Sky

The sky used to simply tell me what the weather was up to or create a pretty sunset. At our old house we were high up on a hill which overlooked the woods. The sunsets from the window in Toby’s old bedroom were amazing. 

These days I find myself searching the sky for signs. Kisses in the clouds, the brightest stars at night, pink and blue skies, blazing sunshine on a crisp morning. Anything that reminds me of my boys. 

At the gym tonight the sunset was amazing, the sky was painted pink and blue, the picture doesn’t do it justice at all.

Communicate

This one is easy today as I had a shit storm in a teacup happen this morning. All because I shared an event post with a comment about going but avoiding the happy ending babies. 

Another loss mama took exception to this and my use of the term ‘happy ending baby’ and with messages back and forth made me feel like I was being horrible for just wanting to sit in the corner and not have people bring their babies over to say hello. 

It is clear we had both misinterpreted what each other was saying and we no doubt both had a shit day because of it. 

I spent 40 minutes sat in the lounge at the gym responding to messages regarding the incident, all whilst tears of sadness and frustration rolled down my cheeks. I probably looked like a crazy person crying into my coffee but I don’t really care, there are worst places to be seen crying (work for example!).

There have been numerous occasions these past two years when things I have said have been misinterpreted, usually resulting in a massive fall out and emotions running high. 

I tend to keep things in and then they just explode, I should learn, I know I should not do this.

Part of me thinks I should shut up and keep quiet to the outside world in order to avoid miscommunication and to avoid hurt but the militant part of me wants to speak out, wants to challenge the norm and wants to change things. 

So even if my words are misconstrued or might make people feel uncomfortable I’m going to keep communicating, keep challenging, keep sharing my story. I know the fallout will hurt, but if I can make things better for just one person in future then it is worth it.

Distance 

Every day adds distance between the present day and the time my boys were still alive.

As the distance in time grows life is getting slightly more tolerable each day. This is good but I have a long way to go.

There is a flip side, as the days move forward it feels more and more like the boys were a dream, they are just a memory, a box of belongings and a little urn on a shelf. 

The bad memories are blurring and fading, this scares me. Not remembering, not feeling the pain means my babies are on the way to being forgotten. I’m their mummy and it is my job NOT to forget them, to keep their memory alive, to involve them in our everyday lives.

There is also of course the physical distance aspect. I cannot stand to be around bumps and babies. My skin crawls, I want to tell them to fuck off, if it’s a really bad day I feel dizzy and my palms sweat – thank you PTSD for this! 

Tonight at the theatre a pregnant lady had to get along the row we were sat in. Her bump nearly touched me *vom*. I squeezed back as far as possible as she went by. I’m so glad she sat further down the row.

The thing with this sort of need for distance is that every day I’m navigating around these triggers. I walk a longer route around the playground so as not to walk near the fertile breeders, I keep my head down and walk fast. I panic before Toby goes to a party wondering if there will be a bump or baby there. I wonder if I should ask in advance but then I’m just drawing attention to my issues. So I go, I keep my distance, I keep my head down and I hope for the best. 

I am constantly on alert and it is quite frankly exhausting. I have had counselling which helped to a point. I’m never going back on medication, I refuse to be a zombie again. So, I am making plans to desensitise myself by accessing EMDR therapy which has good outcomes for PTSD. I have absolutely no idea if it will work for me but I have to try something. I cannot spend the rest of my life on high alert, I cannot keep avoiding bumps and babies. 

I hope also, the therapy will help me to remember the good bits about my pregnancies rather than trying to forget everything. 

Succumb 

I am the sort of person who soldiers on and keeps going. I don’t do this because I am strong or brave (please never tell me I am those things), but because I don’t have much choice. I have to go to work, I have to do the school run, I have to go shopping, I have to socialise in the big scary world. I basically have to be a grown-up, there is no choice to stop, no choice to hide, no choice to just be how I want to be. 

