Babyloss, Life, parenting

Fundraising Update

Yesterday I received a phone call from my local hospital in regards to my Cuddle Cot fundraiser. 

It was a bit out of the blue. Obviously I have spoken to them before and when I first started fundraising actually received quite a few calls from them, but I couldn’t think of a reason why they would be calling yesterday. Except perhaps in regards to my upcoming community event. Nope.

They actually called me to let me know that someone from Newcastle had just contacted them, with 3 Cuddle Cots ready to go, wanting to donate one of them to Tamworth within the week. Which is fantastic news, really. But the hospital aren’t sure they’ll need another one – the one I’ve been fundraising for. I must admit I got off the phone and cried. 

It just meant so, so much to me to donate a Cuddle Cot in my sons’ names to the hospital they were born in. The people who would have used that Cuddle Cot might’ve recognised my boys names, knew their story. And I feel so connected to that place, I held my boys there, my boys existed in that hospital – sometimes it feels like it’s the only place they did exist. 

I’ve already raised $1,400, and my first community event is only weeks away. But now I’m not sure exactly where the money raised is actually going to go. I might have to find another home for my boys’ Cuddle Cot, and the community will then no longer get the satisfaction of knowing that their donations are actually going to help local families, which has honestly been a big driving point for my fundraiser.

Obviously I’m glad my local hospital is going to have a Cuddle Cot – and sooner rather than later means more families will be helped in the long run. I just can’t help but feel sad that my sons’ legacy might not get to live on in the local area.

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Baby Number 3, Babyloss, Life, parenting

Recap: April

I haven’t felt the urge to write much lately. I usually use writing as a bit of an outlet during bad times, so basically life has been treating me well recently. I’ve been feeling really good. Not a lot of down days – although even on a good day I still believe life is unfair – and lots to keep me busy.

Here’s a quick recap of my last 2 weeks:

  • My cuddle cot fundraiser has been featured in the newspaper, on the radio and on TV – The local news really jumped on it, and the response has been fantastic. Charlie, my boys & I featured front page on our local newspaper Tuesday morning and as a result we received a message from ABC Radio wanting an interview, our local Prime7 News followed not long after. I was pretty nervous about being interviewed, but I think I did okay. Check out the article here: ‘Gift offers time with lost babies’, or watch my nerve-wracking TV appearance: ‘Mum on a mission’.
  • My fundraiser is now at over $1,100 – As a result of the recent media coverage, we’ve now raised enough for 1/6th of a cuddle cot in only a month of fundraising. Which also translates to 22 Bears of Hope packages in honour of my boys (if enough money for a cuddle cot isn’t raised).
  • I got chickens – probably not an important point but I find it exciting. Six 6-week-old Isa Browns. Seriously looking forward to not having to buy eggs in the near future. Charlie also absolutely adores them, which is a nice little bonus. We spend probably half an hour with them every morning playing outside and it definitely makes the day seem shorter having so much fun.
  • I spent some time with my beautiful sister, and my brother also visited from Melbourne – Family is important. Mine may not be very functional at the best of times, but I love them all the same and Charlie spending time with my family is also very important to me. My sister’s visit meant non-stop giggles from Charlie, we’ve missed her while she’s been away at university.
  • We got out personalised child loss book in the mail yesterday – From the author of Sam and Finn, these books are ‘a story of hope created especially for you’. It’s going to be beautiful reading it to Charlie as she gets older – a special little story about her big brothers. We already have Someone Came Before You, and it’s lovely, but this book actually has Andrew & Eric’s name in it! You can buy your own here: Personalised Child Loss Book.

That’s pretty much it. Condensed into a list, none of that seems as big of a deal as it actually was – I feel like there’s been so much excitement here lately!

My laptop is officially up and running again by the way, so look forward to more frequent blog posts. Unfortunately there’s been a hiccup with our new internet installation, but hopefully that’ll be working soon too.

How have you all been while I’ve been gone?

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Babyloss, Life, parenting

A simple family photo…

Today, I came across Matt’s grandmother on Facebook. So naturally I had a little look at her profile, and noticed a photo she was tagged in.

I’ve seen the photo before. It was a lovely family photo, captioned “Four generations”. It was Matt’s grandmother, aunt, cousin and cousin’s baby daughter. Such a beautiful photo really.

Looking at this photo again, though, something came to me. I realised if our boys had made it home, that would’ve been Matt’s photo. Four generations of men in his family proudly smiling for the camera, two of them holding little bundles wrapped up in blue. That should have been his photo.

This realisation hit me like a tonne of bricks. Just the thought that this memory should have been ours, along with a whole lifetime of memories stolen from us before the lives were even lived, had me bawling my eyes out. Our boys were the first (and second) great- grandchildren, and now they don’t even get mentioned, and the lifetime of memories we never got to make with them are being made with somebody else. 

Oh, how my heart breaks for all the memories we never got to make.

❤️

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Baby Number 3, Babyloss, Life, parenting

Just A Moment

Last night lying in bed while I wrestled with our little rainbow babe to go to sleep, I asked Matt what he remembered about our boys’ birth.

