We would do anything for you…..

Henry, if only you knew, if only you knew how much love we have for you, the joy you brought to our lives as you grew.. the things we used to plan that we would do with you, your Dad and I so many conversations at night, we would sit on the lounge and your Dad would wait, we would wait for you to move to see my belly move, we would talk about what you were doing, we would talk about who you would be like. Most of all we would talk about how we just could not wait to be holding you, to be juggling being parents together and how we would make it work.. We would be a team and work together the best we could to give you the life you deserved…. Now, now we still work as a team, but its working together to help each other through the days, its working together to keep each others heads above the water to prevent either of us drowning in the waves of grief which wash over us.

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Friday Henry, Friday I ended up busier than I thought I would, it took me a while to get going, but once I did I managed the day ok, I visited a lady who had reached out to me through her own loss, I spent a couple of hours with her, then went on to get your Dad and I fruit and veggies as we were running very sparse, anyone who knows us Henry, knows we would normally, (normally I hate that word as I do not feel ‘normal’ anymore) anyway before and while we were pregnant with you we always have an abundance of food in our house, probably most times too much but we just love cooking so much we would always have plenty. After working my way through the shop, I went to visit your Nanny, and spent the afternoon talking to her. Before I knew it, it was 5pm and I got home just before your Dad pulled up. I managed Friday ok.

Friday night your Dad and I both tired, thought we might get take away, I wondered if you were here would we do the same or be more motivated to cook, only problem was we couldn’t decide on anything so your Dad bless him Henry, he cooked for both of us, we sat, we ate, we watched some TV and we went to bed… In bed the exhaustion hit along with all the mixed feelings of holding it together most of the day, your Dad exhausted from holding it together at work all week…. tears from both of us as we cuddled in bed, tears and longing for you before we both fell asleep in each others arms.

Your Dad Henry he had a really bad sleep that night, he tossed and turned and kept waking up regularly, he told me in his mind he kept making excuses, excuses as to why he wouldn’t go to boxing Saturday morning, he told me how he thought about reading up on some of the policies and procedures I had mentioned and have been dealing with… his mind could not rest. You know what Henry, I am so incredibly proud of your Dad, despite his mind not resting, despite his lack of sleep he still got up Saturday morning, he still went to boxing as he wants to try to be healthy, he wants to help his mind and he wants to do what he can for us and keep going for you. I am so very proud of him.

Saturday morning Henry as your Dad got up for boxing I decided to stay in bed for a while longer I had woken at 3am and not slept much since then so thought maybe a lay in might do me good, as I lay there thoughts were heavy on my mind, it’s so hard, I lay there until he got back, I got myself up, we got ready and off we went, to go get coffee, to go to the shops and get some things for your Dad to work on your car.. As we got things from Bunnings, and other items we needed and made our way to the chemist to get some things I needed your Dad and I talked, we talked about siblings for you. “I have been reading things and saw this and it could help”.. your Dad said to me showing me a screenshot. Your Dad Henry I smiled, I turned and I said to him in that moment “This makes me appreciate you even more, just the fact you are willing to read, to do research to try to do anything, it really means a lot” “I want this just as much as you” was his reply. Two things I know Henry, we would both do anything for you to be here and we would both do anything to have siblings for you.

Your Dad Henry, he has even been buying oysters as they have zinc in them he says are good for swimmers 😉 he’s been taking his vitamins, liver treats… your Dad is putting in effort.. I try to think and remember, I said to your Dad about before we conceived you, what were we doing? what was I eating? how were we living? I remember before falling pregnant with you we had gone to Melbourne for my birthday, we ate we drank we enjoyed the weekend together.. When we got home I got so very sick with the flu, I was in bed for two weeks, with your Dad making me juice and me eating so basically. I then the weeks after that when we concieved you was just being, eating healthy, taking it easy and we were planning, planning a big trip around Australia… planning a trip and you decided you had better ideas for us…. although we were shocked when we found out about you, we slowly found ourselves feeling so excited we were over the moon. You were so wanted more than you will ever know… we had given up on that idea Henry, we didn’t think we would be able to have a baby… Then there was you. I question why and how this happens when you have two people who have waited so long and wanted this so badly… How does it work out like this?

We arrived home Henry and I got myself together, I washed up, I vacuumed, even vacuuming the lounge, I spent I don’t know how long vacuuming, I don’t know what the neighbours would have thought I had the vacuum going forever, your Dad using tools power tools loudly in the garage working on your car. I wish the noise sometimes would block out the thoughts just to give us a break. Once I finished vacuuming I made your Dad and I fresh juice using Kale, lemon, berries and pear.. I made it before he remembered and made one, as Henry the ‘healthy juices’ your Dad makes us are awful 😮 ‘they are to keep us healthy for Arthur and Martha’ he tells me, I am sure he really just enjoys watching the faces I pull as I attempt to drink what I swear is just pure Kale.

Saturday afternoon I decided to have a bath, I soaked in the bath hoping it would help my sore muscles. It may have helped the muscles it didn’t help the daily aching for you to be here with me. I often feel lost Henry and this was one of those moments, feeling lost, not knowing who I am and not having a direction.

