The 1st’s are always the hardest when you’ve lost someone – 1st Christmas, 1st birthday, 1st anniversary without them, they all remind you of how much it hurts to not have them here and causes you to reflect on how life might have been different if the person hadn’t have passed on. When you loose a baby, when your child passes away there seemed to be way more reminders of your loss; every day you see babies, pregnant women, baby stuff and there seems to be A LOT more 1sts to have to get through – the anniversary of scans, finding out you were pregnant, the day you were told their diagnosis, mothers day, fathers day…its like you always have something there to remind you that your child passed away and you didn’t get the time you had hoped for.
Here in the UK Sunday was “Mothering Sunday”, I had some anxiety about it for a couple of days before when I had been to buy cards for our own mothers and saw a card “from the bump” – REALLY? Don’t they know all of the things that could go wrong? Negative Yes but that’s our experience! It got me thinking though, there’s so much on cards and amongst people that if your sad because your mum isn’t there on mothers day thats understandable and you can buy a card for it, apparently you can even buy a card from an unborn child..but if you are a mother missing your child there’s nothing. If you say your sad your told to focus on what you do have on Mothers day (because at least you have kids?!). This Mothers day would have been my 1st as Poppy’s mum, it would have meant 3 names on my card and baby snuggles in bed as well as Ethan and Megs… there are no cards in the shops to acknowledge this, there were barely any texts sent acknowledging it might be difficult for me, (but for those that did it made me smile Thank you and it made me happy that people thought of these 1sts and the difficulty they bring) theres not much about or people that think and understand that when you loose a baby your heart might be feeling it on a day devoted to mothers. I know I am blessed to have other children but why should I not miss my child that died just because of other children? Because I have other children it meant that I was treated like other mothers – I had breakfast in bed and Megan choose me some “lellow fowers” for her bright mummy and Ethan hit the nail on the head with chocolate! It was lovely and they kept telling me what a special day it was because it was for me! I wanted to take flowers to the cemetery and visit her so that I could have had all my children on mothers day, but unfortunately there was no time. For other bereaved mothers, my friends, they had nothing to mark this day other than assurance to themselves that because they gave birth they can be called a mother!
Grief is a funny thing, you don’t know how you’ll feel from day to day, what insignificant things can set you off. How anniversaries you didn’t expect would crop up and rip on your heart…You never expect after a few good weeks to be back feeling it all again..but that’s what happens, its not a mental illness it is a natural result of a heart full of love, broken at the passing of them. The last 2 weeks have been hard and trying to explain why to people is usually not understood (sometimes I don’t even get it) so last night on the 6 month anniversary of giving birth to Poppy I went back to the SANDS meeting. Nath and I decided that we do probably need it and me especially for my friends I have found there and seeing what lies ahead. I need to be reminded of the hope that lies ahead and that I will never be the same again (so stop trying) I may do or say weird things and that its okay to go ages and be happy but suddenly be sad again, yes its okay to miss my baby whenever I do and its okay to take time out because its too hard, its even okay to talk about her and remember her. It will never go away because why would you want to forget your child? I know each anniversary of whatever it is will probably get easier to go through, but even if at times they seem a little harder that’s okay too. Grief makes you vulnerable as its so unpredictable and makes you feel all kinds of rubbish. SANDS is like a crutch that holds you up from month to month and gives you a chance to connect to people that know how hard a 1st mothers day is, or how people have moved on after 6months and probably won’t think that not just now but even next year you will be experiencing an element of sadness for your baby dying. I realised just because I may feel in a good place doesn’t mean I shouldn’t go, its nice to listen to others stories and nice to share your baby, its good to talk and laugh and cry with others that feel what you feel and walk the path you are on too.
I love what I have and that’s why we wanted another, it breaks our hearts we had to give her back before we saw her smile or the colour of her eyes, there’s one less name on my mothers day card and one less child to kiss and cuddle because this mothers day I was a bereaved mother.