Oh my darling little, tiny Thomas.
Today 4 years ago, you entered our world in such a big hurry at only 26 weeks and 4 days. Today is both your birthday but also the day that you died. And those 2 things are impossible to reconcile. I had tried so so hard to keep you inside me but my body had different ideas and I still have so much guilt for that. That I couldn’t keep you safe, that my body couldn’t do what it needed to to sustain you.
Gosh, the 2 week build up to your arrival is still so clear to me. Starting to bleed in the Wetpups library of all places on a school tour. Driving myself to the hospital because I figured that was the quickest way to get to Vincent Pallotti. Driving in traffic and rain, speaking to James and telling him to get to the hospital, not been able to answer any of his questions because I just didn’t know. Not knowing whether you were still alive inside me or not. The relief of hearing your heartbeat, only to have terrible scan, after terrible scan, showing how negatively impacted you and I had both been. Making the call not to deliver you and to see how things played out, essentially to leave things to nature. And nature gave us 2 more weeks together.
I remember the euphoria I felt been wheeled back into the maternity ward after you had been born. It was weird. I guess it was the relief of the past few hours, days and 2 weeks all culminating into that point where you had been born and were actually alive. At that stage I didn’t know (or understand) what bad condition you were in. I just knew that you were alive and that was all that mattered to me.
And then 3 hours later you were gone. Too much bleeding and your little body just couldn’t cope. I have so many “wishes” about that time. So many things I wish I could have done differently. Most of all that I hadn’t been in a morphine induced daze and that I could remember everything properly. Although maybe in a way that is a blessing? That we had taken photos of you without any machines attached to you. To document you and your perfection. That I had held you for longer, unwrapped you and examined every part of you. But I remember being scared, so so scared. And I guess no amount of time would ever had felt like enough but I wish I could have had more.
I prayed to God being wheeled into theatre that you would be “okay” and I have made peace with the fact that “okay” meant that you couldn’t be on this earth with us. That had you lived you would have been severely impaired mentally and physically. The scans had shown that you had experienced brain trauma and may be brain damaged and the traumatic nature of your birth and the terrible condition you were in would not have aided a positive outcome. And so I can make peace with fact that “okay” meant you wouldn’t be here with us.
But F#CK its still so damn hard, especially on days like this. I haven’t felt angry or resentful about lockdown much but today I did. Because I couldn’t go to The Vineyard, to your bench where your ashes are, to be with you and your sister. To spend time with you like I really needed to do. I couldn’t take downtime for me and do the things I normally do on these days to make them bearable and possible to get through. We had some cupcakes for you this afternoon, just the 3 of us. And even that seem to highlight even more the fact that your sister and you aren’t with us. Murray named his Origami boat that he had to make for school after you which was very sweet and talked about you a lot. Explaining that he would be playing with you if you were here.
And my phone has been SO quiet. Which I know I shouldn’t find difficult but I do. I know that you were not “real” for many people outside of James, Murray and I. But I want other people to remember you anyway, especially on days like today. And so its very hard when they don’t. I read this a little earlier and am reminded to try not to take it too much too heart.
““The gap between those who have lost children and those who have not is profoundly difficult to bridge. No one whose children are well and intact can be expected to understand what parents who have lost children have absorbed, what they bear. The excruciating and isolating reality that bereaved parents feel is hermetically sealed from the nature of any other human experience. We recognize that we have moved to an emotional place where it is often very difficult to reach us. Our attempts to be normal are painful, and the day to day carries a silent, screaming anguish that accompanies us, sometimes from moment to moment. Were we to give it its own voice, we fear we would become truly unreachable and so we remain “strong” for a host of reasons even as the strength saps our energy and drains our will. Were we to act out our true feelings, we would be impossible to be with. We resent having to act normal, yet we dare not do otherwise.”
My darling boy, know that you are missed and loved every single day. You will always be my son and I will always be a mom of 3.
All my love