whenever I want to, but the group is something I need to keep going to. It is incredibly painful when her type of death doesn’t get mentioned, over and over I have to wonder about her being as important as all the other babies who die. She mattered too. It’s the last thing I can do for her.

I started this in 2015 to make sure she and other babies are recognised and their families get the support we never did. I can’t turn my back on that, I can’t let her fade away if I stop little daffodils I think that is what will happen. Because I fear I may just forget. That is not what I want. In her memory, I wanted to raise awareness, and change the way families are treated. Nobody should ever be left in the dark…

ALL BABIES MATTER.

Sibling memory boxes

Sibling Memory Boxes – Little Daffodils.

I recently shared with you a birthday package which Little Daffodils are now offering, now I share with you another package we will be offering.

Her Siblings

When we left the hospital our 4-year-old at the time received a key ring to remember his sister and her sister a tiny bracelet.  As lovely as they are, it’s a little ‘old’ for such a small child. As the years have passed Melody’s older siblings have each (of their own accord) put a memory box together for themselves, with little bits of their sister and things that remind them of her. This inspired me to give something to these siblings who lose a brother or sister.

Sibling Memory Box

So we’ve put a special sibling box together, which will be available to all siblings who lose a brother or sister.
They will contain,

  • A colouring book and crayons to help de-stress.
  • A dream catcher to help filter their dreams.
  • A natural bubble bath to aid a peaceful sleep in the early days of confusion.
  • A cuddly toy (designs of these will vary).
  • A butterfly.
  • Waterbugs and Dragonflies book. This is a lovely story, which explains death in a more gentle way.
  • Finally a scrapbook (not pictured), this can be used to collect memories and thoughts. Even as adults it’s hard to get our feelings out in the open, to question why babies and children die, so having a space for a sibling to collect their thoughts about the world after losing their much-wanted brother and sister.

The box can be decorated to how they would like, and keep any special items which they collect in there.

Supporting the children too

Children are often forgotten when supporting family members, they are labelled as being resilient, yes this may be true, but they too need to be supported. After all, they had their hopes and hearts broken too.

For more information on receiving one, please contact the Facebook page or via email.

There is no charge for these.

We currently supply

  • Musgrove Park Hospital Rowan Room
  • Musgrove Park Hospital SNICU
  • We will be supplying a batch soon to a hospital in Indiana.

little daffodils pregnancy and infant loss support service

baby loss, grief

International Friendship Day – Community

Today is international friendship day, friends are an important part of human relationships. When something so devastating happens like the death of a baby, you fully expect to have the support of your friends around you. To lift you up when all you see is a heavy darkness. But what happens when that expectation isn’t met, and all you hoped for in a friend turns out to be quite the opposite.

Dark Days

There were many, many messages of sympathy from friends, from family and acquaintances. But when the real support of friends was needed, these turned into empty offers. As we walked down the street, we watched as people who had just offered “support” cross the street. It was obvious, as there have been times where they’d cross back after passing. What had we ever done, to not only lose our child but have people avoid us as if we were contagious. It all felt incredibly unfair.

 

Online

Many, many years ago it was believed that anyone you met on the internet would be weirdos, murderers or just generally hideous people. That attitude for me lessened when I met my husband through online. When pregnant with Melody I was poorly with Hyperemesis and suffered from Ante-natal depression; both making it difficult for me to leave the house. It isolated me completely, it certainly wasn’t an ideal situation. I found solace on a birth board – May 12, and then eventually Facebook splinter groups; they became my home, my safe place to post and be. We would all speak most days, and always check in after appointments, share the good, the bad and the ugly. It was lovely. Other Mums before me lost babies too, everyone came together; it was what we did. Lit candles, and held each other up.

When Melody was born early, there were a couple of us with premature babies, we would each share our fears, and share how well our babies were doing, it was a real community. I do miss it.

Then just like that, she was gone.

 

Different Corner

Their love and support continued, and I will always, always be so grateful to the Mayflowers (I named my book after them) and Baby Talk. They will never understand how much their friendship and support meant to me, in the weeks after she died; I really will never forget that. They were kind enough to club together and got us a memory box. One lady is my children’s God Mum, having lost her own baby, she became my rock.

As posting on the birth boards became more and more harder, I stepped back and found the corner of Babycentre nobody ever wanted to see; dark and ugly – yet with so many joining each day there was never a chance to build cobwebs. And that’s the painful thing, that baby loss is not rare.

I found support on PAIL, and have ‘met’ some incredible people, who have helped me, and in return, I hope I have helped them too, by helping them it inspired me to set up Little Daffodils.

Through PAIL I met another close friend – my internet weirdo..

 

International Friendship Day

I want to celebrate and thank all the people mentioned above for carrying some light, for helping to make the early days more bearable. Because without you all, I don’t know where I would be, I may never have met some of you, but please know you mean the world to me, and you are all Melody’s aunties – her family. Thank you for never letting her down.

Albus Dumbledore Quote

 

 

Little Daffodils Birthday Packages

Little Daffodils – Birthday Packages

Birthdays are happy occasions; days to treat the ones you love to a special day. A celebration of love and a new age, watching their faces on their very first birthday as they watch the balloons float around the room. Piles of presents, with beautiful wrapping paper which will be torn in seconds.

The first birthdays of adulthood, 18th birthdays, 21st even as you get to the later birthdays they are a celebration worth having – especially when you have children.

