Category Archives: Melody

Inside Out.

I originally shared this post here a year ago. Working on this year’s Guest Post, I wondered what I had written for this annual project. I don’t think this feeling will ever differ…

Right Where I am 2016 

Inside Out. It’s a Disney film, about emotions from the emotions themselves.

Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust.
All important roles in how our moods take us. Most importantly how we cope with things that change our lives, and almost break us.
Having seen the film, several times over now, I can understand the feeling of losing one’s marbles.

My personality islands collapsed, the day she died. No warning, I couldn’t stop them. Lost, forever.

For me, 4 years into this journey, I can associate myself with all 5 of the emotions. Some less than others.

Disgust, I guess how some parents take their precious children for granted. I feel disgusted in myself sometimes. When I have days, where I’m not quite coping. I shout, I snap. I somewhat alienate myself.

Fear. It goes without saying, the fear of not only losing my other children, but my husband, my friends. Fear paralyses me at times. I have to control it. It can take over, but it isn’t allowed.

Anger. I don’t get that raw anger very often any more. Because we should have had a different outcome, the anger was eating me, tearing me apart bit by bit, as if the bigger picture of our daughter dying wasn’t enough, but the anger, drilling through my very being. Don’t get me wrong, I get angry, really bloody angry at the whole having a dead child, I’m allowed, but it’s far more contained. I’m lucky to have a husband who will let me release it, by talking, crying. It’s not often any more.

Joy and Sadness.
Together? In the head of a bereaved mum.
As above I said my personality islands collapsed, fell silently away, as she died in our arms. There were no controls, no brakes. It happened.
I’ve had to start again.
New hobbies, new train of thought, new friendship circles, and how I spent my time with those friends, family. The shape of our family changed.
I never expected joy to be part of my emotions again, ever.
But I refuse to have Melody be the little blue person.

This time of year, I find just as hard as the part of the year my brain associates her with.
September to May. There is always something attached to her, from a positive pregnancy test, to her birth, her anniversary, discharge date and due date. I no longer make a big deal over the smaller dates, I always will for her birthday and anniversary. But they’re all still related in some way.
So, when June arrives, it’s like a strange come down. Every thing I do gets touched by sadness, core memory after core memory affected by sadness.
It shouldn’t be. I’ve, we’ve been punished enough.
I do believe joy and sadness can coexist. There’s a balance.
But people have to remember everyone grieves differently.
If I want to ball my eyes out 4 years after my daughter dying. I will. I don’t need therapy or medicine.
But laughing doesn’t mean I’m over her either.
I’ve found a good balance, albeit right or wrong. It is right for me.

Right now. I’m missing Melody. That will never change.

She is my bundle of joy, cuddled in a blanket of sadness.

April Fools Day. Why We Still Grieve the Life We Lost.

