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Thank you for visiting my blog. Please leave a message to say hello. If you are here because you or someone close to you has lost a child, you have my sympathy.

Friday, 29 April 2011

Spirituality

Yesterday I lit a candle for Griffin and my Grandad at Westminster Cathedral (a wonderful cathedral that is often missed by tourists in favor of the Abbey, I recommend a visit if you are in the area).  I'm not religious.  Coming from the west of Scotland from a mixed Christian background, you learn to steer clear of these things.  My grandparents on both sides were devout.  I was christened in a Catholic cathedral and attended Sunday school at the Church of Scotland on and off for several years.

I do believe in a God and and afterlife.  I believe in angels and that there is something greater than people.  I do not believe in a God that intervenes in everyday life.  I don't believe that things happen 'for a reason' or 'God acts in mysterious ways'.  Death and destruction are byproducts of life not punishments or lessons doled out from above.

When Griffin was born we were asked if we would like a chaplain to say a blessing for him.  We wanted to wait until our family came for this but by this time the chaplain had left for the day.  Almost as an after thought the midwife said.  I think the hospital Imam is here, he would be willing to do a blessing if you'd like.  She was surprised (as was my MIL) that we both were more than happy to have a Muslim cleric perform a blessing on our baby.  It was a beautiful blessing.  He first said it in English, then Arabic and we were touched that he said Griffin's name several times.  He said he was honored that we asked him to be part of it.

MIL was not overly happy about it, but she's not a fan of anything that she's not an active part of and wouldn't have been happy unless she'd done the blessing herself.

We chose to have his funeral service at the cathedral where I had been christened and have him buried with my grandparents, in a beautiful cemetery at the top of a hill with a lovely view over a loch. My uncle died as a very young baby and is buried nearby.  Although it is far from where we live, it's somewhere we feel he'll always be safe.

I believe Griffin's in heaven and one day I'll see him again.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Names

Rachel from A Lasting Footprint, is celebrating her 80th blog, and she's come up with the fun idea of a blog hop about our baby(ies) name(s)

Griffin was a name that I liked from when I first heard it.  My friend and I were sitting in the living room going through the big humongous list of names on one of these find a baby name websites.   I was sure that hubby would veto it because he's not so into unusual names.  "Living in London you can get away with that kind of thing but if we or he moved somewhere else he wouldn't get taken seriously."  That was his stance on it.  I see his point but I didn't think it would be a big deal.  After some debate in which several other names were brought up, none of which I can recall at the moment.  Griffin stuck with me.

My grandfather had been terminally ill for some time and when I was 34 weeks pregnant he was only given a month or so to live.  I thought I may not get to see him again before he died.  We decided to call the baby Ian after him, potentially with Griffin as a middle name.  When he was born dead it just wasn't appropriate.  I did see my grandfather, he was too poorly to make Griffin's funeral but he lived for several months and passed at the end of October.

Griffin seemed apt because I had always liked it and the heraldic symbolism of strength, wisdom and protection suited.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Music

The song 'I got a Feeling' by the Black Eyed Peas is one of the saddest songs I can thing of.

It's so overtly optimistic it feels to me that its making a point of being so.  It's certainly how I tried and still try to be at times so as not to worry people or just try to pretend nothing is wrong.  It makes me feel the desperation that this will be a good night or else.

It's become one of the songs of my life and it makes me cry (sometimes just almost cry) every time I hear it.

I Got a Feeling - YouTube

It is a great dancefloor filler but I don't know if it'll ever get me dancing.  When I hear it, it zooms me back to the darkest days.

Way Past Bedtime

It's early Friday morning of a bank holiday weekend and I'm at home unable to sleep.  Nothing's wrong, I'm not upset, I just can't sleep.

This happens from time to time.  It's rather frustrating but I've given up worrying about it, it's not like I have anything to get up for tomorrow.

I've been dwelling recently.  Spending quite alot of time on blogs by mothers who had had stillbirths.  I don't know if this is a good or bad thing.  Thinking about having another baby.  I think it started in earnest after I took part in a research study about feelings about Stillbirth and Subsequent Pregnancy (SAPS).  It took the form of a 90 min interview about Griff and my experience of the birth and immediate aftermath and about how I felt about having another child.

http://www.oxfordshiresands.org.uk/sasp-study

It set me thinking.  I mean I hadn't ever stopped thinking about Griffin but having another child, the pregnancy journey, terrified me.  I didn't see how I could ever contemplate putting myself and my family through it.  But talking the whole thing through made me feel that I could at some point soon be ready.

I think I might be now.

