My Little Elva

To my darling Elva,

I have your pictures up in my house but lately I’ve found myself looking at you not knowing who you are, feeling like I’ve not even looked at you for a long long time. Like it was decades since we last met.

I’m so busy looking after your brothers doing what I do and because I can’t see you daily I forget to look.

You have so many faces I don’t remember which I know.

You help me daily though, I feel you all around and I feel the love. You’ve changed me more than you could ever know or hope to know. In your death you have helped many and I hope you will help more.

So many times I wish I never had you but I would never wish you away but most the time I’m grateful you came to us. I’m honoured. I have had my eyes opened to the world. I see where I was focusing on things that didn’t matter not really. I see where I thought I was making the most of things yet I wasn’t and even now there’s room for more.

You have brought us closer together and given us more drive. You encourage us daily to make the most of life and not spend it being angry or bored.

Of course we’re still human and we get upset and angry and bored but we always have the intention to  make it not last, to get over small things and and focus on bigger things. We’ve learnt everything can be solved somehow and if it can’t then that’s what needs to happen.

I miss you so much, I can’t imagine spending the rest of my life without you. It still seems like some big joke yet I know I must.

One day we will meet and I will hold you forever. I can’t wait.

Love you Elva, my tiny beauty

xx

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Reason

Recently I’ve seen many mums talking about the reason for their babies death and no I don’t mean the physical or medical reasons but the ‘divine’ reason.

Majority seem to want no reason for it. They get angry if anyone suggests god had a reason for this as they can’t fathom what possible reason could cause a stillbirth.

I however like the thought there is a reason. I don’t believe in a god or some divine being but I do believe in karma and for whatever reason Elva couldn’t stay.

What if her little sibling becomes a great scientist or doctor? they would never have existed if it wasn’t for Elva

What if a descendant  in thousands of years saves millions of lives they may not have been able to exist without Elva

Even the fact that her death has alerted me to fact angel wear is needed. My hospital don’t really get outfits or blankets regularly so just being able to help a few is important. Not many hospitals have nappies for angel babies none that I’ve managed to come across but now my hospital have 20 nappies ready for an angel baby so they don’t have to wear a nappy that is too big or no nappy at all. If that’s the only reason then so be it because it’s still a good reason.

I can’t imagine accepting my baby died because the world is cruel, because she’s too precious. If that’s the case why do we continue to try improve our lives? make ourselves happy? I have the believe the world knows what it is doing and I accept I may never know why but I can’t be one of those mums who thinks she died just cos.

However if you believe there’s no reason that’s ok as long as long as it helps your grief.

tracy

Little Pea

So recently I got a tattoo in memory of Elva. I was told they’re addictive you will want more. I said no I wouldn’t.

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Well I lied I want another one. I’ve decided to one day get little stars to represent all my kids including my miscarriage baby (little pea), Elva and I hope a rainbow baby. Talking to Jem about this he asks who little pea is so I explain.

But explaining miscarriage to a 7 year old isn’t easy. He saw Elva on a scan picture from 4 weeks he saw Leif from 9 weeks. He saw Elva with his own eyes but how do you explain a miscarriage that you started to lose before you got a positive pregnancy test how do you explain the only evidence is a positive blood test at the hospital after they confirmed there was nothing in there.

How do you explain you’ve no pictures, you have no baby that you saw and you know even less about that baby than Elva. I explained I got pregnant but bled and then there was no baby any more but he still was not understanding.

He asked why we never told him… he was 3 at the time. It wasn’t something we felt he needed to know at the time.

I feel sad he’s entered this world without wanting to but also it’s taught him a lesson. Babies die and if it helps him prevent his own baby loss in his adulthood it was worth me experiencing this pain for them.

tracy

Acceptance

How do I accept Elva’s death?

How do I accept my guilt and turn it around?

How do I forgive myself for all the things I wish I had done?

How do I stop wanting to blame her for leaving me?

How do I stop wondering every second what it would like with her here?

What do I do to get to the point where I say my daughter died, its not ok but I accept this happened and allow my grief to move on a step.

I often think Elva is angry at me. I wonder if she blames me for not helping her. I thought I was doing things in her interest but I question myself. Was it really for the best for her benefit or was it for myself.

