I don’t fit

Where do I fit Henry? As a mother I mean, I’m not sure I do. In our day to day lives, I don’t fit, I’m the square peg trying to be placed in to the round hole. We have so many friends that had their babies around the same time either a little before or a little after you, I see them Henry as they tag each other in the funny memes on Facebook about how they kept their children alive today or about the funny conversations you have at playgroup, that will never be me Henry not now as your mum and not even if we have siblings for you.

I can’t joke about ‘at least I kept the kids alive’ as you died, I won’t be able to join in all those funny awkward conversations about labour and birth at a playgroup when your sibling is here as the near mention of the fact you died people instantly freeze, they don’t know what to say and I stick out like a sore thumb that people then avoid talking too.

I see our friends all sit around and talk about how hard it was they haven’t been getting any sleep at night due to their babies not settling, teething or crying, they don’t know I lose sleep too, I don’t sleep because of the thoughts of what happened with you come creeping in, I lose sleep because missing you just hurts so much sometimes, I lose sleep because my body still physically after 10 months doesn’t compute and looks for the baby it’s supposed to be nurturing and looking after, but I can’t join in the conversation with that. They have every right to be able to talk about these things Henry don’t get me wrong I am not saying that, I just wonder how do I fit? when I can’t join in.

We run in to our friends with children around your age, they are polite and smile I ask about their little ones ‘how are they going?’, ‘how was their first birthday party’ you see their eyes light up as they talk about the joy of their lives, they tell us about how they enjoyed their party or are now walking, we listen I comment on what they have to say, what they don’t know is I long to talk about you too, about how much I love you, about how incredibly beautiful you are to us, about how when we first saw your face, about anything…. after they finish talking though there’s usually silence for a second and then they quickly say they think of us and you all the time and make an excuse about how they quickly need to go. I don’t fit Henry, as a mother, I’m the puzzle on the shelf that’s always missing a piece and will never be complete.

I have wondered if I’ll ever fit? The truth is I won’t, when we have a sibling for you yes for the first time I’ll be able to join in conversations about nappy rashes, about teething and breastfeeding, but the fact will still remain, they’ll ask ‘is this your first?’ And I’ll reply no and talk about you, they’ll ask ‘how many children do you have?’ and even if I said ‘two’ it leads to ‘how old is your other child?’ Or ‘where are they today?’ and I’ll answer honestly and watch for a reaction hoping it won’t end the conversation.

I’ll never be able to post a meme about ‘keeping children alive’ I know it’s meant as harmless fun and I don’t want to take that away from anyone, but to me I can’t see the humour in that when my baby, when you died Henry. I won’t be able to say how much your sibling is like you as I never got to watch you grow to see what you were like. I will never completely fit Henry, it’s like trying to squeeze in to the jeans a size too small, the button no matter how much I pull will never be able to be done up.

So here I am your mum, but not seen as a mother. Here I am wanting to talk about you but in person, but not many are able to, ask about you or want to listen and I feel awkward just bringing you up as I don’t want to make others feel out-of-place so I don’t. I save it all in my thoughts you are on my mind every second of the day.

Your Dad and I recently Henry, we were out and about doing some things we needed to do and decided to go get some rice paper rolls for lunch, we ordered them and well I’ve never seen anything like it Henry, what we got wasn’t a rice paper roll it was a rice paper log, they were huge!!! We took them in the car to go sit by the river to eat… as we drove along we both commented on the size of them.. “I didn’t order a hipanonymous” your Dad said to me and I started to laugh “A hipanonymous?” I asked “don’t you mean hippopotamus” your Dad laughed and then looked over at me “no-no I meant hipanonymous its an anonymous hippo, no one knows that hippo” he said “you do know it’s anonymous that doesn’t mean it’s invisible” I replied, “it’s the hippo with no name at hippo school it can’t get it to trouble as it’s anonymous so the teacher doesn’t know its name” your Dad said so matter of factly “I’d be the naughty hippo he said “that’s always getting in to trouble with no name, they won’t write books about me” I laughed and laughed Henry as we continued the most ridiculous conversation, but we were both laughing which was so nice to share that laughter together in that moment.

Days have been busy with work, house stuff and a few other things. Your Dad has had a little time off so he’s been getting out photographing the water and people.. it’s so good to see him doing what he enjoys. He just needs to learn a bit more about the business side of things, it’s still being set up but at the moment he’s had a few orders lately and hasn’t asked for deposits so we’ve been left funding it from our savings to get orders printed and framed then, still yet to be paid…. but you live and learn Henry, deposits from now on to at least cover costs of printing so we aren’t stuck funding it all ourselves. Either way I’m proud of your Dad Henry for giving it a go, as I know you would be proud of him too.

4am I woke the other morning Henry not feeling the best. After getting up with stomach pains I got back in to bed, my mind wandered to you, it wandered to how I wished I was getting up at 4am to feed you, how I wondered what you’d be like at almost ten months old “who would you be more like?”, “what would be your favourite things?”, I wondered if you would have kept your blue eyes and dark hair or would it have changed? I wondered whether you would have said Dad or Mum first?, would you like food or have been really fussy, I thought about it all. All the things we never get to know and my whole body felt this familiar ache and longing for a child it knows it should be holding, my eyes began to cry those familiar tears and quietly so I didn’t wake your Dad, my heart was full of love for you but mixed with the sadness that we don’t get to know.

I’ve felt it so much physically lately Henry, my physical body searches for you, it does so when I still at times get a hormone surge and even after ten months milk still leaks a little. It does so as my arms feel so incredibly empty and long to hold you, it does in a way my brain can’t comprehend still looks for you who as it knows you should be here. I didn’t know it could be this physical, I never knew a mother’s body has the capacity to respond in such a way that the physical body separates from the rest and looks for the child it’s supposed to have while the mind knows what’s happened the body doesn’t comprehend.

I remember being pregnant with you I think about 8 months along so my belly was quite big, it’s amazing what a woman’s body can do Henry, how all your organs on the inside move up to create space for the little human growing inside, well with everything moving and being squished it creates its own problems, your Dad and I were on an evening walk one night when unexpectedly I farted, all that pressure!!! I instantly felt embarrassed and apologised, your Dad being your Dad made a joke out of it and I laughed but then these small farts just kept coming in a row one after the other as we walked along, “geez” said your dad “you are going to power off in a minute you’ll be ahead of me down the street with so much power pushing you along” I started to laugh so much it was all too much I had to stop walking as the laughter caused more pressure I almost peed my pants which made me laugh even more, we stood in the middle of the street, me standing with my legs awkwardly pressed together, the more I laughed the more pressure but we couldn’t sop laughing, both so happy laughing about my farting and almost peeing my pants.  Pregnancy, it certainly changes your body physically Henry but you are worth all of those changes, it’s just my body now expects to have you still here.

I get annoyed at myself Henry, I get annoyed that we still haven’t finished your garden, but we’ve been working, I’ve been unwell and our lives don’t stop like we would want them too at times. We have made a promise to you though, this will be done by the time your first birthday is here! So your Dad and I have decided we need to write a list. First thing on that list is to source the remaining old fence palings we need to finish the screen. I can’t wait to have it finished Henry to have the beautiful space created just for you.

Today Henry, today I don’t know what the day will bring, I know the sun is out shining, I also know your fur sisters need a bath, I know we need to go grocery shopping, but something I also know is your Dad and I need so more fun together too, the last few days we’ve both been snappy and it’s taken me by surprise, as we honestly are never usually that way with one another, we have both had a lot on our minds though, both had a lot going on, we’ve had letters to confirm action taken for complaints we made about circumstances surrounding you, and other things pop up. Things we don’t share and it’s occurred to me that with all that going on it brings up a lot of emotion for us both. So today Henry, your Dad and I need to have some fun! I hope you’ll be right there with us as we do.

We love you Henry, we say it everyday.

You exist….

Henry its been a while since I have written my words to you, it’s not been out of not wanting too, it has not been out of not trying, I have sat and started and typed an ongoing letter, I have left it open to continue but if I am honest Henry, completely and utterly honest my anxiety has got the better of me, its got the better of me to the point I doubted myself, I doubted my words, I over thought, I thought no one wants to hear it, no one wants you to write, everyone thinks you should be getting on with things etc etc the thoughts, the doubt, the lack of confidence all of it just over took me.

We passed your 6 month mark, six months of you gone, six months from when we were supposed to be looking at introducing you to the world and bringing you home, not trying to work out how we tell everyone you weren’t coming home, not trying to get our heads around the shock of this and how it all happened, how it shouldn’t have happened. On the day we reached six months Henry I struggled your Dad and I both did. That day I said to your dad “I don’t want to be here anymore I can’t do this I just want to be with our little boy”. On that day I meant it.

