Henry, Henry, Henry everywhere!

Dearest Henry,

The last couple days have been full of ups and full of downs to, it’s this rollercoaster, one that has so many hills loops and turns, it goes up, down forward and backwards and I want to get off but the thing is once you are on this ride, even though it’s not the one you wanted be on and you didn’t sign up for it.. You are not allowed off, you just have to keep riding and watching as others get on too, sometimes you may know these people other times not but the ones who are forced on to this rollercoaster never want to be on it.

Friday Henry, Friday we walked around battery point and Salamanca… we walked taking in the sights and looking around, as we walked along the wharf we saw the Aurora Australis which is a massive antarctic flagship, this ship travels to the antarctic for research and expeditions. Your Dad and I stood staring at the large ship in front of us, so big.. we decided it was a good photo opportunity for your bear, we sat him down in front a little worried he may blow away in the wind. As we took the picture I wondered, would you have loved boats, or perhaps cars, maybe you would have been fascinated by helicopters like your Dad, maybe you wouldn’t have been in to them at all….. All the Maybe’s we will never know.

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I think your Dad would have loved if you were a surfing helicopter pilot, me I think I was hoping you’d never leave home. Who would you have been?

We walked past some amazing buildings and houses I placed your bear behind a fence, capturing a picture of a house, I could picture you as a toddler wanting to climb along walls and fences as we walked and us trying to get you down. I always hoped you would have a sense of adventure. Now we will have to be adventurous for you.

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Yesterday Henry as your Dad and I walked the Salamanca markets in the morning there were so many triggers, so many things that made me think of you, miss you, want you. I am so thankful for the invention of sunglasses as they hide my sadness when I don’t want others to see, tears in my eyes hidden behind those glasses, hidden tears I hoped would not run down my cheeks. Mums and Dads with newborns in prams walked past us, we passed mums with babies in carriers as we walked through the crowd, I looked as a grandmother made sounds at her grandchild who must have been only a few months old as she made a sound the baby imitated the sound back smiling and giggling in-between each sound, those sounds that giggle it’s so piercing like a sword straight in to my guts then pulled out and placed back in piercing my heart.

I don’t have anything against these people, I don’t dislike them, I just want the opportunity to have what they have, to have you my baby, to listen to you gurgle and giggle, to listen to you as you hear new sounds around you, to watch you as you look around and take in the world, instead I am trying to not only take in new places and the world for just me now, but for you too.

Yesterday after the markets we got in the car to make our way to Launceston, along the way I took in the sights, the sadness still sitting with me and I allowed it too, it is all I can do. I said to your Dad as the tears formed again “I just want to be like everyone else at that market walking around with their babies” , “So we are coming back with the twins then?” your Dad replies jokingly and optimistically…. Your Dad Henry is convinced we will have twin siblings in the future for you, I suppose this is better than his plan of 18.. I laughed as your Dad said that, he then went on to explain how we would be walking those markets him pushing the twins, our Doberman puppy Lucy with Snikkers tied up at the dog parking station and me walking ahead of it all in my own world.. He said we would need to put the bike bell on the pram to be able to get it through the crowds and everyone would hear Snikkers in the background doing her one bark she does “woof ting ting” your Dad said I laughed at his interpretations.

Throughout the last few days Henry, you have been everywhere! Henry Henry Henry… Your name has appeared in a range of different places, in Battery Point we saw a sign on our walk for the Henry James hotel, we then saw a car advertising McHenry distillery, yesterday as we travelled along we stopped in at Richmond driving through to explore, we took a wrong turn drove up along a road and came across a Street sign none other than Henry St….. Your Dad and I decided to explore an old gaol going through the records of names looking to see if there were any Maggs, we there was and there you where again Maggs in one column Henry in the column right next to it! Another record we looked at there was the name Henry six times in a row one after the other… You are certainly making sure your prescence is known 🙂

We continued along the road stopping in at another town so I could get something to eat, as we waited for our food we played a game of checkers… I had to explain to your Dad how to play and was surprised…. we sat and finished the game I won and back on our way. When we arrived at our Airbnb accommodation again your name Henry’s apartment!! and down below under our apartment Henry’s!! again your name a restaurant and bar…. we decided to phone to see if we could get a reservation for dinner, you must have been looking after us it must have been meant to be as we got the last spot for dinner.

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Last night Henry, we went to Henry’s as we ordered our drinks your Dad and I decided we wanted to get a photo of your bear with the bar sign in the background… It was hard to ask, but I did it, I said to the bartender “I have a strange request” he looked at me “I would like to if I can get a photo of that bar sign but with this little blue bear placed somewhere, its in honour of our son Henry who passed away” I explained as I swallowed the big lump that appeared in my throat and tried not to cry, your Dad he did begin to cry, tat beautiful bartender was more than obliging, “Of course” he said and “I am so sorry to hear” he placed your bear on the bottom shelf and we took a pic.

