#rememberingelliot

happy-birthday-4th

To my dearest sweet little soldier who turns four tomorrow!

In my dreams the years have passed by so slowly but in reality things are very different. Life goes on, time moves forward even when I don’t want it to, sometimes I stand and stare in to nothingness, I close my eyes and just wait for you to meet me in my thoughts as I imagine how you’d be now in this very moment of nonexistent time. Seizing hold of this moment despite everything around me moving at epic levels of speed.

I hope you will be watching us tomorrow as we ritually put up the Christmas decorations to mark your birthday and allow our Christmas to begin. Everyone starts their Christmas on the 1st December, but I can’t, and I won’t ever start my festivities before taking my time to remember you! Decorating the tree tomorrow is significant to me in a way that only you, my son, would truly understand. I can hear your brother and sisters now; squealing with delight at tinsel and baubles  knowing it starts their countdown until they are blessed with gifts, but I will hang each bauble with an edge of sadness knowing I will be one child less, one toy sack with a name on but no presents, one advent calendar short and an empty bedroom.

I don’t know why today has been different, my heavy heart has carried around that bag of guilt like a noose around my neck, and you know that ‘guilt’ and I have an arrangement so you understand why I have to allow it in, I have to let ‘guilt’ have its moment because by allowing it this ONE day, it allows me ‘control’ for the rest of the year and into the next.

To everyone else your birthday is tomorrow, the 6th December, but today will always be ours. For today was your last day, today was the last time I felt you kick in the early hours of the morning, today was the day I spent hours holding my lifeless bump and whispering to your spirit that had already gained flight to stay a little longer because I wasn’t ready to give up… but it appeared you were.

Today has passed in slow motion, I have stared at the clock throughout the day and I can almost recall the exact point in time four years previous. I know enough about grief to understand that this is OK, some years will be easy and some will be hard, but its OK!

We still speak about you all the time, Toby even referred to the empty room as your bedroom the other day and my heart skipped a beat, I miss you so much Elliot. Four years old…and what a four years they have been. Join me in spirit tomorrow my little soldier and  when I stand and stare in to nothingness and close my eyes, come and meet me in my thoughts as I imagine how you’d be now in that very moment of nonexistent time so I can imagine what its like to hold you on your birthday again, and while everything around us is moving at epic levels of speed, I will hold on to that moment and place the angel on the very top of our tree.

Happy Birthday my little soldier, all my love to infinity and beyond

Mummy xx

Corey… 

And so today’s your special day! 

When I think that you’d be just starting your final year of primary school, I get a little choked because I think of all that’s been stolen from us. 

I guess when you fall pregnant with twins not only do you expect to go home with TWO bundles of joy but for them to be born on the same day. You my little man had different ideas from the very start. 

My tiny little bundle of 1 lb 7 oz, entered the world in dramatic fashion, feet first without a squeak or murmur. I remember staring at your tiny pink fragile body in the incubator as they wheeled you off to NICU, so tiny but already such a little warrior.

I talk a lot about that instinct, that instinct you get from your gut! It’s deep in your soul but you don’t know why, but you just know! This sixth sense that writhes around your gut is telling you something and it was telling me that although I had hope and believed in miracles my gut said that Louis, you’re older twin wasn’t going to make it! 

After he passed you literally thrived for about 24 hours, nurses and doctors were praising your strength and I began to believe that my miracle was going to happen, so when you took a turn for the worst and the downward spiral began, that gut instinct that you try to fight against, that you try not to believe in, it took over every positive thought I had and I knew. I knew, that my time with you was going to be short and you were going to be with your brother. Obviously that twin telepathy is a force in itself. 

However when there is life, there is hope and having already lost your brother, hope was all I had to hold on to, and despite my dark gut instinct, when you took your last breath, you took half of my heart with you! The shock and disbelief overwhelmed me and my long torent journey of grief began.

11 years on. I’m not over it, but I accept it, and for the first time in years, although I know what the day is, and although I prepare myself emotionally for the onset of emotions, I can wake up, I can open my eyes and stretch, breathing in the new day without pain, hurt and anger being the first thing I think of.

So my sweet tiny soldier, wherever you are and whatever you are doing remember to keep watch over us, because your always spoken about with fondness and love. Happy Birthday Soldier!! 

I hope my two little ‘Lance Corporals’  are having a day AWOL from your angel duties. Miss you forever – love you always. 

Happy Birthday Soldier! 

Love always – Mummy xx 

Another Angelversary 

11 years … Angelversary, birthday, all of which are tainted with such sadness, my little soldiers living without a big brother, my army NEVER being quite complete. 

They’ve created a image of you, what they think you’d be like, what you’d like and how you’d protect them, I trust that this is true. Louis, they will live out your dreams for you so keep watching it will be hell of an adventure. 

