Sleepless nights, night feeds, a million nappy changes, tonnes more laundry, pushing a pram again, baby car seat to carry, Changing bag, baby classes and clinics are just a few things I would be doing in my life right now if my baby had have lived.
Its funny how I would have probably been coping fairly well with all of that extra stuff, yet I am wrecked with the 2 I have and sometimes struggle to get up before 8am!!! My sister in law was laughing at me over Christmas because whenever the kids woke up and asked to go get breakfast I would always respond with “10 more minutes please”!!! I came up with the genius plan that if I put Peter Rabbit on my laptop then I was guaranteed those extra few mins to snooze. I have to laugh at myself the mornings I do this because the reality is if I had a 4 month old I’d be having half the sleep I get and up before sunrise most mornings and be mostly okay with the situation.
WP_20150106_08_01_19_ProOn Sunday a beaut of a baby girl , dressed like a little fairy was blessed at church (like a Christening), and I surprised myself by being able to say “it was lovely” and whilst I wasn’t as emotional as I potentially could have been (id barely slept psyching myself up for it) I couldn’t help but imagine what Poppies might have been like, what food we would have and who would have come for the little ladies special day, it seems recently I have had a few reminders of what could have been with her in our lives.

Today we went swimming, we love going swimming and go most weeks and now I have it down on how to keep the kids in check whilst I get ready before and after (usually involves some sought after crisps) I love it… however today I failed to get the memo about it being “baby swim”, at least that’s what it felt like.

WP_20150107_11_54_32_ProAs soon as I had battled to cram all of our tat into the locker whilst keeping the kids from legging it into the pool, I turned round to be faced with baby after baby, or mothers with baby and toddler all grinning gleefully as they splashed around.. it was certainly one of those unexpected moments that cuts you deep into your soul. For several minutes I pondered on how Poppy might have been in the water (hopefully nutters like Ethan and Megs) or how different life would be with a 4 month old baby too – I certainly wouldn’t have been able to take them all swimming alone and my getting ready strategy would probably have to be reconsidered but I deffs could have been one of those mothers with baby in arms and toddler splashing around.
Though initially it hurt to see them all I noticed that I didn’t find it as painful as I might have even a few weeks go as I am coming to accept what has happened and that this is my life now as a bereaved mother.

Thankfully babies can’t hack the pool for long and so most were gone within 20 mins and we had free reign..jumping in..building float rafts…pretending to be sharks and “pinching crabs”, the joy I had with them both helped a lot to not break from this experience. I hate the emptiness that comes when these situations jump up and smack you in the face but I am glad I am developing ways of coping with how life has turned out; be it 10 mins of screen time to let me snooze and get the energy to face the day or 2 energetic, laugh out loud kids that can guarantee joyful moments in potentially emotional situations. There are always going to be milestones, events and even everyday ‘stuff’ that will remind ME that I had a daughter that never lived on this earth, never came home with us or met any of us and whilst it hurts a lot at times and always will I like that these situations are a catalyst to remember her and ponder on what could have been.

 

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I have decided to jump aboard with this years linky from “Mummy, Daddy, Me”… to post weekly throughout the year about the ordinary moments that make life what it is for our family! I have thoroughly enjoyed reading hers from 2014 and look forward to this being a springboard in helping me find joy in the smaller things this year to help me live “a hearty life” I hope to focus on the simple things that make us happy so as I look back on my 1st official year minus Poppy and beyond we will remember the good times and that we had reason to smile.

We start the year in the bath – one of the favourite places in our home for both E and M. They would both be happy to play in the bath at any time of day – be it together, with cousins (an added bonus) or on their own. Without a doubt baths are where its at! Our bath isn’t anything special, stained with nail varnish (thanks Megs for decorating), cluttered with half used shower stuff and the occasional black spots in the grout (you know the ones – at least I hope you do or this is awkward)!

