Sunday, 20 April 2014

Stacey: A Rainbow Pregnancy: Weeks 9 to 12

This is the third in a series of posts that Stacey is writing about her rainbow pregnancy. To read the previous posts, please click on the links below:

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Week 9

This week I have been thinking more about when I feel the right time to tell work will be. I thought I might tell them after my first scan at 7+4 but then it seemed too early, now I am thinking maybe after my 12 week scan but then the temptation to wait until 16 weeks means it may be a while yet before I do tell them. However, from next week my appointments really step up to at least one appointment every two weeks, trying to change shifts at the last minute without having a good reason to tell work is proving difficult already! It seems to be a battle of my desire to keep it a secret and my guilt for keeping it a secret.

We also faced Maisie’s first birthday this week, her head stone went in and we did a lantern release at the beach with the names of all the angels I have ever had the honour to be told about by their wonderful and brave parents. I found the build up to the day very hard the whole month has felt like a countdown and the constant memories of this time last year… we had the bad scan, we saw the doctor and then we had to make a decision. I haven’t been able to be at home much as I feel like I can see ghosts of my husband and I from last year crying, screaming, begging anyone who would listen to make it ok again to make our baby better.

Once the morning of her birthday was over I found the day very peaceful and have also found that my heart feels fuller and almost whole again. The day itself was not as hard as I ever imagined it would be and I was very blessed to have many angel mummies sending messages of kind thoughts on the day along with pictures of candles they had lit in memory of our daughter.

The pregnancy has really been pushed to one side this week to focus on Maisie’s first birthday. The only real event this week was the night before her birthday when for the first time in a week I could not find my babies heartbeat on my Doppler, given that I had only heard the heartbeat the day before I really started to panic. No matter how much water I drank, how much gel I used, how hard I looked I could not find it at all; I really started to get upset and wonder what a cruel world it could be that I could lose my rainbow on the eve of my angel’s birthday. Luckily I found it the morning of her birthday, nice and loud: turns out the baby had been hiding behind my vein. I have decided to stop using my Doppler for a while now as I have lots of scans coming up.

Week 10

This week has been scan week! From now on the appointments really start to ramp up, this week we had 2 scans. The first one was at 10+2 and I was mostly thinking about if the baby had a heartbeat rather than any abnormalities as baby would still be so small. I explained my history to the sonographer and luckily she was lovely and talked us through everything allowing us to ask all the questions we wanted. Here is the best picture from the scan and a picture of my ‘bump’ from that morning. The bloat has now gone down and this is where the real bump starts to grow!

The second scan of the week was at 10+6 for dating; what took me by surprise was that this scan was not with my consultant but back in ultrasound. We have not been to ultrasound since the bad scan with Maisie and being back there really panicked me. The fear of having the same sonographer, the same room, the same bad news and being taken to the bad news room again was terrifying. It made me really emotional and anxious just walking through the hospital to get to ultrasound. When we went in I saw the receptionist who booked us in for the bad scan and panicked but luckily she was busy so didn’t deal with us this time. We asked if we could go and sit outside and get some air whilst waiting. The scan was due to be at 3.10pm but they were running late, not a problem except it left me more time to be scared, I could feel my heart banging in my chest not knowing how I would cope with bad news again.

Then I heard my name being called. I walked towards the sonographer like a condemned man, she explained that she had a student would it be ok if she watched. I asked if they knew my history and she explained they had both read my notes and the sonographer would do the scan not the student. We walked down the corridor and stopped by the room we had had the bad scan in and the door was empty I started to panic she was going to take us into this room, anything but this room! Luckily she said that we were right down the bottom and had further to walk. Lying down on the bed I was physically shaking not knowing if I wanted to have the scan or if I would rather run away and live in ignorance. 

The sonographer pointed out the heartbeat, first box ticked, she then started to move through the anatomy for us explaining everything in detail. We looked at the shape of the head, the location of the brain, hands, feet, legs, arms, nasal bone, yolk scan, umbilical cord and tried to do the nuchal measurement but the baby was slightly too small (43mm and the minimum is 45mm). Ian could see everything that she was doing and explained to me afterwards that she was taking a lot of measurements of the nuchal which was between 1.7 and 2.1 (with Maisie it was 1.5 risk of 1 in 40,000) but we will have to wait to have it confirmed. The sonographer was so good, kind and we got to ask loads of questions; she stressed that everything looks normal for this gestation. We had decided to pay for 2 pictures (£10 each) to have as many memories of the baby as possible if something goes wrong; the sonographer said I’ll give you 3 and get you a refund so you only pay for one! 

