If you know me in real life and have found this blog, please honour my wishes and don't read on. I need this place to freely write my feelings to help me to heal and if you're reading, I'll censor myself. I have no way of knowing who is reading so all I can do is trust you to honour my wishes. Thank you.

(this doesn't apply to any of my fellow mums of angels I've been lucky enough to meet in real life)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Old Me vs The New Me

There's a post over at Glow about how we've changed since losing our precious babies and have parts of the 'old me' come back.

The old me was extremely extroverted and normally I was the loud one in a group of people. I loved meeting new people and I wondered about what having a baby would do to my identity.

After Matilda died I didn't want to see anyone for a long long time. And once I could no longer hide my pregnancy with Max I didn't want to see people either. It was something my husband worried about because it was such a huge departure from the person I used to be. But now I can feel that part of me coming back. The night before last the neighbours invited us over for a barbie with their brother, wife, and kids that were staying. It was spur of the moment and I was about to say no but thank for asking as I've been doing for the last 18 months when I realised I didn't really have a reason to say no and it sounded like fun. And it was. So it was nice to feel that part of me returning. But there's still something that's been taken away, some confidence that's missing. Before if I emailed people and they didn't respond I never really thought about it but now I always find myself thinking 'was it something I said'. The same in a group if I say something and it all goes silent or there's a pause before asking. I guess it's that I often feel socially awkard in a way I never used too.

I find meeting new people far harder than I used too. There's always the decision about whether I want to talk about Matilda with them. And then if I don't and the conversation swings in a certain way it becomes difficult or just plain painful. Like when people start talking about their 'awful pregnancy' because they had morning sickness and were uncomfortable at the end. In my books, if that's all you've got to complain about and you are complaining, then you've really got no idea. Or I do mention Matilda and they don't even acknowledge it.

As for wondering about what a baby would do to my identity. I've spent the last 18 months hoping for a baby to define my identity so that's not something I worry about anymore. Maybe I will in time but right now, I'm just so happy I have be defined as a Mum by other people and spend my days at home marvelling at Max alive and growing.

I'm more emphathetic and also more selfish. This seems to be pretty common among us BLMs.

I'm crying more lately than I have in a while. I'm not sure why. If it's approaching our second Christmas without Matilda. If spending time around families means I see girls about Matilda's age more often and I look at them and wonder what she would've looked like now. If it's every time Max does something new it's a reminder that I'll never see Matilda do those things. If it's that her birthday was not as hard as I expected due to being so caught up in caring for a newborn that it's catching up with me now. If it's because now Max is here everyone thinks I'm fine again - I'm sure even my closest friends would be shocked to find out that I still cry most days.

But despite all that life is good. The sun is shining. My Mum was here week before last and we've booked flights to see them at the end of January. We have a Christmas Tree with presents underneath it in the corner. Max is asleep in his cot and this afternoon we're going to Mother's Group this afternoon. It's just that someone will always be missing and missed.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


When Max was born my MIL gave us a gown she wanted us to take a photo of him wearing. She didn't say much about it other than DH and his sister had both had photos in it. We took the photos last week and I got DH to ask her what the history of it was. Her MIL had made her 3 gowns for Michelle - her first child who died a few hours after she was born.

I remember the first time she told me about Michelle - it was before we got married and had even thought about kids. She explained with tears in her eyes about going through labour and then Michelle being taken away and no one telling them what was going on. She doesn't talk about it a lot but has more since Matilda died. Michelle was taken away straight after the birth and she never got to see or hold her - she knows she had dark hair from the glimpse she got but that's all. She has said to me she thinks I have it much harder than her because Matilda lived for four days and I got to hold her but I'm not sure that's really the case.

I never knew she'd kept anything she had for Michelle but obviously she's kept this all these years (Michelle would have been 32 in May).

I know I'll love and miss Matilda forever but thinking about that is hard. So I try to take it a day at a time. Now Max is here I'm sure everyone thinks we happy and everything is fine now. I'm sure they don't think about the fact that every single time someone asks me 'Is he your first?' my heart catches and I have two seconds to decide if the person asking is someone I want to tell about Matilda. I'm sure they don't think about every time someone says 'When you have your second' that my head screams 'I already have two babies!'. That when they start talking about how they think a small gap between siblings is best that I feel exhausted and terrified by the prospect of trying to get through another pregnancy. And I know they don't think about the fact that 32 years from now I'll be thinking about Matilda and wondering what sort of women she would have grown into and how my heart breaks that I'll never know.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Remembering Matilda

We were over at the neighbours having a Christmas drink today and their two boys (just turned 5 & 3) were playing with Max on the floor. They're pretty fascinated with him and watched closely while I breastfed him and helped DH change a nappy - it's very cute. When they were playing with them on the floor the older one said 'you had another baby before' and I said 'yes'. He then said 'but she died straight away didn't she' and I again said 'yes'. He asked why and I said she was very sick. It's weird - I assumed he would forget all about Matilda but out of everyone other than my immediate family and a few very close friends, he's the only one that mentioned her after the first few months.

The lead up to Christmas this year is hugely different to last year when the shock was wearing off and I was left with the huge weight of grief losing a baby brings. I'm looking forward to it rather than just wishing the days away and I'm so very grateful this is the case.

Got to see Max roll over for the first time today and he's 'talking' more and more. The boys next door asked me what he was saying but I'm still not quite sure ;-)

Hoping the days are gentle for those of you approaching your first Christmas without your precious babies.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The most surprising thing about motherhood

At today's ABA (breasting association) meeting the icebreaker question was 'what have you found the most surprising thing about motherhood?' In my head I thought 'That Max is alive, breathing, crying, feeding, growing' but I didn't say that - it's not something that they would have understood. So I went with 'that babies can be so exhausted and still not go to sleep' which has been surprising. It's times like that I just feel different to all the other new Mums. But there were other Mums there with babies similar ages and it was lovely to talk about all the normal things - how much they were sleeping, feeding, and day sleeps not really going well.