Tag Archives: in memory

October guest post submissions

October Guest Post Submissions

Once again I am opening up a corner here for October Guest  Post Submissions. I am running a series of posts throughout October – Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month.

Last year I opened it just for Neo and post-neonatal deaths.

This year I would like to open it up to anyone who has lost an infant; included during and shortly after birth. You may not want to specifically share your baby, your story but maybe raising awareness of how you come to lose your little one. I, for one never knew babies could die of sepsis even before leaving the hospital; I had always thought it was an infection you pick up going about your daily business.

Maybe you have a letter to your little one or something you want to say to the world.

I would like to run a mini-series to run alongside to include grandparents, aunts, uncles and siblings of children lost. Looking at a different perspective of losing such a young relative; or watching your family member go through such pain and maybe feeling helpless.

 

Special Information

  • Submissions are open from 14th August 2018 – 14th September 2018.
  • Posts should be a minimum of 300 words
  • You can add a photo if you wish
  • All gestations welcome
  • All ages welcome
  • I will link back to any blog if requested.
  • I will share on my social media outlets
  • If you wish to stay anonymous then please let me know.
  • I will schedule the posts from October 1st

Mums, Dads, Grandparents, Siblings, Aunts/Uncles who have lost a child, grandchild, brother/sister, niece/nephew.

Having an understanding of such a complex type of grief can be so difficult, leading to feelings of loneliness.

For one month, I am aiming to bring not only awareness of baby loss in general, but to bring people together in their grief. It is incredibly hard to understand something when you’ve not been through it.

 

If you would like to add something then please email me

melodyandme35@gmail.com

We’re in this together.

Little Daffodils

Little Daffodils – In Memory

Little Daffodils
When we first lost our daughter, there was virtually nothing to support us. Cruse came out and were brilliant – but only for me.
Other places, we found had set policies and how people are supported. Which meant that her age put a barrier, too old, too young or didn’t die the “right way”.
It made us all the more isolated, which is the opposite of how we should have been treated.

Setting up little daffodils was my way of trying to bring awareness that all losses needed to be supported in the way they deserve.

Now it is the last thing I have to do with Melody. The last thing I can do to change things in her memory. I’ve thought many times of giving up, doing this sort of thing alone is bloody hard work

The thing I find incredibly difficult is that I have to fight to get melody recognised, she’s official in the eyes of the law; birth and death certificates, but when it comes to baby loss awareness Post-Neonatal gets lost. It feels like a fight to get little-daffodils out there. It wasn’t meant to be this hard. That said, I can’t just give up little-daffodils, it is literally the only thing I have left to remind me that she existed. It is the only thing that I HAVE to do.

The blog I can take a break from whenever I want to, but the group is something I need to keep going to. It is incredibly painful when her type of death doesn’t get mentioned, over and over I have to wonder about her being as important as all the other babies who die. She mattered too. It’s the last thing I can do for her.

I started this in 2015 to make sure she and other babies are recognised and their families get the support we never did. I can’t turn my back on that, I can’t let her fade away if I stop little daffodils I think that is what will happen. Because I fear I may just forget. That is not what I want. In her memory, I wanted to raise awareness, and change the way families are treated. Nobody should ever be left in the dark…

ALL BABIES MATTER.

Sibling memory boxes

Sibling Memory Boxes – Little Daffodils.

I recently shared with you a birthday package which Little Daffodils are now offering, now I share with you another package we will be offering.

 

Her Siblings

 

When we left the hospital our 4-year-old at the time received a key ring to remember his sister and her sister a tiny bracelet.  As lovely as they are, it’s a little ‘old’ for such a small child. As the years have passed Melody’s older siblings have each (of their own accord) put a memory box together for themselves, with little bits of their sister and things that remind them of her. This inspired me to give something to these siblings who lose a brother or sister.

 

Sibling Memory Box

 

So we’ve put a special sibling box together, which will be available to all siblings who lose a brother or sister.
They will contain,

  • Some colouring sheets and crayons to help de-stress.
  • A dream catcher to help filter their dreams.
  • A natural bubble bath to aid a peaceful sleep in the early days of confusion.
  • A cuddly toy (designs of these will vary).
  • A butterfly.
  • Waterbugs and Dragonflies book. This is a lovely story, which explains death in a more gentle way.
  • Finally a scrapbook (not pictured), this can be used to collect memories and thoughts. Even as adults it’s hard to get our feelings out in the open, to question why babies and children die, so having a space for a sibling to collect their thoughts about the world after losing their much-wanted brother and sister.