I’ll never accept your gone, but I can say that finally, I have learned to live with it. 

It’s been a turbulent journey, ladened with pain, sadness and anger, I’ve had to learn forgiveness, I’ve had to learn to build a strong foundation only to have it destroyed again and again, I’ve had to learn resilience and determination to keep getting up when in my darkest days all I wanted was you and your brothers.

 I wish I hadn’t of had to experience the pain but I’m grateful you came into my life even if for such a small time and for that reason I wouldn’t change a thing.

 I’ll never forget you, my first born! Honestly, how can anyone ever forget their first born! 

Happy birthday up there .. they must of upgraded you to lance corporal by now xxx 

If grieving is the price I’ll pay for loving you, then I guess I’ll be grieving forever. 

Kelly Harris – Mummy to an army!


…. Happily Ever After….

happily-ever-after-chalkboard-style-the-sweet-drawer

29th April 2015, at 3.05pm weighing 7lb 3oz, a little girl with no name came into the world after 38 weeks of  pregnancy, 5 days of induction and 16 hours of labour …  Scarf Baby (you need to keep reading to get to grips with the whole scarf baby pet name) came out pink and screaming, and god only knows the relief I felt in more ways than one, now all women know that labour and birth is NOT easy or for the fainthearted, but jeeze she felt like an enormous melon, not just one of them sweet galia melons, but a great big fricking watermelon being forced through a space that no melon could fit through unless blended with vodka!

The labour was complicated and nothing seemed to go smoothly, it was problematic and extremely stressful to say the very least without revealing the very intimate parts of the entire process, like when one vaginal examination almost sent me through the brick wall behind me and it felt remarkably like he touched my tonsils not my cervix…… Too much information…. Yes I agree, so where were we…….

It was the strangest of labours combined with the surrealist of pregnancy’s there were three shadows that followed me everywhere, the three reminders were a constant in Louis, Corey and Elliot. Often I’d catch a glimpse of Elliot’s picture in Lilly-Ella’s bedroom and I’d be reminded instantly of how quick life can change…or I’d stare for a second longer at my reflection in the mirror just staring at my tattoo on my arm and I would think of all of them ‘gone but not forgotten’ one of many memorial tattoos as a way to mark their existence… I would hold my tummy and whisper “everything is going to be alright bubba, just keep on keeping on”, every day further was a day closer to the ‘happily ever after’ I had to keep believing this.

You see, I spent most of my pregnancy not speaking or talking about  ‘THE PREGNANCY’,  to speak of ‘THE PREGNANCY’ would make it real, and I know that sounds ludicrously daft now because I knew it was real, the peeing all over my fingers and seeing the words ‘Pregnant 3-4 weeks’ flash up on the very modern digital pregnancy test told me all I needed to know about it being real, but when you speak about something you make this real to everyone, everyone who loves and cares about you, you make this reality into everyone else’s reality too, but not only that but you start future building in your head, its like a little story of your life to be being built up with each word you speak out loud, each word representing and provoking an emotion linked to a hopeful impending future, creating pictures on a reel in your minds eye!

So you can imagine why I found ‘THE PREGNANCY’ so difficult to speak of, the mere thought of loosing all this for a fourth time, to loose ‘MY BABY’ for a fourth time just didn’t bare thinking about. So quite simply – I didn’t think about it…

I went about my life normally, went to work, met with friends, took the children to school, rushed around to clubs and kids parties at about 120mph, rarely stopping long enough to catch my breath. I attended midwife appointments, hiding in the corner of the waiting room, listening for my Pseudonym to be called out in case someone knew me… What would that be? ….my pseudonym, what would it be?,,,,,,,,,,Well if I had one it would definitely have to be representative of a pregnant woman behaving like a neurotic wolly! But for now, I kind of like Cinderella, Aurora or Tinkerbell – the feeling of belonging to a Disney Movie with ‘happily ever afters’ feels quite comforting at this moment…. So Cindaura Tinkersmell it is….

In the beginning I remember thinking as callous as this may sound, that if there is a god and I am meant to loose this baby, I pray this happens in the weeks rather than months, for me, myself or Cindaura Tinkersmell could not do it again, the mind, body and soul, were still fragile delicate and vulnerable.

