I felt like I wanted to get this out of the way in one of the first blogs. Not because I don’t want to talk about it, but because I don’t want the blogs to be all about this subject. I have worked really hard to accept and believe that this is just one part of who I am and it does not define me totally.
Let me tell you what happened. Isaac was stillborn. I was 40 weeks and 1 day when I went into labour. When I arrived at the hospital to give birth, the nurse could not find a heartbeat. After that it all gets a bit blurry in my mind. I remember exactly what happened, but I could not tell you how I felt. It was like I had left the room and was watching someone else give birth. But I did give birth. It was me. It was my son and he was perfect. 10 fingers and toes and brown hair like mine. There is no sound quite like a baby taking its first breath and the inevitable cry that follows… but that did not happen. The silence was overwhelming. To this day I absolutely hate silences. I sleep with the TV on or listen to the radio or some music when doing anything at home. Even as I type this I have a Vlog playing on my tablet for some background noise.
I remember my family and friends being there and I remember coming home. That’s when it got hard. Decisions had to be made and I had to be strong and clear minded to make them. I remember eating chicken barm cakes and crumpets. I remember my mum cleaning, always cleaning, and making tea and coffee. I cried until I had no tears left. And then I cried some more. I remember so many silly little things. I don’t think I will ever forget any part of it.
Saying goodbye was harder still. The day came and went before my eyes, but it felt like the longest day. I can clearly see a tiny white coffin and white roses with blue ribbon. That night I got drunk. I had my first alcoholic drink and I listened to some music with my friends. They looked after me though. After that it was just one day at a time. It’s still one day at a time, but I am in a much better place now. There have been some dark moments and I still struggle with occasions. Mother’s Day is particularly hard for me, but I get through it with the support of my family and I keep myself busy with making sure my mum has a nice day. Isaac’s birthday is in January and I mark the occasion every year. It’s tough, but I feel like I need to make those memories for us both. I will be sharing some of my tips and tricks here for navigating my way through all the emotions I feel on a daily basis.
I am nearly 6 years on now. I love my son, I love saying his name and talking about him. But I do try to keep lots of him private. However, I don’t mind sharing aspects of what happened and how I am feeling in this blog. It’s one of the reasons I am here writing this. I had so much support from family and friends and even complete strangers and I want to try and pass on some of the things I have learned as the years have gone by. Unfortunately stillbirth is a massive taboo subject in this country. It is not something that people like to talk about, I get it – it’s not nice and as blunt as this is no one wants to talk about babies who have died. But I have to talk about it because it is my life, I don’t get a choice. If there is anyone reading this that has found themselves in a similar situation or supports anyone who has experienced stillbirth, I hope you can take something away from these blogs, even if it’s just a smile because I know that some days even a smile can be hard. I can’t stress it enough that you are not alone.
This is a summarised version of what happened between me and Isaac. I could go on for ages about everything that went on, but I will leave it here for now. When I write about him here, you will know who I am speaking about and you will know that he is the person I love most in the world. Over time I am sure I will tell you more and share different aspects of being a bereaved mother. I hate that term! Iam bereaved and I am a mother, but I prefer to just be called a mum. Love you Isaac.
Thank you for reading.
If anyone reading this needs some extra support, visit the Stillbirth And Neonatal Death Charity (SANDS) website www.sands.org.uk I used this site to find help and support in my local area. They are fantastic and saved my life!