Holding On For Dear Life

February 7th 2012 23+1

I began to feel slightly headache-y, which wasn’t disappearing with paracetamol, accompanied with some blurry vision I just didn’t feel right. So to be on the safe side I booked myself into see the midwife, due to my history of Pre-eclampsia when I’d had my daughter, I was aware of the symptoms, I kind of knew it was too early but I just wanted to be safe and get checked out….
(Excerpt from Mayflower’s Rainbow)

On this Day four years ago, something wasn’t right. But having clear test results days later, I knew at that moment I could breathe a sigh of relief. A false alarm, it was far too early to have this. 
Counting down the days until her birthday. 
Keeping my self busy; too busy to think too much. 
Too busy to remember that, I really should be shopping for something for her birthday. 
I don’t even know what she would have liked. 
Of course I am told not to dwell on this, not to think about this too much. 
Why shouldn’t I?
I have an almost four year old, and I have no idea what her favourite obsession would have been? 
Would she have been a Tom Boy?
I am allowed to wonder. 
I have been busying myself to make a different future for us. 
Different support for other people too, by becoming a breastfeeding peer supporter. 
But my busy brought an unexpected pinch. 
Breastfeeding journey has been emotional, including the time I had to express for our dear little girl. 
That, I can speak about. It was something I had been able to do for her, very much under pressure to express but I did. Speaking out about our neonatal pumping journey felt amazing. 
I’d cracked it, I had cracked the speaking out without tears, without tilted heads, but to other women who generally wanted to hear AND to listen. 
It felt great knowing I could do this. 
Then a video came, about skin to skin and kangaroo care, a beautiful thing to watch. 
Then I get hit, as if I’d been punched in my stomach, a glimpse of the poorly, premature babies. 
The wave of new pain arrived again. 
We weren’t allowed to have skin to skin often, we had it, don’t get me wrong. 
Given the importance of kangaroo care, it was never enough. 
It hurt, so much. 
These precious babies being cuddled better. 
I do sometimes wonder whether had we been phoned sooner, could I have cuddled her better?
A fairy tale dream perhaps. 
Always felt like she never belonged to us. 
What ever is out there, will never be enough. 

23 Days old, we get to have skin to skin. 
Tucked in to my bra, she was tiny, warm and happy.
Albeit wet from a teary shower. 
The power of skin to skin, is amazing. 
I wish we’d had more. 
I had a moment, left the room tears dried. 
Remained standing. 
Working on a project involving Melody, something I needed to do. 
Feeling incredibly honoured to be asked for an input, I knew I could do it, just words, reflection. 
Speaking about Melody. 
Felt wonderful getting it down again, bringing her memory to the forefront of my mind. 
The neonatal doors were closed; there was a privacy board around a cot. We walked in, attempted to walk to where our little girl had been the day before, when we realise that the cot behind the privacy board was indeed our daughter. She’d been moved to ITU over night.
A doctor came to us, and told us that she wouldn’t survive…. 

Floored for a moment. Wondering why I did this to myself. 
But I’m not *really* doing this to myself, this is me, us. Our story. 
Could feel the tears coming, it isn’t torture, it hurts. 
But why wouldn’t it? 
Our baby died. 
I am trying to be busy, to be strong. 
To be brave. 
But I really am holding on for dear life…

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