Take me to where it doesn’t hurt so much…

Friday Henry, Friday was a good day, I felt ok which was nice… your Dad and I visited Port Arthur historical site which is an old penitentiary for convicts. The site now has remains of the buildings including the goal, churches and homes some able to be restored to original full condition others were just barely shells of the buildings. The first name we came across was yours Henry… of course being a historical site and an old-fashioned name it was going to happen, but the first information sign I looked at had your name.

We completed the walking tour with a guide then wandered on our own, there was an eerie feeling around the place and you can imagine the things that went on, as we walked in the remains of what used to be the hospital your Dad said to me “I wonder if the very bottom room was the morgue” maybe it was…..
As we walked around dark grey clouds moved quickly first in the distance then over head and above us, they made for great photos with the old buildings behind. As we got close to the end we got to an area where there used to be a cafe, this is where in more recent times in 1996 an awful massacre occurred, as we walked this area and the memorial garden, this was the most eerie of it all and as I read the names of the people who were killed that day, my heart ached for them, it ached for them and their families, those who have had to go in without their loved ones, those who lost their loved ones that day unexpectedly and in such awful circumstances, I will never know their exact pain, but with the pain I feel over losing you I can only imagine it hurts like that does, that they have felt the aching, the despair.

After leaving port Arthur your Dad and I headed to McHenry distillery which was close by, yet another Henry appearing again! We spent some time tasting gin and talking to the ladies there, who were kind and lovely to talk with. We left with three bottles as we headed back to get some lunch and back to sit by the fire and keep warm… Friday Henry I coped well.

Saturday Henry was a different story, Saturday was our day to come home. It’s so hard to explain the mixed feelings that spread throughout my whole body, anxiousness felt right in to the pit of my stomach, it twisted it turned like you might turn your spaghetti to wrap it around your fork, so many turns, the anxiousness I think, was the not knowing how I would feel returning to our home, our home without you, then there was sadness, so much sadness… I was drowning in those waves again. I said to your Dad and kept thinking in my mind “just take me to where it does not hurt so much” I have to ask is there such a place? will there ever be?

Your Dad started his tassie song to make me laugh, Henry your Dad is so very amazing Henry. As we sat at the airport he told me how this week coming up we would cook and look after ourselves better, how we were going to try to get some routine back. He is trying to be so strong your Dad, so strong.

As we sat at the airport a couple with a little boy who I would guess was about 18 months old sat beside us, the little boy looked at me with his big blue eyes “plane” he said I smiled at him “Are you going on the plane?” I asked he smiled back… “it’s his first flight today” his proud mum beamed smiling as she said it… “Oh wow that’s very exciting” I replied smiling at her, as they waited she sat on the floor with the little boy and his cars and trucks from his bag they pushed them back and forwards to one another… Such precious moments, moments I will never get with you… I long to be able to play cars with you! Your Dad and I had talked while I was pregnant how Friday nights when you were bigger would be lego night, we had looked forward to when you were older being able to buy you lego and just spread it all out on a Friday night and sit and build with you… we had smiled when we talked about it, if only….

Arriving home was bittersweet, your fur sisters as always were excited to see us.. Snikkers pawed at me and wouldn’t leave my side, Missy ran excitedly around and back and forwards to us both. Snikkers tail wouldn’t stop, I leant down to her near the floor and held on to her as tears filled my eyes. We arrived home to some beautiful things in the mail Henry, a friend of mine sent me a beautiful key ring with your name, it is shaped as a boy and an angel wing attached, another friend of mine sent us a candle with a photograph of you with your Dad and I as the label, with the saying love you to the moon and back… she had previously bought for your room a heart with that saying, I remember the day she gave it to me I was 16 weeks pregnant with you I had told her how special that saying was to us when she gave me that heart, as I always said it to your Dad and he replies to the street light and beyond.. a little joke we have with one another… I also had a special card with three butterfly pins inside, such beautiful gestures… not to mention a special note and a delivery of some wine, beer and yummy bread from some friends too.
We have kept every card, note, letter written to us and for you.. I keep them all in a special box marked with a H that a friend gave to us.

 

As we unpacked and spent time with the puppies, your Nanny and Poppy dropped over we spoke with them for a while.. after they left and it came time to bed I broke, the anxiousness, the sadness, the longing, the pain had all built up….. I broke it finally came out your Dad hugged me tight as I sobbed in to his chest “I would have given my life for him to be here, I would have” I cried “I know I would have too” replied your dad and held me tighter “It’s been too long since I got to hold him” I said to your dad between sobs “I’m here we will get through this” he said to me, I held on to your Dad so tightly as I couldn’t stop the tears “I just want our baby boy that’s all I want I don’t want anything in this world just him” I said as the sobs became harder “Me too” said your Dad “me too”… The tears wouldn’t stop when they finally did I fell asleep.

Sunday Henry, Sunday I woke up to Missy wanting to go outside I took her out then jumped back in to bed, your Dad slept and slept… I lay awake.. Eventually when we got up while your Dad showered, I went in to your room to water the plant I had bought and placed in there before you were born… My friend who was staying with us to look after the puppies she came in to your room, instantly tears filled her eyes “It hurts so much I am hurting for you and Tim” she said “look at all his beautiful things” I showed her the dog pyjamas I had bought for you to wear and told her about how I had bought them as I had wanted us all to have dog pyjamas in winter, I have mentioned this in my letters before, it wasn’t; until I looked at them I realised on the dog bowls it has the letters HM… They are hairy maclary pyjamas so I know the HM is there for that, but it’s just so funny I bought them while you were still in my belly before we knew your name and they are your initials HM… They will always be your little pj’s maybe one day your sibling might wear them..
I got them out of the box and went in to your Dad who had just dressed “look at this in Henry’s pyjamas they have HM” your Dad looked and tears filled his eyes straight away, he hugged me then tried to hide his tears, I went and got him a clean hanky from the line and hugged him again.

