Cost of Donating

I have been donating to Elva’s hospital since February time. In that time I’ve received about £40 in PayPal donations, about 15 blankets, lots of hats and cloth nappies.

Many who offered never did and those who asked for my address to send items never did. Some who made items decided to stop due to their own issues.

I wouldn’t say I’ve done this alone as I appreciate the help I have been given but largely I have set this up myself and made 80% of the items that were donated.

So I thought I’d show the true cost of ‘donating’

This list includes items bought with go fund me donations. For the 3 boxes already sent plus enough for another 3 so approx. years worth:

Boxes x 3 £11

Blankets x 19 £22

Wool £105

Embellishments: (ribbon, buttons) £20

Fabric : £30

Disposable nappies: £8

Stickers and bags to send sets in: £11

Safety pins for nappies: £2

Thread: £3

Total £212

I didn’t pay approx £50 of this

This excludes stuff I was sent to use and items I had already:

Lace fabric, Jersey fabric, cotton, blankets, bows, roses, felt, wool, thread, bonnets, hats, nappies and a gown.

It may not seem much because that amount helped 60 babies add on at least another £80 for blankets for another 4 boxes minimum and the fact the grand total will be min. of 140 babies helped it doesn’t seem that bad (£2 per set).

However it is the reason I ask for help not because I’m lazy or not wanting to pay but because it mounts up. If I had the same amount of help I’ve put in the boxes could of helped nearly 300 babies. Instead of it taking a year to help it’ll take me 2 years to help 300 babies.

Add in 2-3 people’s help and you can easily see how help from others helps more babies.

The main items right now are blankets I have none for the next box. Smaller items such as hats and booties are also good and give me more time to provide the main outfit especially booties. Currently the sets due out end of August have no foot wear to accompany  them.

Sizes range from 16 weeks to newborn.

Cardigans are also welcome and a range of gender colours. Even if you don’t help me bear this in mind for other donators.

Please see the Facebook page for this month donation photos so far.

tracy

 

Anger

Today I’m angry.

Elva was classed as 27+3 when born yet by my dates I was more 28+6 quite a difference really especially as she was the weight of a 24 week baby!

From the start I questioned this. I reasoned my boys were about a week behind dates. We weren’t heavy babies ourselves when born, Daddy is on the shorter side and I’m not a tall woman either. But consistently Elva was 2 week behind then 11 days but never caught up.

Endless appointments where I questioned her size, her gestation, her lack of movement, why was she always on her belly? I was treated like a paranoid mum, a finder of issues, maybe even stupid for not understanding.

I was told it’s normal some babies aren’t active, some lie this way or that, I must have ovulated later in cycle than I thought that’s why she was behind my dates.

I told each and everyone of them. MY babies are active on screen her gender shouldn’t matter. MY babies don’t lie still in one position every scan. MY babies hate scans and dopplers. They kick them, prod them try get rid of them. Elva didn’t not till 17 weeks.

I don’t know when I ovulated that cycle but I do know when I ‘did the deed’ and it wasn’t two weeks later. There’s no way she could have been 2 weeks behind. I know how babies are made and sorry to be crude but no sperm lasts 2 weeks in the body.

It was suggested I go with later due date as it gave me more time if I went over due. I wasn’t worried about going overdue I’ve never made 40 weeks in 2 other  pregnancies yet so why would I assume this would be the one I’d go so overdue I’d be thankful for the 2 extra weeks. I was worried about her being early and because of the dates I was worried she would be severely premature when in reality she wasn’t.

By the time she died she was 3 weeks by LMP (last menstrual cycle) and 2 weeks by taking a week off like her brothers. That is a lot of weeks to ignore, to pass off as ok, to act like the mother after 3 pregnancies didn’t know how all this worked.

If you’ve read most of my blog you’ll know that finally someone listened when I got to 26+6 (hospital dates) They queried my 2 due dates and the vastness between them. I explained I couldn’t have ovulated later as we weren’t trying for a baby we just you know just had fun and protected rest of month. I shouldn’t have even been fertile when we did but somehow she came from that but she certainly didn’t come from anything 2 weeks after that! She went into action, a scan was booked, I was finally being listened to excited to see her the following week.

We never made the scan and I kick myself daily for not speaking up more, bugging more, being more forceful and saying no this isn’t right I want to have more thorough scans and checks. But I wanted to trust in nature.

I’m angry at the hospital, at the people I saw, the condescending attitudes and the lack of trust in me her mother! Even first time mums know but are never believed. Well a 3rd time mum isn’t either. As time passes I also feel angry to my midwife a little bit. I feel there’s times she missed things, I feel she should have stated her opinion more or even just reasons why I should do things without opinion being added.

When my spotting started I feel she should have known I was scared out my wits and sent me for a scan to reassure me. I feel she should have known to do this because I’d never spotted before. I wish when she queried my dates at 17 weeks in terms of getting a home birth she had done it because it was odd. Maybe if things had been spotted by her 10 weeks earlier Elva would be here.