Months passed and I was getting on with my pregnancy behind a scarf, first of all hour by hour, day by day, then week by week, the weeks turned into months quite quickly, its quite shocking how time passes by so fast when you don’t think about it,  the ‘hush hush’ of my swelling belly being disguised by various scarves was helping the time pass even quicker, my pregnant swelling belly had now became known amongst the closest of friends as ‘scarf baby’…. Time passed, and so did my anxiety, but as the weeks turned in to months my bond grew for scarf baby, and the familiar maternal feelings were beginning to tap back in to my psyche in turn my thought process began to change, I crawled past the 13wk mark and had seen my baby on the sonographers screen, I am now praying, hoping and holding on to this pregnancy with everything I have, discussing with my consultant, concerns and worries, talking of induction and antenatal care, it was indeed overwhelming but I had to do everything in my power, be verbal, be stronger and be more forth right if I am not getting the answers I need, because I NEED this to work I NEEDED this to be my “happily ever after”, 20 weeks came and went like a number 39 bus, which also mirrored my size, 21 weeks, 22 weeks, 23 weeks 24 weeks and now a small tugboat ….. Counting down to the encroaching 37 week date of induction pre-planned in an attempt to beat the biological clock to 38 weeks, which was apparently the ‘danger zone’.

Jesus some of these doctors have such a way with words…. I mean using descriptive words like ‘danger zone’, how in the hell is this going to alleviate my anxiety and worry, when in the back of my head I feel the looming D Day getting closer and have images of entering a delivery room with yellow and black gaffer tape fixed to the door depicting an area of danger.

My other living children were still being sheltered from the truth regarding the impending arrival of scarf baby, Rob and I had collectively made the conscious decision to not tell them about the pregnancy until they asked, because in my mind the less time they were waiting to meet their sibling meant less worry, less stress, less panic and fewer questions to be bombarded with, So I was about 29 weeks when I was questioned innocently by my 6 year old son,

Toby: Mummy, I am no Doctor but I think you might have a baby in your tummy?

Mummy: How would you feel if the Doctor said that I do have a baby in my tummy?

Toby: Fine, bit worried but fine {BIG PAUSE AND A LOOK OF PANIC} …. But I don’t want another girl, I am all done with girls! ( pretty sure he then had an early premonition, an overload of female hormones spilling out of the house, splitting up hairbrush wars and tiara tantrums between his sisters, with the responsibility of having to be a brotherly shoulder to cry on for his entire lifetime suddenly dawned on him and the look of sheer panic on his face as the realisation of ANOTHER pink one entering the house filled him with utter dread)

Mummy: (stroking his hair in a assuring way) Toby sweetheart, I am having a baby but sadly, we have no control over what we are given, so let’s keep our fingers crossed for a happy healthy baby, shall we? It will be the biggest bestest surprise little dude and we will all be OK!

Toby: Butttttt what if………….

STOPPING HIM MID SENTENCE

Mummy: Exactly that…. Tobes ….. What if!! Lifes full of them and that’s what makes it so exciting!

The SCARF BABY revelation was now completely out, and my ‘then’ 8 year old daughter who already in her little lifetime has seen and witnessed more than most her age, had been caught looking and starring at my belly, occasionally rubbing it and smiling with an off the  cuff comment that I should go to ‘Fat Club with Auntie Hannah’, I knew that she knew so I revealed the known secret to confirm her suspicions …..

My biggest baby with an old head on young shoulders took the news well, she smiled and then almost instantly as soon as the smile had reached the curvature of her mouth, her eyes filled with water and she smiled through her tears and said to me in a quivering voice.

Lilly-Ella: Mummy, will this baby die too? Because I reallyyyy really don’t want that to happen again…

Mummy: NO (I gasp, in an automatic defensive response, composing myself slightly I continue..) but this I cannot promise you and I wish I could, but human nature and the circle of life is very unpredictable and although I cannot make you a promise, I can say that Mummy is looking after your brother or sister the best I possibly can while he or she grows their fingers and toes and gets big enough to join our little family, but whatever happens you must always know that Mummy and  Daddy love you very much and nothing at all will ever change this and that’s MY promise to you, no matter what, always and forever, we will be your constant through the good times and the bad times.

Lilly-Ella: I love you Mummy and as long as you are ok I’ll be ok too….  (Cuddling)

The days were now beginning to drag, no secret left to hide, felling vulnerable, exposed, and fearful the final trimester was quite honestly HELL! Finally induction day came and I was terrified, every part of my body screaming RUN, and the sensible part of my head with a voice of reason, whispering, just have HOPE…..

I had some great midwives, one of which is training in her final year. I already knew her from the crazy morning school runs and sweaty school pick-ups, a brief ‘Hello’ at the school gate while running with yesterday’s random sock still poking out from the bottom of my jeans where it didn’t quite make the laundry and I hope we will be friends as opposed to acquaintances from now on because she was my reassurance, my safety blanket when panic set in, when fear was tingling my skin she gave me the hope back when I felt it slipping away and I don’t think she will realise just how much help she really was. Cassie Chapman if you are reading this – I thank you wholeheartedly!

After 38 weeks of pregnancy, 5 days of induction and 16 hours of labour…..

Scarf baby – became Esme HOPE Harris, our happy ever after!

