We forgot to go to Freddie’s funeral. We were busy, the girls were alive and needed us and life goes on and… oh my word, it was today and we forgot. Max was okay with it; after all, it was just a procedure, he didn’t need us there, the girls needed us. It was just a thing that had to be done.
We forgot. We forgot. We forgot. The one appointment he would ever need me to be on time for and I forgot to go. In 2 short weeks, I forgot him and left him behind.
Oh, the guilt. I’m moving on little boy. I’m leaving you behind.
I decided to keep him. I didn’t want to do that thing, the big and final thing to him. I wanted to keep him, keep him in a box next to my bed and just take him out for a cuddle sometimes. I knew he would be dead, but it would be better for me, surely, to keep him. He didn’t need a crib, that would be odd, but a folding crate by my bed? I cuddled him all night, took him out and dressed him in a babygro the girls all wore and held him on my shoulder all that night.
But in the morning he wasn’t there. Even though all night he had looked just how I remembered.
I went back to the hospital. There was a man, sitting on the floor in a corridor, with 4 little boys and a baby boy in a car seat. His eyes were red. He was telling his boys that Baby Sarah had died and mummy was having a chat and they’d go home soon. He was saying he knew it meant that they’d never have a sister now, but that a baby boy instead would be enough. It could be a family with all boys.
What clearer story could my brain tell me? Have your rainbow. Don’t expect to get it all. Be grateful for what you get.
I guess determined optimism will only get you so far, even if you try. Three nights running my brain did this to me. Th first morning I cried and gritted my teeth. But I fretted, because the fluttery feelings I’d had had stopped. I held on – and that night, I dreamt I was carrying a dead baby around with me. I woke up, lay still to feel if there were movement, gritted my teeth and carried on. Eventually I cracked, dug out my old and damaged doppler, knowing it was a bad idea – and of course, I heard nothing.
But by evening, when everywhere was shut and my midwife off shift, I couldn’t carry on any more. And so, snotty and snivelling, a phone call landed me at the door of the delivery ward where Freddie was born. I got as far as opening the door, dissolved in hysterics and – thank goodness – a nurse who remembered me and a midwife with a heart of gold picked me up and took me somewhere that had no memories and no fast door through to SCBU and within 5 minutes a doctor with a patient and kindly face was scanning me and showing me a heartbeat.
I’m not really lasting very long between scans. I thought I would do better. I have NO faith in joining the women birthing live and kicking rainbow babies this week. Even though, in my soul, I do have faith in this baby.
14 weeks. A minimum of another 23 to go. And so much to get past yet.
I miss you Freddie. I wish you had stayed so we didn’t have to do this again. I’m so sorry I have to leave you behind, for a while, at least.