I also cried that day Henry, I cried as I started spotting and thought to myself “here we are another month, another month missing you incredibly, aching for you to be with you, to not wanting to carry this heavy load we bear and then knowing another month has passed, another month of trying so incredibly hard and yet no siblings for you. It just adds another hurt on top of the pain we already experience. It often comes with mixed feelings of knowing if you were here as you should be we wouldn’t even be thinking of trying yet which then causes a whole other feeling of guilt that we are.

Henry I am often reluctant to write about how this journey affects our mental health, I have done though and will continue too, I have poured out my feelings, I have said when it has all been too much, I have talked a bit about panic attacks and nightmares, about sobbing in the bottom of the shower and not wanting to get up. At times Henry I find it difficult to put this all in to words as I worry, I worry about what others may think, that they think I won’t be capable, that they think I won’t want to do things, so they won’t ask me, I worry they won’t still rely on me to be a friend when they need something as they think I can’t do it, I can still do these things and I always recognise when I need to look after me,  it’s often these distractions that provide some relief. All the worry the nerves, the toughts its a part of the toll this trauma has taken, I lack confidence where I had it before, I question so much and feel like my brain is a steam train that has lost control and the brakes are broken.

I am learning Henry there is such a stigma around, grief, mental illness and the death of a baby of a child. it makes others uncomfortable, they don’t know what to say and that is ok, but sometimes its difficult because as a society it means they shy away from it rather than face that uncomfortable feeling which is what helps people in these situations through. There can be such a stigma that mental illness means you shouldn’t be able to function and some days I don’t feel I can, but for the majority of people suffering these illnesses you wouldn’t know, a bit like we never know whats happening for anyone Henry, in our culture we are all so good at hiding these things from the world. Maybe its time we talked more.

I listened to a Ted talk Henry on grief and the end of life, one line in that talk stuck out to me, the speaker said “That’s how we make it ok, even when it’s not, by saying it out loud by helping each other through” and its so true Henry, how do others know unless you say it out loud. How can they know unless we open up conversations and share.

Last weekend Henry your Dad and I dealt with a few things, we did some stuff we needed to do, lately we have found lots of mixed and confusing emotions. I think its been about recognising we can love you and grieve you, we can be grateful for you having blessed our lives and we can feel pain of not having you here, we can smile and be sad. It is trying to balance this, the fact that you will never be here in our arms and we carry that for the rest of our lives, always it will be with us, it’s trying to get to the point of wanting to live a good life for us and for you, while still dealing with the storms of grief as they pass over us. There will always be storms.

Then there’s the more complex layer, the layer of dealing with the damage the trauma has caused, the flashbacks that haunt me sometimes during the day almost always at night, these lead to my heart racing, me getting out of breath, of feeling like I can’t breath of ending up either in absolute sobs or in absolute panic. Theres the days where I still struggle, to leave the house to be around other people out in public to do the simple things such as order a coffee, to run to my car and breakdown as the simple tasks I used to do so easily some days are so difficult. Theres dealing with the days I can not move from bed of the depression sinking in, of not wanting to go on with life of not being able to pick myself up. There is so much more to it, I am doing what I need too, I am seeking help, I see my psychologist Henry, I talk to her mostly weekly, I do everything I can to help myself, exercise, I am trying meditation, however it takes a lot of time to work through those more complex things and they affect our lives.

A couple of weeks ago Henry I finally made a decision, one I had been putting off, I had been putting this decision off for many reasons, one in the beginning it had been one that had been too hard to think about, I couldn’t imagine myself going back to work, to doing what I do as it wasn’t what was meant to be, it wasn’t what I was supposed to be doing, I am supposed to be looking after you… Then as a little time went on I procrastinated, I didn’t want to make the decision, I was anxious about it, I kept saying I will just wait for… There were many wait for things that I thought may help me make that decision, I will just wait until it gets to the end of the month and I will see if I am pregnant, I will just wait and see the outcome of certain things we were following up, I will just wait until after we get through Christmas. Plus Henry I didn’t want to make that phone call, the thought of that call made me incredibly nervous, I didn’t want to make the phone call as it made this reality even more real, I didn’t want to cry on the phone, I didn’t know what to say and I didn’t know what choice was right, for me, for us.

I finally one day sat there, with tears in my eyes I sat there gearing myself up to make that call, I can not put this off any longer, I need to make a decision I said to myself, getting more and more worked up, my heart beating faster my eyes filling with tears. I phoned a work colleague and good friend first to try to calm myself, I told her how I wanted to call my manager to discuss things but that I was feeling so anxious about it that I felt like crying that my heart was racing. After speaking with her and gaining some reassurance I rang, the phone rang and rang and rang and…… no answer it went to message bank I let out the breath I had been holding in I left a message and sighed. All this work up to finally make the call and no answer.

Later that afternoon Henry I got the return call, tears started in my eyes as I spoke with my manager, I spoke with her about the decision I had made and what I was thinking Henry, no more procrastination, Next week I will return to work, I know it will be a really difficult transition, I know it’s not going to be an easy task at all, but it is what I have to do for me and for us, I will start off part-time. I spoke with your Dad after the call I spoke to him about his first day back at work months ago, he told me, he told me how that morning he got up filled with dread and anxiety, about how hard it was and that when he got to work he sat in a room and cried, he spoke to me about how that’s ok and its normal and about how hard it still is some days. I know Henry, your Dad thinks I don’t but I do, I have seen the tears in his eyes some days before he leaves for work, he thinks I don’t know, but I know he cries, I am so incredibly proud of your Dad Henry for doing all that he does, I hope I can make him proud of me by trying.

That night Henry a sense of relief I had finally made that call and a decision, is it the right decision? we don’t know, but do I have to try, yes! I need to try. I felt proud of myself that night Henry for the first time in such a long time I was actually proud of me for having done it, considering I had put it off, considering nothing made the decision from like I had hoped and considering that weeks ago talking on the phone was something I found difficult and yet that day I did all of those things.

On friday night Henry we had dinner with some friends at their place, it was nice and a welcome relief from all of my thoughts, it was great to be with friends to share food to listen to stories and what others have been doing. Later in the evening another of their friends arrived to pop in, I had only met him once but your Dad knew him, he lives in Victoria and because he’s not someone we have seen often or that I don’t know well, he didn’t know. “Whats been happening for you guys?” he turned and asked us I stumbled I couldn’t get words out I didn’t know what to say, not the place to say it, not the time I didn’t want to ruin the evening. “Not much” your Dad replied, I felt so bad, I felt rude he was being so polite trying to make conversation and either of us could barely say anything, “It would be about 12 months since you got married?” he questioned us “I don’t go on Facebook anymore” he said, “two years” I answered again keeping conversation short as I just didn’t want to ruin anyones night.

Its moments like that I still get so unsure how to navigate, or later that evening when your dad and I went to leave and were giving another couple a lift home, we still have your car seat in the car, neither of us wanting to take it out so when they went to get in there it is and you just don’t know if anything will be said, if it is I am always happy to answer but it’s again worrying what people think, or how it may make them feel.

While your Dad was out the other day Henry I decided to finally put your hand and feet casts up on the wall, they had been sitting in your room, we had been waiting until we felt we could, that day I finally thought to myself, we could never put them up we could leave the beautiful framed casts away in the fear, the fear of the emotion that comes along with seeing them, the fear of it upsetting us of making us sad, of reminding us, making us cry… but you know what Henry we do those things anyway, they don’t remind us as we never forget, the emotions the sadness, the tears well that arrived whether they are visible or not, so I set about placing them up in the lounge room to acknowledge, remember and honour you, Henry our beautiful son. I stood back after with some tears but proud that they are up that they are there. Your Dad noticed them a little later after getting home “You put them up” he commented “I did” I replied I looked at the tears in his eyes “Its hard but good” he replied and hugged me.

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One thing that has happened in this last week Henry is that I won an instargram competition, I couldn’t believe when I saw they had tagged me in a post to say I had won. It was a competition four accounts had run for bereaved parents, my name was there. I have won some beautiful gifts to help remember and honour you. Some lovely affirmation cards for pregnancy and baby loss by Aila and Lion Megan created these beautiful cards after her own losses, c.l.keepsakes Charlotte and Lilly’s keepsakes Kellie named this after her two beautiful angels she creates a beautiful range of personalised keepsakes such as keepsake boxes, frames and other pieces, she is able to custom design and there are beautiful boxes you can purchase personalised for your child’s Christmas presents, treasure boxes to keep things for their 18th birthday and other lovely items. A beautiful album made by the talented Jenny McGregor her album love and let go has been created for bereaved parents as Jenny and her husband Ben have lost a child themselves all proceeds of her album go to red nose charity to support families through these times and a lovely remembering me book from Hapermartinau Shaela creates beautiful keepsake books to document the most precious memories, she worked with a number of bereaved mums to include their thoughts to create the remembering me book for parents who have experienced loss. I feel so humbled Henry that this community has come together, they came together to honour bereaved parents and create awareness and I feel grateful to be the one to receive these items even though there are so many deserving parents out there.