They were overjoyed that “Santa” had brought them bubble bath and beg several times a day to take a bath and splash about. I absolutely love the joy I hear from them both from something that is just a natural part of daily routine, they play well together, chat, laugh out loud and is sometimes the only answer when I am tired and life is at its limits.
wp_20150104_09_30_11_proOther than it always reminding me we need new toys (hello gross soapy stuff) and I need to clean the bath more, It also reminds me how simple the life of a child is, how Joy can be found in literally anything, in the everyday ordinary activities…oh how much I love to see and hear the kids laughing, smiling and splashing – just not so much the flooding..
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The house is a dump, I can’t be bothered to cook and the kids are whining in my ears…yup we are well and truly back to reality!

To say I wasn’t looking forward to Christmas and the “season to be jolly” I am surprised at how deflated I feel being back at home now after our adventures at Grandma and Grandpas this last week or so. We had such fun with everyone and to not have to worry about the usual day to day stuff was actually a welcomed break. Yes I am wrecked too though (hence the dump of a house and lack of motivation); thats what happens when you still think your 20 can stay up to the early hours watching films and having chats with the girls or playing live mafia (no thats not a joke)…only im now 30 and have 2 kids to see to at the break of dawn, so yeah im feeling like I need a week to recover from my riotous living!
However Im feeling right now though, I cannot deny it was a great end to a not so great year!

I decided a few weeks ago that I wouldn’t be setting any goals or resolutions for 2015, what’s the point? I thought when practically everything I had planned and hoped for during 2014 crumbled before my very eyes. I didn’t want to have to face more failure if what I set for myself ended up not working out. At least that was until I read a brilliant post by Leigh over at “Headspace Perspective”, her words really resonated with me and inspired me; yes till now I would say life has been a matter of survival and making sense of all that has happened but why not hope for more? become more? and achieve more than mere survival of life? after all isn’t my focus to find the joy in life despite the storm? Life isn’t just about trying to survive its about enjoying the journey and becoming our best selves, at least thats what I believe and so I am determined to thrive this year – some ideas or I guess resolutions I have come up with are:
Raise Money for the hospice/Sands: Both have helped us so much, I want to give something back or that will help those following. Some of my family are going to be doing a 1/2 marathon in the summer … Im SERIOUSLY considering it ahhhhhhhh if not I will come up with something less life threatening!

Improve my sewing skills: Over christmas I witnessed many wonderful hand crafted creations and desperately wished I had such mint skills. The Pinterest board is bulging with ideas and the sewing machine sat on the shelve with a basket of mint fabrics I have collected..this will be the year I refine my sewing skills!

– Loose the weight: Ongoing but at some point this year I WILL loose the bulge and look my best once more.

Get more sleep: I spend far too much time faffing when I could be sleeping. Things are always worse when I am tired and so bed by 10pm sun – thursday in an attempt to be a more pleasant member of our household, have more energy and generally feel well rested.

Read more: Books that is, I spend way too much time reading status updates and stuff online as oppose to a good ol book. I hope to get through at least one a month to exercise my mind and chill out a bit more.

I also have a few other things I hope to do, some blogger stuff and some lifestyle stuff/hobbies and I recognise that these aren’t major things really, im not exactly setting out to change the world or transform but they are all things that will add to me feeling and looking my best in this coming year and therefore meaning ill hopefully be a better wifey and mother and have more balance in my life, to accomplish these things will for sure make me feel like I have thrived this year!

When I look back on last year I initially just want to forget it, to be fair it was one big pile of rubbish! But I can’t do that because I actually just feel gratitude, that may be strange if you too have lost your baby, what really is there to be grateful for when such a precious thing was taken with no explanation? I can certainly name several other emotions that could quite easily proceed feeling grateful but nevertheless gratitude dominates… I am firstly grateful I got pregnant earlier in the year, grateful I was able to see her in 3d on all of my scans and grateful that I carried Poppy to term (because her diagnosis was so severe death could quite have easily taken her sooner). I am grateful I held her in my arms and spent some time with her. I am grateful for forget me nots that helped us so much during those 1st few days. Grateful the sun shone for her funeral and for the support following of friends and family. I am grateful to those that still talk about her and acknowledge her, and finally I want to say a big THANK YOU to those of you that follow my blog…it motivates me and inspires me to keep going and helps me enjoy my life and share it with you, lets face it, whats a blog without readers?! So again thank you very much – lets see how we get on through this coming year, I hope you will continue to follow along!