I feel I was looking too far ahead instead of the here and now. Instead of concentrating on what was happening then I was concentrating on making the end goal successful. What’s the point planning a birth and trying to ensure that happens if I’m not concentrating on the health of the baby I’m to birth.

I partly blame my care but I mostly blame myself. I don’t feel I can lay blame on one person not even myself. But the level of guilt hasn’t changed from day one. I still blame myself to the same degree as I did 4 months ago when it happened. Only difference I’ve accepted now that I had no harmful intention I was doing it out of love for her making her entrance safe and happy and easy for me so I could care for ALL my children plus myself.

Now I couldn’t care less how she was born as long as it was alive. But that time has past. I can’t wish to go back and do it again. I can’t wish to undo or redo anything because it would be pointless.

It doesn’t stop me having regret. Regret eats away at you, regret makes you act guilty. I don’t want to live with regret. I want to live with the confidence that I made the decision I made that were right for the time they were made and were right considering the information I had. I replay my decisions over in my head and sometimes I know I failed other times I know I had a good heart and of course if we thought this was even a risk we would have done things so so differently regardless of our wishes.

In the early days I thought my goal was to have another baby almost right all the wrongs. Give another child life that Elva was denied. Stick 2 fingers up at mother nature and say see you didn’t succeed having one less child in the world because here’s another you didn’t take. But that feels too much like replacement which I never want for Elva. I realise it’s not fair on Elva or another baby to use them to finish what I started.

Someone told me that some babies come into this world and leave almost as suddenly for a reason. This I agree with I also agreed with them that we don’t always know the reason. But they went on to say that sometimes the reason isn’t a big reason it can be a small reason like bringing a family closer or making us appreciate happiness more. I feel a fire in me I never felt before but I also experience the failure just as hard. However I appreciate each day is a new day a new opportunity and as long as I keep the promise to change and I keep working on my goal then its a good thing and it will occur.

I never considered myself unappreciative of my kids but there’s always room for more appreciation, more gratitude and more love. For me that has occurred. We try have more fun, we try stress about the small things less. We are thankful for the small things and let the bigger things take their course.

Of course we still get angry, annoyed and overwhelmed. Of course we still feel huge sense of failure and self pity, BUT we’re working on it with a fire we never had before. We want Elva to be proud. I want something positive to come from this I need something positive to come from this. When I see Elva again I want her to say wow Mummy I’m so lucky to have you.

I need to work on my anger. It is not Elva’s fault she left. She had no choice. She’s a baby, she’s human and as humans we can’t control our destiny or health at the best of times. It was a bit of me, a bit of her and a bit of Daddy that made her who she was. Made her situation the way it was and none of us had the control we wanted over this. I need to stop blaming myself for this I need to accept I can’t change it and if  she had survived I wouldn’t have felt guilty for any of my choices so why feel guilty now? We assumed she’d survive that’s why the decisions that were made were made at that time.

I need to accept I did finish what I started it just happened faster and differently. Life isn’t set in stone. It changes. Today I could be destined to die tomorrow in the morning that destiny could have vanished. I need to accept that another pregnancy would not be a completion of her pregnancy.

I didn’t fail. I succeeded in growing a perfectly 100% healthy baby. After 2 pregnancies and one loss I succeeded in making a girl something you do start to wonder about. I succeeded in producing a breath taking beautiful child who looked just like her brothers. I succeeding in creating a child who was so so loved and never once resented or disliked. We as a family have succeeded by staying together supporting one another and continuing to work through this.

4 months since Elva was born. 4 months and 3 days since she died and left this world. For 4 months and 3 days we have succeeded in saying her name daily, we have kept her memory alive, we have built positive things out of her death and we have succeeding in surviving and being ok. Just ok but better than not ok.

I accept she died. I accept I’m not to blame, I accept my guilt is self protection and has no hold over me. I accept I need to move on and live my life but never forget.

Acceptance isn’t about forgetting, It isn’t about saying its ok it good this happening. Its about saying it happened, I can’t undo it but I must move forward somehow.

tracy

Force

This is a life I did not chose It is a life I can’t escape.

I feel FORCED to live with this. Life dealt this to me and I can’t prevent it I have to deal with this I have to see it to the end somehow some way.

I have to do this by doing constantly. Keeping busy at all times. No unplanned days wandering round finding something to do. Instead I need to pack my days tight so I don’t have time to think.

