Saturday, 30 November 2013

Positive but still grieving

So I have thought a lot about what my next blog would be about, its been a few weeks since my last blog and everything has changed since then, I have started work again and have gone through a thousand emotions and feel like a whirlwind has happened.

I had a blog all written to go but have decided to write a different one. 

I have started work again, a task that seemed so enormous and frightening I didn't sleep from the moment I got the job to the end of the first week. Going to work that first day was the most enormous thing I think I have ever undertaken. But thankfully I love it, it was definitely the right job at the right time. That's not to say its not horrendous at times but it feels right. 

I could write for ages about my new job and how I love it and stuff but instead I want to write about grief, before Lily died I had no experience of grief, true 3 of my grandparents had died but although I was sad I never had the gut wrenching, stomach churning, take over your life grief. 

Grief if you have never experienced it is impossible to explain. When Lily first died the grief was overwhelming, it consumed my every waking moment and even my sleep. On Fri it will be 4 months since Lily died and Sat is her due date and I am not sure its any easier now. True there are periods where the grief is like a undercurrent, more like an ache that's always there, that's ok, I have learnt to live with a broken heart, a piece of my soul missing. Its the intensity with which grief hits, I can be at work, or in town, or driving or doing any number of things, and without warning BAM!!!!! Its like being shot, having your heart ripped out, it makes you want to fall to your knees and die. It happens at stupid times, at work, I have had to go to the bathroom and lock myself in a stall and bite my hand to stop from screaming in pain, often I am driving and it hits and I will physically scream in pain, today in town I am in Boots with tears falling.

The other day I was driving to work and BAM, it hits, suddenly I am back in the hospital on the 15th July being told my waters had broke, hearing that strange animal noise and wondering what is was and realising it was coming from me, I was screaming in a animalistic way. In a second I feel all of those feelings again, its like being stabbed in the chest, feeling that pain. Or suddenly in a blink of an eye I'm back to the day I was in labour, feeling all those feelings again, its like I'm floating on the ceiling watching myself give birth to my daughter all over again and its a intense physical pain in my heart as I realise she has gone to heaven. 

The intensity of my grief at times can make my physically sick, it can hit in a 1 second window and then go again, its unpredictable, its messy, its hard, and its never gonna go away, and I don't want it too, that pain, that hurt, its all I have of our baby. 

I miss our baby, my heart is broke, my life is incomplete, I look at Chris and wonder what are daughter would have been like, would she have been like her Dad, I hope so. 

I am proud of myself, somehow, I don't quite know how I am living again, I am working and enjoying it, I am making friends. I am moving not on but forward. Lily will always be a part of me, as will the grief but I am surviving. I don't know how we carry on without her here but somehow we are doing it together.

Someone told me the other day about how this would make me a better person, to start off with I was so mad. A better person, I don't want to be better, I want my baby and would do anything to get her back. I would literally die if we could turn back the clock 5 months ago, if next Saturday on her due date she had come, I would DIE, I would give my life for her to live and Chris to have the joy of her, 

But I cant. She is gone, She was born, She did die, I am a Mother to An Angel, Chris is a Father to An Angel, we have to live our life's without her, and that kills me, it hurts so much, unless you have lost a child I don't believe you will understand the pain, but many people have gone through other types of pain and will understand pain.

Now I look at it and think, will it make me a better person, maybe, its made me more compassionate to others, its made me appreciate things and to forget the non important things, it will make me a better parent to any other children we have, its made me a better girlfriend, friend, daughter, daughter in law. So maybe she was right, it was just hard to hear because I don't want to be better, I just want my baby back and I have to live with not being able to have that. 

Went to the crem today with my beautiful friend Kate, her hubby and their beautiful 9 week old baby. Lily's plaque is finally up, the joy I feel at this plaque is the joy you feel when your child walks or talks, when they do well at school, when they tell you they love you. All I have is her memory left and anything that honours her makes my heart flow with love.

So I am doing well, I am living, I am grieving, I am loving our daughter, I will always love her and always keep her memory alive.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

New Job, New beginnings, frightening times

As my due date approaches fast I seem to be finding things are getting harder again, not that the grief went away but more like my heart had got used to being broke.

