It feels like everything.
On June 15th, 2017, I became a nan but not in the way I so naively expected to be. That day we lost Dexter Bear, my beautiful grandson and my daughter, Ruth’s and son-in-law Dave’s, beautiful baby son. He was just over 24 weeks old and we had been eagerly and joyfully awaiting his arrival, on his due date in October. Now we must live without him and it is so, so very painful. I want Dexter to be here for my lovely, brave daughter and son-in-law…for me too. What fantastic parents Ruth and Dave are and continue to be and what fantastic parents they would have been for Dexter – for all of his life.
It was 31st January 2017, a Tuesday night, about 6.30pm and I had just disappeared upstairs and done a pregnancy test without Dave knowing. I hadn’t been feeling quite myself for a week or so and a friend had suggested taking a test. I hadn’t thought anything of it, I’d done plenty in the past that had come to nothing and so expected the same. Then there it was. That life-altering moment. Those blue lines telling me we were pregnant. I called Dave and asked him to come upstairs, he chuntered something about ‘why did I have to’ when he was in the middle of making tea so I repeated myself and said it was important. I didn’t even know what to say to him as I stared in shock at this rainbow baby we’d been gifted.
How could that be when you’ve lost your son? When your baby has died? When your heart has been well and truly shattered into a million pieces?
But how about if we looked at it differently?
Musings about our first Christmas experience without Dexter Bear…
It’s fair to say since losing Dexter, Christmas was the most horrendous and unimaginable event. I couldn’t even bear to consider it. How could we get through a time that was meant to be full of happy memories, joy and family? Everybody there celebrating Dexter’s First Christmas, just how we’d all imagined in all the memories we’d excitedly created; passing him round while Dave and I tried to eat a luke warm Christmas dinner, dressing him in his ‘My First Christmas’ outfit, reading him ”Twas the night before Christmas’ and making our own family traditions. To say we couldn’t wait was an understatement. This must be one of the happiest and most exciting times when you have children right?
This an open letter to you and to any other new-mum friends or pregnant friends that have a friend that has experienced the trauma and sadness of losing a child.
I remember the day you told me you were pregnant Lynsey, I was sat in my room and I was around 16 weeks pregnant, completely unaware of what Dave and I were going to suffer. It was still early days for you but you and I were both so excited, I was over the moon knowing that just 10 or so weeks after me you’d be on maternity leave and our babies would have been growing up as great friends and you and I would be able to support each other as we navigated our way through the early days of motherhood.
Monday 12th June 2017 was the start of the end of our pregnancy journey. It was the week we became parents. It was the week that our son died. It was the week our life changed forever. A week that is imprinted on our hearts and minds forever. Continue reading
Sunday 15th October 2017 marked the end of ‘Baby Loss Awareness Week’ where at 7pm (local time all over the world) the ‘Wave Of Light’ is held. I find the evening such a beautifully poignant but also heartbreaking event.
As part of Baby Loss Awareness Week, Dave (my lovely hubby) and I decided we’d go to see a screening of the film ‘Still Loved’, a film that explores life after having a stillborn child, surviving baby loss and how it affects people in so many different ways. It was held at The Everyman Cinema in Harrogate and hosted by the wonderful charity Our Angels.
My first ever blog post. It is finally happening. I have so many things to write about but I thought I’d start with why the blog is named what it is and share with you my pregnancy journey.
In 2015 I had an ectopic pregnancy and very nearly lost my life. It resulted in me losing my right fallopian tube. To say we were devastated is an understatement. We were broken. We had been so naïve in thinking that when we fell pregnant, that was it, we were going to have a baby. However, an ectopic pregnancy occurs to 2 in every 100 pregnancies and we were one of the unfortunate ones.
We grieved for the baby we lost for months but by last summer, after a holiday in Spain, we were finally starting to heal. We began trying again knowing that our chances of falling pregnant were slimmer but we still had good odds. January 31st of this year we were absolutely thrilled to find out we were expecting again. I say thrilled, this time it was less exciting. It was now filled with anxiety and dread that this would be another ectopic and I would lose my remaining tube. We had an early scan at 6 weeks and the sonographer found a yolk sac, this confirmed that the pregnancy wasn’t ectopic, the pregnancy was in the right place but because she couldn’t see the fetal pole yet we had to go back two weeks later. Cue two weeks of still panicking, was our baby going to be there when we went back? I remember trying to remain hopeful but I also had prepared myself for the worst. I had resigned myself to the fact that this wasn’t going to happen for us and we were going to have to explore other avenues. The 8 week scan arrived and lo and behold, there was our baby. A baby in the right place with a beautiful beating heart. The sigh of relief and tears that followed. We went for cautious celebratory pancakes. Was this actually happening?