Tag Archives: Baby loss

Capture Your Grief

Capture Your Grief 2017 – Rise And Shine Rituals

Rise and Shine Mourning Ritual.

Living with grief. All I ever wanted to do was to live; I wanted to be able to be free to grieve the way I felt comfortable with, to be allowed to talk about this little girl who lived.

I threw myself into needing to help others, I needed to give the support which we lacked, to make sure no one else felt as alone as we did, it was fairly high in my priorities to do this.

But I think my most important ritual was to keep living, to do more things with the children; to allow them to grieve and share their feelings about the death of their sister. As much as my head wanted to stay in bed for days on end, my heart wanted to keep beating to get me out of bed and live for Melody. She had died her heart had stopped beating; I would have to try and find a way of carrying her in mine.

It has been a difficult process; I have never believed she is with me all of the time, or that she is flying around having fun. I watched as they lowered her in to the ground, no amount of fairy tales for me can ever change that. At least it is like that for the children.

 

Grief

I know now five years six months and one day in, that I do need to take care of myself, I do need to work on my grief. I worried too much about how others were feeling, about protecting their feelings; my early mourning was taken away, I watched as friends needed to have help because THEY couldn’t cope with her death, how family were tired of receiving cards and sympathy messages about the loss of OUR daughter.

The person that I am tried to help mend hearts that were broken, I needed to be strong; I always thought if I was strong then the people around me would know that it is okay to now be okay.

I cried, of course I cried, but I apologised for it too; maybe that is the “British Way”. Who knows?

But I do know that the grief I have for Melody is an incredible learning curve; yet no matter what I do, or how I behave there is no right or wrong answer.

This month I will be a little mindful of myself; adopt new rituals which will help me and my little family.

 

Today, my regular ritual is keeping my heart beating; making the best memories I can for my beautiful children.

 

Melody and Me

 

Day One

Capture Your Grief 2017 – Sunrise

Capture Your Grief

 

cyg

Capture Your Grief Project 2017 By Carly Marie

 

Here we are again, with this annual Capture your grief project; once which I first joined back in 2012.

A project which helps bring the taboo of baby loss to the front of people’s minds, how many of us are effected by the loss of a baby or child.

My project is in memory of Melody, but I will also be mentioning my pregnancy losses too.

Sunrise

There isn’t much of a pretty Sunrise where I am today; there rarely ever is. It is grey and miserable looking out there.

The day she was born, back in February 2012 the sun shone, it was a beautiful spring day from what I could see from my bed. From that day onwards the sun remained until not long after her death; once her “celebration” had finished it rained for pretty much days afterwards.

When we spent days in the town in which her hospital was, we’d walk to the shops I would get sun burnt in March, I was wearing vest tops and flip flops. It seemed bizarre that we had this glorious weather so early on in the year.

 

Days

We have had 2009 sunrises without her, 2009 days where we haven’t kissed her warm face, touched her warm skin, given her a cuddle. Seeing it written down as days, it seems such a long time ago; today it is five years and six months since we walked into the hospital and left different people, yet we hadn’t had surgery or an accident. We had watched our daughter die.

Different

 

Nothing was going to be the same again. Though we didn’t expect how different we would be, how different people would be too. Meeting new friends, losing old friends, this tiny five week old baby had changed everything.

 

Capture Your Grief Sunrise

 

Melody and Me

 

Capture Your Grief 2017.

The Butterfly Awards, a shortlisting.

For the second year running I have been nominated and shortlisted for a Butterfly Award.

The Butterfly Awards are a prestigious evening to celebrate the work which individuals and groups do to support families of babies and infants who died.

I have been shortlisted in the blogger category.

It is strange to want to try and win such an award, because really it isn’t about winning this item, because my baby died; but for me it is to get her recognised as a person. To get her story told.

Awareness

During our time we hit many things, Hyperemesis, Antenatal Depression, Early Pre-Eclampsia, HELLP syndrome, premature birth, IUGR,  life in the NICU, her death the Sepsis, the protocols in which should have been in place, which weren’t All of these things I can raise awareness for.

So for me it isn’t the award itself, by her name coming to the surface, Neonatal Death and Post Neonatal death getting a mention.  My work as an author and her Mum; I can bring awareness to these things. To help support others going through any of the above and of course the loss of their precious babies.

Please find The Butterfly Awards section on my blog, to take a look at my profile and video.

Thank you

Melody’s Life mattered. She was here; she lived. She just couldn’t stay.

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

A Line of school shoes, with an obvious gap.

