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baby loss

On This Day

I’ve reached the stage of heavy, few days to go until her birthday.
I re-enter the days as if it were yesterday.
I know many people will wonder why I still struggle all these years on, or why I still speak about her, about where we’ve come from.
About her.
Because I love her.
Because she is my daughter. She may not have been here for long but she was ours. It is hard to miss someone, who we barely got to know. But I do miss her. Of course I miss who she would have become.

I cannot imagine never being able to speak about any of my children, their school day, their activities, their loves, their hates…..so to not speak about Melody, for me is just not an option. I don’t talk about her as often as I did in the beginning, more because I worry about everyone else. But because there are still times where it hurts like hell. I’m in a place where I can enjoy life, but this of course doesn’t mean I am over her, or time has healed me…I’ve just learned to live with what has been dealt to me.

I love social media, I love the “On This Day” Function, reminds me of so many wonderful things we have done as a family. But then it hits me with memories of our girl.

Today for instance..

Another trip to the ward for monitoring, I was hoping I would be in and out in no time! I’d been advised that I would need to allow half a day for the appointment, however when I arrived the HCA said that it wouldn’t take that long and would only be more like an hour. So I text mother who had given me a lift to say I wouldn’t be long and could she turn back round.
I sat waited while my BP, urine and bloods were done. When a doctor came and stood in front of me to tell me there would be a possibility of delivery in two weeks!!!
TWO WEEKS????? WHAT THE HELL!!
A lovely midwife walks in where I burst into tears, she pulls the curtains around to explain that I would need two steroid injections 24 hours apart to help mature baby girl’s lungs for early delivery. Even the lovely midwife began to cry…bless her…..
 
(Excerpt from Mayflower’s Rainbow)
 
With a Social Media update…
One steroid jab down another to go, relieved it was in one’s leg and not me arse! Though have a dead leg now! Fingers Crossed they’ll work nicely! X
 
Comments showed how scared we were. We were desperate for those two weeks, we wanted longer.
But there was no way I was leaving that hospital…
I am scared I am going to forget her.
The “bad” days are now very few and far between. I speak about her not as often as I did.
I am scared that the memory of her is so distant, I wonder at times, whether she did happen. Whether she did exist?
For me to speak about her, helps me to feel less scared, that one day I’ll wake up and won’t remember her whole life.
 
 
baby loss, grief

Due Dates

Due Dates are never set in stone, they’re estimated, a rough idea of when you get to meet your baby.

A countdown to meeting a brand new person, fresh and new, a person to watch and grow into their own. Made by you. It is I guess a blind date, you know you’re meeting your child, but have no idea on what they will look like, you may not even know the gender, a complete blind love.
The date that could change your life.
Not everyone remembers their baby’s due date years down the line, others use it a conversation starter, an ice breaker or something to giggle about at their son’s 18th birthday, when he is late for a party and he was 13 days over due, “He’s always been late, he’s never changed with his poor time keeping.”
I remember all of my children’s Due Dates, my eldest born 12 years ago, was due 29th April, but due to pregnancy issues, we made it to the 8th with an induction. My son had a due date of 19th January, but I had a c-section on the 14th, he was born on my husband’s due date, my husband born on his due date – they had switched.  Baby four, her due date was 1st April, but that too was changed for a c-section 15th March, baby five was due 4th July was born 15th June. The dates are all special, and a part of their life beginnings.
Melody’s first Due date was 20th May, this is actually our wedding anniversary, but the date was put back to 28th May, a date which became our official due date, as the pregnancy progressed we were then given a c-section date. She was due to be evicted on the 22nd May, a Monday.
We had everything planned, even a lift to the hospital as my husband wasn’t driving at the time, we wanted to keep the date secret to people around us, to keep it a surprise.
Her life, her journey had begun and ended long before we ever reached May.
We’ve hit that day today, yet it seems so long ago since we had her birthday, of course it is, nearly 13 weeks ago.
For me it is the last of the dates, where I feel I can remember her in her own right, it is a date I hold tightly on to, a day which is connected to her.
Another date that in an ideal world should have been so very different, as with the other dates I hold on to dearly.
Her birthday. 
Her Anniversary. 
Her burial date,
Her discharge date,
Her due date.
 
They’re so significant, and are what make her feel to me like she existed.
These dates are somewhat official.
They’re recorded, they’re on paper, even in stone, they all prove that she existed.
Because sometimes, very rarely, I am scared I am forgetting her, that she is just a part of my imagination, that sometimes aside from our family unit and occasionally other people who remember and speak of her, it can feel like she was never here.
Forgotten.
These are the bad days, the days when it hits like I have lost her all over again.
As if it was all just a dream.
It has been far too long since I have seen her, and cuddled her.
Since I breathed in her smell, stroked her soft hair and kissed her tiny head.
Since I felt the warmth of her body against my skin, since I last told her I loved her.
Since I said goodbye.
Today is another of those, should have been days.
Yet instead today is just another day.
Another day without our little girl.
She was perfect,
her tiny little fingers,
her gorgeous little toes,
she had strawberry blonde hair,
and the cutest button nose.
She was so feisty during her 35 days,
my only wish is

that she could have stayed and played.

