Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Holiday! It would be so nice....

We took our second family holiday last week. I wanted to write about it on this blog as some of the emotions I felt were ones that caught me by surprise.

When you book a holiday, it is all very exciting. The prospect of fun times, sunshine and relaxation. And, I was incredibly excited when we booked this holiday.

I wanted for us to have a lovely break together before the arrival of Little Pip and create some happy memories for William as well as for Harry's Dad and myself.

I was reminded of the identical holiday that we booked last year. The same time of year, and for the same reasons. We wanted William to have some quality time before the arrival of Harry.

When I was packing, I found all the maternity clothes that I bought last year for last year's holiday when I was expecting Harry. When I was planning our day trips I was reminded of all the lovely things we did together, with Harry there growing in my tummy. I remember stuffing my face with all the lovely, healthy, fresh fruit and salads at the all inclusive resort thinking of all the good I was giving to my baby. I feel very sad recalling my pregnancy with Harry as I was blissfully unaware of any problems, and just accepted all the symptoms as I did not know any better. If only.....

Then as we were preparing to leave I would find myself getting upset going on the holiday that we had discussed last year, except it was without our second baby. We had talked while we were away and when we got back about booking our next trip, and all the logistics of taking William and another baby. And yet, there we were, preparing to go on that very holiday, still with just the one child. I would find myself crying about it, and William would ask "why are you crying Mummy?" and I would say "because Harry can't come on our holiday". William always knows what to say. "Harry will be watching us in the sky with the angels Mummy". I felt horrendous on the day we were leaving, as it was the first time we had all left Harry for over a week and we would miss our regular visits. I felt empty and sad when I should have been feeling happy and excited.

While we were away, the hotel was just the same, and the staff were just the same. It was like we were reliving the same trip all over again. I would remember what life was like before we lost Harry and the "without a care in the world" feeling we all had. How I miss that. The "undamaged" time. But in reality, our lives have changed beyond recognition. It was nice to try and get a sense of "normality" for a while though.

I thought I would share something with you though. We took William back to the sealife centre we went to last year, and had a photo done with the sealions, as we did last year - and also to the crocodile park, and I held a baby crocodile:

2012 - pregnant with Harry.....

2013 - Pregnant with Little Pip:

So you can see it really does seem like the identical holiday! However this time I have the sadness to carry of losing Harry and the anxiety of carrying our rainbow baby... all emotions I never knew existed this time last year...

But, all the while, we had a nice trip and we enjoyed each other's company. William had a few days of sickness unfortunately but he was a star and didn't let it ruin his, or our, trip. So I decided to take a bit of inspiration from Wills and remember that Harry could still be with us on holiday and watch over us as he always does. While we didn't take him in person, I am sure he was there with us, in spirit. xxx

Monday, 8 April 2013

10 Months On...

Today is ten months since the birth of my beautiful boy.

It has been a whole month since I last blog. Not because I have nothing to say, that would never be the case. Mainly because I have been so busy and also quite ill. I have spent most the time rushed off my feet, or asleep!

So I wanted to just do an update on where I am at.

Well, sometimes it feels like a lifetime ago that Harry was born. Other times it feels like just yesterday. When I consider all that has happened in these 10 months I find it incredible that it has only been 10 months and so much has gone on. But when I recall the events of Harry's birth, and those precious 26 hours he spent with us, it feels like just yesterday.

I am unsure of whether or not my emotions "got stuck" along the way, or if I found some strength to put my sadness away until I was ready, but this past month has been emotional. It could have something to do with my hormones, I am not sure. I have found a lot of things very upsetting this past month, and have been more inclined to allow myself to cry.

