It is not easy in the aftermath of losing a child to be positive; in fact much of the time I found it hard to find anything to be positive about at all. Most of my waking moments were filled with sadness, anxiety and empty words rattling around in my head "My baby has died, Isaac had died".
I am a year on and I am conscious that I cannot sit in sadness forever; although that is something that would be easy to surrender too. To stop the exhausting battle and daily grind and simply sit down and say "No more, No more".
I have battled with anger throughout my grieving process, while my husband understands my on-going sadness I can see that friends and family start to tire of my constant referrals to Isaac; a friend brightly said to me the other day "you can’t be sad forever" and while I know she meant well, it was clear that she simply didn't understand the nature of my grief. I feel like speaking in much the same was British people do in a foreign country - loud and slow. "I'll be sad forever, son still dead, me still sad" in an effort to make people understand that this will never go away.
But in a way she is right; what she meant was I can't sit in my house waiting to feel better; waiting to get pregnant again and bring home a happy safe baby; it isn't healthy and it isn't fair to Isaac.
On Isaac's birthday I put a status up on Facebook and had the usual support from my friends and a lady commented that I must be special to have generated such support. I laughed when I read it; because I’m nothing special I'm just an ordinary person trying to get through as best I can.
When I think about it though; I may not think that I am anything special but people do. People care about me and love me; and my happiness is important to them and so I owe it to them, to try and find a way forwards. When I am sad Andy hates it and it visibly makes him sad too and I can see that it hurts my family and friends when I am low and so I owe it to them and to Isaac to try and sort through the sadness and find my spark again; it must still be there somewhere - It can’t have gone out completely.
Sometimes you need to stop focusing so completely on what you don't have and what you have lost and just take a few moments to look around and see what you do have. "I have nothing" doesn't wash with me because I do have so much to be grateful for.
Losing Isaac has been horrific but so far it has made Andy and I closer than ever, we are more open with each other, kinder to each other and more sensitive. We make more quality time for each other and take timeout to appreciate the things that made us fall in love with each other; and recognise the new qualities that life has added.
Our mutual loss has also meant that we will appreciate the children we go on to have all the more; we will be grateful for the sleepless nights, for the nappies that need changing. I am hopeful I will be a more patient mother and I know without a doubt Andy will be a more doting father (which I suspect will be very doting!)
Surely to the fact that we have experienced fertility problems will also make us better parents? More thankful and attentive, we will never take our children for granted and will always realise the gift that they are.
I have made through my loss some friends, here on this blog I have Nicole and Claire to bounce ideas off and concerns, I have found a closer and more suitable place to keep my horse for now and I have found a balance in myself that I was missing before; a stillness.
The one thing as a baby loss mother that I often forget to be grateful for is that I conceived him, I carried him. So many women will never know the joy of their baby growing inside of them, their first movements, the first time you hear their heartbeat or see them on your scan.
It is hard not to be pregnant and to be a mother without a living child; it upsets some baby loss mothers that I say this and yet it is for me an unavoidable fact. I am in theory a mother and yet to tick the box how many children in the household, to say I have no children to raise is hard, impossibly hard and yet recently I have had to step back and realise that this in itself may have been a blessing. I didn’t have to put on a brave face for my little person while I was grieving for a brother or a sister they had lost, I was able to fall down and not have to hide my sadness from my children.
Isaac was my first born child and as such his memory will live on and on forever, when I conceive and have my rainbow baby grow inside my belly I will know how it feels and be prepared. I will go through labour having done it before and I will watch my children grow and imagine Isaac running and growing alongside them; loving them better because he lived. I will get up to wipe away the tears and know Isaac never shed a single tear, never cut his knee and never had a bad dream.
Tomorrow I get my results back and I will understand what my chances of conceiving again are; I will have an expectation of when, not if I can expect to conceive my rainbow baby and I am hopeful it will be soon. I am so thankful that I had Isaac, to know that I can do this; I have done this before and I can do it again and give him a brother or sister. I know that as my family increases and grows that he will remain with us and guide us and mould us into better parents, and better people.