Category Archives: UK blogger

Melody and Me – The Switch.

The Switch

This last week I have made the decision to switch my family blog from normal blogging; to self hosting. As I was trying to make the final decision it dawned on me that I really needed to self host for Melody and Me too.

There is so much awareness her legacy is leaving behind, it only felt right that she had her own space, dropping any other words from the address. My relationship with grief is such a unique experience, I want to share it freely. I have some things planned in the form of books to follow on from A Mayflower’s Rainbow, which I am very looking forward to.

There is so much more I need to do; to bring the awareness of losing a baby so that it is no longer stigmatized, no longer the taboo that it is. These little children were meant to be our future, they were meant to take our legacy with them, not the other way around. So for me it felt really important to switch over, and teach the world about our little girl who only stayed for 35 days.

Learning

The switch has been a complete headache. I am sure there are still adjustments to be made…please point me in the right direction. I have learned so much within the switching process, that I can’t say how I ever managed before; it has certainly been an eye opener. There were many, many times I asked my husband, why the hell am I doing this? Is it really worth it?

I guess only time will tell.

Thank you so much for your patience with all the swapping around..writing service will resume soon.

 

 

Lots of Love

Julz

Melody’s Mummy

xx

 

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

Bliss.
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.
Gone.
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 I have learned in Five Years

Five years in the scheme of things doesn’t seem a lot. 
A 5 year old human is still growing, learning and a long way to go before they’re ready to face the world as an individual. They’re so young.
A car which is 5 years old also has so much more going for it, more miles, more adventures. More places to be.
It just isn’t very long. 
But to me five years seems almost like a life time ago, far too long to remember everything about her. 
But if she’d still been here, she would have been almost ‘just’  five years old.
Since April 2012 I’ve learnt so many things, things I never would have imagined learning. 

1. I was told in the beginning I’d never be the same person again.  I didn’t want to believe it, she’d only been here 5 weeks how could she change me, us so much. 
But at the same time why wouldn’t it have all changed us.  You can’t expect anyone to grow a baby, a child love, bond, feed as you would any other baby, for the baby to then die.
To have to decide “what’s best” when removing a ventilator, to watch their life leave them, to organise an event that should only be set for the elderly,  a burial or a cremation for the child you bring into the world.  Tiny coffins and holes in the ground.
It isn’t not going to have lasting effect.  You can move forward to a degree, but you’re just not the same. 
I look at people differently, I have to pick conversations with people, so not to offend them, but mainly to not alienate myself. 
I have to pause when answering parenting questions like how many children I have.
I see the world differently. EVERYTHING changed. 
2. Time is not a healer.  It really isn’t. I’ve section scars that will never go, they will always be there.  We will always be minus one.  For me the further away the harder it seems,for me in particular this 5th year. So many missed milestones, never started school, or had birthday party invitations, not knowing what things she’d have liked, who her friends could have been.  Pictures made with love.  I’ll never be “better” because I wasn’t ill. Time has just added to the crap that goes with all of this. 
3. Grief Tourism exists. The rubber neckers.  The people who only want to know or speak to you due to their own personal nosiness. People who want the grief for themselves, it’s a bizarre thought I know, and I’ve seen it done for adults too,  but those who somehow want a piece of the action, which in turn the grieved ends up being the supporter.  Which isn’t right,it’s not how it should work. It isn’t a sightseeing trip. 
4. It is a complicated type of grief,as I have mentioned before, the grief I had for losing my Grandparents, losing my Dad is so different from the grief I have for Melody.  The first thing I can think of is I could breathe when they passed away, their deaths weren’t easy,  they were incredibly hard, I do think of them at birthdays and Christmas, but Melody’s death, is something, although I speak about so much is not something that is really easy to explain in perfect detail either.  We’ve lost a lot over the years, friends, relationships with family.  Not something you’d expect when you lose a baby, you’d have thought the opposite. But we have gained people too (which you’ll see in a moment).
There’s so many times when your brain wanders back to the time of life, of normality, there’s nothing to stop it, it is a nice time to remember; but then you get to the part where you think you could change things, but obviously you can’t your heart stops for a millisecond for a short moment you’re back to the beginning again.
Nobody truly understands, unless you have / are going through it.
As much awareness, with premature births,  causes people only listen so much.
It’s complicated.

5. Online Support is wonderful.  I’d met my husband online, but never imagined to meet lifelong friends via the Internet too.  Some were from Melody’s pregnancy, when I was suffering with HG unable to face the world, and people didn’t have patience with me either,  the friends behind the screen became my life line.  Together we went through so much, not just my own loss but others too,  then the pregnancies that came after.  When for me once again the HG took hold and they were there no matter what.  This included the women I’d met through bereavement forums too.  Without them I’d have no idea that what I felt was indeed normal, and actually I wasn’t alone in these thoughts.
I will always be grateful to these people,  I’ve met a couple of them, two are God parents to the littlest ones.
I never knew online people would become my people..

Five years is far too long to have last kissed her.
But not enough time to have healed.  Maybe not even forever.