Jenga

Tuesday Henry, Tuesday feels like it is too far away to remember yet it was only two days ago. I feel as though the days go so slow, but yet I feel like the days since we have held you have gone too fast. I said to your Dad I feel like you are too far away from us its been too long since I got to hold you in my arms, take in that sweet newborn smell and see those beautiful features of yours, your sweet sweet face, those perfect little hands, those feet with the cute little long toes… Every part of you etched in to my mind and forever will be.

Tuesday I went to get a blood test Henry, one my GP ordered to look at my hormones, to look at my iron and vitamin D levels. As I sat in the chair the lady about to take my blood looked at my form “Are you trying for your first bubba” she asked, due to the tests my GP had ordered, I took a big breath trying not to cry but tears fell from my eyes anyway “No” I replied softly “We not long lost our little boy at 39 weeks” the beautiful lady hugged me, she hugged me and then said to me “I lost two of my children in an accident, I at least had them for a short time” this form of understanding enveloped me.. The energy of the room changed from me feeling like it was about to get awkward and me anxious to being able to breathe I replied to her “to lose your child at any stage is traumatic and awful and  just because you got time with your children doesn’t make your loss less” she hugged me and said “Don’t let anyone at all put a timeline on your grief, this will be such a long and individual process and it will take so much time, you talk about this too, talk about it get it out, talk about it as much as you need too” I left there although sad, with that relieved sense that comes across when you know someone understands the absolute heartbreak.

While at home your Dad and I worked more on your garden, we have been placing up a frame to create a screen in front of the fence, your Dad had me drilling, he was so patient Henry, so patient as I tried and failed a couple of times and tried again, until we had the frame up with minimal fuss. I can’t tell you enough how amazing your Dad is, so willing to work together, to encourage me to try everything and keep me going. He would have been so patient with you.

Tuesday afternoon Henry, I had a friend call who I used to work with, it was so nice to speak with her, it was nice of her to check in. I talked about so much, about how I was feeling so anxious… anxious I wouldn’t be able to fall pregnant again, anxious about how I will feel if that doesn’t happen, anxious about my birthday and becoming another year older, a birthday as I hadn’t imagined it, a birthday I had planned to celebrate with my little boy in my arms. Then there was the anxiousness about how I will face work…. I try but it is all in there along with all of my thoughts.

Tuesday night Henry, Missy wouldn’t settle, she wouldn’t sit… your Dad pulled her on to the lounge, on to his lap, she snuggled in he lay a blanket over her as I looked on always in awe of his caring and loving nature…. Your Dad looked towards the TV seeing his side profile in that moment…. I saw you, I took a picture of him and Missy, when he looked at it he said “Oh that’s an awful picture of me”, “No it’s not” I replied with tears in my eyes “as when I just looked at you in that moment I could see our beautiful boy Henry”… Your Dad he smiled at me with that look in his eyes, I could see it the ache that comes along with the love.. We looked at one another as he grabbed my hand giving it a little squeeze.

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Wednesday Henry, Wednesday I woke up in tears it was hard to want to get out of bed, every part of me ached for you, to hold you. I got myself up in the shower…. I made myself move for another morning. It’s like a game of jenga you continue to take blocks and build them one on top of the other moving up but you never know the moment it comes crashing down. It didn’t come crashing down Wednesday morning but it was close. Your Dad and I got ourselves together, we went for coffee with your nanny and poppy and ended up spending the whole day with them.

Wednesday night those blocks did crash, they fell…. they came crashing down I just looked at your Dad and the tears turned quickly in to sobs, he just held me I sobbed and told him about how much I just wanted you “I just want our baby boy” I cried to him “This is so hard and I just want him here with us” I couldn’t stop the sobbing as much as I tried “Let it out” your Dad said to me “Let it out”, “It just hurts so much” I managed to get out between sobs “It certainly does, it really hurts and it’s not something we should have to be going through but we are and we will keep going for each other and Henry, the puppies and Arthur and Martha too” …. I know we do, but sometimes I just really don’t know how.

This morning Henry, this morning the alarm went off at 6am… I wanted so badly to ignore it, I wanted to not get up, I am tired Henry, sleep does not come easy, I find these days even when I am asleep it’s not deep sleep, sometimes I know I’m asleep but yet feel awake, I imagine it might be like the light sleep I may have been getting when first getting used to having you home, when worried I may not hear your cries, so I would only sleep lightly to make sure I would have heard you…. except now I am having this light sleep because you are not here, because I don’t get to hear those cries, because I never will.

Your Dad and I got up and went to pilates, it’s always good to do, to stretch, work, to be little moments which help. After pilates we came home and had breakfast then off to get some shopping and coffee, as we sat in the sun enjoying a coffee, people walked past with prams, so many people with babies, with little ones… The aching began, the thoughts swirled creating a storm in my mind “I don’t know what to do” I said to your Dad “I don’t know how to do this how to get through how to stop the hurt”, “You are doing amazingly” he replied don’t be so hard on yourself “not many people will understand” he said “as they haven’t been through something as traumatic as this”,    “But I can’t even decide anything right now, I can’t decide anything about work and future direction and what I want to do as I just want to be a mum again that’s all I want and I can not focus past that”….. “You don’t need to make those decisions right now” Your Dad said to me “You need to use the no PET analogy, no pressure, no expectations, no timeframes, don’t be hard on yourself and just keep getting through each day as you do” Your Dad smiled Henry he was pretty proud of himself for coming up with that one.