Our little Mayflower

Please don’t forget her.

Annual Parish Meeting – Community Fund

On Tuesday 25th April, we were invited to attend our town’s Annual Parish Meeting. We applied for the local community fund, to enable Little Daffodils through Towards Tomorrow Together to provide a service locally for people who have experienced the loss of a baby during and after pregnancy.
We were very thrilled with the offer of this fund and the amount in which we have received. It will go towards much needed awareness raising for the charity, the group and of course to break the taboo barrier that is baby loss.
There were other community groups there too to receive funds, for their groups, it was nice to hear of other organisations which may not always get the awareness.
After the Mayor handed out outstanding awards, it as the turn of the community fund awards, I was first up. I am an incredibly nervous public speaker, and in all honesty was hoping I wouldn’t have had to speak…but I wasn’t that lucky. Mayor Dave Bulmer asked if I could do a short talk about what we do. This time, for the first time in all the times I have recently publicly spoken, I had no piece of paper to read instead I had to stumble my way through making a good impression. I think I may have pulled it off. I love talking about the charity and of course Little Daffodils and how it was born, I am incredibly passionate about trying to make a change in this community. People even came up to us and said what a wonderful thing to have put together; I was able to give our details to Chard First Responders too.
I thanked the Mayor and the people in the room for the opportunity for Little Daffodils to shine, told all those who listened that we support families who have lost their beloved baby through pregnancy and in infancy.
I must add that all through the existence of Little Daffodils (which began life as Melody’s Voices), the Mayor has been incredibly supportive when he can, attending our launch of our first group, donating the use of the guildhall for an event; Thank you.
I really hope the next Mayor whoever that may be will give us the same support, it has been slow, maybe even hard at times to get the backing needed for this local group, but it has been incredibly worthwhile. Even if we only help 1-2 people a year, it is 1-2 people who will feel less alone.
A huge thank you to everyone involved in letting us have the community fund, because without these funds the community would end up lacking far more resources than they already do.
If you’re not already aware Little Daffodils meet on the first Tuesday of the month, from 730pm, upstairs of Eleos Café in the centre of Chard. Our Facebook Group is here.
Thank you for reading; I will keep you updated with our up and coming projects.
Now, to learn Public Speaking Confidence…

#captureyourgrief Give Away Your Love

Day 29.
Today was about performing an act of kindness. To give away a bit of love.
I failed. I’ve barely left the house in days. So random acts of kindness hasn’t been always possible.

I do like to think since this journey has begun,that I have successfully given love and shown kindness where I can. Sometimes planned,others spontaneous.

People need to be kind, no prompts,no subject pieces. Kindness goes a long way,particularly in this journey.

I’ve not been feeling myself this last week. So a healing,loving self care is how today for me went.

Every single person I have come in to contact on this path have given nothing but kindness, maybe it is a way of our babies living through us. 
I may have failed today’s task. 
But I try to be kind everyday.

#captureyourgrief Self Compassion

Even almost five years since she died, I still beat myself up over so much. I over think too much.
I feel at times suffocated by the way I can’t trust anyone or anything.

I do remind myself that our daughter died, but I always the think there are people worse off than me, then the brief compassion I may have for myself goes. When I speak about her, in raw form I always assume people think I am out to get sympathy, but actually I find it incredibly difficult to break the walls down to accept any form of sympathy. I don’t think it is a deserving thing. It is protection maybe, if I give in to compassion, I may just crumble. I don’t know.
I’m not sure where I am going with this.

How can I show compassion, when the people who do leave? There are so many times where I feel I simply don’t deserve it. My baby died. I left her with people I could trust.

I need to learn how to self care, how to give myself a break.

I’m really lost for words today…sorry.

#captureyourgrief Lemons and Lemonade.

Right from the word go I wanted to make a difference somehow.
There has been fundraising to some degree, it has been hard at times to gather the interest for people to support such a subject.

It has set me back within my grief,effects me in unexpected ways. I got to a point where I hated fundraising, that I was dishonouring Melody; her name,her life her death. Aside from people who wanted to help, it felt like the world just didn’t care.

I wanted to give up.
But.
I can’t, I’m stubborn..
When we walked out of that hospital, no baby,no hope a bunch of leaflets a butter box and broken hearts. There was the odd card,the odd phone call. But eventually told we’d been bumped down the list. Told late losses,miscarriage,stillbirth and babies up to 5 days were who they usually dealt with.

I was angry and hurt that no one wanted to help us,after all our baby was here.
I wanted to offer that support to other parents,to break the silence to let no other family feel isolated.
There was nothing in my town.
I voiced my plans over and over, was offered an opportunity in 2014 to be part of a community project.
Venues were being sought after, it wasn’t until 2015 that it was found,the ball began to roll.