Questions around my motherhood, questions as to whether I am considered a mum in my own and in societies eyes… they swirled in my mind… they stayed there as I thought to myself ‘who am I now?’

Saturday night, your Dad and I cooked dinner together, we cooked snapper with a beetroot and zucchini mix and I cooked garlic Kale chips, we have talked and we are both trying really hard, trying hard to eat healthily, trying hard to look after ourselves, we can’t have control over whats happened Henry, and it’s certainly not fair, but the one thing we can do is look after ourselves, try to keep ourselves as healthy as possible.. for our bodies, for our minds, for you and your future siblings.

Today Henry, your Dad and I woke early, we lay awake in bed for a while both trying really hard to get back to sleep. “Did you want to come for a run?” your Dad asked me “It is freezing outside” I replied to your Dad… Henry oh my how the tables have turned… I used to run every morning at one stage I would get up at 4:45am and run, then later on I started the gym twice a week, would get up at 4:30am go to the gym, then come home and run and walk with Snikkers while your Dad slept, while he lay in bed and I would leave Missy with him… I never thought there would be a day when your dad was the one asking me if we I would like to go for a run and I would be the one saying no.

I’m really proud of your Dad Henry, he got up despite the cold weather and he ran down at the oval while I lay in bed keeping warm, I couldn’t help but the tears for your started as I just wanted to be snuggling you, feeding you, your Dad got home, “I’m proud of you” I said in amongst the tears, your Dad came and hugged me tight “I miss him” I whispered “me too” your Dad replied still holding on, then as he moved to walk off he said to me “but I ran this morning, good to get the oxygen in to those sperm” and he winked at me I smiled “They are all jumping around like this now” he said then attempting to demonstrate what his sperm might be doing he put his arms straight down by his sides and with his legs completely together attempted a few small jumps where he shook himself around at the same time as the jump making a ‘slllsp sllp’ noise several times, anyone else might have found it disturbing and possibly questioned his mental health…. but I laughed, I laughed so much at your Dad and his interpretation of his oxygenated sperm, if I could insert the thoughtful face and then monkey covering his eye face emoji here right now I would… I did ask him if I could film it but he declined.

I got up out of bed, drank some warm water with lemon and had a shower, I made myself a decent breakfast and we went for coffee… we grabbed some ingredients we needed for a few things and we headed to drop something of to your Nanny then home. As we got home we changed, hung out washing, then your Dad moved to work on your car again… ‘You need to do something’ I thought to myself so I made a decision, a decision I would bake, I used to love baking Henry, I always have loved it… a passion that stemmed from being coeliac and not being able to find much healthy decent stuff which is gluten free.. I used to bake too when I had things on my mind it was always a way to escape…. so I started Henry, I decided to make lemon and yogurt gluten free muffins…

I got out the ingredients, I did what I needed to do mixing them, melting coconut oil putting everything together, it felt mechanical, I almost felt like a robot… just going through the motion of what I needed to do to bake these muffins…. once they were baked, once they were cooling I just broke, I broke because you should be here, I should be with you… I would give up baking, I would give up all of the other things I love for you, If it would bring you back to us…

I walked in to your room today, I walked in to your room to water your plant and as I did so I looked at all the beautiful things, all the things we had lovingly picked out for you, your cot quilt I had bought one before this one but knew it wasn’t right, then I finally bought the one I did, the sign your Dad picked out just weeks before your birth, the books on the shelf I had bought even reading some to you while you were still in my belly, the motorised swing my team from work had bought for me…. The little bits and pieces extra touches. Things friends and family had bought for you… So many beautiful things, so much love was put in to your room… Now I don’t want it to go, but get so confused as to whether it all should stay… In your cot there’s a box, a box with all of your things from the hospital, your birth certificate, some of your beautiful hair, your handprints….. all we have is a box with your things in your cot and not you! I sat on the chair in your room, I sat and placed my head in to my hands and the sobs began.

 

I have been speaking with my GP, she has given me recommendations for obstetricians, and we have been looking at our options for when we have siblings for you. It looks as though we will go private next time, we shouldn’t have too, its sad that we do…. but for extra assurance, to see the right person to hold our hand all the way through to take us with all of our anxieties and worries we will have… I shouldn’t, we shouldn’t have to have those worries Henry, as despite being as sick as I was, I had a great pregnancy with you.. You were healthy, such a great size, and just healthy in every way. So we shouldn’t have our anxiety but we will, it will always be there now… because of what happened, because of how those last few days went..

I am so heavy at the moment Henry, a few close friends would know why. I mean despite grieving you not being here, despite feeling like I have no identity, despite it all… there is more going on… I am following up and doing more, as you my beautiful boy deserve to have a voice, and we deserve to have certain things answered. It feels some days as though it’s taking its toll, it makes it hard to just be and grieve you and do all the extra stuff I am too, but its important and I will keep strong for you and to ensure that the same scenario does not happen to anyone else. I love you Henry Peter Maggs… with every ounce of my being I love you.

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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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