Friday, 31 October 2014

My daughter, the box!

Hello Squidgy,

Mummy went into town with your Granny and Grampa Angelinetta today, it was nice to see them. They treated Mummy to a couple of bits from Mummy's favourite shop, it was very kind of them but it is just another thing that none of us should have been doing. Of course, we would have gone shopping but it should have been for the little tutu Mummy had seen before you were born, I know Grandma wanted to buy you one. Now, would we ever get that tutu? If you do have a little sister would I want to buy her a tutu because that vision I had was yours. Mummy knows you wouldn't mind, you would be so happy to see Mummy and Daddy smile but we do have to consider these things.

This month has actually been the most difficult one so far for Mummy (bar July obviously...), I think the shock helped me through the first three months but this month was the start of the real grief. It was the start of "this time last year..." On Monday it will be one year since we found out we had finally fallen pregnant again but all we have to show for all the months of trying and the 9 months of carrying you are memories, photos and a box, what the hell is that about?

How did my daughter turn into a box?
She was meant to be here, asleep in her cot.

How did my life become so dark?
We were meant to be together, skipping along in the park.

How did our house become so empty?
We were meant to have visitors and guests aplenty.

How will we begin to live this new life?
When hope has gone missing and pain cuts like a knife.

I will try to be positive, do what I can
To live your life for you and come up with a plan

To honour your memory and make proud
So you will be smiling from up there in the clouds.

Your Daddy is doing the Milton Keynes Marathon in your honour next year, 26 miles... He is going to start training this weekend, Mummy is very proud of him! He is going to do it as part of Face your fears for Ophelia so hopefully that will raise a bit more money for SANDS and Children are Butterflies. Mummy and Daddy are also dressing up as Superheroes on 14 November as part of SANDS Superheroes, I am sure you will think we look very funny!!!

Mummy met one of her forum friends this week, she is lovely, I hope we get to see each other again! Mummy has also started a bit of a detox (although I might have a wine or two tonight...), it's more of a fertile food diet, I will give anything a go! I am also doing Yoga, you probably saw Mummy looking like a right weirdo earlier in the week as she flung her body into strange shapes and made funny sounds, it helps to relax me though.

Anyway poppet, Mummy and Daddy miss you so, so much. It is so long since we last saw you and we still have forever left until we see you once more! We know you are looking over us and sending your love and wishing for happiness for us. Thank you beautiful!

Love you to the moon, the stars and the sun and back.

Love eternal

Mummy and Daddy


Thursday, 30 October 2014


Hello Poppet,

Mummy needs a little help sweetheart. I am struggling to move forward, this wasn't the life I was expecting, this isn't the life I wanted.

I miss you.

Love eternal.



Thursday, 23 October 2014

Back to the future

Hello Poppet,

Mummy has probably let you down recently, haven't had a lot of strength to be honest, I am just exhausted, tired of all the pain your Daddy and I have endured over the last four years. I haven't even made it out of bed a couple of times. Lazy Mummy eh?! If you were here I would never be able to do that, I'd never probably have understood how lucky I was to be so tired though so thank you for showing me just how precious every second is!

Mummy went to the home yesterday though, spoke to a lovely lady called Doris, she is 95 and looks AMAZING! Sadly she doesn't really like the activities the home puts on, there is lots to do but it just isn't her thing, she likes plays and romance novels! I spoke to her for a while, asked where she was from, whether she liked dancing and how long she has been at the home. She then told me about her daughters and the cruise they had recently been on, she is a sweetheart. It broke Mummy's heart to see her sad so I offered to find her some romance novels from the bookshelf downstairs, when I brought them too her she told me I had cheered her up no end, it made Mummy smile. It is amazing really how just a few moments can make a difference to someone! Mummy knows you would have done things like that too!

Daddy and I are doing this run on Saturday, the tag line is "when life hands you rain, make rainbows!" We thought it was quite fitting to say the least! Mummy and Daddy are very ill prepared though, we have done no training at all but like I say, we haven't had any strength recently! Hopefully we will do ok though with you spurring us on and maybe we will come home with a rainbow!