Sometimes though I have to succumb to the feelings inside otherwise my poor little brain would just pop. Sometimes it is good to cry and to think about what has happened. Sometimes (like today) I’ve just had a totally crappy day and I need to succumb to my feelings. Often I have control over when this happens, sometimes I don’t. Either way it is essential and a way of releasing the bad feelings.

Wine also helps too! 😉

Reflect

I am just over two years down the line from Rory and nearly a year from Henry. I can’t fully reflect as I’ve not done a full circle of Henry milestones – this time last year I hadn’t had the doomed 20 week scan, I didn’t know he’d be born on Matt’s birthday, on Father’s Day. I don’t know we’d have to ask people to still come to Matt’s birthday party even though Henry had died 5 days before (I still don’t know how I got through it!) I didn’t know we’d have to cremate a second baby boy.

I do know that I have changed for better and for worse and every day I am coming to terms with the new me.

I think I have become better at dealing with things; I function, I go to work, I laugh, I have fun. There are so many things I still can’t do though (I’m saving those for a future post). There are days when I get sad, I cry, I’m angry and I’m bitter but those times are lessening and there are bigger gaps between these moments. 
I have learnt to embrace these sad moments and run with them rather than hiding how I feel.

I reflect on the choices I have made and my actions in the past and I’m ashamed of some things and proud of others. This year I have made efforts to make the bad things better, to resolve differences and to move forward. This is a work in progress but it is positive.

I’m now better equipped to talk about my baby boys to strangers, my necklace is usually the starting point. Only last year I know I would have glossed over it if people asked who’s prints were there. Now (and I don’t know why), I have a confidence to tell the truth, a well rehearsed confidence at least… 

Sometimes I have flashbacks and it makes me reflect on what had happened even if I don’t want to. In these moments I realise that I had two babies die. I have had two dead babies in my arms. Some days I cannot believe it happened to me, it truly feels like it happened to someone else and I’m a bystander. When I stop and think about the loss, the trauma, the pain twice over I’m not sure how I’m still here, how I’ve survived. 

But I am surviving and that’s amazing. I’ve come a long way but there is still far to go.


This photo has noting to do with the word reflect, I just love it! 

Friend

I should really rename this friends as I can’t single out one lovely friend for this post.

As I think about my friends old and new and how things have panned out during the last two years I realised that they fall into categories. Here they are…

1. The ones who backed off. There are some friends (only a handful mind you) that have backed off and I’ve not seen once since I lost Rory. No messgaes, no meet-ups, nothing. I’m slowly picking these people off as I don’t need them. It’s a shame as some have been friends for years and years. Their loss!

2. The ones who don’t know what to say. These people are honest, they say they don’t know what to do or say but they have kept in contact with messages and meet-ups. I get that it is hard for them and I appreciate their honesty and their love. Thank you.

3. The present friends. These are the people who I’ve been able to message and ask for a day of normal, they have listened, they have messaged, they have given hugs, they have told me they thought of the boys at random times – just because. They remember the dates and they send a message. I hope one day I can return the support you have shown me. Some of these friends are old, some are fairly new but it makes no difference; they are here I thank them for that. 

4. The most special group. My loss mama friends. They just get it, I’m sad that they walk the same path and share the pain I feel. There are conversations I can only have with these friends. I wish I didn’t know them but I love them with a passion! Thank you for being awesome.

Sunshine 

This is my sunshine, I am lucky to have Toby and lucky that I can be a mum to a living child. 

This time way back in 2011 he’d been in my tummy for 24 hours, we didn’t know that one of the two embryos transferred in Alicante would become Toby. It seems like a lifetime ago. We have a photo of the two embryos – not many kids have that as their first baby photo! 

Toby drives me absolutely bonkers, he doesn’t listen, he is loud and he kicks me in bed when he joins us in the night. But, he is the sunshine to my day, the crazy to my quiet, the fast to my slow. I love seeing the world through his eyes and I count my blessings every day. 

Despite the losses I’m one of the lucky ones.