Your Dad Henry he has a habit of talking in his sleep, last week he woke me up during the night with his sleep talking, I then in turn end up waking him up as I reply thinking he is awake, we spoke about it the next morning “You woke me up” your dad said to me “I woke you up because you were talking in your sleep and I thought you were awake” I replied to him. He looked at me “If I ever want to talk to you during the night I will tap you” he said to me “ok” I replied. Well Henry that night then went something like this, I was drifting in and out of sleep your Dad taps me on the shoulder “Ask them do they want to move there” he says to me, confused by this comment and still half asleep trying to get my brain to work out what he was on about “What who?” I asked him “The emojis to the Almafi coast” “Huh what Almafi, emojis what emojis” I asked so damn confused “The thoughts in my mind like the Almafi coast” your dad replied, it was at this point Henry I realised that even though he had tapped me he was sleep talking, Oh dear…. It was funny telling him this story once he woke up.

I participated in an online support group this past week Henry, one of the things that came up during this was sharing, sharing about our children and how we do that, there was talk about how sometimes we all felt ‘were we sharing too much?’ the facilitator of the group spoke with us about this “If your children were here with you, you would be sharing with people, you would be sharing about milestones, funny moments, smiles, family holidays many events so why should a bereaved parent share any less, we still have children we still hold a parents love”. It is so true Henry I share because you are our beautiful son and you existed and we want to share you with our family and friends as any parent would. We just share in a different way.

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I remember being pregnant with you, I remember walking in a store about a week before I ended up going in to labour.. We had walked in to get cake!! 😋 but there were also other items in the store, I stopped as I noticed your dad looking at a sign.. Boy noise with dirt on it, the sign said… see also little rascal.. I looked at your Dad in wonder “Do you want to get it?” I asked “yeah” he said and smiled, I remember in that moment smiling too as your Dad hadn’t actually chosen anything for you himself, I always asked his opinion on the items and set up for your room, but this was the first thing he chose specifically for you, it made my heart melt.

We recently finally completed one whole section of the screen for your garden Henry, your Dad and I have cut, screwed and placed together piece by piece to create it, it looks good. We are now just trying to source some more old fence pailings to complete the other part of the screen. We decided that seeing as Christmas is going to be tricky and really tough that we will spend the day finishing your garden together, that can be our project to keep ourselves busy and it is something for you. So I am hoping to find those pailings soon to have the screen done so we can on Christmas plant and put together your garden and hopefully by the end of the day we can sit together there to take some time to look at what we have achieved, our greatest achievement will always be you.

Sunday morning as we drove to the beach with the sun shining, such perfect weather an instant thought of ‘we would have been taking you to the beach today’ I felt sadness wash over me at that thought, we would have packed up all the extra things required to have a baby at the beach including the shade tent and taken you, I would have sat with you under the shade of the tent listening to the water while your Dad jumped in to capture photos, when he come out we may have taken you in the water together to at least feel it on your toes, to see your reaction, although I feel by six months we would have had you used to the feel of the water, we will never know if you would have liked it or not. All the never know, all the wondering, all the never will be, I let the tears fall silently down my cheeks as I thought of how it shouldn’t be this way, we shouldn’t be going to the beach to remember you, we should be there with you.

Your Dad and I Henry have some other plans, other ways to honour you while doing things that are important to us, we are taking our time slowly, to put it together, to create it, sharing ideas, thoughts. It has been a process and still will for some time, It will be good when we can share our ideas with all our family, friends and the world.

I have been making a habit most mornings now Henry of getting up to go walk on the beach here, it started because one morning I was having a really bad morning the thoughts started but I managed to catch them early enough ‘get up and walk’ I said to myself, so I did now I am going to try to do it everyday even before work, there’s always something calming about the ocean, the sound, the waves, the feel of the sand between my toes, the water when it rushes over my feet.. and I feel a closeness with you. This morning as I walked along the beach with a coffee in hand two whales a mother and calf kept breaching it is such an amazing sight to watch, their big bodies propel out of the water, I stood letting the water rush over my feet taking in the magnificent sight… it’s those simple moments Henry that mean so much in the days. The moments that help to ground me a little that help to ease the burden if only for that short time.

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After I got home this morning after having some breakfast, and doing some things I lay on the bed in your dads arms knowing he soon had to get ready for work “Don’t go today” I said “I don’t want you to go” “I have too” he replied “So we can have money to pay the bills” “I know” I replied “I’m just feeling really sad” I said some tears falling from my eyes your Dad looked down at me “Me too” he said his eyes watery as he said it we just lay there together until he had to get ready for work.  I stopped him from getting up. “You need to write a blog post” your Dad said to me, I explained to him my fears how I had been feeling, what I had been thinking…. “You need to do it for you” he replied and as I have been typing Henry I realise he is right. I’m not sure I admit that your Dad is right often, so I am lucky he still doesn’t read.

This evening Henry the sadness is the there, I feel the familiar ache right down to my bones, I feel the tears wanting to sting my eyes, I feel a heaviness in my heart. All I ever wanted was to show you a world of love, all I ever wanted was to give you the best I could be as your mum, to take you out, show you nature, enjoy our time with you, to support you as you grow. All we ever wanted was not to be the perfect parents as they don’t exist but to do what we could to make your life a meaningful one.. now we have to try to work out how we make it meaningful while remembering you.

As the rain pours outside and I hear the sound, I look for you but you can not be found

Not physically, no you are not here, but as I hear the rain I listen as it whispers you are near

When I see the waves crashing at the beach, as they travel up the sand over my feet, I am reminded of you

On days the sun shines, and I see a sunset or sunrise, the beauty of it it’s like you sent it just for us to see

At night as I look at the stars and say goodnight, as they shine so brightly, I look in wonder at all those stars and feel as though you are surrounding me

As I feel the wind hit my face as it blows my hair over my shoulder, I know it was you

You are all around me, in everything I do, You are in the rain, the sunshine, the waves, the stars and the wind.

You are in the beauty I see in a flower that has started to grow, you are in the bird which comes to sit by us, you are in the strange sounds we sometimes hear at night.

You are…. You may not be here physically but you exist, you exist in every aspect of my life awake and asleep when I dream of you.

You exist as you are a part of us both, a part of our DNA, you exist as I grew you, you were born and now you are not here in my arms, you exist in all of me, in everything. 

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Milestones and Meaning.

Making meaning when life feels meaningless Henry, We have had a tough couple of weeks Henry with so many ups and downs. This week I find myself experiencing so many thoughts, so many questions, confusion it has all been there.

Confusion when you wake up in the morning feeling somewhat ok then realising you feel ok, then questioning how I could be ok in that moment  when you are not here, then bursting in to tears because you don’t know how that is supposed to work and how you navigate that.

Thoughts and questions, thoughts and questions of how do we make life more meaningful again, how do we keep moving in a way which honours you and is good for our souls. How do we feel like it will get lighter when some days are still so bad, there’s still days the ache of not having you in our arms overtakes everything and I can barely get myself to get out of bed on those days.

The past couple of weeks we have had our wedding anniversary Henry, two years since we eloped to Hawaii not telling our friends and family and getting married, two years since we shared so much special laughter and joy on that day, two years since we stood on that beach reading the heartfelt words we had written for one another, talk of continuing to build a life together, of your dad saying to me ‘he wanted to create and support a family with me in a household filled with laughter’. We really wanted to make sure we laughed with you everyday Henry, now we find laughter is a rare thing.

We received lots of beautiful wishes for our anniversary Henry, and we spent that morning driving over an hour to an appointment, an appointment we shouldn’t have had to be looking at again, if you were here, yet here we were faced with that appointment. We spent that appointment going over again the circumstances of what happened, we spent that appointment with me explaining and your Dad crying, I then spent the next hour answering question after question about my health, my history, different diagnosis, my family history all painting a picture.

I then got the fun of enduring some invasive women’s things  and then a blood test, poked, prodded, happy anniversary…. thanks… now what is wrong with me and how come we can’t seem to fall pregnant 😦 its working on ways to move forward with some things, but we shouldn’t be moving forward Henry because we should have you.

Happy Anniversary indeed Henry…. not so much happy about it at all. Your Dad and I did go to dinner that night, we did enjoy some nice food and drinks together, we discussed though how if you were here we probably would have been looking for someone to look after you for a few hours while we went to dinner, we would probably be looking forward to the break as our role from parents to you and for that few hours being Tim and Kristy not mum and dad… Yet here we both were desperately wishing it was the other way around.