The box can be decorated to how they would like, and keep any special items which they collect in there.

Supporting the children too

Children are often forgotten when supporting family members, they are labeled as being resilient, yes this may be true, but they too need to be supported. After all, they had their hopes and hearts broken too.

 

For more information on receiving one, please contact the Facebook page or via email.

 

There is no charge for these.

Little Daffodils

 

Then she was six.

Then She Was Six.

Today is her birthday, a day where I am meant to share little things about her – a before and after picture, a celebration of life and of growth. I thought about sharing her birth story to give more words; but it is one I have told so many times, people are bored. People expect me to have moved on, grief is boring it is ugly – nobody ever knows what to say – I am so open I guess that, I assume people are okay with me speaking her name; I mean I am. But they’re not, not really; especially as it is six years. But to me, each birthday, each day that leads to her birthday and then those days which lead to the anniversary – they feel like six weeks; to everyone else, six years is a bloody long time ago – for that I am painfully aware.

It is six years today since she was born in a rush; I remember every single minute – I try hard to savour it, just as I do my other children’s births. It is what we Mums do; her birth story should not be any different. But it is.

I probably should have moved on, and I have to some degree, of course I have it isn’t as dark as it used to be; but I am still allowed to feel like shit – not all the time (even if it were all the time that is okay too); the hardest thing to process, something I will never truly understand, is why our seemingly healthy baby died.  I’m allowed to feel pissed about that. About why our baby had the best odds, why being a girl meant she should have come home, why every bloody thing was just a little too late – she never got to come home.

I do wish sometimes that I could be understood; just a little about why I continue to talk, to mention her name, to be angry even all these years later. I guess it is that unimaginable, that it makes it easier for people looking in to move forward, to forget; to tire of the baby who never even came home who died years ago. “She should be over that.”

 

Everything about the 26th February should have been different; for so many reasons. Yet today no candles will be blown out, on the cake which we have all eaten that she will never get to taste; no presents to open or badges worn to school. An empty space in the classroom, yet nobody would even notice.

birthday

But we do, we know that there should have been a girl today turning 6.

If Only.

Her Birthdays

One

Two

Three

Four

Five

 

The Waiting Game

melody and me

Family Holiday Minus One

We always knew that anything we would ever do as a family, would be filled with bitter-sweet emotions that come with knowing that there is a tiny human missing; nothing will ever fill that gap, I guess that part we didn’t really expect, but there is and we cope with that permanent void.

I’m not really wanting to talk gaps, I’m wanting to share a little moment whilst on holiday, which had us all chuckling.

I’ve begun taking a collection of photos to use when I write for Still Standing and for this blog too, something for Melody but without using her photos all the time. Whilst I am “lucky” (definitely wanting a better word), to have so many of them, I worry about repeating them too frequently, especially with the two areas I write in. I don’t have aging photos, so I’ve a prop in the hope I can include her a little more.

We went camping in Oxfordshire, days out – making memories, what better way to begin this project than to start while on holiday.

This one in particular I had placed my prop, ‘M’ onto this rather pretty looking Wishing Well, I have spent many times wishing that things were different, I know nothing will change, wishing is all I have.

I took a step back to capture this frame, as I looked into my camera my youngest daughter – Melody’s sister runs into the shot, she grabs the ‘M’ and throws it straight into the Well, fortunately it wasn’t deep, there was a grate covering the bottom, all the children yelled baby’s name, the prop was retrieved but it made us all laugh, it got me thinking; imagining this prop was replaced with her (I don’t think this by the way, ‘M’ is not Melody, I know I don’t have to justify myself – but still).

I closed my eyes and everything was different.

I imagined this five year old strawberry blonde haired girl, sitting on the wall of the well waiting for her siblings to crowd around her for yet another photo opportunity, only for her little sister to push her in the well. She wouldn’t have been hurt, she’d have been embarrassed, and annoyed for a few minutes, would have shouted at her sister, then the laughing would have begun, the whole picture would have been different, five laughing children, no props just them. It would have been a moment that would have been brought up in conversation about our break away.

