36!

Well here we are Henry 36…. Tomorrow marks the day I will be 36 years old. I should have been away with you right now, your Dad and I had planned before you arrived a midweek escape in the blue mountains, to take you with us, to cosy up together in a little cottage with a fireplace, to take you in your carrier on bush walks and show you off as we have coffee and enjoy being a family. Instead here I am sitting at home as I type this without you. I waited so many many years to become a mum, this isn’t how I pictured it would be.

36….. We had the obstetrician from the hospital promptly remind me in one breath that I would be 36 this year Henry and apparently that means the clock is ticking!! tick tick tick better not leave having another baby too long… fuck well I didn’t choose for you too take so long and I certainly didn’t choose for this to happen and for you not to come home. I would give anything, anything to have had you much sooner and absolutely anything for you to be here now.

36 is being cancelled due to lack of interest and participation… from myself.. How can I celebrate me, when the best part of me, the part I want the most is missing.

I remember this picture I took last year after I turned 35, your Dad and I went to Melbourne for the weekend, I took this selfie and I posted it to instagram. I talked about how life was funny, how you go from being a teenager and wanting to grow up quickly, to your mid twenties and then reaching your thirties and feeling like you don’t want to get older… I talked about how 30 had been a difficult age for me, as I was so hard on myself, I felt like I should be fitter, be skinnier, like I should have had kids already and I had been trying to for many years, I had been scared of getting older and not being of where I others thought I should or I thought I should be…. I talked about a really difficult period in my life and how that gave me a shake up, how that shake ups had changed my life for the better, made me more positive, to do more in life, and most importantly not worry about my age or others thoughts… I talked about how even though we didn’t have children how very blessed I felt to have your Dad…. and our life together.. At 35 Henry I was happy within myself with who I was and where your Dad and I were going… It was not long after this post, after this weekend away, that we conceived you Henry, without even knowing it, just going about our lives and we conceived one of the most precious things in the world. Who knew within a year all this could happen. Who knew our world could be turned completely upside-down, it felt like it was changing once we knew about your existence but then our world changed in a way that we can never go back, nothing now will be the same within this past year…… I have been through the emotions of being so incredibly excited of what lay ahead of us and planning so much, to experiencing a love I would have never known, to absolute devastation, shattering heartbreak and struggling to even function and convince myself to get up for the day.

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Sunday night Henry, Sunday night your Dad drank a little too much straight gin… I told him that this outdoes all the healthy things he is trying to do to ensure we have a sibling for you, I told him all those little sperm were now drunk and wouldn’t know which way to go… Your Dad then proceeded to run side to side in the kitchen “dododododo” and then pretend to bang his head in to the fridge then the cupboard then in to me imitating his drunk sperm… He did let me film this… although the condition was I couldn’t attach it to my letters to you, although he doesn’t read them so would never know if I actually did…. I really want to as it is funny but I will respect what he said, cause I am a sucker and love your Dad too much… I did send it to a couple of friends though (hehehe) one friend said “Oh tell him to save those sperm they definitely will not get the job done”

Sunday night Henry I told your Dad about my description of him in my letters to you of the impression he did the other day… “lucky I have got a bottle of gin in me and am like hehehe” he said laughing and shaking his head around…. I think your dad secretly likes the fame a little bit.

Monday morning Henry as I waited for your Dad to shower so we could go get some things, I breathed in and out a big deep breath… “I can do this” I told myself “We can do this” everyday Henry is a battle, a battle each day to get yourself and take yourself through another day.

Monday your Dad said “Lets go out to lunch to start your birthday week” I told him I had said to my friend that Thursday my birthday could go dig a hole and bury itself as far as I was concerned…. but lunch with your Dad would be nice just to have lunch, Monday we went to a cafe for lunch and I couldn’t eat all the meal…. Monday night your Dad cooked us a nice dinner.. Monday we got through the day, as we sat on the lounge that night Henry, my tears softly fell for you, for missing you, for having gotten through another day of you not being here, I am ever so slowly Henry starting to allow myself to feel what I feel with no judgement, no timeline, nothing… Just being in those feelings.

Tuesday Henry I woke up, I woke up and my defences were down…. Tuesday I had agreed to go help a friend who needed a hand in her shop, offered my time.. but Tuesday morning when I woke well I hadn’t even got on the bike for the day to try to cycle and it was already in pieces on the road… Tears poured on to my pillow so quickly, your Dad had already left for work and my tears furiously and fast hit the pillow I actually found myself calling out “I just want my baby boy, I just want my baby” I thought to myself about how I shouldn’t be having this time off work and going to help my friend as some sort of distraction, I should be looking after you, working out another day as your Dad heads to work… this is not what should be.

Tuesday Henry between the loud sobs and cries out for you, I got myself up and in to the shower, I got myself dressed even though I didn’t want to and purely because I had made a commitment and didn’t want to let my friend down, I said I would be there to help out… So I made sure that despite finding it extremely difficult to get myself together, I somehow picked as many pieces up as I should have and got them together in some form and I did it.

