Baby Loss. This isn’t something I would usually write about for my ordinary moments posts. If you have read them before you will know that each week I love to tell stories about the tiny moments and strange things that my little ladies like and do right here and now. The lovely moments that I want to capture because I know they will not last forever. I relish the thought that I can re-visit each moment in years to come when they really could not care less about the fact that the bin lorry is making it’s way down the road, that they used to love their bedtime milk or ever even remember sitting in a highchair. I want to document the happy ordinary moments. Usually.
But I also want to be authentic, to really represent our lives in the most ordinary of ways, to be real. This week has been half term and it has been utterly amazing. I have adored every single minute of having both my little ladies together, they have been delightful and I have ended each day with a happy heart full of love. I have really stopped this week to soak up all of their love, their ordinary moments and been able to stand back and appreciate it without rushing on to the next thing. And there is a big reason why. A reason to hug them tighter and appreciate every inch of them.
The reality of living with baby loss.
Personally this week is hard, this week is the run up to the day that my baby should have been born. The baby I will never hold, never meet and never know. And the thought of that makes me stop and appreciate what I do have, to give them everything, to give them all of me and never ever wanting to let them go. I think realistically I have spent the week trying NOT to think about it.
If I didn’t think about it and soaked up all the happy moments then when the time came, when the day came I would be fine, it would be sad but it would just be another day. An end to a really happy week. Right?
There is much written now about baby loss, although it still isn’t something widely talked about there are people out there who write about it, who share their stories and make it feel less taboo. People who know how hard going through it can be and who make you feel less alone in the depths of grief when you go through such a loss.
There is not so much however about living with baby loss. Like somehow once you get through those tough times, maybe when you have another baby, when time just goes on that that is it. The hurt goes away. Yet here I am 3 1/2 years on still trying to make sense of it, still feeling like I am in the thick of it, still learning to live with that loss. To understand why there still feels like a big fat hole in my life.
I kept the reasons for my loss a secret for 3 whole years. For three years I let it eat away at me, feeling isolated, guilty and alone. It was only in October that I let it out right here on my blog. Although sharing such a personal story was so unbelievably hard for me and not really like me at all, pressing publish on that post lifted a weight I had been carrying for so long. To have such an outpour of love, support and messages from people who have been through the same or could understand what I went through. Even people that I had helped feel less alone by talking about it. That was the most amazing feeling ever.
To admit and accept what I had gone through and have people send love, not hate, was freeing. Maybe now I could stop hating myself. I felt light, and free. So I thought that was it, I had finally conquered what I had needed to do. To finally grieve, to finally hurt less and move on.
Time is a healer they say. It will get better they say. You are blessed with the children you have they say.
And yes I no longer cry uncontrollable tears into my pillow every single night as in those early days. I can go weeks without letting the tears fall or the deep physical ache from consuming me. To feel those raw instinctive feelings that I never even knew existed before.
And yes I feel very lucky to have the most amazing children in the world who I would not change for anything. I am acutely aware that I would not know my littlest lady had it not been for this loss. I wouldn’t feel the immense joy that she brings for me and I am grateful for that. So very grateful.
But I do hurt. Every single day. Those instinctive overwhelming feeling are still there, they just lie slightly deeper below the surface. I’m just used to hiding it now.
Except when I can’t, except when little moments remind me that I will forever be missing a piece of me. When I see a three children family and wonder if that would have been our story. When I cannot walk past a baby shop without my heart beating faster as I will my little legs to carry on and not to buckle underneath me. When I realise that this is never going away, that this has changed me forever. Suddenly the hurt sweeps over me and I have no control again.
The pain is still very much there, it just hides.
I might not speak about it, you may meet me and would never even know that was part of my story. You might even be reading this, having missed 1 post in a whole blog of them, and never have known. You may follow me on social media where it has never really cropped up, or pass me in the street and politely smile as I look like I am rushing to get somewhere when I am really fighting back tears until I am inside the safety of my own four walls. But this is a huge part of me, one that I will never forget. I never can and I never would.
Today. The 19th February. You would have been born. You should have been born. I would have got to hold you, to see you, to feel you. I would have looked into your eyes and stroked your face, got to know you and protected you.
Today you should be turning 3. I should have flour covered hands from making your cake, be stressed about a house full of toddlers, and have an empty wallet from buying more presents and making the day special. And all I have. Is an empty heart that can never be filled. My heart so physically aches for all of that. For you. And after three years I am pretty sure that no passing day or passing year can ever change that. I am truly sorry. I miss you and I love you. To the moon and back.
It may seem strange to share something so personal but truly this is my ordinary, it has consumed almost all of my thoughts this week and when I came to write, this was all that came out. This is me. This is real.
These tears that escape so easily from my eyes, that collect on my eyelashes before racing down my cheeks, are real. That vacant, empty look you see on my pained face, is real. That skin void of make up and unbrushed hair, is real. Because this week has been tough, and today is going to be a really really tough day. One that will be a complicated mixture of fake smiles, brave faces and big fat ugly tears.
I am me, just over here, today, and every day, living with loss.