Category Archives: special dates

birthday in grief

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.


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

If Only.

Her Birthdays






The Waiting Game

birthday in grief

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.


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…

Then She Was Four

Melody’s Birth

This time four years ago, a whirlwind of decisions, transfers and a three-minute warning that our baby was going to be delivered.
In the morning I’d been told to remain as nil by mouth, although I’d just finished my sneaky piece of toast. Trying to remain relaxed from a night of being poorly, I attempted to read my Harry Potter book – book four. I’d been in the hospital for a few days so I decided I needed to read these books, whilst I had nothing better to do. My consultant walked in, I was told that I needed more blood taking and that before he would deliver me I had to read book seven.

That bookmark remained in book four.

I transferred back to the ward to awaiting instruction that I could eat. The doctor came, and walked by my bed jokingly said, how would I like a baby today? Well, not really we thought…
Three minutes later he speeds past the bed, tells me he’s booking a cot and he would see me in the theatre…

Within minutes, at least 10 people surrounded my bed. John was whisked off for scrubs. I was given forms and pens, for me to read and sign.
We later discovered I was just minutes from seizing.
I was given a reminder that I needed to remove my eyebrow bar.
The eyebrow bar that wasn’t returned to my eye brow, yet four years later, I still attempt to fiddle with it.

Wheeled to theatre, where our gorgeous little girl was born, kicking and squeaking.

This time four years ago. She was alive.

Four years ago Melody was born,670g of cuteness.
9 inches of feistiness.
I had two visitors that evening, I was so excited about telling the world about our tiny, precious girl. This tiny girl who was born at 26 weeks, had 10 fingers,10 toes; that she had made a noise when she was delivered. That although the gestation, she was a baby only miniature.
One visitor refused to look at my precious photos, I felt hurt and confused about why he didn’t want to see our perfect miniature princess.
The other visitor, he almost snatched the camera out of our hands to see our new bundle. Made the moment gentler. It seemed crazy, that this micro baby, was ours.

Four Years

Four years seems such a life time ago that all this happened, four years and no four year old to show for it. Almost four years since we held her warm body in our arms.
I can just about remember stroking her forehead, her smell. Kissing her tiny nose.
Four Years.
I wish, an empty one at that, that she was here celebrating her fourth birthday.
Her final months of play school before beginning her next journey.
I wish she was starting school this year.

 The bravest, sweetest of little girls.
At four years old she’s not as big as other four year olds.
She likes dancing, she never sits still.
She’s cheeky. Certainly a monkey with her name.
She’s bright, so bright…the brightest star perhaps.

I am so unbelievably lucky to be her mummy.
She has shown me so much. Taught me things, about people, about the world around me.

I just wish my birthday announcement could be different, the same as every other parents’ birthday messages.
But of course it’ll never be.

So here I am wishing you a Happy 4th Birthday. Wherever you may be.

I love you baby girl.

As always thank you for reading.
It bloody hurts.


Then She Was Three

Her birth

The morning of her birth, I never expected it, she was given 2 weeks, not three days.
A three-minute warning from hoping I could eat, only to be told I was going into theatre.
It was meant to be 2 weeks.
John had to let go of my tightly gripped hand to get scrubs.
I had to keep breathing.
People around me, paper flying in front of my face for a signature or two.A syringe here, tablets there. I had to remove my Eyebrow bar.
All I had wanted was some toast.
I was helped into the wheelchair, Where was John? I couldn’t go without him. He arrived just in time.
Inside the theatre was full, a sea of blue, I could barely see the equipment. I sat on the trolley bed; shaking, terrified. What would come next?
A midwife checked the heartbeat, we could hear it very faintly; then made her way to stand near my head.
“Please don’t tell me the baby is sleeping” 
I begged over and over.
I had to keep breathing.
She entered kicking and squeaking.
A girl.
670g. 1lb 5oz baby girl.
They asked us her name.
After what seemed like a lifetime (5/10 minutes), they brought her over to us, for a brief view.  She was tightly wrapped in a towel, to keep her snug, we could only see her little face.
Then she was gone again back into her incubator, off she went.
Would I see her again alive?
All I could do was keep breathing.
I was stitched back together, although I didn’t feel very whole. I needed to see her, but I was too numb and sore to move. John was allowed to see her, but I had to patiently wait for a photo, some news. I needed to know she was still with us.
Proud Dadders! Beaming from ear to ear he returned with photos and a video.
She was stable. And so incredibly tiny.
I couldn’t wait to see her face, I knew there was to be at least a 10 day wait before she was off her ventilator; at least that was what we were told.
But she was stable. For now. We had two visitors;  one of my oldest friends, he was planning a visit that afternoon anyway to cheer me up, from my stay in hospital; only we were showing off our new baby too. He was keen to look. And I felt proud.
 My other visitor, a family member, however, point blank refused to look at her. This hurt terribly. She’s a baby, he turned away from her. My beautiful new baby and he turned his head
“Nah, you’re alright”
Why? I do not know, was my baby not beautiful?
I met her many hours later. I couldn’t really touch her, as I was wheelchaired and had wires everywhere. I was terrified to touch her. What if my touch broke her? Or scared her?
I’d already had a daughter in NICU, but nothing prepared me for being a micro preemie’s mum.
I cried.
Remembering to breathe.
I was now a mummy to three children.