Emotions have run high since that day Henry, I have had phone calls to update me of the progress of certain things I have in place, hard discussions, Last Saturday I went to an event to try to connect with some others, I was able to last Sunday have coffee with a beautiful lady I had connected with online, then we got to the Monday ‘Pregnancy and infant loss awareness day’ and a wave of light at 7pm that night, the wave of light starts at 7pm in each different time zones and candles stay lit for an hour to acknowledge and remember the precious babies and infants gone too soon. The wave of light continues across the world for 24 hours, as we were blowing out candles at 8pm another person was lighting theirs. Your Dad and I felt it important to acknowledge, we felt it important to participate.

I explained to your Dad what I wanted to do, I explained to him that I had the night before written the names of the many babies I know gone too soon, the names of beautiful babies who I knew their parents in real life or had connected with them online, I explained to your Dad I wanted to have a candle for each name, to set them up in a heart shape with Henry’s name in the middle. As we began to set it up, as I placed each name down with a candle beside it, your Dad and I looked at one another tears in our eyes “There is too many names” I said to him “it’s so sad” he nodded unable to speak, too many families hurting Henry why is life so unfair?

Once the heart shape was set up I placed a special candle in the middle with your name and a white rose for you, as 7pm approached I lit each candle one by one tears streaming down my face and your Dad close by and then helping, as all the candles we used to create the heart were alight we stopped took a deep breath and I lit your special candle the candle for you, your Dad and I cried and cried together next to each other as we looked at your name and the many names around yours honouring you, honouring all of these little babies and the sad thing is Henry we know there are so many more names out there.

I need to thank our many friends Henry, friends who also took the time to light candles in your honour, they sent us pics, tagged us in posts it was so beautiful to see you so thought of, I spent the evening sending photos to those who’s children’s names I had included to let them know they were in our thoughts too. Neither your Dad or I slept well that night, neither of us could sleep at all and I haven’t much since then.

The next day we both found ourselves drained, physically and emotionally, I still went to my PT session on little sleep and made it through.

Your Dad had a really flat and bad day Thursday Henry, he woke up in tears, I had a few appointments to get to but the moments when I was home with him, he just lay on the lounge trying not to let the tears come to the surface, we talked a little its been hard on him too Henry, well its been hard on both of us but especially with his work at times, I know in the past few shifts he has had to deal with a lot of children at risk, seeing that, doing that takes its toll, he says he feels fine at the time but its later when the thoughts are allowed in and there is just so much injustice, so much unfairness of how we would have provided such a loving and warm home for you yet that was stolen from us and then to see other children in a situation where they are not cared for.. that can be a hard pill to swallow. It seems so unfair they get their children only to not care for them and well we, we don’t get to love and look after you as we would have. I can understand why your Dad was feeling flat, why it was all too much.

Thursday night Henry we both didn’t sleep, we tried and couldn’t, I even made jokes with your dad as I have bought a special light to try to assist my sleep it has certain colours and different settings which I have to do some more reading up on, but it has a green glow to it which I had on last night, your Dad got up to go the bathroom when he returned to the room I asked “Are you ok?” “yeah” he responded “Are you sure?” I asked “yeah why?” he asked back with a puzzled look “Cause you are looking a bit green” I said to him joking about the dim green light that lit the room, he shook his head at me hopped in to bed and cuddled me as we laughed at the bad joke.

Friday I just missed you, I just wanted you here and I always will really. Not much sleep combined with emotion and the grief meant I woke up crying, your Dad held me close, we decided to go down the beach then when we got back showered but as we got back home the tears started again as I had flashbacks from the hospital of the pain, of the different interactions of being ignored, of being on my own when I was told your heart wasn’t beating anymore, I got into the shower and sobbed and sobbed as the hot water ran over me, I couldn’t stop, I don’t know how long I was in that shower Henry, but I know it took every ounce of my strength to get myself together to get out.

We got ourselves together and went to get some breakfast, then headed off to go see some gardens for a garden show, hoping that it might give us some inspiration for your garden, but as we walked around these gardens, as the sun became hotter and it became more muggy, I found myself although we were taking in these beautiful gardens, I was hot, bothered, tired and just missed you. We completed the gardens where I then got home and the tears hit once more, they poured down my face as I talked to your Dad about how lost I felt, about how I found it hard to make decisions, about how pregnancies of friends we found out during the week were hard news, not that we weren’t happy for them but it just happened so quickly for them and here we are still struggling with having had struggles to fall pregnant with you, then now to not having you here and still desperately trying to fall pregnant with siblings for you, none of it seems fair, I feel like the world hates me at times.. my mind runs away with me wondering what did I do to deserve this… But the thing is Henry there’s no rhyme or reason to it, it is what it is and it sucks.

As I sat at the table editing a photo for your Dad tears streamed down my face a knock at the door, your Nanny and Poppy dropped by. I quickly tried to wipe the tears from my eyes and put on a smile, made tea as we all talked. After they left your Dad and I worked on your garden some more, though the hot sun, me being extremely tired and emotional and feeling just generally overwhelmed, after a couple of hours I just had to give in, let my body just sit on the lounge and maybe even try to sleep… I had a big drink of water then another knock at the door interrupted those thoughts.

Friday night Henry, more tears because the ache is heavy and I felt overwhelmed, unable to bear the burden, unable to carry the weight, Feeling like I was stuck underneath it almost crushed to the ground and I couldn’t lift it off to move to get up. It was crushing me, I could barely breathe. I sat wondering how do we keep going, keep moving when it feels as though that feeling will last forever.

Sunday I battled through another day, I went out to do some things and found a moment of anxiety, a moment so intense Henry, that I found myself unable to do simple tasks I would normally do, I lost my confidence not that it really exists anymore, doubting myself and retreating to the car where I just burst in to tears and cried in to my hands. I spent all that afternoon being so hard on myself for that moment, I spent the afternoon getting frustrated and annoyed as I thought why can’t I do what I normally do, but Henry since losing you I don’t have any faith in myself, it’s trying to build that back up but not knowing how, speaking with my PT about it this morning she said “I hate that its like this for you Kristy I hate seeing you like this as I know what an independent person you normally are, it must be so hard to feel that way” and it is Henry its such an internal battle every single day, everyday I have parts of me that hold frustration, that I battle with that say you should be able to do all you normally do and do it well.

I discussed with my psychologist today that the thought of returning to my job scared me, It scared me because I always liked to try to do my job really well, I had a strong work ethic and I worry when I return that I won’t be capable of doing my job as I used too, then that will create an extra stress that I don’t need, more anxiety, I feel as though I may break.

Then there’s the lead up to Christmas to realising that all the plans we had discussed last Christmas while I was pregnant with you will never happen, we had talked about how every Christmas Eve we had wanted to give you a book and that Christmas eves every year would be spent cuddling up together on the couch to read you a story and eat some chocolate, you would have been too little for chocolate this year but we still would have read to you. We had talked about how Christmas Day we wanted to start a tradition with you of waking up to watch the sunrise on the beach with you and come home and make pancakes for breakfast, at Christmas time you would have been 8 months old, old enough for us to let you try pancakes and share that with you, we had talked about how we would only buy you four gifts, one being the book, one being something you want (although you would’ve been too little to choose for a while) the other being something you needed and then an outfit too.

So many plans Henry, so many discussions so much we had looked forward too, and it will never be, we won’t have that Christmas this year, we won’t have that any year with you, tears are streaming down my face as I write this, as I tell you about those plans we had for you, and I don’t know how we navigate Christmas Henry, but I guess I don’t know how we do any day. But to sit and watch nephews and nieces open presents and run around, to watch the joy on faces, to see the family photos, I’m not sure Henry if it is something that I feel strong enough to face.

We have a hard day ahead on Thursday Henry with something we have to do, I know it will lead to a follow through of emotions on Friday and I know I’ll struggle through them as we do. Then another milestone, Friday marks the day you would’ve been 6 months old, half a year, Half a year has passed already, six months without you being here in our arms, 6 months of navigating this journey of trying, and yet it feels like the whole world has gone on but stood still for us.

You are whats missing, you are what is missing from everything, from my camera roll, I shouldn’t be posting blogs and quotes, instead it should be a thousand pictures of you. Instead I come across quotes or type words that try to explain how I feel, so this is what I share. But words are not enough I want you. You can never be replaced, words will never be enough.

All my love every day it goes to you, it goes to you in the way you are my first thought every morning, in the way I remember you as I make breakfast, in the way that I continue on working on the garden we are creating for you, in the way I tend to your room, my love it goes to you as I speak your name, it goes to you each night as I look up at the stars and say goodnight, it goes to you as I settle in to bed and tears fall, it goes to you as I dream of you. All my love goes to you.

