I opened that drawer.

I will love you until the moment I pass from this existence to the next, and then I will find you again and love you some more.

‘Wyatt’

I opened ‘that’ drawer last night Henry well there’s more than one of ‘those’ drawers in our house this drawer is in the kitchen it’s one of our large pot drawers, I absent-mindedly went to look for something in there that used to be there, forgetting that before I had you in those last couple of weeks I’d cleaned it out. I cleaned it out to create a space in the kitchen for your things.. I opened that drawer without thinking Henry and there staring back at me, more reminders of the plans, the life we thought we’d have but don’t, the one where you’d be here. A drawer with bottles, a breast pump, breast milk bags to freeze milk I was going to feed you with, bottle cleaners, containers planning ahead for when I would make purée food for you, the one special bottle I had included in your dad’s gift basket I had put together for him, with items for you and him, with the tag I’d attached saying ‘so we can be drinking buddies’.

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I’d known how much he’d wanted to be involved and be able to feed you too, so I had the plan if it worked out to pump and freeze, so he’d be able to give you a bottle here and there I know that plan may not have worked but we were so keen to try. I opened that drawer Henry I saw all of that stuff and my heart ached, I froze stopped in time I saw that one tag on that bottle I’d got and put in the basket for your dad and I broke, closing the draw I broke down right there, falling and sitting on the kitchen floor in tears.

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There’s other drawers in our house Henry… they are there, there’s one in the loungeroom which contains precious things like your tags from the hospital the card which says how much you weighed the hand and footprint stamps, the cards we got from people sending love and condolences instead of congratulations, photos of you we have that drawer too. Then there’s the drawers in your room with all those tiny clothes we lovingly washed before you arrived I’d sorted the drawers too, the first two had 0-3 months clothes the third contained the 3-6 months and I’d put the few 6-12 month items we had in a container aside planning to change and rotate the drawers as needed.. We were prepared so prepared for you. Who knew we’d only need one draw would hold all we had left of you, who knew the other drawers wouldn’t be needed. Who knew those plans would never happen not us.

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Yesterday Henry, the casts we had organised to get done of your hands and feet arrived, we had organised this within days of leaving the hospital and over 5 months later they arrived, we had forgotten they would be coming, it was so bittersweet. As I stared down at those precious casts of your hands and feet, as I stared down they were in exactly the same position as we had left them that day, exactly as I remember them. I looked at the hands and feet in the frame so incredibly perfect, so beautiful, so heartbreaking tears streamed down my face so very quickly I couldn’t stop them “I’m sorry” I apologised for crying to the lady who had done the casts and handed them to me, “It’s ok” she said sitting next to me. She handed me a little wooden box with your name on it, she handed it to me underneath your name the words, ‘Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart’ I saw those words and more tears its true, you have all of my heart Henry always.

Inside that little box she explained were the original casts she took “So you can hold them” she said to me and she had done replicas for the frame, I ever so carefully unwrapped the tissue paper from one of them holding the little hand in mine, it’s exactly the size I remember your hands to be, I remember holding your hands in mine, I remember looking at your long fingers in awe, I remember the feel of your soft soft skin in my hands, it took me back to a place I wish I could still be those moments with you. I was taken right back to those moments I got to hold, cuddle, kiss and take you in. Tears just kept pouring out “thank you” I said “Thank you so very much you have no idea how grateful we are and how much these mean to us” I said between tears “and thank you for delivering them” … “It’s my absolute honour to be able to do these and I can not even begin to imagine” she said back to me. As she stood to leave “can I hug you?” I asked “Yes she said I gave her the biggest thankful hug I could. Amber has a Facebook page for her casting business and has done some beautiful work. Cast a memory Shoalhaven 

After she left Henry I realised your Dad had disappeared ‘where are you?’ I messaged him, he reappeared minutes later tears streaming down his face his eyes red, we sat on the lounge hugging each other and just crying and crying together “they are really special” he said to me rubbing my back “They are” we just sat looking and crying. So damn hard Henry as I wish you were here, I wish with everything you were here and we didn’t need casts of your hands and feet but you are not and these little casts mean so very much.

