For so long I have wanted to write my own blog, I have never had the confidence to do it, there’s not much I have to say that people would be interested in reading. I spent much time procrastinating over what I would write about: what would people want to hear? What would they want to know about me that they would want to click and read what I had written? Never in a million years did I think this would be the subject of the illustrious ‘blog’ I never thought I would be penning what has happened to me, to my family in the last few months – its not particularly interesting, its morbid more than anything, sad, upsetting, unnerving but its true and its what happened and with a head full of thoughts I suppose this point is as good as any to start. I promise it wont all be doom and gloom I don’t know where I will go with this I may write this and nothing more, but I want to write it all the same and I hope you want to read it.
My name is Jen, I live in Bournemouth with my wonderful husband, and I have two children. My beautiful son is here very much living, gorgeous, witty, funny, confident, loud and caring, my daughter lives among the stars, she too is beautiful but I don’t know much else about her, I don’t know the colour of her eyes, the sound of her laugh or her cry. She was born but she never lived.
Betty Dora, our darling daughter was stillborn at 40 weeks and 3 days. Today exactly 7 months have passed since her due date; 13 ‘unlucky for some’, 13 has always been my lucky number. It feels like only yesterday that she came into our lives, yet it feels like she has been gone forever. In fact it almost feels like she never happened at all – everyone moves on (as do we) people tell you it will get easier with time, it does don’t get me wrong. But I still find myself sat in a quiet house when Archie is at school (not that I sit still for long) thinking I should be feeding a baby or changing a nappy. I stand in the playground trying not to look at the other babies, wondering what Betty would look like now, It feels so unfair that out of all the babies born that night I didn’t get to keep mine.
We will never truly know what happened to our little girl it will be forever a mystery, her post mortem came back ‘unexplained’, the worst part of reading the whole report wasn’t even the thought of what they had to do to get to that conclusion but it was the fact that every organ in her body was perfect, there was nothing wrong with her – how can this be? The awful fact is that 50% of all stillbirth cases are indeed ‘unexplained’. One of life’s mysteries I suppose. It seems so unfair that something so perfect, ready to start their life and live, can be taken so cruelly. The pain of loosing a child is possibly one of the worst things that can happen to any parent. Explaining to your son why their sister is never coming back from heaven is heart breaking, tragic and just damn right unfair. What a godsend that at the age of 4 life is very much what those around you make it and if mummy tells you something, nine times out of ten you listen, process and accept what you are being told. Until the next thing triggers a thought at which point you compose another tear jerking question catching her off guard.
Thank god for our beautiful boy – the dark days in the beginning were made harder and easier all at the same time for having him. Just to have to get up everyday because he was depending on us, he was looking at us for reassurance that everything was going to be ok. It is going to be okay – its life, just right now its not the life we thought we were going to have the life we had dreamed up in our heads, the plans we had made for our expanding family, with 2 children loving each other, fighting with each other, laughing with each other, crying with each other. A family photo that never happened – a bond that was never formed. You will have more children ‘they’ say – we will take even more care of you next time ‘they’ say. What about this time? How can I think of next time? I want the time that just happened, I’ve just had a baby, why would I want to think about having another one now? If my baby was living would you be telling me I can have another one now? I know people try to say the right things – sometimes I feel ok when they test them out on me, sometimes I am screaming in my head “shut – up why have you just said that to me” I never say it to them, I just process and move on.
Loosing our child will not define us, I don’t want to be the mum in the playground ‘that’s baby died’ we wont ever forget what happened to us, we will celebrate a birthday that never has a bouncy little girl in her party dress running around every year, we will wonder what would have been we will always be the family that lost their baby, but we will also be the family that through tremendous heartbreak stuck together, smiled though the tears, laughed and realised it was ok to and moved onwards and upwards never forgetting their beautiful girl who now spends her nights among the stars and her days in the rainbows (maybe cliché but it makes me smile to think this of her) and so this is where we begin…