So moral of the story – never give up HOPE!

To my father….

father daughter

January 13th, February 15th, March 16th , May 7th to most people these dates are of little importance but to me these are dates are of great significance, I feel myself in a ‘shall I, or shan’t I’ dilemma … You see it was my dad’s 59th birthday on the 15th February, mine in the January and my sons and my daughters in the March and May, his grandson and granddaughter … all gone and forgotten. Not a phone call, not a text, not a message passed on through family members.. Nothing at all…

To be that person that is obliterated from someone’s life, well you’d immediately think that I must have done something pretty terrible, wouldn’t you of thought?

The relationship with my father has experienced a slow deterioration over the years and has taken a dramatic turn for the worst over the last three years.

This man who has the title ‘My Father’, whom I pedestalled for years and years, despite his heavy drinking and quick fired temper, the constant let downs and disappointments, none of that mattered to me, I was his child and still looked at him through ‘childlike eyes’ naive but ever-loving, I loved him and I thought that I needed him to love me. We had this relationship that was dependant on each other’s pretend solidarity, this united front that to the onlookers would seem we had the perfect relationship.

The realisation that this father daughter relationship was a farce has taken some coming to terms with and I guess I grieve for the relationship and the man that once was!

But nothing stays the same, things change all the time, people die, people leave, and that’s what happened, I grew up, I became a wife and a mother, and I realised that actually whatever the reason, I could never ever treat my children the way he has treated me over the last few years!

Admittedly, it’s not always been like this, there have been memories that I will hold dear, but that’s it, that’s what I fear, all I will have is a few memories of the Dad that I love. Sadly that person has changed, and he’s changed beyond recognition, I no longer recognise the man that has taken over the skin and bones that looks like and sounds like my dad but acts like a complete (dickhead – excuse my colourful language) stranger.

The way I see it, when you become a parent it’s for life, its forever… for as long as you breathe and beyond the grave. It doesn’t just stop, I am a mother to seven children, three of them are sadly in heaven but I am still a mother to seven and that means I will honour their memory in the way that should be deserved and I will look after my living children to the best of my ability and more, walk the earth for them, trade my life for theirs if I could, because the love for your child is unconditional and is not a love with terms and conditions!

I have learnt a lot about people, friends and family alike during times of need, who you can lean on, who you can trust and who is deserved of recognition and some people stand tall where others fall.

As a child you look up to your parent’s despite the rules and regulations, the curfews groundings and embarrassing dancing. I am no different, I looked up to him, trusted him to make things better  and more importantly just be there to support me in times of need and hardship.

When our twins Louis and Corey died shortly after their birth in 2005, my dad was of great support to me and I guess I assumed that my dad would behave in the same way when Elliot died on the 6th December 2012. It didn’t happen. In fact I didn’t hear anything from him at all… No text, no phone call, nothing! It is now obvious that my father’s previous efforts were more than likely directed from his wife at the time.

I have a mum, a sister, a husband and four amazing children that have surprised me and made me incredibly proud over the last two years, I have many close friends and an extended family, so this blog isn’t about needing family or friends it’s about being failed by a person who you trust.

I’m left wondering what have I done for my dad to not want to be here for me? A question that remains unanswered from the very last phonecall I had with him when I demanded an answer for his cruel behaviour, simply asked him to tell me what I have done that makes him want to treat me this way…..

See this blog could go on and on about being mistreated and let down constantly but there is no point and if he reads this or someone tells him of this writing then he will know, deep down he will know each and every wrong doing and its him that will have to live with the guilt, and its him that’s missing out on each of his amazingly beautiful intelligent grandchildren. One of which he has never met, in fact doesn’t even know she exists!

But on the off chance that he may be reading this… there’s a few points below that play on my mind that are worthy of some thought…

So from me to my father….

  1. I took you in to my home and supported you when your marriage broke down, I gave you a job, paid you a wage and gave you a car!

You took that room and made no attempt to pay your way, just bad mouthed me to my own sister … “she’s materialistic”, She’s up her own A**etc , you took that car and never paid the loan payments….we didn’t even get a Thank You !

  1. I helped you get a home of your own to rent!

They say the ‘grass isn’t always greener, and if you think it is, take a little time to water your own lawn’.

All the groaning about the nice little house you had, well that nice little house is like a bloody palace in comparison to where you live now. Karma certainly bites back…

Despite my disappointment with your move, I remained in contact, calling, texting, visiting….

YOU, hardly called, text sporadically, and BARELY visited until that fateful last time in November 2014

  1. Elliots funeral was 28th December 2012, I offered to come and get you, you declined but promised to come and say a final goodbye to the grandson that was stolen from us, my dear dear little boy Elliot, you said you woudl come to help me through another pain stricken day, I spent the entire day turning and glancing at the doors hoping and praying that you were just late…. You were not late, you never intended to come…

You know how that made me feel because I told you in a letter but you never replied or offered any explanation or apology… is this the behaviour of a father that loves his daughter??

