Saying Goodbye…

“A heart break isn’t always as loud as a bomb exploding. Sometimes, it could be as quiet as a feather falling and the most painful thing is, nobody hears it except you – Anon

On Wednesday the 2nd of January 2013, our lives changed in the most difficult and heart breaking way ever. I have spoken about this in previous blogs although not in detail, because I didn’t feel ready to share that part of our lives with the world.

But here we are a year later, and we are ok. We are living each day as it comes. We got through it. We are coping. And so I now feel strong enough to be able to share our story with you in the hope of helping someone else who may be feeling or going through the same thing, and to let you know that you can, and will, get through it.

On the 2nd of January 2013 , Paul and I lost our baby. 

I remember settling down to watch the new series of One Born Every Minute with a cuppa and some leftover Christmas chocolates. I felt awful, and had done all day, but put it down to an over indulgent Christmas and New Year.  Paul had just taken the boys up to bed and we were all looking forward to getting back to normal after the New Year break.

The theme music started. And after that,  everything is a blur.

Paul found me collapsed in the toilet about 20 minutes later. I was as white as a sheet, my clothes were soaked in sweat and I was drifting in and out of consciousness. I had lost so much blood. Too much blood. We both knew what had happened, but neither of us said it.

I remember the paramedics rushing up the stairs to me, being hooked up to drips and monitors and taken in an ambulance to A&E. I remember being so embarrassed by the mess I was in and constantly apologising to the paramedic, who couldn’t have been nicer, or more understanding. But the sympathetic glances, and the gentle “It’ll be ok” told me straight away that nothing was going to be alright.

I remember not crying. I just felt completely numb. It was as if I was watching this happening to someone else.

I remember lying in the cubicle in A&E, with Paul trying to make me  laugh (as we always do in the most awful situations) and just having a feeling of complete emptiness come over me. Helplessness. Guilt. Sadness.

And then the doctor came. And the tears came. And they didn’t stop for a long time.

We had lost our baby at a little over 12 weeks gestation.

We had no scans. No medical notes. Nothing, physically, to remember the fact our baby actually existed. But the loss of our baby broke our hearts. There was no reason. It wasn’t anyone or anything’s fault. But a part of us will never fully recover from it.

January, February and March came and went. I wasn’t living my life. I was simply getting through each day as best I could. I was dragging myself out of bed for the sake of my boys and Paul and getting to the end of the day before breaking down in tears again. The guilt was unbearable. You feel you should been able to protect your own baby from everything and anything. And I couldn’t. I didn’t.

In April, I started this blog with the hope of sharing our story and giving and receiving help and support from others who were going through the same thing. I have a post drafted from that first blog day that I have never been able to publish. I just wasn’t ready. I wasn’t coping.

But here we are, a year later. We’re stronger than we have ever been as a family. We got through it. And I feel I can finally post about this. About our loss. There are still days where the pain just hits you all over again.  We struggled at Aiden’s nursery concert in June seeing all the newborn babies. We struggled at the beginning of July around our due date. I have still never been able to watch One Born Every Minute. Maybe one day.

As for our family plans, we’re lucky to have our two beautiful boys. And we appreciate them every single day, and hug them even harder now.  But we will always remember our third baby. The little one who was there, but who never got to stay.

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Little Snowdrop

The world may never notice if a Snowdrop doesn’t bloom,
Or even pause to wonder if the petals fall too soon,
But every life that ever forms or even comes to be,
Touches the world in some small way for all eternity.
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The little one we longed for was swiftly here and gone,
But the love that was then planted is a light that still shines on,
And though our arms are empty our hearts know what to do,
Every beating of our hearts says that we love you.
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Saying Goodbye is a charity offering support and services for anyone who has lost a baby in pregnancy, at birth, or in the early years. Saying Goodbye is for all parents who carried a child, but did not get to meet them. For those who held their baby, but did not take them home, & for those who did take their little ones home, but they did not stay. 

Saying Goodbye has brought to the UK the first national set of services – all services take place in cathedrals and are held by ministers. These are a fitting tribute to all babies who have been lost.

Please LIKE the www.facebook.com/SayinggoodbyeUK page

Web: www.sayinggoodbye.org

Twitter @SayinggoodbyeUK

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-Z0IrXDGVA

My best friend has decided to run the 10k on the 11th May 2014 and raise money for this amazing charity! If I can start my training soon I will hopefully be joining her! Every small donation helps and will go towards providing help and support for other families out there who are going through the devastating effects of baby loss. Please help her to reach her fundraising target by donating here, and a massive thank you if you do:

https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/sharondownes1

If you have been affected by baby loss, in any way at all or at any stage of pregnancy, and just want someone to speak to, cry with or vent at, then please feel free to email me at thesouthsidegirl@gmail.com or get in touch with the amazing people at Saying Goodbye. The help and support they offer is incredible.

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The Lullaby Trust

It is every parent’s worst nightmare.

You put your perfect little baby down to sleep, sing them a lullaby, wish them sweet, beautiful dreams, your mind full of wishes and hopes for this amazing little person’s future…

But they never wake up.

In an instant your life is ripped apart and your heart broken into a million pieces. It is a horror that no one should ever have to go through.

According to FSID (The Foundation of the Study for Infant Deaths), every year in the UK alone, over 600 babies will die suddenly and unexpectedly. The majority of these babies are perfectly healthy, and although some can be explained after investigation, there are a majority that cannot.

Yesterday, FSID changed its name to The Lullaby Trust.

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We have chosen our new identity to help us raise our voice, to ensure that sudden infant death is not ignored or considered to be an issue of the past.

Across the country, over 600 apparently healthy babies continue to die suddenly and unexpectedly every year. This is unacceptable and we want to do all we can to prevent these deaths.

We believe that our new identity will help us to reach even more parents with our expert advice on safer sleep for babies.  Through greater engagement with families and also with policy makers we hope to achieve our ambition to halve the number of babies dying by 2020.

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I became aware of The Lullaby Trust and it’s work after reading about Jennie from Edspire who lost her beautiful baby girl, Matlida Mae, in February this year from SIDS. It is a truly heartbreaking story but the work she is doing to raise awareness for this cause is incredible, and a true testament to her strength of character and her beautiful love for her baby girl. I wrote this for her, and for Matilda Mae.

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Sweetdreams little angel,

It was too soon to close your eyes,

Now, dance among the clouds by day,

By night shine from the skies.

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Sweetdreams little angel,

Shower us with rainbows from above,

Catch the bubbles, that are sent each day

They are sent with lots of love.

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Sweetdreams little angel,

Run amongst the stars,

Chase the moon, Splash in the rain,

Watch over their broken hearts.

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Sweetdreams little angel,

We all wish you could have stayed

Shine bright each night with the stars above,

Beautiful, Matilda Mae

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The Lullaby Trust is committed to working to promote safer sleep for babies, to every family. It offers support and advice to both bereaved, and new parents.

I thought I would leave you with some lullabies that I used to sing/play to my boys when they were babies….some of which I still hear them singing to each other at night…

Hush Little Baby

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Clair de Lune

Smile

This post has been linked up with Jennie from Edspire. To read her story and her post, as well as others, on The Lullaby Trust please visit here

Please help raise awareness of this cause. Visit The Lullaby Trust here

 

Edspire and The Lullaby Trust

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In memory of Matilda Mae and all other babies lost.