Mummy has started dreaming about babies, had a dream every night this week so far, I. The dreams I get to hold a baby, I don't know if it is you, I just know that every second I hold the her is a second longer than I thought and I feel so grateful. In one dream the baby had a broken foot, or twisted somehow, Mummy tried to fix it but I just made it worse, is that what I am doing now? I am trying to heal but sometimes I just feel like I am getting worse. Anyway, then I wake up... Dreams can come true I keep trying to tell myself but how can I really believe that when upto now they haven't?

Mummy has started a little chant before she goes to bed, every night after the light goes out and Daddy and I have said our goodnights I lie on my side and start to breathe in and out deeply, right into the depths of my body and repeat the following in my mind at least three times:

"You can get pregnant"
"You can carry a child"
"You can give birth safely"
"You can bring a living baby home"

It is like I am specifically talking to my eggs, willing them on, "you can do it ladies, just have faith!" Mummy thinks it helps to relax me, not sure if it does any good though. Only time will tell I guess!

Anyway sweetheart, Mummy loves you, Daddy loves you, Marley loves you! We miss you all the time! This time last year you were here, maybe only by a day or so but here all the same, one year on, no baby though! One year on for now, Back to the Future will be in the past and hoverboards might exist, let's hope your brother or sister does too!

Love eternal.

Mummy and Daddy


Sunday, 19 October 2014

What it is like

Today, this isn't a letter, this is what it is like...

On 6 July I woke up and felt very different to how I had the day before, I knew something wasn't quite right. Quickly we went to the hospital and within minutes were told our daughter had died and that we would have to go through labour and birth and not be taking her home. I died that day, not physically but mentally, in an instant my life was stolen as well as hers.

Not even two days were spent with her, some people don't even get that, some just have their babies taken away, they aren't allowed to see them so I am grateful we held her and told her she is loved but it isn't good enough, my daughter shouldn't be rotting in the ground she should be here.

In the weeks since, Paul and I have had to start re-building our lives, often having to hide our real emotions because they are even too much for us but doing that is exhausting and the tears do come, mostly when we least expect them to. I can't hold a conversation on the phone very well, I can call a takeaway and end up in tears. Sounds stupid doesn't it? I have hardly made a single call since she died, I don't have the confidence so Paul has to most of the time. In person I can switch off, since the funeral I have seen a few people, I have cried in front of them roughly five times in total across all friends. It is not because I don't feel I can, it is because I am terrified I won't stop. I cry as soon as I am on my own.

I wake up in the morning and for a second everything is fine, I have felt that before when bad things have happened but this is infinitely worse. I get up, I have a shower, I clean my teeth and put on my make up, sometimes I do my hair this can all happen in roughly thirty minutes, it is horrible. It should take half the morning if not more. Most of the time my house is pretty clean other than the washing up because I avoid it but I always have. There are no toys in my living room, nothing baby related at all, that is all locked in her room which I simply cannot go into. There should be toys! Almost like clockwork, whenever I feel the emotions setting in the next door neighbours newborn grandchild starts to cry, I don't dislike it because it is distracting, I dislike it because it the only time I hear a baby cry, I don't hear mine.

There are places Paul and I used to go and we can't go anymore, this can make things like going out for food even more difficult, I am fussy as it is, we had found our groove and now we have to start all over again. It is hard to say what it feels like to see pregnant women and babies, it is beautiful but it is really hard too because sadly I am really jealous, I try so hard not to be because it's not fair and I feel like an awful person. I don't know what they have been through to get their child and even if they haven't been through anything they love and want their children. I just love and want mine too. Babies shouldn't die. That's why I fundraise, the NHS could be doing more to save babies, it is so hard to know that something could have been done to save so many babies, 50% or so from what I understand but more research has to be done... More babies have to die before the NHS will change. I don't think badly of the NHS, they are covered in red tape but surely the DoH can just sign off an extra scan and a sizing chart? I would pay the £20 it costs... I would have paid £20, I would have given all the money I had. I personally do not think this extra scan at 33 weeks would have saved Ophelia, she was fine then but if I had been monitored in the days leading up to her death maybe, just maybe she would be here. That is one of the hardest things to swallow, if she had been born less than 48 hours earlier I know, without question she would be here now.