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They don’t know.

Henry, Henry, Henry, hours turn in to days, days turn in to weeks, weeks have turned in to months and I am so fearful of when that turns in to a year and then many years. I just want you here, I want you back, every inch of me just wants you and that’s something I have to remind myself daily I can not have.

Days start off generally the same, with me waking up and I am instantly reminded, there’s no reprieve, no break, instantly I am reminded I have to get up and face another day without you. This is my life now, this is it, that will never change, it will always be the case and I wonder each day what that looks like? how that looks? how we keep doing it. The pain is still there, the pain of missing you, I have certainly learned to start to function better, however there are moments when the grief hits and it’s still so crippling, sometimes I can not choose when that is, where it may occur and often it is times when I quickly still need to retreat from somewhere or situations before the tears start.

Your Dad consistently over this past weekend asked several times “What do you want to do?” “What do you want to do?” he asks again, my answers are always similar either “I don’t know” or sometimes “I don’t care” …. I don’t care what do we do Henry, I want to be looking after you, if you were here I am sure we would never be bored, we would have walked with you to the park, taken you to the beach, on days where it rained we would have put a large rug out on the lounge room floor to lay and spend time playing with you, we would have danced with you in our arms in the kitchen, we might have taken you outside to see and feel the raindrops on your face, body, hands, see them fall on to your nose, watch as you may have screwed up your face as they fell on you not knowing what to think, we would have laughed, maybe you would have too.

Maybe we would have even taken you away somewhere for the long weekend, maybe we would have went camping, stayed somewhere we could take and show you something new. Walked through the bush, explored the trees, let you feel the grass and dirt under your toes. Yes Henry we could still go away, we could still go for walks, we could do all these things, but I don’t want to be doing them just or the sake of it, just to be busy. Sometimes I feel like I do not even remember what your Dad and I used to do, how we filled our days.. Perhaps it is because our lives were so busy with work, with me working away usually once a fortnight, your Dad doing shift work, it meant there was limited time together to get things done, so we were caught up doing what we needed to.

Now I get those things done and I’m not sure what else to do, I just want to escape at times, I just want to run, other times I want to hide, I do this dance between the two, I dance between thinking I am so capable and could do so much too being so overcome with grief and feeling like I can’t do anything but basic day-to-day tasks. I am so lost.

You used to SUP, garden and swim, people might say, you used to share stories and pictures of the puppies, I do know your Dad and I did things Henry, and I know we are still doing and need to do them again, what can be difficult for others to understand is that right now, those things are effort, but they are things you used to enjoy others might say, whats hard now is, well everyday is hard so even things we used to enjoy, it can be hard at times to find that joy in them.

Last night Henry, last night as we got in to bed, flashbacks from the hospital straight away, my breath got faster, my mind kept going, I felt out of control and as my heart-felt like it would beat out of my chest, sobs large loud sobs started, your Dad turned to me pulling me towards him and held on to me so tightly “Breathe, deep breaths” he tried to remind me, the sobbing continued “It hurts, it hurts” I said to him between sobs, “It does every second of the day” he replied. I couldn’t stop the tears, I couldn’t fight the pain, your Dad just held me as tight as he could “I don’t know how to do this” I said crying harder “We do it for each other, we do it for him” your Dad said to me, I cried until I fell asleep.

This morning I woke with puffy eyes, this morning I woke to my reality, this morning  Henry the same feeling that’s there, its is there everyday, my eyes as soon as they open I wish they would close, my eyes as soon as they open I wish somehow I might have slept a little longer, my eyes as soon as they open, I know you are not here where you should be.

Today we went to the beach, we went to your beach, the beach we have spent so much time, the beach your Dad and I swam at while I was pregnant with you, where I rode the SUP in on my knees, where we watched you move in my belly as I got in the cold water and where we later cried tears as we said our final goodbye to you.

Your Dad he got in the water there today to take photos, as we walked down on to the sand there were families everywhere today, being school holidays they were there on the beach, we walked past a blue tent as I went to sit down I noticed a mum with her baby sitting under the blue tent…. Trigger, I had to move….

As I sit on the sand and tears fall behind my sunglasses, they don’t know. 

The mother sitting under the blue shade tent with her baby, she doesn’t know – she doesn’t know we have a blue shade tent just like that which remains unused as we had planned to do the same with you.

The father running across the sand, running across the sand with his toddler chasing him, he doesn’t know – he doesn’t know we’d pictured this moment in our minds with you.

The grandmother holding her grandchild hand as they walk along to find the perfect place to sit their belongings, she doesn’t know – she doesn’t know that we had thought we would do this with you. 

The Dad holding his baby in the water letting the waves splash lightly on to their faces, holding his baby so closely ever so carefully and smiling, he doesn’t know – he doesn’t know your Dad and I had talked about how he would do this with you.

The Mum who’s little one wants to touch the water so she cautiously stays next to them as they run to the water’s edge, she doesn’t know – she doesn’t know I wish that was me.

The families sitting on the beach having picnics, they don’t know – they don’t know we want to be doing this too.

The families watching the waves come in as they decide to swim, they don’t know – they don’t know we scattered your ashes in that very spot, in the water, they don’t know that’s where I broke down as the last of your ashes fell from the urn.

The parents sitting in the sun watching their children build sand castles, they don’t know – they don’t know that’s where your Dad and I stood in that sunny spot on the sand releasing butterflies in your honour, one by one as the butterflies flew from my finger in to the air and away.

they don’t know, none of them know, they can’t see the tears behind my sunglasses, as I sit on the same beach as them, they can’t see our empty arms, our broken hearts, our pain, our hurt. They don’t know, all they see is a childless couple on the beach, some of them maybe even look and envy us as we walk on to the sand together, some of them may think we are ‘lucky’ to have freedom to be doing ‘what we want’, some of them may think we are carefree, they don’t know, they don’t know we would give anything to be them, to be that family with you here. 

This afternoon a little laughter Henry, some small joy and smiles in our day. We went with your Nanny to see some lambs, two sets of twins, two only two weeks old and the other two, three weeks old, I got to hold them, cuddle them, have them nuzzle in to my shoulder, they were so very cute, we also saw alpacas, baby birds, roosters and chooks. It was nice, nice to explore to see the animals to hear about their stories. It was nice to smile. As always though a piece of me wishes we had been taking you to see the animals to share that experience with you.

Today marks the start of my period, again, again Henry another month no sibling for you, another month of facing that disappointment on top of our grief, another month of wondering why? and will I ever get to hold your sibling in my arms, or will that not happen for us? Were you my one and only child? and I don’t get to have you here? can the world be that cruel? can it be that cruel to someone who has all this love to give?

Your Dad Henry, the beautiful man that he is, he recently entered a competition through a gluten free magazine called Austrlian Gluten Free Life I didn’t know he entered this competition, it was to win a hamper from Byron Bay cookie company  I didn’t know he had entered until I saw an email in our inbox to say he had won. I looked at the email wondering what is this, then Henry, then I read his entry….. Tears, tears streamed down my face as his simple entry it talked of you, it talked of how much he’d love to spoil me with some cookies on your beach, so we could sit and enjoy them together thinking of you. I cried as he is so thoughtful, I cried as he included you, I cried because it was so lovely he had done this and I cried as he won. Today that hamper arrived so we got to be at your beach at sunset to enjoy some of the really delicious cookies together, and although we wanted to eat them all at once Henry, we thought we better ration them out.

Your Dad Henry he is amazing.

Tomorrow is another day Henry, but I have to get through tonight first. Tomorrow I wake up to this reality, the one I am unsure how we survive, tomorrow I make myself get up again, to do the day, to feel however it is I find myself feeling, to fight, to battle through. Tomorrow I will still love you. The last line of my wedding vows to your Dad was ‘I swear I couldn’t love you anymore than I do now and yet I know I will tomorrow’ the same goes for you our beautiful boy.

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As your name fades away on the glass.

Every morning as I stand in the shower Henry as the steam creates a fog on the glass, I trace my finger along to write your name, in the exact same spot each day. As I stand and look at the letters of your precious name and the shower continues to run and drops of water hit the galss too, I watch slowly as the letters disappear right before my eyes, slowly your name fades away and its gone. I guess it’s just like with labour with you, one day your healthy heartbeat by morning not.

Your memory will never fade, not for your Dad and I.

Nothing is sure in this life Henry, I knew that, I have had things happen in my life that have shown me that, but your brief life, you and our excitement and caring you full term to end up where we have, it has proven that even more. Which makes me feel two things and those feelings are conflicting, I have this sadness, grief I carry and you not here in my arms so sometimes I really feel like ‘what is the point?’ why and how should I keep doing this when I feel this way, when there’s this massive hole in my life that will never be filled… Then the other part of me sometimes says that I need to try to live the absolute best life I can if nothing is guaranteed then I should make the most of it… Which is difficult to balance, grieving, missing and longing while trying to live a good life.

