Thursday, 4 August 2016

Charlie's Tenth Birthday.

It’s coming up to Charlie's 10th birthday on the 2nd September.
Today I hid in my daughters’ wardrobe and cried.
One of those silent cries because you don't want your children to ask what's wrong.
I knew it was coming. How could it not?  It never comes when I expect it too.
It waits until my heart can't take anymore.
Today I was putting my 7 year old’s clothes away. A simple chore.
I held the door so tight with one hand while my other hand covered my mouth to stop my screaming.
This year Charlie would have been 10. Double figures.
Wow, I would have had a son who was not far from becoming a teenager.
His sister Neve would have been 9.
The pain is still so raw, the pain of not holding them.
To watch friends’ children turn 9 and 10. To see what they are doing, seeing who they are growing up to be.
I have had to learn to not ask the what if's. There will never be an answer. I think sometimes the what if's are what hold me in this emotional rollercoaster.
Today as I stood there letting the tears flow and trying not to scream out, I had to give myself permission to let go, to not try to be the strong mum, friend or wife.
Today I can't do it. I can't be the mum that plays or laughs. Today I don't want to ask my husband how was your day.
Today I don't want to listen to a friend.
Today and probably for a few more days, I want to lie in bed and be cared for.
I want to be held and fed and not be all those roles of mum, wife and friend.
That's hard to ask for help, for me especially.
Today I told my husband i need to go to bed and not be a mum. He reply was to remind me he will support me and hold me and to allow me to stop my roles.
As he kissed the top of my head and held me he said
" you can cry and go to bed if that's what you need"
I so wanted to crawl into that bed. To allow the darkness to sweep over me like it has done so many times before.
Yet I didn't. I heard my two children playing and laughing downstairs.
My first thought was, how do I explain to them I can't be your mummy today?
They don't understand, how could they? They know about Charlie and Neve. We have always talked about them.
They need me, regardless of how I'm feeling. They need feeding, homework needs to be done, talking about their day. To them,  I'm their world.
I can go to bed when they do.
So today I didn't go to bed and hide. It doesn't mean tomorrow I won't. For 10 years I have battled.
10 years without our first son. I still remember his birth and seeing him for the first time. Those beautiful long legs. The way he looked just like his daddy.
I remember holding him whilst singing twinkle twinkle. The smell of his skin as i kissed him.  The tiny hand that gripped my finger.  The look on my husband’s face as he held him as he took his last breath. He was born alive at 23+5 weeks.  He lived for 2 minutes. He was not a miscarriage or a stillbirth.
Our son lived. I hope in those 2 minutes Charlie knew just how loved he was and still is.
I have those memories of him. Those memories I have every single day.
When Neve was born sleeping we lost that time of feeling her heartbeat of her grasping our fingers.
I remember her everyday as a chubby curly haired baby who was perfect.
Time they say is a healer. Not for me.
For me it’s just more time without them.  More time for remembering.
So today when I cried in the wardrobe I was crying for the 10 and 9 years of missing and remembering.
It's always so bittersweet.
So today I chose not to hide in bed but to allow myself to feel and to cry.
It's never easy, there isn't a magic wand to wave.
Today the choice I made was to keep going with support. Tomorrow maybe another choice.
Tomorrow  is another day.

For Charlie and Neve the love I have for you grows every day.
Kristina Riley

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