I scare people, I know I do, I am their worst nightmare. I am the 5%. That is all it is though, 5% of people will suffer a stillbirth or neo natel death (far too many, it should be 0%), the odds just weren't in our favour, nor were they the first time. I do have to talk about it though, maybe one day we will help to save lives. For the moment it is support I want give the most, to someone on this path with me, to say you aren't alone. Grief does the strangest things, I don't know me anymore, I don't know when I will react well or not, I don't know anything really. I know I am terrified, so scared that children just aren't on the cards, lots of people tell me they know we will be parents to a living child but the question that always comes into my head is, "did you know Ophelia was going to die?" Obviously no-one did but there in which lies my point, no-one knows. I know people wish they did, I wish I did. I am negative and hurting though so seeing the positive is very hard. I see it for all my friends and family though, everything will work out great, I really, really think that whatever they choose. I have contradicted my point but somehow I see clearer when I look out.

I have seen a lot of happiness recently, lots of friends have got engaged, some have got married, a few have had babies and a few are expecting. The truth is, it is hard, but not because I am angry you are happy and I am not but because I cannot join you, not properly anyway. I don't want to ruin your happiness, I feel like I did last week... Cried on the bride!! I did again this week... Very unintentionally but I made someone I care about upset. When you are grieving it is hard to do a lot of things, most of all celebrate, it becomes alien, you wish you were celebrating, for them and for you but the sadness isn't buried yet (it will always find a way out), it sits on my shoulders weighing me down and I can't help but let it out. I feel very selfish as a result and that makes me feel so very guilty but I need to give myself a break, I don't have any control of this. To all my friends please forgive me if I am not there, I wish so much that I could be, please know whatever happens we are happy for you.

Sometimes I look back at things I have said, things I have done, no-one is perfect after all, but I end up feeling like I have deserved this, like maybe Ophelia didn't want me to be her Mummy, maybe she didn't like me. Maybe it is ok that this has happened to us, maybe it was expected because I am not a good person. I complained about things a lot, wasn't always nice, wasn't always thankful for what I had/have. I look for reasons to my questions why and sadly sometimes I feel I have found them.

Sometimes I want to be with her, I think mainly because now the shock of her death has gone, reality has really hit. Like every mother, I would have given my life for hers. I think as parents we all think that, we want them to live, to love but some small part of it selfish too because living without your child is impossible.

I can never really put into words what it feels like when I see that closed door, or when I lie in bed and think about what lives in there. Sometimes I think about what we will do with her things, will they ever be used or will that room lie dormant forever?

It is hard to tell you how I feel when I take a photo of a candle instead of her face, when I read a story at her graveside instead of her bedside. It is hard, it is so hard.

I am trying.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Hard times

Hello beautiful,

Mummy is finding things really, really tough at the moment, I just don't know where to turn to be honest! Mummy finds it almost impossible now to not  recoil into myself, into the computer, it's hard! So, so hard! Mummy never knew grief could change so much in your life, Daddy and I have made some positive moves for you, we have to but it is the things we can't control that can clothes line us.

Mummy started volunteering this week, I went in on Thursday morning and chatted with the residents, made tea and coffee and helped with lunch, it was nice to be helping, to be giving something back but it took a lot out of me too. Five times the words "Do you have children?" came out of people's mouths... Mummy has to judge how to say it each time but I never say no, I might have only had you for a matter of hours, all of which were after you had gone but I AM A MUMMY! I always say yes. That bit Mummy loves, in that second I am happy then comes the but... She died! Then of course comes "I'm so sorry, how old was she?" Ummmmm minus one day old, is that a thing?! "She was stillborn" Then the assumption there was something critically wrong with you, because you would be here otherwise right? No, she died because her heart just stopped, no reason why, if you were born on Saturday 5 July you would be a happy three and a half month old now and that is the cold, hard, awful truth! Maybe Mummy sat strangely, maybe I shouldn't have eaten those polenta chips, maybe I was just too assuming that you would get here? Maybe, maybe, maybe!

Mummy has heard other "Angel" Mummies say that some of their friends didn't like hearing about their little ones because it was too sad for them! Oh... Right! You don't even know what sad means! How cruel! Live one day in our shoes and then you will really know sadness and then some! Do you have any idea how amazing we are to be here when the most important thing in the world isn't? Amazing doesn't even cover it! Those Mummies and Daddies are awesome and Mummy and Daddy are so honoured to know them, we were loved and cared for instantly by them, that doesn't happen every day and no words will ever be enough to describe our gratitude.

