Monday, 30 April 2012

On the roller coaster...

Sometimes I feel like life is running away without me. I can't fully describe the feeling but it's almost like my life has ground to a halt whilst the rest of the world carries on on around me. I have lost count of the number of people I know who have had babies, announced pregnancies or both, since Emilie died and whilst I'm happy for them it highlights my pain more profoundly. Because I have Sam, I spend alot of time around babies and young children that I don't know at groups and children's play centres and because I love my friends I spend time with their babies and children and enjoy doing this. It's the babies I don't know that I struggle with-the ones that I have no relationship with yet find myself staring at when I see them. I find myself desperate to tell their parents that I have 2 children. That my daughter would be their daughter's age. It's almost as if I feel the need to validate her existence - to prove that she was here.

The need to validate Emilie's existence is a very real one and is something that other people who have lost children have told me is normal and healthy. I think there is sometimes a lack of understanding, when families lose a child, that the loss isn't just of a baby or child but of everything that that child would do/achieve over the years. It's a loss of every photographic memory, every grazed knee, every school play and every birthday. We have some friends for whom this is too painful an experience and they don't know what to say/do so they have backed away from us. My understanding is this this is completely normal when someone has lost a child. People get so overwhelmed by the feelings and are so unsure how to approach the person that has suffered the loss that they find it easier to keep their distance. I can see how isolating this could make people feel - especially if they have no living children and find themselves suddenly detached from a group of friends with children. Our lives have changed completely and there are some days that the loneliness I feel from going through this isolating situation completely overwhelms me. We are very lucky though, to have other friends who have carried us through this time. They have been happy to listen to us, cry with us and reminisce with us. If our situation has upset them they haven't let on and I don't know how we would be surviving without such wonderful friends.

The sense of isolation we feel is lessened, not only by our wonderful friends but also by having Sam. He gives us a reason to get out of bed each morning and we can structure our day around him. I sometimes wonder what I would feel like if I didn't have Sam. A lady I have met since Emilie's death had suffered from infertility for 10 years. She then became pregnant with twins. She lost one twin in the second trimester and the other twin died at 36 weeks. My heart breaks for her. Sam has pulled us through this experience so much and I can't comprehend what it would feel like to not have him. I can't imagine losing your first child in this way but he is his own person-he is not Emilie and in the same way no baby we ever have will replace her. She would be 7 months old now and would have her own personality, likes, dislikes, skills and behavioural traits.

I find myself torn between wanting this roller coaster to slow down so that I can get off and reorientate myself and wanting this painful time to be over and done with as quickly as possible. I don't want to spend my time focussing on fertility treatment and grief to such an extent that I miss out on moments with Sam. Every time someone announces a pregnancy I genuinely do feel happy for them but have a silent thought of 'I hope the next person is me'. And then it's someone else's turn... I hope and pray every day that sometime soon we'll have our good news and can join in with the life that carries on around us.

Friday, 20 April 2012


I've found quite a helpful distraction in the form of making 'cake pops'. Obsessed much.....?

We've also had a bit of a shift around in the playroom this week. When I was pregnant with Emilie we bought a sofa to go in there so that I could sit in there with Emilie and Sam comfortably. The sofa has become a kind of symbol of what we don't have. It took up valuable floor/toy space for Sam and we didn't really need it at present. So this week we moved it upstairs to Emilie's room to act as a bed settee. This also meant that we had to shift Emilie's room around a bit to accommodate it. It doesn't look quite as much like her room anymore which makes inevitably having to go in there somewhat easier. I definitely think this was the right decision and a positive step forward.....

Friday, 13 April 2012

Happy Days...

We attended the fertility clinic this morning. Sam had to come with us and it was the first time he had been to the hospital since the day Emilie died. I forgot about the significance of this as I've been goodness only knows how many times since her death. I briefed him before we left and he seemed ok about it until a few minutes before hand when he pointed at a photo of Emilie and asked 'are we going to give that photo to Emilie today?'. Following discussion it became apparent that he thought we were going to the hospital to see her. What a confusing time for a 3 year old-I sometimes under estimate the extent of his grief and the effect that all of this is having on him. He was very clingy at the hospital and very quiet on the way home. I wondered what must be going through his mind...?

We followed the appointment up with a visit to see a friend who moved away last year. She has also suffered a number of pregnancy losses and seeing her children playing with Sam made me see what wonderful siblings they will make when they get the chance and how much Sam longs to have siblings to play with. They spent ages rolling down hills, playing in the park and playing hide and seek. How wonderfully uncomplicated the lives of children are!

