So here I am.... Blimey I can't believe I am writing this! A year has passed since the beginning of Harry's story. On this day, a year ago, I was making lunch for William and I began to leak. I remembered this sensation from having William just two years before. Exactly the same. A leak, not a gush, and no labour to follow. I called the hospital and they asked me to come in. It wasn't until Harry's Dad was home from work and my Nan could sit with William that we went up to the assessment unit.
"Oh yes" she said, "definite evidence of liqor." Then went off to book my induction. The next day was a busy one on the labour ward but she said she would call me first thing to let me know a plan, as it may need to wait til the following day. I went home, excited and nervous, to meet our second baby. I had prepared William for the big arrival and had a list of things to do before the baby came. First thing, I got the call, they were too busy that day and could we please come in the next day (Friday) at 9am. We spent that Thursday packing bags, picking up the last few bits we needed (as he was a month early, I wasn't entirely prepared!), organising William's stay with Grandy. It was exciting. I will admit I was scared, as my labour and delivery with William was less than straight forward but EVERYONE had said to me, the second time is different/easier/quicker. I trusted them.
Anyway, now isn't the time for recalling the birth of Harry as I am sure I will do that a thousand times over the next few days and I am sure to write again over this "anniversary period".
I wanted to share something that I had been thinking about a fair bit over these last few days.
A dear friend of mine who is so ready to be a mum, but sadly nature is not making it easy for her, said to me recently. "I just can't imagine what you've been through. I know I want to be a mum more than anything in the world, but to go through all your pregnancy and your labour expecting everything to be all ok, and then to go through what you went through.... I think I would rather never get pregnant than have to experience what you did". She often tells me how strong I am and how proud of me she is, which is lovely - and as you all know, I don't really feel strong, or that there is much to be proud of, but it is nice to hear.
Anyway, it got me thinking. How would I be if Harry hadn't been a part of my life? What would I be doing right now? How would I be feeling? Would I be busy? Or happy? Or would I be bored and stressed and tired? Who knows? What I do know though is that while my pregnancy with Harry was not easy, and while the labour was stressful and the delivery was absolutely traumatic - and obviously the end result was a very poorly Harry and we didn't have long together... I would never say that I would want to never have experienced those things so I don't feel this pain.... The pain is immense, but I have the memories of feeling Harry is my tummy, the love I felt for him from the minute I got that positive result, the excitement, the joy, the plans... I also have the memories of the day we all spent together, which we will all treasure in our hearts forever. And the time Harry's Dad and I spent with Harry having cuddles is a time I remember always. Looking at his beautiful face, touching his skin, embracing him. I could never wish those times away.
Obviously, I never want to experience the pain of saying goodbye to my child ever again, or to have to say the things to him like "sleep well little man, you'll always be in our hearts" , having to plan a funeral, dress our dead baby, bury our son in a tiny white coffin, and now suffer the grief of missing him for all eternity. All those things I would endure again, for the moments we had together. I love my son, and I always will and the pain of losing him is so great, but my love is far greater. I couldn't bear my life without the love I have for that boy.
Today, I learnt from my health visitor, that at the hospital's "Clincal Incident" meeting that she attended, the Doctor that spent longer than the alloted time frame resusitating Harry was chastised for going outside of guidelines and therefore "prolonging unnecessary suffering". Lucky for me, my health visitor is outstanding and not shy to speak up and told them that the fact that this Doctor did spend a bit longer meant that as a family we spent precious time with our son, that has not only got us through the dark times, but will keep us going for the rest of our lives and that, is invaluable. That told him! He didn't have an answer for that.
So as we head into the anniversary period, of Harry's birth and our special day, and then his very sad death, we will be thankful for the time we spent together and hold on to that. We have a weekend of rememberance planned and shall be thinking of our little man.
We thank everyone who has been thinking of us too, without your support this year would have been even harder.
Love to you all xxx