"I will praise the one who's chosen me, to carry you"
-Selah: I will carry you

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Right where I am 2012: Eight months and six days

What an amazing project! An opportunity to take stock, and sit and really think about that. Where am I right now? So thank you, Angie (Stilllifewithcircles) for the opportunity, and here goes.

It is the end of May, and it is beautiful outside.  The parks and public spaces are full of families, laughing children, babies in buggies, sunbathing couples, picnics, prams, games.  And then there's me.  I feel separate to them, I am there, I am reading my book in the park, enjoying the sun, chatting to friends, just another 20-something woman who doesn't have kids yet. Only she does. Only she doesn't.  Only she should have.  So that's it, that's where I am right now- stuck in the "should have beens"

I no longer break down in tears, or shakes, or feel the need to run away at the sight of other little families. But I am jealous of them. I do look at them and think- that should be us too.  Why are they living the life we should be living, why are we not?

I spend a lot of time now thinking about this time last year- I was pregnant, and so looking forward to this time this year- being out in the sun with my baby, on maternity leave and going for walks with my buggy, visiting family and sitting in the garden, maybe this weekend would have been his christening?  I feel cheated, that is new.  I no longer just focus on his loss, it isn't all consuming any more, instead I think about what we would have been doing together,  I mourn the life he should have lived, the future we should have enjoyed together.  I wonder about the stage he would be at now.  Newborns are less of a problem to me as 8 month olds.  I suppose rather than staying a baby forever, I imagine him growing in Heaven.

I still have a lot of moments where I am back in the hospital holding him as he passes away, and it feels like yesterday.  But now I am able to think less of that moment, and more of the happy memories, all the things he achieved in his 51 precious hours.  Both make me cry, but in different ways.  I cry less now, no longer every day, and no longer for hours at a time.  It's a few gentle tears then they're gone.

I have reached a point where I am able to take enjoyment in life, but it is"happysad". This is a term I made up a couple of months ago, because I could not think of a better way to describe how I felt in that moment. I am able to enjoy life and feel "happy" as an emotion, but it isn't happy how happy used to be, it is mixed with sadness that Robert won't ever experience the thing that made me happy.   How can I ever feel truly, innocently, carefree happy.  Not happysad, or happy if only, or happy but....just happy.  I still can't see a time when I will.   I know the worst case scenario. I know acute, life changing grief.

I am trying again now, because I feel that the only thing that will bring enough happiness to balance the sadness is a sibling for Bertie.  I am aware that it won't make it all OK, that I will still grieve for my first born, and that it may make it worse in a lot of ways as I discover with each milestone the next baby reaches exactly what we, and he, have missed out on.  But, my arms are empty, and every ounce of my being aches to be a mum.  I feel like life is on hold, I am just going through the motions, waiting for life to begin again.  And I don't think it will until I see that positive pregnancy test.  What is interesting is that I don't feel guilty about trying again any more. I did, the first couple of months, it felt like I was trying to move on too soon, and that I would be leaving Bertie behind.  As time has moved on, so has my mindset, I no longer feel that guilt.  Maybe it is because we knew we always wanted our family close together, so if he were here, well maybe we'd be trying again now anyway.  Enough time has passed that I won't look at the next baby and think, if Bertie had lived, I wouldn't have you.  It is terrifying though.  So much so that in some ways it is a relief each time it doesn't happen.  But what else can I do?  To get my life back on the track it was supposed to be on, I have got to go through the scariest nine months I will ever face. And just hope I get the full nine months this time....

So, where am I?  I am here. 


  1. Bertie is such a lovely name. I'm so sorry he didn't get to stay. I can relate to all of this, because I lost my firstborn as well, and I remember thinking I should look like those other mums. Yet I didn't.
    I wanted to let you know, that if you link back to my blog, I have a nine month old girl, so if you don't want to read or look, that is ok - I get it. I have been there. I know I always did, and still do, find it hard to be around children the same age. My little girl would have been four this year, and I can't quite believe it. Now though, I can only imaging her as the 8 pound new-born that she was.
    Sending you so much love and wishing you luck as you try again.

  2. Thankyou jo that's very kind. I will have a look on a stronger day! It is inspiring and helpful to read experiences of mums further along the road x

  3. It is hard and strange to be a mother with no living children, hard to know how to define yourself. I'm so sorry Bertie isn't with you and wishing you well as you try again.

  4. I know all too well that state of "happysad." Thank you for sharing about your Bertie, I am so sorry he isn't here with you.
    Like Hope's Mama I want to let you know I have a nearly nine month old so you may not want to click over to my blog.
    Love and light to you as you try to conceive Bertie's sibling.

  5. You sound incredibly centred, I must say. I'm in awe. And I am also smiling slightly at the sight of your tesco post as it is also my grief nemesis and I hate it for endless things about babies and grief and goodness knows what!

  6. Thank you for sharing this. Happysad...it should be a word. xo

  7. Not sure if you received my first comment, so just thank you for sharing right where you are. Eight months is hard. It is not that raw grief, but it is so close to the surface. I know I was incredibly angry at eight months. Happysad. Yes. That describes it perfectly. Thank you again. xo

  8. Thank you so much for sharing. I found myself nodding along to so much you wrote. That first year was so difficult for me. And yes, totally understand "happysad." It SHOULD be a word, at least for all of us babyloss mamas.

    Much love and hugs,
    Hannah Rose

  9. Being on hold, and waiting for life to begin again...Yes. I understood that so well. Still do sometimes. Thank you for sharing. <3

  10. "I suppose rather than staying a baby forever, I imagine him growing in Heaven." - I imagine this too.. Thank you for sharing your journey. Thinking of you and your Bertie, hoping for a rainbow with you.

  11. Beautifully written. My brand new rainbow baby has filled our lives with joy but he has changed my grief, as you said... now I see all I have missed with my other 3 children. But the joy and the weight in my arms is worth it... worth the years of waiting and the scariest 9 months ever. I pray your journey brings a rainbow into your arms very soon <3 Thank you for sharing right where you are. <3

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  13. I'm another who really likes HappySad. I overused "bittersweet" so much in the early years of my grief and, to some extent, I still do. More sweet than bitter now, more happy than sad but it's never going to be not at all sad because our babies aren't with us.

    I am sorry Bertie died (such a cute name)and I wish you ...gentleness ... on the journey towards his sibling.

    Oh, and I read your Tesco post too because, like Merry, I understand. Online shopping with delivery direct to your door - that's my solution. Only one driver to contend with - it cuts out a lot of the grief triggers I find!

  14. I'm so sorry your Bertie isn't in your arms, that you are working through this first year of grief. So much of what you write here brings back memories, makes me nod along, yes. Sending love to you and hoping for you as you embark upon trying.