After our drink we headed in to the restaurant area for dinner, the food was all amazing right down to dessert, the staff were all lovely, from the dining area you could see the lounge where Henry’s was in large letters across the wall, after dinner the bartender asked if we would like a photo there and he took one for us, such a nice gesture, he then got us a complimentary drink as we sat in the lounge area. In one corner a record player with records beside.. One of the waitresses explained to us that we could put on any records we liked.. Your Dad and I sat taking turns to choose records and drinks, we talked, we laughed it was a nice night Henry. We both could not believe the amount of times we saw your name. We both know you brought us here for a reason. we know you are beside us every step of the way.

The early hours of this morning Henry I couldn’t sleep, maybe it was the one too many espresso martinis maybe it was something else, either way early hours thoughts are hard.. they are some of the worst, I just wanted to be with you. I thought about how its easier when I am sleeping as when I am asleep I don’t feel that pain, I don’t have those thoughts when I am asleep its the only time I can not torture myself with thoughts, it is the only time there is not this anguish. I do at times wish I could sleep for a long long time.

Today Henry, we got up after getting some breakfast we walked on our way to cataract gorge, your Dad explained it was only 2km from where we were staying “Are you sure?” I asked as we started to walk as it seemed like we were going the wrong way “Yes it’ll be fine” your Dad replied. We walked and walked not feeling like we were getting anywhere close I decided to check my maps on my phone “You don’t need that Kristy Jean” your Dad said to me…. Turns out we did Henry, as your Dad and I were coming towards an area where there was no path to be able to cross a busy street. We finally made our way in the right direction made our way to the gorge and started our walk… We passed a family with of five, three children a baby, a toddler and a boy who looked about five the dad and the son had been yelling inside the gorge and listening to the echo the young boy commented on this “It’s an echo” said his mum and they continued to talk about it as we walked past..

“I’m going to be hopeless at explaining things to the twins” your dad said to me, “Whats an echo dad” he said in a little voice “An echo” he replied in his own voice “you know son” “no I don’t Dad” he replied again in the little voice I laughed.. “It would depend on how old they are as to how you explain it” I said to your Dad “for a little one I would say an echo is when the sound reflects and continues to travel after you have said it and I would get them to test it out saying see how it does it when we stand in the gorge then later I would get them to test it out in an open space to discuss how it doesn’t echo”….. “this is why when you are out and the twins have question I am going to get them to Skype you” your Dad said to me.

After we walked the gorge taking in the beautiful sights of the water, the crisp cool air, we got to a chair lift to go over head, on the chair lift your bear sitting with us we got some pictures of us and blue bear and also the scenery surrounding us, it was nice to be out in nature, taking it in, it helps nature Henry and I can feel you with us. We saw wallabies, peacocks and other creatures. We smiled, we talked, I panicked somewhat slightly as the chairlift stopped above the water and took a little while to start again.

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Afterwards your Dad must have decided we needed more exercise and adventure as he seemed to take us the long route back up the steepest hills and down them again… In his words when going down the hill he thought his “toes might break through the front of his shoes”… it was the longest hill ever!!! but at least we had an adventure.. I wouldn’t be surprised if you were conspiring with your Dad taking me along up and down those hills.

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Tonight Henry we are having dinner in, my body its crying out for some healthy food, its letting me know it wants veggies, my body is finally past some of the shock and is communicating with me about what it needs, and I need to start listening.

Recently Henry we had someone make a donation to heartfelt in honour of you, the amazing part of this donation is that person who made it doesn’t even know us, this wonderful lady only knows of us and you through friends of ours and yet she still decided to do this in honour of you. Such an amazing gesture. Heartfelt is a wonderful organisation where a number of photographers donate their time so that they can capture photographic memories for families and beautiful pictures for these families of thier babies born sleeping. I can not begin to tell you how much your Dad and I treasure the photographs we have of you, so very very precious, i would have to say one of my most valuable possessions. So for someone to support this cause and share it on social media and do this in honour of you, it again just shows me how beautiful people can be. I am currently looking at some different fundraising opportunities and different ways to raise awareness in honour of you and to assist others.

I have been reading a book Henry, a book a friend bought for me, it has been amazing. The author it is her story, her story about a little boy, her little boy born still, her little boy full term no problems and suddenly one day no heartbeat, talks openly about her grief, openly about her health, about her thoughts and her pregnancy afterwards. I have been able to relate so much to these thoughts and feelings in this book, I have laughed as she refers to dwarfs of grief (I’ll explain the dwarfs another time), I have cried as she tells of her darkest days and I have felt as though parts of the story are my own. ‘The happiest story with the saddest ending’ she quotes…. Yep I can understand that completely, you were the happiest part of our story,  and in my own words you are ‘our greatest adventure and our hardest goodbye’, love you Henry x.

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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.

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