I have also felt a good deal of anger this month. An example, I was so fearful up until my 20 week scan that Little Pip, our rainbow baby, would have problems that would mean we wouldn't wind up bringing him home either. Every little tiny thing was filling me with despair and worry. Harry's Dad couldn't understand my fears as he said to me "why are you worried? All your children have had nothing wrong with them. It was someone else's f*ck up that caused Harry to be born so poorly". I had never considered this. Whenever I think of Harry, I think of him as a poorly baby. Lying there, so helpless, wired up to all the monitors. I thought that the way he was, was my fault, as my stupid body grew the cord and the placenta abnormally, and "it was just one of those things". But it wasn't. Harry's cord issues could have been diagnosed at one of the many scans regardless of whether it is routine, it could have even been diagnosed in labour when the midwife felt something unusual infront of his head. The bleed could've been discovered far sooner, his heartrate could have been monitored closer if the fetal scalp clip had been used properly, he would've received expert care if the placenta and cord had been examined upon delivery. All these things. They weren't my fault. Someone else could've acted differently and we could have had a lovely healthy baby. But it wasn't meant that way. And that makes me angry. I wish so badly things could have been different, not just for me, but for everyone else suffering from the loss of this lovely baby, and also for Harry too.

Anyway, thankfully, it turns out this time around, after a very thorough 20 week scan, Little Pip is doing really well, and the consultants seem keen to do a pre-37 week c-section so that I don't go into labour and have to deal with an emergency section again.

Something I cannot bear at the moment though is how people seem to truly think that having Little Pip is going to make the pain of losing Harry go away. No, it isn't. The pain of losing Harry is still as painful as it was the day I came home without my baby. Everyday I am reminded of various things, that Harry is not with us. This morning William woke up and his first words were "Mummy I am sad." When asked why he was sad he said "I am sad because Harry isn't here". Blimey.... I told William that we are all sad that Harry isn't here, and we all miss him very much. But he loves you and watches over his big brother, every day. Or looking at Facebook and seeing the babies who were born at the same time as Harry and seeing them growing and changing and learning, just like he should be. But instead my arms are still empty. I will long for him every day for the rest of my life. Having another baby will not change my sadness. It will not fix my broken heart. It will bring me some joy, and some happiness, and it will occupy my mind, but the pain and sorrow will never soften nor will it disappear. I am a broken woman, and that is me now. Forever.

I am having a slight social problem at the moment in that I am not feeling much up to spending time in groups or in any environment that might encourage questions. I live in a small town, a lot of people know me or my family and questions are often thrown around. Sometimes inappropriately and sometimes intrusively. I want to avoid these situations. I also don't feel like putting on the brave face most of the time, or feel like pretending things are all ok. I have have to bail out of several things of late as I just cannot deal with it. My emotions and my strength are suffering somewhat. I am unsure of a solution to this. Harry's Dad is becoming frustrated with my hermit-like behaviour, and while for now I have my sinusitis to hide behind, it will soon have cleared up and my excuses for not wanting to leave the house will be few.

The Trust is doing well and as ever keeping my mind extremely busy, I continue to be proud of our work and have spent a lot of work on future events as well as making my list of "Harry's Wishes" to share with the hospital and make some solid plans for how our donations are spent. More to come on this.

On a more positive level, I am starting feel far more connected to Little Pip. His or her movements are making themselves more known, which is obviously reassuring and also very exciting to know my baby is wriggling around in there. I didn't want to know the sex of this baby, as the excitement "on arrival" is just overwhelming and I wanted that special moment again. I really have no inkling what we have in there, I would obviously love a girl, being the girlie girl I am I would love to indulge her, however having another boy would be lovely for Will to have a playmate and a brother to grow up with. I have started to allow myself to plan more for his or her arrival, making arrangements at home and creating a nursery in my spare room, and getting a few bits and pieces to put away. I had everything ready for Harry's arrival so I really don't need much as all those bags of nappies, and Johnson's baby products are all tucked away in the cupboard. Along with all those freshly washed and ironed baby clothes that I had put in Harry's chest of drawers that never made it on to his little body.
Harry is letting his brother or sister use what he didn't.

I am amazed that is so close to Harry's birthday as well. I have a lot on in the next 8 weeks as well. A holiday, where we went last year, a few months before Harry's arrival. Looking back at that holiday is strange as I feel I was so innocently happy then, and now I am forever disturbed. I also have William's third birthday which will be a happy time, and my 30th, which I can take or leave right now. The week after I have a scan when we will get the date for my section, then it is Harry's birthday... a time for happiness and true sadness. A time for remembering the precious life we wanted and loved so much, and celebrating all the love we share for this little boy. And also the sadness, that he was taken too soon, and missed more than words can describe.