This comes with a warning: My next few posts might be a little raw for some people, but I now feel ready, and compelled to share my thoughts and feelings about my baby…. she might have been stillborn, but she was STILL BORN and I am fed up with being silenced when I try to talk about her. I am not looking for sympathy, but I need people to know that she existed, she is loved and she is missed. So I’ll start with a letter to Sophie:
I thought about you today as I do every day, and I sat alone going through your memory box; then I cried because I realised that your cardigan no longer smells of you… even though it still has your blood on it from the nose bleed you had after you were born. I wish there was a way to turn back the clock and save you, I wish we had you here. Your brothers are still hurting so much, especially Brett and and I wish that I could take their pain away.
People tell me not to blame myself when in truth I am your mum and I should have saved you, I’m so so sorry that I didn’t follow my instincts and go back to the hospital when your movements reduced, the doctor said that if I had you may have survived and it hurts so much knowing that I was there the day before and everything seemed fine, therefore I just assumed that you were having a rest! Little did I know that you were actually dying and I did nothing about it…. when your movement suddenly increased I was thankful that you were now moving, I wasn’t aware that this was actually you struggling in distress because you were running out of oxygen. I am so sorry that I let you down and I’m sorry that I didn’t realise you were passing away.
I can still remember your smell and all your features, the softness of your skin and the blood that seeped from your nose. I wish I could cuddle you again; you were cold and lifeless but I didn’t care! I cuddled you for hours and never wanted to let you go! I still remember my breasts leaking while I was cuddling you, milk was starting to come in for a baby who would never feed… that was probably one of the hardest parts! I became sore and engorged after a few days and it took ages to dry up, every time was a reminder that my baby was lying in a cold cot awaiting a post mortem. I remember thinking about how quickly your skin changed colour, even though you were laid in a cold cot (maybe I cuddled you too much but I didn’t care! I wanted to make as many memories as possible!), you looked like you were wearing lipstick and nail varnish by the time I left 24 hours later, your lips had turned a deep red, and your nails a deep purple shortly after you were born.
i remember getting excited about going to see you at the funeral directors when you came back from your post mortem, and although you had changed a fair amount and you were now to fragile to cuddle, you were beautiful. I visited every day to hold your hand and talk to you; I tucked you in with your blankets and brought you teddys. The post mortem was carried out 30 miles away and you were away for 7 days, the thought of you being so far away was absolute torture, and I telephoned the hospital everyday hoping for updates.
Choosing your coffin was simply devastating, no one should have to choose such a tiny coffin; me and daddy just cried so much and I hope you liked the one we picked. I hope it was comfortable and I hope your teddies and blankets kept you warm and gave you comfort.
I hope you have lots of angel friends to play with, I love you with all my heart and I will miss you until the day I die.