How lucky am I?

How lucky am I?

To my little Riley Roo Roo

Today you are nearly 2 weeks old, our life has been turned on it’s head since you arrived and I wouldn’t change a minute of it. You are to me the most beautiful and perfect child, I’m sure every mum thinks it, but you truly are. You have helped fill a very large hole that was left in my heart 3 years ago when your sister left this world. I won’t pretend life with a newborn baby is easy but my god you make it worth it, when you look up at me with those big beautiful blue eyes, my heart just melts. 

This morning at 4am we lay in bed the two of us, and I just loved holding you close. I know I will blink and soon you will be grown up and it won’t be cool to give your mum cuddles any more, but until that day I will cherish every cuddle, kiss and snuggle I can take. 

I spent so much time when I was pregnant with you terrified I wouldn’t know how to be your mummy, scared I would do something wrong and my biggest fear is I will ever let you down. I can’t promise I will get everything in your life right, but I can promise that I will try to do the best and the right thing for you, every second of your life. I won’t promise to always be your friend and I’m sure we won’t always see eye to eye, but I promise to always try to keep you safe and I promise to make sure you know just how loved you are. 

You see when we said goodbye to your sister I knew I would cherish her siblings that but more, because I know I will take night times of you crying and lack of sleep over saying goodbye to another child again. I right now am the luckiest mummy in the world because I get to be your mummy, and to me that is the best gift I can ever be given. So know everyday my little roo roo that I am here, I will be the one to push you that bit further, to hold you that bit tighter and remind you just what a special and amazing little person you are. So now I am off to give you an extra little cuddle and kiss, how lucky am I?

All my love

Your mummy xxx

A rainbow pregnancy the highs and lows

A rainbow pregnancy the highs and lows

I have been in debate about if and how I write this post. I would never want anyone to think that we for a second forget how lucky we are to have a rainbow pregnancy, it took us two years to get here and many times we came close to giving up hope. However in all that time I don’t believe we were ever prepared for how hard a rainbow pregnancy is.

Not the physical side, for me I seem to be lucky and pregnancy seems to agree with me, I have little to no sickness to contend with and my body just seems to go along with the changes. But a rainbow has a huge emotional toll.

We started this pregnancy with as much positive thinking as we could muster. I kept saying to myself that, worrying won’t change if this baby stays or not so I may as well enjoy every day whilst I have it, but as we get further along and closer to our due date it becomes increasingly harder. It has turned into endless nights tossing and turning, questioning when the last movement I felt was, worrying trying to remember if at any point today I have knocked or hurt my precious bump. 

The late night hospital trips when he hasn’t been moving are the worst. I sit in the car and dread what might happen, preparing yourself for those words again just in case. Luckily every time it has always been good news but I can never explain how emotionally draining it all it. We often don’t talk about these hard times because we don’t want to burden others. Everyone else is so excited and we need them to be, we don’t want everyone to have to experience these scares or feelings like we do. We need everyone around us to be full of positivity to keep us going when we don’t have any. 

I have at points spent hours at night running every scenario in my head of what could go wrong, what would we do differently this time, if it all went wrong. The rational day time me can usually push these thoughts away, knowing they are counter productive, and positive thinking really is the only way to go. But 2am me isn’t rational, 2am me is the demon that allows these thoughts time to take over my brain and drain my emotions. See for me, a rainbow pregnancy is about being aware that there is always the chance of 2 outcomes.

As much as we plan for our future, we talk as if sure it will happen I know we are both on edge, the slightest mention of an issue and we are both alert, we don’t talk about it but it’s there. When I look back in the last 30 weeks I’m not actually sure I can recall a single conversation where we have spoken as if he will actually come home. We talk about the practical stuff, we talk about pregnancy but never have we dared to talk about what having him here will really be like. Because we are scared, scared to dream and to imagine we still are just living one appointment to the next I think.

I love this baby with all that I have, as much as I love my Leela, and I guess in a way I am glad for what we have, we know how precious this baby is, every milestone we hit now feels like we have climbed Everest. But there is a thing of too much knowledge, it leads to worry about new issues you never knew before, you are heightened to potential dangers you wish you never knew about. It is hard sometimes to think rationally and remember that most pregnancies end well, we are in the minority that we have experienced otherwise. At the end of day all we can do is to take this a day at a time.img_0194

 

The next step… our rainbow

The next step… our rainbow

The news is out and a rainbow is coming, we are ecstatic and over the moon and we know how lucky we are to be here. The blog has been very quiet the last year or so and I guess our Rainbow journey seems a good reason to bring it back to life, to document the highs and lows that come with a rainbow pregnancy. I guess it is a direction I always hoped the blog would take but never dared to imagine it would. Unsure if it would happen to us or that when it did if we would feel like talking and documenting it. But I guess it seems that if pregnancy and infancy loss is hardly spoken about then the true journey of having a rainbow is even less so spoken off.

