In honour of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month, today I share my story.
You may feel you know a fair bit about me, due to what I share here on a regular basis. But much of my story I have not shared before as it has been too painful, and too personal.
My story is one of a mother’s love. A story of baby loss. This week marks 9 years since we lost our second son. Those nine years sound like a long time, but they also feel like a mere moment.
I share my story today in the hope it may help someone. Another parent who has lost a baby and is grieving and feeling alone. Maybe that parent is you.
There are particular smells that remind us of things, experiences, places, and people. Scent triggers are highly emotional and can be found in the most unusual circumstances.
The sniff of a certain perfume, the scent of the freshly mown lawn, the strong chlorine smell of the local public pool… All of these can evoke very powerful, and at times overwhelming, memories.
People paced. Others sat. Some chatted on their phones, and others poked frantically at the device cradled lovingly in their palm.
But we were all waiting.
A few short months after the loss of our baby boy, my eldest son and I were taking a bus trip into town. It was an exciting time for him, as he loved taking the bus anywhere as it was such a novelty!
We were seated near the front of the bus, and he was busy talking to me about all the buildings, cars, trucks, other buses and the other things he could see. He was pure 2-year-old enthusiasm; happy, joyful and excited! I was enjoying his enthusiasm despite feeling bus-sick (yes, I am an adult who still gets motion sick…)
Being mindful is like the new black. Being in the moment. Mindfulness.
Everyone talks about it and we all apparently *should* aspire to have moments of it in our days. It’s been shown to improve our well-being and improve our productivity, efficiency and overall happiness. For all people that sounds pretty good, but as busy mothers, it sounds amazing, right!?
Our home is a place where ideally, we feel most ourselves. It is a place of shelter and sanctuary that offers security and comfort. Our homes also hold many of our most valuable things; our loved ones, treasured heirlooms and possessions, as well as precious memories.
We are currently in the process of preparing to move house, and as a result I am feeling like Marie Kondo on speed! I’m touching every single item in my home and asking not only does this spark joy, but is it useful, do we need it, do we love it and will we need it in our new abode. That is a lot of questions to be running through your head, let me tell you!
When we lose a baby, it’s not just us who experience grief and mourn. Those around us, our parents, our siblings and any children we already have, also all grieve.
Of course, we know this, but it can be very hard to recall when we are consumed by our own loss and the associated pain.
There are valuable upsides in allowing ourselves to experience feeling sad and the so-called negative emotions.
Over the past couple of decades, there has been an increased labelling of emotions as positive and negative. As part of this, sadness has been seen as a negative, and something to be avoided at all costs. And, happiness is seen as a positive emotion, and one we are all striving to achieve. But, in order to live balanced, well-adjusted lives, we need to experience both emotions.
When we change our habits and routines, or take a break and leave town, almost magically, the way we experience time feels different too. It feels slower, and more memorable. We recall in more detail what we did, who we saw, what we ate; our lives feel more interesting.
Knowing this, and using this to our advantage can assist with coping when we have experienced loss.