Why us?

“If not us, who? If not now, when?”

– John F. Kennedy

Having to tell yourself not to question why someone else got to live the life you want or spend time with a loved one that was robbed from you is so bloody hard!

I had a conversation with someone today about how it’s so easy to look at someone who had what you had or want and think ‘why wasn’t it you!’ Of course you wouldn’t wish pain or loss on anyone but it’s so hard to understand why it happened to you and not them.

When we left the hospital it was like all of a sudden I didn’t know who I was meant to be anymore. Was I a mummy? Could I talk about Charlie? Would people blame me? It’s like I didn’t have a place in this world anymore because the person I now was, was about to leave her baby behind and with that a massive piece of herself also. Not knowing who your’e meant to be after going through a trauma is something they don’t hand leaflets out for.

For the days, weeks, months and year after losing Charlie I always think the same thing, why us? It is something I live with everyday and paired alongside the guilt it is such a hard thing to try and push away. I think that’s why it is so important to do what feels best for you. If you don’t want to grieve don’t, if you do, then do! There aren’t time limits or boundaries on how you deal with losing someone close to you.

I think about how life would be if we hadn’t been touched by such sadness, would people have still have been around in my life. Would I be a less compassionate person? From loss comes great realisation of the world, suddenly that gust of wind that blows and wraps itself around your face and hair means so much more than a gust of wind. That star that twinkled the moment you glanced up suddenly becomes the sign you had been waiting for. I now understand that loss doesn’t have to mean the end of that persons life because they are around you in so many ways. And you know, those signs were most likely always there but suddenly you realise these things happening around you for the first time…and to us that links us to our lost babes.

Whilst I sit back and ask why us? I also think, if not us who else would it be?

If one thing since losing Charlie and going through such hard times with different things since losing him, i think it is to live in the moment. Cliche right? But it is so true. I look back sometimes and realise how many things I missed because I was on my phone. Going away with Rob and having to take a picture rather than enjoy the moment…I mean how many of us do that? I went to see Westlife with my best friend in May and I made a point of not getting my phone out to film, I took two photos and one video to show my mum and that was it. Instead I studied the stage and crowd, sang the songs and enjoyed the moment with Amy so that I could go home and tell Rob and mum what I saw from memory, just like we used to when we were younger. It’s my way to live on…to appreciate moments I once, so naively, took for granted.

Why us? I will never know, all I know is I have right now and that is more than some will ever get.

Speak soon

Katie

x

Three become two.

“An angel in the book of life wrote down my baby’s birth. Then whispered as she closed the book ‘too beautiful for earth’.

Author unknown

Living with the fact that Rob and I should be a threesome is a hard pill to swallow. We should be a normal, everyday family doing things normal everyday families do. Instead we do things and visit places and often get asked if it’s just the two of us. Choosing a new car, ‘Do you have children or is it just you two?’ ‘Just us,’ Rob says then looks at me I know he’s thinking he should have mentioned Charlie. Then out for a birthday dinner and the waitress comments when I ask if I can take the balloon home she so kindly gave me, ‘Do you have kids at home?’, ‘No just us and the dog.’ I smile and then as she proceeds to tell me all about her little girl, I feel sudden sadness and guilt hit me, I should have mentioned Charlie. I think of all the ways I could bring him up. I wanted to cut her off mid sentence, ‘Actually we had a little boy,’ but instead she hand us the receipt and goes off on her way totally unaware our little man ever existed…and I hate that. We get outside and I tell Rob how I feel, he grabs my hand and says, ‘It would just be uncomfortable if you’d have sprung it mid sentence so don’t feel guilty.’

And that’s it isn’t it? We don’t often share our stories of lost babies or children because it comes with awkwardness. Lets be honest, out of a million people only a small handful would reply with something that would make our hearts feel warm and happy, the rest would just leave a silent gap in our night and painful tears as we try to sleep.