She has booked me in for another scan in 2 weeks to do the nuchal and to try and check the baby’s spine and brain a bit more (I will be 12+5). The baby was bouncing around wiggling its arms and legs like crazy which was so nice to see as Maisie barely moved. I feel so happy with how the scan went and the care I got. It was nice to walk out of ultrasound happy as the last time we left our world had just ended. Here are the pictures; amazing how clear they are and how much baby had grown in only 4 days!

Week 11

This week I have had to tell my work. Unfortunately a situation arose which put me and the baby in danger which meant that I could no longer keep the pregnancy a secret until 20 weeks as I would have liked. I have stressed the importance of keeping it a secret and that I am not ready to tell my colleagues. At the moment only my immediate 2 line managers know and I am still hoping to keep it that way until 20 weeks.

This week I have also gone shopping for my first pregnancy related bits. We have a wedding coming up over the Easter weekend. I have a lovely red maternity dress to wear but needed some new maternity tights. Cue my first trip to Mothercare in over a year, the last time I went there was to buy an outfit to bury Maisie in and it was a horrendous experience. I felt very anxious going back in like I didn’t quite deserve to be in a place of such happiness or that my gestation didn’t quite give me the golden ticket that I needed to enter. I grabbed the tights as quickly as I could and made my way to the checkout trying not to look at anything at all. 2 staff members were blocking my way and didn’t move, they completely ignored me waiting for a few minutes and again I felt like I didn’t belong and didn’t deserve to be there. At the checkout I was asked if it wanted to join the email list for promotions, this really took me by surprise as I wasn’t expecting it. I stuttered whilst thinking ‘I’m already on your list from last time and cannot seem to get off it’ but managed to say ‘no thank you’. I then almost ran out of the store and breathed a huge sigh of relief that it was over.


Week 12

This week I have had a lot of sickness up to twice a day which is more than I have experienced so far in this pregnancy. It appears to be normal morning sickness and not hyperemesis which I am very paranoid about having again. I am hoping that it is hormonal changes due to the placenta taking over and that it will all calm down again soon.

I have also had my nuchal screening scan this week at 12+5 it went ok ish, I think. I didn’t have a very nice sonographer, she didn't like me asking questions and was super quick at everything. I asked what the nt measurement was and she really did not want to tell me I had to kind of force it out of her, it was 1.5 which is great but I know I have to wait for bloods. I couldn't see a nasal bone and started to get a bit panicked. I asked her to show me but her reply was ‘we don't do that here’. I then asked if we can we look at the spine and she replied ‘no it’s too early’. I read my notes after the scan and she has put patient had to have the limitations of an early scan explained. I am very cross at this! If someone had looked harder they would have found Maisie’s abnormalities at 12 weeks as they were clear as day and can be seen on all the scan pictures we have!

Anyway she measured the baby at 68.8mm so 3 days ahead and has put me forward to 13+1, due 20th October. I then got sent for the combined screening blood sample to be taken. The lady who did the bloods was amazing, she talked everything through with me and we also talked about the quad blood tests. She went to get someone more senior to talk more about the quad test in more detail with me and it was decided I would not have it as there is a risk the test could automatically be high risk due to previous abnormalities. The senior doctor was lovely she went to go and find out the results of my booking in bloods as I am concerned I may have an iron deficiency as I am so exhausted. She explained the results in lots of detail and I do not have a deficiency and am rhesus positive so no need to worry about anti ds which is great. She has promised to call me in two days time with combined results so I don't have to wait 2 weeks for my midwife appointment as my local area will only contact patients if they are high risk and will not contact if you are low risk.

