Thursday, 23 June 2016

Dreaming of Being a Mum by Kristina

When I was a little girl, I dreamed of being a mum and all the happiness it brings - like you see in the movies,  all laughing and full of love.  I have four children: Charlie and Neve are my angels and Maya and Zack are my rainbows.

So part of my dream did become reality, but not like in the movies.  To get my rainbows I had to endure a horrific nightmare which I never thought I'd come out of.   At times I'm still stuck In that place.  I had to endure not bringing two of my babies home. I became a statistic. I had to bury them. I had to endure darkness I never knew.

I still have very dark days. Days I want to stay in bed and not be a mum, wife, daughter or friend.  Sometimes I can tell when the darkness Is coming,  normally around Charlie and Neve's birthdays. The months of August and September are months I hope pass quickly every year.

Sometimes like today it hits without warning. It starts with waking through the night and feeling I have lost something, I don’t know what It Is I've lost.  Then I remember in that split second that I've lost two beautiful babies.  It continues with me feeling tired and teary all day. If an advert with a baby comes on I will be In tears. If a song we played at their funerals is on the radio I'm a mess.

These days used to last weeks. I've had to teach myself it's ok to have one bad day. It's ok to feel sad.  It's not something to run from anymore or to try and hide. I have to allow myself to stand In this pain.  It's pain I need to feel to be able to process why I'm feeling like this.

Sometimes it can be as simple as hearing their names being called in a shopping centre. That hurts every time. 

Sometimes It can be because I feel like a bad mum to my two rainbows. That I'm not a good mum, that I could do better.  That I focus too much on the past and not see the present.  I used to run from my feelings and in the end I was a big ball of stress and anxiety and so angry.  

I ended up in counselling twice because of my running.  They taught me that it's ok to face it, to understand it, as to understand the pain iIs to allow It to pass.   I had to learn to let myself grieve Instead of focusing on others. To put me first. That was hard - to put me first.
I hadn't done that since my mum was sick.  For so long the pain would take over my body, with my body showing signs of stress and all these aches and pain In my shoulder.

Once I understood the pain was my body trying to tell me something wasn't right. That all the tests showed nothing. That no amount of massage or acupuncture eased the pain.

I began to realise the pain was grief.  Grief I refused to feel. Once I allowed myself to feel it, I noticed the pain slowly went.  When it comes back I have to stop and ask myself am I denying grief again.  Most of the time its yes.  Somebody once told me that the grief and pain will never disappear, you just learn how to live your life with it. 

I never thought I would get to this point.  Yet here I am 10 and 9 years later. Still standing and still breathing.  Sometimes still it's all too hard and I want to hide under the covers.  It's been a long and difficult journey, it will always be bumpy.

The darkness still comes. I guess I have just learnt the signs and know what it Is that I need to do to let the sun back In.

The only advice I can anyone on this journey with me is to allow yourself the space to feel. That's its ok to stay in bed all day and not want to see anyone.  Just make sure it’s not every day. If iIt starts to feel this way ask for help. Seek some counselling.  The grief will never stop just as the love you feel for your children will never stop.  Yet somehow you do learn to live with it and keep breathing.

Don't run away.

If you require support after reading this blog please contact

Sands on 13 000 72637

Kristina Riley

Kristina is a children's nurse and a counsellor.
She has four beautiful children.
Charlie and Neve are her two angels who are the  inspiration for raising more awareness about stillbirths and pregnancy loss.
Her two miracles Maya and Zack are the reason she keeps moving forward on this journey of grief.
Her husband Curt is also her inspiration to raise awareness for fathers and their grief.

There needs to be more awareness for us all.

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