Knowing that we should have someone else there with us is such a sad feeling, it lays heavy on my heart and makes me feel like not going to special occasions or celebrations. That’s just it see for bereaved parents, we don’t not come to that birthday party or christening because we are bitter and hate you for being happy. We don’t decline invitations because we ‘can’t get over it’ or aren’t as fun as we used to be. We refuse because every occasion, every photo, every laugh, every smile, every hug with someone else’s baby, every memory made and every family portrait is another thing our babies had to miss out on. Another important occasion where we are reminded of what we lost. Birthday parties for babies and children remind us of every party we will never get to throw and every time we see a mother or father dote on their child or play, it is a harrowing feeling of emptiness that we will never get to do that. Not that we aren’t happy for you, because believe us we would never want anyone to feel what we feel, and it doesn’t matter if bereaved parents have another child or not, nothing in this world will rep;ace the love and pain we feel for our lost babes.

It’s so easy to judge when you don’t live it, trust me I wasn’t always a bereaved mum, I could never have imagined how it would feel and had I known someone close who didn’t want to come to my baby’s party then maybe I wouldn’t have fully understood why they couldn’t put themselves out for me. However, now I see that it just isn’t that easy… see bereaved parents, including myself do it to protect one person and one person only…themselves!

Forever and always will me and Rob be a three, and if we are lucky to be blessed with another baby we will always be a foursome. I wish I could carry Charlie in my arms and spend the life we were so cruelly robbed of with him, but I cant. I will however always carry him in my heart and not fear that by mentioning his name it leaves an awkward silence; because you know what? You might go home and never think of me again or you might spare a thought for me as you hug your child and then move on with your life. I however, will think about how I got to share his name and story with you and if you show interest I’ll smile thinking how someone I never met could be so kind. If I don’t mention him to save you feeling awkward I’ll go away feeling guilt…and that is something any bereaved mum or dad doesn’t need extra of.

Just because you can’t see our lost little loves doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Be kind, not every two-some you see carry their babies or children high on their shoulders or tight in their arms, they carry them the only way they can…in their hearts.

Speak soon

Katie

x

© 2019 copyright griefandmama // All rights reserved

Shut in.

“Sometimes, you find yourself in the middle of nowhere, and sometimes, in the middle of nowhere, you find yourself.”

HealthyPlace.com

Sometimes being alone isn’t a bad thing, it doesn’t mean your’e desperately depressed or painfully unhappy. It sometimes just means peace and quiet and when your mind feels like the busiest place in the world it can be such a relief.

When I was younger I used to hate being on my own, I’d rather be round at my best friends or spending time with family. It’s only as I’ve gotten older I’ve realised how much I enjoy being on my own. I think sometimes it’s nice to not have to talk to anyone, and I don’t mean that in a bad way, just in a ‘I need me time’ way. When we lost Charlie I just couldn’t face people. I was grateful for the few close friends that visited us at home and of course our best-est friends who came to the hospital, and I’ll be forever grateful to my mum and Amy (best friend) for all they did and continue to do for us. However, after people had visited during the day it was just me, Rob, our house bunnies and Charlies memory box. It was a sad, sad time. I’d ring my mum and sob down the phone, she’d come round just for a cuddle whenever I needed her but as she become poorly and in and out of hospital I realised, other than seeing my best friend I didn’t really want to leave the house. When it was just us we’d talk about Charlie, and Rob would leave the room to find me crying. I’d always say to him ‘I got sad’, like a child really, I just wanted and needed comfort. He’d cuddle me and tell me we would be okay and then we’d manage to fall asleep amongst the tears and grief stained pillows and the vicious cycle would start all over again.

It was when he went back to work I realised, that whilst struggling with anxiety, I did like to be on my own. I was off work and would spend my days crying, grieving, blogging and Instagram-ing (I had such a good platform and so many followers I so regret deleting it). I remember pestering Rob for a swing chair for our garden that was the size of a large postage stamp (well maybe not that small), and when we finally got one I would sit on it first thing in the morning with a cuppa and my laptop and just write. I found a sense of comfort being able to be alone with my mind.