It is days like today that I am reminded of how lucky I am and how thankful I am for what I have got. It's days like today when I can see that glimmer of sun through the grey clouds.

Monday, 9 April 2012


For 32 weeks he waited patiently to meet his baby sister,
He knew her by name,
He cuddled her tiny bump and gave it kisses,
Saying 'goodnight' to her each night.
He carefully chose out toys for her to play with and put them to one side,
For the time when she would be here for him to share them with her.
He ran around her room each night at bedtime,
Basking in his own excitement.
He saw her everywhere,
She was constantly at the forefront on his mind,
On billboard images of newborns and on TV ultrasound images,
Certain that HIS baby sister was special enough to be shown publicly.
Proud before he'd even met her.

And then came the news that his baby sister had died,
He was there to witness it,
Too young to understand what was going on around him,
But old enough to know that something was wrong.
A fuss was made of him,
He got biscuits and juice,
Coo'd over by the midwives and doctors,
Whilst his parents endured unspeakable pain.

Days of confusion followed as he was passed from friend to friend,
He looked through photographs of her and asked questions that only a 2 1/2 year old could ask,
'Why did we leave her at hospital?'
'Did she have a poorly tummy or a poorly head?'
'What does died mean?'
'Where is heaven?'
'Will she come back next week?'
'Maybe we can get another one?'
We swallowed our pain to answer his questions as well as we could.

Then the eating stopped and his behaviour changed,
We watched as he lost weight,
And became a more withdrawn, more sensitive version of his former self.
He saw babies everywhere,
And withdraw from them,
He asked where his baby sister was,
And why he doesn't have a sibling.
The confusion carries on.

He misses and mentions her daily,
He asks if he can have a baby in his tummy,
To solve all our problems.
He prays for a baby,
And asks what they will be called,
He has a simplistic understanding of hope,
And truly believes that he'll get what he asks for.
We strive to have that childlike faith,
But our experiences cloud our vision,
I long to give him that sibling -
To watch him play with and care for them.
What a great big brother he'll make....
One day.

Friday, 6 April 2012

A great resource!

This is an excerpt from a great link that I had to share! I really hope that this can give some insight into how to support couples who are going through similar experiences to us.

(from Hannah's Prayer charity website:

September 5, 2010

"An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up." ~ Proverbs 12:25 (NIV)

When someone is going through the challenges of infertility, and pregnancy eludes them month by month, or when they are blessed with the joyous news of a coming child, only to have that baby slip too quickly from this life to the next, they turn to family and friends in hopes of support and comfort. Usually those people want to help but simply don't know how. They often hurt the grieving couple unintentionally by either saying the wrong things or saying nothing at all and expecting them to "get on with their lives" as if their hearts weren't broken. Below are some resources for friends and family members of these hurting couples.

Simply being aware of your loved one's pain and recognizing their grief is an important step!

"Helping a Loved One with Infertility"


Unless you are a very close friend, don’t ask specifics such as, “What day do you have the pregnancy test?,” or “What day will you do the artificial insemination?” Simply saying, “I’m praying for you,” “We’re thinking of you,” or “Please let us know if there’s anything we can do,” are all appropriate ways to show your interest without putting her on the spot.

If possible, do not surprise her by making a big announcement that you’re pregnant. While it is appropriate for you to be excited and want to share your news in a big way, consider telling her privately first and letting her know when you plan to share your news.

Do not ask her any questions about infertility around other people.

The childless couple may feel “out of place” at child-centered family events like family vacations, Easter egg hunts, children’s birthday parties, etc. Absolutely invite them, but don’t make them explain why they declined the invitation.

Offering to ride with her or drive her to appointments would be appreciated. People often have to drive over an hour to the nearest infertility clinic.

If you say something to her and think later that maybe you shouldn’t have said it, call her and apologize. It will mean al lot to her.

Definitely invite her to baby showers and let her know when a baby has been born, but don’t expect her to attend those events. Besides feeling very uncomfortable herself, she may feel that her presence will make others uncomfortable.

Sometimes a woman going through infertility will not want to talk about it. But she still needs to know people care. Calling and leaving a message saying, “I hope you’re doing OK. We love you and are praying for you. Call if you want to talk,” is very considerate because there’s no pressure for her to call back yet she knows she hasn’t been forgotten.

Sending “Thinking of You” cards are nice. Here is an example of a note: “I just wanted to let you know that I am thinking about you and praying today and especially over the next three weeks. As I was thinking of you this verse kept coming to my mind and I think it is meant for you. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope an a future!” Jeremiah 29:11. God’s plan is to give you hope and not harm. Know that you are loved and cared for deeply!

