Babyloss month: WEEK 5

After the busy week of seeing you, sorting your funeral and just plain surviving the following week was quiet and hard.  We could no longer see you anymore all we have is a slightly muddy patch with flowers and fairy offerings in the hope you are settled and happy where you are now.

We will only have one family photo and if we have more children we will never have a full picture but until that day we have one slightly mad photo but it’s ours.

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We had a holiday booked that we couldn’t cancel. I didn’t want to go. You’d only been gone 2 weeks and I had to now pack and sort a journey to Wales on the train.That was hard the whole journey I cried I broke down and we argued. Why couldn’t I just be normal for the kids, keep it to myself and not make a show of myself in public.

The Journey home was easier and the time away was hard but needed. It was good to get away from judging prying eyes. It was good to not have someone look at me and know what had happened but equally it was hard to look like I’d just had a baby but have no evidence of that and have people not understand why I looked so sad and unhappy. Im sure many thought I hated my life and I was severely depressed. At the moment I did but I had a good reason.

All we had when we came home was a busy grassy spot with no grave stone on. Nothing to say you exist even if it’s not at home with us.

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That all changed in December for christmas you got your identification we wanted. You got first christmas decorations and you even got a stocking.For me it needed to be as normal as possible I needed you to exist in every way I could.

Your ‘bed’ is now grassy covered with lush autumn leaves and your presents.

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   Leif’s room was finally put back to normal like you were never meant to be here. It’s a slow adjustment still but it gets easier and I’m glad I didn’t hang on to your things being in view. We had to create a new space and reality with collecting things for you. This christmas is looking brighter I dread it less but don’t enjoy it more. We’ve got through the first year we did it and survived but I still don’t feel like I’m living.

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tracy

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Babyloss month: WEEK 4

Week 4 is the week I no longer got to see my baby.

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The days and week following leaving the hospital consisted of crying lots, looking at her photos and threatening to walk out. Fall outs with family, anger at our situation and guilt. I was happy when we visited her as I felt I was where I was suppose to be where my body craved.

But I couldn’t stay there.

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All we had where photos, memories, prints. The fear we would lose these things. The task of saving them to my computer, to a disk, to a memory card and getting them printed off as cheaply as possible. As many back ups as I had access to. Craving her daily to be with me. The mornings where always the hardest and I felt suicidal openly suicidal. For some moments I knew it’s what I would do.

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Giving that girl an identity having her recognised by law is amazing. It’s a comfort it really is but holds a lot of pain that in my hand I have a certificate that looks exactly like the boys birth certificated except it says stillbirth or stillborn across the top. At this time her cause of death was noted as small for gestational age. We picked her flowers out I had in my head pink and purple. Not pale like all the other baby bouquets but bright like I wanted. I can’t tell you how pretty they looked at that tiny white box. Devastatingly beautiful.

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22nd October she came home. The empty hole I felt when here left me. She had come home briefly but it helped complete a cycle. Seeing her in her coffin wasn’t as hard as I thought it wasn’t a happy time but it was like a bed. She was taken out of it straight away and not put back till the following day. We took more photos. We realised this was our only chance of a family photo. The following day Jem was picked up early from school so we could get a family of 5 shot it was literally our last chance half an hour before people would arrive. We got it, it’s not pretty but I treasure it.

I have not spoken nor seen my dad since that day, I have not spoke to my mum but have seen her since that day. Almost a year.

tracy

Babyloss Month: WEEK 3

This week week was the nightmare week. The Monday last year was the Day she was born the day we went for 9 am to be induced and by 9pm was well on her way.

This day was filled with fears, quietness and laughter. Laughter because the chair was stupid and Daddy nearly fell off it, laughter because we are still human and we were meeting our baby that day. Laughter because you forget you still hope and because the last time you were doing this you took the baby home.

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The day before I slowly slowly crocheted a dress for Elva. I wanted to so badly make her something I’m a crafting mummy after all. But I didn’t have the energy. After being offered items I knew she had to wear what I made not someone else. Choosing the colours was hard I wanted bright and colourful to reflect me and her but I didn’t want a plain colour. This wool I bought to make her a jumper it was always intended for her from the moment I picked it online. I also always planned to make her a cord tie. They get in the way less than hospital clips and as this was a unique situation I thought why not. I made it to match from embroidery thread with no need to boil it sterile.

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The shock of a delivery that didn’t go as planned but did at the same time. I birthed her myself, I avoided an epidural, I kept active and I felt that warm body leave mine. I felt her move down, crown and slip out like an octopus. I had the classic my waters have gone she’ll be here soon. A huge gush unlike my previous vaginal delivery. The shock of me realising she was here and Daddy not because he was still secretly waiting for that lovely cry. He wondered why I stopped crying in pain why I stopped I whispered she was here.

