On Thursday I went shopping with one of my School mum friends; it was lovely to be out together and catch up, have some lunch and purchase several bargainous items to update both ours and the kids wardrobes. I really like this school mum stage far more than I ever anticipated and whether it is just chats in the playground with them and then catching up at birthday parties or more planned afternoons out shopping and play dates with the kids, it is great to have an ever increasing number of lovely mums in my life and women to talk to about things they all understand and who are at similar stages in parenting. Many have helped and offered to help me out with out a second thought as they come to understand more of our story or see that I am just a generally scatty person.
I have been open about our loss with Poppy from early on in the school journey with a number of parents and still recently it comes up in conversation, and I am grateful that it is just accepted as part of who we are and something we live with.
I’d say I have been living with it rather well over the last few months and Nathan’s busy schedule and pregnancy have certainly helped to take my energy and thoughts to more present and other things. But with loss and grief, there are always things just around the corner to catch you off guard and Thursday was one of these moments. I don’t know if its because I was aware that that day was 2 years since finding our we were expecting a sick baby or if it was just another ordinary moment when these emotions hit you suddenly, but I had popped into Primark for some cheapo basics to see me through the remainder of the pregnancy and thought I would get a few nightshirts whilst there to put away for the birth/afterwards. Iv’e used them in all of my pregnancies as they are only £4 and can be chucked if they get soiled with blood and such, but I never anticipated how those night shirts would make me feel as I reached out to pick one up and look at the pattern and sizing.
It took my breath away as I held in my hand what I thought was perfect for the summer…a fresh pinky, floral one, it would be perfect to wear following the birth, but as quick as I thought this, I suddenly realised I had the same in red for Poppy. A lump came into my throat and I froze as I remembered the last time I wore something similar was on that dark and life changing day. It was the same one that everyone who visited said looked so lovely, the same one that was colourful and fresh to wear following the hardest thing I have done, the day I had birthed my 3rd child, our beautiful little girl, born asleep. It was what I was wearing at 8.30am on the 16th September 2014 when after a couple hours nap following the birth, I awkwardly held her little body in the bereavement suite, all whilst wishing it was a different picture…
I never thought that a red, tacky, disposable night shirt from Primark would suddenly hold so much emotion and memory for me.
I still have that red nightshirt that I held her in that day, its here at home and was packed in my maternity wear. To be honest as much as it pains me to touch, to remember and to see, I don’t want to bin it nor could I ever bring myself to. Its just one of the few things that links me to her – its too special now and reminds me that cheap and simple can become treasures. I wouldn’t ever want to wear it again, especially for a birth that is already a rather worrying situation for the very reason that it holds pain and reminders of a dark and life changing day and birth I would never want to have to go through again.
I often wonder how something so small can have such a big effect upon me, how such a cheap piece of merchandise can fill me with those emotions again, but then I remember that Ordinary moments in my life aren’t always the special, happy days with family. As much as these occupy my life and I find great joy in the adventures, the park trips, the fun with friends and banter with family, some days they are simply a reminder that I had a baby between Megan and this one. That whilst I prepare for the arrival of another daughter, I have a daughter I missed so much with. They are days with moments that whilst bring things to the surface, they also are a moment where I can reflect on her and remember her and remember the small details of that day I spent with her again. That the touch of a fabric, the sight of a pattern, the act of preparing for another baby can bring her right back to the forefront of my mind and remind me she is never far away. They are days when I also like to turn it around now and think she is preparing her sister for us and sending us a little ray of sunshine to heal our hearts.
These moments will never be easy and will sometimes be shared in the presence of those that weren’t in my life at that point. I think perhaps for those that were it can be a little easier to understand triggers and its certainly easier after having them help carry us through to be open about these emotions, but then I am grateful too for new souls in my life that have natural understanding of others, do not think I am crazy for these moments, and even take time whether out shopping, at a party or in the playground to ask how I am and how I am coping. I love how life is not always plain sailing but that we are usually blessed with good souls in the moments we need them.