Ten months to the minute, god that's mental.  2.22 am I just saw the time on the clock.  Synchronisity!

Chatting with hubby, he'd like to wait for a couple of months for practical reasons, but that's cool.  I'm not after rushing into anything.  Just to feel that I have the potential to move forward makes me feel less trapped.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Change

I feel I'm different now.

Not in any perceptible way, not in any way I could describe but I am going to try.

I still do the same things, I look almost the same.  I'm a bit pudgier round the belly but that's surely to be expected.  To all intents and purposes things are exactly where they were before I ever got pregnant.

It's an outlook thing I suppose.  I see things in a different way.  I'm more thoughtful and think about things more.  I'm more decisive.  

An example of the new me.
My mum has a new boyfriend who I met last week for the first time.  He was annoyed with Mum because she didn't hold his hand on the walk from the station where we met him to the restaurant.  He made his opinion clear and talked/moaned about it for the first half an hour of dinner.  At one point he asked me to tell my mum that it's okay to hold his hand in public and that that was what couples did.  Previously I would have shrugged the question off and changed the subject but I told him basically to get a grip.  That it was awkward enough introducing a new partner to your close family and that it should be for her to lead on any physical contact and that he should respect that she may be nervous about holding his hand in front of me.

I was quite proud of myself.  Hubby and mum were too.

I guess the crux of the change in me is in attitude.  I worry less about offending people.  I mean, I'd never do it on purpose/for no reason, but I used to stress about offending people.  I went over conversations in my head again and again if  I thought I may have upset or offended them even if there had been no evidence that I had.  Madness!!   I care less about what people think of me now and I think that's a good thing.

I feel that I've grown up.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

A Glimpse of an Alternative Future

I was walking through the park by where I lived last summer.  There was a boy, about 9, with bright red hair, quite long, wearing a white t-shirt and jeans, sitting on a bench.

It's likely that Griffin's hair would have grown in a different colour, but I'll always think of him a ginger.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Griffalo

Our latest nickname for the wee man.


My friend sent me a link to Radio 4's today programme which had a section on the new Lancet Report on stillbirth.  The UK seems to be doing quite badly on an international scale with stillbirth rates.  33rd internationally.  No better than 10 years ago, with estimates that 1/2 of all UK stillbirths could have been prevented with earlier medical intervention.





My firm belief is that the backlash against medicalising pregnancy and childbirth has gone too far.  It is a beautiful and natural thing but it is also one of the hardest physical things that either mother or baby will go through and should be treated as such.  

I don't want to be branded a failure for needing an epidural if/when I have another child or for bottle feeding when I am unable to breastfeed.  If these things are best for me then I will use them.  If they are not for others, they don't have to.  


We are told that so much is normal in pregnancy and when there are concerns they are often dismissed with an 'It's probably nothing but if you are really worried you can come in for a check.'  You look at the baby books and websites and the over whelming message is not to worry, pregnancy is wonderful and natural and different in each person it's probably nothing to worry about.  Complications are very rare so they probably won't happen to you.  I think we all know that's not true.


Link to Lancet report summery http://www.uk-sands.org/no_cache/News/Newspage/article/194/22.html

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Mothers Day

That wonderful day dedicated to all things maternal.  I was expecting it to be a bit upsetting but so far I'm ok.  Hubby contemplated getting me a card but that would just be wrong I feel.

I'm not quite sure where I stand in this one.  Am I a mother, an ex-mother?  I really don't know.  Should I even be trying to define this, does it matter?  Once a mother always a mother I guess, but  thats a much easier definition if your child lived out side the womb.  In that instance one would have already been considered a mother, there's no quibbling that one.  But if your child dies just before birth, never been taken home or done any of the normal motherly things.  Never fed or consoled or even changed a nappy.  Where does that put you?

I didn't feel much like a mother when I was pregnant.  To be honest, I was pretty much in shock for most of the pregnancy.  My sister was born dead at 29 weeks (but was resuscitated and is now a healthy 10 year old) so I didn't feel able to really bond with 'Bumpy' until he'd reached that point and when I was told that they'd be inducing me early, my first thought was that I wasn't ready.  I'd only had 4 weeks to get used to the idea of actually having a baby rather than the 20 odd that I'd known I was pregnant.  Afterwards I felt more like a beaten rag than anything resembling a person never mind a mother.  I couldn't be a mother as I'd failed at the most basic of motherly tasks.

So yes, it doesn't matter how I'm defined today.  This should be my first Mothers Day with a baby hand print or scrawl in a card I'd probably keep forever but it's not and that's the most wrong thing of all.