Last night Henry, last night I couldn’t sleep, your Dad snored beside me, I tried reading, I tried all sorts of things, the first ultrasound we had with you came to my mind, I remember we had an early one as I had, had some bleeding and was so sick, The first ultrasound “We may need to do an internal if we can’t see with this one” she had said but no that wasn’t needed she put the gel on my stomach and then started moving the wand around and there you were, there you were to me you looked like the shape of a frog at that stage. “There’s your baby” she had said “all looking good” , “there’s only one in there?” I asked her as I had been so sick already I wondered if maybe there were two “only one” she confirmed your Dad and I looked at each other and we smiled. We got ready she printed a picture for us and we left to go home. I remember all those moments Henry, the milestones, moments we saw you on-screen, all of it sticks so vividly in my mind.

Thoughts of you swirled in my head and I couldn’t sleep at all, I decided to get up, I walked to the bathroom after this I went to sit down on the lounge your Dad woke up “Where are you?” he called out “I can’t sleep” I said to him “come back” he said I instantly got frustrated and upset “but I can’t sleep” I replied “whats the use”.. “come lay down with me” he replied as I made my way to do so Henry I could hear Snikkers wag her tail it making a noise against her bed I bent down to pat her, she is my follower Henry and it that moment I started to cry as I pet her because I knew, I knew that if you were here she would have been by my feet any time I would’ve gotten up to feed you, she would have moved with us and stayed with us and I know she would’ve been protective of you. I held on to her and cried and cried until moving to the bed with your Dad as I got in he pulled me close I put my head in to his chest and broke even more “I don’t want to do this anymore” I said to him as I sobbed “We can do this together” he said to me, but the hurt Henry the pain I don’t want to do it anymore.

As we lay there and I couldn’t stop the tears that feel so fast and so furiously down my face your Dad tried to calm me, trying to get me to breathe “Follow my breath” he said breathing deeply in and out “I’ll be your app” he said as I have been trying to listen to a sleep app lately to help with sleep. Your Dad breathed in and out slowly then all of a sudden he said “Allen’s lollies eat redskins special 2 for $5” I slightly laughed “pay for premium access without the ads” he then said “I am being the app” I laughed a little more he then continued to breathe for a few more moments “berry donut van delicious donuts eat responsibly” I laughed a little bit more and hugged your Dad tighter “I’m tired and I am tired of fighting with myself day after day after day” .. “We will get there” he said to me “We will do it together picking up each others pieces”

We talked some more until your Dad fell back asleep and I lay there for some time still awake, until finally somewhere in the early hours of the morning my exhaustion allowed me to fall asleep.

This past week I have struggled with some days Henry, I have fought hard with myself on the days where I haven’t felt like doing much at all, I’ve had a change basket arrive this week I ordered it before you were born and it got put on back order, I had forgotten and it arrived, and that was hard, seeing it opening it and then putting it in your room, where it just looked perfect, it went perfectly and I felt all the emotions at once, so fucking sad that I didn’t get to be using it with you, angry I was placing it in there and you aren’t here, pain as I wondered will we ever get to use it for siblings with you and just that complete and utter love that I have for you.

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That change basket arrived on Friday and Friday night your Dad was at work, while he was at work I received a phone call regarding some things we have been looking at and doing the phone call was a really difficult one, after I finally held it together on the phone afterwards I put my head in to my hands and cried, Snikkers looked up at me concern in her eyes and I placed my had down to pet her head and I continued to let tears fall. I sat wondering whether things were worth it, was everything we were trying to do is it worth the hurt, pain everything. Sometimes I wonder, in fact I always wonder how?