What do you hope to achieve for 2015?

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Yesterday I went with the majority of Naths fam to see “A Christmas Carol” at a fairly newly opened theatre in Beverley or rather one I never knew existed until yesterday… it was absolutely mint! The theatre was small which I love as it feels so personable and there were only a handful of actors, again something I love because they really get to showcase their talents as they flit between characters. Don’t be fooled though because small does not mean poor or amateur, the effects and use of stage were fantastic, music and performance engaging and brilliant! Overall it had an excellent balance of emotion, tradition and humour, it was produced and delivered in rather an abstract way which made it unique and as it was 8+ it was also Ethan and Megan free so uninterrupted – bliss! The music was brilliant and young singers especially were sensational.

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A sneaky shot of the finale – please excuse my poor photography

I absolutely loved it! I love the theatre anyway but it was so well done and being with a lot of family always equates to a good laugh/day out. I have read and seen so many versions of A Christmas Carol in my life, but I never fail to be touched by Scrooges quote following the visitations of the spirits;

“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach!” 

I never expected it though to ring so true to me this year but after loosing Poppy 4 months ago it really made me reflect and taught me a couple of lessons as I evaluated how this Christmas had been.
Like with Scrooges experiences when we remember things that are in our past it can tear us up, it can bring sadness, heartache, regret even, it can also bring happiness and Joy but for me I related as I remember the sadness of this year and the difficulties associated with the build up to the season. Though I have been viewing this as a negative thing I can also look at the many lessons and opportunities for change loosing a child has given me, it sounds odd to say that but really there are times when I feel the loss of Poppy brought us both a new perspective in life and with that new goals, new wants and new desires for what we hope for in life..until this Christmas I found this a negative effect, of course all I want is my baby girl, of course it breaks my heart at what has happened but I cannot change it and thinking about the “what ifs” will only eat away at me bringing more sadness and more anger, but the more I think about it the more it can be a time for us to change what we dont like in life, get rid of what burdens us as spend less time focusing on things that are gone that we cannot control, in order to heal and in order to be in control of grief it is essential to not spend time on thinking of how things could have been if only this or that were different or If I had or hadnt done this then things would be different.. we all do our best and sometimes we make mistakes and sometimes despite our very best efforts life just doesnt go how we would like, the past can teach us to be stronger, to fight more and dream bigger…

Christmas present taught me that with infant loss the build up is worse than the event itself, other than occasionally feeling somewhat deflated, both Christmas eve and Christmas day were peaceful and I felt a portion of my heart was healed as we reflected on the birth of Christ, the birth of salvation, sung carols and songs, gave gifts and laughed together and of course ate a load of yummy food. I’m glad I chose to spend the time with our family and that the Christmas spirit was abundant because I feel a little lighter and as I said a little more healed. I found a beautiful poem (Courtesy of Pinterest) on Christmas Day that though emotional to read brought so much comfort to me and warmth:
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So as I approach the new year and look to how I will live in the future, I know it will be hard, I know from others I will always feel sadness at my loss and I will always find the build up of anniversaries and Christmas tough but as I remember her I can also remember the good times, how she has helped me be more understanding of others, more sensitive to the pain of others, more firm in my faith, more desire to mother better and the special place she will forever hold in our hearts and our family. I have learnt this Christmas time that though things in life are unbelievably tough at times we can find peace and we can find Joy, these thoughts and lessons will strive within me in hope that I can continue to feel happiness and joy despite the hearty problems of our life.

Life may not always go to plan and it is likely we will face heartache and difficulty but do not let that be your whole future, let each painful day strengthen you for a better future and seek a moment of joy in the present to help you survive it all, however painful our life is I have learnt that to shut out the lessons that they teach would be very foolish and like Scrooge, potentially soul destroying.

Ps – If you are in the Yorkshire area, get yourself to East riding theatre very soon and see the excellent production of “A Christmas Carol”

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