Un-Birthday

Then there are the babies and children who never get to grow up, some never take a breath while others stopped growing when their hearts stopped. Some may have reached a birthday or two, while others just miss them. Even after their hearts stop, they still have birthdays most have registered dates. They are still very much remembered on these dates; by family and friends birthdays are significant for almost everyone.

With this in mind, the babies and children won’t get to receive birthday presents, some are silently remembered. Little Daffodils I set up isn’t just a face to face support group, it now offers a special package to all families who have lost a baby and child with a special birthday.

These children deserve to have acknowledgement.

The package is only small but is a little gesture to let families know they aren’t alone.

There is a little card, a tea light for missing candles on a cake; a little butterfly and a crystal rainbow maker, to give some colour on the darker days. All inside a little box.

You can add your birthday details to the little daffodils email address.

 

We will also roll these out to parents who have lost much older and adult children too. It is just a small gesture to know that you are being thought of, around such a difficult time.

Little Daffodils Birthday Packages

Little Daffodils

tommys together for change

Remembering Your Baby

Remembering her is easy; her life isn’t something we as her family will ever forget. She may have only been with us five weeks; but she has made a huge impact in our lives. For me personally, she has changed the way we think, the way we behave. We can’t just forget.

 

How Do You Remember Your Baby?

Saying and writing her name; talking about her and our experience. I could never have imagined not speaking about her…Believe me, I have tried. For me, it doesn’t feel natural to not talk about her, I speak about my children all the time; she is one of them.

Do You Feel You Can Share Your Grief?

 

When it felt like the whole world was turning their backs writing became my haven, starting the blog – although this one is only a year old, I have written since July 2012. It helped me so much to be able to get out my feelings especially when I found it hard to talk face to face. Because I found writing I found it easier to share my grief, to make people aware of how I was feeling. But it became my therapy too; it was a way for me to get things out in the open rather than bottle things up and hide away.

 

What Are Common Triggers For These Emotions?

Aside from the usual, like places of death, or even places of life too can be triggers. Saying her name, bringing her up is NOT a trigger, she is my daughter. After six years I am okay just dropping her into conversation without a tear being shed. But just occasionally I may be hit by the overwhelming sadness of how unfair this whole situation is. This overwhelming feeling, when it hits, it hits you hard, there isn’t really a lot that can take that sadness away; it doesn’t last very long.

Some people believe that these short outbursts of emotion are our babies wanting a little attention for a moment, which is an incredibly nice way to think of it like that. I believe that simply, it is so unimaginable, that the death of babies and children is so wrong; you just can’t get your heads around any of it.

Yet there is absolutely nothing you can do to stop those thoughts, or worse to change the outcome.

 

I’ll always remember and speak of her. That is my job as her Mum, to be her eyes, her ears and above all her voice.

 

Tommy’s Together For Change Campaign

Relationship Changes

Opening Questions

baby loss, grief

End of the school year

The further away from the initial death you go, the less milestones you think you will come across. But truth be told, I think there will always be something which will connect your baby and the things they should have been doing. September 2016 should have been the year she started school, out of all the milestones to reach; I had assumed that would have been the last one – at least until secondary school starts. But there will always be something.

Sports Day

These next few weeks up and down the country (UK), parents are heading out to watch sports days, or eagerly waiting for the day to finish learning how the day went. The children from Reception classes excitedly taking to the field; looking out for their Mummies and Daddies, in the hope to catch a wave.  Fresh yellow P.E kits, tiny bean bags and hoops are spread around the area, ready for the games to begin, lines painted perfectly ready for the young runners to begin their races.
Children’s names being called around the field, cheers echoing across as their child nears the finishing line, louder squeals for the ones who come first, encouraging voices for the ones who come last.
It dawns on me, that some of these children are at the age of which Melody should have been, the friends she could have made, the Sports Day she was meant to be at.
Another ‘first’ that she has not done; another event from which she is missing.
Another day where life just goes on, a day for quiet reflection, thoughts to how she would have been during the day.
Would she have been sporty? Which part would she have enjoyed? She was feisty during her time she was with us; would that have led her to be a determined winner in the field?
Would she have struggled with the courses?
Would she have been embarrassed by her parents calling her name?
Or would she have loved the attention?

Another missed photo opportunity, as she would have returned to her class room all wet from sweat, hair falling out of her hair band, happy to have finished or happy to have competed.

I never thought it would be such a big deal.

 

School Report

As the school year draws to a close, parents evenings are to be had, school plays performed, end of term parties, new teachers to be met, school work brought home, reports to read.

I have kept all of their reports and as many of their pictures as I have space for, there have been a lot over the years. No use to anyone but sentimental, in the hope that one day when they get to adulthood, they can giggle over the work they produced during their childhood, you know the pictures of their parents with huge heads and stick men bodies.

This has been another thing that has dawned on me. A missing school report; a document to prove that she would have been at school this year, a story of who she would have been at school. Information about what subjects she may have been good at, or ones that maybe she’d not really enjoyed. To know how much the prematurity would have affected her. As with all very premature babies there’s a risk of slow development, at least slower than their peers, but she never did follow any text book.

All the reports and meetings with professionals; a bit like parents evenings I guess but in the NICU were all great; she was doing above and beyond expectations. I’ll always wonder, or at least this time of year, whether her school reports would have followed suit.

“Melody is a lovely addition to the class; a little headstrong.”

As I wrote about my living children in their fantastic reports and end of term plans, I realise the only new photos of her I can share are of a headstone with new flowers; with the words.

Nothing to report.

Lost celebratory words.
No acknowledgement of a girl who should have been here.
Of a girl who should have almost completed her year in Primary School.

 

Absent – Unauthorised.