Accomplishment and Unaccomplishment

treading water 4-12c

My life has felt like a list of ‘To Do’s’ for as long as I can remember. I thought it was because I liked to be busy, but in hindsight I fear it’s because I am running. Running from confronting something I’m scared of tackling, or something I am hiding from because it’s just to painful to remember, reminisce or speak about! I wonder is this a coping mechanism I have subconsciously and unknowingly carried out.

When I do something, I do it to the very best of my ability, and I apply myself fully, going above and beyond what is often required. Before children I worked damn hard for approval and recognition in a job I loved.

I bought a flat; I worked harder, in my head… challenge accomplished!

I got a promotion; and I worked even harder…challenge accomplished!

I got pregnant, not quite challenge accomplished…but a new challenge!

Louis and Corey died, saddened to the core, I return to work and I fall pregnant again, Challenge accomplished!

Almost 1 year later our rainbow Lilly-Ella arrived into the world screaming, followed 18months later by rainbow Toby and the start of a combination of two very new challenges. Our own business and two children, 18mths old and a new-born little boy.

A thriving business 24/7 and a daily struggle of kids, paperwork, emails, stress and no life, one miscarriage later and beginning to feel like a failure.

A perfect little rainbow ‘Isla’ comes along, and we now have a struggling business with piling debt and a thirty something mother of three little children, feeling like I am on the edge and the strain is becoming visible…. Accomplishment is far from my reach.

Another pregnancy, a folded business and plans for an extension, mission accomplished until………….Elliot grew his wings on 6 December 2012 and nothing will be the same again……. Guilt, pain and failure accomplished.

I ran, I busied myself, I ran, I planned, and I ran some more and I planned even more filling voids and busying my wondering mind.

Ploughing forward with the build of an extension which was only being built because of our growing family, bittersweet was every brick cemented in place. Reminding me of who isn’t here now and in Elliot’s place there is a spare room and agony. I’m wondering if this spare room will ever fill me with comfort or whether to me it will always be Elliot’s ‘empty’ Room.

One Fundraising event after another, and still putting one step in front of other, mopping up tears, and holding my children dear. Survival accomplished.

A new job, which comes with a new focus, a strained and broken marriage and our baby girl starting preschool, a mixture of accomplishment and failure, I feel like I am treading water but my legs are tiring.

Months of planning and preparation comes to an end when I hold a party in memory of Louis, Corey and Elliot to raise money for the Neonatal Intensive care Unit and Improvement to Bereavement Facilities. Mission Accomplished.

Over £3,000 raised and a massive total of over £6,000 since I starting fundraising but I am left feeling deflated and very much underwhelmed after the huge high, and the amazing feelings of accomplishment.

But a deeper sadness taints my fundraising because the dark truth is ‘would I really be doing this if I had all three of my sons here?’ and sadly but honestly the answer is probably no… and that leaves me feeling confused?

I see my innocent children changing, they have seen, heard and witnessed so much for their young, tender age, there is sadness behind their eyes that only a mother can see, sadness similar to the sadness that mirrors in mine. I see I have changed and the life I lived is now a memory of a life I had. I wonder how much longer I can tread water for…. Feeling unaccomplished.

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The moments after…

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6th of December 2012 and my life crumbled AGAIN… pain like a hot poker in my eyes, but multiplied by ten. How? Why? How? Why? ME again…? ran through my head over and over and over…

I laid awake the entire night holding my son so close to me, sobbing until my heart hurt, feeling his temperature go from ‘warm new born baby’ to’ ice cold skin’ that encased what was my beautiful baby boy ‘Elliot’, memories of my tiny twins, ‘Louis and Corey’ are vivid in my memory like their deaths were just last week, feeling overwhelmed with loss I cry, and I cry so much my eyes feel like they are awash with acid, and my heart aches, and I wonder for a second if it were to stop beating would I be relieved of the pain and the guilt that I am engulfed with in this moment!

