On Monday morning I headed to London on the train to participate in some filming with Channel 5 for a piece on Stillbirth. It was lovely to be able to meet such a bunch of brave, and kind women, and to hang out a little with 2 other blogging friends; Laura Dove from Five Little Doves, and Jess from The Legacy of Leo – it is always exciting to meet a person in real life (hi Jess), and to see a familiar face! It will be aired LIVE on Tuesday at 6.30pm and I am feeling sooo nervous about that part, and still can’t decide what to wear for the live show!

With that as the start to my week, you could say that this week has been rather a surreal one, and of course, very reflective. It is so good that Channel 5 are covering such an important topic, and one that is still so widely awkward for people, but sharing our story always stirs those raw emotions I work to keep a lid on day to day. However, I say time and time again that the ripples of stillbirth and baby loss are huge, and looking back I would have loved to have seen women like me sharing how life is months and years on. I did get that a lot from Leeds SANDS, but I know that that isn’t an option for everyone, and so have always said if I can write or do something that can help even one family/person to navigate through the fog of losing a baby, and try to normalise loss in everyday life, then I will jump right on it! Of course it is emotional, of course it is scary and vulnerable too, but we need to talk and break the silence to help others!

Grateful For …

This week I am grateful for my Mum and sister helping out with childcare and school runs so that I could easily go to London and back. I am grateful to be working on an important piece with Channel 5 and sharing Poppy’s story with others – It is a privilege!

I am also grateful for Deli No.1 Milkshakes (choco – mint!) and friends to share them with. And finally I am grateful for lovely friends in the village that invited Alice and I out on Thursday! It was such a laugh, and generally lovely day at The Deep in hull … chasing tots, watching fish and sharks, and seeing the penguins being fed! I never did get my piece of cake I was chatting about, so hopefully that will be next time, but all in all it was a great spontaneous day that left me feeling happy!

Succeeded At …

This weekend I have had 3 of my nephews to stay to enable my sister and her husband to be able to have a lovely time in Cambridge for his Masters graduation (well done guys!) and general celebrations of that. On Friday I also had one of my nieces as my other sister was working a night shift, so here is my ultimate success of the week – 7 kids, about 4 hrs sleep, and me still sane and my house not too trashed = high 5 and ultimate success!

Yesterday we also took a train into Hull with the original 6 and went round a couple of the museums. I loved it, and whilst this was far more manic than we anticipated (and 5 out of the 6 kids ended up soaked to the skin after running through the fountains), we are all in one piece and still had a good day all round. So I want to say I feel good to have succeeded with Nathan at looking after 6 kids from 21 months to 8 years old for the weekend!

Found Beauty In …

Seeing Alice on Thursday at The Deep, was one of the cutest and most beautiful things I have seen in a while! She was loving it, and was so vocal and excited to be there. She shouted at the stingrays and sharks, and couldn’t figure out that there was glass between her and them, so would jump each time they came near. She was mesmerized by the penguins, and both seeing the pretty aquarium and her reaction to it (as well as being with 2 lovely ladies) made for a very beautiful day indeed!

On Friday Ethan and Megan also participated in our Churches Talent show – Megs did an improv dance (it was epic) and then backed up Ethan whilst he sang! They both did us incredibly proud, and it was beautiful to see them shining on the stage.

I hope you have had a great weekend despite these April showers, and I hope this week is kind to you!

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I wasn’t planning on a post today – or tonight even. I was yesterday, about something completely different, but I was far too busy to do anything about that. And so, here we are tonight.. alone in the kitchen with my thoughts, and making a sneaky snack whilst the house is silent (there’s a first!). And so of course I’ve reached for the laptop to blog, and well… basically brain dump to you all!

I don’t really know where I am going with this, other than to share with you all that I have felt troubled for the last few days. Yes troubled and weighed down (and a little heavy too). I have felt overwhelmed with all I am doing and are responsible for, and just generally in need of a mega rest. Subsequently I have spent many moments questioning what my priorities need to be and if I need to cut something out? or of it will even make a difference?