She was handed to me first and we marvelled over her how cute she was how like Jem she was. Look at her big toe and her button nose. Then the shock of her death. She had one big eye bloodshot from delivery, swollen tummy and gaping mouth. She was beautiful, serene but silent.

Daddy got his hold. I have know this man 11 years this July and this is the first time I’ve heard him cry, seen him cry and in front on me and 2 midwives. They looked up in shock as did I and the guilt and sorrow just filled me up.

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The hospital kindly took photos for us of Elva once we we’re in the Sands Room. They all turned out fuzzy but I keep them I could never delete them. I feel guilty deleting fuzzy photos of Jem and Leif but I reason I can take more. I can’t do that with Elva. She suited her dress perfectly. It was too long but I reasoned again with myself and said at least she’ll have warm feet as she’s no socks. The blanket she’s laid on was all they could find for her it has a huge hole in it and was the reason I started donating items in Elva’s name.

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We marvelled at her tiny features her perfectly formed hand on mine despite being miles apart in size. Leif met her on that devastating day, October 15th Wave of Light Day.  At 2.30pm I walked out wanting so desperately to run back. I wanted to hold Leif’s hand reconnect as a mother but he only wanted his Daddy. Being asked if I wanted to stop for lunch…. no just no. Arriving home knowing it was the first time I had set foot in that house not pregnant.

The quiet days ahead not wanting to move only wanting to sleep and forget. Instead the next day we had to go back. We had to register her birth and death at the same time. We had to go to a funeral directors and give them paperwork to release her body to them so we could visit. I saw her for the first time outside that place on the Friday and again on the Sunday.

Jem got to meet her with no one agree with. Since when did I care what others thought I did. They had not been in this situation. He thanked me said he was glad he came. I knew since the moment we found out she was gone that it was the right thing to do.

tracy

What they don’t tell you

It’s been 2 years in March since I got a positive pregnancy test with Elva.

Although I had 7 months of pregnancy and albeit scary it was happy we we’re having a baby and our first girl!! In reality from the moment we found out I’ve been waiting for a baby.  That’s 18 months so date I’ve been hoping for a baby. A warm wiggly noisy baby in my arms to stay.

We’ve ttc for 11 months now with one loss in that time and no success. As I watch countless others succeeding I never do. But no-one thinks of that. They see the time you tried and they reason it will happen but aww poor you you lost your baby. I lost a lot and I’ve been waiting a long time. My body and heart never gave up that a baby was coming home yet one never does and there’s no anticipation there will be one soon but my heart keeps waiting and waiting and it’s tiring.

When you hear of others getting pregnant often your first feelings are of yourself. This may seem selfish but it’s not. Hearing of pregnancy is traumatic after baby loss. You run through your own story how tragically it ended and how pregnancy no longer holds happy memories or thoughts for you. How pregnancy is no longer what it was. You think of your own journey and how hurtful it has been and all of a sudden you’re meant to be overjoyed for someone else!

It doesn’t work that way it can’t work that way! You don’t just switch it on and off. It doesn’t mean you don’t want that person to have it and it doesn’t mean you’re not happy for them but you can’t be expected to act how you would have before your loss.

You are still grieving the loss of your child, the loss of a baby, the loss of hopes dreams and a future. That doesn’t stop the moment someone else is happy.

Then there’s the reaction of the pregnant mother. This is a narrow view as I don’t know every angel mum intimately and even if they felt bad they would likely not say it that openly but to me I have found pregnant angel mums seem to forget how it feels. They easily move onto this new life and the happiness it brings because they need that they want that. I’m not suggesting they move on and forget their grief, I’m not saying they are happy all  the time I’m sure most the time they fear and hate being pregnant.

However many people have called me negative. Just be patient there’s no reason it won’t happen! When you get pregnant you will feel stupid for saying/feeling this. When I found out I was expecting my second someone actually asked me if i felt stupid for saying it would never happen?!! My response was no because at the time I truly believed that and it didn’t exactly happen overnight! Now 11 month on, 3 weeks post surgery I think some are starting to realise that I may be negative but I have problems with getting pregnant and I’m not making it up.

You then experience the guilt of feeling this way of thinking of yourself of not being able to do pregnancy and baby talk. I constantly felt guilty I’d go through the motions feeling more and more upset because it was expected of me. I’ve often thought IF I was to ever have another live baby what I would do . Would I tell the world, would I keep it secret. I don’t know. I don’t want to hurt others but equally I know how it feels to find out months later or even after birth that they were pregnant. One person even lied and said they’d just started TTC but she was about 5 months pregnant at the time. My point being it’s hard to know what to do when you’re the one with the happy news too.

After a while and bumps appear you start to think there’s a baby in there and to me now that’s kinda freaky. It never was before but now I can’t help thinking about it, how easily it can stop and go wrong, how scared I am to face that myself one day how much more scared I am that I’ll never get the chance.