The climb is still steep and I have fallen and stumbled back towards the bottom more times than I can count, everyday Henry is so different, when I think I am climbing at a steady pace it can change in an instant, I feel as though this mountain may be one that can not be climbed, maybe we can never make it to the top, maybe we just need to set up camp half way and hope for the best. By Sunday I thought I was making steady progress up the mountain Henry. Saturday your Dad and I had managed to get quite a bit done, and Saturday afternoon at the last-minute I organised to go to a sculpture and food event that was on, we went and the sculptures were strange, they ran out of gluten-free cupcakes, ran out of coffee, and not much more I could eat, we sat and listened to music and joked that it was me, that s my life sums it up… We went later and got burgers for dinner, I came home and felt good for getting out for the afternoon.

That feeling continued in to Sunday morning, where despite being tired I got up early to join your Dad at the beach, I normally might just lay in bed at home instead of going early but I thought no, get up, so I did and I sat in the sunshine as I watched him in the water, it’s almost as if he just elegantly dances in, under and between each wave Henry even the bigger and powerful ones it looks so effortless as he ducks under or through or as he takes pictures and they crash over the top of him. Afterwards we got a coffee and came home for showers and we headed to town to get some things I needed for the house, we got take away breakfast rolls to eat for breakfast and came home full and satisfied we had got some things done, I fixed dog beds, cleaned bathroom cupboards out, washed up, put lamb on to slow cook, vacuumed while your Dad worked on the car. Then I checked my phone a couple of messages there, responded to some and then one, one message was all it took for me to break Henry, one message to have me sitting on the lounge bawling my eyes out.

I had a beautiful friend message, she had her baby before I had you and she is now pregnant again, don’t get me wrong it’s not that I am not happy for her Henry, and that I expect no one to have babies or tell me. It’s just it’s a reminder that I am still not pregnant with your siblings, it’s a reminder that for others they try to it happens and me we are still trying, its feeling happy for her but incredibly sad for us that we don’t have that news, its feeling wanting to congratulate her that she is extending her family and feeling sadness that we are missing our first-born, its wanting her to cherish and enjoy the pregnancy as much as she can as I now know how fragile it can be and feeling anxious for anyone that says they are pregnant, its wanting to see her and hug her and talk about all the things we normally would and wanting to hide away from her as its a reminder of my pregnancy with you and that I am not pregnant again.

It’s wanting to be a good friend and feeling jealous, its being so glad that she wanted to tell me and wishing I didn’t know but wanting to know at the same time, it’s so many mixed feelings, and they are all valid feelings her feelings and mine, as I imagine she would have struggled in how to tell me as she knows it will hurt and my feelings are a natural response given what we have been through and grieving you. I think sometimes as humans we have this view that jealousy, anger and other emotions are negative, when really they are emotions that everyone has, they are normal a part of life its how we act upon them that makes the difference.

I came across this article How I feel about your pregnancy after my stillbirth it is a useful read and explains well the range of mixed emotions we go through, we may not feel this way always, these emotions and our ability to deal with that over time may change, but its complex and hard. Once I was excited about bringing my baby home, having got right to the end and going in to labour I never thought that I wasn’t bringing my baby home.

“Will you ever get over it?” a question we were asked recently Henry, how my darling boy could we ever get over you? this question wasn’t asked in a nasty way, the person asking didn’t imply that we should, they just genuinely wanted to know. The answer Henry I don’t think will please everyone, they may not ever get it, but you are our boy, our child and wanted here to look after wand watch grow, so we can never get over losing you. We will build our lives around that loss yes, we will work out ways to incorporate it in to our daily lives. “Will we be a sad sobbing mess forever?”, “No” your Dad and I are still living Henry, we are still doing each day, we will continue to do so, we still do things with friends, smile when we can, there is moments of laughter and we hold ourselves together when we are out and about, there is still immense amounts of pain, times where we break down, find it hard, wonder if we will make it, wonder how we make it, that’s all a part of grief. We will always hold a parents love for you, which means we will always grieve you, as we work out how to navigate the rocky terrain, there’ll be times we fall again, triggers, anniversaries will all be reminders and may take us back and just like we are now we will get back up again, dust ourselves off and keep climbing.

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The other night in bed Henry, I was discussing with your Dad that I really should book an appointment at the dentist as I have not been for some time. “I really need to go my tooth has been hurting” your Dad replied “You should have been already then” I said “Do you want to lose another tooth, if you don’t get it checked you will” this then led me to question “What are fake teeth made of?” .. “Not horse hair” was your Dads cheeky reply, “Oh really” I said “Well I don’t think its pigs bum” I then said to him “Imagine that eating a banana but all you taste is bacon” was your Dads reply (always the funny guy 😀 ) but that’s something  I love about him Henry that he still tries anything to make me laugh.

Another cycle almost to an end, another month of waiting, wondering if we’ve managed to conceive a sibling for you, another week of hoping that maybe that will have happened and then wondering whether it will just be as disappointing as every other month. I wonder when we get to that point Henry when it does happen, how do we manage the worries, the anxieties, now that we know there’s no safe point, now that we know nothing is guaranteed. I guess it’s exactly like it is now, we go day by day playing the game of snakes and ladders some days climbing making progress other days sliding back down, It feels like we will forever be stuck on that board and never get off.

I know Henry sometimes myself I am constantly looking for a timeline, a date, a checklist, something that tells me when it will feel easier by, I can be the hardest person on myself that I know, that checklist is no where, this isn’t something that can be ticked off, it can’t be measured in time, it won’t be fixed. I know all this but at times I still search for it. Today my psychologist handed me a word…. the word yet, to try adding to the end of my statements “it’s not getting any easier” to “it’s not getting any easier yet” , yet gives hope that it still will, by adding that one word it changes the way we speak to ourselves.

Yesterday Henry,  I could have stayed in bed, it could have been tempting to do that, but I got up and went to see a friend, I went to help her with something, then we walked on the beach your beach as we did I saw a shell like a butterfly, it made me think of you, as we walked some more another and another, so many in different sizes and colours all like butterflies, it was like a trail, like you guiding my steps. Some may say it’s just a shell, they would have been there anyway, I like to think I was meant to see them all before they broke or washed away again. I like to think they are there from you.

My friend and I then went to lunch, we joked as when we got coffee earlier they placed a piece of brownie on it, “No brownie for you” she said to me laughing as it wasn’t gluten-free, the funny thing was we’d only been talking about brownies as we waited for coffee as they had run out where we were on Saturday too. “Just my life” I laughed and joked I should write a book “Oh you want coffee none left, brownie no brownie for you” it’s like the soy cappuccino I got given by mistake the other week, just another day in my life.

Today marks 5 months, today you would have been five months old. What would you have looked like by five months? what milestones would you have achieved? what adventures would we have taken you on already? questions, so many and all questions we will never know the answers too.

Today I had coffee with another mum who’s little boy Blake isn’t here, we talked for hours, hours about the many thoughts that go through our minds, about the grief and how we feel some days it gets harder rather than easier, we talked about how much we both long to looking after our babies, I want that so much with you Henry I ache… We talked about how it can be hard to communicate it to others what this is like, how it feels, help them understand there isn’t a timeline and that it won’t just go away. This beautiful lady Henry today when I picked her up she gave me five flowers.. five flowers in honour of you, in honour of the five months old you would have been today. It was a simple and just beautiful gesture, it let me know your thought of not just by me but by others also.

Something I did recently was participated in a project Henry, this project #projectbenjamin is about raising awareness of some of the hurtful comments people can say after miscarriage, baby or infant loss. The comments are usually well-meaning, but they can hurt as unfortunately people don’t realise what struggles you may have already been through, if I had not shared already people wouldn’t know I struggled to conceive you, women who have lost babies have had comments such as ‘you can just have another baby, ‘he needs a sister’ (when that person has had several losses and difficulty holding another pregnancy) ‘It was meant to be’…. The project involves women sharing the comments written down in a photograph along with the information about their children and losses. Here is a link to an article on the project  and a link to the Facebook page to see all the women’s different stories. The comment I chose to share was “He was needed more in heaven” one that stung me so much, it really hurt, I wondered how someone could say that, how they could think that God chooses to inflict pain, choose my child over another child, that somehow others children are meant for their parents but somehow my child out you, were needed to be in heaven more over being with me.

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I remember Henry hurting and wanting to respond with “well I hope your child is never needed more in heaven” not nice I know, and I didn’t say it, but the comment was so hurtful and quite insensitive, so that’s why participating in the project was important to me, to help, to raise awareness and educate others. Sometimes a simple “I am here for you” ‘Do you want to talk about it’ ‘Tell me about them’ or sitting with someone can be better than a well-meaning comment that unintentionally causes hurt.