I still don’t know the answer to that, or if it really is the solution to what I feel. You see I think I know why I am so melancholy and irritable. It’s the same reason it always is – the fact that I feel this way comes down to, and always seems to come back to, the fact that I carry a burden daily of loss. Yes some days I carry that better than others (with ease really) but still it is a daily thing and some day’s it’s far from easy!

I feel at the moment that I am in a place where I wonder where the peace is? Where did the ease go that I felt a few weeks ago with this? and why do I feel this torture more so some days? why can’t I get a grip or rather just a break from it all?

I do not get how you heal when a part of you is missing? It just doesn’t make sense, and as much as I try, and seem to make progress, something happens and I am right back to “poor old me” and feeling the strain and unfairness of it all again.

I don’t want to get over “it” and move on, because to me it means we move on from her and that isn’t really an option! You cannot possibly move on in life from someone you love. But I do want to feel lighter, and I don’t want to keep feeling weak, and feeling like a missing part in life. I don’t want to keep pretending on days I feel rotten, and I am tired of feeling vulnerable and tender on a regular basis because we are bombarded with one trigger or reminder after another.

Some days I feel great and life feels almost normal to me, and then on others I feel so tender, delicate and generally overwhelmed so easily by the things I once bore with ease.

I want to remember her – our 3rd little girl. But I don’t want to accept this, by putting on a headstone to see for reals that in there is my daughters body. The body I grew and fought so hard to save, but that I failed at! The body I only held briefly and never kissed enough. I don’t want to see the name we never get to speak without awkwardness, but then I want to acknowledge her existence and reality to us!

I don’t want to acknowledge it, but then I do.

I want to talk about her and remember her, and I want to forget the trauma of it all.

I want to remember she existed and what she brought to our life and family. But I want to forget how she never took a breath, and how I had to birth her body with no life.

I want to remember how she looked so similar to Megan, and yet I want to forget that I will never know if she would have the same characteristics.

I want to remember her every day, but I want to forget the pain that that brings.

I want to remember the facts of her life, her illness and condition. And of course I want to forget how poorly we were treated and how she was never given a chance!

But I cannot forget any of it. Because I want to remember. And this – every painful part, is her story, and therefore our story. It is what makes me me now. I have hard days. I have overwhelming days. And days I cannot bear to remember what I saw and went through. And whilst I may never be able to accept and be okay with the fact my daughter died, I love her and so I live each day, as best as I can with that missing part. I have hope there is a purpose in it. I hope there will be far more days of Joy and peace to come to us and return as they have done, to give us a rest. But mostly I hope we never forget, because I want there to be purpose in the pain and I want to remember that I birthed an Angel!

I want to remember, but for the sheer overwhelming feelings of pain and grief that that brings, some days I just want to forget!

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Last week Megan turned 5, and whilst a simple, low key affair to mark the day, she was over the moon to be rocking a couple more princess dresses, eating a barbie cake with family, and starting off her palace pets collection. She had several princess dresses, my little ponies and barbies at the top of her wish list, with a desire to do “G0 Ape” for her family day out activity! Its plain to see that she still drifts somewhat between the tomboy adrenaline seeker and gracious princess, and we love the vast differences that make her her and generally such great fun to be around.

Megan hasn’t change a whole lot in the last 12 months (other than height wise); she is still the epitome of sass, has an infectious laugh and imagination, is very funny, loving, overly emotional and a complete nutter. But one thing I have noted is how good and kind she is – I often describe her as being full of goodness, and she really is!

In her 4th year of life Megs has gone through some really big things with a new baby last summer, starting school in September, moving house a few weeks ago, and then starting school all over again last week. Of course you wonder how this might affect the kids (especially the first two with her being the “baby” for so long), but I was super proud to see that she embraced each of these huge things wonderfully and has taken them in her stride. She is now writing well, reading at a steady pace, has received all kinds of awards at her old school and makes friends easily. She adores her baby (most of the time) and really smothers her…overall she is growing into a really lovely young lady (with lots of sass).