Third Birthday

I never got to watch her open a present.
Or watch her take a step.
She never made a sandy footprint.
Or splashed mud into her hair.
Today I have to speak about her.
Just as I would my other children.
She was here and not a dream.
I wish I could give her an actual kiss today,
not some latex full of air.
I wish I could have a day with her, a day off from missing her; you know the type of day when you want a babysitter?
A break, where you want to do something else. Well, I’d like someone to hold the shitty bereaved torch so I can have a day off.
To be with our should have been 3-year-old daughter.
But of course, I wouldn’t wish this pain on anyone.
Mine and her dad’s pain is no one else’s it is how we hold on to her, how we keep her with us.
So instead of wrapping paper and dresses.
She’s getting cement for her garden.
Just what a three year old wants.
All we can do on her third birthday
Is to keep breathing. 
Happy Third Birthday 
baby loss

A Christmas Interrupted

The bikes,
The trikes,
The twinkling lights.
The empty stockings,
That are pinned up there.
This is the year you should have been,
Going to your first festive parties,
Sitting on Santa’s knee.
Pulling his beard wondering if it’s real.
The wrapping paper, being less important this year
The wonder that is inside.
Your face changing as the magic unfolds.
But instead you are part of the magic
An imagination
That’s all I have.
Make believe
This year is no different to last
You’re still not here,
An empty space.
Dear Melody,
A second Christmas
Once again we’re hitting the Christmas season, a time where you should be here.
Pulling the tree down, poking the presents;
you’d have been 22months so the wonder inside the presents
would have been almost as important as the paper.
It’s not just Christmas,
we miss you every single day,
but it’s a time where there is an obvious hole, and empty space.
People think because we have your little sister we should be better,
be healed.
We were never ill.
Having a rainbow just reminds us that you are not here.
Touching the tree delicately, poking the presents because you don’t know what they are.
You’ll never feel tinsel between your fingers,
You’ll never meet Santa,
Or taste Brussels sprouts.
You’ll never get the chance to party
To pull a cracker and hear it bang,
Your mummy, daddy brother and sisters miss you
I wish you were here,
I wish things were different.
I wish
I wish……
capture your grief

Then She Was Two

Today is the day you should have been two.
The day you should be ripping paper almost eager to know what’s inside..
Today is the day you were meant to turn two.
The day you could have been stamping your feet,
while needing to wait to try your new ride.
Today is the day you would have been two.
The day to jump around in welly boots,
Play hide and seek and eat chocolate mousse.
Today is the day that you won’t be turning two.
Your missing laughter, the silence that replaces you.
Today is the day we’re left wishing that you were two.
Still wondering, still holding on to memories so tight.
This time two years ago you came rushing into the world,
you were our Rainbow Baby our light at the end of the tunnel.
Our little Miss fidgety pants.
Today we not lighting candles for you to blow out,
we’re lighting them as a memory.
Today we are giving you flowers,
instead of toys…I can’t imagine ever giving a two-year old flowers as a present,
they would be disappointed. So why are we left to do this?
Today we have to try to not cry,to try to focus that we were “lucky” to have had you for the 5 weeks we were blessed with.
It may well be two years sweetheart,
but this year is harder than the first.
Last year I could say “I met you last year”
Now I can’t even remember your smell,
how soft your hair was,
or imagine how tiny your little nose was.
 I don’t even know what colour eyes you would have had. Your baby sister’s eyes are hazel.
Time hasn’t healed, it’s only taken you further away.
I can wish as hard as I possibly could, yet it would never come true.
I hope that if heaven is real to you that you’re having a wonderful party with your friends, flying high.
We may have only had you for 35 days, but we do miss you.
Happy Birthday Darling
Love always
Today is the day you turn two.
Mummy and Daddy
birthday grief

Then She Was One

Then you were One.

I know you can understand that I am writing this to you. As I sit in bed not wanting to move, tears streaming still wondering, forever wondering why?
Why can you not be sat here ripping the paper to shreds? Chasing balloons?
Because this is what we have…