Then there was also some confusion over my 20 week scan, I have got an early anomaly scan booked for 16 weeks (15+3) with my consultant. The ultrasound department didn't know if my 20 week scan should be with them or her. They finally decided to book me in as my consultant can cancel it if she wants to do it herself. I also got a bit of a telling of from the receptionist as the week they wanted to do my 20 week scan we are on holiday. I was told that l ‘we only have one week to do it in’, well tough luck we’re not here! So I am having it at 19+1 and may get called back. That's fine I will take every chance to get the baby checked that I can get!

Finally, whilst sat waiting for my blood test, I saw a poster advertising medical students who want to examine pregnant women at the local university. I have emailed them to ask for some more information and to find out if I will qualify as it will mean more scans and checks which will be great plus a little thank you gift which is always nice! Both pictures are taken at 13+1 (12+5).

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To read Stacey’s next post, please click on the link below:

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Stacey: A Rainbow Pregnancy: Weeks 4 to 8

This is the second in a series of posts that Stacey is writing about her rainbow pregnancy. To read the previous post, please click on the link below:

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Week 4

I am slowly going insane and this journey has only just begun. I am testing constantly to make sure the lines are getting darker. I am panicking when they don’t or when they are lighter!! I am sending myself mad but yet I cannot seem to stop. I need to test; I need to see what is going on. My husband threatened to hide my tests and I went mad. Who does that? Who goes mad because they are told to stop weeing in a glass and using these little sticks to tell them what is going to happen with their life? A bereaved mother who is carrying another baby, that’s who. I have learnt this week that I am living my life for this baby and it has not even got a heartbeat yet! Every morsel of food that goes in my mouth is analysed for its nutritional value, caffeine is a thing of the past and sleep is a vital daily supplement rather than a slight escape from reality. I am questioning everything, each twinge, each time I go to the toilet I am checking for blood, each speed bump I drive over I get scared I will lose the baby. This is not normal is it? How am I going to survive this? I thought that trying to get pregnant was hard but this is something else! I have super sore boobs, I am exhausted and I am bloated and struggling to fit into my tights despite losing half a stone the month I conceived!

This week has been a real wake up call to how hard this pregnancy is going to be. I feel quite distant from it all; the words pregnant on a digital test look very foreign to me. I know I need to call my consultant to get booked in for an early scan but I keep thinking if I call her I will jinx it and lose the baby. I am so scared, now I have missed my period and I am getting symptoms the reality is setting in that I AM pregnant and I need to deal with it. This is what I wanted after all, I am so grateful to be pregnant after trying for so long and I don’t feel any guilt towards my angel yet. In fact I feel her closer than ever at the moment. I am just finding it hard to connect with this pregnancy I cannot touch my stomach or look at it as I’m scared if I bond and I lose the baby I might not survive this time.

With Maisie we had told almost everyone in the first 2 weeks of knowing we were pregnant, never for a second did we think anything would go wrong. This time we are keeping it to ourselves for now, we haven’t even told my husband’s parents. It’s as if telling anyone is an admission that it really is happening. That I have to make space in my heart and home for another baby and right now that is a hurdle I am not ready for!

The one positive thing this week is that I got this result so things are hopefully moving in the right direction.

Week 5

The period like cramping and increase discharge has stopped and I have begun to experience other pregnancy symptoms including backache, nausea, hot flushes and being thirsty. The worst symptom I have had is a nose bleed. We were out walking the dogs when I felt my nose running, I went to blow it and when I took the tissue away it was bright red. I haven’t had nosebleeds since I was a young child and never before in pregnancy. I really started to panic thinking the worst, I was on the verge of tears trying to get back to the car as quickly as possible. Luckily the NHS website explained that nosebleeds in pregnancy are common and very normal. This is one symptom I am not grateful to have; I hated it! I am also very bloated (although admittedly I am 2 stone heavier than I was at 5 weeks with Maisie) and am getting concerned that I am not going to be able to hide this pregnancy for as long as I would like. I feel the size that I was at about 12 weeks with Maisie. This is me at 5 weeks now (top) and 12 weeks with Maisie (bottom).

Ok putting them together I can see that I am no where near as big!

Now I am past my own personal milestone of miscarrying the thought of missed miscarriages keep coming to mind and sending me into a panic. Nothing is going to be easy this time. The tests are still getting darker and this week I got my 3+ on a clear blue digital which I am very grateful for that slight bit of reassurance.

