Friday, 15 July 2016

And somehow time goes on

I am angry today, angry, sad, devastated, lost and angry. And most people won't understand why.

Today marks 3 years since my waters broke, a date no one but me will probably remember but one that changed my life inexplicably. 3 years ago today I got up and went to work, 19 weeks pregnant and annoyed with the heat, I worked feeling like crap, was quiet and didn't really talk to my wonderful work colleague Megan. Finally 5.30pm came and I finished work, I came home and Chris was already home asleep on the bed, I went and spoke to him then came downstairs. I got to the lounge and felt something in my knickers, I thought I had wet myself, I went to the bathroom and assumed I had wet myself, came downstairs and it happend again. I went upstairs and then it started running down my legs, I had no idea at the time but that was the end of my innocence.

We went to Fern ward and from then on hell began, I will never forget the doctor telling me my waters had gone, and me and Chris not understanding then finally them explaining our baby was going to die (at this point she had no name and we didn't even know it was a girl)  I heard a horrible noise and finally realised it was me making that noise, 22 days of absolute hell followed, and then our baby girl was born, dead but still born.

And now we are 3 years on, we have our son Alex who is nearly 2, but it doesn't make it any easier, and i'm angry today, and lost, and hurt and still angry. I have no innocence over pregnancy or grief anymore, I have felt that all consuming heartache of giving birth to my dead baby (perfectly formed, perfect in every way but very very very small) I want to be the woman who doesn't know what I know, that doesn't feel the way I do, and yes I properly would be a very different parent. I doubt I would have used a sling (too hippy like) I doubt I would parent the way I do and I certainly wouldn't run a sling library, and yes most days I love my life I love my son and the way we parent, but today I am sad, today I want to be the mum who knows none of it.

I am angry as Chris doesn't understand, he doesn't feel the way I do and he doesn't understand why I am maybe taking it out on him and Alex, I am angry as I see pictures of almost 3 year olds as I want MY daughter here, with me. I shouldn't be planning a day at Great Wood on her birthday with friends and family to help me get through it. I shouldn't be worrying over the next 22 days and how I have to relive every memory, every big bleed, every readmission, the night we got rushed in to hospital in a ambulance, the scans, being told she would die, then being told she may live, the constant dripping of my waters, the hell and heartache. I shouldn't have to be remembering every single second.................but I am. And I am angry. I want to be innocent, I want not to know but I do and I am hurting so very much today. 

So I am sorry if over the next few weeks I have a shorter temper, if I am distant or not myself, if I snap at Alex, or Chris or you. I am hurting, and lost. Most days I try so hard to work through it and not let it eat me up or control my life, and I love my life but today, this time of year, it's hard, so very hard.

So today sweet beautiful girl, I remember you, and I may never have felt you move, or got to look into your eyes, but you were our beautiful girl, our firstborn, our precious treasured Lily, and I am sorry for letting you down, I am sorry for my body not being strong enough to keep you safe, and I am sorry for not being strong for you today.

Till we meet again in heaven Lily, forever yours, forever loved.

Love Mum x

Friday, 13 February 2015

A fear of death

There are many things that you think and feel after burying a child that no one tells you about. Things that even now 18 months on cause me huge anxiety and grief.

My constant fear of death is one, not my own death, don't think I am frightened of me dying, that I don't really see as an issue. Its the constant worry of my parents, or Chris's parents or Chris or my sister or my nephew or any of my friends dying. It haunts me all the time, it worries and panics me to the point of it keeps me up at night. I never used to feel this, I never use to really think about it, I mean who does, who really thinks in depth about people they love dying, well you just don't as its to painful and upsetting to think about isn't it. But I will tell you right now, I am petrified of my parents dying, something that lets be honest is going to happen at some point (not for years you hear me mum and dad) but I do not know how I am going to cope. 

Some of you will not have felt gut wrenching grief yet, grief that hits you in the stomach and turns your life upside down and ruins everything (for that I am glad) that's the grief of someone you love dying, do I think its worse when it is your child rather than your parent who lets face it we do know will normally die before us? Well I have learnt not to compare grief, its pointless, so no I think anyone you love dying is bloody awful and soul destroying.

