Today is the final day of the #captureyourgrief project. I didn’t manage to catch the sunset on film as I was dancing with my living children while at a Halloween party just down the road from where my Milo is buried.
I want to thank everyone who has read, commented on or liked my posts this month. I hope you have gained as much from them as I have in writing them. I do appreciate it is a difficult subject to be faced with and to take the time to react to them is fantastic and means so much to me.
My Milo, I promise
I will never forget you or allow others to either. You are a big part of my life and you always will be.
I will tell your brother and sister all about you and make sure they understand that you wanted to stay but couldn’t.
I will celebrate your birthday with your siblings and it will be a happy occasion only slightly tinged with sadness rather than the other way around.
I will try to educate mums-to-be on how to keep their baby safe inside. I will talk to them about watching for any changes and not being afraid to speak to medical staff. If I can help save 1 baby then I know your life/death was not in vain.
Today’s mission was to spread kindness wherever you went.
I have tried to keep a smile on my face today. Out walking I smiled / said hello to everyone who met my eye. While it was not my only contact of the day, it may have been theirs so I wanted it to be nice.
I spent some time with my living children doing their favourite things. With Lilith I went through her photo album. I told her who each person was and allowed her to tell me the ones she knows. With Aiden I played paw patrol rescue with him. He loves driving the little trucks around and saving his teddies or the other paw patrol members.
I also helped out a fellow Pokémon hunter. She was after a few new ones to add to her dex and I was able to tell her where they might be. I saw her a short time later and she had a big smile and said thanks as the Pokémon were exactly where I said they were. This made me feel great as I had helped her and “made her day” (her words)
My family that is in my heart is complete but the one I hold in my arms will always be 1 short.
I will never have a full family photo as my daughter arrived 2 years after my Milo was born. Below is the only photo I have of my two boys together. Due to Aiden’s age he rarely came to the hospital to visit my Milo.
Because my Milo isn’t here I just can’t bring myself to have a photo taken of us all now. It feels wrong to take it without him. We do use a teddy bear to symbolise him sometimes but that still feels odd.
Because she isn’t in the top photo I have to include my daughter as it would be wrong to miss her out.
When life is getting too much for me to handle I like to retreat into my books. Reading is my escape. Within minutes I am whisked away to imaginary lands where babies don’t die and my pain doesn’t exist.
I also take my living children out to the park. Hearing them laugh/have fun will always pull me out of my doldrums. Them being outside and free is great for both them and me.
Today’s task is to finish the below sentences
I wish I could have brought my Milo home. I would have jumped every hurdle and dodged every obstacle to just have had him in my arms for longer.
I remember taking him on a walk around the hospital. We loaded up the pushchair with his SATS monitor and O2 tank. We wrapped the tank in blankets so he wasn’t cold laid next to it. People peeked into the buggy as we walked around and cooed at him. I felt like a real mum to him. We also got some photos of him outside the ward. Unfortunately we couldn’t take him outside as it was heaving but he got to see the sky through the big windows.
I could not believe when the doctor told us his condition was ‘incompatible with life’. Granted my Milo was on the ventilator at the time but it was the first time we knew for sure we wouldn’t get to keep him. He was 11 weeks old. I just wanted to grab my son and run. The doctor was wrong. Milo was big, strong and a fighter. Sadly the doctor wasn’t wrong and it was only 10 short weeks later that he called us saying get to the hospital now. The doc was a lovely man. He cared for my Milo on his last day and he also came back once Milo was gone even though he was off shift.
If only love was enough to save my Milo. He would have lived forever. He was so loved by all who met him. One of the nursing staff really fell for him. She would ask to be his nurse whenever she worked in his ward. I would call most days to check how my Milo was and she would usually be holding him or sat with him if he couldn’t be held that day. She came to his funeral and seeing her there pushed me over the edge. For her to come all that way just showed me how much she cared.
I am a mother, 3 children in my heart but 2 in my arms. I am the 1 in 4. I am forever missing a part of my heart. No matter how old I get, it will always be missing.
Today has many question but few easy answers.
Who was I before I lost my Milo?
I was a fun loving mum of one who was completely free of shadow and fear. The death of my child never entered my mind. I allowed Aiden freedom to do what he wanted and we played many games.
Who am I now?
I am now a mother of 3 who thinks every cough/sneeze means something bad. I can barely cope if my daughter is out of my sight (I try to hide this). I am prone to sudden onset of tears. I have a very good facade.
What am I feeling right now?
I feel scared to open my heart in case I am judged. I feel like grabbing my sleeping children from their beds and just holding them forever more.
Have I irrevocably changed since losing my Milo?
Of course I have. There is no way I could have gone through something a parent never should unscathed. It has left lasting marks on my heart and body.
How different am I now?
I take a lot more photos of my children now. I find I am usually behind the camera rather than joining in. My moods are much more volatile now. It doesn’t take much to set me off.
Do I love anything about the new me?
I’m not sure I do. Some days I look in the mirror and I don’t recognise the person looking back.
Do I want any of the old me back?
I want the naivety back. Whenever someone posts a positive test saying they are having a baby or talk about the patter of tiny feet in a year I want to scream. Just because you are pregnant now doesn’t mean you automatically get a baby to keep.
Who am I becoming?
I hope I am becoming a better mum to my living children. I want to be able to smile a real smile at the thought of my Milo rather than the fake one I do now.