Everything about the life we led was normal. My second marriage, had led us to our honeymoon baby, our first together, even our rainbow baby after our two miscarriages. It wasn’t an easy pregnancy, but this was nothing new, I didn’t “do” easy pregnancies, but my babies came home.
I passed the “magical” gestations, the 12 weeks, the 20 week scan. Once we hit 24 weeks I discovered this thing in which many pregnant women celebrate, a milestone to the name of Viability Day or “V” Day. I’d hit this, and passed it, once I had passed this, we were on the home straight..right?
It’ll never happen to me.
But it did.
Everything will be fine
When she was born she fought to the best she could, the best her little body could cope with. She defied what the doctors had warned us about.
Feisty, strong willed tiniest of beings, with a huge personality, who wanted to be in the 80% survival rate. She never spoke, we didn’t spend much time with her, but I knew she wanted to come home with us. She loved a cuddle, she loved her family’s voices, her brother and sister were her people.
She wanted to join us.
As I documented her progress, announced her discharge date, jumped for joy as she hit 2lb, celebrated as my milk had arrived to feed her.
Everyone, on a daily basis would tell us, she’d be fine, she’d be home in no time.
That their baby, or their friend’s neighbours’ baby was born with less odds, they were fine.
She was a girl, she had the better odds.
Everything went in her favour.
But the odds failed her.
She died.
I relaxed.
I had allowed myself to breathe a little.
To love this tiny little miracle, who had greeted us well before her due date.
Listened to people tell me they wouldn’t buy her gifts because they’d jinx her.
We watched as people turned their heads away in disgust at her early birth photos.
The bond hadn’t come in the theatre surrounded by a sea of blue people,it hadn’t really come whilst she was inside my womb.
There was always something different about the bond I had with her, whilst I was pregnant with her.
But as the reality had begun to sink in, that our micro premature baby would come home, it was then I allowed myself to love her.
To truly know she was mine.
This tiny little person, a whole 9 inches of her was – is ours.
I fell in love with her.
Through this clear plastic box, blanketed with wires, rather than Brahms Lullaby, there was a tune of beeps, and alarms that made Melody, her.
Made her real.
I allowed myself to get excited, for the future, a fresh start.
The longing to leave the NICU behind us.
This wasn’t how we wanted to leave the NICU.  
Dying wasn’t part of the plan.
Sepsis Stole Our Baby.
April 1st 2012
We walked into NICU, parents of a five week old premature baby, a feisty, full of character little (tiny) girl.
Left heartbroken, lost and confused.
We were (are) still her parents, only we left the hospital as bereaved parents.
It wasn’t supposed to be like that.
I slammed my breast pump and hard pumped milk into the bin, defeated with no idea what the hell to do next.
I cannot even begin to describe the true feelings that appeared that day.
When people use the cliché, “there are no words”.
There isn’t.
I’ve spoken about our loss so much, how I could describe it. But I can’t.
Not the cold harsh truth, because I can’t even make sense of it, of any of it.
I cannot put into words.
I think if I tried, it would only belittle it.
The extreme pain, the intense loss.
Everything should have been different.
It really should have been.
Sepsis, snatched her.
She had a chance, but it took her.
We lost her.
Aren’t you over that now? 
Why I Still Grieve The Loss of Our Daughter.
It has been long enough.
Why do you keep torturing yourself?
Why do you keep boring us?
Stop being so morbid?
You didn’t know her very long, 
hell you didn’t get to know her at all, it wasn’t as if she came home.
She’s our daughter.
I lost the opportunity to co-sleep.
To breast feed without a tube (she actually did try to latch on, but was too little).
No chance of tasting food.
She never got the chance to leave the hospital. 
Well of course she did, just not the way we wanted.
She did have the sun on her face a couple of times, but she never felt the breeze fluff her hair or brush her cheek.
We never got to hear her voice, or an attempt at a laugh.
I cannot remember if I told her I loved her, I did when she was dying.
But when we had the best times with her, I cannot remember.
I’ll never hear the words from her, or watch her face light up as I walk in to the room. Or watch as she raised her arms for a cuddle.
I’ll never know if she would have been a Mummy or a Daddy’s girl.
Her brain scans had come back clear, but we could never have known how clear until she reached a certain age.
We saw a smile, maybe even two.
I can’t remember if I kissed her nose, my favourite place to kiss her siblings.
She never heard the Gruffalo.
Her first steps were never taken, her first words never spoken.
An empty chair in the dinner hall at school.
The missing friends.
As I spend time with children her age, I’m no longer filled with pain, but wonder; wonder who she would have been.
I grieve the life, the future we have lost.
I grieve the 5 week old baby, who should have turned into a toddler, and an infant, into a reception child.
I grieve because I cannot comprehend what has happened, why it happened to us. 
I’m allowed.
How has it been 1826 days, since I last held her, felt her breath, her warmth?
How has it been 1815 days since we last saw her and gave her a kiss good night?
I’m allowed to be in the dark, because losing a baby, a child who we had come to love isn’t fluff and rainbows, it is black.
Time doesn’t heal, and there isn’t a reason for everything.
I’m allowed to be happy, excited about life.
But I am also allowed to scream and cry, without question or the need to be offered medication.
There is no cure.
Be patient.
Be our friend.
Be kind.
It may be 5 years, it’ll be the same in 50.
She’ll always be our baby.
We’ll always be minus one.
I never wanted to say goodbye. 

What If

On their own what and if are insignificant, tiny little words.
But together are heavy reminders of things that might have been. 
What If. 
What if is something that is engraved into a person when they lose someone they love, of course not just a baby, so many missed opportunities, occasional regrets. 
What If. 
When I lost Grandparents, a parent there were many what ifs but over time for me they have passed, my Nan had Alzheimer’s Disease, so sadly inevitable that we’d lose her at some point. She had days where we visited her, spent time with her thinking, that would her last day, but when it came her final moments she sent alone, I missed her last breath by moments. But in all honesty because the disease hadn’t taken hold for me there wasn’t really any what ifs. 
When my Dad passed, it was sudden, for a time there were the usual, What if he hadn’t taken my brother out? What if he’d been at home, or surrounded by people? Would there have been a chance for him?What if my relationship with him was better? So many what ifs, but in time they have faded, occasionally they creep up, but they never feel like a punch in the gut; like the What Ifs that come with losing Melody. It doesn’t mean I loved my Nan or my Dad any less, it just really means that the grief over the three are so different, for me incomparable. 
Even almost five years down the line, the What ifs, the questions are still as clear and as painful as the first days after she died. 
For me even her birth presents these questions in my mind.
I was ill, I felt terrible but I often question whether there was more, to go through the events leading to her birth, of course these were answered with just how seriously ill I was, moments from seizing, but still; 
What if there could have been more to be done?
What if I hadn’t had a peanut butter craving?
What if I hadn’t brought the pram in the house?
She was the only one I ate peanut butter with (or peanuts in general), 
she was the only one we had the pram in the house. 
Of course those are silly ones, to you maybe but to me they’re huge.
What if I hadn’t had the car accident in the beginning? 
I was about 10 weeks pregnant when I wrote off my car, I still see the man who caused the accident, and still wonder if that was the start of it all.
What if we had been phoned sooner? 
There were little things that we noticed that the nurses hadn’t, not all bad, not because they weren’t doing their jobs, but as her parents we saw things that they didn’t always notice, maybe we could have spotted something that night. 
What if there had been more staff?
What if we had been asked about the eye procedure? 
What if we’d refused?
These are just a few. 
So many questions that are still as clear as the day she left, some answered, some not. 
Some still cause our hearts to skip a beat at how different the outcome should have been had things been done differently. 
What If I had done more?