I did have an ok day Henry, it did act as a distraction, it was good I helped for four hours and then I headed home, once home I had a cry to release it all and a big drink of water. Tuesday night Henry, the feelings changed the sadness changed to gratefulness, gratefulness that you did bless us with your presence, that you did chose us to be your mum and dad and that you are ours, you Henry have shown me such a love like I have never known, such an incredible love that I never thought I would ever feel or never knew existed and for that my darling boy, my precious baby boy I am so incredibly grateful… I sat and your Dad and I talked about you, our little boy, we talked about all your hair, your nose, your size and we talked with such a tenderness and even small smiles we then both said out loud “We love you beautiful boy, our Henry”

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Tuesday night your Dad had shown me a picture he was sent, it was him in his rural fire brigade uniform, I commented on how handsome and young he looked “Look how young I look” he said “not now”, “I feel like we have both aged” I said and I think we have Henry.. loosing you has been incredibly hard on us both. I looked at the picture and another of your Dad when he was young, I looked at some pictures of when I was young… I looked at those photographs wondering who would you have looked like the most as you grew, what colour would your hair have been as you got older? Your Dad and I were both blondies when we were young babies than our hair got darker.. I looked at a photo of me as a baby and there it was… that same nose, you definitely had my nose.

So Henry your Dad and I, well we have agreed on a schedule, yep that’s right a schedule for making siblings for you 😮 we have decided to try to get this job done and see if it will work well we have to try every second day! That is it, no ifs, no butts, so last night was the second day. As I cuddled up to your Dad in bed “You have a job to do” I said in a funny voice “I know” he replied in a voice higher than mine, he then couldn’t get off his pyjama pants which somehow had a double knot tied in them and got ourselves caught up and tangled in the bed sheet and just started laughing…. There is no romance anymore Henry….. no romance at all.

This morning Henry, this morning I struggled to sleep, yet struggled to get up, I lay in bed for a long time this morning, the only thing getting me up was that I had arranged to go to a friend’s place for a cuppa… So I got myself up Henry almost mechanically and got in to the shower.. Shower half way through washing my hair was interrupted by lots of barking that wouldn’t stop and a delivery at the door… so I raced out with a towel on my head and dressing gown on… two parcels with the post man, one to sign for…. One parcel from a friend which was labelled ‘don’t open until Thursday’ and another parcel with my name…. I popped them on the table and got back in the shower, once I had finished showering and was dressed I opened the second parcel a gift voucher for a lingerie store….. Maybe your Dad is trying to tell me he would like a little more romance to things 😛  he can start by making sure he can actually get his pyjamas off 😀 or perhaps Henry your Dad is actually being considerate, since having you my body isn’t quite the same and not the same size or shape… so maybe he actually wants me to have something nice for myself…. which in turn ends up being something for him anyway..

I messaged your Dad to say Thank you, as I had been in such a rush I hadn’t yet noticed a piece of paper on the bench, it wasn’t until I went to leave to head to my friend’s place I noticed it…. SKYDIVE AUSTRALIA! your booking details said the form….. A jump booked for tomorrow Henry 😮 Your Dad had left this on the bench, I told him I didn’t want to celebrate my birthday so he said he had organised a distraction!! Distraction indeed!!! FAR OUT!! I messaged your Dad ‘are you F#$^%*n serious?’ I asked ‘F*&k’…… ‘Just a distraction for tomorrow’ he replied ‘ahhhhh a little more than a distraction’ I replied… So tomorrow Henry your Dad and I will be jumping out of a plane! Yep! Something I definitely wouldn’t do if you were here…… Maybe it will bring me a little closer to you.

Today Henry I had tea with my friend, we haven’t known each other a long time, but she is a kind, beautiful and gentle lady, she had even passed on some items to me when I was pregnant with you and made a bear which people signed at my baby shower. We had tea together and talked about lots of different things, it was nice to chat with her, to talk to be there, she is so lovely and I appreciated her time.

Today I went to a psychologist appointment, we talked about you, we talked about how grateful I felt for you having blessed our lives… We talked about my anxiety, anxiety about still not being able to go certain places, about the panic that can set in about not wanting people to ask of you and where you are, as I don’t know how I will explain, how do I explain… We talked about the different reactions I get from people as they find out, I explained how I know people do not know what to say and that’s ok, but how it can be difficult to watch someone become awkward in front of you and excuse themselves to get away you can feel their instant discomfort and its hard… It’s hard feeling that way, but I know its difficult for them too… Then there’s the people who say they are sorry, some will ask about you others not so sure, one thing I guess I want everyone to know is that its ok… It is ok to ask about you, most people in this situation we want to share about our babies, we want to talk about them.

Tonight after my appointment I came home Henry, your Dad has cooked us a beautiful dinner…. he’s such a good egg your Dad. As I walked in the door “Happy Distraction day Eve” he said to me…. He says this as I told him I am not celebrating my birthday, he says this due to his distraction present.. I am still in shock Henry, still so damn shocked, it certainly has me a little distracted… as I am freaking out. Tomorrow we jump out of a plane from 15,000 feet… tomorrow well…. tomorrow.. tomorrow will be whatever tomorrow is, I know I will be missing you as always, I know I will be aching for you to be here, I just hope I feel your beautiful presence with me, as I know the only wish I have for tomorrow could never come true…

In the words of a pink song…

There’s a whole ‘nother conversation going on
In a parallel universe.
Where nothing breaks and nothing hurts.
There’s a waltz playin’ frozen in time
Blades of grass on tiny bare feet
I look at you and you’re lookin’ at me.

Could you beam me up,
Give me a minute, I don’t know what I’d say in it
I’d probably just stare, happy just to be there, holding your face
Beam me up,
Let me be lighter, I’m tired of being a fighter,
I think a minute’s enough,
Just beam me up.

I wish I could be beamed up to wherever you are, to be, to see you, take you in, hold you, just even one more time… Our precious Henry…

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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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