Category Archives: Baby Loss Awareness Week

Melody and me logo, which is a heart with an adult and child hand,

Baby Loss – Jordanna’s Story

Our Story

Our story began on October 25th 2016..we had been trying for a baby for 6 months when we found out I was pregnant.. I had all the symptoms up until about 5 weeks when everything eased off and I felt good, I just put it down to every pregnancy being different that I’d lost all my pregnancy symptoms but it turned out that was when our baby stopped growing… it was another 4 weeks before we found out…

The Long Few Weeks

Those weeks were plagued with no sleep I couldn’t settle or relax in my head I knew something wasn’t right. On November the 17th the bleeding started a small amount getting heavier.. I rang 111 in a panic then they referred me to the doctors who gave me a appointment for the early pregnancy unit at Musgrove the next days. The next 24 hours were torture..

Knowing that the outcome wasn’t going to be good but hanging onto to that tiny bit of hope. We arrived at the hospital sat in a waiting room with expectant mum’s all glowing and excited. I knew we had lost the baby. I was took into a room and scanned I was told my baby had stopped growing weeks ago and that it wasn’t growing where it should be. I was asked if I wanted to see I declined if I didn’t look it wouldn’t be real.

Baby Loss

The sonographer handed me a leaflet on miscarriage but I declined as our baby was still there it hadn’t happened yet they might have got it wrong.. we had to return in a week to check that it happened naturally. I broke down leaving the hospital after that I went into shut down it was only months later it hit me like a ton of bricks,crying day in day out; blocking pregnant people and baby’s from my Facebook news feed,crying at other people’s pregnancy announcements; angry that everyone had moved on but you haven’t.

Why is no-one else mourning but I am..a year on I’m still feeling that way but the tears are less and some days are better than others..now we are crossing our fingers for a rainbow baby..it’s the hope of one in the future that keeps us going.

 

Thank you Jordanna, for sharing your story.

#captureyourgrief My Promise To You

I was going to go, all inspirational, how I want to change the state of the taboo, promise to help others.
But I hope I do help others, so many wonderful things in her memory.

But actually, here’s something a little different.
I have always loved Christmas. The magic, the run up, the smells, the lights…everything.
The year before she was born, we were making plans of how much our lives would change with a new baby, had she’d been born in the May like she was meant to, we’d have had a 7 month old.
The usual questions; How would she have reacted? Would she have pulled down the tree? Would she have enjoyed Brussel Sprouts? We were all so terribly excited.

Only the following year I was pregnant again, desperately hoping we could have that “First Christmas” the following year, I was sick, I was angry, sad, hormonal I wanted it all to be over. Our cards which were signed from bump, were now carefully chosen, on who we’d include our special “M” cloud.
How was I ever supposed to love Christmas again? In the beginning I hated it, when I desperately wanted to love it, if not for me, but my children..that’s who they are, children.
Christmas had, and needed to be magical, the idea they had their hearts broken, a little bit of innocence stolen from them I couldn’t take that magic away from them.

So as we’ve gone through the years, I have tried my best to make it the most magical time for them.
We’ve had Christmas Characters come to stay (much like Elf on the shelf, but Elves aren’t the only ones part of the Christmas story). First one I turned into a book. (Ralph’s Christmas Adventure).
We do Bookmas,24 books for advent to open daily, brought by our Christmas Helper.

We give them magic for the whole of December (to the best of our abilities and finances).
Of course we want to give them magic the whole year round.
But for most people, Christmas during their childhood is the most remembered. I want them to remember, love,fun, laughter…magic.

It is unbelievably difficult knowing we do have her missing, we include her in our celebrations..candles, she has decorations for the tree and a Christmas Village, illuminated houses we add to each year since she died.

She was alive Christmas 2011, she may have been in utero but she was alive, a heartbeat, hands, feet. We picked her name at Christmas too, thanks to Dr Who Christmas episodes.

My Promise would be to give them the magical childhood they deserve.
If it means going crazy at Christmas, spoiling them for birthdays, days out when we can. Then that is what it takes.
I hate I couldn’t protect them from losing her, but I’ll spend the rest of my life making it up to them.

Believing in the magic.

#captureyourgrief #WHATHEALSYOU

Sharing her story, it is only a short one, but it is her story. I know I repeat it over and over, and talk way too much. But it is all I have of her.
Helping other people, parents who have just started the journey, parents who have been on this journey longer.
At least I hope I help. I had moments where I felt lost and lonely. I want to achieve the opposite, it is hell enough without having nowhere to turn to.
I wish for nobody to feel the pain of saying goodbye to their child.

But not just in the baby loss community, but giving my time, it keeps me busy, my mind and body busy.
If I can I will help anyone.

Of course writing is my big comforter. Not just writing about Melody, but I occasionally blog about family life, but also I am having a go at a bit of fiction. I procrastinate a fair bit, I’m frightened of failure, of being a laughing stock,  but I do adore writing, not a lot makes any sense, but it is a huge release, it helps me.