A Missing Future, An Empty Shoe Box

Back to school

As the whole nation prepares for the return to school, including myself. There remains the large hole of a missing child.

Helping Melody’s little sister get ready for her new adventures in big school; the preparation of shoes, and uniform; making sure book bags and P.E bags are ready.

Missing

When we missed reception in 2016, I thought it would have been one of the last big milestones. But it isn’t, not really. It is never going to be about losing “just” a baby. You lose not only yourself, but a future, dreams. There’s a personality missing, a child whose name will never get called in a register, a child who is never spoke of by another child, or wanting them to come to play. These children who stand in the playground, who sit in the classroom, will never know that there is a girl who should have been there. A girl who should have been friends with them. To them, to their parents she never existed. Our daughter to the class of 2028 will never have existed. In the playground I’ll never be Melody’s Mum.

The Shoe Box

A show box with the letter M in it.

There’s one extra thing we’re having to sort for the first few days of school, a shoe box to fill with memories their favourite things to let their class learn a little bit about them outside of school.

Melody lived in a box, she sleeps in a box, and has two memory boxes full of things to help us remember her.

She doesn’t have a box of her favourite things, of her hobbies. It has nothing inside. No stories to tell of her family members, no adventures to share. Photos of her growing from a tiny baby to a girl entering into year 1 are missing, they will always be…missing. I don’t know her.

 

As if she never existed

I’ll fight to keep her memory alive, continually retelling the one story I have, the short story of her life. It’s all I have but for the children and parents going into year one this week, for the children who become the students of the class of 2028. To the men (or women) she could have met to one day marry. An aisle she once stood at, will never be the aisle she could have chosen as a step towards her future.  To the adults of the future. Melody never existed.

Not just the baby

She is not just the baby we have lost, we lost her whole life. Everything she could have been – gone.

 

Please Help Me To Understand. The Taboo

A taboo…In the grand scheme of things I am still really new to being a bereaved Mum, I’m still learning. Five years and five months since she took her last breath. Death lasts forever, it happened before her and of course since. In the bigger picture of being a bereaved Mum I am only an infant.

Society

I struggle to make sense of how society is a round baby (child) bereavement. The poor support, the boredom from people who don’t fully understand; the minimal timescale that society thinks a bereaved parent should be over it. If I were to say to a widow, “Isn’t it about time you were over that by now.” Or if someone had said to me, “At least you have your Mother, she can always marry again…” In response to the death of my Dad, I’d most likely have shouted them down if they had.

Disrespectful, downright rude. Yet if you lose a baby, in any way; the babies who never get to stay, I had to hear “At least she didn’t come home.” Or “At least you have other children.” People can be very unkind.

Why did all become such a taboo?

When did is become acceptable to attack a grieving parent? In history the dead (BBC website)-  ESPECIALLY children were remembered and respected in these photos. Staged photo with the dead to make memories, before the final goodbyes were seen as a mark of respect. Infant morality was a lot higher then too.

But why the change?

Friends share their babies who have never take a breath, photos are all the memories they have; but are then told to hide them away in inappropriate ways.

Acceptable behaviour

But in today’s society this behaviour is deemed acceptable. The attitudes of “We don’t want to see or hear about that.” It’s harmful. My own photos have been attacked by strangers, my photos only included her in life. It is harmful to the parents, harmful to the parents who want to make a change, harmful to medical research to try and change the mortality statistics. Because let’s face it there are still far too many babies and children dying who shouldn’t be.

I have donated to many charities in my lifetime from health related ones, animal welfare, refugees. If I can I will. The community spirit in all of the above is how it should be. But you mention baby loss people may as well run for the hills, just recently an acquaintance had a lip curl and even a slight snarl because I had mentioned my daughter, my dead daughter.

We do notice the awkward fidgets by the way.

Awareness

Talking about these babies, children not only make parents feel less alone but it brings awareness, can ultimately save babies lives or simply open up opportunities for people to be properly supported.

Millie’s Trust came about because Millie died, her parents using her memory have gone on to save hundreds of other from the heart ache they endure.

Maison’s Memory because a little boy died from an accident, now his parents work closely to help with safety measures to keep other babies and children safe.

Towards Tomorrow Together, again because a baby died, and now his parents help give resources to other parents going through the same.

These are just a few reasons why Baby Loss should never be a taboo. I know people get really annoyed and fed up with me speaking openly about you girl, about her death.

It is how I chose to deal with our loss. But most importantly it is because she is MY GIRL, our daughter.

