Gestures

The weekend and today got me thinking about gestures towards and for us whilst I was in hospital, when I came home after Rory died and in the months that followed. The first gesture was a hug from one of the midwives after we were told Rory had stopped growing and things didn’t look good, I was on my own and I just needed a hug, then there was the midwife who moved me to a side room and away from the ladies who were likely to take their babies home – those compassionate gestures made things easier, if only for a few minutes. 

When we came home family and friends sent cards and flowers, gestures of kindness and condolence which we needed in bundles.  A lot of friends and even people I didn’t know sent messages via text and Facebook which helped so much.  I still get random texts and messages from people to see how I am which I really appreciate. The gesture of reaching out means so much, more than they will ever know. My friends have been brilliant and don’t judge even when I tell them how I’m really feeling.

My mum who did Rory’s cremation flowers and didn’t push me to help even though I said I would. My family have been amazing and I am forever grateful for their continued gestures of love.

The money we raised for 4Louis and Sands spurred us on and we saw every donation as a gesture of support and recognition of Rory’s impact on the world, on our world in particular.

My boss and colleagues have been brilliant at shielding me from the new babies at work, the small gesture of taking my email address off baby announcement messages, warning me when people were coming in and giving me a hug have helped me be out my face on and front it out. The colleagues who have commented on Rory’s picture and told me he was beautiful, I appreciate each and every one of them. The work friend who gave me a cool gift in the week, just because she wanted to – she probably doesn’t realise but I was so touched.

The things which got me thinking about gestures happened at the weekend: The tree we planted on Saturday was our own gesture for Rory, a living tribute for our boy (and we have a slightly tea stained certificate to prove it!).  The second event of the weekend was the prospect of a family photo, the thought of which filled me with ambivalence as we are not a complete family, one of us is in heaven. So, rather than a chubby 4 month old in the pictures there is a small teddy, the brother of which went into Rory’s coffin. The teddy, under Toby’s direction, was a bit of a mischief maker and didn’t always keep still (a bit like a 4 month old baby); the whimsical part of me likes to think that Rory was with us in some way.

The final gesture was today, a very kind friend asked us out on a play date which was lots of fun and was had a good old chitchat over hot chocolate – just what’s needed on a cold windy day as the year from hell draws to a close.

So to conclude, gestures are good, come in all shapes and forms, many cost nothing, and I appreciate each and every single one.

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Tree Planting 

This morning we drove to the Jubilee playing fields in Sway to plant a tree to commemorate Rory’s short life. I was worried we’d be there for ages trying to dig a massive hole but fortunately we were planting large seedlings rather than big saplings! Toby chose a Hazel tree and off we went across the mud with our spades. 

Toby enjoyed digging the hole and one of the helpers took some pictures of us in action. We finished up and stopped for tea and cake and sausage rolls in the pavilion before a trip to the play park. 

We planted the tree in a pretty corner, I can’t wait to visit in the spring to see how the tree is getting on.  

We had a happy gentle morning as a three, I hope there are more to come.

  

A Piece of Me

I’ve not written much lately, medication has made me a bit of an emotionless zombie, I’m not happy or sad, just indifferent. It’s better than crying all the time I guess.

I wrote this poem (of sorts) after Rory died. It’s not perfect, it is raw and full of pain but I love it.

There is a piece of me missing

A baby oh so small

There is a piece of me missing

He is loved, most special of all
There is a piece of me missing 

My heart aches and I cry

There is a piece of me missing

We will meet again in the sky
There is a piece of me missing 

My arms are empty

There is a piece of me missing

I have a hole in my heart
There is a piece of me missing 

I feel battered and bruised 

There is a piece of me missing

I hope I will heal
There is a piece of me missing

I pretend I’m ok

There is a piece of me missing

I smile but think please go away
There is a piece of me missing

A child that will never be

There is a piece of me missing 

The baby only we got to see
There is a piece of me missing 

People don’t know what to say

There is a piece of me missing

Don’t speak just listen
There is a piece of me missing 

No first tooth, steps, or birthday

There is a piece of me missing 

Just emptiness day after day
There is a piece of me missing

His memory lives on

There is a piece of me missing

Even though he is gone

The Shipwrek

A lovely mummy friend sent me these words yesterday. These last few weeks have been hard and the words came at a much needed time. They have confirmed that it’s ok for me to be sad and still be grieving for Rory and the life we never got to live.

I am that person soaking wet, battered and exhausted but still clinging on.

I’m afraid I don’t know the author but if anyone does do let me know.

‘As for grief, you’ll find it comes in waves. When the ship is first wrecked, you’re drowning, with wreckage all around you. Everything floating around you reminds you of the beauty and the magnificence of the ship that was, and is no more. And all you can do is float. You find some piece of the wreckage and you hang on for a while. Maybe it’s some physical thing. Maybe it’s a happy memory or a photograph. Maybe it’s a person who is also floating. For a while, all you can do is float. Stay alive.