As we drove home a few mums walked with their prams in our street, I couldn’t stop the tears that had started as soon as I saw as I knew that’s what I would have been doing with you on such a beautiful sunny winters day I would have taken the opportunity to take you for a walk in the sunshine and enjoy it… once we got inside I went out to the back deck to sit in the sun, as the sun poured over me I just let go, I let the tears flow, I let them just rush down my face… Today was just one of those days.

Your Dad decided he was going for a run, I managed to get myself up with the thought while he ran I would walk your fur sisters, I feel so bad for them we don’t get out with them much at the moment, so I got myself together and took them down the oval with your Dad, Snikkers was so excited she almost sounded like a siren as she tried to run out the front door, she ran with your Dad while Missy and I walked. The she ran to me and walked with us both, buggered with her tongue hanging out of her mouth but happy.

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This afternoon it was back to the Dr to get my blood test results as soon as I walked in the door one of the workers from one of our local shops was there with his baby girl, they had their baby about a month or so before we had you, I had been avoiding that shop since to not have ‘that conversation’ luckily he was busy with the receptionist I moved to the side to wait as I held back tears and then one of the other GP’s who had seen me at the beginning of the pregnancy she walked past saw me stopped and hugged me and started to talk that was it tears again as she talked to me about what happened.

I finally let the receptionist know I was here and sat to wait, I could hear the cries of the little baby girl as she went in and had her needles, I heard the receptionist talking and smiling to her after they came out and everyone in the waiting room smile about her giggle as the receptionist spoke to her and her Dad…. It’s hard to describe the feeling, I am happy for others who have their babies and children and I still love to see them too, but just at times those sounds, the sight of seeing a parent with their baby, all of it is just a reminder of all we ever wanted with you but will never get.

My GP and I discussed blood test results, all good, no problems, we then discussed how things were going, instantly tears again.. I don’t usually cry in front of her I am usually ok enough to get through an appointment, we discussed different things, we talked about different avenues, I was always scared to say I might be suffering ‘anxiety’ or that I was ‘depressed’, it’s just the situation I would say to myself… “How could you not be though?” my GP asked “with what you have been dealing with” She explained it didn’t mean I needed medication as she didn’t think that was the answer in this situation and I was thankful as it wasn’t something I was keen on either…  but we talked and worked together on a plan and a referral to see someone new to talk too, a psychologist, so we will see how this goes. My GP explained it isn’t going to make me ‘feel better’ as that isn’t right and won’t be the case in my situation I won’t ever ‘feel better’, it’s not going to ‘fix me’ or ‘make things move forward faster’ as that will not happen in this situation either, but she explained it gives me some support…. I was grateful for that support today as today I felt so alone.

Another thing we discussed Henry was some anxiety, that anxiety about feeling like I need to do something, about not knowing what to do about work, about not knowing any other direction other than wanting to be a mum…. “You don’t need to make those decisions now” words which echoed those your Dad had already said to me, “besides” she commented “I would be really concerned if you tried to make any of those big decisions now” as I left she stopped and gave me a big hug “You can come in and see me anytime” she said “Weekly if you need too”

I left and walked to the IGA to get milk, running in to a friend along the way, she stopped me we talked “You’ll have another baby soon” she said out of the blue “I hope so” I replied, we talked some more and I moved on my way, after getting milk I came home and your Dad gave me the biggest hug “We have done ok for such a shitty day” he said and kissed me on the forehead and kept holding me close.

Your Dad worked on his car today, your car, the special wagon… he achieved so much, I’m so proud of his hard work… I said this to him, he then with a familiar pain in his voice talked about how he would have had you in your rocker down beside him while working on the car, he told me with the tears welling in his eyes how he would have had you there beside him to watch as he would work and have a podcast on in the background… He had talked so often while I was pregnant about as you grew how he would take you out there and teach you to work on the car and work on making different things with you, how he wanted to have father and son projects to work on with you. I hope as he works on the car you show him some signs you are always close by.

Tonight Henry, tonight in the shower that longing it was there, as it crept and consumed my whole body, as I felt it take me over, I can physically feel the longing it takes over my body in the form of aches, in the form of a knot in my stomach in the form of heaviness, my whole body feels heavy and when it feels so heavy I can’t stand… those are the moments I think I don’t want to do this, those are the moments when I wish the most that I was with you, that I just want to be where you are. I was tagged in this post by a friend tonight, these words they are someone else words yet tend to describe so much of what I feel.

As I sit and type once again telling you about my days, about your Dad, about what its like without you. I think of how very much I just love you, with every inch of me that aches and is heavy it’s equally parts love…

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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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