We continue to work on your garden, I picked up some rocks for that this week, I continue to go to psychologist appointments to talk and help navigate my grief, I do all I can to keep going through each and everyday. Theres moments of laughter still lots of tears hurt and pain. I say to your Dad often I need direction, I feel so lost, I don’t know what to do, I don’t know how I return to a job that demands travel, being away from home so often, its hard enough when your Dad is on shift work let alone being hundreds of miles away from him especially when those big waves of grief hit. Let alone being out in childcare centres all day, being around other babies all day, being reminded of what I am missing so much with you. But these are all decisions I face Henry, things I have to think about and will have to do, we need our income.

Today Henry we have taken it easy, today I have tried to rest. its been raining lightly but consistently. Today your Dad talked with me about how this day two years ago he went to watch the Bathurst race with friends at the pub and he spent the afternoon writing his wedding vows on coasters. I smile at that memory, I smile at the memory of him pulling them out that day we had eloped to Hawaii and married on the north shore. I remember his heartfelt words ‘I promise to create and support a family with you in a household filled with laughter’ some of his words, which is what we had longed to do with you ‘I will love you faithfully through the difficultly and the easy’ he has certainly proven that Henry, through this most difficult time ever your Dad has done nothing but show me love. I think about how he said those words how much we used to laugh and it just makes me sad we have lost that laughter that fun, the spark we used to have and it feels like we will never find it.

We talked about how this time last year your Dad had stayed home with me to watch the race as I was so sick with HG I had been vomiting most of the morning and was on the lounge, he stayed with me to support me through it, get me anything I needed to care for me as he always has. This time last year I was 11 weeks going on 12 weeks pregnant with you we were looking forward to our 12 week scan in the upcoming week.

So many anniversaries still happening still coming up, so many moments I remember, I want to celebrate them but at the same time they bring the pain of all we thought would be, I want to celebrate you but at the same time it brings all of the overwhelming feelings of how we have lost you, how we never get to watch the milestones we should be, how we never get to hold and watch you grow.

I look at your room and as the months pass of siblings not arriving I wonder should we keep it set up as it is or do we pack it away, I can’t bring myself to pack it up and I feel close to you in there and sometimes I have so much hope that it may one day be filled with your siblings, yet other days just seeing it, just walking past it hurts I break down. I walked past the other day and the pain, that ache it hit me hard like a hard punch to abdomen it took my breath away, taking me by complete surprise I was reminded, about how much I long for you, I just had this urge to be in your room doing something, yet there’s no point, there’s nothing to do in there, as you are not here. I can’t look after you so your room remains untouched, it remains in immaculate condition, untouched, clothes, bedding, toys, books, shoes all unused. All I can do in there is dust, vacuum and water the plant or sit and reflect on what is, how I feel and what could have been.

I was recently talking to a friend Henry and her mum reads my letters to you, she had said to my friend “Kristy much just feel like a cicada, when I met her she was lovely, so nice and smiling and at the party had a lot of fun, chirpy like a cicada, now she must just feel like the shell of herself, just like the cicada leaves a shell behind” It was one of the best ways I have heard it put Henry, I do feel like a shell of my former self no longer the happy person I was just who I am now after that one moment that changed my life.

I miss the me that laughed so much, I miss the me that would want to get out and try something new, the me that was constantly on the go and busy, the me that would plan and plan and get things done, I miss the me that would make a decision and go ok I am going to make this happen… Go back to that, do that people might say what they don’t realise is I can’t, I cant be that person as I am changed, it’s not to say that some of it wont return, but at the moment some days just getting out of bed is all I can do.

Another week almost over, another about to begin.

Another week further away from you, another week in.

Another month slowly passing, yet months have disappeared before my eyes.

Another day, hour, minute, second without you.

Henry, I love 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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Darkness…. and sometimes there’s nothing happy to say!

You will always be my incomplete melody.

How do I find my way out of this darkness Henry? even when its light outside, even when the sun is out I have clouds, big dark clouds that have surrounded me and not in the warm embracing hug kind of way, but in the they surround me so tightly I feel as though I’ll suffocate and can not breathe properly… Nothing helps me see through them, some days they are so incredibly thick I wonder if I will catch a breath.