My due date was 7th Dec, to any non grieving mums a due date isn't really important as the chance of your baby being born on that day is slim to none, to a grieving mother the due date can seem like the biggest hurdle, its the symbol of what was meant to be that will never be. For those of you who are my friends on facebook you will have seen I have a new job. It starts Monday and I'm petrified. Over the last 4 months I have been in a 'safe place', basically my house, I managed to isolate myself completely from the world in order to grieve in my own time. Over time, and bearing in mind its now over 4 months since my waters went I have ventured to friends houses and stepped out of my 'safe place' I found out last Friday I had got the job I went for, working for Wessex Water in Yeovil as an admin person. Since then I have hardly slept, am having panic attacks and constantly have a sick feeling in my stomach, add in my due date is 3 weeks away Saturday and let me tell you, life feels very hard right now!

I decided I didn't want to return to my old job, my life is drastically altered and I am no longer the same person I was, I felt that something needs to change. So in order to be fair to my boss and to give me the time I needed to grieve I handed in my notice. Around 3 weeks ago I started to look for work and my interview on Friday was the first interview and I got the job, I actually have a great track record as I have only once been for an interview and not been offered the position.

The thought of working again after 4 months makes me feel sick its long hours, a step down career wise and travel on top. I will be leaving at 6.45am and getting home around 6pm. After being in my 'safe place' for all this time its really scary. I will be asked the dreaded question all angel mummies dread 'Do you have children' Its so hard to answer, if I say no I feel immediately guilty as though I am ashamed of Lily, Which I am most definitely not, but if I say 'Yes I had a daughter she was still born' it creates a very awkward moment. Ahhh the joys the joys.

I have spent this week getting myself ready to go back to work, Mon I went and did all my little odd jobs I have been meaning to do, Tuesday I went to job centre and signed off (Hurrah!) and cooked a load of meals and froze them, yesterday I cleaned my house, today I visited a friend and tomorrow I have counselling. But I feel so sick all the time, my stomach is in knots, I am tired and down, I think about Lily ALL the time, I have no motivation.

I feel guilty for saying it, but I want this year over, I want to have settled in at work, December to be over with as its Lily's due date, Chris's birthday, Christmas etc etc, all times we should have had our beautiful daughter present for and I just want them over. Then I feel guilty as I don't want it to be 2014, 2013 was the year our baby was born in, I don't want to move forward. My head is now big ball of messed up crap at the mo.

I feel like I have lost myself over the last four months, I have no idea who I am anymore, I have lost all my confidence, all my drive, I just dont know who I am anymore, I am a Mum but don't feel it, I have lost all sense of who I was and have no idea how to rebuild myself. I have just been hiding away and now I am having to face the task of trying to find a new way forward in life.

Anyway todays post isn't as positive as usual, but if your a angel mummy with any ideas or support as to what will get me through please let me know. I need some help right now!

Love and hugs xxx

Friday, 8 November 2013

Where I am today

So where am I Today?

It was 3 months since Lily died on the 6th November. 

I have had people ask me 'When are you going to be back to normal' I will never be the same Kate ever again, the Kate who existed before 15th July when my waters broke is gone, gone for ever. I can never be the same person again and I don't want too. That Kate didn't know the things this Kate does. There are lots of bad things the new Kate knows, but lots of good. I know what its like to love someone with all your heart and soul, to hold my baby in my arms. 

Losing Lily has bought on so much bad stuff, but also so much good stuff.
Through social media I have made so many friends who like me have lost babies, Missy the first person to reach out to me, Lindsay, Rose, Tiffany, Amanda, Crystal, Kyrina, Nicole, Angela (whose gorgeous daughter survived pprom) Sheldon, Jennifer, Barbara, Lucy, Veronica and Brooke. Men and woman who share my pain. I met a wonderful woman called Zara who has given me hope for the future, a beautiful soul who lost her baby but then went on to have her rainbow recently. 
I am more compassionate, I feel more, I have been made to think and feel the worst pain but it has made me more compassionate. I have found out who my true friends are, from reconnecting with an old friend in February to her being there for me through all this, to my best friend who phoned me even when she knew I wouldn't answer the phone. I never thought I could love Chris more but somehow I now do, its bought our families closer together, its made me appreciate my family and friends children more. Its bought me closer to Chris's cousin. 

Its made me a better person, that's not to say that's its not the hardest thing I have ever been through and that the pain isn't all consuming but today I can be grateful for things as well. 

Every day isn't like this, some days even getting out of bed feels like a mountain I don't want to climb, but I do, if the only thing I do everyday is get up, I do that. I have learnt to appreciate things more, I have learnt grief is horrendous, I have never really experienced grief until Lily, its taught me how to empathise with people suffering from grief.

