Baby Loss Awareness

My partner messaged me from yet another of his hotel restaurants to let me know, whilst holding back tears, that it’s baby loss awareness week this week and it got me thinking. Thinking about awareness weeks… not about my baby losses because I think about them every day and no doubt will do until the day I shuffle off this mortal coil.

I wonder who decides when these weeks will be and whether they ever really make anyone more ‘aware’ of the subject matter or whether it’s just a week that makes those who are directly affected remember with more vigour.

I’ve found myself thinking more deeply into my own losses this week, thinking more about the four beautiful babies I never held but still love with all my heart, wondering more deeply about who they would be and thinking over, once more, why we had to suffer these losses. It’s an awareness week yet I don’t see anyone talking about it. I find that when I bring the subject up with a lot of people their eyes glaze over and their eyes wander, I can almost hear them thinking “here she goes again, how am I going to get away” (I’m not talking close friends here).  I find the only time you’re allowed to talk about your own losses after a certain time is when someone else has lost, and even then only if they ask to hear your story directly because they’re going through their own hell and (quite rightly) don’t need to listen to yours too, but from experience it’s nice to know that you’re not alone and it happens to more people than you are aware of.

I find this doesn’t only happen when discussing baby loss, but any loss and have come to the conclusion that we just don’t like to talk about grief in whatever parcel it’s delivered in. There seems to be a period of time where you are ‘allowed’ to express your feelings and grieve and no matter who you talk to they will listen, or at least politely pretend to. Then suddenly, and it’s pretty soon I think, you’re not allowed to talk about it anymore. People get bored of listening and if you persist in mourning your loss you stop seeing these people because they just can’t deal with your misery.

I remember being told on a number of occasions, on the loss of my mother and then subsequent miscarriages and then the recent loss of my father, that I shouldn’t ‘dwell on it’ or ‘wallow’ anymore… As if I choose to feel this cutting grief, as if I enjoy it, as if I’m purposefully prolonging my own agony, as if I should just forget they ever existed.

So as I light my ‘Wave of Light’ candle for my four babies that weren’t given a chance I think of everyone else who has suffered the loss of a baby, or a pregnancy and give them strength and hope that the future does brighten. I want to tell them that their feelings matter, regardless of how many years have passed since their loss and that they are not alone. 

I spent half an hour of the WoL hour sitting on the edge of my bed listening to and looking at our beautiful boy as he slept peacefully and thanked the universe for him, aware that others aren’t as lucky as we are. 

So perhaps that’s the idea of awareness weeks such as this, not necessarily raising the awareness of those that haven’t suffered, but to make the affected aware that they are not alone.

  

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22 Months Old

The beginning of this month started off badly with a flat that reeks of diesel from some mystery source which lead to us evacuating on the 25th August and going to Lyme to stay with Auntie who told us to pack a bag and get over there ASAP. It was lovely seeing them again and as equally nice knowing I wasn’t potentially poisoning you by staying at the flat.

On the 26th we decided to visit Billie Wilcox whom was one of the artists we exhibited at the gallery, as it was Dorset Arts Week. You were in your element lapping up the attention and enjoying her wonderful garden (and flirting with two little girls who were also there). After this we went to see and Daisy and her grandma at their new house where you spent ages playing in Daisy’s room and later with her EleFun.

The next day we went over to see Kieron and Tom who were down staying with Kieron’s parents in Charmouth. It was the first time Davinia and Monty had seen you and you behaved so impeccably I was really proud, you spent pretty much the whole time walking up and down their stairs mind. In the afternoon we went to the Donkey Sanctuary and took Daisy with us. It was the first time I’d used your Little Life reins successfully, usually the clip bugs you. You loved seeing all the donkeys and were shouting the whole time you were there, directing us to where we should go and practically climbing into the compounds with the donkeys. I bought you the same book I had when I was a little girl “The Story of Eeyore – The Naughtiest Donkey in the Sanctuary“. It has barely changed, except it’s now a little smaller. Unfortunately the heavens opened so we gave the maze a miss this time, we’ll do that next time. It is still a truly magical place to be.  When we got home we went for a trudge around David’s field and saw some sheep, up close.

On the 28th we went for an early morning walk on the beach where we had a nice paddle and play in the sand. In the afternoon we all met up with Uncle Simon and Aunty Jacqueline at Pecorama where you were mesmerised by all the train track exhibits inside and in total awe when we actually got to ride on the miniature railway. They’ve built a huge soft play unit since I last went (along time ago when Ella and Tommy were smaller), so you had a good run around in there before going to the park. Nothing other than the wooden train entertained you there and you played merrily in it for about an hour, thankfully the weather was glorious so we all got to enjoy the sunshine.

The next day we came home. It was Bude Lifeboat weekend from the 29th-31st August so there was a fair few festivities going on around the Castle Grounds. We came home on the 29th and met up with Mila at the Castle Grounds in the afternoon and went on a horse and cart ride. You were mesmerised by it, Mila clipclopped round the whole route and you just stared at the horses and passers by.

