Trying to change

Don’t be misled by the title, I’m not intending on changing too much but what I am trying to do is to get a bit fitter. After I had Henry I realised how unfit I’d become when I was pregnant, a simple thing like walking left me out of puff. I’ve been trying to get up and out a bit more with either the couch to 5k plan, my Pilates DVD, or just going for a walk. I feel better after I’ve been active and it’s a great chance to clear my head and think about my boys. 

My exercise of choice used to be Pilates, I switched to antenatal classes when pregnant with Rory bit after he died I couldn’t go back, I still don’t know why but I just can’t do it. Lucky my teacher made a DVD that I bought to use at home so I can still get my fix.

To aid my quest to be healthier I’ve invested in a watch that tracks my activity; it tells me to stand up if I’ve been sat down too long -you know what, it actually works too! Last night I’d missed out on my 10000 steps so I ran around the house, up and down the stairs and generally acted like a loon for 15 minutes to meet my daily goals. It felt such an achievement and tonight rather than running about until I’d done the 4000 steps I needed, I went for a 2 mile walk.

I realise this seems like small fry to some, but anyone who knows me will understand that this is an achievement for my 36 year old unfit wobbly body and slightly wonky legs! 

I’m hoping my new found enjoyment of getting off the sofa can extend to something pretty special later in the year – watch this space… 

One month on

This time last month we were preparing to say hello and goodbye to Henry. A lot has happened and it feels longer ago than it is, so much so that I barely recall being pregnant at all. That is probably due to me a only admitting I was pregnant as we approached 20 weeks and then by the time is accepted it, it was all over.

Henry’s cremation was two weeks ago, it was so much harder than Rory’s, it felt so final as not only were we saying goodbye to our smallest son we were saying goodbye to a long and painful chapter of our lives.

Rory’s due date anniversary was a couple of Sundays ago, Matt and I had a rare afternoon alone to remember our baby boy and relax, a beautiful afternoon was achieved.

Life has been returning to normal with trips to work, going back to groups and taking the holiday we’d planned to be our last as a three.

I’m still sad, that’s going to be the way for a while but things are moving forward and feeling normal for us. We won’t ever be a normal family as we are a five but you can only see three, this is something I am slowly coming to terms with.

Thinking of both my boys in the stars today, especially the smallest one.

The Chair

We bought this glider chair when I was pregnant with Toby, it sat proudly in his nursery and served us well for feeding, resting, chilling and sleeping (the recline function was awesome!). 

When we moved house it ended up in our bedroom as we didn’t really use it for Toby any more and we expected to use it for another baby at some point.

The other evening I sat on the bed and it felt like the chair was taunting me as there hasn’t been another baby to rock, feed and love in that chair and I hated what it now represented. I told Matt it had to go to the spare room so I didn’t have to look at it.

The next morning I decided it was going and it was going now. I cleared a space in what should have been the nursery and told Toby we were moving it. We had one last cuddle sat in the chair and I was sad that it was the end of an era. 

As I set off pushing the chair to its new home Toby asked if he could have it in his room. He’s in a smallish bedroom but with a bit of juggling I made space. The chair was pretty grim so I gave it a good wipe over and threw the covers in the wash.

Last night I put everything back on and we did bedtime stories sat in the chair, it was really lovely to re-purpose the chair and I’m glad now Toby asked to keep it. Whilst the chair won’t be used for feeding a baby it will still be used for bedtime snuggles with my boy and hopefully in time I can think of the happy memories it holds rather than wonder about the memories we didn’t get to make.

Graduation Day

Our beautiful biggest boy graduated from pre-school today. In reality Toby is staying on for another 2 months as he doesn’t start school until September but today we celebrated and shared the joy of our 4 year olds growing up and moving onto their next big adventure. 

The day was sunny and bright and I was so excited for Toby to be with his friends in a place he loves (not that he’d admit that he loves pre-school!). At one point a little girl toddled by and my heart pulled for Rory. It is the year anniversary of Rory’s due date tomorrow and we don’t have a little one toddling about, I’m not buying cards and presents and it hurts so very much. Nor did I have a 26 week old bump at the party, there was no one asking if we’d decorated the nursery yet or if Toby was excited. 

I stood there soaking in the joy of the children collecting their certificates as I know we won’t be attending any more parties like this, it is a milestone not to be repeated for us. I am so very sad for the missed milestones but at the same time I am so very grateful that we even get to do this in the first place. Toby didn’t come easily for us and there was a time I never thought a baby would come into our lives. This may be the first and last pre-school graduation for us but it is special and magical that it happened and I am thankful. Thankful for Toby, thankful for the milestones and thankful for Rory and Henry as their absence makes me appreciate the milestones that little bit more.

To the mummy at baby massage

In the summer of 2012 I took Toby to a baby massage class in town. Before the first session us waiting mums were talking in the cafe area. A mum pulled out a bottle, I instantly liked her as felt guilty about bottle feeding so always appreciated seeing someone else doing the same. The same mum explained that she’d had a c-section at 36 weeks and the midwives had told her it was too traumatic for her to breastfeed her baby girl. The reason for the c-section? Her first baby girl had been stillborn near term and there was no reason for her death.

I remember everyone’s reaction – shock, silence and awkwardness. We were soon called in and the lesson started. It was fun, I remember the other mummy said she was here to help her colicky baby – she seemed a bit frustrated. She came back the following week and there was still an awkwardness. She didn’t come back for the last two sessions, I always wondered if it was because of our awkwardness or just that it wasn’t the class she was expecting. Even before Rory and Henry died she would sometimes pop into my head and I’d wonder how she was doing. I’ve been thinking about her again the past few days, I feel guilty about my reaction to her talking about her precious first daughter.

To the mummy at baby massage, I don’t know your name but I’m sorry if we treated you badly, the thing is nobody knows what to say to you when your baby has died. We didn’t mean to be awkward and I feel bad about that.

I realise now that it took so much courage to talk about your precious baby girl. The thing is, when I’m with a group of people I don’t know I try my best not to engage in small talk. I’m frightened to mention my babies, it stops the conversation dead in its tracks and I hate seeing the pity in their eyes. This makes me sad as I love talking about my boys as that’s what keeps their memory alive, it makes them real rather than a day dream about what might have been. 

I’m sorry too that we never asked her name, I bet you really wanted to tell us, to shout it out so we didn’t forget. 

To the lady at baby massage, you’ll probably never read this but I’m sorry we didn’t honour your baby like we should have.