#captureyourgrief Relationships

The difference between the relationships before she died to now are huge. Some have broken beyond repair. But the fractures began to appear whilst she was alive. These could have gone two ways, closer, stronger bond. Or as I say broken beyond repair.

I know,that talking of baby loss, being around the families are terribly difficult. But there are people you genuinely expect better of. Because they don’t realise what they’ve done,it isn’t osomething that can be easily fixed.
I wish I could elaborate further. Cryptic words,isn’t something I do,that’s why I’m here,but this subject I can’t get my head around.
It has made my grief heavier and rather than concentrate on healing the death of our daughter, I was more concerned about justifying how I felt, how different behaviours were.
I find that is pushes me back in my grief. It shouldn’t.

I still have some of the same friendships, but dynamics have definitely changed over time.
Friends turned into acquaintances. And acquaintances turned into friends.
I met my husband online, never did I ever think that some of my new closest friends are part of an online community. Two of who are god mums to Melody’s little sisters.
The friends who I’ve made along the way who have stayed are liquid gold.
Allowed me to be open,yet still not walk away. Not allowing their own fears to take over and avoid me,which has happened.

When people suddenly stop talking, without explanation it is damaging,of course have lasting effects.

This is why I’m so lucky to have the people who are around. Who make me laugh and cry.

(Not included all photos as I’ve not many on my tablet)
Xx

#captureyourgrief Healing Therapies

Talking,writing and friendships have been the best form  therapy for me.
I talk far too much,I know I piss people off,I used to care but for most people who are annoyed by my speaking out have no idea, nnd have no right to judge on how I put myself back together.

When I couldn’t talk face to face writing became my number one form of therapy. It was a release, a way of letting go of things that were bothering me. To tell the world what was hurting me,without the need to see the pity,the head tilts.
To keep her memory alive.

Friendships, including my husband and of course my children.
Brought smiles,laughter. They helped pulled me through,we helped each other to pull us all through.

Here is Melody’s story begun in NICU rounded off with our journey of her little sister’s pregnancy, and first birthday.

#captureyourgrief Sacred Space

Sacred Space
Melody is buried. In the beginning we visited all the time,took flowers,spent time with her. I was on the constant clock watch,where I needed to visit. But rather than the time heals everything, we ended up visiting less and less,became harder and harder to walk away,to leave her in the cold and alone. As much as the children enjoy seeing her,we also had to think of them. Their thoughts and feelings. Most of the time when we do visit her outside of special occasions, it is down to them wanting to. It’s not something I can or would want to stop them from doing.

So,her grave is one of her special places. Unfortunately we’re currently deciding whether or not to continue to decorate her the way we have been,due to vandalism of some kind. I find it so hard, thinking we can’t decorate her as we wish, leave her toys lights to keep her company.
But it breaks me knowing she gets interference from anyone but her parents.
It adds to my feelings of not being able to protect and keep her safe,through life and now through death.
We are slowly sorting her space in our back garden,but finances,time and weather are making it slow, but I know it’ll be worth it.

She has a shelf in our living room,with a few bits on. But we’re again in talks of whether or not to put in our bedroom, her memory box is currently in the bottom of our wardrobe, so a shelf in our room rather than the living room,could become a sacred space.

#captureyourgrief Moon Retreat

Peaceful moment, to take in the world. The quiet in the evening air, the smell of chimneys breathing out their smoke. As our moon awakens, the Sun swaps shifts, gives someone a new day, maybe hope.
As our Moon brightens the night sky, it’s not alone, it doesn’t just watch over us in silence; it listens to the cries of families who’ve had to say goodbye to their child, to hear the fears and calls in to the night sky of help, pleas of “Why Me?” “Why her?” “Please, don’t let my baby die.”

The Moon doesn’t doesn’t have a voice, never fails to listen.
The one thing that never lets us down, never judges us.

Most importantly comfort when my children needed gentle answers.
Who Cleans the Moon, Polishes the Stars and paints the Rainbows?
Their Cloud Baby Melody.

Always Missed.

#captureyourgrief Wave of Light

Many hours late writing about my Wave of Light 2016 experience.
As many of you know,I was shortlisted for a Butterfly Award. The ceremony took place yesterday (15/10/16). As part of the evening’s programme, there was a Wave of Light included. With a slide show of all our baby’s names together.
It was truly stunning.

So many,incredibly inspirational people in the room. 
It felt an honour to be there. 
I didn’t take an award home,but what I did take away is the need to raise awareness for baby loss in particular neonatal and post-neonatal in and around my area.
Neonatal (and post neonatal) awareness(I’m not alone in my thoughts), seems to be the lesser known,this makes families feel less important, less connected to the rest of the community.
They mattered too.
So many winners from UK areas, which make it very obvious where the support is lacking.
Don’t get me wrong, there are/were some amazing charities, organisations who offer the support. 
It shouldn’t be a postcode, or a draw to where the best face to face services are.
Care should not be different from one town to another. 
So rather than give up,I’m going to work harder, to ensure the babies who lived,even for a matter of days, aren’t the bottom of the list. 
Their lives,their memories matter. .
Yes I may have had 100 pictures of her,cuddled her a handful of times, she still died. 
She may have breathed for 5 weeks but she still died. 
I want to make a difference.