Your Dad brings with him a little light, he’s the only one who can completely reach in through the clouds to find me in there, I suppose it’s because he is the only other one I know who understands exactly how I feel, he’s the only other one I know misses and longs for you as much as I do, he’s the only one who loves you as much as I do.

One day, one day I will be with you, as a mother should, one day I will get to hold you tight, show you all this love I have for you, one day… I can’t tell you the amount of times I have wished for that day, the amount of times where I have had thoughts when driving of ‘I wouldn’t crash my car but if it did crash I wouldn’t mind’ or of those moments before I finally find sleep thinking ‘I wouldn’t care if I didn’t wake up in the morning’ Its not that I’m seeking out and acting on ways to be with you but if those things just happened well as I said I wouldn’t mind.

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I have had a tough week Henry, last week I found some peace in planting, gardening, in hope… hope that we will have siblings for you, hope we will find that light in the darkness, hope that we can get through despite the pain and will have better days… But this week all hope was gone, tears come thick and fast on various occasions, my period arrived another shattered piece to my already broken heart. “It’ll happen” people say “Don’t stress” people say “Relax”…… ‘Yep, yep, yep, and yep’ all easy to say when they haven’t lost whats most precious to them, all easy for them to say when they haven’t experienced ten years of infertility before hand and then lost their first child due to negligence and all easy of them to say when they don’t have empty arms and broken hearts, I know they mean well Henry I know they do and I appreciate that people care but no one knows what will happen and relaxing is hard when you are where we find ourselves.

I feel as siblings may be the only way we find some light back in our lives. Yet each month that passes its harder to hold on to that hope that it will happen. I know it hasn’t been long in the big scheme of things Henry, but when you are living day-to-day to get through, weeks can seem like months and months seem like years and then there’s the dreaded age factor that comes in to it too, all my life I have tried to keep myself healthy, all my life I have kept positive, I haven’t let my circumstances get me down… For ten long years I longed to be a mum and then finally I knew about you and that all got taken away, because someone didn’t want to do their job. Siblings will never replace you but they may bring a joy to our lives, they may help to fill the empty arms we have although in those arms and our hearts there will always be an empty space that is for you.

I feel as though I am stuck in the middle of the ocean in a row-boat but with no oars to row, so I just am going wherever the tides and waves of the ocean take me and I am holding on in that boat for dear life, pleading for it not to tip over and pleading to stay inside, the sea is sometimes so incredibly rough and the boat is everywhere up and down as water pours in over the sides, sometimes so much so I feel sea-sick and other times the ocean is calm but the hot sun pours in over me burning my skin, other times at night I am cold, wet, lost and its so dark.. In that darkness I put my feet over the edge wondering if perhaps I should just allow myself to slip in to the water.

Thoughts, emotions, feelings so intense, seem so uncontrollable I wish for a way for the pain to end. I want the what ifs to leave me for a while, I want my mind to stop asking ‘why us?’ as there is no answer to that, I wish for the flashbacks that occur oh so often to stop to just give me some peace from the heaviness.

Death, loss, depression, grief all hard subjects Henry, yet I find baby loss, the loss of a child remains more taboo… People are willing to talk about their dead grandmother Henry the one who lived a good long life surrounded by those she loved, but to talk about you, our baby the fact you died… it is hard, it makes people uncomfortable and I get it, its unnatural, its out-of-order, its hard… but you know whats harder, is the thought of just forgetting you, of not talking about you, of acting like you never existed, the thought that some people think you can just be replaced by another baby. I know Henry I know others don’t know what to say, they don’t have too, honestly I find the times I want to talk about you I will lead the conversation, it’s just when there’s a reaction of changing the subject, of not acknowledging what I have said, well that just creates a bigger barrier.. I feel sometimes though, some people feel as though if I talk about you I am stuck, I am not ‘getting better’ but you are my child so just like any parent I want you acknowledged here or not.