I promised myself that if I got to this point I would call my consultant and GP to get my first appointments arranged. I have been terrified of calling in case I am refused the early scan or I jinx the pregnancy. Finally I managed to pluck up the courage to call the hospital it took an entire week of chasing to finally get a scan date. Monday 10th March when I will be 7+4. I also called my doctor and got an appointment to see her and, as I was feeling very brave, I booked my first midwife appointment as well. There’s no going back now it is officially on my medical records. I am pregnant.

Week 6

I cannot believe I am here already it is going so fast! Each day seems to drag but somehow I am now 2 weeks on from my BFP. I had my midwife appointment this week at 6+5 which I was dreading. I did not get on with my midwife last time, she kept cancelling my appointments and when I finally saw her at 16 weeks dismissed all my concerns; how wrong she was. Luckily it was a different midwife this time, she was very proactive and helpful. I am marked as high risk and she has referred me for a mental health assessment due to my anxiety. She also wants to see me every 8 weeks (minimum) which will make me around 14 weeks I asked if we could wait an extra 2 weeks as I was worried she might not be able to get the heartbeat and it would panic me, she has assured me she will find it and she wants to see me to catch up on scans and tests. So overall I feel much better cared for than last time.

I am experiencing a few more symptoms now as well although they are different than last time. With Maisie I used to wake up feeling like I had drunk a bottle of vodka the night before and I gradually got better throughout the day, this time I wake up fine and get slightly worse throughout the day. I wonder if this one is a boy? I am also struggling to keep it a secret as well. I feel like I am lying to people through staying silent. We had a remembrance service at our hospital this week and I was dreading seeing other parents, them asking how we are and me having this huge secret that I keep from them. It wasn’t too bad in the end but obviously very emotional! I feel so guilty when I see my friends and I am avoiding my husband’s parents as they are both smokers. I just hope that we get to the scan quickly so we can tell them and my work. I am finding it hard as I am so tired and hungry all the time so my boss thinks I am being lazy and sitting down all the time (I work in retail) but in reality I am growing a baby!!

This week we went away for a few days to Manchester and saw Michael Buble it was great to have something to look forward to which is in no way related to babies! He was amazing and it did help to have a relaxing night but I couldn’t quite switch off. I also experienced my first ‘proper’ sickness this week at 6+6. I threw up quite a few times including throwing up what I think is my folic acid tablet. This has caused me to seriously panic about folic acid levels but I am trying to think logically that I have high levels anyway from taking the 5mg tablet for nearly a year one accident won’t hurt too much. I hope.


Week 7

This week I had my first scan at 7+4, it was at 4pm. We arrived with 5 minutes to spare and sat waiting trying to stay calm, I was trying to drink knowing I needed a very full bladder to see such a small baby but the consultant was running an hour and a half late. I was beginning to get so panicked and stressed I could hear the blood pounding through my ears and felt like I was going to pass out with stress. Finally our turn came and in we went, I lay down on the bed, terrified, I closed my eyes and tried to block it all out. Finally the consultant said ‘’ok you can look now’’ I opened my eyes slowly so scared of what I was going to see to find that I am in fact pregnant with one baby. The consultant pointed out the heartbeat and gave us a picture to take away. She also gave us the date for our 16 week anomaly scan and the plan for the nuchal dating scan. I was so tired when I got home from the scan I’m not sure how I am going to cope when it actually comes to anomaly scans!

Here is a picture of my rainbow at 7+4; the baby is at the top and underneath is the yolk sac which is what baby feeds from until the placenta has grown and takes over at around 14 weeks.

I also had my booking in bloods and urine tests taken this week and went to see my GP for what I think is a urine infection. He tested my urine and said there is some microscopic spots of blood which would indicate a UTI and prescribed Amoxicillin. I am so scared about taking it but from what I have read UTIs in pregnancy are dangerous when left untreated so needs must.

This week I have also booked a private scan for 10+2 as I don’t feel that I can cope for nearly 5 weeks without any appointments or scans. My husband doesn’t know yet but hopefully he will be pleased and we can have the heartbeat confirmed again and see that the baby has grown.

