I was recently approached by an author (Leanne) to review her debut book. Leanne has written what can only be described as a poetic view on the realities of being a mother. She has taken the good and the bad and written about it in a way that I could definitely relate to.
First Rhyme Mom shares the journey Leanne took during the first 6 months of her daughters life, from pregnancy to “the outside” and does so with humour and realism. It is obvious that each poem has come straight from the heart.
I was intrigued by Leanne’s offer to review her book as she is currently living not too far from me in the West Midlands and I love being able to support people especially those who are local. However I was unsure how I was going to feel reading it as my journey to motherhood has been a tough one to say the least.
Admitting I haven’t read a book that doesn’t include talking animals for a fair few years; I needed an excuse to read something and have a bit of time for self-care and I am so glad I did. I’ve always wondered whether I was alone with some of my thoughts and feelings, especially in those early days and months when Ellie was born. Unsure of whether I was suffering more because I was still grieving Jason or just not being a good Mum. Reading First Rhyme Mom has shown me that everything I felt was completely normal (and still is at 28 months!) being a parent is difficult, no doubt about it but being able to find the funny side is what gets you through.
I would HIGHLY recommend this for any mum but especially for those mums who feel like they haven’t quite found their mojo in this journey as Leanne has a way with words that will make it clear you are doing just fine ❤️
Overall First Rhyme Mom, made me laugh and cry (To My Mummy really hit me!) but also gave me a strong sense of knowing we are all doing the best we can and to these little darlings (😅) our best is more than enough ❤️
Wow what a whirlwind week of emotions it has been. It has been amazing to see so many people raising awareness as much as they possibly can, especially when some of those people are ones who have supported me and welcomed me talking about Jason.
This week there has been so much discussion around baby loss, in parliment, social media, radio and on TV and it has been a long time coming! There is still so much taboo around baby loss however I do still feel like most of the conversation has been around stillbirth and miscarraige and once again neonatal loss is widely overlooked. Jason lived, he was not stillborn and there is still so many unanswered questions about how babies suddenly die after being born alive that isnt researched and I feel strongly that the baby loss community can be very split in terms of how babies die.
Ive not felt like I can join in with this year blaw as much as I would have liked, ive been amazingly busy with work and life in general which has meant my mental health has taken quite a hit; which has meant grief has come along for the ride and I have found myself feeling much lower than usual. As a result I have had to take a step back and think about what is important for me and my family at this time and knowing I am going through another wave of guilt and grief is enough without trying to support everyone else too.
Tonight is #waveoflight and I have lit my candle for Jason, my tiny little twinny bean and all the other babies who sadly are no longer with us.
This week is PAL Awareness week and i have been taking part in their instagram photo challenge via my personal account. Although I have found it comforting doing something that links both my babies it has made me think so much about how little I knew about pregnancy after loss, I was extremely naive.
Right from when Jason died I knew I needed to try for another baby. It wasnt that I wanted to replace Jason, replace my grief it was that Jason needed a sibling to watch over and I needed to know that the world wasnt out to get me. I took Jasons death very personal and couldnt understand why it had happened to me when there were people worse than me who had multiple healthy babies and abused that right to have them. So a baby was needed.
We waited the usual 6 weeks before we started trying, my GP refused to give me a full 6 week checkup as my baby wasnt here (😡) so I made the decision myself that my body, mind and soul was ready. As I got caught with Jason within a month of stopping my contraception I assumed the same would happen this time. It didnt. It took us nearly a year to conceive Ellie, which I know actually isnt very long at all, and from then I started to realise just how difficult PAL would be.
I couldnt enjoy my pregnancy with Ellie, while TTC I was naive in thinking that once I was pregnant Id just be happy with all those pregnancy feelings but it was quite the opposite. It was 38 weeks of pure torture and as we’d decided not to announce our pregnancy publicly I felt very much alone in my journey as I couldnt talk to anyone who had been through loss or PAL themselves. I worried constantly, I had convinced myself that this baby was going to die too, that my body couldnt cope and that I didnt deserve children. The 38 weeks I was pregnant was spent stressed, any bit of happiness I felt when i felt those first kicka were soon gone when I remembered nothing was guaranteed.