I think and worry about death so much, a friend, her Dad is dying and is going to die soon and I sit and cry for her, I am now. I don't want her to know the pain I feel, I don't want her to go through hurt and anguish and be without her gorgeous dad. Another on-line friend whose waters broke very early like me has a daughter, a beautiful daughter, who at 7 months has never yet left the hospital and who this morning she posted is ill and could in all honesty die from an illness as her little lungs are so poorly. I think about her. 

My own nephew went to hospital the other week, I didn't know until the evening, nothing serious and hes fine but I cried all the next day while Chris was at work scared that he was or is going to die and then my sister would have to suffer the grief of losing a child. My own Grandad has been ill, and my Mum phoned the other day and she paused before saying something and I was sure she was going to say he died, but no he just came out of hospital, I spent time that evening crying for him.

I haven't even touched on my fear of Alex dying, no one really understood how in pregnancy I was convinced Alex would die, a lot of people just kept saying he would be fine. They didn't understand that for me, my only experience in pregnancy was that of my baby dying, my body didn't produce healthy babies, to be blunt it produced dead ones. It was a hard hard hard time, one I never want to experience again, but I have my gorgeous little boy and if there is a next time, hopefully the fact I have had a successful pregnancy will make it slightly easier. But my fear of Alex dying is immense, on a day to day basis I have learnt to control it ok, but then it captures me unaware and I freak out, should Alex get ill or anything like that I know that my major anxiety will just return.

I feel so abnormal, I feel like a freak for thinking like this, Chris tells me not to think about it, but I can't stop. I cant make myself not worry about it, ultimately one day I am going to feel that grief again, that feeling like my world is collapsing and I don't know how to deal with it, it almost killed me last time, it almost broke me and I survived, with a hell of a lot of scars and issues but I made it, WE made it, I am still broken but I try to be happy and to live a full life to make Lily proud but the fear of dealing with death again eats away at me.

Friday, 19 December 2014

This loneliness is temporary (hopefully)

So I was just watching a program on TV with James Martin about loneliness and it hit home quite a bit really and made me realise I am really lonely and lost at the moment.

 The above quote for me is so very true, yea I am lonely but its probably my own doing, does that make it easier, nope still is hard. My plan when I was pregnant with Lily was to do some NCT classes, make some friends and once she was here do what my Mum and sister both did and go to groups and make a bunch of friends. My sister 12 years on still is friends with people she met when Matthew was little, they don't see each other every day or even every month now but I know when Matt was little they were her lifeline. Well then Lily died and I got pregnant with Alex, my idea of hell was NCT classes, I wasn't a first time mother, I had already given birth and nothing they said could change the fact I had gone through the most pain any woman should have to go through in labour, giving birth to a child not knowing if she would be born alive or dead but knowing she wouldn't live. My thoughts and feelings on birth, pregnancy and raising a child I knew would be different, I would have different views (possible strong ones) on topics discussed and just couldn't bring myself to do it. Once I knew I was having i section anyway there was even less point. 

So then that leaves baby groups, the first one I went to was a breastfeeding group, I was petrified walking in, Alex was about 5 weeks old and I wasn't breastfeeding but expressing as much as I could and then topping up with formula, I didn't want to go but made myself. I met a really lovely woman who I chatted to and seemed cool and said would see next week. Next week Alex was ill and then I stopped expressing as it just got too much so that was the end of that group. I went to the local sling meet to borrow a sling as one of the health care assistants at the hospital runs one and again first time I went I was bricking it. She was lovely and made me feel at home. I went to feed Alex and one woman asked me about if I was feeding Alex breast milk, cue me feeling like poo about not being able to breastfeed and when I replied no the other 3 women around seemed to turn their noses up at me. So that made me feel awful. I take Alex to get him weighed at clinic, but people just seem to weigh and go quickly. A couple of weeks ago I went to a group and met a few mums, one I knew from my old job working in a jewellers as was a customer, but then Alex has been ill so I didn't go the next week and now I have lost my confidence again.

