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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Goodbye Summer

Wow, it’s September. The summer has gone, the Autumn (proven by the incredible plunge in temperature) is here once again. Summer seems to have passed me by and I struggle to remember a nice, sunny day of it. Did we have any, or is it my darkened mind that has tarnished their memory?

I love summer, always have. I hate the rain, I hate the grey, I hate the wind, the sun is where I find my happiness, it’s my power source but as we approach another long and bleak Cornish winter I feel I haven’t had my batteries fully charged with what I need to get through it.

I hated this summer mind, hated it like no other. All it seems to have brought to my door is more grief, loss, disappointment, fear, stress, anxiety and rage and for once I’m looking forward to winter as the beginning of winter means a new year is just around the corner.

I find myself writing this the day after my baby was due to be born and so much has happened that I nearly forgot that this had happened to us too, this that I thought would be the worst thing to happen to us this year, so forgive me for this rather maudlin post.

‘They’ say things happen for a reason but I struggle to contemplate what the reason is for so much heartache to fall on my doorstep this year. 

I’m not a bad person. In fact I’d go as far as saying that I’m a fairly nice person, a caring person, a fair person, a tolerant person. So if things happen for a reason, please can someone enlighten me as to what that reason is? Because I can’t see it right now. 

I’m not going to say Why Me? Because, quite frankly, why not me? What makes me so bloody special that I shouldn’t have a hard time more than the person next to me. I just struggle to know why all my babies couldn’t be with me now instead of just the one, special, precious one that was strong enough to stay with us. Why both my parents have been taken away from us so they are unable to witness my beautiful boy grow into an adult and give him the magical memories grandparents provide. Why we have been dogged with such bad luck where other matters are concerned. So to you people who say it, please give me the reason and if you can’t, then stop saying it to people when dreadful things happen to them because it doesn’t help. The saying should be, quite simply… “Things happen” and that’s the end of it.

So as I say goodbye to Summer and hello to Autumn I hope, beyond hope that our run of bad luck has come to an end and that the changing of the leaves will also bring the changing of our fortunes. As those leaves fall away from their branches and begin to become one with the earth once more, our misfortune will join them and leave the hope of a brighter, more fortunate future.

15 Months Old

It’s been a pretty shocking month, unfortunately (hence the late posting), though it did start off nicely so let’s start with the good bits.  

On the 30th we took a trip over to Lyme and stayed with Auntie for four days so Daddy could get the flat painted so we can put it on the market. We had a famous time. You were so busy racing around and tiring us all out, Auntie in particular when you insisted on climbing all the stairs in the house repetitively.



We went for lots of walks and I took you on routes I haven’t walked since I was at school, it was lovely reminiscing if a bit sad too.

We read lots of books and you sat on my knee whilst you played my piano, I forget it’s there and haven’t shown you it before, you loved banging around on it. I often wonder whether you’ll have some musical talent.



Whilst here we took you shopping and for the first time I put you in the kids seat on a trolley (I usually carry you in the mei tai)… You absolutely loved it, looking around and swinging your legs it was lovely to see. Auntie and I embarrassed ourselves no end in the attempt at getting a decent photo of you in it mind. 



On the 3rd we tried a new soft play room, ‘Jumping Jacks’ at the Bullers Arms in Marhamchurch where you had me racing round like a loon pushing you on a bike, this went on for pretty much the entire 3 hours we were there but you did let me have a little break when you tried out a bouncy castle for the first time.



On the 11th we went and stayed with Uncle Dan et al as I had a hospital appointment the next morning. You slept fantastically despite me leaving all your bedtime accoutrement neatly folded on the sofa…. At home. In fact you slept 10 hours straight, I couldn’t have asked for more. The next day Uncle Dan took care of you until I got back from Exeter. It started so well, until Auntie Sam and Tommy left for school, then you made him work. You cried from the moment they left til the moment I walked in the door… 2 hours later bless you, and poor Uncle Dan. Unfortunately, due to this visit, we missed Samuel’s 1st birthday party of which I am so sorry.

A week later all manner of hell broke loose where your poor Daddy was thrown in at the deep end and forced to be in soul charge of you for a whole, entire night. More to the point this was the longest we’ve been apart since your conception. I, unfortunately, was taken into hospital by ambulance at 2130, luckily I’d managed to settle you before the paramedics arrived and I had hoped you’d sleep for a good few hours, unfortunately for your Daddy you woke up 5 minutes after I was taken away and that was the start of a hellish night. You both ended up only getting 4 hours sleep (which was 1 hour more than myself but 10 hours too few for you my precious). Apparently you kept pointing down the hall no matter what room you were in, thinking I was in the other and when you discovered I wasn’t there you broke down. This, of course, made me breakdown when Daddy text me when I was in A&E. My precious boy, you finally settled for him at 2 am and he brought you to me by 9am, luckily because I still breastfeed visiting hours don’t apply. We had a fun time trying to keep you amused as all you wanted to do was walk down the corridors shouting and their were lots of sick ladies that probably wouldn’t have appreciated it, though some older ladies loved seeing and hearing you.  