“Too much.”

This response was followed by a little bit of silence while I pondered how differently we grieved. It was so hard for him to talk about their birth, and it wasn’t something he wanted to remember; while I love the opportunity to talk about it and I hate that I’m slowly forgetting.

“I wish they were here,” I said.

They’d be asleep,” Matt pointed at Charlie, in reference to the fact that it was 2 hours past her bedtime and she was still full of beans. I laughed a little.

“I don’t think they would be; they’d be playing games with each other through the cot bars ’til all hours probably.”

Again more silence, but this time a nicer one – for just a moment I sat there imagining our boys alive, their happy voices floating down to us from their room at the end of the hall. I pictured them standing up, reaching for each other where their cots met. I lived in this moment until Charlie (lovingly) kicked me in the face back to reality.

It was nice for just a moment to glimpse our lives as they would have been. 

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Babyloss, Life, parenting

What I remember…

I’ve never written about my boys’ deaths & subsequent birth. I feel like it’s something I should have done, even back when it was happening I knew I wouldn’t want to forget anything. But it was too hard to write about so I never did. As a result the memory is now slightly faded. Of course I’ve gone over the details a thousand times, trying to commit them to memory, but it seems each time I do another tiny detail slips away.

But here’s what I remember.

I remember the midwife searching for my boys’ heartbeats with the CTG machine. She thought she had found them a few times, but realised it was actually just my own – my heart was racing with anxiety, it was fast enough to be mistaken for theirs’, and got faster every second she couldn’t find them. I remember when she finally gave up, and called a doctor over instead.

I remember the doctor trying to tell me tactfully that he couldn’t find any hearts beating in there. He said they couldn’t be sure they were really gone until I’d had a scan, but he’d been using the Doppler his whole career and it hadn’t failed him yet, so there was little hope.

I remember the ultrasound technician. We’d seen him walking home from work on our way into the hospital – he’d clearly just been called back in. He was inexperienced, he’d scanned me once or twice before and been supervised because he was just learning. I’m not sure if we were the first lost he’d seen, but it sure seemed like it. He didn’t know what to say, he asked what the doctor had told us before sending us down here – ‘that they couldn’t find their heartbeats’ – and just responded with ‘I’m sorry,’.

I remember Matt calling his dad while we walked back to the maternity ward, and breaking down a little on the phone as he told him our boys were gone. 

I remember the loneliness of lying in that hospital bed, even with Matt by my side. Before I guess I had never felt alone – I always had two little humans kicking me from the inside. Now they weren’t keeping me company any more.

I remember calling the nurse in and asking for Panadol because I was in pain; for some dumb reason in hadn’t occurred to me that that pain might actually be labour. I didn’t even need to be induced – my body was doing it all itself, just a day too late for my sweet boys.

I remember labour was much easier than I thought it would be. I have a terribly low pain threshold and was pleasantly surprised with every contraction. 

I remember the room being so full – the midwives and doctors didn’t leave us alone for a second while I was giving birth. They were very hands-on. I guess they thought we needed that extra support.

Most of all I remember the silence. The silence that came after they entered the world was deafening. It enveloped everything and everyone and was only pierced by the cries of other babies being born just down the hall. But it didn’t stop once we left the hospital, it still hasn’t stopped. My boys’ names are always followed by silence, if they’re mentioned at all, and it breaks my heart.

#BreakTheSilence

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Babyloss, Life

So many 2 year olds.

Quite a few of the children around me have turned 2 lately. It’s a bit hard seeing them happily celebrate their birthdays, because my boys should be here doing that too.  (My personal Facebook status from 2 years ago today).

Thinking back to two years ago – we were all pregnant at the same time. But these beautiful babies got to live and mine did not. I wouldn’t wish this sort of loss onto anyone, but a part of me wonders how is that fair? 

At the same time another part of me rejoices seeing these beautiful children turn two. They look so happy. I am reminded that the world isn’t a horrible place; it’s the place that took my sons from me but also that gave these children life. It’s so lovely to watch these babes grow up, even though it would have been a lot nicer for my boys to be growing up alongside them. 

These 2-year-olds do serve as a sad reminder of what I’m missing out on, but somehow it’s healing to see them all around me.

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Babyloss, Life

I still cry.

It’s coming up to two years now I have been living without my sons, and I still cry.

In the beginning it was very visible. I made no effort to hide my grief. If I wasn’t crying, I wasn’t feeling.

Slowly I started crying only in private. Eventually I began hiding it from even my partner, I would cry in the shower and cry late at night. I’m sure he heard me crying next to him in bed, but I think it was easier for him to pretend he didn’t. I don’t blame him for that. 

Then one day I didn’t shed a single tear. I didn’t even notice, I was crying in the shower the following day when I realised the day before I hadn’t cried at all. It was a big milestone. A morbid achievement. The first day I didn’t cry.

Now there are more cry-free days than not. But I still cry. I don’t think the tears will ever fully stop. I miss my boys.

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