 I think what I am trying to say is I had all these ideas when I was pregnant about all these new friends I would make, after living in Taunton 3 1/2 years I have like 2 real friends and that is it and I knew having a baby would be my chance to make a network, yet I am struggling, Partly my own fault I know. What I hadn't taken into consideration in my little fantasy was after having a baby your confidence is low, I don't know what I am doing half the time, I second guess every decision I make and wonder if I am a good mum so trying to think about making friends is really scary. Plus I am trying to work out what kind of Mum I want to be, I have learnt that any ideas or preconceptions I had before Alex was here are basically a load of crap, until your child is here you don't know how you will think and feel, so how can I make friends when I don't know how I want to bring him up, what I am really for and against, you want to make friends with like minded mums but I don't know what I think or feel. Add to that the amount of confidence I have lost over the last 18 months since Lily died, I have been at home alone for most of it, I segregated myself very well and while it worked for me in pregnancy I am regretting it now.

Also even when I meet people and make friends they can't understand me, they don't understand how I am feeling as hopefully they have not had to bury a child so how can they possibly understand how confused I feel ALL the time, I love my son, of that there is no doubt, he is the light of my life. BUT my heart still hurts, before Alex I was just broken, its easy to be broken, my heart was ripped in two and I was so unhappy, but now I have to work out how to be happy and unhappy at the same time, its hard hard work.

I suppose I am scared, scared of putting myself out there and trying to meet people. I know it may  take a few goes before I find someone who I click with and that's the thing, I think I am frightened of putting myself out there, laying my heart on the line and letting people in and yep I am sure every mum feels like that, so maybe I just need to do it, in the new year just put myself out there, meet people, let them in a little bit and see what happens...................................

But its so scary

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Lily Marie Rowland : I will never feel her hand on my chest

Lily Marie Rowland : I will never feel her hand on my chest: So lately I have been told by different people that now Alex is here I shouldn't think of Lily or talk of her or one nice person even ...

I will never feel her hand on my chest

So lately I have been told by different people that now Alex is here I shouldn't think of Lily or talk of her or one nice person even used the phrase 'get over it'. Its something that has been playing on my mind and something I wanted to explore, what happens to grief for your child when your rainbow finally gets here.

People who haven't lost a child, well some of them seem to think that now Alex is here that's it, my grief is over, after all I have a living child. Yet in fact in some ways i grieve more and harder, now don't get me wrong I love my son, in a way I never knew was possible, he makes my heart sing, he gives me a reason to go on, he just fills me with love (all you mothers out there will understand what I mean) yet it hurts more now when I think of Lily. I will never get to hold Lily alive, when she was finally born she was dead. I will never get to hear her heartbeat, feel her little hand on my chest, see her gurgle at 3am in the morning, watch her grow and change everyday like i do with Alex. I will never see her smile, walk, talk, eat her first bit of food, have her first Christmas, wipe her tears when she falls over, have her first boyfriend, get her heart broken, get married, have children, leave school, hear her tell me she loves me. Now I knew all this before but now Alex is here and in particular at 3am when his little hand hunts down my top to touch my skin it REALLY hurts. So because he is here am I meant to forget? Am I meant not to talk of her, to remember her? I see my friends girls, born around the same time and I dream of what she would be like, I am in shops looking at dresses and clothes thinking of her, I see baby girls so tiny and small and wish I could have held her living.

Lily will always be part of my life, she is mine and Chris's firstborn, she was still born, I laboured for 13 long hours and gave birth, how can i just forget her?

I think what people really mean when they say those things is it makes them uncomfortable, its 15 months ago she died, surely I should be 'over it' but for those of you who have lost someone, a parent, a loved one you will know you never 'get over it' Yes it makes people uncomfortable, grief does that. In this country we have a funny attitude to death, we don't really discuss it much, we seem to think that grief is something we should deal with alone, in private and not talk about it, so yea I get i make people uncomfortable, I talk openly about Lily, my grief, how I feel, why shouldn't I? Although it may make you feel uncomfortable I can assure you, I feel 100 times worse grieving than you do hearing about it. I try to be positive, I am positive, Lily has changed me for the better, I am defiantly a better person, and a better mother for having her. I don't worry about the things that don't matter, I love a whole lot more and appreciate my wonderful life, my wonderful boyfriend, parents, sister, in laws, family and friends, by telling my story I know it can help others, its empowering and healing for both me and others.