I was actually surprised by the response to my photograph Henry, on the Facebook page so many comments from beautiful people who I have never met, lots of shares and so many showing support with likes, then when I shared it, our own friends Henry so willing to share to help raise awareness to leave a comment to show support. So much love.

As we continue to navigate the days, as I continue to battle the many emotions and feelings, as we go with the ups and downs of this grief, as we continue to work out how to show our love for you in other ways than actually having you physically here, I will always hold you close inside my heart. You Henry changed my life and my love for remains always and forever, the most beautiful boy.

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A picture tells a thousand words, photos tell a story.

I still remember the day we met you.

Photographs Henry photographs of my childhood, photos of me wearing my Dads cowboy hat, photos by the Christmas tree with my brother and one of my sisters, school photos, school formal photos, photos of the years working in childcare, photos much like writing they document my childhood, they show how I have grown, they tell a story, a story of my life….. Bittersweet seeing these photographs they hold some memories, however they remind me, they remind me I never get to document your story in this way, you never got to be here for us to take all those photos, we will never be able to sit and compare a photo of you from one year to the next, to see your changes, we never get to look at a photograph and say ‘remember when Henry’…….. we don’t get to tell your story in that way, instead I sit and I type, I type letters to you, I sit and I cry, trying desperately to remember every detail of my pregnancy, every detail of you after I gave birth to you, every detail of your face your fingers, your toes as I held you. I sit and I feel this excruciating all-consuming pain in wanting to tell your story and hoping you’ll never be forgotten.

Saturday Henry I had to look for some documents and I came across some of those photographs from my childhood and growing up, your Dad and I talked about some of them, we looked changes as I grew, my hair colour over my adult years as we did there was some small laughs and smiles, but there was that sadness in both our eyes, I could tell we were thinking the same thoughts about never getting to watch you grow and take photos. When I was pregnant with you your Dad talked often how he wanted to upgrade his camera, not only for his surf photography but he said to me “I want to get a new camera so we can take really good photos of the little fella” so when I was about 71/2 months pregnant I kept searching and searching and as a surprise for him I bought him a new/second-hand camera that he had always wanted, we had so looked forward to capturing memories with you.

The small amount of photos we do have of you, they do tell thier own story, a story of a love so great, a love that will last forever, our love for you.

Saturday Henry was your Dad’s birthday, another reason it was a bit of a hard day… I woke up on Saturday saying to myself, hold yourself together, hold it together for him. It was his day and despite knowing it would be hard I wanted to make sure I was there for him, making his day the best I could. I fought and held in tears that morning until I got in the shower letting them out, all because before you were born I had planned your Dads birthday already, in my mind I had it all sorted and those plans involved you! Except you are not here and we can’t change that. We had a quiet day at home your Dad spent time working on the car, I spent time planting seeds to grow for the veggie patch, we spent time on the lounge together. Your Dad cooked dinner and then I cried it all came out “I’m so sorry” I cried to him “That you are cooking dinner on your birthday, that’s two years in a row” I cried some more as last year I had been so sick with morning sickness that I was unable to do much then too, the guilt I feel over that… I always make a big deal of your Dad’s birthday and the last two years I haven’t been able to, one because I was sick with you and now because we are grieving you.

The past week was a struggle Henry, but now which one isn’t. I had moments where I felt I could move and keep going and moments where the grief and pain held me hostage. This past week I helped a friend out a little bit with a few things and minded their little boy on the Thursday, we watched ninja turtles, we played Lego, we read stories, he laughed as we read mr tickle. He spent the whole day negotiating with me about a Mario game he wanted and we laughed. It was good to be able to do that spend time there and help them out. There is always that thought of how I would have read to you, I would’ve played lego with you, would you have liked ninja turtles?

Thursday night your Dad was out for a while once he came home, we were both tired, we were both upset, we have both been running on empty.. I still don’t sleep well from the flashbacks, the nightmares, the not wanting to lie in bed as my mind goes over it, it remembers. I got upset with your Dad for having been out so long, but it wasn’t that, I was just exhausted, tired, missing you and wanting you here, wanting us to go back to when we supposed to bring you home with us, I wanted to change our lives to where we had you here and were living as a happy family, not living this life where we wonder how we move though each day. Your Dad he stopped he fell apart, tears streamed down his face and he held on to me, I hugged him tighter. We sat together on the bed “I don’t want to do this anymore” I said to him “I don’t want to do this pain” .. “I don’t either” he replied “we could go together” he then said. It’s so hard Henry we are often in moments keeping the other going and together, but what happens when we both fall apart at the same time.

I woke up yesterday morning Henry and as I opened my eyes, my heart sunk, it’s just another day, another day of living without you here, I never want to get up anymore, if it wasn’t for your Dad I possibly wouldn’t, I do things, I have moments to look after myself but some days I feel like I could just sleep, but what type of life is that. I haven’t been great at eating lately, I try to tell myself to keep moving, keep doing for you, but in reality my broken heart just wants you here.

Last night your Dad was at work, as the night went on my thoughts ran away with me, I could feel that physical ache that comes with missing you, it consumes my whole body, my arms long to hold you, my lips long to kiss you on your cheeks, my fingers long to brush through all that hair of yours, my whole body aches to do the things mums do. I still had to give birth to you, I still had to go through the pain of labour of a full term baby, so my body wants to know where that baby is. I lay on the lounge crying and crying the tears wouldn’t stop ‘I don’t want to hurt anymore’ I messaged your Dad ‘I know that’s why we are going to be there to pick one another up’ he replied.. ‘I’m scared of feeling this way forever’ I said back to him ‘I understand’ he said ‘but we will keep going and it will get easier no need to be scared’, ‘it doesn’t feel like it’ I said back to him ‘it won’t as its still new’ your Dad said ‘I just want our little boy I just want him here with us I don’t want to do it without him’ I typed back through the tears. I lay in bed last night unable to sleep with my whole soul is exhausted.

I woke up this morning when your Dad got home from his night shift, he got in to bed and snuggled in to me and we went back to sleep, I woke a little later quiet silent tears started I didn’t want to wake your Dad, I don’t want to get up I thought to myself, I don’t want to do this anymore, the pain it hurts so much Henry I just lay there, I lay there in tears until Missy decided she would bark and bark for me to get up, not wanting her to wake your Dad I got up got her biscuits put them outside, then I climbed back in to bed thinking I didn’t want to do the day. I eventually got up because I had to, I had a PT appointment for 11am I got up showered… as I drove to the gym tears just streamed down my face, I couldn’t stop them they just kept coming, grief had a hold of me and was determined to not let up.

I pulled in to the car park and dried my face, meeting my PT outside we went in, she started me on the bike I was going to ride 4km, I started trying to stay at the reps she had said tried again, my body, me I was just tired “You are really struggling today aren’t you whats going on?” she asked the tears started again, “C’mon” she said let’s go in the little room and do some tabata instead I stopped peddling and we moved to the small room “Have you eaten this morning” she asked I shook my head “Kristy” she said to me as we had discussed the week before how I had not had breakfast “You need to eat” she said to me “I know” I replied “but I just don’t see the point I just feel awful either way, each day I wake up with the same feeling and its so damn hard and I don’t want to hurt anymore” tears in my eyes. I got through the work out only just as I had felt sick Henry towards the end, afterwards we talked quickly “You need to give your body the best you can right now” she said to me “you need fuel you didn’t have a great pregnancy as you were so sick now you have been dealing with this, your body hasn’t got all it needed for a long time you want to be pregnant again you need to be the best you can with nutrition and food” “I do know” I replied softly “Its just getting harder to feel this hurt”. She hugged me and had to go to her next client.

I left and went to get something to eat as I still had another appointment to attend later that day, I sat at a cafe in the sun trying to soak up the rays I ordered a coffee and a roast broccoli salad with brown rice, baby beets, chicken, pumpkin and asparagus it was nice Henry to be in the sun, to eat something good, afterwards I left and I sat on a big patch of grass by the edge of ocean taking my shoes off and feeling the blades of grass under my feet, trying to ground myself, trying to ground myself when I feel like I am swept up in a hurricane, trying to ground myself when I feel like the wind won’t let my feet touch the ground.

