I imagine how life would be with more than one child every day in one way or another, I imagine what Rory and Henry might have looked like, what we’d be doing, how busy we’d be. I imagine the awestruck look Toby might have had on his face when he met his baby brothers for the first time. I imagine the fun, the stress, the laughter, the hard work that might have been. Imagining all of this hurts my wounded soul so I try not to do it deeply too often. I could write at length about all the things I imagine life would be now had one or both of the boys had stayed but today I can’t do it, so this prompt has taken a different turn…
Imagine longing to hold your child but you can’t, not just for a few minutes though, but forever.
Imagine being told that it is likely your baby is going to die.
Imagine having to make the decision to end a pregnancy to save your life.
Imagine labouring and giving birth to a baby you know you will never take home.
Imagine being scared to look at your baby.
Imagine hearing the cries of other babies in hospital, whilst looking at your baby cold and still in a refrigerated crib.
Imagine your milk coming in and let down happening every time you cry.
Imagine walking out of hospital clutching a memory box and a file of bereavement leaflets rather than awkwardly carrying your baby in a car seat.
Imagine telling you son, your parents, your siblings and your friends that your longed for baby has died.
Imagine feeling guilty and embarrassed that your baby died.
Imagine sending your husband off to register a birth and death.
Imagine planning your baby’s funeral.
Imagine going to your baby’s funeral.
Imagine collecting the ashes of your baby.
Imagine boxing up baby items and putting them away forever.
Imagine people not knowing what to say when they see you.
Imagine getting really good at talking about the weather just because it is easier.
Imagine people asking how you are and hoping that you say ‘fine’ rather than the real answer.
Imagine comforting people who should be comforting you.
Imagine learning how to paste a smile on and give the ‘correct’ answers when asked a question.
Imagine having a panic attack when you are faced with being near a baby or pregnant woman.
Imagine the feelings of awkwardness when people talk about babies and pregnancy in front of you.
Imagine dealing with the awkward silence when you talk about your pregnancies or dead babies.
Imagine the feeling of utter despair when your happy ending doesn’t come. When it will never come.
Imagine the feelings of jealousy and guilt when pregnancy announcements are made.
Imagine your circle of friends narrowing with every pregnancy announcement and birth of a living baby.
Imagine your son comforting you as you cry for the hundredth time.
Imagine being frightened to show photos of your babies.
Imagine people saying that the photos of your babies make them feel uncomfortable.
Imagine having to plan your day, the places you go, the people you see in a way to minimise having to be around pregnant people and babies.
Imagine feeling sad all of the time, even when you are happy.
Imagine people not understanding why you are doing something to honour and remember your baby.
Imagine having to fight to get people to acknowledge that your babies did exist.
Imagine having to justify your feelings and your actions to everyone.
Imagine feeling so isolated, so alone that you want to run away.
Imagine someone asking you a simple question and not knowing whether you should mention your dead babies as well as your living child.
Imagine feeling everything all at once.
Imagine the triggers, the dates, the constant feeling of loss that grows each day.
Imagine being exhausted all of the time. All of the time.
Imagine feeling so happy just because someone said your baby’s name.
Imagine getting excited about attending baby loss memorial services.
Imagine feeling lost if you’re not wearing your special necklace.
Imagine cooing over pictures of babies that have died with genuine love and affection for each and every one.
Imagine having to pretend you are normal when inside you feel very abnormal.
Imagine just wanting to hold your babies one last time.
Imagine being me.