I am joining in with Still Life with Circles annual Right where I am link 8 years and 4 months on from the day that I thought I would never be able to breathe again never mind laugh. I posted here how I was doing six years on and missed last year’s posts as I was struggling a lot not necessarily with babyloss but more weariness.
So how am I doing so many years on? I *think* I have found my new normal, I think and talk of R many times but honestly couldn’t hand on heart say it is daily. I think it is but as days run into weeks run into months I don’t know for sure.
R is spoken about by K and Buster and they say they miss him, I know I do. I still talk to R in my head and ask for his help to get me through particularly difficult times and often find that I can cope when I think I couldn’t.
I redecorated K’s room last month and in doing so moved R’s cupboard of memories out and into my bedroom. I laid everything out on the bed and it just seemed so little to represent such a huge important part of my life and our family’s lives. It is fitting though as R was tiny- my nephew J called him baby-small. Buster wanted to look at R’s memory box and photos and asked questions, I found this hard as I normally only look at them every couple of years when I am feeling strong enough.
The items are now in a drawer near my bed and we have promised K and Buster they can look with us anytime they want as long as they don’t touch it themselves. I still have to move R’s teddies out from K’s room. My two found the teddies a few months ago and had them dragged round the house with R’s hat (the only thing I have that he wore) found lying on the floor. I flipped and shouted and cried but did apologise and explain why once I had calmed down. I am going to try and give my two a teddy each of R’s – that is if I can be strong enough as it is likely to get lost or damaged.
I have found the tears have mainly dried up, the physical pain is long gone but the need to hold and talk, sing and kiss my baby boy will always remain. I seldom think of how R would be these days I don’t see him as being an 8 year old boy he is my baby. I don’t see him in others or think of things he would be doing now and often wonder if that makes me strange or means I somehow love him less?
I finally watched a program last week that had a baby in neonatal and the baby died at the end, I have always made MrR turn the TV over at this point but although it did cause an immediate stab of pain I watched it while thinking ‘that’s wrong it doesn’t happen like that!’ I will continue to turn over programs with premature babies and don’t think it will ever be normal for to me to watch them.
I have also found through blogging and twitter many babies called R’s name and as I don’t have it in reality it still causes me hurt and I have removed many from my twitter feed as every time I see or hear the name I jolt and as a firm believer in only doing things I know I can cope with I am sticking with keeping my head in the sand. In this way I haven’t moved on at all. I dread the day someone in school or nearby tells me their name is the same as I don’t know how I will react.
So 8 years in are things back to normal? No things have changed to a new normal, I am still an overprotective mum and one who over analyses everything. I don’t keep my two as babies but do try to manage the risks as best I can. I know some people think I am over the top but as few have truly walked my path I can’t see how they think they can decide what way I should act.
Am I over R dying? No, I will never be over it, I have learned to laugh and love again but truly will never get over R’s death. I will never be able to revisit the memories without finding myself short of breath and feeling the huge lump in my throat. This hurts as it means I find myself blocking the memories rather than working through them.
Has it made me a better person? No, if anything it has made me less tolerant. I cannot understand people who hurt or mistreat their children. Why do they get to keep their children while mine couldn’t stay?
Has he left a legacy? Not really we spent our first years simply trying to cope. I did try to set up a scheme to remember him by but after resistance stopped- it did hurt to see it being set up a few years later and working well.
Did I gain anything from R’s death? It is strange to say yes I did. We were able to find a way to make sure my subsequent pregnancies were well monitored; I was given medication to make sure I had a chance of bringing my baby home and it worked. It has also helped MrR and I as at times when it would have been easier to walk away from each other we made a resolution that we wouldn’t become a statistic and that we would survive as a family after a neonatal death.
Have I any regrets? Many even though we tried to do everything we could to avoid regrets I don’t think you can.
What do I think the next year will bring? Hopefully more strength to share more of R with K and Buster. I plan on watching the video tapes with them (neither MrR or I have ever watched them) and show that R was a real baby and not just in photographs. Apart from that I hope the year is filled with laughter, family trips and fun times. We want to try and show that we can remember R but at the same time give my two a childhood where they don’t remember the anniversaries and birthdays as anything but a celebration of R’s life.