Anyway sweetheart, if you can could you put in a good word for us? Mummy doesn't know if there is anyone to have a word with but I thought I would ask! I hope you are having fun with all your gorgeous friends and you are still proud of Mummy and Daddy. Mummy wonders if you are getting bigger up there, have your grown? Mummy wishes she knew!

Love you so, so much poppet!

Love eternal

Mummy and Daddy


Thursday, 16 October 2014


Hello Ophelia,

Mummy misses you so much today, I do every day but today it is shattering! Mummy just wants to cuddle you, to hold your hand, to see you smile but that was stolen from us, just like it was stolen from your older brother or sister. Why did Mummy and Daddy have to loose both of their babies?

I feel angry and selfish today, it is not fair that we should go through so much heartbreak! Mummy feels like happiness isn't meant for your Daddy and I...

Sorrow - Sarah Hancon

In happiness I am a spectator,
Joy is not my own.
I could sell you sadness by the bucket,
The smiles are yours alone.

To celebrate in sorrow,
Is such a vicious sting.
I find I'm getting weaker
I just can't say a thing.

Fate has his friends
In life I am not one.
Maybe if he saw me,
Our chance of love would come.

Ahhhhhhh, this is so sombre
I wish it wasn't so.
I try and try and try so hard,
But fate, he is my foe.

Mummy feels like the wind has been forced from me today, I was doing so well but I have tumbled down rapidly! Some people ask me how I am, they do so almost breezily like there is a time frame of how long I should grieve for. There is no time frame, Mummy will never get over your death, my gorgeous little Squidge! Mummy hopes in time it won't always be so raw but I now know that won't come soon, Mummy is still so broken!

Anyway sweetie, that's enough now, Mummy doesn't  want you to think I am sad because I had you, Mummy is sad because we lost you. Mummy will look forward to the day I get to see your face again for the rest of my life. It is torment living without you.

Love eternal

Mummy and Daddy


Tuesday, 14 October 2014

For a friend...

Hello Squidge,

Mummy will write properly to you tomorrow, I just wanted to let you know how much I love you, how much Daddy loves you and how much Marley loves you, we all do, so, so much!

Mummy wrote a poem for one of your friend's earlier, her mummy had asked if someone could write something incorporating all the meanings of her daughter's name so I put pen to paper, or finger to iPad... I really, really hope she likes it!

Here it is for you to read, maybe you could read it to her?

An immortal dream plucked from earth,
An eternal beauty left us after birth.
Everlasting love is what you gave,
Unfading light in which we bathe.
Imperishable is what you'll be
A life lived through eternity
Your strength and grace will guide us through
Our new forever without you.

I miss you poppet, nothing is the same without you even though we expected our lives to be so different.

Forever our baby girl, always loved, never forgotten.

Love eternal.

Mummy & Daddy

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Where is the justice?

Hello Beautiful,

How are things in the clouds? Are they springy? Mummy has always wondered whether they were like trampolines, Mummy hopes so!

So how have the last few days been for Mummy and Daddy? To be honest Ophelia, it is so up and down, one week we could be functioning pretty well whilst other weeks it feels overwhelming. Sometimes Mummy feels so angry, so let down, I try not to but it is hard, I see so much hate, so much evil but there are thousands of parents going to to sleep (or trying to sleep if only their brains would let them) tonight without their much loved, much wanted babies, WHERE IS THE JUSTICE?

Mummy and Daddy have always given to charities, never thinking we would find we needed one to survive... your Mummy and Daddy wouldn't be here functioning the way we do without the charities that have been there for us. Mummy uses the forum every day and has a group of friends on Facebook and Instagram that are there at a drop of a hat. Mummy and Daddy have a lady that comes round to see us every couple of weeks, she has lost too, her son 21 years ago, we talk about you, about our fears of a future pregnancy or possible lack there of and she is able to offer advise based on her own experiences. Then there is the group every month, a space where we can support others and be supported. Mummy and Daddy owe them so much, we hope we can continue to raise money for them, maybe one day our fundraising will save a baby like you. Mummy has said it before, nothing, NOTHING would ever be worth your death but I'll be damned if your legacy won't be worth something! It will be, Mummy promises you that, you will make your mark on the world, you already have!