  1. Finally on your last visit resulted with you bringing your girlfriend in to my home and you allowed her to disrespect me, my husband, our home and possessions, you made promises to my children and left in the middle night, leaving no explanation or note, the only reason was … to save the face of your embarrassed, using, manipulating, self-centred and selfish girlfriend!

I was left to console my children as they wept for their granddad, I called and was ignored for  a time and then abused verbally by both you and your puppet master!

I haven’t contacted you, and we have not spoken since our argument where you “wished me a nice life and told me not contact you again” So your wish is granted and the ball is in your court, you have my number? You have my address? You know where I live? But somehow, you have managed to shift all the blame for the fall out on to me… how you sleep at night is beyond me! Oh! Forgive me, I remember how….you drink yourself to sleep…..

The long and short of this is that blood makes you related but loyalty makes you family!

I live daily with the thoughts and the fears that I may never see you again! I may get an invite to a funeral in years to come, but then, another dilemma, do I do as you did and not show respect?

In the meantime I wish you many many happy years with the woman whom you put before me and my feelings and I congratulate you on hurting me more than I could imagine possible and I hope you feel proud when you placed that final nail in the coffin of our relationship…

Father’s Day is looming and I am in a predicament, ‘shall I, or shan’t I’?

So in advance, Happy Father’s Day…. It comes around more often then you!

Love from your daughter ‘Kelly’

I do love you and I will always will but loving you doesn’t give you a right to my life nor to treat me badly and expect eternal forgiveness in return.

My New Found Escape

Jogging

When times are hard and life gets you down it’s all to easy to become disheartened at the smallest of obstacles. Life becomes an everyday battle. An uphill struggle and you begin soul searching in attempt to remedy the hazy horizons before you.

People have often spoke about exercise to me and if I am honest I thought they were insane, what good can possibly come out of me exerting myself to within an inch of my life, breathing so hard I think I might die, getting so hot I might combust, working so hard every muscle feels its been pulled around the earths equator and released like a bungee rope….How in the hell can that make me feel good?

It was nearing the time of New Years resolutions and a good friend said to me, “Kelly, please join this ‘Couch to 5K’ http://cnycap.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Couch-to-5k.pdf programme and I will run it too to show you some support and we will get you running 5k in 9 weeks.” my initial reaction “I cant bloody walk 5k let alone run the damn thing, are you trying to kill me” and then she said something that totally struck a chord with me and found myself enrolling immediately… she simply said “I think it will be good for you mind, body and soul” so I approached the idea of running in new way and thought if this running could be my outlet for ‘headspace’ and freedom from my thoughts, then I’m in and so the 9 week programme began.

Spurred on with this thought of escapism from reality I found myself running in minus weather conditions, snow, sleet, rain and wind. No-one was more surprised than I!!! Initially it was very easy to follow the programme as it had been designed as a platform for people that have barely lifted a cheek from their sofas since the first airing of Eastenders. Week one involved literally running for 1 minute and then walking for 90 seconds…. Totally elated, with red cheeks and a sweaty forehead half an hour later, on my new found high “Yay I can run” and I began to believe I could actually achieve this and running, 1 minute isn’t a lot of running UNTIL YOU actually RUN IT…

Gradually week by week the programme increased by small increments steadily building on your stamina, I will never be a marathon runner nor will I be giving Usain Bolt a run for his money anytime soon, nevertheless I try and when I try to do something I will apply 100% of what ever it is I have got to give …. “All or Nothing” a motto I stand firm to.

My Monday evening jogging with my friends became a necessary outlet for me, daily my mind was a wash with a mushy mish mash of everything, a constant image reel of Elliot’s, Louis and Corey’s faces in my mind, flashing round and round like they are on a repetitive slideshow. Ill never forget them but I need space from them and space from this life without them in it. I found running gave me this. From the minute I began the steady ‘plod’ …… I smile from ear to ear when typing the word ‘plod’ as this was a term used to describe our running in the early weeks, described by my faithful friend Lisa… anyway back to the plodding… From the minute I began the steady plod around the jolly heights of Leighton Buzzard I found my mind was clear, clear from almost everything, another huge benefit of jogging. Allowing you the time to think about life’s problems or time to escape them for awhile, tension easily flies by the wayside. Speed runs are great for tearing through aggression and anger. Focus all that emotion into a few sprints and you’ll feel better in no time. I say the word ‘Speed’ loosely for many could briskly walk quicker than my sprint but in my head I was at least levelling and on par with our great Dame Kelly Holmes…. Weren’t I?