Babyloss doesn’t just come with a loss. Babyloss comes with infertility for many. They either had infertility before hand and their angel baby was their miracle. Or the birth of their angel caused problems or brought existing problems to light making future hope difficult or impossible. There’s so many depths to pregnancy loss never explored or rarely talked about. Of course its awful, of course it needs strong awareness and of course it needs to stop. But there are other avenues.

Premature babies that die aren’t often part of celebrations about premature babies because they didn’t survive. Mums who don’t or can’t have rainbows are seen as being negative. As they are the minority they are expected to put up with the majority. Mums who claim to not need a rainbow to see the light again are branded negative like they are disbelieved.

One thing that becomes clear after a while that even in the baby loss world there’s separations and it’s lonely. You first join the world of loss with the rest of the world on the outside carrying on not getting it. Then you become part of the TTCer’s or the ones who don’t. Even then you either become a failed TTCer or successful or you are part of the don’t want to and the can’ts. Even then you have more categories. The one’s who can handle the wait the ones who can’t, the ones who get medical help the ones who don’t. As a mother with children, multiple losses, secondary infertility and struggling to cope or accept a lot of that it’s hard to find someone who gets it. Saying that it’s always good to have someone who deals with it better around as they can help gee you up and keep you going. (Natalie ❤ )

Think outside the box.

tracy

How you get it wrong.

I’ve talked a few times about getting it wrong and right when speaking to babyloss families and showing your support.

Well here’s my short guide to how to get it wrong.

Don’t say anything at all. That’s how.

I personally would rather you say the wrong thing in good faith than nothing at all.

I’d rather you say at least you have your boys than stay silent because then I can educate you on why one child doesn’t replace another and instead suggest you’re glad I have my boys to help support me through.

I’d rather you say her name and fear upsetting me than act like she doesn’t exist.

I’d rather you say sorry a millions time than act like nothing happened.

I’d rather ask me questions so I can educate you on what happens how its relatively normal process having a stillborn baby how it’s not overly different to a live baby except the obvious.

I’d rather you celebrate I had a baby and upset me than never say a word

and I would rather you tell ME to MY face you are thinking of me, you are there for me than tell someone else to tell me.

I would also rather you text or call me than tell someone else I can call or text when I want because you know what I never will not because I don’t want to but because I think you don’t really want me to.

So say it even if it’s wrong it’s better than nothing .

tracy

Pregnancy and Babyloss Awareness

1 in 4 women suffer a loss be it miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss.

1 in 8 women suffer some kind of infertility and are often included in the 1 in 4

17 babies a day in the UK are estimated to die during pregnancy or  labour after 24 weeks gestation.

I am 1 in 4, 8 and 17! I have lost a baby at 5 weeks and 27 weeks. My recent hospital visit was due to surgery for an ectopic pregnancy. I’ve been diagnosed with secondary infertility because although I do get pregnant I struggle to do so and they deemed there no cause.

These things go hand in hand very often and its not always one thing we ‘angel’ mums are dealing with.

To read the story of my daughter who died due to velamentous cord insertion at 27 weeks on the 13th of OctoWorse Day

You can read about my ectopic journey here: Indignity.

Today is wave of light this ends pregnancy and infant loss awareness week (9-15th October every year) with candles being lit and posted online from all over the world. This can be done by anyone wherever whenever but let everyone know why!

It’s important to raise awareness because these babies need a voice! We need to protect our future generation and stop this pain for so many families. After scanning my daughters church yard we found hundreds of babies on stones ranging from all ages many stillborn.

Did you know up to 75% of pregnancy loss can be prevented through more scans, more detailed scans especially of the placenta and cord at 20 and 30+ weeks, regularly screening for infections especially group strep b and not allowing women to go over due.

I also believe listening to women who know their body is essential, educating women on what is normal and what are myths, allowing women access to information before anything happens!

To read more on educating women I recommend the following pages:

Harry Cunningham Trust- Vasa Previa Awareness

Count the Kicks recommend the following pages:

Harry Cunningham Trust- Vasa Previa Awareness

Count the Kicks

Baby Loss Awareness UK

Stillborn but still born

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tracy

First Birthday

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Today Elva turns one and its a sad quiet day filled with too many what if’s and I wishes.

Heres some photos

Decorations, cards and the table

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Cards

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Presents ( middle row is off a friend)

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Cake!!

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Balloon improvisation!

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I love you, I miss you and I need you. This doesn’t get any easier and too many times I feel I can no longer do this without you. It feels so wrong to be celebrating your birthday in October we expected a Christmas baby not an autumn baby but here we are and its very quiet not how a first birthday should be. We can’t invite your friends as they too are missing from their families and my heart is hurting so much.

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Happy Birthday sweet girl xxx

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