7th of December 2012 and it was time to say my goodbyes, I had been delaying the moment to leave the hospital and leave Elliot, alone in this cold stark room. It just fights against all of your motherly instincts to leave your child, just because mine had died, it doesn’t mean my instincts have died too.

My coping mechanism set in and I do what I do best. I simply stand up, raise my head high, brush myself down like I have just stumbled over and dusted my down my outfit, not like I have just left my dead son laying in a cot, in a cold haunting, side ward, of a hospital. The reality that this would be the LAST time I would ever see his him, hold him, cherish him and be his mum hadn’t quite dawned on me.

I opened the door of the side room where I had been imprisoned since my admission, in a strange way I felt a familiarity with this room, a safeness that was inside the room that I wouldn’t have when I leave, because then I will be subjected to a million sorrys, a million sorrowful looks and million tears, where there should be a million ‘congratulations’ instead.

I was overwhelmed with fear, the fear of walking out the door of my safe haven straight into the path of a labouring woman or new born baby being cradled and nurtured by its mother. The sound of the ward around me was echoing in my head and appeared to be much louder than it was in actuality but my senses were working in overdrive and my emotions were raw, so each new born cry that came from each baby that was born rang in my ears 10 decibels higher then in reality.

So I counted to 10 in my head, I took one large breath, took one last look at my beautiful son with silent tears still steaming down my face, I opened the door and I walked, I put one foot in front of the other, striding forward and focussing on the next door in front of me and never once looking back. Once outside the cold air met my breath but the sun was shining, my lift was waiting and that’s when a lump in my throat so large I could barely swallow and I fought against the urge to cry. I was so tired of crying, so tired of hurting and just so so tired of everything!

The brave face was painted on, thicker then ever before, impenetrable, as I prepared myself to see my children, to tell my children about their little baby brother, whose gone to the playground in the sky with their other brothers, Louis and Corey.

It was time to be strong, time to be a mother to be proud of and try and help others through my losses and that was when I began fundraising in the memory of Three Little Stars …

http://www.justgiving.com/three-little-stars

 

 

One step at a time …

It’s been a while since my last blog, there are a few reasons for this, some of which are commonly known as ‘I cant be arsed reasons’ and ‘there are never enough fecking hours in the day’ reasons; but the other more sincere reason was, that I was finding wearing my heart on my sleeve to reveal my deepest pain to the world of cyberspace quite a surreal experience, although often a comforting experience, however the thought was somewhat daunting at times that I may be judged by people that I have never set eyes on.

So after my time away, where am I?

I’m still battling daily with my emotions, a constant argument in my head with the good the bad and the ugly.

The good, telling me I’m one of life’s survivors and I will not be defeated by grief, and the little friendly voice pushing me on to my next venture in the memory of my three little boys whom I miss so much my whole body aches, the good that always tries to see good, and use my losses to help others.

The bad, is the part of me, that when I listen to people moan and whinge about utter rubbish, when I have to fight the urge to stop my arm raising, my fist clenching and smacking the innocent party straight in between the eyes and shouting out loud…. ‘Now you got something to moan about, that’s not insignificant’ ….

Then there’s the Ugly, the part of me that I am embarrassed to reveal, the part that I am ashamed to admit, the part that’s jealous, that’s vindictive and quite frankly very angry and bitter. The good part occasionally dipping in to whisper “its ok to feel like this” but the bad taking over and stomping the arse out of all rationality of thinking…

But as much as I tell myself there are good days and bad days, nothing prepares me for when the emotion takes over; it creeps out of nowhere, like the monster you dreamt of as a child, like the how the darkness of night swamps the daylight sunshine in what seems like a millisecond come the winter months.

But as for my earlier question where I am right now …..

I am still living after still birth, but still wishing things were different and still wondering who the person is that looks back at me through the mirror! I feel like I am in a transitional point between the pain of grief and the pain of accepting grief….

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