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If someone who has lost a child talks to you about their child, their grief.. acknowledge them, acknowledge its hard, ask about their child, their favourite memory, I will be able to tell you many funny memories of when I was pregnant as I got to know you growing in there, the way your Dad joked with me if I tried to breathe in too much and would say to me “Stop poor little Timmy just got sucked in to the back wall and is wondering what the hell is going on”, the way we laughed as we went for an ultrasound and you kept turning the opposite way from the technician, we spent over an hour in there for her trying to get your measurements as you weren’t cooperating. The way you kicked me all through a video conference for work and I had to try to keep a straight face… the memories of conversations your Dad and I had.. If a bereaved parent wants to talk about their child they will lead the way, sometimes those conversations might be tough, sometimes it might be about how much they are hurting… On the tough days where it’s too much and they don’t talk about it or they can’t… sit with them, offer to take them out to distract them but don’t be offended if they can’t either.. its like balancing on a tight rope with weight on both sides and we have to constantly ensure the weight is distributed evenly to keep ourselves on the rope and prevent from falling.

This week, four days out of this week, I have come home at different times to find Snikkers has been in your room, she’s been in your room and gotten out your toys, leaving them around the house, so funny going from not wanting to go in to that room at all when I was setting it up for you to now she wanders in often and gets out your things, I would have loved to have seen her with you. I also heard Missy wander in there yesterday as she rustled her nose around in some bags I still have with items in there beside the chair.

Yesterday as your Dad left for work Henry, it was not only dark suffocating clouds that surrounded me but storm clouds, with loud thunder, lightning strikes and I held on to him so tight, sobbing in to his chest not wanting him to go, not wanting to be left alone with my thoughts and feelings, not wanting to…. After he left I sobbed in to my hands until no more tears fell and then stared blankly at what was on the TV until I could summon the strength to make myself dinner and find my rational thoughts again, spending some time thinking about the future and steps to get there…

An extremely bad night last night Henry where your Dad got home from work just after 1am and when he got in to bed he just pulled me to him and held me tight while I sobbed and silent tears poured down his cheeks as he reminded me “We can do this” and then he pleaded for me to say it back to him, I ever so quietly somehow found my voice and agreed that we could, but sometimes my heart wonders whether we can.

Today I found it hard to get out of bed, as I have most of this week, but your Dad turned the shower on so I got up and in to the shower where I sobbed bent over in the bottom of the shower wondering where I might summon the strength from today, I eventually got myself out and got ready so we could go food shopping, despite the strong emotions, despite how hard it is the things I know we can do is look after ourselves physically, so we do I still exercise even though I cry in my car the whole way to the gym, I still cook healthy meals even though it would be so much easier to eat jam toast.

After doing what we needed to do your Dad and I played a really bad game of tennis, out in the sunshine we hit the ball to one another where we could and missed it more times than we hit it, we laughed at one another attempts and each others antics to try to make the other laugh while on the court. I can not thank your Dad enough Henry for those little moments, the ones where I feel a little bit like the sun has shone through those clouds.

After we returned home your Dad cooked us an amazing brunch as the storm rolled in, thunder, hail, lightening and then rain but only for a short time. Now as I have washed up and tidied the house he is out in the garage making progress on our car, sanding, scrubbing, smoothing getting it as prepared as he can. I know your Dad will make you proud with the effort he puts in to it.

I sit and I type to you, I type with that constant feeling of exhaustion that I feel, I type with that longing, I type with the feeling of wondering how we do this, I type knowing I won’t always have happiness or a funny story to tell because sometimes Henry this journey is just so very dark. I type though knowing how much love I have for you and your Dad, how much love that I want to be here for him, all the love that I know despite how much this hurts I want to get to that day we have siblings for you, to experience and show them the love we have and to try to make you proud, please Henry just be next to me when it’s too dark and help me to find that light.

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A fathers love.

A father needs to grieve his child just as the mother can……
the grief is no less powerful because you are the man…

Fathers Day Henry, fathers day, fathers, your Dad. Your Dad is the most amazing man I know, His strength, his ability to keep going, to keep us both going, to work when he is exhausted from his grief, to keep doing things around the house, to hold me as I cry, to still put on a brave face through his heartache, to still cook, clean, care for your fur sisters. He truly is wonderful.