Things are hard at the moment, Lily's due date is just days away, Christmas is around the corner, something I am so excited for yet so hurting about, Alex's first Christmas, an amazing time, yet Lily should be celebrating her 2nd Christmas. So if i make you uncomfy I am sorry, feel free to unfriend me on facebook, I really don't mind, extract yourself from my life, it's ok, I don't expect you to understand, you probably have never lost a child, for those who stay bear with me, I am a mix of emotions, the happiest I have ever been, yet the saddest too.......................

Friday, 14 November 2014

And sometimes after a storm there is a rainbow!!!!

So its a long time since I have posted, in April I posted a brief comment but not much. As many of you will now know on the 8th September 2014 I finally gave birth to a living child.

Please meet Alex Philip Rowland, born on 8th September 2014 by c section at 36w 5d.

5 months after Lily died I unexpectedly found out I was pregnant again, with Lily it took a long time to get pregnant and we were not even trying as we were waiting to see specialist about my antibodies but our little miracle decided he wanted to come. 

I wont lie, it was the most stressful 36 weeks of my life but we got through it with a lot of help and today Alex is 9 weeks old and sleeping soundly on my sofa with a poorly cold.

For a long time my pregnancy I kept to myself, in fact I never posted online I was pregnant, I barely told any friends, in fact I deliberately didn't see people as I did not want to talk about it or tell people. I stopped blogging (which I found so hard as I loved my blog, it was a way to release emotion and heal) Many people do not understand why I did this, but I wanted to control something, so much in my life I had no control over, but this I did, also the worst thing I ever had to do was post on facebook that Lily had died. That moment forever will be etched in my brain. So for some people it was a total shock, for me even a total shock. I never believed I would first off give birth to a live healthy baby and secondly bring him home from hospital, BUT I DID!!!!!!

 Being a mum to a rainbow baby (Baby born after a loss) is hard I wont lie, I have so many thought and feelings its so hard. I am the happiest I have ever been, I have a gorgeous wonderful boy who makes my heart sing (although I am completely knackered) yet my heart is broken and grieving for Lily. I find it hard to reconcile the two, how can I be so happy, yet so sad? A question I am not sure I can ever answer, maybe some mums with their rainbows who are further along in the journey can comment?

Any way this picture is from a photoshoot we had with an amazing photographer who totally understood when I explained about Lily.The bunny is Lily's, we named it Bun Bun. I wanted a picture that symbolised both my children.

So I am going to keep writing my blog now, now I can share what randomness goes on in my head and share my beautiful children with you all and hopefully continue to heal which is why I started this in the first place, yet now over 3800 people have read it! But it will be about both my children Lily & Alex, and as I sit here shedding a tear for my beautiful girl, I look at my beautiful boy and know without Lily there would never have been Alex, but I still miss her! But I cant wait to tell Alex all about his big sister.

The little man is stirring now, so I'm off for cuddles and kisses.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

And life goes on

So its been a few months since I last posted, its hard I often think of posting but I don't know what to say, there are things going on in my head that I just don't feel I can . share.

Its been 9 months since my waters broke, just over 8 months since LIly died and in a way my brain is still protecting me cause most days I just can't wrap my head around the fact we had a baby who died. It doesn't make sense to me, not at all. I try not to worry about it and just let it lie where it is.

So a few weeks ago it was Mothers Day, up until a few days before it didn't really bother me and I hadn't thought about it but it all of a sudden hit me. It was a horrid day, my first mummys day yet not cause Lily is not here so I felt like a fraud for being upset. Yet another one of horrible firsts I hate having to go through. 

So only a short post today, just to say still here, still going, still trying to find my way, but always thinking of Lily Pop.