I enjoyed as much sun as I could then off to a psychologist appointment, As soon as I walked in more tears, “I don’t want to hurt anymore” I said, we talked, we talked about so much “You need to take your stick down” she said to me “The one you are holding to yourself be kinder to yourself more gentle” It’s so hard Henry, I always have put a lot of pressure on myself even before you and I still continue to now. We talked some more about your Dad about his grief, we discussed the fact how we both have our own grief, then there’s our grief together as Henry’s parents, then theres both of us trying to work out how to support the other in their grief “Thats very complicated” she said. It is Henry it really is, we talk your dad and I all the time, we are open with one another about exactly how we feel, but it can be so incredibly hard to see the other hurting and to not be able to help, to not be able to fix it, as this can’t be fixed only carried. It can be difficult I told her as your Dad is the only one who can truly know the pain I feel. I sat with her talking and coming to the conclusion that your Dad and I, both of us need to let our friends know more of what we need, that we need company, we need to be included, we need to feel supported and looking at how they can do that. Our friends may not understand, but they don’t have to understand to offer support, if we can somehow communicate the support we need.

I thought as I made my way home Henry, I thought about how could your Dad and I do that, how can we ease the heaviness of this? how can we let others know what we need. We both used to love cooking, maybe it would help if we started having people over for dinner more often, it might mean we will be more inclined to cook, maybe it means sending out more messages to let ask friends if they have time during the week to pop by,  It is hard to know, its hard to tell but we need to do something Henry, your Dad and I need to continue to work our way, we need to ask for help to carry the load where we can even if its only for a short while.

We continue trying to conceive a sibling for you Henry, we continue doing everything that we absolutely can, I am trying to hold on to the hope that it might happen, I try to hold on to hope things will get lighter, I try to hold on to hope that we can do this, but its a juggling act Henry, because this grief we carry is already heavy, so heavy we often bow under its weight and its as though with this we have to hold on to the love, the aspects of hope and I feel like we are not allowed to drop them on the ground, so we are constantly in this state of trying to rearrange them and where they fit so we can keep walking. its such a delicate balance that can fall at any time, and I guess in those moments it does we have to dust everything off and try to work out how to carry it all again.

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Washing cycles

The world keeps spinning and I’m still in it, it won’t stop, won’t let me out.

Every month feels like a washing cycle Henry. One big long washing cycle… I get to the end of each cycle month and I am done that’s it I have been through the spin cycle, hung out to dry, worn and used, then comes the bit where it all starts again, I need to refocus, sit begins I am surrounded by those suds with the promise of coming out like new, sparkling, and so it begins.

Half way through the wash cycle I think I have been here a while is this not done yet, I would really like to stop now, it’s been long enough lets hang out in the sunshine, but nope it keeps washing, then rinsing. By the time we get towards the spin cycle I am already tired, spinning…. do we have too, I’m already tired and dizzy and feel like I can’t take anymore, but nope got to go through that spin cycle right? wring out all that water I’m holding on to so I will be able to float in the sun to dry.
 
I’m done, finally the spinning has stopped and for some brief moments, but never long enough, I do float on the line in the sun, with some hope of easier days ahead…. hold on whats happening your bringing me in, I need to get to work… but I am enjoying that sun, and so it goes I am used….. my period arrives the hope I held on to while drying in the sun disappears and I keep going, then it stops and I think ok back in the washer, with the promise, the hope of coming out shiny and new and perhaps staying in the sunshine a little longer.

Sometimes the washing machine might break down halfway through, it might stop, things don’t go as they should, you never know if it’s going to go as smoothly as it can it or be a bumpy ride.. but round and round I go.

After some really dark days Henry, days with no light, I’m at the start of that washing cycle again, maybe if I’m new and sparkly the darkness may disappear, but there are some stains that will stay no matter what.

This morning Henry, this morning I got up after very little sleep to see the GP, I had to go I didn’t want too… my GP is on maternity leave 😕 ironic isn’t it… so I had to see another GP I’ve seen her before but to go in and see someone trying to explain things again.. I had to go to renew my care plan for seeing the psychologist, not a fun task and also Henry to get a referral for the ob/gyn, the one we will end up seeing with your siblings.. it’s time to touch base now, touch base to try to do some more planning, work on ways to take steps in the right direction so we do have siblings for you.

It was hard Henry I sat in the waiting room trying to keep tears at bay. Two other ladies sat in the waiting room with me… don’t cry, don’t cry don’t cry I repeated to myself over and over as I waited for the Dr. Keep focused, don’t cry when you walk in either.. you can do this, you can do it… you got this. As I listened to  others make polite conversation and tried to force a polite smile when they looked at me.

All the pep talks in the world and I couldn’t keep it together.. once I sat down in front of the GP tears and lots of them, we went over again some of the details, of what had happened, she said to me I can’t even call it a stillbirth Kristy thats not what this is, not with what happened and what they should have done.

We sat and I had to fill out a questionnaire, how often have you felt nervous in the past four weeks, hopeless in the past four weeks, tired for no reason in the past four weeks, like there’s no reason to get out of bed etc etc etc multiple choice questions ranging from rarely to all of the time, of course most of my answers were most and all of the time. Fuck this is just so fucking unfair Henry.

The sad thing is, only so many sessions are subsidised, even then it’s only half, I still pay a substantial amount… but now I’m up for paying the full amount, you might think no cost to my mental health right, but seriously we shouldn’t even be here in this situation… if jobs were done we wouldn’t and yet now I’m left paying well over $100 a session to be able to talk to someone which is important, but seriously Henry I don’t know what people could do if they didn’t have the money, not that we have but we get by. Another flaw in the system.

The GP talked me through some things I eventually managed a small laugh, tears are good she said, that laugh you do you always did that while pregnant even while you were so incredibly sick you would still come in here smile and laugh she said.. you never complained just took it as it came.

After an hour with the GP, longer than I expected, as we had discussions on sleep and other things.. I went to get a coffee and was going to head to the beach for some time alone with the calming waves.. I got my coffee in the car drove off once I got further around the corner I finally took a sip and blergh!!! What’s wrong with this, I realised they had given me soy milk instead of skim… I had a small laugh to myself not haha laugh but an ‘of course’ laugh (only me).. I was hoping the wrong coffee wasn’t setting the standard for the rest of my day, but even if it was, well it wouldn’t matter because I already feel at my lowest point anyway.

I sat at home with an instant coffee in the sun, your dad was sleeping as he had come off a night shift, I so desperately wanted him to wake up so I could just hug him, but I also wanted him to sleep for as long as he needed to as I know he’s exhausted. I know Henry life will continue to go on, I know it won’t stop for us or anyone else, I know there’s so much unfairness in this world, I know we are not the only ones to have experienced trauma and tragedy, I know… I keep trying to say we will keep going, I think maybe sometimes come on… life has to improve something good has to come our way we are such good people, yet life doesn’t work that way, if it did people wouldn’t be everywhere hurting.

I try to sit and tell myself that I can be strong, I can do this, I can smile, we will laugh again, we will get there, wherever there is?

New Growth. 🌱
My love for you is like no other

This love of a mother

When I think it couldn’t get any stronger,

It intensifies with each breath I take

now I’m breathing for two,

for me and for you.

I’ll continue to live my life,

It won’t be easy without you by my side.

I’m not saying I’ll be able to do it greatly at first,

I’m not saying it won’t hurt,

but I’ll do it for me, I’ll do it for you

I’ll do it for your incredible Dad too.

I’ll fight through, I’ll battle on,

it’s not a war to win or a race to be won,

but rather it’s a recreation of myself

of finding who I am without you in my arms

but still as your mum.

It’s going to take a lot of time

a lot of work especially on my mind

it’s like learning to walk, I’m not even crawling

And sometimes I wonder will I make it to morning.

All I can do is continue

While I hope those around me can offer water when needed,

Add some fresh soil to top me up,

I may have to survive harsh conditions,

I’m not saying I won’t wither a little at times.

Sometimes I may shed what’s not needed

Or do some pruning, to allow myself the best chance.

Because what are the choices live or die

It’s only for you I’ll do it, for you Henry I’ll try.

I’ll keep growing in to my new self. 🍃

Hopefully I’ll grow into something beautiful 🌿

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I sat with your Dad this afternoon by the water as he ate his pie for his breakfast, two ducks swam along in the distance “See the ducks?” your Dad asked me “I did, I wish I was a duck” I replied “Why?” your dad asked me “Well I could just calmly swim along in the water just like that then get shot and eaten” I said “Geez babe” he replied “Here I was thinking I was going to get a nice happy story and bam oh shot dead and eaten, you’d be the duck that stands right in front and still be there afterwards” he said to me. we laughed, yep Henry our sense of humour and things we augh at, at the moment is a bit twisted but at least we laughed, your Dad asked if I was going to title my next blog entry that ‘duck swim bam dead eaten’ I said perhaps… we held each other close. “We got this” he says to me.

I love your Dad Henry and I love you, I will keep working to find my way through the dark, I will keep doing things to try and help those moments, the anxiety, the panic, the extreme sadness and flashbacks… I will do my very best in the hope for a lighter future.

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