At 5 years old I want to remember how much she now loves unicorns, princesses, accessories, dress up, movies, the beach, seeing her cousins and of course banter with her siblings.

I want to remember how she needs snuggles one minute and goes nuts if you touch her the next.

I want to remember how stubborn she is…how she mostly thinks she knows best, argues with me over ridiculous things, roles her eyes and bosses everyone about (and of course holds the biggest grudges)!

I want to remember the stories she fabricates (and that teachers believe), and how she believes most of what she watches.

I want to remember how much she loves food, treats, bakery’s, ice-creams, cheese pizza and pasta, and talks about places like Pizza Hut and Domino’s like she’s a regular.

I want to remember her love for animals, her goal to be a vet and marry a farmer, and how she craves adventures!

I can’t wait to see her in a couple of weeks at Go Ape and see how she grows in her 5th year of life. How the heck is she 5 already?

 

Run Jump Scrap!
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I have avoided my blog this week as I have just felt utterly exhausted. It is a feeling that is all too familiar, and a tiredness that comes as a result of my heart being sad and my head trying to accept the news of loss. You see on Tuesday my dear Granddad passed away – he went home, and I’ve felt pretty numb and melancholy ever since.

I do not cope well with loss, I mean who does? But for me it resurfaces the pain and emotions I work hard to suppress and keep a lid on day in day out. I find that grief for new people takes me back to places I do not want to go and I end up having a mess of the sadness of them mixed in with the sadness of losing my baby and others. Therefore other than a sentiment on my social media, I have avoided talking about it with few people aside from my Mum, Dad, Nath, Sisters and Cousins, and have done well not be too emotional though I do feel so inside!

I now find it rather odd to now be writing about all of this under the heading of an “Ordinary Moment”. Everything about my granddad is far from ordinary; he was unique and one in a million, and his passing is far from an ordinary event or moment in life, but has been the main event of my life this week. To lose someone that was such a mighty presence in our family stands alone as a moment that is both incredibly sad and heartbreaking both in our family, and news that radiates to be sad to many that knew him.

I find that life is made up of moments that on the surface may be seemingly ordinary to others and yet are huge to us. We are a close family, he was a great example to us…a strength, friend and teacher to us all and this week has been full of moments that have been made better by my family, as we all share in the same love and appreciation for who he was in each of our lives. He was funny, and one of the greatest men we have been blessed to know. My sister summed it up perfectly when she said “To know granddad was to love him…our loss is heavens gain” – how very true!

I have felt sad but have enjoyed a week of laughing with my sisters, cousins and family all the same as we have shared our treasured memories and stories of this great man we were blessed to call “Granddad”. Reminiscing is good for the soul, as is being with the great family that have come as a result of 2 people falling in love (possibly around) sixty something years ago (?!).

I love my cousins; they are some of my closest friends and I have felt blessed that that relationship has meant we can lean on one another through messages, chats and long afternoons sat on the beach! Apparently I am not the only one that finds solace and comfort in the beach when my heart is aching as yesterday some of us gathered to the coast where we have fond childhood memories with family and grandparents and we had a beach day. Some went in the sea whilst others just sat with snacks and the kids looking out to sea and chatting and laughing about all sorts. We then ate dinner together and laughed some more.

How grateful I am for cousins, sisters, aunts, uncles, beaches and of course parents that can share in these memories of someone so special to us all. How grateful I am for great teachers and examples in my life in the form of Grandparents.

With loss on my mind and in my heart it is hard to find meaningful things to talk about on my blog right now, I have a few reviews I need to process this week and we are moving Thursday and Friday so it will be a really odd and busy week. But I will tell you that my Granddad was such a mighty presence in our family, and thus will be a great absence, and that is very sad news to accept. And whilst it has been a week of not sleeping properly and feeling out of sorts with this news, and knowing I must grieve at some point soon, thus resurfacing sadness already present, it has been a week of feeling incredibly grateful for the gift of such great grandparents, and friends in my sisters and cousins all of whom have given greatness to my life and are an example of the roots we share!

 

 

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