I know how lucky I am to have had a successful pregnancy and I have Ellie in my arms but motherhood after loss is just as hard. People expect you to be okay now you have a living child. Im not. Its difficult and I wish every day that I had both my babies here and I was planning a birthday party for my 2 year old. But again, Im not and I dont.
I found PAL so hard that it has made me and my husband realise we cant go through that pain again. We cant put ourselves in that situation where another baby has died and I know this means I wont ever have more children and I am OK with this as I have the most beautiful babies already ❤ But this is how painful PAL can be, it can make you reevaluate everything.
If you would like to share your PAL Journey please feel free I would love to hear how you felt or feel.
I’ve been quiet the past few weeks, not only with my blog but also on my personal instagram account. I’ve not quite known the words to write or what pictures to take. I have found this pregnancy to be the hardest since hitting 35 weeks and passing the week where Jason was born. I’m now 37+2 weeks pregnant with our little girl and I just don’t know how I feel about that.
At our last scan we were told it looked like little miss has hair. This is nothing in comparison to how she is doing and what we really wanted to know yet this information really hit me hard. Jason had hair. He had a lot of hair. I don’t know how i’m going to feel when our rainbow is born and she looks just like her brother. In my head I know she’s going to look similar, for one all babies kinda look the same but they have the same genetics, they are siblings and my heart aches that i’ll never know just how similar they will be.
This month i’ve been taking part in the #captureyourgrief challenge on Instagram. Today’s post made me think about how I am around others, in reality I tell everyone I’m fine, i choose not to indulge them in my grief in fear of making them feel uncomfortable. Yet on here I am honest, I know family, friends read this, I know they are the same people who I tell I’m okay, making the most of it etc and I know they know me well enough to know it’s all a load of bollocks. I’ve been scared to tell anyone, even my blog readers, the truth about how I’m feeling because in all honesty I have never felt so scared in my life. Everyone is staying positive telling me that things will be different this time and life can’t be that shit that i will lose another baby so late in to my pregnancy but when it is all you know how can you believe them? I’ve only ever been pregnant once before this pregnancy and it ended in my Son dying at 35 weeks. Why would this pregnancy end any differently? I know i’m doing every thing I can to make sure this baby arrives safely, in the right place and at a time that is acceptable for her well-being but that still doesn’t mean she’s going to survive and I don’t think I can go through that all over again, holding my little girl and not having her wriggle, planning another funeral for a life that barely even began, living every day knowing I failed both of my children and knowing that I don’t want to go through another pregnancy just for it to end in heartbreak all over again. I am petrified of making our baby announcement to the world again and being sent “with sympathy” cards rather than “congratulations”. I’m scared that even if this pregnancy ends well and our rainbow is safe that somewhere down the line we are going to lose her. I am scared of being a real Mum to my daughter. Most of all I’m scared that when she arrives Jason will be forgotten by outsiders. Jason is rarely spoken of by most and I am so grateful to those who do mention him, say his name, light candles and memorise his presence in some way because they aren’t worried about reminding me….I’m never going to forget so please acknowledge he was here.
With just 19 days until baby’s due date i am becoming more and more scared. I just want to be one of the success stories. I want my baby to live, to experience life and to make my family whole again. I want to be able to tell her about her big brother and not just hope he was there when she went. I would give anything to bring Jason back to us, I would give my whole life for him to have survived but I know I can’t.
As of 15th October Team Jason has walked or cycled at least 340 miles and we are still going strong! Well everyone except me (I’m struggling with getting a mile in at the moment!)
