How many children?

‚ÄčThere’s a moment of thought each time I get asked ‘How many children do you have?’. In that moment I have to decide if i say 2 or 4. If I answer 4 and then have to explain that I carried all 4 full term but only 2 made it out alive, and deal with the ‘oh I’m so sorry’ and the awkward moment that comes from the revelation. Or do I say 2 and refer to their age, which leaves me silently wholeheartedly apologising in my head to my 2 angels for the rest of the day, then feeling like shit because I didn’t give them the acknowledgement to keep they memory alive to all. 

Every time I’m asked I have to carefully consider each situation. Either way my heart aches each time. 

Everytime a mother complains about night feeds and nappy changes, I long to have them issues to moan about. I love hearing about how their little ones are weaning or sitting up and rolling over, but I wish my angels had the same chance. I remember the joy and pride and happiness that comes with every milestone, counting teeth, steps and words. I miss that I won’t have that again. And it hurts. It’s not something I can explain to new mothers. How I want to share the joys with friends with new babies, but each time I hear about their motherhood adventures with new baby I long for my baby even more. And it hurts all over again.

4 months

Yesterday I had a mini meltdown in the supermarket. I somehow managed to hold myself together. I’d been having a few bad days anyway, but everywhere I turned and everyone and everything I saw reminded me of my baby boy I’d lost. It’s been 4 months. I can’t believe it. 4 whole months since I held him for the first and last time. It seems like yesterday and forever ago all at mind starts racing with all the things he’d be doing by now, I imagine how perfect our family would be with him in it. And suddenly I’m crying again. Tears flowing freely, letting it out. Part of me doesn’t want to let it out, don’t want to let go, in case I let go so much that the memory fades somewhat. I know it doesn’t fade, but it’s the only memory I have, a short nine months of pregnancy, lots of love and tears and a few hours of holding his lifeless body. That’s all I will ever have of our Jacob. And it hurts, it hurts like hell.
Jacob Elijah Hughes.

I had a planned cesarean section booked for the 5th, but instead Jacob was born on the 3rd of April 2016 weighing 7lb 11.5oz. The day before I’d stared at the ceiling as my world fell apart as the consultant repeated the same words I’d heard 11 years earlier…. “I’m sorry, there’s no heart beat”. At that point I felt like mine stopped briefly too. I knew this feeling because I’d been through it all before. But that didn’t change the heartache I was feeling now. I was alone and had no idea how to break this news to my partner or my other 2 children  who were all in the house waiting for me to return from my checkup. My heart broke for them too. How do you tell a 3 year old who’s waiting everyday for her baby brother to come home that he’s not coming anymore, and now she doesn’t have to share her room? My 10 year old son who, despite being so young, was already too aware that sometimes babies don’t make it because he knew about my first loss. And then my partner, my daughters father, to have to tell him that his son that he was so excited for won’t be living out the dreams and plans we’d made for him. Jacob was delivered by section on the 3rd of April, we held him and cuddled him, silently praying that it was all a mistake and he’d just suddenly take a breath. But he didn’t,  he lay in our arms looking like he was asleep. Family visited to say hello and goodbye. My heart broke for each of them too. I stayed in recovering a while after this section. I dont think i wanted to go home because I knew that at home all the baby things were waiting for our arrival, the cot, pram, nappies, clothes and all the other essentials were there waiting to greet him. I wasn’t ready for that yet. It had been a big operation, and just to kick me in the teeth on the shittiest day of my life, they advised me not to have another pregnancy as the scarring from previous sections now made it dangerous and a very risky procedure for me to go through again. 

My life is feeling pretty crap right now. It’s difficult getting through each day, trying to be “normal”. Don’t get me wrong, most of the time I’m out doing nice things and laughing and happy with my son and daughter, but at the exact same moment of feeling joy I feel a sadness too. It’s so difficult to explain, it’s an emotion of its own – actually it should have a name. My head and body are confused. Grief is everlasting. Grief is born out of an unconditional love, which is a happy thing not a sad thing – I try and focus on this as I live my life adjusting each day to a new kind of normal.