It has been a slow process, due to funding for the venue.
But in 2016,thanks to charity Towards Tomorrow Together, we teamed up and Melody’s Voices was born.

Again this has been slow,but we’ll get there, I am determined.
When we left the hospital,there should have been the support set up.
But now,my aim is to not let another family feel the way we did.

We are currently working on a fundraiser, a fundraiser I know I said I wouldn’t do. But our Mayor offered the local guildhall. And I have a couple of crazy friends,a mad husband and even madder town councillor on board.

I may not be able to save babies,to stop them dying.
I know Melody will help in our particular hospital.
But I want to make sure no other family,mum,dad feels alone.

We’re in this shit together.
I will sit and hold your hand,wipe away your tears,stand next to you in the silent darkness.
But I won’t let you feel alone.

Xxx

#captureyourgrief Special Heartwork

Well,I’ve still not brought a piece of jewellery with Melody’s hands or feet on. I’ve a couple of necklaces with her name included, one being a gift as being part of a sacred space project. Another given by husband, with all the children’s names.
Along with a bracelet that matches one buried with Melody.

I rarely wear any of them. I’ll wear if we’ve an occasion or I feel the need to wear,but I’m worried I’ll lose them,especially the bracelet. This is the worry if I get a piece with her prints on. They’re in her memory box. The box I cannot open. Far too painful.

What I do have is MELODY. Her name written in many forms,sand,sweets leaves.
We had an American couple who originally began as friends of my husband’s, who we have never met, took the time to remember her on their wedding day.

Each and every picture taken means so much to us.
It doesn’t matter if it is taken a few doors away, or the other side of the world, to us it means that whilst her name is being written,someone somewhere is taking a moment to think of our precious girl.

#captureyourgrief Symbols and Signs

I touched upon this many times. I mentioned in Beautiful Mysteries about not having signs.
I try with the symbols.
White/Yellow butterflies appear in our garden, I will say hello. I don’t really believe they’re a message from her,or her.. But they remind me of her, I cannot even explain why. I don’t even know why. Maybe that is the meaning behind signs and symbols that they appear beyond your control.

Fairies play a big part in our symbolism for Melody.
Mysterious, tiny,beautiful, mischievous.. Most definitely cannot be seen.
They’re her thing. We have them on her headstone,we’re slowly doing her a fairy garden in our own garden.

Daffodils would be another. 
The year she was born, she brought the spring sunshine, there were daffodils every where.
They remind us of her. 
As you can see there are daffodils on her stone.
Xx

#captureyourgrief Surrender and Embrace

Day Nine

Of course in the beginning I was broken,I couldn’t be anything but tearful,confused and in pain.
But I couldn’t fully,completely surrender to the grips of grief.
My living children didn’t deserve to see that.
This is one reason it pisses me off when people say,well at least you have other children.
Rather than surrender to the tears, to stay in bed or stay in the house 24/7, I,we had to suppress the feelings,the raw crippling pain from them. They saw me cry and upset,they also needed to see that it’s ok to cry.
But I couldn’t let my legs buckle from under me,or scream in to pillows, I needed to carry their grief,they were hurting in their own right, they didn’t need to see mine to it’s full extent.

People assumed,and actually even asked the children if we sat on the sofa crying all day or rocking in a corner!
If only if were that simple.
Reading other bereaved parents attacking parents who already have children, because they have children,making us feel guilty.
But having older children, made it harder for me to grieve hard. I had to watch the pain in their eyes, listen to the questions,attempt to answer the questions,when I didn’t know myself,let alone making it all as gentle as I could for them.
I couldn’t take their pain away.

I couldn’t take my own pain away.
At times I fear if I truly give in, to the full extent of burying our daughter, watching her die in our arms,then I may never stop. My legs may never be able to carry me.
I cannot let the death of our baby consume me.
I need to show the children that life can’t be that cruel.

This is one reason I blog,and share on social media. Aside from the awareness, I needed to talk too.
Maybe one day,I’ll completely give in.
But right now my coping mechanism works for me.
I’ll cry,I’ll laugh,I’ll scream and rant.
I am only human.
I am still breathing.

Note: The picture. We had people accuse us,blaming us for putting the grief,the pain on them.
I’ll repeat myself, we did not know she was going to die.
We didn’t cause her death,neither did we ask for it.
Despite my own personal guilt and blame,it was nothing I’d done.
As you can see,they not only met Melody but they formed a bond with her. When they spoke to her she turned her head to their voices. They held hands with her, she even gave one of her first try at a smile to them.
We could not just pretend she disappeared, to forget she had been born.
She was here for FIVE WEEKS.
Rather than give them the cold hard facts of death, we were led by them,they knew she’d died and was never coming home.
They didn’t need to know the cold truth about death.
At times we were punished for doing what we saw was right.
You know what our decision to follow their lead was right.
Now,they will bring her up when they want,they won’t bring her up if they choose that too.
This picture just represents a bond, a friendship that should never have been broken the way it was.

Xxxxx