So what is rainbow a baby? A rainbow baby is the pregnancy that follows a loss, it is from the understanding that after the storm that seems to follow a loss, hope is found in the rainbow at the end, that beauty and life always prevail. It is not as some may believe that this new baby will replace the one that was lost, for us Leela will never be replaced, she will always be my first born and we will always remember, but it means we now have space for another child in our lives.

The journey so far has been up and down, full of excitement and joy but crippled with fear and anxiety. The early days were hard, we were lucky to have had an early scan which bought about some comfort to see the heartbeat and know that for now at least baby is safe. I find now as we get further and closer to the point at which we lost Leela it becomes hard in a new way. It becomes familiar that if something were to happen we know exactly what will happen. We know we would have to face birth and funeral all those events again. No matter how hard you try to stay positive sometimes these thoughts still creep in and they are terrifying and heartbreaking. We made the decision to go public with our pregnancy at 12 weeks, many have expressed their surprise but it feels we need to be as normal as possible, we have to have the belief that everything will be alright and publicly acknowledged our pregnancy has been a  huge part of that. To have the support of others has been the best thing.

Currently I am 17 weeks and 6 days, I feel like I am getting bigger by the day but can’t deny that I love having bump. I seem to have been lucky with having so few of the horrid pregnancy symptoms, we have been placed under consultant care but with an issue of no one knows what went wrong last time so they are currently unsure what care we actually need. Really it feels like everyone just has their fingers crossed that it all goes ok and if it doesn’t then we face it if/when we need to. For now we are on the countdown to 20 weeks to find out if we have a blue or pink bump, we aren’t too fussed either way but we are excited to find out anyway. It feels different this time, I guess we have been through the worst so this pregnancy seems less daunting it has been easier to relax and just enjoy it this time which I think we really needed. So here is the start of what we hope will a quick and happy rainbow pregnancy.

2016

2016

So here we are a new year and it seems a good time to reflect on what has been before. I am aware  that recently the blog has been quiet. It isn’t that I haven’t been writing I just haven’t been publishing. I relalised something, I started this blog to raise awareness and to give a voice to the grief that follows pregnancy loss. However I have always very aware of the blog becoming self indulgent, berating people for not understanding something that I think cannot be comprehended truly until experienced. I was aware that I wouldn’t want someone new to this journey of grief to read this and think it never gets better, but equally I don’t want it to appear that Leela is forgotten and we have moved on. 

The truth it life has settled. I rarely cry anymore, I have learnt to live with grief without it dictating my life and choices. I feel that if I want to stay true to the reason behind this blog then I need to tell the truth, not write only when I am at a low or a high but capture a true experience. 

The truth is loss becomes part of our life, it is almost normal as much as it can be. People feel less scared of talking to us about Leela, so I assume we appear less fragile. Loss no longer defines us, we are not just the couple that lost their daughter we have some identity back. Of course I miss Leela that never changes, I still imagine her in our lives now but it no longer consumes my thoughts. Everyone always told me time is a healer, I don’t know of that is true. Nearly 2 years on the pain is still there, but time does give knowledge and acceptance. I accept that chances are nothing could of prevented her death. I know now that holding anger at others for having what I wish we had will not bring me any happiness or comfort. 

So we start the new year in a good place. I am still amazed sometimes at how far it seems we have come but  we still have a long way to go. Here is to a happy and memorable new year. 

A life is a life

A life is a life

A person’s a person, no matter how small! – Doctor Seuss

personWhen I say my daughter died, you instantly feel regret, you feel pain and empathy, if I tell you my baby died, this becomes heightened the idea that an innocent baby lost their life, you think “how can the world be so cruel”. But wh
en I tell you her death was a miscarriage you don’t feel so bad anymore, you say “it was only a miscarriage, they weren’t really a person were they anyway?” How wrong you can be, the loss of a child at ANY stage is painful and heartbreaking.  If you held that child for 4 or 40 weeks, you still held them, that child was a part of you, your body sacrificed things, you felt sick and tired, you ached and your head felt like it would explode with emotions to give this child life, but what happens then life never comes to be.

You dream and imagine how your life will change, you change your entire life to give your child the best. That child grew from your body, you nourished and provided for them from the tiny spec to the baby they become. You had a heart that beat inside in you, for a while you were two of you, you were your child’s entire world, they knew and maybe will never know anything outside of the safe place within you that they lived.