Being alone is something I really enjoy, mainly because I’m too tired to talk or just don’t want to talk. I love my friends believe me I do, and I know that through losing Charlie I’ve also grown distant to some people. It’s just I have to put myself first so seeing your babies or not feeling comfortable to talk about my baby puts me off seeing you, and it’s truly nothing personal, it’s just because I am so mentally exhausted from everything going on in my life right now I have to protect myself. See something you may think is helpful is actually hurtful to me and means that I might end up leaving feeling worse than when I arrived, and I just don’t have the time or energy for that anymore…or the tears!

So I guess that when a trauma hits whatever that may be, sometimes it’s easy to shut yourself away. Rob and I were told a few weeks after losing Charlie that we were shutting ourselves away by a family member and it really stuck with me. It made me think we were wrong in how we were grieving and that we had kept ourselves away from the world. It made me feel worse than I needed too. Shutting yourself away after something that affects your life isn’t shameful and shouldn’t be brought to someones attention. If your comfortable in what your’e doing and not hurting anyone or yourself why the hell should it bother someone else.

It took me a while to realise that how I grieve and live my life is no other damn persons business and I tell you what once you realise something like that…the word liberation finally means something to you.

Speak soon

Katie

x

© 2019 copyright griefandmama // All rights reserved

The anger sets in!

“Where there is anger, there is always pain underneath.”

— Eckhart Tolle

It wasn’t long for me until the anger set in, a multitude of things lead to the anger but mainly it was triggered by my insatiable desire to find out why we had lost Charlie. Of course numerous doctors all told us the same thing, ‘there is no reason, unfortunately it just happened.’ That is the worst I think, not knowing why something so precious and very wanted was taken from you.

Anger takes over your very being and makes you realise a part of yourself is there that you never thought existed, a bit like Jekyll and Hyde I think. For me anger came, and still does, in the form of shouting, screaming and basically going on a total rampage…(think more toddler wanting that packet of sweets rather than King Kong waving Ann from the top of the Empire State building.) I guess when something bad happens in your life your body has odd ways of coping. Some people, I imagine, bottle up, hide away and hope for the best. Others speak about that trauma day and night, whilst others feel a surge of anger and hate towards the world and certain people.

For me I think I felt every possible emotion going, from unbearable sadness to bitter tasting hate, and once the anger for why he’d be taken away had slightly subsided, the hate for those who didn’t care or show they care set in.

See Charlie is my everything, he is the reason I got up day after day for two years straight and put my brave face on to be met by a sea of people asking when I was going to have a baby. Asking why I was waiting so late, that it was time me and Rob tried. I had numerous people comment on photos of me holding friends babies saying how much it suited me and that I should get cracking on. People would question if I was using contraception and if didn’t want children when I’d fluster and say ‘Oh were happy as we are.’ They didn’t realise that I would cry myself to sleep some nights wondering why my body wouldn’t give us a baby, wonder what was wrong with me and why others fell pregnant so quickly yet for us weeks turned to months, and months into years. They didn’t know I was under going fertility tests to find the route of our problems. Because yes it was and is MY body that fails us month after month. They didn’t know because I was ashamed to admit it, being told by a pregnant girl that it should be me doesn’t exactly fill you with pride to say…’well actually we cant have babies just yet.’ I felt like I had this dirty little secret tucked away all the time just waiting to jump out. So when, three days before our fertility treatment was due to start and two years into our journey, we fell pregnant you can imagine how utterly precious that tiny little life was to me. Seeing that little heartbeat, after having a few scares, pounding away at 6 weeks 2 days made me feel like I was the luckiest girl in the world. Tiffany and a million pounds couldn’t have matched that feeling. It was like FINALLY, finally our time had come and whilst riddled with fear, I just couldn’t wait to finally become a mummy.