Week 9 came very quickly and I was nervous anxious and excited to participate my first ever 5K run…. I ‘plodded’ around the 5K route and completed my circuit in 36 minutes. Mission Accomplished.

So from being a couch potato I now run 5k 2-3 times a week and I am proud to say I DON’T ENJOY IT… If I’m honest while I’m running I don’t particularly enjoy it but at the end of the run or ‘plod’, that’s when I am awash with a great sense of achievement and that buzz people have hyped on at me about for years and years, and I have to agree with them it feels SHAMAZING! On these days accomplishment reins over sorrow and grief is placed to a compartment at the back of my mind because when I run, I run for peace, I run to escape the self persecution and self blame I have become all too familiar with, I run to numb my reality and be ‘Kelly’ NOT Lilly-Ella Toby and Isla’s mummy, NOT Robs Wife or the Bereaved Mother of Three…. I run for ME!

So I am eternally thankful to Lisa for offering me a direction and an outlet for soul searching and a shoulder to snuffle on (On THAT day) and I thank her whole heartedly for her continual support along the way and through her I am pleased to of met Laura a likeminded female with an amazing ‘minimum effort – maximum output’ type of run that I am yet to master and without forgetting the one and only Jayne, my fellow ‘stealthy remedial runner’ whom I have ran alongside and together we joked, laughed and breathed heavier than prank caller but together the team of us amazingly great women have jogged villages and countryside far and wide as a quartet of insignificant hobbits….

Living In The Shadows Of The Old Me

grief

Life changes people in all sorts of ways, so why is it hard to accept that grief can change people too. Grief has changed me, it’s changed my sprit. I find myself re-prioritising my life and I know that grief is a journey. The many who have travelled along its path will tell you that it is one that will change you forever. I have toyed back and forth with this and I decided to write it in black and white and tell people how 3 of my children dying has changed me.

 

Diminishing Eternal Optimism

I was the eternal optimist with a desire and expectation for a favorable outcome, always looking at the glass as being half full and wearing rose tinted glasses. I always believed the good in people, believed if you were a good person good things will happen. The harsh reality is that whilst it is important to be a good person this is not enough to protect you from bad things happening the unfortunate truth is bad things happen to good people.

 

Ability To Prioritize

I used to be so organized and now Im absent minded failing to prioritize correctly, my head full of unfinished business, unpaid bills, and an entirety of half written lists wrote in chaotic swirly childish handwriting with bold red ticks next to the items I have actually managed to complete.

 

New Vulnerability

I now feel completely vulnerable, like you’re protected from nothing, the wall I built around myself many years ago, has restored itself to the tower it once was in an attempt to try and preserve what’s left within these walls.

 

Anger

It used to take a lot to make me angry or annoyed and I find myself being irrational and volatile at the smallest of things.  I was raised with my father resembling what was to me this ‘iconic tower of strength’ that didn’t show emotion, didn’t show or express deep sadness, nor talk or reveal pain and hurt. I mirrored this attribute and saw it as a sign of weakness, and this was at my detriment. At 33 years old I find it hard to let go of this and sometimes it has been said, I am seen as the ice maiden, hard faced or cold. Rest assured for this is not the case inside my heart is breaking beyond my control and I will never be the same. Don’t take for granted you know the whole story, judging a book by its cover and read what you want between the lines.

 

Crying years of tears

I find my self crying more frequent than I ever have before and this emotion that overwhelms me just takes over and overspills at the most inconvenient of times. Often stunning me and the people surrounding me at the time, leaving us all at a loss of what to say or do as I weep uncontrollably, like after finishing a run of 5k with my fellow running friends, or as I leave for the morning school run and I’m asked casually “How are you today?”… Oh nooooo the floodgates are opening, my throat begins to sting as I battle the urge to cry, my eyes well up still fighting back the unfamiliar and unwanted emotion to cry…

Annoyance

I find my self annoyed at peoples insignificances where before I had patience, and I would take the time to listen and sympathize, offer advice and nurture. Now I find myself comparing there dilemmas and quandary’s to the deaths of my three little boys, the losses I have endured and the problems grief bring to your life and then I am instantly angered at myself for being so uncompassionate for their predicaments are only insignificant to me because I am hurting to my core, to them the crisis they are dealing with is just as real as mine, its real, it’s a time of difficulty that is relevant to them and requires compassion and patience and above all a friend. I worry I’m not the friend I once was and not that wife I used to be.

 

I question daily is counselling something I require or something I need?

 

I have decided that right now it’s not for me, not yet…maybe one day when I am ready to let go of the only thing I have… my grief. My grief is all I have left of what I have lost and I am not ready to let that go, expel all, reveal the ghosts and set them free.