Why do I keep on, keep punishing myself? 
The simple answer is I’m not. 
For me it is part of my love, my journey I have with the girl who couldn’t stay. 
Our Daughter. 

I Never Wanted Just Memories.

Have you ever watched Grey’s Anatomy? 
I don’t want to say too much, for anyone who hasn’t yet watched any of the series. One of the Doctors as part of an ending to a season lost her beloved fiancee. She didn’t want to leave him at the hospital, torn away from the person she loved so much, she had to eventually say goodbye.

Once home, she placed herself on the floor, in her clothes, there she stayed, unmoved, unwashed mainly unspoken for days…

I never did the wallow, lie on the floor shut everything out thing. I couldn’t stay in bed, I didn’t want to stay in bed, I have other children. And I am thankful.
Right now as we’re nearing her 5th birthday, constant countdowns. The one thing I actually want to do is to just lie on the floor, stare at the ceiling, say nothing, do nothing. 
Shut myself away. 
My whole body feels heavy, I can at times feel myself falling, lower and lower, the strength that people assume I have is going. It is tired, it is weak.
It is meant to get easier.
Or so I am told.
I cannot help the way I feel, no pill is going to change that she died.
I’m not ill.
I know each year the run up is always the worst part. 
Those who understand know just how hard the lead up is.
I thought it would get easier.

This time 5 years ago we we’d had our 20 week scan, we knew our baby was healthy,and of course the gender. Wow, pink or blue, how exciting?! Baby’s legs were crossed. We had another 19 weeks to find out.
Five years is knocking me on my ass.  I am drowning. 
How the hell can it possibly be this long?

“Shouldn’t I be over that by now?”  
” Don’t think about it. “

I can’t erase her, I can’t forget her, forget what has happened.  
In desperation believe me I have tried.  
Only makes me feel worse for trying to forget she ever existed. 
Times where I have wished that I never met her, or had hope.
But at the same time, I still would have chosen her.

Times where I wished she was “the Angel in the clouds”.
Because it is easier.

I know I’m OK, I know this is normal, well as normal as speaking to other mums who are also 5 years old this year.  
So before you think in your head, I need help.  I don’t.  Empty pities.  Empty words. 

This here is all the therapy I need. It helps me. 
This year, right now I feel as raw as I did back then.
I am allowed to feel unbelievably sad.
I still never expected this.
I expected to feel OK. 
It is after all nearly five years. 
How the fuck is it five years? 
Still have 6 weeks plus another 5 weeks to go.  
So forgive me if right now I don’t have the strength in me to be OK, the mask has broken.  
To want to lie on the floor, unmoved, untouched.  
To scream until my throat hurts.  
To cry until the tears can no longer fall.  
I have no more fight left in me. 
Because this February she should have been 5. 
It is such a significant number.
She should have come home.
Her outcome should have been so different.

(Her Nanny brought this lamb, along with a balloon to congratulate us whilst we were still in the hospital. This lamb signifies her birth. A New Life, but not necessarily the one we expected).

If I just lay here, would you lie with me and just forget the world?

Another New Year

New Year
Another year ticking over since I last held her, smelt her, kissed her. 
Coming up 5 years since.  Five seems such a large number.  So significant. So far away. 
At times it all feels like a dream,  that she was never here, not real. 
This Christmas was the first we didn’t visit over Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Besides being poorly,  not visiting her was actually a really difficult decision.  This year I felt unbelievably torn.  Between the love, the lives of the children who are with me and her. 
The thought of the cold and the rain, standing there blowing kisses to the air. 
Leaving her behind in the cold and the rain pains me every single time. 
That is where she is, cold in the open air.  Alone and away from her family.
This year I couldn’t face the trip.
Another guilty feeling in this shitty situation. 
It’s been almost 5 years, I’ve had enough now. What ever bad shit I have done, I’ve paid. I want her home, to complete the family we had planned.
I’m done. 
Five years of trying to keep her memory alive.
Five years of family and friends turning their backs on us.
Five years of justifying why she still mention her. 
She may have only been here 5 weeks, 35 days. But she is still our daughter.  She never had the chance to become the woman she could have been.  No celebrity status, no chance at life, just a hope taken. 
This year as we tick over into 2017, I feel confused, hurt I guess, almost raw again.
This time five years ago I was pregnant and looking forward to the following Christmas, her first. 
Why can’t I just get over her?
Because I don’t want to.