There is some form of normality around, although too much of it is over laid by things which just aren’t normal and right now, if i’m honest, don’t feel like they ever will be. Reading this post on glow this week pretty much summed it up. The ripples really are everywhere.
(Breaks to watch Dr Who, adds it to the list of things like every song on the radio etc etc that screams DEAD BABY! to the entire family.)
The girls are making a sterling effort to get back to their work and are all doing well enough. Neither Max nor i can concentrate on anything for very long at all, not even full days at work (which we are lucky to be able to accommodate) so we don’t expect them too. I don’t think they’d be as generally whole as they are if they were trying to manage through days at school – i assume not anyway as i sure as hell can’t make it through more than about 3 hours of even being out of the house.
This week we’ve aimed to have everyone do 3-5 bits of sensible, easy, familiar work and some music practise each day. Nothing too taxing, nothing that involves mess or coordinated effort, just time spent exercising brains in a way that feels normal. Once again i’m glad (if disappointed in my lack of originality) at our ‘normals’ – they are at least easy to get back to. Max did an afternoon of ‘telly maths’ with them and we’ve had afternoons of friends, crafts, exercise and so on.
We had play dates with Poppy and Skye and also with Big, Small and Soa. I nearly pulled my heart out watching Josie relate to a baby but aside from thinking “dammit, i really DID want another baby”, that was okay for me and it was lovely to talk to Jax. We all enjoyed their company. Fran went off with Auntie Michelle and did mucking out and then got to ride her (extremely beautiful) dressage horse which she was very delighted about. She came home with pony magazines and costs of horse ownership 🙄 😆 We had lunch with Little Flower and i went to work for an afternoon. We had a gym lesson another day and divided ourselves up to give Josie some time with just one adult for a while.
Thursday Amelie found out she was going to get a trial with the A Squad at gym; she did her first session today and has 4 weeks to prove herself there. She looked pretty at home there but she’ll have to adapt to a new coach and a different type of training. She is teetering between absolutely over the moon, as A Squad was absolutely her target, and rather gutted at the thought of moving away from her beloved coach and a group of friends she was beginning to be very comfortable in. For what it’s worth, i think she needs the challenge of not always bubbling straight to the top of the pot and really having to battle for being one of the most able ones will be good for her. Fran has been very brave about it but i know that really she is gutted that it isn’t likely to be an opportunity she wins herself without a minor miracle. I’m very much looking forward to being a gym on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays (3 times!), Thursdays and Saturdays. (Groan.)
In keeping with a lot of my life just now, i can’t actually remember much else. Maddy and Josie have been busy being creative and doing lots of reading and word practise and are a pleasure to be with as usual. Maddy was giving a little award for good TKD work a couple of weeks ago and that really fired her enthusiasm. I watched her the other night and she works so hard there and does very well. She has pushed me to the edge of getting really worried about her spelling and, once i started worrying, sees to be doing better. She’s quite stressed right now but seems to have some confidence breakthroughs, not least in explaining her worries to us (which helps) and facing some. This week she got brave enough to start taking her hamster out of its cage herself – a big achievement. She made me laugh lots with her musical performance with Small and sigh at her dance – she dances so nicely, it is such a shame she gave up classes. And she joined in the gym lesson this week.
Today we had a day that required a TARDIS, with children all over town all day – we had start and end times at different places for different children of 8.30, 10, 10.30, 11.30, 12.30, 1.30 and 2.15 – it became faintly ridiculous! Fran helped coach all morning and then got to do a school display of tumbling with the A Squad in the afternoon – they all rehearsed better than they performed 😆 but she really enjoyed the experience.
And me? Us? Max has been rather down all the second part of the week and i seem to have had some different version of grief – more like the effect of a shock wave than a fire bomb. I just have not stopped crying. Not even crying, more just silent dripping. I can’t listen to a song without crying, all tv has funerals, death, cremation, there are babies everywhere, there is other stuff to worry about. I have literally sobbed in every single spare moment when someone hasn’t been looking at me. I cannot believe what has happened. The children dream that Freddie comes home and tell me how much it hurts when they wake up and he isn’t here. I just dream, over and over again, of the moment when i realised he was going to die. I dream of the moment when i suddenly realise he was looking frail. I dream that i can’t protect any of them. I sob when i hear anything that beeps like the SCBU monitors do. I have not stopped, not stopped at all. I fell asleep this afternoon and dreamed i was dying of cancer and when i woke up, instead of being relieved it wasn’t true, i was just hit with the reality that we have, or don’t have, a dead baby. I can’t make it add up to something that makes sense.
I wish i knew what to do. The unbelievable actual fact is that we are always, ALWAYS going to have a dead baby Freddie. The name Freddie is always going to make me sad. Beeps will always make me sad. Some songs will always remind me of him. All of us are always, ALWAYS going to wonder if what has just caught and snagged at our grief has saddened one of the others too. My girls will grow up and face motherhood knowing some babies really do die. REALLY do, not just in an alternate reality that happens to others. And if that can happen, what else can happen? Trite phrases don’t help – i know it will feel less raw in time but that doesn’t take away the always-ness of it. 9 months growing a baby who i don’t have. A tiny person who i – but also we – got to know and then didn’t get to keep.
Talking to Jax yesterday i felt i had put my finger on another hole, one i hadn’t quite seen coming until then. When you know you are having a baby, you expand the love you have and find you have more to fit the needs of the new person coming along. You don’t divide the love you had for 4 into 5, you simply produce a 5th element of love from a place that appears like another dimension from within you. But if that 5th child doesn’t stay, the love doesn’t dissolve away like the breast milk does. It stays. There is all this love and nowhere to put it, nothing to give it to. I can’t redivide it up and give it to the girls, because it is love that belongs to Freddie. Only he doesn’t need it and there aren’t enough memories to feed it, so it is eating away at me like a hungry and lost little soul. The photos don’t feed it, wallowing in sad songs doesn’t feed it. I sat for days beside his little cot thinking we were missing our first days together, even when i also knew in my heart that he wouldn’t survive, and i couldn’t make enough memories or pour away that love away. It just grew and grew and now it won’t go.
I really, really… really… want our little boy.