Ignorance is bliss, until it happens to you.

Lat night Henry, last night as I lay in bed with your Dad’s arms around me listening to him snore as he went to sleep, I thought of you, of all we are missing out on, how you should be here, I thought of how very wanted you are and I tried so very hard to cry silently, so as not to walk you dad I cried silent tears in to my pillow, tears soaking my pillow case until I finally fell asleep.

This morning Henry I woke in the early hours of the morning as I always do, I awoke from  a dream about you, in my dreams though we have you here with us, I woke to your Dad awake as he often is in the early hours too. The tears fell softly down my cheeks as he pulled me in to his arms I cried as I thought I just want to know the feeling of having your baby cry after giving birth, I want to know that joyous feeling, I want to know what its like to bring my baby home. That has been ripped away from us, even if we have a sibling for you Henry, that blissfulness of completely knowing those feelings as they are is gone as that experience will now be mixed with feelings of your birth of the events leading up to it, we no longer get to be ignorant or experience it in the same way others would.

As we lay awake most of the early hours cuddling, as it hit 5am and we heard cars leaving your dad commented the tradies were leaving for work, it made me think I wonder who you would have been, what profession would you have chosen as you grew, who would you be? I said this to your dad, he replied you’d probably be a geologist I laughed as I knew this was said to make me laugh, your dad then went on to discuss with me how he needs kit Kat pyjamas, I said I would make it my mission to find him some, he said he’d get your Nanny to make them out of kit Kat wrappers so every time he tossed and turned in bed it would make a noise. It really would Henry I am sure he tosses and turns over 65 times a night.

This morning Henry your dad goes to say goodbye to a friend, a boss, a wonderful man who would have helped anyone he could have, I know its going to be a tough day for your dad and many of his other family….  all I can do is be here with open arms when he gets home.

This morning your dad is in the shower gargling except he does it really loudly and in stages making different loud gargle noises in an attempt to make me laugh, ticked off the list for today.

Who would you be Henry?, so much I want to know, I want to know the sound of your laugh, the sound of your cry, the sound of your giggle. How I wish I would get to know who you would have looked like more as you grow your Dad or I, would you have liked the beach?, would you have woken lots or slept?. One thing I know is you would have filled our days with joy, you would have filled our hearts with more love as you already do, you having been here brings us joy, you having chosen us and coming in to our lives brought us a love like we have never known. Every day I am grateful for you.

Many of our friends Henry, many have contacted me about a current parliamentary enquiry in to stillbirth that is currently taking submissions, I have mentioned it once before, I plan to do a submission as I think it is important to speak out, to be involved to assist in any way I can to raise awareness of this. I will speak out for you to try to ensure other families do not have to endure the same. Speak out to make a change, to help drive change to improve outcomes for others.. I have other things happening which I will share in time.

Your Dad Henry this morning as he puts on his dress pants, comments on his belly and how big its gotten over the past few weeks, when I first fell pregnant with you we joked how my belly would get as big as his, we used to compare bellies as you know, as mine grew though his seemed to get smaller and not just because mine became bigger but because he was really looking after himself. Now as mine has shrunk, his is growing again. It reminded me as mine started to grow how one night I took this picture of us to compare our bellies, it wasn’t a picture we ever would have shared, but now I want to as its a part of our story with you. I want to share everything about you. I remember thinking my belly was so big and had caught up to your dads here, looking back I was barely showing at this stage at all.

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Some days Henry I wonder Henry, I wonder if time will help us navigate, to cope, the feelings of loss are still so raw, I find trying to navigate through each day a like we are going through a maze, hitting dead ends and there seems to be no way out, some days we might make more progress through the maze than others, sometimes I think I must just stop and stare at the road ahead and break down, but this maze its long, it feels never-ending and we are trapped inside.

This morning my sadness has moved, it’s moved from sadness to some anger and a little bit of nothingness, so I am going to get p and let the hot water of the shower pour over me, I’ll let it keep going until I feel ‘I can’ and you know what even if I begin to feel ‘I don’t want to’ then that’s ok too, but I am not going to not try Henry as I know you would want me to try.

This morning I wanted to share some words I wrote about you the day after coming home from the hospital, I know some would have already seen them but I have never shared them in my letters to you.

I dreamt of you for so very long
I wished for you to be here
I waited such a very long time
And although we don’t know the reason why you couldn’t stay
I feel so incredibly blessed you chose us
You chose us to be your mum and dad
You chose us to bring you in to this world
I’ll forever cherish the time you spent growing inside my womb
And although it really wasn’t easy I’d take it all again ten fold and not complain at all
If it meant I could have held you in my arms longer
If it meant you could have taken your first breath, heard your first cry and taking you home I’d do it all again ten times over
You are so very perfect and loved by your dad and I
The waves of grief wash over me waves so big and seem never ending
There are moments when your dad and I manage to smile when we think of that head of hair, that dark head of hair and hairline just like your dad’s, we couldn’t believe the amount of hair you have
When we talk about your nose how cute your nose is just like your mums when she was a baby
When we first seen your ears straight away we smiled at one another as they had that Maggs shape
When we think of how very perfect you looked when we very first saw you
It was so very hard to bring you in to this world knowing we wouldn’t get to hear your cries, knowing there’d be silence where there should be noise
But I’m still so grateful you chose us! How very honoured I feel to be your Mum
We will carry you always, in our hearts, in our thoughts, everywhere we go you’ll be with us
We love you so very very much Henry Peter Maggs. Thank you for blessing us with your presence I can’t stop telling you how perfect you are our beautiful baby boy.

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Author: Letters to Henry

My husband and I live on the beautiful south coast of NSW, Australia. We are currently learning to rebuild and navigate through life after the loss of our son Henry to stillbirth due to medical negligence in April of this year.

One thought on “Ignorance is bliss, until it happens to you.”

  1. Oh lovely, how much I feel every word you’ve written. If only we had the opportunity to hear our babies cry at birth, how very very joyous that would have been. I’m forever thinking about what my son would have become. Your beautiful Henry would be so proud of you talking about him and helping others. Maybe what our babies were to become will shine through ourselves. Love to you gorgeous xxxx

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