Poppy’s Gift

Not compatible with life but Compatible with Love…

I still remember how my stomach turned as the Fetal Medicine specialist told me over the phone at 30 weeks gestation that our baby was “not compatible with life”, because she had tested positive for full Trisomy 18, she didn’t have a chance to live and she probably wouldn’t live without assistance from the very people that had labelled her as that. I know exactly where I was  (in the car outside Pizza hut for a lunch date with Nath) and how I felt when they asked (at 30 weeks) if I wanted to end this now with an early induction?!
So because my daughter was not compatible with life, it also meant she was not compatible with love?

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Thankfully my heroes at the Hospice believed she was and Emma has taught me this and been our friend ever since. We visited again this week to discuss with her “Poppy’s Gift” a little gift of love our family have set up in Poppy’s remembrance to help other families with a similar diagnosis to know their baby is compatible with love and to know we want to support their desire to wrap them in love for however long they have them. The thing that brought a lot of comfort to us was the blanket that Naths mum had made her and the hat and cardigan my mum made were essential when she was born and so we decided to include them in a little gift pack for the Hospice to take to families referred to them and these will continue to be knitted by volunteers and packaged up by us. I still have Poppy’s blanket (of course) and in the early days it filled my arms, as a new mother with no baby it gave me something to hold, something physical to look at to remind me she was here. It almost told me “you are a mother and you wrapped and held your baby in this”.  Now It sits a little further away from my bedside but I still look at it and touch it occasionally and remember her little body wrapped inside.

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Emma also gave the kids some Christmas gifts from the hospice that Santa had left them, which made their life (that and the flapjack they seemed to scatter everywhere) and gave me a special gift too – the leaflet they have been working on and that will go out to hospitals for antenatal referrals. Inside is our story, another way we wanted to spread the word that their babies are compatible with love and another way to help Poppy live on and for others to know of her:

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I feel so pleased that despite our loss we have been able to use our experience in these short months to be able to help other families that have to face a “not compatible with life” diagnosis. Whilst my grief is still under the surface and quite regularly erupts, working on these projects with the hospice and finding these ways to keep Poppy’s memory alive have helped me to heal some. I feel I am finding healthy ways to remember her, and ways in which she can touch the lives of others for the better (something I hope all of my children will do) and give a gift to them because of her life.

I felt so positive and peaceful and that life was beginning again that I also chose not attend this months SANDS meeting. I haven’t made my mind up yet if this was a brave thing to do or a mistake Ive made but on the day I just felt so good at where I was at in that moment that I didn’t need to bring up Poppy, I didn’t need to relive what happened and I didn’t have the capacity to share the load of others grief either. I just felt like a ray of sunshine was poking through the clouds, that things in the world were starting to look good again and that I had no more energy than to bask in it until the clouds cast over and the storms hit again.

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7 Comments

  1. February 18, 2015 / 10:56 pm

    A beautiful post – those gift packs sound like such a lovely idea and I love your turning the “incompatible with life” label into being “compatible with love” – how very true that is. We had a special blanket for Jessica while I was pregnant with her and a toy bunny and I took them into hospital with me when we went for her in-utero surgery as having something that belonged to her was hugely comforting. I am so glad that working on these projects is helping you through your grief for your beautiful girl and that Poppy’s gift is helping others too. Sending lots of love to you all x

    • February 20, 2015 / 8:15 am

      Thanks Louise… I must have missed the in-uetro surgery part of your story, how terrifying and hard that must have been? Just yesterday I spoke to someone about how different we feel about the 20 week scan since detecting a problem. Things change so quickly from exciting to fear to worry to hope. I am so pleased you found some comfort in her little blanket x

  2. mummydaddyme
    February 19, 2015 / 10:01 pm

    I can’t imagine how much your family must have been through, and I don’t really know what to say. But I just wanted to let you know I had read this and how brave I think you are- I am sure you will help lots of other families. The hospice sounds a wonderful place. x

    • February 20, 2015 / 8:11 am

      Thanks Katie 🙂 I appreciate it when people say they don’t know what to say, rather than trying to make it alright! We have been through a lot, it has been and still is hard but I can also feel myself taking small steps forward and healing some which I thought 5months ago would never, ever, ever happen! We all love the hospice and it has made a huge difference to our journey! x

  3. May 14, 2015 / 2:39 pm

    What a beautiful way to honor Poppy and spread her love. I am inspired by your actions and wish to do something in Quinn’s name, I’m just not sure what. It is so evident that your love for Poppy is so deep. My heart is with you as I’m reading this. <3

    • May 16, 2015 / 7:27 am

      Thank you! I am sure over time something will come to you to keep Quinn’s legacy alive! This is difficult most days, seeing the baby stuff, thinking these families will be feeling what we have. Its a slow progress to get things moving as its quite emotional x

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