As for symptoms well they seem to have really tailed off. I have been sick twice more but nothing major so I am happy that so far I do not have Hyperemesis like I did with Maisie, I am quite tired but struggle to sleep in the mornings so am often up very early and I also seem to have a cold with a dry scratchy throat this week but I am not sure if it is pregnancy related or not.

Week 8

Wow here we are a month since we found out and still here! I cannot believe we have got to this milestone I feel very proud to have got so far and still be in one piece. This week we have started to tell a few close friends and family. I told 3 close bereaved parents (mums) and we also told my husband’s parents. They were pleased for us but if I am honest it just made me feel even more detached from the pregnancy like it isn’t even real. Being asked questions like when are you due? How do you feel? And reflecting on Maisie’s pregnancy has made it very painful to talk about this pregnancy.

This week has gone really slowly and I have started to panic that something may have gone wrong. My symptoms all seem to have gone and I feel great (physically) I sometimes even forget that I am actually pregnant. I have convinced myself that when we go for the next scan there will be no heartbeat. My Doppler has also arrived this week, I decided after a lot of research to go for a HI bebe as many women have reported being able to hear the heartbeat from as early as 9 weeks. I know I might not find it that early but I am hoping that if I can find it it might give me some reassurance so I may try it next week. I also finished taking my amoxicillin this week for the UTI I was diagnosed with, I went back to the doctor to have my urine tested again to make sure the blood had cleared up as all the UTI symptoms have gone. I did a sample in the urine pot and had a panic when it looked slightly pink only to remember that I had eaten beetroot the day before!


Overall, this week has been a very slow week full of anxiety.

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To read Stacey’s next post, please click on the link below:

Friday, 18 April 2014

Stacey: A Rainbow Pregnancy: The Start

This is the first in a series of posts that Stacey is writing about her rainbow pregnancy. Thank you Stacey for choosing to share your journey on Loss Through the Looking Glass. We think lots of bereaved parents who are trying to conceive again and going through a rainbow pregnancy will identify with many of the thoughts and issues you are writing about.

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Before Conception

Our first child Maisie was born at 21+2 on 26th March 2013 at 5.55am. She lived for half an hour. The next 11 months of trying to conceive another baby were some of the hardest, saddest, most depressing days of our lives. There was little love, desire or passion. It was all pure baby making sex with military style organisation. Every time I got my period it was another month that I had to pick myself up and prepare to try again. We had 2 very early miscarriages along the way and it began to feel like we would never get pregnant. I saw other angel parents getting pregnant, getting further along, getting past their hurdle and bringing their rainbow baby home. I even had to go to my SANDS meetings and see a lady who lost on the exact same day as me get pregnant and have her rainbow before we had even passed the first anniversary. It hurt like hell, not only did I have the constant reminder that other people’s lives went on I now had a reminder that angel parents lives go on as well. I don’t say this to upset anyone. I say it because it’s honest; it is how I feel. I think many other angel parents who struggle to conceive after loss feel this way as well and are scared to say it for fear of being judged. They have another element of loss to deal with something that makes them so angry but they dare not say.

Big Fat Positive (BFP) Day

Finally after 11 long months on Monday 10th February 2014 I saw a tiny second line on a pregnancy test. I panicked; was it really there? It was so early my period wasn’t due for another 4 days. I took another, no second line, my heart sank. I had just imagined it. Or had I? I sent my husband out before work for some more tests and took a First Response Test (FRER). It was there, the second line, it was so faint but it was definitely there! This started my obsessive compulsion to take a pregnancy test every time I went to the toilet (I’m not joking!). The lines started to get darker over the next 3 days, it was starting to look good. My miscarriages had never got darker they had started out fairly dark and just got lighter and lighter. On Wednesday 12th February it was confirmed with a darker line on a FRER. For now at least I am pregnant.

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To read Stacey’s next post, please click on the link below:

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Julz: ROP Testing

Julz has written this post for the blog to raise awareness of ROP testing on premature babies and to possibly make contact with others who want to find out more or can provide more information. If you would like to, you can contact Julz via our blog email address and we will forward all emails to her.

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Did you know there is a global premature baby death crisis? A premature baby dies EVERY 30 seconds. 75% of these could be preventable.