xx Melody xx

And I know you’re with me all the time, so you know what I am thinking, what I am feeling, how I am dealing with never being able to hold you again…..
You see a year ago today, I became poorly, so poorly I became close to seizing, it was decided that they would take you out rather than you feel me seizing.
The “safer” option.
A 3-minute decision, that left us in a spin….a spin that we would re-live every year on this day…forever. Something as parents are allowed to do, re-live the scarier but seemingly happier times.
That is just what we were achieving that day, your safe arrival. Though early, it would be a safe delivery. We were told you would be safer outside of mummy than in mummy…..
I cried, I shook, I smiled, I laughed, so many emotions in such a small amount of time from leaving the ward I had been accustomed to, to the theatre not knowing exactly what the next few hours would hold.
As I was helped on to the trolley, I could feel myself shaking uncontrollably, unsure of whether either of us would leave the theatre.
Would you be OK?
I lay back as my lower half was beginning to numb from my spinal they had just inserted, the lovely midwife attempting one last trace of your heartbeat, I truly hoped it would carry on once you entered our world.
The room became hot, to match my temperature, so you wouldn’t feel the chill so much, the room filled with a sea of blue, people chatter, the room was filled. The atmosphere heavy.
The only words I could muster were…”Please tell me she’s not sleeping, don’t let her be born sleeping”
The midwife was about to answer, when we heard the tiniest of squeaks coming from your direction and the female Dr saying “She’s definitely not born sleeping, she gave me a kick”
The silence continued, people surrounded you, it felt like hours to be told if you were ok or not, though I know it was only minutes.
1346 you arrived!
Daddy in his scrubs, meeting you while mummy was still in recovery!
first birthday
The absolute pride on his face….
Seeing you next to Daddy’s hand really shows how small you were at birth.
Little Miss fidgety Pants, weighing in at a tiny 1lb 5oz…0.67g!!
Itty Bitty!
I couldn’t wait for the time I would be able to transfer from bed to chair. Because of the emergence of the section, it was taking me a little while longer to wiggle my toes let alone move up the bed!
So instead I was left in recovery attempting to express you 1 ml of milk, ready for whenever you would be eventually ready for it. I was given a woolly boob to help me fathom expressing and the blue handles to help me move! Fun few hours.
I hated the wait to see you, the wonder whether I would actually get to see you alive.
Then finally almost 6 hours after you were born, I had just enough feeling in my legs to be able to get into a wheelchair, of course with the help of John and my midwife!
My first meeting with you, with my hand with TWO cannulas in, or my bionic hand as I had nicknamed it!
Melody and Me
I was absolutely terrified of touching you, I could barely reach over to you with the wheelchair and lines and equipment, but the nurses encouraged me to talk and stroke to you. To let you know mummy was there for you. An absolutely terrifying moment, you were so tiny, so fragile. The ventilator-the smallest one still swamped you. But you looked so peaceful and relaxed. Which was a relief scared me that you could have been hurting in some way?
Though you have your vent here, this has to be one of my favourite pictures of you. So brave. Such a fighter. We knew we had such a long road ahead of you. But you were so worth it.
melody and me
To be told you had a better chance as you were a girl, girls are the fighters…..Too Right! A Feisty little lady, not matching her size at all.
 Melody Caitlyn. You will always light up mummy and daddy’s lives. There is never a day that goes by where we don’t think or mention you.
It has been the most painful 12 months we will ever endure.
Please be proud of your daddy and your big brother and sister, who have been so strong, and never too scared to mention your name.
 Happy 1st Birthday my beautiful baby girl. We will have cake and balloons. Just wish you were here.
The very first birthday, was not what we had imagined.
special dates

Baby Loss at Christmas

Dear Melody.
As mummy and daddy sit watching your big brother and sister be amazed by their delivery of new pjs from the elf, I wonder which pjs the elves would have brought you. Would they have been pink? Or the standard Christmas ones, ready to dress you in a snowman themed sleep-suit.
Imagining you trying to tear down all the baubles at the bottom of the tree,as the top of the tree became heavy with the decorations we would have moved out of your reach.
I wonder would you have been crawling yet, poking at the few presents under the tree, your big brother and sister getting irate because you can’t quite understand the word “NO!”
We would be trying to figure out how to keep you asleep,so Father Christmas could deliver all 3 sets of parcels without you seeing him.
Then there is the day it self….tomorrow,Christmas Day; trying to point you in the direction of your presents, so your brother and sister can open theirs without little fingers piercing holes in their presents. But being 10 months old on boxing day you wouldn’t understand the difference between the toy and the paper, the paper would be far more interesting.
Lunchtime you would be discovering your 1st taste of sprouts, do you eat it or play with this little green ball,sat staring at you next to the carrots which, I think you would have loved.
You have a naughty mouthful of cream,but imagine you could have stamped your feet at not having more!! You feisty little thing.
You would have spent the rest of the day surrounded in cardboard boxes with the occasional “nos”, or “Mummy,Melody’s playing with my toys!!”
But instead you are resting your head in the clouds, making sure you’re watching your brother and sister having an amazing day. Making sure me and daddy have a glint of a smile on our faces, as I know you don’t like us sad.
I know you have company where ever you may be, but it truly isn’t the same, sending a balloon and lantern lighting a candle,is not the same.
I wish is a phrase I think I will use forever, a wish I know that will never come true.
I hope your beautiful eyes are healed and I’m sure they light up the skies.
We love you Melody Caitlyn. Merry 1st Christmas Sweetheart.
Lots of love and floaty kisses.
Mummy and Daddy.
One for every day you were here.