The weekend after the funeral, my husband, William and I came back to our house. We were sad to be leaving my parents home, and I think they were sad to see us go. It had been nice to have that extra support around us all the time, but the time had come for Mum to go back to work, and we needed to get home after my inlaws were no longer using our house and taking care of our dog.
I hated being home. I desperately wanted to find a new home. As we rent, it would have been easier to move than if we owned, and I spent a while searching the internet, but fortunately, or unfortunately, there was nothing suitable available, or in our price bracket as rent seems to have shot up since we moved here. My husband had a bit longer off work as I had the c-section, I couldn't drive, and he didn't want me being housebound with William while he was at work as it would have made things harder.
We kept busy by organising trips with William and also setting up a Trust in Harry's name to raise money for the ward that gave us those precious 26 hours with Harry and also Bliss, a charity who support families of early and sick babies, as well as Sands who support bereaved families. We spent a lot of time, with the help of others, setting up a website, and organising fundraising events. We both joined the gym, to give us an outlet for our anger and frustration, and also to get healthy.
The thing I was finding hardest was leaving the bubble that was my parent's home, to find that the world had kept turning. People were still doing what they always did, and I don't know why I was surprised that people were still having babies. No one else was having the experience we did. I would see photos of friend's new babies on the internet and whilst being happy that their babies were beautiful and healthy, finding it so hard to understand why it was my baby that wasn't with us. He had been just fine right up until the birth, and now he was gone. Why my baby? Was I being punished? I would sit and try to make sense of it. Questioning all I had done to try and understand, why my baby?
People would find it hard with how to address me. I think people try to say things to "make things better" but nothing anyone says can do this. The best thing someone can say is "I don't know what to say"... I have heard some real shockers:
"There will be other babies.... you are still young"
"I know someone who lost their baby at 3 months, she knows what you are going through"
"You need to bear up, because we are walking on eggshells"
Everytime I heard these, I have felt like yelling "ARE YOU F***ING KIDDING ME?!"
No "other baby" is going to replace Harry, or make me stop feeling this hideous pain.
Losing a baby at 3 months, is not the same as going full term, giving birth and having to say goodbye to your incredibly poorly baby, organising and attending their funeral, and watching them be buried. It just is not the same. She has no idea what I am going through.
And, I need to bear up?! No. No I do not. And I most certainly do not have to, because you feel like you are walking on eggshells. And I am sorry you feel like that, but it is not top of my priority list.
The other classic line is "how are you?" .... if you want to know the real answer, I am doing really, really bad. I have lost my son. But I will put a smile on for you, to make you feel better, and think that I am ok. The best thing you can do for a bereaved parent, is offer your ear, a cuddle and a cup of tea. Or a distraction. When your bereaved friend is ready to talk, they will know where to come. And my real friends know that. xxx