(Taken by committee members of my children’s majorette troupe, love it). 

#captureyourgrief Beliefs and Spirituality

Short entry today.
I’ve mentioned a few times, I’ve almost no belief to where Melody is. My brain cannot think the way in which I’d hoped it would.
My heart would love to believe she’s flying solo.
But my head knows where she is. That is where she stays..
It isn’t something I want to imagine or feel. I wish I had the spirituality others have,I’d much rather that that trapped in my own thoughts.

I hope one day it’ll click,I’ll be free to believe, that she’s in a better place, at peace with the world. Of course there is no place better than being with us,her family. But to believe there is something greater than the cemetery I see her at.

Today,I’ll add a photo of the place I feel at peace with. It may well be a spiritual thing,I’ve no idea. But the beaches in North Devon for some reason give me peace.
I love being there.

I’m hoping it’ll bring Melody’s spirit to me one day.
For now I’m OK with the way I feel,and no longer beat myself up over not relying on fluffy clouds to get me through.

#captureyourgrief Dear World

“What is on your heart that you want the world to know about your kind of grief? 
This is your day to choose your own topic. Some topic ideas are pregnancy or infertility after loss. Anxiety or PTSD. Forgiveness. Trust. What is it that you want to talk about?”

There is so much I’d like to say,please bear with me as I ramble.
I’ll try not to rant…
Melody died, she may have never came home,she may have only lived for 5 weeks. But her death changed me.
I still get surprised when people expected me not to change.
Even before she passed away,having a premature baby in hospital was a step towards that change.
Our lives revolved around our children, hospital visits, exprrssing breast milk took time,trying to keep a normal happy home for my two older children was also top priority.
Yet we were made to feel bad for having no time for anyone else aside from our little unit.

It didn’t get any better once she died, family members, telling us to get over her,days after she died, but before we’d even buried her.  Leaving our already battered souls to drown.
I’m not ready to share further,I don’t think I ever will be.
Forgiveness for this something I simply cannot find peace with.

Friends come and go, circle of life as it were,at times leaving me finding it hard to gain trust.
I open up, I share Melody because she’s my baby girl, but then after a while it gets boring.
I get bored, over and over again teaching the world about our daughter. But what choice do I have? I can’t forget her,I’ve tried stopping, hell I said I wouldn’t do this project this year,yet here I am,because if I don’t set aside this time for her,I’ll feel guilty,for not having this time for her.

I do apologize to new friends in that,I’m desperate to make new friends, but I also need you to know Melody,for me to trust that six months down the line you won’t walk away.
I am a good person,I make poor decisions, I am most likely off putting. But I’m human,I’m a bereaved mum.

I’ve come this far a better person,I think.
I’m different.
But I’m still me.

Parenting,life in general has changed. I have anxieties that are through the roof.
I struggle at times with the idea of a rainbow baby. It is beautiful thought, I assumed the rainbow would mean the end. But it’s not. Rainbows come after a storm. AFTER. But this “storm” will never go,actually until recently I thought I was alone in these thoughts, but surprisingly I’m not. I use the term rainbow simply because of ease,a way of saying we’ve had babies after loosing.
 I’m terrified I’ll have to bury another child,there is nothing bright and colourful about that.
Scared I’ll have to say goodbye to my husband.
My own mortality brings it’s own host of anxieties.
It’s not about needing help. I can’t erase the things that put these fears into my brain.
Our daughter died in our arms.
I’m extremely lucky to have a husband who has been incredibly understanding, little things like letting me know he gets to destinations safely. Doing all the driving, because some of it scares me.
I’m getting better at it,the way it effects me, I don’t reveal this side of me, because of the trust I lack. I can’t cope with more people leaving.
It’s exhausting.
But I have learned to laugh and smile again.
I am okay.
But please understand, I will still speak about her, just don’t walk away.
I’m trusting you.

I write these a few at a time. I’m struggling to focus on the project. Not in a negative way, as such. 
But I’m stubborn. 
So this is an add on. 
Childhood illness or injury are no longer “normal”. 
They’re full of what ifs. 
Fears for not only us as parents but her siblings. 
Nothing is normal any more. 
One of our girls fell,bumped her face,with instant swelling. 
There was calm,but fear,tears. 
The only one who kept a level head was my husband. 
My eldest cried,seeing her sister in pain. 
My boy asking if it’ll kill her. 
It breaks my heart that they know any of this shit. 
To have these questions. 
None of this we deserved.
To have my own fear of needing to go to ” that place “. 
I needed to add this in,for you to understand, that our family unit is so strong,we understand each other,even if it’s the worst possible times. 
Tomorrow is a new day. 
Next time gossip is spilled by people who never once asked. 
Please remember, we’ve come back worse than anything you can throw at us..