Melody, herself has changed a procedure at the hospital, the R.O.P test, she has changed how quickly sepsis should be treated, and making sure extra staff or more appropriate staff are on in the evenings. The death of my girl did this, talking about our girl did this.

Understanding

So, please tell me.

Why is it so disgusting to speak and share about our babies?

Why do people think it is okay to be so insensitive to bereaved parents; to insult our babies?

I do understand that it is difficult to speak to someone who is going through such a loss but if you don’t find it acceptable to question a widow, or someone who has lost a parent or even a pet, particularly about replacements and moving on.

Then it isn’t acceptable to do it ao a bereaved parent either.

 

We need to break this taboo.

We need to keep talking.

It isn’t catching, but it will save a life.

 

Melody and Me

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

 

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

Melody and me logo

(New Logo too).

Cry

I don’t cry for Melody a lot these days; I certainly don’t when amongst people. I’m open about our loss, about my grief; but the tears for me I prefer they fall in private, more I think because often society gets frightened by tears, by emotion.

When tears particularly of sadness show, head tilts and the comments of worry.

“They’ve been crying again.”

“I’m sure they should be over all that now.”

“They’re obviously not coping.”

“They should get help.”

 

Crying is okay, sadness is okay. They’re both more than okay to happen.

There was a charity event in aid of two charities; one of course is very close to my heart, involving Melody, out of nowhere the day made me feel incredibly emotional, it was an overwhelming feeling on how well the day was going.

I never expected to begin crying, I never expected it to remain like a cloud hovering over me for the rest of the day. I hadn’t felt that way in such a long time.

I get a tap on my shoulder to tell me my son was also in tears. As I did my best to remove him from the eyes looking at him, at us his tears turn to sobs; I knew then they for him were a release. They were loud, and so perfectly natural.

My children also rarely cry over their sister, they speak of her always, but never with sadness. He just let go so much, I could see in his face it was such a relief for him. He loved his sister dearly, although together for such a short time they were close. He, along with his older sister and us we all hurt over the loss over this girl, a loss which is incredibly complex, and so terribly misunderstood.

Having these overwhelming bursts of emotion means nothing of being strong or of signs of weakness. But of just how consuming the loss of baby, a child can be. Grief can pull you under, making it incredibly hard to breathe; I now know it will pull me back to the questions, to the complete brain fog of wondering how the hell we got from this tiny cuddly baby, to doing things for her in memory of.

People have often said they’re always worried about bringing up the name, or a memory of a loved one; this is very much the case where baby loss is concerned, for fear of making them cry. We’ll never forget who we’ve lost.

But there is nothing to be feared in crying, there’s nothing to be feared in mentioning a name.

Crying is good, whilst the reasons can be the ugliest things in the world, watching pure sobs, as I did with my son at this event, as I held him tight to my chest, I found it can be the most beautiful and uplifting thing to see, the release is empowering.

Children are incredibly versatile, I know today for him is a far better day. For me it’ll take a few days to get my head around things, I find the strength of these emotions very draining. But I will be okay.

I always am.

Melody’s Voices

To Make A Difference part two.

A little while a go,I mentioned about the baby loss face to face group I was working on.
The launch happened last night, Tuesday 3rd May. Once again unfortunately the attendance wasn’t huge,but I’ve come to realise this isn’t a reflection on me. I will push through this. Although attendance wasn’t huge,it was a fantastic evening. With new support I certainly was not expecting.
With full backing of health visitors,the local midwife,undertakers and now our town mayor,it has made me feel incredibly positive, that this will be a step forward in the right direction.
Opportunity to have an event or two.

mel and julz
(I hate my photo being taken!)

Group

Personally I think people assume that a group of this nature will be full of tears and sadness. Breaking down.
But it won’t be like this,of course there will be tears, having such losses are hardly a walk in the park.
But I’d like to enable people a safe place,where they can rant about their loss,not be met with judgement.
I’ve been to a non loss related group, the moment you’re picked out from the crowd,for not doing as the expected, belittled in front of strangers,almost forced to tell these strangers your biggest fears.

For Melody’s voices, I’d like people to feel welcomed, but not pressured to share their story. Come sit quietly,listen. Open up if and when you’re ready.
Come and talk about our crazy weather. Or listen to things you may relate to.
For me I know my conversations aren’t the same as someone who has never lost.

I really am excited for the future of this group,to be able help someone.

We’ve now a date for an event in October,we’re not sure what the event will be just yet, currently putting a committee team together.

Next group is Tuesday 7th June 1930.
We have tea and cake.

Thank you for reading and to those of you who continually support us.
Xx