In the holidays we spent a lot of time catching up with friends, on one play date Archie made my friends beautiful baby girl (who is a couple of weeks older than Betty laugh) he sat with her and tried to make her giggle, it was so lovely to watch, she watched him intently as he moved around the room – afterwards I thought of how beautiful he would of been with Betty, kind, gentle, like the loving soul he is, protecting his little sis while goofing around and making her laugh and shriek.
This month marks Betty’s 11 months, is it her birthday? Is it her death? I’m not really sure – do I say she would be 11 months or she is 11 months?? Regardless of that – she has now been gone for longer than she was ever alive. I really have no idea – I have felt so good for so many weeks but this week I feel sad again. Most nights the tears come with thoughts of her, thoughts of sunshine, worries of if they will make it. We are in single figures now – but it feels so far from the end, I am trying to remain calm about it all but inside I am so scared. Scared I will let everyone down, mainly Archie. I don’t want him to be sad again – to have to loose his sibling again.
I thought I could never be afraid of anything ever again – one of the worst things that could ever happen to me did I have nothing left to fear, but I do, the fear that I know how it feels. I know what could happen and how that feels.
Everyone tells me it will be ok this time, deep down I feel it will but also at the same time I know it may not be. I don’t want to be another statistic of this awful thing that people rarely talk about – stillbirth. I just want to be in amongst the massive statistic of the thousands of babies that are born healthily everyday. I don’t know what to expect when I go to the hospital – I am nervous to go back to the place that when I last walked out of I was turning my back on my little girl leaving her there all alone, the only place we ever were as a family. The place she died and was born in. I know when/if we leave with Sunshine the memory of the car journey home after we left her will be fresh in my mind, the worst journey of my life I was sick the whole way home having left her there, cold, alone. Not something any parent should have to do.
I can imagine the joy of taking Sunshine home but also know how the pain will feel if they don’t make it. A pain like no other, just like if you had to choose any of your children to say goodbye to them forever, it’s Indescribable – I never want to feel it again I don’t want anyone to, but I know they will. I want to be selfish and say I hope I don’t. What if I see someone being led to ‘the room’ where they take you if your baby dies, I know how I am going to feel when I get there – I know I am going to hate it, for having a baby for me is no longer the enjoyable experience it once was, until they are alive in my arms I cannot look forward I can only look as far as today and as far back as the 11 months that have gone before me, when I no doubt sat in this same spot feeling my little girl move inside me oblivious to what was going to happen to her.
We had so much to give her, she was going to have the most amazing life like her big brother. But it wasn’t meant for her – she wasn’t able to stay with us. The question why will forever haunt me, I still don’t think there’s a day that goes by that I don’t ask this question or talk about the events leading up to her death! Why? That illusive question, being a mummy to Archie I can usually find an answer to most questions which derive from ‘why?’ But in this instance I absolutely cannot answer, I don’t nor will I ever know why – there are no answers, the hardest thing of all to accept. I am thankful I don’t have some kind of illness that caused it or genetic reason for this tragedy but I wonder if we had a ‘why’ would it make the acceptance of what happened to Betty easier or would it be exactly the same as it feels now? I think that on reflection a reason would provide no additional comfort to the path our lives moved in 11 months ago – as much as I hate the awful saying ‘she just wasn’t meant to be’ she really wasn’t and there is nothing we can do to change it, we must celebrate the fact she was and rejoice that she existed even if for just a brief moment in time in person, but she will live on in our hearts and our family forever more, however hard it is that she is not physically here is to accept we have no choice for she is gone. There is no changing that.
Grief is a journey to which there is no end – there will never be a time when you can say, right I’m all ok now, It’s all ok. I think it’s easy to think when the next baby comes it will heal – of course it may help (I will have to let you know on that one) but it is easy to forget the one that came before and even now people stop asking how things are as if she never happened. If we stop talking about her it feels like she never existed – but people that have their babies don’t need to talk about them because they have them there as a daily reminder of how lucky and blessed they are. Of course like I’ve spoken about before time is a beautiful healer – but who wants to hear that when they are in the middle of the whirlwind of loss and despair? But I have to say its true. I have experienced it – it takes every ounce of positivity that I have to use that time and think about the future, it is not and will not be easy, I’m still new to this and I know the journey will continue for the rest of our lives. More children will come, life will change, Archie will grow, the seasons will change and our lives move on.
It’s scary to leave someone you loved so much in your past – acceptance is key, I still don’t accept it all but I am coming to terms with it. I am just very aware that as we get older so does she but not in the physical sense, she will have her birthday a matter of weeks from now – but as much as we will ‘celebrate’ really we are mourning a whole year without her – a whole year where no memories with her in them were made. An empty photo of a family of 3 who should be a 4. A toothy, face full of some kind of purred food grin that will never stare at our camera. The tears come, the thoughts are bittersweet as we are getting the chance to do it all again, with Sunshine, they will be the 4th face in the photo – in her place. People will think that’s ok now we’ve got our baby or maybe they will think we never cared about her because we tried again so soon.
Why do I worry so much about what people think? I know I do – but why? That question again – why? Another one that can’t really be answered. Who would of thought it could be so unclear, I continue to ask myself this question along with many others today – like why is it so hot? Why don’t they sell a toy in the supermarket that costs a £1 so Archie can spend the money his great granny gave him? Why did he insist on helping me load the shopping on the checkout last week and drop a whole box of eggs? Most I know the answer to. Why did Betty Burborough die? I do not, nor will I ever know. What would she be doing now? I havn’t a clue, I could guess I suppose. Is she loved? This I know, more than anyone could ever imagine.