Acknowledging that Christmas and Mother’s Day are difficult days is appreciated - but this is a tricky one. An example follows: at a family Christmas, my sister-in-law privately walked over to me and handed me a gift bag. It contained a children’s book with a written note on the inside cover: “This is a bedtime favorite of our girls. We hope it will be for your little one very soon! We love you and keep your baby-to-be in our prayers!” It meant so much that she took such a bold step to acknowledge our pain, but did it very privately so we were not put on the spot. She realized that while everyone else was happy and excited, we were struggling.

There are lots of books on infertility and miscarriage that can be helpful. Buying one and mailing it, along with a simple note, to someone you love who is experiencing infertility would be a very nice gesture.

If you know she has just had a negative pregnancy test or is having an especially difficult time, sending flowers with a note saying, “We love you, “or “We’re thinking of you,” is always a good idea.

Things to Avoid Saying:

“Just don’t think about it so much and it’ll happen.”
“You’re lucky. We would love to have some time without our kids!”
“If you wouldn’t get so stressed out about it, maybe...”
“I know exactly how you feel, it took us two months to conceive.”
“You can have a couple of my kids!”
“I’m having another boy. I was hoping for a girl.”
“This was an accident. I didn’t want to be pregnant in the summertime.”
“I can just lay in the same bed with my husband and get pregnant!”
“Maybe God doesn’t want you to have children for some reason.”
“Do you just not want kids?”
“Have you tried....”
“You’re Lucky, you don’t have to take the pill.”
“How much does it cost to do......(in vitro, artificial insemination, etc.)”

Monday, 2 April 2012

Is where I am exactly where I'm meant to be?

I've been trying to get on with lifea bit more over the past couple of weeks.  I've tried to 'enjoy' where Iam at the moment believing that this is where I'm meant to be right now andhave been trying to work out what that looks like.  The truth is that thisisn't where I want to be and sometimes it becomes incredibly difficult to seeany good in what's going on at the moment.  I often find myself saying'there's good days and bad days' and truthfully the good days are getting morebut there have been an awful lot of bad days recently too.  Emilie hasleft such a gap in our lives and it's really difficult to work out how thingslook now.  Sometimes I feel like the world is carrying on around me andI'm stuck in a state of limbo watching it all go on but being unable to moveforward myself.  I'm still clinging onto the hope that the seasons willchange soon and things will begin to look up for us but in all honesty, witheach day that goes by, my hope seems to diminish and I feel lower than the daybefore.  
I guess I'm wondering if this is where I'm meant to be at themoment how can I make the best of it?  How can I prove that I'm notdefeated and I'm keeping going?  How can I use what's happened to me forgood?  How can I trust that God knows what he's doing and has a plan forme when everyone else around me seem to be getting their rewards and I'm stillstuck in the place I was 2 years ago having taken 2 steps forward and 100 back? I really believe that God has a plan for me but the length of time I amwaiting for it to come to fruition is intimidating me and I know thatI'm becoming disillusioned.  
I have been listening to this song alot recently.  It is froman album called 'Beauty Will Rise' that a friend recommended to me.  Ilove the lyrics and it is becoming my prayer.

We planted the seed while the tears of our grief soaked theground
The sky lost its’ sun and the world lost its’green to lifeless brown
Now the chill in the wind has turned the Earthhard as stone
And silent the seed lies beneath ice and snow
And my heart’s heavy now, but I’m not letting go
Of this hope I have that tells me

Spring is coming, Spring is coming
And all we’ve been hoping and longing for
Soon will appear
Spring is coming, Spring is coming
It won’t be long now
It’s just about here

Hear the birds start to sing
Feel the life in the breeze
Watch the ice melt away
The kids are coming out to play
Feel the sun on your skin
Growing strong and warm again
Watch the ground
There’s something moving
Something is breaking through
New life is breaking through

Repeat Chorus

Spring is coming (Out of these ashes beauty willrise)
Spring is coming (Sorrow will be turned to joy)
All we’ve been hoping and longing for (All we’vehoped for)
Soon will appear (soon will appear)
Spring is coming (Out of the darkness beautywill shine)
Spring is coming (All Earth and Heaven rejoice)
It won’t be long now (Spring is coming soon)
It’s just about here (Spring is coming soon)

A friend told me that she can't wait until we are able tosit, as a group of friends, and pass my baby around - for me to show him/heroff.  I can't wait until this time either but at the moment it seems asfar from reach as it is possible for something to be.  I can't wait forthis season to change and for new life to break through in our pain.  Ican't wait until I can look back and say 'it was all worth it, I have noregrets and this is the perfect timing for this to happen in our lives'. I just hope that God's perfect timing isn't too far away.....