I want to thank everybody for reading my blog, over 550 views!!!! If the only thing that comes out of this is I bring the awful subject of losing your child to one persons mind then I am satisfied. Too often we don't talk about things that people find uncomfortable and hard, like depression, loss, grief and especially child loss. Why would you want to think or talk about it, its a horrid subject to think of, if you have children or not, but I believe that in order to break the stigma around child loss and grief it must be spoke about and addressed. That I am truly passionate about. 

What does the future hold?

Honestly I don't know, Lots more awful and horrendous days, but lots of joyous days. Lots of love. Chris is in my future, we are determined to fight to stay together, we were told 75% of couples will split after losing a baby, we wont, we are determined! Lily wot be the end of our story, hopefully the beginning. After 3 months we finally had post mortem results and bloods and lots of other test results, we had been told to expect them to find nothing wrong with Lily and they didn't. There was no reason why my waters broke. That's hard to comprehend sometimes, no reason, no answers. It does mean should we ever think of trying again it shouldn't happen again, shouldn't but then no guarantees, the chance of it happening were only 5%, but we were the 5%. They did dig up some unexpected results for me and now I have to move forward with those results and investigate more.
If we ever decide to have another baby it will never replace Lily, she will always be our first born, our beautiful daughter and having another child will never change that. Who knows what the future holds, I do know that I am sad that I will never have a happy pregnancy, even if I do get pregnant again we have been told it will be emotionally awful. We will worry and fret and even if medically all is ok, emotionally and mentally it will be the hardest thing we ever do. I am sad that I wont ever enjoy pregnancy. So for all you pregnant ladies, I know its hard and knackering, but take joy in the fact.

Today is a good day, that what I'm focusing on, today I can look at photos of my angel and feel love, tears yes, but they will always be there, forever but today I feel love for our beautiful angel in the sky and all she has bought me.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

A Labour of Love

Since my last post I have been thinking a lot, and talking to different people a lot. Some people do not understand my need to blog, they maybe feel that I should keep my feelings quiet and not talk about them, that maybe its not helping my healing. I disagree with this, regardless of if I blog or not, I'm thinking these feelings, they are inside my heart and head and I feel that by letting these feelings out it helps my healing. But everyone is different some people would prefer to grieve in private but everyone is different. I gave birth to Lily, she was growing in my body for nearly 6 months. The other reason I want to blog is there is a huge proportion of people that would prefer that grieving mothers kept quiet, that we brush our feelings and our child under the carpet, I completely disagree with this, Lily was real, she was a person, she was born, she was and is my baby and will forever be. For me to blog is too keep her alive, for me, for my family and friends. My one piece of advice, don't not talk about our daughter, to me its unforgivably rude. You wont upset me, you wont remind me. I think of her 24 hours a day in the back of my mind and my heart is broke. Talk of her, keep her memory alive, that's all I have left.

Please be aware that some of you may find this distressing.

On Tuesday 6th August 2013 we were given the news at approx 9am that Lily had moved down and labour was imminent. It was a surreal moment, for 3 weeks we had battled to keep this from happening and now some doctor was telling me this was it. We were told Lily would be born that day, that at 22 weeks 3 days she was too early and they would not intervene. We were told it would be quick. 

Total shock, we phoned my parents, well tried to, phone signal in hospital was awful, Mums phone was turned off, it was a nightmare. My Mum was on standby and had been for 3 weeks, she had promised to be there for me if labour came, to be a support for Chris as well. Finally Chris got hold of my Dad and told them to hurry, the way it had been put to us, it was going to happen soon, I panicked they wouldn't make it. Chris phoned his Mum, she was at work and promised to come asap. The midwifes came in and tried to explain what was going to happen, they had told us for the previous 3 weeks that it would be quick and painless, (it wasnt either but I suppose they couldn't tell me the true horror I would face) that they could give me enough drugs for me to not remember, at first I was sure this is what I would have done, finally on the day I realised I didn't want to be completely out of it, I wanted to remember every second of my daughters birth and death. I started to lose it, as previously stated in previous blogs my mental state was precarious and I was starting to unravel. They gave me small a small dose of drugs to calm me down. 