We have managed to raise £225 for Aching Arms which is equal to 22 and a half Aching Arms bear! I feel so amazed that people’s generosity means that at least 22 bears will be donated and sent to so many families who need comfort, especially as it is so close to christmas. I know how much my Aching Arms bear helped me last christmas and gave me some comfort.
I am so incredibly proud of everyone who has helped contribute so many miles, when I started this challenge I wasn’t sure we’d even get to the 100 miles I had first anticipated but was determined to try and get as close to it as possible. Now we’re over 3 times that amount and aiming for 500 miles before the end of the month. I know how lucky I have been to have 9 other amazing people who have helped contribute their miles as I know I couldn’t have done this alone.
So far, in my heavily pregnant state I have managed 35 miles which is nothing compared to what others have walked for Jason.
If anyone reading this feels inspired to raise their own funds for Aching Arms or any other charity i’d love to know about it! Or if you want to find out more the Aching Arms website is on the Useful part of my blog. Or if anyone would like to sponsor us and help get us to 23 bears (I hate the thought of only half a bear!) I would again be so grateful. The link to my Virgin Money Giving site is http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/jasonsfootprints
Throughout October we remember:
All the babies born sleeping.
Those we’ve carried but never met.
Those we’ve held but could not take home.
The ones that came home but could not stay.
Help break the silence. Help remember our Angels.
October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month and on the 15th the whole world can take part in the Wave of Light where we light a candle in memory of our own babies and all those babies who sadly are no longer with us for whatever reason. Jason was one of those babies who I held but could not take home and I miss his cute little face and gingery hair every single day.
Throughout October a very special charity Aching Arms are holding a fundraiser called Miles in Memory. For those who are unaware of Aching Arms, they are a charity run by a group of bereaved mothers wanted to raise awareness of baby loss and the impact this has on family, friends and others. They also bring comfort to bereaved families by sending Bears to hospitals and to people who have requested one themselves. My Aching Arms bear has brought me so much comfort and has helped get me through some very hard times in my journey.
Their challenge Miles In Memory is running throughout October and is a fun way to help raise funds for the charity. I have set up a team of extremely amazing people who are going to help me contribute as many miles as we can in Jason’s memory by either walking, running, cycling or swimming. I am going to be doing as much walking as Bean will possibly allow me to do to get those miles in this month and would be grateful if anyone could donate or just share our challenge and get the word out as Aching Arms have been so helpful since losing Jason I want to give back as much as I possibly can.
Throughout the month I will be blogging about #teamjason and how the team are getting on with their challenge and updating this post with pictures when I can. I am so excited to get this challenge going tomorrow and finding new places to take a walk and show Jason some of the wonderful places I have locally to me.
Wow. I’m not sure I completely understand how I’ve made it this far but I’m grateful I have. It’s meant that with having two weeks of maternity leave I’ve been able to get the nursery finished, almost finished painting Bean’s wooden drawers and washed all her clothes ready. I’m not used to being this organised but I’m making the most of it because I WILL be bringing Bean home.
I’ve also spent most of this week preparing for Christmas (i’m sorry!!) I absolutely love Christmas and buying people gifts and love to start as early as I can. I’ve already got quite a few presents sorted and planned the rest out quite well. To me, it’s the most magical time of the year. Especially since with my brother having Down Syndrome, Christmas has always been just like it was when we were kids. The excitement, waking up at 4am and watching a Christmas film in bed while we wait for our parents to let us get up. My dad however is the biggest child and has always tried waking us up as early as my mum would let him by knocking on the bedroom walls until we woke up.
As usual, I digress, but Christmas gets me all excited. Even more so this year knowing we will have our rainbow and we will have something to be excited about. I hope.
A very brief post about my second week on leave as I have even more exciting news to tell you in a new post 😀
I feel like i’m starting all over again but this time is slightly different. It’s been exactly one week since starting my maternity leave and i’m now waiting for Bean to arrive. Continue reading “Week One.”→