I know I have said this before, but I really do feel like a different person since losing Harry. Perhaps I became a different person after having William. Perhaps motherhood (and impending motherhood) can change a person. And certainly, bereavement absolutely changes a person.
My personality has changed in that I can see so much good in people. I have been shown so much kindness and so much love and support that I want to be able to offer that back. On the flip side of that, however, is my patience. Boy did I have little patience before, I have a teenytiny amount now. I have realised that life is way too short. It can be taken just like that. So, why waste your very precious time on idiots? This is something I feel very strongly about but balance that with the seeing the good in people and you have a bit of a conundrum.
The Trust I have established in Harry's name is doing so well. We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of others, both in monetary terms but also in giving their time. On the other side though, I have seen some rather odd behaviour.
Now, I know that I can speak honestly here, and I have been highly praised for being so frank and open, and this really does help others work through their own troubles. I have been quite frankly shocked at the behaviour of some people since losing Harry. I won't mention any names as that would be ridiculous, but let me tell you a story. Harry's Dad was told about someone who had been bad mouthing me behind my back, saying that I am cold, unwelcoming and unfriendly and he was told about this because he was disgusted that someone would speak so ill about someone without saying it to their face. They went on to add that no one could possibly understand what I am going through and that they should keep their mouth shut until they have walked a mile in my shoes.
Other behaviour that has been shocking is when someone told me "perhaps we should try to forget about what happened so we can move on".... Forget?! Erm, I don't think I, or anyone else who has been affected by this, will be forgetting about what happened, ever. It is so strange to imagine how some people think.
At the Ball at the weekend, I met again with Harry's wonderful doctors, whom I absolutely adore. They were presented with a cheque for our first donation. An amazing £6,000. One doctor told us that when he was handing over to his colleague he said "you're in for a night of it here, but it's alright because the family are wonderful". I was shocked by this comment as I had given no thought about how to behave at the hospital when finding out what happened to Harry, my behaviour came naturally. I asked what he meant, and he told me that quite often in circumstances such as these, parents become aggressive and angry and the situation is very hard to manage. I honestly can't imagine how anyone could act any different when they're baby is ill, but then perhaps Harry had given me some strength to hold it together during that difficult time. The doctors also went on to tell me that they had been criticised by the nurses about the level of care they were providing to Harry. They were told that it was unfair to prolong Harry's life like they were, because he was clearly a very poorly baby that wasn't going to live for long. The doctors told me they did what they could, because they wanted to wait for us to decide when the time was right for Harry's treatment to be stopped, and for him to go peacefully with his Mummy and Daddy. How can I ever thank them for that? Truly amazing.
Like I mentioned earlier, I have been amazed by the kindness and generosity of others and this was reflected at the Ball as we were able to raise a further £3,000 for the Trust which smashed my target of £1,000 out of the water. Fantastic news, and it really spurs me on to hold another Ball next year and keep on raising lots and lots of money for the wonderful neonatal unit in Exeter.
I also heard about a lady who lives locally who recently had a baby in Exeter hospital. She, like me, went into labour that didn't progress. She, like me, had a transverse lie baby, whose head wouldn't engage. She, like me, was scanned to see what was happening during labour but THIS TIME, because staff at the hospital are so aware of what happened to Harry, they were able to diagnose vasa previa and give her an emergency c-section and the baby's life was saved. A wonderful story that encourages me to continue making others aware of the condition so that babies are able to live.