There are so many things that the premature baby’s family encounter; the rollercoasters, the constant fear one minute then the euphoria the next. There are many concerns that come with premature babies, some aren’t well known to parents who have never had an early baby…

To list just a few.

It truly isn’t just about having a pregnancy cut short, some people are incredibly lucky that if their baby is born slightly early, that they are still able to go home shortly after birth. While for others an early baby is just the beginning. This is why birth is so unpredictable.  Even a full term baby can spend time in the NICU.

I’d like to mention ROP a little more. Retinopathy Prematurity, this is when the retina becomes detached, not form fully before a baby is born too soon, causing in most cases permanent blindness, and is a common outcome for premature babies. The much loved Stevie Wonder was born 6 weeks early and his blindness was caused by ROP. Over exposure to O2 can be a huge factor in why ROP happens, but O2 is most of the time a necessity in the NICU.

Screening is relatively modern but invasive. What does it involve?

Dilating drops are instilled in both eyes, 2-3 doses 5 minutes apart, one hour before screening. Topical anaesthetic drops should be given if an eyelid speculum is used. The baby's eyes are kept open and the exam is carried out with a head-mounted ophthalmoscope (indirect ophthalmoscope). Examination of the retina is enhanced with a neonatal-sized indenter - a small rod-like instrument used to gently depress the globe - enabling visualisation of the extreme peripheral retina.

The examination is uncomfortable and distressing for the baby and is kept as brief as possible; in actual fact some units prefer not to have parents there whilst the exam is taking place, because it is so distressing.

The examination may have short-term effects on blood pressure, heart rate and respiratory function, so minimise the time taken for examination and ensure that emergency treatment is available.

The test is normally performed on all premature babies; those at high risk include babies born before 27 weeks and can include babies as late as 34 weeks, with a guideline starting weight of 1500g. This is a procedure we weren’t told about until after our baby had, had it done. At least three other babies in our unit alone had been poorly post examination, but were roughly a good pound heavier than our little girl.

I am here today to raise awareness that all procedures, no matter the size, should have parents’ permission and understanding. Had we known we would have refused, at least made sure it was delayed for when she was stronger, heavier maybe?  Although the exam wasn’t a cause of death it was a contributor. Leaving us permanently reminded of what ifs.

Also our hospital, since our daughter’s death has said they would change the way the eye test would be performed.

Our aim is to now find a way to fundraise and search for new ways this test is performed, there are various clinical trials, some successful, but the numbers trialled have been too low.

To make a change, we hope that Melody has changed one hospital’s way of doing the exam we hope she can change others too.

If anyone has any information regarding how or where we can send funds please contact me via the blog’s email address,

No baby should ever have to suffer for a procedure that isn’t to save lives but to save a way of life.

Having a baby early doesn’t mean a happy ending, just the beginning of a whole new chapter.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

John: Shield

Firstly, this is how my wife and all four kids make me feel:

This is how Wikipedia defines a shield:

“A shield is a type of personal armor, meant to intercept attacks, either by stopping projectiles such as arrows or redirecting a hit from a sword, mace, battle axe or similar weapon to the side of the shield-bearer.

Shields vary greatly in size, ranging from large panels that protect the user's entire body to small models (such as the buckler) that were intended for hand-to-hand-combat use. Shields also vary a great deal in thickness; whereas some shields were made of relatively deep, absorbent, wooden planking to protect soldiers from the impact of spears and crossbow bolts, others were thinner and lighter and designed mainly for deflecting blade strikes.”

For me, and for many like me, shields are what we show the world.

The smile that everyone thinks I’m alright.

The easygoing manner that covers up the incredible pain and suffering.

The hand that covers the yawn because I haven’t had a good night’s sleep since Julie told me she was pregnant with Melody, the fear of losing another stopping me from ever truly sleeping fully.

Today two years ago we lost our little girl, Melody Caitlyn Scott.  She was born early, but she was born healthy; she was a fighter like her dad, like her mum.  She was a Scott through and through.

And yet, through a whole list of things, she didn’t survive beyond 35 days.

To walk in to the Neonatal unit and be told “I’m afraid she’s not expected to survive.”  To watch the nurses and staff helping her breathe, just so we could say goodbye.