Despite my anger I don’t blame these people. I blame me more than anyone else and even I know it wasn’t my fault. I did what was expected of me. I kept quiet about worries, I trusted my caregivers and I monitored her kicks. They say they would have scanned me if i had gone in with my spotting but 4 weeks earlier I had been told she was fine and not that small. How was I to know that was wrong? How was I to know I should have gone.

It’s so important to know your own limits, your own body, your own health. Why did they think it appropriate to not tell me. A pregnancy goes in the mother records. Everything to do with Elva her birth her tests everything are under MY name. Even my live births are under MY files. So why did they feel the need to keep things from me and soothe me with false words.

I feel distrustful now. I’m scared of my own instincts. Leif fell over and the before Elva me would have been like he’s fine. we’ll keep him close and keep an eye on him. The after Elva me wanted to run to a&e with him scared something would happen and he’d die in the night.

It’s been a while since I’ve felt this way. I want to move on from this because I know I can’t change this os undo this. I can’t replay it in a future pregnancy and fix it that time. But just today I feel deep hurt and anger and the what ifs play loudly.

I know I said last post I was taking a break and likely I now will but writing is therapy and so my break was broken for one more post.

tracy

9 months

I’m a bit early with this months anniversary blog it’s not quite 9 months yet but I felt the need to write this as I will be taking a break from writing for a short time.

We all find our own way to grieve, to heal, to survive, to live in all aspects of our lives. Whether it’s tragedy, depression or happiness we all have our own agenda, our own time line, our own ways.

I’ve talked about judgement before from those who don’t understand loss who assume to know how we should heal and what should help us. Disagreeing with the time it takes us to ‘get over it’. I’ve even talked about judgement amongst those who do understand loss.

I’ve seen more and more judgement from angel mums towards other angels mum. An angel mum reported Elva’s picture and apart from a couple I have now removed her face from my facebook account and from this blog. She called it karma as I stood up for a minority who were hurt by the actions of the majority. I didn’t remove her from fear or giving up. I did it because truly I don’t feel need to share my children with the world anymore. If you’ve met them or seen them you’re honoured and no I’m not some mother who thinks her children are the most perfect kids in the world and idolises them but really you are honoured. They never gave their permission for me to splash them all over the internet and potentially come under criticism and be subject to being described as ‘graphic violence’.

I don’t angry my child was reported I feel sorry for the person doing it. I feel sorry for you that you don’t understand my journey and my actions. You probably are thinking huh? I feel sorry for you because you don’t have it in your heart to accept all and when you see something you dislike or want to find a way to cause harm you don’t  have it in you to stop yourself, you don’t have it in you to not blame an innocent child or didn’t ask for this. You have too much hate to perform these actions

I don’t mean this to all those who don’t understand. Of course it’s impossible to understand and many comments or actions that are hurtful I understand were not intended to be so. I am referring to those who intentionally and openly judge and hurt.

This week, last night in fact, I was subject to a very hurtful judgement. I wasn’t upset I was angry!! Some of you who read my blog know me you know who I mean when I refer to Dolly, Maisie and Daisy. Some of you are thinking who are they I’ve not heard about these names till now. I’m about to tell you.

Dolly is my cloth doll I made in memory of Elva. Same weight, same size and her face is modelled on a photo of Elva including having the differently sized eyes. Maisie is her doll sister she is a micro reborn. Daisy is their other doll sister and she is newborn size.  **CRAZY ALERT**

No I’m not crazy, I don’t have mental healthy issues that need addressing surround my dolls, no I don’t think they are real and no I don’t neglect my ‘real’ life for them. I hold them, I make them clothes, I cuddle them, I named them, I dress them. We dance with them, we have fun with them and twice we’ve taken the 2 littles ones out with us. We make room for them in the house and we show them respect.

When you lose a baby you have very little time to get used to the idea. Everything is so fast and you don’t ever get used to it. I found out on the Tuesday she was small. Wednesday we relaxed a little so sure it wouldn’t be a problem. Friday she was gone. Monday she was born and by the following Wednesday I was home without her. From finding out there was an issue to her being gone was just over a week. Look at the person you love the most. Remember why you love them so much. Now imagine I told you they would die in a week and in 2-3 weeks they would be buried gone for good. You can’t can you?

If you can it’s hurting right now isn’t it? You may be crying. You may be hugging them saying I love you, I’m sorry we argued, I’m sorry for my mistakes. Now try judging me. The dolls are a way of letting go not of replacement. They aren’t my daughters even though I call myself their mummy. You who judge forget I have a 2 year old. To him most females are aunties, sisters, mum’s or grandparents. Men are uncles, brothers and dads. He’s no concept of ownership, of friendship. If he likes you he loves you and you should feel special!