The day is a bit of a blur, Chris's Mum came down, my parents turned up and we waited, and waited and waited. I didn't know at the time but both my Dad and Chris's Mum went and asked them to help me, to do SOMETHING, but they wouldn't, they kept saying it would be soon, throughout the day as the drugs wore off I became very distressed and would be prescribed some more drugs to calm me down. 2pm, 3pm, 4pm, 6pm time just went on. At 8pm the midwifes changed, my midwife Naomi came on shift, she came and talked to us and said that at 9pm when the new doctor came on shift they would come and see me, finally. 
At around 9.15pm the new doctor came into see me. She examined me and explained that Lily was breech, her body had passed through but her head was stuck, she explained that she might be able to dislodge the head and deliver the baby. I was given gas and air, at this point only my mum and Chris were in the room. The doctor then tried to deliver Lily, I have never felt pain like it. It seemed to go on for hours but was probably only 10 minutes. Finally the doctor explained that she was unable to deliver the head. The decision was made to put in a drip to start my contractions. Fast forward an hour and my contractions started. Finally at 10.24pm Lily was delivered sleeping. I thought it was all over but then Naomi explained that I would need to deliver the placenta. Another 20 mins or so and it was all over. 

At the time I didn't know but when the doctor examined me she was able to deliver the body fully and at that point Lily was still alive, because of the time lapse between this and finally delivering the head Lily had passed away. I have a lot of regret that Lily was breech, if she had been head down she may have been born breathing, I may have been able to hold my darling baby while she was alive and she would have passed in my arms. The what ifs are huge and so distressing.

From the moment I found out I was pregnant I was terrified of labour, because of previous medical issues I was sure I would have to have a c section. I was prepared to fight for it, I never thought I would have been able to cope with labour. I now know that my medical complications would not have meant a c section, they would have tried a normal delivery. For those women like me who are scared of labour, who think they wont be able to do it, you can, you will. My perspective has changed immensely, as long as you end up with a crying healthy baby, labour for me would be a breeze. Going through labour knowing your baby will die is awful, I cant explain how awful. You will never understand how bad it actually was, not just for me but for Chris and my Mum, to watch me go through that. To try and push on no contractions as I just wanted it over. 

I didn't cry when Lily was born, I was too shocked, too overwhelmed and too out of it. I regret that! I held our daughter in my arms, she was tiny, so small but fully formed, she had tiny hands with gorgeous fingers. Tiny feet, hair starting to grow that was dark like her Dads. Its a bit of a blur the next bits, Chris text his Mum who came back to the hospital, Naomi weighed Lily, she was 350 grams. She took Lily away and took some photos for us, I wish I had had the strength for her to take the photos in the room, I wish I had thought for her to take a picture of me and Chris with Lily, we have photos but none of us as a family. Regret, every mother feels it, the grieving mother more so.

So I'm now off to the crem, its been a few weeks since I have been to visit Lily, I feel that today I want to go and feel close to my baby. I will take a picture of her resting place for this blog, to show you where my babies resting place is. 

So just back from the crem, very saddened to see two new babies have joined Lily, these are the first since Lily passed. I find going to the crem very hard but I find a sense of peace, this is where I can mourn my daughter, she isn't there but its a place to grieve. 


I find it really hard to accept that the place I go to feel close to my daughter is a crem, lots of you can just go into another room and find your loved one and pick them up to cuddle. I cant do that, i cant hold my baby anymore. That's hard, but its a beautiful place at the crem, theres a special baby garden for all the babies born too soon and its very peaceful. 

There is a lot of tragedy in Lilys pregnancy, birth and death, so much so that many of you will never understand but now nearly 3 months on I can see the beauty. Lily made me a mother, I don't actually feel like one but I try to tell myself every day that I am. Lily was beautiful, maybe not to you, but to me and Chris and our families she was our beautiful baby girl. So perfect, so v perfect and so precious. She has formed a bond between me and Chris that no one and nothing can ever break, even if we ever split up (we hope we wont but who knows what the future holds) she will always be our first born. 

Every time I go to the crem I am now able to look around, to see other babies memorials to mourn them as well as my own child. Lily's cousins rest there too and I always now go and see them, lovely Evie and Martha and think of them up there playing with Lily. I think of their Mum and Dad and send them my love. I clear some of the leaves from other memorials, I think of all the other parents like us, I think of all of my new friends who have babies in heaven. I pray one day to find a certain sort of peace, I pray for Lily, that she will always be proud of me, and I pray for the day I will see her again, and get to hold her in my arms.

RIP beautiful angel, know that Mummy & Daddy love and miss you everyday.