You had two hearts, two heads, four arms and legs, 20 fingers and 20 toes for that whole time you carried them. So how can you ask me to simply “get over it” something died within me, Something I grew and I made that couldn’t make it any further?

I carried for 20 weeks before our girl grew her wings, only 20 weeks you say, Just think..that is from now to the end of February, it isn’t only a few weeks people seem to believe. Imagine what you will do in that time, I carried my daughter for that whole time. So please never tell a bereaved parent to “get over it”, please never say “you never knew them” or “they weren’t a person” because to us they were, they were our baby, we lost our child and we lost the future we had planned. We watched it shatter infront of our eyes. We fear to feel hope again, we feel guilt for feeling happy, we feel anger we can’t explain and sadness deeper than the ocean. We wish you never feel an ounce of the pain and anguish we feel, and we hurt deeply when we hear that one day you do. Because we know the pain and I never want anyone to feel it. We wish it could end with us but it won’t. So lets think about our words, lets celebrate and remember every little life, no matter how little. Because sadly more little lives will be lost, and I hope it never one of yours, but lets support and show love, not diminish and hush other’s pain. Lets show everyone the love and support the deserve and they need and remember all the little lives lost this Pregnancy and child Loss awareness Week.

Capture Your Grief 2015

Capture Your Grief 2015

Capture your grief is a blog/journalling/personal reflective project which runs throughout the Month of October. It is run by Carly Marie and it is a month of daily prompts which help to capture your journey, current and future grief after the loss of a child. Last year the loss of Leela felt to raw to try this, but this year I will be trying to keep up with the daily prompts. I will be documenting my month on Instagram (hannahmcleod91) I have chosen instagram as it is quite forgiving I can use daily images without a word limit to go with them. Some of the days I may choose to add in a blog post aswell. For me it is chance to write and express areas of our loss which we haven’t before. It is also a chance to connect with the larger angel parent community.

It is as much for myself as it is for others. It will be good for me to be made to look at things in a different way from the daily prompts. The project is run during October as this month is generally recognised a month for Pregnancy and child loss awareness. It seems a good chance to reflect and see how we have progressed even since this time last year. Having so many taking part in this project brings some awareness to the life changing effects of losing a child at any stage. This month and project for me is for everyone who has suffered a loss from 4 weeks to adulthood the loss of a child is still such a deep emotional pain. If you would like to follow this month project you can follow me on Instagram (Hannahmcleod91) or follow the hashtags of #CaptureYourGiref and #WhatHealsYou.

Also let me know if you will be doing this project and how you will be documenting so I can follow your month aswell 🙂 captureyourgrief

Flight or Fight

Flight or Fight

Fight_FlightI remember standing outside the crematorium, standing around the car which held our tiny baby’s tiny coffin, no bigger than a large shoe box. It’s strange the reaction you have, we stood and we cried as we hugged friends and family, we laughed at the most stupid of things, anything to distract our mind of what would be undoubtedly the hardest half hour of our life. We had to wait while the funeral before us finished, I remember the large doors being opened, hearing our little girls song “hello world” starting up. In that moment I froze, I knew I had only seconds to choose I wanted to run away, to pretend we didn’t have to do this, to run as fast and as far as my legs would take me, but I was rooted to the spot. I watched like an on looker seeing the coffin being handed to Craig, the flowers being fussed over and arranged on her tiny little coffin. I remember someone putting their hand no my back gently pushing me forward, going into auto pilot walking into the little chapel.

I forced myself to sit down as I knew if I didn’t I would run to her, I would fall over myself to have her with me again. I knew in that moment it was final, I would never see her again, never hold or feel her again, in a few short hours her body would be no more. I sat frozen for most of the ceremony, I don’t know that I even remember crying that much, I knew if I started I wouldn’t stop. I remember hearing the sobs behind me, but I wasn’t strong enough to acknowledge them, I knew if I saw how her loss had affected others I really would crumble. I sat and I listened, I tried to take it in as I knew this would our last time we would be in a room together. I tried so hard to be present but I couldn’t, the whole thing washed over me. My brain couldn’t accept the reality of what was happening. At the end the final music had to be played twice as I just couldn’t get up and leave, I couldn’t leave my little girl behind with strangers. I couldn’t bare that it was over, that was it, she was truly gone.

I believe its the hardest thing as a bereaved parent you want to take flight, to run, believing running putting distance between you and life will make you forget about your loss but it doesn’t it only seems to highlight it. Fighting is even harder, it’s like wading through the thickest of treacle. Sometimes no matter how hard you fight you don’t move forward and some days you do. It is the most basic of human instinct, we don’t have over think it, our bodies and our minds seems to know what to do even when we don’t.