Fathers day, 😦 a day I have always struggled with since I lost my Dad, your grandfather, a day that every year brought with it a little hurt that I didn’t have him here, Once I knew you were on the way I couldn’t wait, I thought about how fathers day would have a positive spin, how you and I would be able to celebrate your Dad, I thought about how nice it would be to not be as sad on that day…. but instead I am now filled with more hurt, dread and pain than I could ever imagine. I feel as though there’s a boiling hot knife blade that has peirced me in the heart and one in the stomach and it is slowly and slowly getting pushed in deeper and deeper until I might completely buckle from the pain.

Dads can quickly be forgotten when it comes to grief Henry, I don’t think anyone truly releases the toll it takes on your Dad. He comes home so exhausted from work yet continues to go and work as he needs to, he often still wakes in the early hours of the morning to his thoughts and cries softly as to try not to wake me, he often doesn’t realise I am awake anyway and can hear him, sometimes I will hug him, other times I let him be as I know he needs to be left alone. There’s a stigma attached to men and grief, they should be strong, men shouldn’t cry.. but why Henry why is this so? why is this out there? as your Dad has lost the most precious thing to him on this earth, he lost his little boy, of course he’s sad he thinks of you 24/7 like I do, I see him turn away when we see a newborn down the street, I see him take the long way to walk to where we are getting to, to avoid the couple with the pram. I see the hurt he carries, its evident in his shoulders, his eyes, in the way he sits on the lounge at night with no energy, its in the way he carries himself now, a usually upbeat positive person and you can see the slight change. His grief is as heavy as mine and there should be no shame in showing it.

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What do I give your Dad on father’s day? there’s nothing that can take the agony away, nothing that makes any of this the slightest bit better… Nothing! I ended up getting your Dad a camera lens he has always wanted, It arrived on Tuesday so I decided I would give it to him early. I gave him his gift, he smiled, he was excited to put it on to his camera and he looked through the lens “look at this” he said “Look at how much of the room it captures”, it’s a special fish eye lens Henry so is shaped to capture a wider view. I looked at your Dad smiling and then thought to myself he gave me the greatest gift ever… You!! tears poured down my face I started to sob your dad hugged me “Whats wrong?” he asked me “You gave me the greatest gift ever in Henry, despite everything you gave me him and nothing, nothing seems ever good enough to thank you for that” I replied to him between sobs “We gave him to one another, he’s always out little boy” he replied holding me a little tighter.

Today Henry, fathers day has brought with it so much hurt and pain, I had another little gift for your Dad this morning, I had got him a stubby holder and bottle opener with Dad’s beer on it, I had hoped upon hope that I might be able to give those to him today with the news we would be expecting a sibling for you, but sadly not, I took a test just in case but no…. one lonely line on its own, one lonely line that is getting harder to see.

This morning your Dad as he woke I wished him ‘happy fathers day’ it felt so incredibly wrong saying it, but I also wanted to acknowledge it as he is your Dad, “I’m sorry” I said as I saw the tears form in his eyes, “no don’t be” he said “Thank you” I gave him his gifts and he could barely look at them I began to cry and hugged him so very tight we lay there together in tears, It hurts so much Henry to see your Dad hurting, it hurts that I can not in any way take his pain away.

I cooked your Dad breakfast, Poached eggs, bacon, spinach, avocado, grilled tomato with herbs and mozzarella, I did it because I would have always done it for him on father’s day… Yet it just felt so wrong without you here, I had pictured the two of you snuggled in bed together, me giving your Dad breakfast in bed, us going on a lunch picnic to the beach sitting in the sand, watching as you felt it on your toes.