But of course, I am here Day Dreaming, it isn’t okay, it is what it is, a day dream. While there is no changing what has happened, and that Melody isn’t here; but I can share this moment of laughter that included all of my children, for the very first time in 5 years 4 months and 23 days I actually felt her with us, I felt like I had five children that day.

I always say I have five children, I have never shied away from having five but the truth in my head has always felt there to be just the four of them, which to anyone looking at us can see. It felt so wonderful, to feel her there with us, it has been something I thought would never come; it is strange trying to bond with someone who isn’t here, to bond with a child who never properly felt like ours in life or even in death over the years. Very difficult to explain fully, because even I can’t quite understand that part.

Not only was a new memory made but I finally feel like Melody’s Mummy.

 

Melody and Me.

xx

 

melody and me

It Is Okay To 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.

five

Then She Was Five

I’m actually fairly lost for words, I’ve already written a post for her anniversary in April.
But ultimately, her birthday I cannot comprehend that we have a 5-year-old daughter, her birthday being today, yet we don’t have a 5-year-old.
The years have moved on, people have moved on. Everything changes. People you’d imagine would still be around aren’t, people you never expected to be now are. Seems such a long time, but it really is so short.
Time hasn’t healed a thing. it actually makes me watch it more.
I’m feeling particularly numb and cut off from everything this year.
Everything about this year is so similar to that of 2012 (bar the weather). Today is Sunday, her birthday; she was born on Sunday.
The day was glorious sunshine, it continued to get hotter the whole time she was alive, I even had sunburn in March, was wearing vest tops and flip-flops.
I’ll always remember the day she was born, I remember all my children’s days of births, hers is no different.
But I wish things could have been different. I truly believed that once the first year was out of the way everything would have been back to normal, I would have healed, moved on and forgotten. But I have learned that isn’t going to happen, I’ve adjusted and adapted in a way I feel comfortable, unfortunately, it hasn’t been understood the way I have found my coping mechanism, I’m open and honest, I’m still breathing. I never imagined I would be where I am today.
I still don’t understand how or why she died, the unfairness of it all, that emotion is as raw now as it was back then. The pain remains the same, simply because she is still not here, but she is still my daughter, no amount of eye rolls, back turning or conversation changes will stop her from being our little girl.
The little girl who is so beautiful. She had blonde hair with a hint of red, so maybe like her brother, but lighter, her eyes were a bluey colour but under the unnatural light of the unit it was hard to tell, I’ll never know what they would have been, that will always bother me, and I will always say that. She had the most delicate soft fingers, 8 fingers two thumbs, she was always fidgety, she was on the go most of the time Little Miss Fidgety Pants. She had character, she was her own little person, living in a plastic box, in a blanket of wires. She burped milk out of her tube, pulled 12 feeding tubes out a day, smacked the cardiologist, kicked the doctor delivering her, and had a dummy weeks ahead of schedule, she was even trying to root the breast.

Community

There is a well-known quote in the baby loss community, about babies who die in the womb never feel pain only know love (something along those lines). It struck a chord with me.
I have no idea if she was in pain, particularly in her final hours, she went through so much in her final 6 hours, she didn’t have us. I cannot forgive them for not phoning us sooner. I can’t. I’m allowed that little bit of bitterness.
I worry she didn’t know that we were her parents, I was her Mummy, looking back I sometimes wish (had we known she was going to die one day, which we didn’t), that we’d not had so many visitors in, just grandparents, that we had kept her to ourselves our little unit, to not have let anyone else come to say goodbye. Too much went on that final day so many, many regrets that we can never ever change, but cannot ever be forgotten.

I bloody miss that girl so much, I just wish people would understand, or at least try to understand.
I am not the person I was. I am never going to be. You cannot expect us to.
I guess we cannot expect to be understood either.

 

I’ll never be able to comprehend any of it.
It feels like her memory is almost forgotten.

Rather than a party today, and a living room full of paper, we had lunch at a local pub which has somehow become a traditional place to have her birthday lunch. We usually have a family and friend get together, today it was just us. It was perfect, we’d been to visit beforehand took her some flowers.

 

 

 

Today is her day.
Her birthday.
Today she should have been Five.
Would have given anything to kiss her tiny fingers again…