To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to feel.  I didn’t cry, but my worst nightmare had come true for a second time, and once again I had to watch a daughter die in my arms.  The only time I really cried that day was when I phoned my mum and dad and told them what had happened, and I started welling up, because my brain was starting to catch up with losing Melody.

The next day was a blur, I was in shock, could barely speak, could barely do anything except vomit all over our bathroom at 5 in the morning.  The registrar didn’t help matters, neither did the chaplain at the hospital, when we had to go back for the death certificate.

That was two years ago.

Now, I don’t cry, not because I don’t want to, but because I can’t.

I don’t know why, maybe it’s a man thing.  Maybe it’s something worse, something darker like Batman.

Not sure.

Now, I’m off work for ten weeks, and people assume I’m fine, that I’m just doing it because I can.  I don’t really have any friends anymore besides my amazing wife Julz, because I’m tired of losing friends to the reaper, and have a hard time making new ones without that thought in the back of my mind, especially in the last two years.  Nobody asks me if I’m alright except Julz and the health visitor; no organisation is bothered with helping me through my pain except for a locum GP at my surgery.

Kelsi is not a replacement, she was planned only a couple of weeks after Melody was born.

All I’m saying is we miss her.

I’m not alright.

But the shield will always be there.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Julz: An Anniversary

How has it been two years?

How was this the last thing I remember about being normal?

A simple photo that would become a favourite, but also the hated. The one that we took for granted the we thought we could repeat as a whole family, as her biggest sister was missing that day. The photo we so naively thought everything was perfect.

Only for the next one, taken less than 24 hours afterwards to be the exact opposite.

The ones that followed would become the faces of bereaved parents, not just a happy couple. From the numb and speechless.

Our changing eyes, less heavy than the one before, yet the pain is still as heavy as the first.

Showing the world that we aren’t beaten, if at times we feel nothing but.

We never envisaged that walking through the unit doors two years ago, to be greeted by the words, “She’s not going to survive”  would be anything but a nightmare, an April Fools’ joke.

Broken, beyond repair, no easy fix solution.
No faith, no beliefs would ever put this right.

No believing that she is all around us, or visiting every body else.

No fluffiness or making the sun shine.

No finding feathers, or the butterflies floating by.

The only place she resides is in her mum and dad’s hearts.

My damaged mind searching for why people think they can “feel” her, when all I feel is numb. When I’m told that she can be felt by other people it makes me then wonder does Melody blame me? Does she STILL not belong to us? Our Daughter, but not our own.  Was she ever ours in the first place?

My shattered thoughts searching for a way to go back and change things, when indeed that is impossible.

No believing that everything happens for a reason,

(neither do I believe that Melody died so we could have her sister).

I cannot think why we were allowed to get to know and think our baby was ok.

Then be taken away. What would ever be a good enough reason for this? I sometimes wish I could believe in a reason, maybe it’ll appear one day, maybe it won’t. I won’t get, lost looking.

I have changed, I don’t know who I am any more I don’t want to forget her, of course I don’t she is part of my life, my daughter.

But now sometimes I feel as though I am living for the next milestone.

The next person to walk away from me.

I just want to feel human again.

I’m slowly regaining a social circle, but am petrified of getting close to them,

or letting on too much about Melody or doing something

All trust lost.

I feel awkward in the way I am.

Still having people tell me they don’t know what to say to me.

How do I find me again?

How can I learn to be normal again?

To the outside I put up a mask, a very good one at that.

I’m done with grief,  and watching others grieve for her, when I can no longer cry, “Melody doesn’t wanna see mummy sad” So she won’t…

I want to learn to walk as high as 10 feet tall, rather than the 10 inches I feel at times.

I want to be her mum but not like this.

I miss her so much.

When I look back to see where I had come from to where I am,

I feel like I have paused and feel the same as I did then.

I miss her, there is nothing that will ever change that, and I will speak of her often, maybe now not as much. My heart will always feel that Melody sized heavier.

But learning to live a new life moving forward, but without leaving her behind.

I hope I can stand as strong, tall and as inspirational as the other parents in this community.

I am now a little more than existing, which feels better than it was…

Two years since we said Goodbye.

“As long as I am living, forever my baby you’ll be”

26.02.2012 – 01.04.2012