On Sunday the 30th there was Junior Disco at 3pm outside the castle and we took you down there. We were there just before it officially started and you loved bopping away to the music entertaining the people that were already there. Unfortunately the busier it got the less ideal it was for a toddler and after Daddy witnessed a brother booting his sister in the face with Astro turf football boots on after tackling her to the ground we bid a hasty retreat and boogied outside where it was ‘safer’.

The 31st saw the pinnacle of Lifeboat weekend with Lifeboat Day. We spent most of the day around the canal and castle grounds where all the activities were being held. The Toy Library had a set up there again but it was so busy we didn’t bother going in. We watched a lot of the water sports taking part on the canal which you enjoyed watching. We met up with Mila and had a play.

On the 1st we woke up to my biggest horror … You had a tick! As you will no doubt gather when you get older, I have a totally irrational fear of ticks and the thought of one being attached to your beautiful, perfect face filled me with absolute horror. I remained as calm as I could (whilst shouting for Daddy to confirm) as I mentally planned doctors visits and ways I could murder all ticks in the world. Anyway, as I quietly screamed and died inside it just fell off, didn’t like your blood obviously, thank god! We’re now on bullseye rash alert but I’m sure you’ll be fine. In the afternoon we had a play date with Mila at her house. You guys are so adorable together and kept kissing and hugging each other; granted, the hugging was more Mila to your trying to get away, but the kissing was mutual.

  

On the 2nd we met up with Leo, Finn and Donald at Stratton park for a get together. You and Leo were on form vying for the attentions of a young blonde called Amelia, it was so funny watching you both following her around like lambs, I think she enjoyed the attention too and kept referring to you both as ‘her boys’.

The 4th saw a library visit as we haven’t been for a while. It was brilliant, they had all the toys out and you loved plodding around playing with a couple of other children whilst I looked for books for you. 

The 6th saw us take a trip to the BRILLIANT Tamar Otter and Wildlife Centre at North Petherwin with Daddy, Amanda and Mila. Amanda had bought us a season ticket for my birthday and what a present. It’s a truly amazing place; peaceful, beautiful, educational and relaxing. We saw so many things there; Otters (of course), Peacocks (plus a baby one which is a first for me), chipmunks (again, a baby one that was minuscule), birds of prey, guinea fowl, deer, wallabys (no joke), Scottish wildcats, and so much more. You loved the wild cats and the wallabys the most and you even walked up to the wallaby and it ate some food out of your hand. An amazing day to say the least. We’ve been several times since, I don’t think we’ll ever bore of it!

We’ve had lots of fun with the paint, crayons and stickers making a birthday card for Granny, I’m SURE she’ll be suitably impressed with your artwork.

On the 7th we went over to Roo’s farm and spent the afternoon with them, Caroline and Samuel. You weren’t interested in the toy cars that Jess had got out for you all to play with, you wanted to get in the real tractors which is par for the course when we go there. On the 11th we had a play date with Grayson whom we haven’t seen for a while now. 

On the 10th you used your potty totally independently for the very first time (see below) and have pretty much used it, at home, ever since. I wrote a more comprehensive post on this here

Groups have restarted now the schools have gone back. Unfortunately your nap still interferes with most of them but thankfully Shining Stars at the Children’s Centre starts earlier so we do manage to get to play there. It was rammed this week (15th) though and unfortunately there’s always one child that tends to ruin the whole thing for everyone when it’s that busy. This resulted in you wanting to be held the whole time so we left a little earlier (along with a few others). That afternoon we had a play date with Mila and Samuel where you guys could totally let loose.

On the 18th you decided to fly head first into a doorframe with a sickening thud. This resulted in two massive forehead eggs and bruises coming up immediately. After your initial upset you were fine though I decided, due to the force you hit, to have you checked out so took you up to Stratton Hospital. The nurse was lovely and agreed that you were fine, though a little bruised and sore. You hated her looking in your eyes and ears mind meaning another (male) nurse, having heard your disdain on passing by, came in bearing toys, stickers, funny faces and smiles. We were soon on our way home for naughty tea time treats for being such a brave boy. I’m sure I’ll have more visits like this in the years to come but I still wish you didn’t ever hurt yourself. 

On use 18th we went for a play date at Roo’s farm again with Grayson. Jess had bought a dog agility tunnel which is IMMENSE!! For once I got to chase you through the tube, that went on FOREVER!!

The 19th and 20th saw the fabulous Bude for Food Festival in full swing. Once again the weather was amazing, the food was awesome and the venue even better than last year. The Toy Library had a pitch there which meant we spent most of our time, over the two days, there with a few turns around the venue sampling some food (you had pizza from La Bocca), dancing to some music, drumming with on recycled barrels, shopping trolleys and Henry hoovers and playing with Mila. In addition we went swimming on the Sunday with Daddy so you showed him how good you are at swimming and diving.