On February 17th you partook in your very first pancake day and you wolfed it down. Classic with blueberries all the way.



Health  

Bleurgh, another cold, more temperatures, more vomiting, more icky nappies. May be due to teeth, could just have been a cold but you’re on the mend now and full of the joys of spring once more. I hate seeing you so poorly, as a parent all I want to do is take it for you and feel totally helpless when there’s nothing more than cuddles that I can do. 

Teeth 

On the 11th February I discovered your upper right molar has finally come through after, what seems like, weeks of drooling, icky nappies and fist chewing. You’re yet to allow me to see if any of the others have come through mind. 

Firsts 

On the 31st you had your first ride in a supermarket trolley.

You rubbed your head after bumping it 2nd February. Now you rub whatever you’ve bumped, it’s so cute and terrifying too as you look so grown up doing it. 

On the 15th February you walked independently and of your own volition across the room. It’s official. You’re a walker. The speed in which you took to it confirms my suspicions you’ve been able to do for ages now but didn’t have the nerve, or the inclination, to do so. Next stop, shoe shopping! 



On the 17th February you ate your first Shrove Tuesday pancake.

Character 

You are turning into such a sweet little boy and love sharing everything you have, be it your biscuit, drink, toy or dinner you always offer it up to share, be it to us, another child at a group or play date or your doggy. It’s very endearing. 



You still know how to throw a tantrum and I have to stifle the laughter when you sit there banging your feet on the floor. You are due to exit a leap any day and after this apparently I have to start laying down the law… This should go down well!!! Watch this space!

I love how when you’re bored you throw things away shouting at them as you do so and you clear the sofa of stuff by chucking it over your shoulder shouting as you do it.

You’ve also taken to coming and getting us by the hand if you need/want us to get you something you can’t reach, it’s so adorable. You also grab our fingers and make us experience your touch and feel books as you do.

You are still sharing everything which I find so endearing. Whether it be everything you’re eating, or something you’re playing with, 

Muscle Development & Coordination 

Mobility: it’s official. You are now officially walking independently. We’ve been getting free steps everyday for a while now but only a couple at a time (6 being the most) and only once or twice a day. I think it was either a lack of confidence or pure laziness because you run whilst holding onto my hand and you’re not putting any of your weight onto me at all. However, whilst running a fever and thoroughly snotty, on the 15th February you were standing yourself up and taking a few steps towards furniture, you were practising pretty much all day and by the evening you were becoming really brave and pushing yourself. By the next morning you independently walked from the door to the chair then to me, by the afternoon you walked the entire length of the lounge. There is no stopping you now, the speed in which you did it proves you’ve been able to do it for a while, you lazy little monkey. Next stop… The dreaded shoe shop, though I still maintain my no shoes rule on the whole, however I can’t have you walking around barefoot outside, especially in this weather and in these times.

I’m beyond proud, and maybe boring Facebook and Twitter just a little. 

You continue to climb everything. We’ve had to modify the cat tower to stop you climbing the rungs but the rest of the room is pretty much your playground seeing as we can’t protect everything.



Communication: Still no improvement on words but you certainly know how to communicate using your finger, shrugs, nodding, shaking your head and props. You’re very clever, we just need to hear your voice more than just ‘mama’, ‘dada’, ‘AH’ and ‘uh huh’. 

Entertainment 

Telephone play. EVERYTHING is a telephone at the moment, be it your thermometer, the remote control, a credit card or a spoon, you are constantly nattering away to whoever you’re talking to.

Buttons. Your fascination with buttons is driving us mad. Especially the TV power button, where you press it three times, every time meaning it’s ALWAYS off. 

Keys. You love keys and are always wanting to put them in the door keyhole (or anything that resembles a keyhole, for that matter).  

Books. You still LOVE books and are constantly toddling over with one for us to read to you. You still prefer your ‘If I Were…’ And ‘That’s Not My…’ books.



Sleep

You really have turned a corner on this front now and sleep really well most of the time. The odd night you wake up still, but only the once. Though, having said that, on the 9th you threw a right whappy. We’re not sure what really happened but I knew it was going to be a tough night when I put you down, but I didn’t envisage that. All we can think of is that you had a night terror because it took ages to calm you down when you woke and then you point blank refused to go back to sleep. You kept pointing down the corridor at the lounge and when I finally relented and took you to the lounge you pointed down the corridor at the bedtime, and so this went on…. For hours!!! 

Growth

You now weight 23Ib 10oz and have, finally, grown out of all your 6-9 month clothing.

Feeding

I’ve started introducing a knife and fork at dinner times now and you love trying to use them. The knife is no more than a toy at the moment (I’m not expecting you to cut anything just yet) but you handle the fork brilliantly, stabbing the food with it and managing not to take an eye or your tongue out when putting the morsel into your mouth.

New Tastes: Omelettes; Cherries; Stuffed Jacket Potatoes; Lychees;