So of course I’m mummy to each and every creature in this house. Stuffed, human or wooden.  When I first made Dolly I hugged her every spare second, carried her round the house, rocked her and even cuddled her in bed. Now I don’t do that as much. I am accepting Elva’s absence in MY time not yours and Dolly helps me do so.

I got Daisy the bigger doll because I want a baby pure and simple. I planned to get a newborn size doll to represent Elva but decided against doing so as it felt I was wishing her to be something else when we love her for who she is. Her smallness mostly. Daisy is the baby I don’t have right now. She allows me to buy dresses and dress a little girl.

They give me focus, they gave my kids me back. I healed through them, through having something fun to do that was sparked by Elva’s death and therefore a connection to her. I’ll be boastful now. Dolly is the most beautiful doll I’ve seen. She is my most epic make and I did good! I created a beautiful baby from a flat piece of cloth. I couldn’t have achieved that without Elva. Dolly is my portal to Elva. Things I make her, give her and the love I show are passing through Dolly to Elva.

Then theres my family. At this point I apologise this is my longest blog yet but it’s my last for a while too so bear with me it’ll be over shortly. My eldest son is 8 in November. For 9 months he’s asked me if I’m pregnant, if I want another baby, if I will have a baby. If it’s a girl can he call it Isabelle. He longs for his sister, a sister of any kind to be honest. As a result he’s become closer to his little brother but he just isn’t a girl or a baby for him to snuggle. Dolly is.

My youngest turned 2 a matter of weeks after Elva’s death. He understood she was missing. He knew we lost something special and precious. He knew he was in pain and grieving but he doesn’t understand what. He knows we see Elva in the churchyard and he met her. He adores Dolly. He puts her in a pram and pushed her round the house. He hits her and takes her toys off her. As he should be doing with Elva. (not so much the hitting but kids are kids and he is told no). When I was pregnant Elva had a bond with him I believe they have a connection it’s hard to explain but it’s there.

Of course there’s also Daddy. Elva’s death and my reaction to this have taken him out of his comfort zone. It scared him what the future would hold for me and it surprised him what happened. He said goodbye to her on the Tuesday after she was born, he went home to our boys and tried to move forward without her. Except I wouldn’t let him. We visited her and had her home before her funeral before I had to let go too. He accepted all this as knew I needed it. He tolerated me making Dolly as long as I promised not to go walking with her in a pram and act like she was real. Then he fell in love. He thanked me he told me he’d learnt a lot about himself about death and life. He learnt how much judgement he feels without realising and now understands other people more. He regrets nothing and is glad I was there to push him outside his comfort zone as he now has happy memories he wouldn’t have got without me doing this.

So you see to every judgement there’s another side. There’s a healing side that may be so vastly different to your journey you think it’s wrong. Truth is neither of us are wrong, neither of us need help. We need space, and if you can’t give understanding then give acceptance.

Talking about someone with other and proclaiming you’re worried for them and you’re doing this out of kindness is false. You’re doing it because I take you out your comfort zone and do things you wouldn’t. Ask yourself who is happiest? I would say no one wins that title. We’re both survivors.

tracy

 

Quiet

Why are you so quiet?

Why do you not smile?

Why do you draw away and not take part?

Are you moody? Being rude?

Are you annoyed or not getting your own way?

Do you hate us? Are you jealous?

I am quiet because grief doesn’t stop. I am quiet because I am thinking, remembering.

I am not talking because when I open my mouth all that comes out is pain. My eyes fill and I become the mess on the outside that I feel inside.

 Where were you last year? What were you doing? Maybe similar to me. Pregnant,  happy, excited. Maybe you weren’t but has much changed since? A new baby for me I lost out.

For me last year holds memories I struggle to deal with daily. Memories I struggle to hide behind a grin & a laugh. As I stand in the school yard in the sunshine surrounded by happy people wondering why I always look so miserable. Turn your face south what can you see?

I’ll tell you. You will see a fence and beyond that fence you will see a church. A very pretty church full of nature and pretty grounds. Perfect for fairies and angels to play. My daughter lives there amongst the beauty amongst the fairies playing.

When I stood in that same place last year I never gave the church a second thought  as you probably don’t today. Now I feel hurt, guilt and the need to not stay longer than I need.

As I watch the families with babies, pretty girls in pretty dresses. As I watch her daddy try put a brave face on seeing him watch the girls too thinking the same as me. What would Elva be like. Fascinated by something we can’t have. I see the hurt in his eyes and he feels the hurt in my heart.

But you don’t. You see an unhappy face, a miserable frown, a defeated shell. You think to yourself wish she would smile, wish she would cheer up now.Why can’t she just fake a smile. enjoy what she has. Most the time I do but I’m only human and I crack. It is too hard some days to pretend I’m ok.

Next time you see me. Look deep and I guarantee you the spark is gone and my smile never quite reaches my eyes, my soul, my heart.

Do not judge what you don’t know.

tracy