  

On the 22nd we had a play date at Samuel’s house with Mila where you all had a blast, namely by being driven around the house by Samuel’s mum on his zebra scooter.

Health

At the beginning of this month you had a doozy of a cold along with a fever. However I noticed, on the 22nd, your lower canines had come through so think that this may have been the reason for the illness. By the end of the month you’d developed another cold.

Teeth

On the 22nd your lower canines finally poked through.

Firsts

First trip to the Donkey Sanctuary at Sidmouth on the 27th August.

First trip to Pecorama on the 28th August.

Tick…… EEEEEEEEK

On the 10th September you used your potty totally independently. Full post here.

First trip to A&E

Character

Your character just develops every month, building on the gorgeous little personality you have designed for yourself. You are turning into a proper little flirt and god help any little girl that crosses your path before you go all coy, start playing with your hair, laughing and flashing your tummy at them. It’s so funny to watch. You are, quite simply, a delight to be around.

Speech

You’ve been making lots more sounds this month, notably so at the beginning of the month when at Auntie’s house. One morning, at breakfast, you quite clearly said what sounded like “Mummy” but am thinking you were actually trying to say “Blueberries” as I was carrying them at the time. Of course you didn’t repeat it so I can’t be sure what it was you said. You’re mouthing sounds loads but not putting any sound to them yet.

Daddy is quite concerned that you’re not talking properly yet and although I’m not, I’ve been beginning to question my lack or concern thinking perhaps I should be worried and by not being I’m doing you an injustice. I decided to raise the issue with the Health Visitor when I got you weighed. At first she said by the time you have your two year review you should be saying 10 words and if you’re not they’ll probably refer us to a speech therapist. After this she observed you playing, interacting and communicating with everyone in there and after you followed a quite complex set of instructions she looked at me and said “You’re absolutely fine, don’t worry”. I’m beginning to think that you’re a little bit of a perfectionist like Daddy and I and you won’t speak until you know you can do it perfectly, much like you did when you started walking. We often joke your first word will be Pterodactyl or something equally as complicated 😄

On the 6th you started saying ‘Ha’ for ‘Yes’

Entertainment

You have now discovered Mr Tumble and you absolutely love him. In fact he appears to have knocked Show Me Show Me off the top spot where TV is concerned.

Drawing and painting are title firm favourites and drawing wind mills (turbines) is your drawing of choice. At this point they don’t resemble much more than circles and lines but when asked what it is you tell us that is what you are drawing.

Hobby horse.

Potty, I swear you’re only using it so much because you’ve figured out if you use it you get to wash your hands afterwards. You’ll force the tiniest wee out just so you can race into the bathroom and climb up to the sink. 

I decided to put together the scooter that Carl and Diana bought you for your birthday as I thought you’d enjoy just standing on it, if nothing else. You love it! You’ve even started using it properly which just baffles me. Ok, you’re not adept but you’re certainly giving it a blooming good go. Thanks Carl x

  

Sleep

I might start omitting this section now as you pretty much sleep through every night from between 1830-1900 until 0500-0530, though you suffer the occasional hiccup it’s easily rectified. Still need boob to settle (I know, my own fault) and your daytime nap varies from 40 minutes to 2 and a half hours from about 1030-1100.

Physical Development

Running, running, running, running. You want to run EVERYWHERE now (which increases your father’s blood pressure somewhat and has resulted in more knew and palm grazes) which I think is adorable. Don’t get me wrong you’ve been running a while now but it seems you favour this to walking these days.

We have been walking pretty much everywhere these days, taking the pram as back up to save me from carrying you back up the hill to the flat, but rarely having to use it (though I’m not going to get rid of it just yet, I am pretty sure you’ll get bored of this walking malarkey at some point).

Whenever you hear music, wherever you are, you get your dancing shoes on and groove on down. Be it a passing car’s stereo, the fair, an advert or the stereo, whatever the source there you are, busting a move.

Undressing. You can now successfully take down your own trousers without falling over. T-shirt removal is still a work in progress, as is dressing successfully.

Potty Training

On the 10th you did your very first, totally independent wee in your potty. There was absolutely no input from me you just toddled over to it, lifted your vest, sat and tinkled! Since this moment you have used it at home ever since with only one accident due to potty being in living room whilst I was hoovering (you were watching from a safe distance in the bedroom and couldn’t get to potty). I’ve written a more comprehensive post on this subject here.

 

Growth

On the 3rd September I got you weighed as you were awake and not flagging due to a lie -in.

Weight: 28 Ib

Height: 85.5cm

You are now tall enough to open door handles which poses yet another problem around the house.

Feeding

I’ve decided to give you a proper cup at all mealtimes now (when safely sat at the table) and you love it. I’ve played with it for a couple of months but haven’t been consistent and think I’ve taken my eye off the ball as you’re big enough for it now, and have been for a while.

New Tastes: Marmalade; Watercress; Beetroot; Carrot and Coriander Soup; Quorn Bacon