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We went shopping for some fruit and veg, so we can try, so we can try this week to be a little healthier, try to get some routine.. our lives have changed so very much, Your Dad talked to me on the way to the shops about ‘the twins'”It will happen for us, before you know we will be chasing Henry’s siblings around”

Last night Henry your Dad got home, he got home and after eating his dinner, I noticed he put a status up about appreciating the little things in life, how once you have something life changing happen you’ll wish for yesterday, I know your Dad doesn’t let it out as much as I or say as much and that’s his way, but I knew reading that he was hurting… I looked over to him and he was crying, I hugged him tight, your Dad tries not to cry too much, he later cried again, he went in the kitchen but I could hear him I let him be, I let him be there so the tears would come out freely without stopping as I know he doesn’t always like me to know when he’s crying so I let him let them out and later hugged him again letting him know how much I love him.

When we went to bed your Dad and I had trouble sleeping once again, both still wide awake at midnight, I eventually fell asleep and noticed when waking up this morning that your dad had sent me something at 3am, meaning he was awake then too, your dad had said before Henry that it’s often the time he is awake and sad and trying to distract his thoughts. That is the time his storm starts, that’s the time the lightning and thunder hit in his mind, the time where he tries to find some shelter from that storm but is usually left in the pouring rain.

As we both woke this morning we looked down at missy on her bad, she was right on the edge almost falling off “Missy is only just hanging on” your Dad said to me, “I am too but in a different way” I replied “me too” your Dad replied “I am only just hanging on like this” as he pulled the tiniest bit of my pyjama shirt in-between two of his fingers “I love you I am here for you always, you are what keeps me going” I said to him, “You are what keeps me going we will do this together” he replied. We lay in bed hugging one another not wanting to get up and face the day.

Get up and face the day is what we needed to do though, today for the first time in months I went back to training, I hadn’t trained in the last few weeks pregnant with you and haven’t had the energy too since, plus I needed to wait until I was fully healed from birth, I went back to see my personal trainer and wonderful friend. She was so excited about you Henry she had said to me when coming to see me a few weeks back about how even though I was so sick, I still smiled every time I saw her, I still talked about you excitedly and with so much love and she was right, I did, She couldn’t wait to come meet and cuddle you.
I dragged myself out of bed to shower and get dressed and made my way to the gym, greeted with a big smile and hug from her, instantly the tears started to fall, I dried them aside and we began, we began our session I tried so hard and struggled too, we talked about you, about how I was feeling, how my body was healing about how hard it is, about how can we move forward. she was so encouraging Henry and reminded me that no one can judge our future decisions or say what is right for us as they are not in our shoes.

She said this to me as I talked to her about wanting siblings for you, I talked to her about how now my period had returned another reminder my body knows I am not breastfeeding you, I wasn’t initially going to write that in here but you know what, these are my letters, my letters to you, my way of remembering, of sharing of talking about this, this is real and it happened to us…. so I want to write about all the struggles, about all the information, I want to share so others know the struggles people in this situation go through and to let everyone know its ok to talk about it. That is what gets people through, being able to talk, not feeling like they can’t. So my period returned while we were away in those last few days and we are now deciding whether or not we try again. I know it won’t come without its struggles, I know we are still grieving you, I know that there may be heartache… but I can’t live life not trying.

Today Henry, today I had to go pick up mail from the post office box, I got a slip in there for registered mail, I picked up the letter from inside and got back in the car with your Dad, I felt it instantly that sting that pain I didn’t even need to open it to know what it was, I breathed in a really deep breath and opened the envelope your Dad looking on as I opened the carefully folded piece of paper he knew what it was too…. sobs began as I looked at this piece of paper in front of me on my lap ‘your birth certificate’ your name Henry Peter Maggs 26th April 2018. Stillbirth written beside your name. 😦 “It’s special” your Dad said to me holding my hand as he cried, “It is very special” he said trying to comfort me, and I know it is special as its your certificate to show you were born, yet that word ‘stillbirth’ next to your name, it shouldn’t be there, it’s not how this is supposed to be… As a friend said to me instead of saying that it should say ‘too perfect for this shit world’ and you are too perfect Henry, just too perfect.

Today Henry when you Dad and I went to go get coffee and a hot chocolate, we were told a friend had left a tab for us, left some money there to pre pay for us… I asked the owner of the shop “who?” she told me a last name, I couldn’t believe it, that one little gesture, that one act of kindness made a shitty shitty day just a little bit sweeter.

Your Dad and I have spent the afternoon cuddled up as it is cold, we are trying to keep warm, we have decided day by day we need to do one thing we don’t want to do, as in routine things, Yesterday for me that was cooking up sweet potato and beetroot to have with my breakfasts this week, today I achieved going to the gym.. small steps…. day by day… Your Dad he returns to work in a couple of weeks, of that I am scared, scared for him and how he will go, how he might cope? and scared for me for the same. I think work may be good for him, something distracting a routine, then I worry with his type of job… I then worry about how I may go with him back at work, we have grieved together, been supporting one another, spent most of this time together.. I think the first few days may be hard… some people have asked when I will go back to work, but honestly I do not know… I can’t think about that Henry, I can’t imagine travelling, being away from home, walking in to childcare centres, thinking, smiling, pretending nothing is wrong… When it is wrong, my whole entire world feels wrong without you here in my arms, this is not how we saw it, this is not how it should be…. But it is!

Henry-98

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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