Sunday, 20 January 2013

Goodbye Little One

Saturday 19th January 2013

It’s the middle of the night and I can’t sleep, sometimes I think yup I'm ok and other times, it’s the little things that remind me that it will take time.  I was at work today, opened my computer and in the search section of browser of the internet was my last search before I left work on Tuesday... 9 weeks pregnant blood.  It overwhelmed me, how much my life had changed in just a couple of days…. deep breath, I walk away from the computer there must be something else I can do.

Initially when I lost our little baby the cramps came in the form of sharp stabbing pains, three days on and it’s a hard reminder as the cramps continue. They are a lot lighter now and every now and then they are not painful, I forget and catch myself thinking first movement... memory is very swift to return.

This is impossible to describe unless you have experienced a miscarriage.  Somewhere inside of me I knew that I wanted to have the chance to say a proper goodbye.  I didn’t know what would happen next, how it would happen or how hard the next step would be.  But somehow I wanted to save our little one, the hardest part was the unknown what each cramp would bring with it. There really is nothing that can prepare a mum for this heartbreaking decision, to save or let slip away, it took everything I had.

Tomorrow (or should I say today) we bury our little one but for now I need to prepare for its journey.

It was this preparation in the middle of the night that would nearly be my undoing. Miscarriage of a child is one of the hardest of lifes journeys that some mummies and daddies take....

20th January 2013

It’s morning and I’m finding it hard to get moving my head is pounding and I can’t think straight.

William has found me crying, there is worry in his eyes and I debate what to tell him.  I decide it’s best to tell him the truth about what is happening today, that we are going to the forest to say goodbye to baby.  My wonderful little boy eyes fill with tears as he whispers that he really wants a sister.  It’s so hard to loose a child and to hold a child in pain for something that you cannot make better.  I hold him tight, I can’t help it, we cry together on the floor and tell him that we love him and everything will be ok. 

We are on our way to mums, little one is carefully placed at my feet as we pull into a petrol station.  As hubby gets out of the car we realise that the driver filling the car in front of us is very very pregnant.  Hubby looks back and whispers that he will be very quick. 

I want to look away but I can’t, my baby at my feet and her little one tucked safe inside.  I want to tell her she looks amazing, I stop myself that would most certainly really put me in the creepy stranger category.  Hubby returns quickly and we realise that we are going no where fast, there is car behind us and two to our right and the mummy in front is still filling her car.  Hubby holds my hand and asks if I’m ok I can only nod, I will not cry.  A million years later we drive out of the petrol station, my jaw hurts, I have been clenching my teeth.  Tears spill out and roll down my cheeks I whisper “I’m ok just keep driving”.

We get to mums, I don’t think any of us are hungry we pick at our food.  As mum and Adam talk outside William and I are playing with lego.  We are making space ships and rockets and I find myself flooded with childhood memories, all too soon its time to go.

In the car William asks where we are off to, my mum replies “We are going for a walk in the forest” without hesitation William replies “We are going to say goodbye to baby”.  At that moment I realise that I made the right decision and suddenly my little boy is wise beyond his years.

The forest truly is amazing; my mum has found a perfect little place for our little one. Along the way she stops and point out the ferns, ancient trees and birds.  I walk behind, I’m struggling to contain my impatience, I bite my lip and say nothing.

The place my mum has found is beautiful.  Its nestled between two huge trees, sunlight dancers across the ground, I can hear kookaburras laughing in the trees and everywhere I look there is life is all its many stages.  I'm glad mum stopped along the way, it's given me the change to take a breath and actually see the forest.

My mum had already begun our little ones resting place, working together Daddy and William finish pulling out the earth.  Its quite deep to keep our little one safe, the paper box looks so small.  Suddenly all four of us are on our knees moving the earth with our hands until the little box has gone from my eyes.  A log is placed on top, my mum has made a wreath of gum leaves and gum nuts and we each place a flower…. I’m sure its taken longer but it feels like this moment has come in the blink of an eye.

In the background I can hear my mum saying a prayer, my heart is thundering, I can’t think, I don’t want to let go, hurts knowing you are not with me.  I don’t remember what mum said but I can hear the birds, the wind in the trees, my head is clearing, calmness, a sense of peace I guess is the best way to describe it, it feels quite strange, and I'm taking photos I never want to forget.

My mum is talking to William and Daddy about plants she has planted here and they are giving one of the plants a drink.  It’s the height of summer, it’s so dry and there are no wild flowers. The sunlight is dancing on the petals of our flowers they are so pretty, a splash of colour in the dark undergrowth.

We make our way down the hill and I glance back and whisper goodbye to my little one. I can see the flowers peaking out from behind the huge trees one last time, my legs keep moving.

William wants to explore the forest and we head deeper in until we find a little bridge to sit on.  We sit there looking down the little gully looking for birds in the trees, mum is talking about the plants and wombats and the kookaburras are laughing again.  Time seems stands still here, our little one has a new home in this magical place and someday soon we will return to say hello and listen to the birds and watch the sun dance.

We are home now, dinner is finished and it’s my turn for a shower.  I find myself sitting on the floor of the shower and as I watch the water run down the glass I realise that for the first time in days I’m not crying in the shower.  I sit there in the water and for once my head is not pounding I close my eyes. 

The cramps have now subsided and as I take one day at a time I hope that this little window into my hardest days does in someway help those experiencing the lost of a child.  If this experience has taught me anything its that we are certainly not alone and if you can, talk about it or perhaps write about it.

For family and friends of those that have lost a little one this might be just a chance to understand a little of what a friend might be going through.... if you meet me I will most likely say "yes I'm doing ok and smile" for me this response seems to be hardwired into me.... writing helps keep me honest to myself and has helped me tremendously and has reminded me its ok to cry.  

"I loved you from the moment 
I knew you were there, 
and you will be loved 
until the day I die".

Zoe Clark-Coates


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