 

So concluding this blog I say I feel like I am living in the shadow of the old me, the fun carefree, optimistic, patient, and understanding mid thirties gal seems a distant memory. So now I have to work out my new me, how is she different from me, and do I even like her?

 

 

 

 

 

The Result…

Did having a Post Mortem help me with my grief, help me deal with the loss of my 3rd child, absolutely not, is the answer? The results of Elliot’s Post Mortem will torment me until the day I die. I guess in hindsight when I actioned the go ahead for this Post Mortem I think I was looking for definite proof that his life was not worthy, like he was terminally ill or something, that maybe his stillbirth was in some cruel twisted path of fate saving me from more pain in latter years.

All we now know is that Elliot’s results in black and white describe it as follows:

Unexplained intrauterine death of patients baby 3 months ago. Post Mortem suggest high feto-placetal ratio.

This was basically explained to me that the placenta size was small and it was not big enough to keep Elliot alive once he got bigger and began to draw more from it, which in turn meant his health / life was compromised. You all probably read this and think what my husband thinks “It’s an answer, it’s not a chromosome defect, and it’s something rather than an abyss of nothingness and un-answered questions”.

Sadly for me this result is like receiving a life sentence of imprisonment within my own mindful thoughts. A life sentence of self blame. Rob has found comfort from the result but as I write this I wish I never had them.

Elliot was confirmed dead on the Wednesday 5th December although he was born on the 6th. On the Monday prior to the nightmare unfurling I had a midwife appointment and I now believe that the motherly instinct I had on that day, that intuitive feeling that something was wrong was now absolutely and 100% correct.

The midwife completed all her normal checks, urine, blood pressure, then proceeded to palpate my belly to determine Elliot’s position to help with listening in to Elliot’s heartbeat with the Sonicaid Heart Doppler. I was always anxious at this point, this anxiety I carried with me throughout every one of my pregnancies since loosing the twins, and it was no different this time. I don’t think I have actually ever been able to sit back, relax and actually enjoy being pregnant like other mothers. With tragedy striking me upon my first pregnancy with a double neonatal death this did set presidency for all other pregnancies. Most mothers sit anxious, quietly keeping their news a secret from all until the 12 week dating scan believing this to be the safe point from then on but I remained fearful because of the loss I endured at 25weeks. For me there was no safe point, pregnancy meant 9 months of anxiety, becoming a nervous wreck and worrying about every peculiarity.

Elliot was always hard to trace he had a tendency to be lying in the transverse position making it hard to detect his heartbeat.

I reflect back and on one occasion I remember leaving the clinic in floods of tears after I had laid on the examination bed for over 35 minutes while the midwife manipulated my tummy from one position to another trying to move Elliot into a better position, she was perspiring with nervous anticipation trying to keep me calm, nervously over talking random oddities and useless information to try and ease the tense atmosphere, finally detecting his heartbeat tears rolled down my cheek in elation as I heard the familiar horse trotting sound that all expectant mothers well up at hearing, that sound I was waiting on tenterhooks to hear.

It was not my regular Scottish midwife with her caring nature at this Monday afternoon appointment and I was disappointed to see her stand in, mostly because of the heavy feeling I held in my heart. Some people you know are always meant for midwifery and other caring professions it’s just what they do so easily, and others you think ‘Jesus you’d get more bedside manner from a bulldog’ and wonder why they entered the vocation in the first place. This lady was tall, lanky with teeth like tombstones, and the compassion of Hitler.

To my surprise ‘Hitler’ detected Elliot’s heartbeat immediately but I still had that sinking feeling and I spoke out and said “that doesn’t sound like normal to me, does it to you?” she dismissed me and said all was fine not even attempting to listen in for longer to rest my worry and doubt. In hindsight I should have made her, I should have said listen again, or said send me for a scan but I didn’t. I accepted what she said with no further argument from me. I accepted her word as correct when my gut was telling me something different. If I had listened to my inner self and persisted with my train of thought, there’s a possibility that they may have picked up signs of distress and delivered Elliot there and then albeit 2 weeks early. If that had happened HE WOULD BE HERE NOW, the thought I could have saved his life will haunt me for eternity.

I know and understand ‘hindsight’, understanding of a situation only after it has happened or developed. But I am a person that rules my head even my life to a certain degree by following my gut instinct, I believe people are intuitive and they should follow that feeling and believe it to be true even with out conscious reasoning, and on that day, I didn’t and until I die the consequence of that was my baby boys death. I will never actually know if me acting on instinct would have changed the outcome, but the fact I never tried leaves me with a feeling I wish I didn’t have and a agonizing unanswered question of “If I did act, could things be different?”…

So from one mother to another – if for any reason no matter how small, you have a gut feeling that lies heavy within… follow that intuitive maternal instinct and act on it, it may change your life, and it may not, I often refer to quotes I have read in my blogs and this one I read today… “One thing you have to realize from now on is that it doesn’t matter if this is a dream or not. Survival depends on what you do, not what you think.”