Suddenly when that little life, our baby boy and all of those hopes and dreams were taken away from us, you’re literally left with an empty hole nothing can replace, and when I saw him I felt an indescribable love I have never felt before. So for me to remember Charlie is only natural, I love him, I loved him the second I saw that positive pregnancy test and I will love him forever. So when people can’t talk about him or remember him I just find anger replaces any feelings I ever had for that person. You know on Charlies first heavenly birthday only two members of our family sent messages and a few friends. He got three cards for his first anniversary, one from my parents, one from my best friend and one from a special friend who lost her baby boy I met through Instagram. THREE. It was that day I cut so many people out of my life and haven’t looked back since. It made me sad that friends I don’t really talk to much messaged but family couldn’t. I wonder how many of those people would have showed up to a first birthday party had he been alive, how many cuddles would have been given and presents opened. How many ‘I loves you’s’ and yet he isn’t here and so many of them didn’t even ask how we were. Both me and Rob went away to a special place In Yorkshire for his birthday and sat silently in the hot tub whilst snow fell, we both felt numb with pain and disbelief that so many had forgotten us and our poor boy. I am so angry at those that didn’t think to message or call, and that is sadly mainly family. You hurt me in ways I can’t even begin to describe. In ways I can never forgive.

It honestly takes nothing to talk about him, to mention his name. He meant so, so much to me I just don’t see how he can’t to you. Especially when I remember how happy you were when we told you we were finally pregnant. When you don’t acknowledge him or that I was pregnant, you silently rip away the tittle of mummy I so desperately hold. And let me tell you…that hurts.

So, whilst anger is a horrible thing, it is very much a necessity sometimes, and do you know why? It means we feel something, it means we are very much alive and if me remembering my son offends you in any way….please scroll right on by!

Speak soon

Katie

x

© 2019 copyright griefandmama // All rights reserved

And then there was grief.

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard….” A.A.Milne

You know the thing with grief is that it doesn’t matter who you are, what you look like, how well educated or not you are, it will find you. It will find you in the most harrowing of times, it will find you in moments when there seems to be no hope left and will often feel like your only friend. Grief. Believe me, it will find you.

It found me for the first, real, time, last year. I say ‘real’ time as prior to that I hadn’t really lost anyone I was super close with. I lost my Grandma and Great Aunt in my younger years, and whilst yes, I felt sadness and pain I think I was too young to understand the grieving process properly. I knew I missed them but our relationships weren’t that close so I think the grief was less painful, for me anyway. So, the first time I truly felt the harsh pang and reality of grief was when we lost our baby boy,

Last year snuck up on us like a bad dream and I still believe I have yet to wake up from it. At 17 weeks 1 day our baby boy entered the world silent. My waters broke two days prior on a Monday, (which I now know is called Pprom). On the Tuesday I was given a scan and told there was no fluid surrounding my baby, yet he was still alive. On the Monday I was pilled with antibiotics in the hope it was just an infection, and on the Wednesday after a short labour I gave birth to Charlie, our perfect, tiny baby boy. Yes, it all still very much feels like a dream.

Until that day I had never felt pain quite like it, a soul clenching, heart wrenching, life destroying pain. I’d always read things where people who had lost loved ones said a part of them died with the ones they loved, and I never really got it. I didn’t understand how a part of someone could actually, metaphorically, die. That is, of course, until Charlie died and yes, a piece of me died too that day.

Now I can’t even begin to find the words to describe how that feels, honestly if I looked up words in the dictionary to describe horrific events and the aftermath of a traumatic event…I still wouldn’t be able to find the right words. Just know it SUCKS! Massively and the hardest bit is that it can strike at any time or place!

Grief is like a disease, a sickness that we slowly get used to overtime but which very often rears its ugly head to remind us it very much still exists, you know in case you ever forget it’s there. (Ha!) I often get reminded of it in the most awkward of places; supermarkets, cinema, work, out with friends…you name it it gets me. And Iv’e somehow managed to be able to control my feelings when I’m out and about, I mean I’m a year on, when I was days, weeks and months into dealing with loss I could not stop the tears coming…no matter how hard I tried.

How does grief get you?

Oh and whilst were on the subject of grief a word of advice if I may? Don’t tell grieving parents to ‘get over it’ or ‘move on’. Having another baby won’t change my feelings for my baby that died and relaxing won’t miraculously make me fall pregnant. I’m sure I speak for a lot of bereaved mums and dad when I say none of the above is helpful, in anyway.

So if you’ve made it this far THANK YOU and please feel free to leave me a comment on how you cope with grief. Or on anything you want to talk about i’m all ears.

Speak soon.

Katie

x

© 2019 copyright griefandmama // All rights reserved