In the beginning, the waves are 100 feet tall and crash over you without mercy. They come 10 seconds apart and don’t even give you time to catch your breath. All you can do is hang on and float. After a while, maybe weeks, maybe months, you’ll find the waves are still 100 feet tall, but they come further apart. When they come, they still crash all over you and wipe you out. But in between, you can breathe, you can function. You never know what’s going to trigger the grief. It might be a song, a picture, a street intersection, the smell of a cup of coffee. It can be just about anything…and the wave comes crashing. But in between waves, there is life.

Somewhere down the line, and it’s different for everybody, you find that the waves are only 80 feet tall. Or 50 feet tall. And while they still come, they come further apart. You can see them coming. An anniversary, a birthday, or Christmas, or landing at O’Hare. You can see it coming, for the most part, and prepare yourself. And when it washes over you, you know that somehow you will, again, come out the other side. Soaking wet, sputtering, still hanging on to some tiny piece of the wreckage, but you’ll come out.’

Friday 13th

I admit it, I’m a bit superstitious. I don’t walk under ladders, I don’t put new shoes on the table, I get a bit jumpy around magpies. I used to be on slight high alert when Friday 13th came around, just in case.

We started the induction process on 12 March which meant it was highly likely Rory would be born on Friday 13 March, and he was. I remember saying to Matt the day before, well, that’s not going to end well, and it would be Friday 13th, wouldn’t it? I also realised though that one of my brothers is born on the 13th and he is one of the luckiest people I know.

So 8 months ago today our precious baby was born and died on Friday 13th. Whilst I am really struggling at the moment I truly love how I have been changed by Rory and I love his birthday as it was the start of a new me. The new me may not be what I wanted or who I was expecting to be but I am trying to make the best of things. I am stronger, more resilient and I don’t suffer fools gladly these days. Someone today commented that I have changed (in a good way) and this is reflected in how I deal with things at work so perhaps I have Rory to thank for that too.

I wore my smart grey dress at work today as a silent act of remembering  Rory. A couple of people said how nice it was, I smiled and thanked them. They didn’t need to know it was the dress I chose for Rory’s cremation but it made me happy that they liked it.

Friday 13th will always have a special place in my heart and it’s not really that bad.

Day Dreams

On Tuesday night I was tired and went to bed with my brain still switched on. I did the one thing I have pretty much managed to avoid since Rory died – as I lay in bed I started to think about how old he would have been at Christmas, this led me on to thinking about whether he’d be sitting up, would we have given him some carrots from Christmas dinner?, what toys would we have bought him? But then it snowballed and I started to wonder if he would have had the same colour eyes as Toby, would he have looked like Toby at the same age, would he be as cheeky, would we have had the same issues with feeding?, how big would Rory be? Would Toby have loved him? It went on and on and I was so sad, sad for what we lost, not just Rory, but all of his Christmases, his milestones, his future and ours as a family of 4. There will always be Rory dancing in the shadows of our minds, the baby that came but didn’t get to stay.

I had a rubbish day on Wednesday as a result and this led to me saying some unkind things to a loved one which made me feel guilty and horrible. Matt came home and we had a long talk and I cried and cried, big fat loud tears that needed to come out as I’ve been holding them in for weeks.

I realised that I do not remember our possible due dates from our failed IVFs and therefore don’t really know how old those babies would be now. To be honest, if I did work it out it would probably make my head pop. But I do know Rory’s due date and I can tell you how old he would be if he was born on 10th July (18 weeks). I’ll probably always be able to calculate his age in my head and July will always be a precious month, the month he should have been born. 

Finding Your Tribe

Toby is asleep in the car, I took a look at Facebook and this video popped up in my newsfeed. I don’t usually watch videos as they take too long and don’t engage me or I just can’t be bothered! As Toby was asleep I figured I had 11 minutes to spare. 

The mums and dads in the film have spoken everything I have ever thought about Rory and our lives since he died. I realised the other day that you go through life finding your ‘tribe’ of friends who look out for you and know where you are coming from. I didn’t expect to end up in the ‘parents of dead babies’ tribe and I wish I wasn’t a lifelong member but I am. I don’t know the people who are in the video but I know their experiences and I know how they feel. They are my tribe along with all the other bereaved parents out there; I love them and their Angel babies so much.

The one good, most amazing thing which has come out of Rory’s life and death is raging, overflowing, beautiful love. When you watch the parents in the video that is the type of love you see in their eyes and hear in their voices. The love that comes after the loss of a child has to be the most powerful thing in the universe!

I’m proud to be part of the parents of dead babies tribe. 

Here’s the link to the video I saw on the Finley’s Footprints FB page, enjoy 🙂 Finley’s Footprints