Out Of The Mouths Of Babes

My greatest achievement in my life is my children they are my everything, there are many things I have done in my life that I am not proud of but my children are not one of them.

Some days they test the patience of a saint other days they are total angels but every day I love them and every day I think myself the luckiest person on earth to have them.

Children are so innocent and they say such ‘corkers’ I feel I need to document just a few of these quotes so upon my days of reflection I can look back and smile with fondness only a mother can have for her child.

It was when Lilly-Ella my first rainbow daughter is six years old, she had a friend round for tea and a conversation between them spurred me on to write this post.

When they had finished their meals I offered them ice-cream and to my astonishment the little girl said very politely..
“No thank you I can’t eat ice-cream I have given it up for lent”
Lilly-Ella replied with her index finger in her nostril up to the knuckle
“I have given up picking my nose for lent”
To which I just began to chuckle and then Toby my four year old said
“And I have given up football”
I’m howling with laughter as I say…
“But you don’t play football”
He says confidently
“EXACTLY”

I collected my son from preschool and tenderly kissed him on his cheek and asked
“Have you had a nice day darling?”
“No mummy I was raped”
To my horror my mouth dropped and I questioned him some more…
“Raped …. What do you mean raped?”
Toby lifted his sticky little fingers and pointed to his cheek where there was a little SCRAPE and he said again
“Here mummy, I was raped here”
Jubilation and adoration for my son in that instant!

He has often had me in stitches with his ‘lazy’ speech and often the words come out not quite how they should which has often left me howling with laughter another example of this was on our morning school run Toby often collected sticks for my friend Sarah’s, dog. Well on this morning her dog wasn’t at the normal tree where she left her while dropping her children into the school grounds. Toby had this stick and no where to leave it. I said to him …
“Come along Toby we will just give the stick to Sarah who can give it to Alaska when she gets home”
He says innocently
“Yes mummy I will because Sarah likes dicks…”
I’m already chuckling and tried to correct his mispronunciation but before I could he had already spotted Sarah whom at this time was heavily pregnant with her fourth child and he ran across the playground shouting at the top of his voice …
“Sarah… Do you like my dick…. I got a dick for youuuuuuuu”
She turns and blushes and we both curl in two laughing as the playground comes to a standstill.

Another moment of pure hysteria was during my weekly mundane shop for groceries Lilly-Ella who was then about 2 and half, I’m pushing her in the trolley and walking around the supermarket as quick as my feet will go trying not to burn a hole in my sole as I pick up speed, I’m sweating profusely and could do without the trolley frenzy so I am feeding my daughter with whatever sweet treats and pieces of fruit I can grab on my way around to limit the tantrums to a minimum whilst she’s strapped in the trolley and then at the top of her voice she squeals ..
“Mummy I need a man”
“Pardon?” I reply….
“I need a mannnnnnnnn” She says again at the same amplified volume
“No you don’t, stop being silly” people are looking as I queue to pay for my groceries… I’m not in the mood so I am anxiously waiting for a comment so I can take the bait as she’s wailing and repeating the same sentence over and over….
“I need a man, I need a man, I need a man, I want a man I want a man nowwwwww”
I look at her and she’s innocently pointing to the GINGERBREAD MEN in the trolley full of food.

One day Lilly-Ella was looking through the digital photo frame she’s about 4 years old and the pictures were on a slide show and they flicked through baby pictures of her and her brother and I am pointing out who is who…. Lilly-Ella whom is very observant quickly picks out she was “chunkier” than her brother at the same age…. So we sit together and there is a picture of Toby on a tractor, and then her in the bath, then it quickly changed to a picture of Lilly-Ella about 10 months old chubby as a Buddha sat in her chair with a WestHam Football kit on and she shrieks in horror…… “Mummy, Oh no you didnt tell me that I used to be a BOYYY…”

I have loved writing this and could go on and on having you in fits of laughter explaining how my children sum up things with their word imperfections on a daily basis. Many have me laughing out loud from ‘China Fighting’ to ‘Dicks’ and Toby’s explanation of him being hot is by telling me he’s ‘melting’ its all so perfectly innocent and other times their words and questions cut deep into my soul when they ask me things like “when they die will they be put into a CRATE and shoved in the ground” ….

Basically through this blog, I say let kids be kids, enjoy them while they are young and relish in every single waking moment, even when your sleep deprived and ripping your hair out from the roots in frustration just take a moment and reflect and think how lucky you are to HAVE your children and remember “its only a phase”… all too soon they will be young adults with their childhood a mixture of digital pictures on a frame.