I have to protect myself as best I can by avoiding what I find hard to deal with. I don’t need to feel guilty or forced to be ok. I need my time to deal with it how I need to. I left a group early today because the word baby was said too many times. I’m not some weirdo who thinks baby shouldn’t be said but you know those times when you considered people don’t know how to utter a sentence without including the same word. It was one of those days. Then everyone sat around with their babies. That should be me I should have my baby on my knee. But instead she was behind the building I was in, in her forever bed.

I had to leave for self preservation. Not a single person there was considering Elva was close by. It tortures me almost knowing she’s so close but incredibly far away too.

To get up daily and face the word. To smile with my children, to laugh, to enjoy then in the next instance to cry it does take strength to do this. It takes strength to act opposite ends of the emotional spectrum. Every day is spent fighting back tears when its not appropriate, feeling that deep sickness of guilt and loss. Then when the tears flow it takes the last ounce of strength to claw our way back up, back to putting that face on, back to guiltily enjoying things without my baby here.

It may seem like I’m a mess and probably deep down I am, but at the same time I’ve continued. Four months I’ve lived without my daughter. That’s 4 more months than I thought I would survive, because you do somehow think you will spontaneously cease from the pain, but you don’t. You keep standing, you keep fighting and trying. You keep surviving and one day you will live again.

So when you look and wonder when will she smile again, when will she stop looking like a haunted soul. The answer is probably never because always there is a voice going it should have been this way. Instead look and continue what strength you’re witnessing, consider what she’s hiding away and living with daily. Consider looking her in the eye and imagining what she’s thinking and maybe you could tell her you know what she must be thinking. You don’t know how it feels but you know she’s hurting and you’re there.

tracy

 

2015

This year is very different to how I imagined it would be going.

I can’t stop thinking of the what ifs. I can’t breath for all the memories I created before Elva even came, all the plans I had thought of all the ideas. All gone.

It’s impossible to control these thoughts all the what would we be doing now thoughts, what milestones would she be hitting.

If she had come when we thought she might be smiling by now. It breaks my heart to never see my baby smile never know what would have tickled her who she would have smiled for. What would she look like a bit fatter with her cheeks scrunched up and her mouth turned upwards. I will never know and that hurts deeply.

Getting on with family life is easier and easier physically but emotionally it’s getting harder. I imagine how I should be pushing her along the road in her pram, the people who would say aww shes beautiful. The people who knew we were expecting and would be eager to see her. The laughter and love that would have increased with this extra person in the house.

I feel I’m muddling along waiting for something amazing to happen something that will make sense of all this make it a little easier. But I know that won’t ever happen.

People say about time: give it time, you’re only young you’ve your whole life ahead. This doesn’t comfort me or excite me. It’s longer without one of my children, longer till I can be with her. But then when I do go to be with her I leave my boys behind. Either way I am without one child.

It’s a huge burden to bear, it’s a huge undertaking and something no one can judge you for. No suggestion helps except keep busy. My whole life now is about keeping busy. Making each day go faster and faster. Soon the weeks pass they turn to month and one day years and decades will have past and I’ll have made it through a little longer.

Some days I don’t feel I can carry on without her. I NEED her here, I NEED those memories and plans back. I have to find a way to get this sorted.But I can’t it just can’t be. The time to prevent this has gone and I can’t redo it and learn from my mistakes.

tracy

Fake

Can you believe there are people out there faking this?!!

They make up a pregnancy loss and a cause of death and join the groups befriending people.

Asking questions to get answers because they don’t know the details of their pretend loss.

They are usually obvious to spot as well over short period of time. Their dates don’t match up, they don’t know basic details about what happened to them, sometimes they change the story depending on who they speak to not expecting others to find out and they sometimes share a bit too much of their life with EVERYONE!

This life isn’t something I wanted, I didn’t want to be part of this world or gain attention for losing a child. I didn’t want to connect with a group of very sad people just to belong. No-one wants to be in this situation.

It’s hurtful and scary when someone fakes it. They access details you don’t want to think someone who doesn’t understand will see. Some women don’t share their baby for a long long time and then they do and a fake comes along it rocks their world.

Why would anyone pretend to have experienced this. Do they not know how many of us wish we we’re pretending this was all a dream and not our reality? No they don’t because they don’t think about us only how they want some attention and to be part of something that shouldn’t happen.

tracy