Mummy looked at pictures of your bump buddy Harry today, it was hard! He is giggling now, looking like a little man, he looks like he is a right cheeky monkey and Mummy is jealous! I hate that I am, I shouldn't be because the two of you should have been growing up together, reaching milestones at the same time but the milestones we have are miles apart from the ones they are experiencing... Will your Daddy and I ever see the happier side of pregnancy? People tell us not to give up, we will get there, we like their optimism but sadly unless you have walked this road it is hard to see how impossible hope can be, after all pregnancy is the epitome of hope , if that dies what do you have left? A crystal ball is on Mummies Christmas list!

On a brighter note, Mummy and Daddy have entered a race that is taking place on 25 October in Oxford. It is only 5k but seeing as Mummy and Daddy are rubbish at keeping fit it will be a challenge  but hopefully our t-shirts will covered in rainbows by the end of it because people will be throwing paint at us as we run. It should be fun and very fitting considering how much we want a rainbow!

Right, Mummy is tired, I didn't sleep properly again last night so I am going to get myself to bed. Love you to the moon and back!

Love eternal.

Mummy and Daddy


Thursday, 2 October 2014

2 October

Hello Gorgeous,

Mummy wishes there was a way to bring you back, I miss you so much, it hurts!!!

So every time Mummy thinks she has turned a slight corner reality sends one of the boys round to slap me round the face! One year ago today was the start of the cycle that would turn in to you, our beautiful little girl! I can remember that month so well, Mummy and Daddy had stopped trying for a baby, we had come to the conclusion that it just wasn't going to happen naturally. We had an appointment booked to see a consultant in infertility on 8 November 2013 but we found out on 3 November you were on your way, I have never been happier (other than when I was holding you OBVS!). Now one year on I can honestly say I have never felt so alone, so hopeless and so heartbroken, one year to the day that aunt has come to stay again!

Mummy just can't shake the feeling that it just won't happen, that Mummy and Daddy will never have a living child! Short of what happened to you trying to conceive is the most painful journey to be on, it is agonising! Mummy just wanted it to happen so much, especially as this month will be so hard for your Mummy and Daddy!

Mummy wants so much to tell you some good news, it has been so long since we had some! Our string of bad, rotten, awful luck just seems to be dragging on! Mummy feels guilty for writing that! We are still so very lucky, we don't live in poverty, we haven't lost family members to war or violence. We have a nice house, enough money to feed and cloth ourselves and we have love, from so many people, we have to be thankful for that! Mummy just wants what she can't have, she wants you! Mummy even had to change the end of that sentence a few times, guilt again... I wrote you because it is true, I do want you but I also want your brother or sister but if I wrote another child I would feel like I was discounting you... NEVER! If I wrote you and another child I would feel like I am being greedy! Is Mummy being greedy? Is it greedy to want my child or children? I don't know!

How naive your Daddy and I were when we started trying for a baby, we thought nothing of it, we would just get pregnant! We did but sadly we lost her too (I always thought of baby no.1 as a girl...we lost to early to know for real though... Sorry if you are a boy baby Hanc!) I was told that there is only a 30% chance that you can get pregnant each cycle, 30%! How people get pregnant because of a one night stand I will never know and most likely they will never appreciate how lucky they are for that to have happened! It just seems so low that I actually wonder how the human race has survived so long! Mummy had fallen into that naivety trap again since having you, she thought that loosing you would be enough heartache, surely this time we wouldn't have to go through month after month, cycle after cycle but it is starting to look that way again. PLEASE GIVE US A BREAK!!! PLEASE!

Anyway sweetie, Mummy has done it again, she has made you sad! I don't mean to, I try not to feel so sad but life just isn't happy anymore! We are sorry we didn't come to see you on Sunday, but we figured you were busy watching your Mummy and Daddy try to ice skate, Mummy was RUBBISH! Daddy was pretty good, as per! You would have been like that, good at sports. You and Daddy would have sped off on your snowboards/surfboards/skateboards leaving Mummy to eat your dirt. That's ok though, Mummy wouldn't have minded, Mummy is better at other things, like writing :-)

Mummy spoke to a nice lady at the residential home up the road, I am thinking about doing some volunteering up there. I think it will help, if I can make someone else feel good about themselves maybe it would make me feel a little better too, what do you think? Do you think they will like Mummy? I hope so, I will let you know what happens sweetheart!

Mummy is going to go now but remember we love you, we are happy to have had you in our lives!

Love eternal

Mummy and Daddy xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

PS Marley sends you a great big kiss!