We tried to keep ourselves busy working on your corner of the yard, using the power saw, drill, we chopped fence pailings to continue making a screen, your Dad got me using the saw, and drill laughing at me at times, especially at my method of holding the paling with my leg to balance it when I was putting screws in, but as always he was patient, helpful and kind. Once we had done some of it we stopped for a bit, tears again from your Dad he tried to walk away to not show them, I just hugged him as hard as I could. We lay in the sun on the deck outdoors both exhausted, drifting in and out of light sleep until your Dad decided he would mow the lawn, it didn’t really need it but I think he just needed to keep himself busy, keep himself doing something… half way through your Nanny and Poppy came over your Dad could not stop to talk his tears came out down his face as he weeded the garden and did what he could to keep himself busy until they left.

Will it ever get lighter? will it ever Henry, as your Dad and I continue to face more firsts, more reminders you are not here, this week we saw the day 12 months ago I got my positive pregnancy test and we learnt of your existence, we keep climbing this incredibly steep mountain Henry, we climb it carrying these heavy awkward bags and pray daily for it to feel lighter, for the mountain not to be so steep and for some rest. It feels at the moment like we are barely holding on, like any moment we could fall from the mountain and hit the ground. Today seeing the pain your Dad is in, his body is sore from the climb, his heart can’t take any more, his hands are finding it hard to grip, today seeing it I almost wanted to let go, I wanted to let go and hit the ground as I don’t want the pain anymore.

Fathers day last year Henry, we had so much hope, so many dreams had begun to develop, fathers day last year I had spent all afternoon while your dad was at work cooking your dad an amazing dinner meal to come home to so we could celebrate we were expecting you. Fathers day last year taking one bite of my dinner was the first time I was sick, I remember taking the bite and wanting to vomit, it surprised me how quickly it happened how quickly it came on… last year was so different.

The other night I had a dream, I dreamt of you, your Dad was at work, I dreamt I was carrying you in to the water, as I started to walk in to the ocean the waves became rough and I was holding you so tight to my chest worried you would get hurt, I made my way out of the water with you, in my dream you were still passed away, yet once I got out of the water you opened your eyes, you opened your sweet blue eyes and looked at me, I shook my head in disbelief, you opened them again and touched my chest with your hand, as you touched my chest again I felt it physically and I woke saying your name. it was so bittersweet, as my dream had seemed so real, yet here I was again awake in this cruel world where you are not once again, tears streamed down my face and I looked at the time 1:11am on the 1st! I wondered if that meant something all of those number 1’s I look for meaning in so much these days to have some connection to you.

Your Dad Henry is one of the most beautiful, gentle souls I know..  I have said to the psychologist on more than one occasion how I wish, I wish with all I have that he was not going through this, he doesn’t deserve this (I mean no one does), he would have been the most loving father, he told me so often how he wanted to take you for walks, he wanted to make sure he would be there for you be involved, he talked about having you in the garage as he worked on things, he talked about how he would take you in the ocean, how we would always make sure there were adventures outdoors for you. I just wish somehow I could take your place, I wish it could be me where you are and you here with your Dad, I would give anything for him to be able to hold you so close and care for you and watch you grow.

A fathers love, your Dad loves you so much Henry bear, he loved you from the moment he knew you existed, that love grew as you grew in my belly and he played you music and talked to you, that love expanded the moment you were born and he saw you I saw it in his eyes in his face, just so much love for you and that love your Dad has for you his son, that love, a fathers love it will last for his whole life.

Hope Henry, I tried to have hope this week, to hold on to it, I repotted the plant in your room as its growing so well, I even brought another little plant putting that in there for your siblings to let them know they are welcome too, I did it all being hopeful, yet just like the tide changes, just like the swell of the ocean my hope changed too, it changed from having some to feeling there is none at all. Yet Hope really is all we have, I can only hope Henry, as we try to hold on, that I can help your Dad, I can help him carry his heavy load as he helps me carry mine, I can only hope that we can find some happiness, I can only hope that we might be blessed soon with your siblings to show them the love we have, and bring some joy to our lives. I can only hope this gets lighter, I can only hope you know how wanted you were and loved you are. I can only hope that love gets us through.

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