“Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we deal with it.”
I recently changed my Instagram bio to include this quote. I was having an Instagram stalk and quickly realised how behind time, fashion, latest trends, make up tutorials, gym clothing, bikini bodies, breaks ups, make ups and life in general that I was, and in the midst I came across this quote on my explore page.
How very appropriate. ❤️
But it’s never that easy is it, I forgot to mention that in between this I stalked and stared at various women’s ‘insta bodies’, watched a few Vlogs of Tammy Hembrow’s life, (and died a little because she’s the same age as me), before continuing to torture myself zooming into ‘insta make up faces’, trying to understand how they take amazing photos, then justify if it’s worth investing £89 for a ring light to take a good photo when I’ll hate it anyway, or to save the money, maybe just reposition my full length mirror at a different angle to get the ‘good lighting,’ before falling across random sponsored pages of how to poach the perfect egg.
…I know I’m not the only one! 🤣
Oh and as a result I’d filled my various Safari tabs with basket loads of things I love, but not pressing ‘check out’ on a single thing as Ryan interrupts my flow and asks me to ‘watch his swing’ as he uses our dressing room as a putting green…
So anyway I’m currently travelling to Essex, back to Ryan’s roots. I love this place. We’ve dropped the dog off at my aunties and endured the various Oasis, Beyoncé and Akon classics on route to get into ‘holiday’ mode, singing our hearts out. 😁
I can tell we’re getting closer because every other car is a Lamborghini, Porsche, Bentley or Range Rover convertible… much to my delight. But also, everyone’s swerving and driving in a right hurry, much to Ryans dislike…
“I’ve always dreamt of an Essex boy when I was younger and now I have one of my own. And yes it’s true, they really do take longer to get ready and look in mirror 10x more than the average human…” 🤫
So enough yapping, and back to it.
You can probably ‘hear’ in your reading head voice that I’m sounding upbeat. Today is a good day. It’s amazing how one day I’m laughing, joking, forgetting about all my cares in the world and feeling truly happy, yet others, I’m in a bucket on the bedroom floor zooming into ‘those’ pictures wondering why this has happened and how this is fair; scrolling through social media at everyone else’s baby’s and thinking she would be the same age, she would be smiling by now, what would her eyes be like?
“They call it the grief curve… and shit me it’s even steeper than Stealth at Thorpe Park.”
Every day as hard as it is, I replay snippets of these 12 hours over and over again in my mind. I have to for peace of mind and assurance that it’s firmly stored in my memory.
I remember at the time visualising every single part of her face and body. I remember scanning her button nose, pouty lips, soft skin and perfect hands. Her nails were long (a result of being a full cooked baby) and in need of a trim, along with her ‘tinge of ginge waves,’ also long (and also in need a trim). Before picturing her her huge wrinkled feet and thinking well she surely can’t be Ryan’s as they were huge! 😁
“I thanked the heavens for my photographic memory because it’s this that has helped me relive, rehold and refeel every detail.”
I can still feel the weight of her as I type when she was passed to me. I remember confirming to myself there and then that I wouldn’t hold another baby until our next, to treasure that feeling for as long as possible.
I can still feel the coldness of her left cheek as I kissed her repeatedly and of her neck as I snuggled in, not wanting to lift my head up for air.
I remember e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.
But on the flip side I didn’t remember anything.
I know heinsight is a wonderful thing but I didn’t even think in the moment to have skin to skin with her, to see her little bum, or to have time alone (like real time alone), and I just didn’t protect my precious moments as much as I think I should have.
But at the time everything felt right which is the main thing. Heinsight is just a trickery.
It didn’t hit me until later on that I wouldn’t see her eyes. That hurt. It still hurts me now. But secretly I know that it’s a blessing in disguise as I know she has/had my eyes.
“I never know which tense to talk in and neither does anyone else, but that’s okay.”
Her eyes were way too big and round to be Ryan’s, his are more Chinese shaped, squinty and you never know if they’re open or closed! 😁
We then had to count our blessings that we never heard her cry or saw her eyes. We never saw what colour they were, we never saw her looking back at me, saw her staring at us and seeing us for the first and last time or knowing they would have to shut again.
That would have killed me.
Ryan still gets emotional now, in the evenings when I’m bare faced or if he catches my eye or cuddles me in a certain way he says I look like her. That is just music to my ears. My girl. ❤️
In the midst of the hospital craziness he decided that we should get married next year on her 1st birthday, (which is now this year, 29th November 2018).
What an amazing idea. We have always wanted to get married but would rather spend the money on our house or holidays as we knew we would always be together anyway.
I’ve fantasised for half of my life about my wedding day so I instantly knew this would be perfection. What better way to celebrate her life forever but to be with us in every aspect on our wedding day, 29/11/18. ❤️
Then I thought…
“Holy s**t I have 364 days to plan a f**king wedding, f**k sake Ry how is that ever going to happen! It’s definitely not going to be you planning it is it!
…through a huge smile and a ‘oh that’s an amazing idea baby.’ 😁
We stayed at the hospital for one night, which was more than enough. The ironic thing was that was the whole point of researching and planning to have a home birth was to lower/negate the point of having to be in hospital, yet here we were getting the full blown service.
Oh the irony…
“My home birth was absolute heaven on Earth, there is no better state of mind in labour than being in your own nest, rocking away in your nightdress to soft music and candles with your love.”
People think that the home birth was the reason for what’s happened. Which is so f**king annoying.
We don’t need to justify ourselves to anyone but still, you feel like you do. But thankfully we have evidence to prove that this was not the case.
“Although never admitted, I know it was everyone’s niggle in the back of their minds, mine included.”
This was quickly confirmed by the top consultants, midwives and tests so please do not be put off!
It’s the most incredible experience I could dream of… if you love gas and air. 😁
I really do take my hat off to the NHS. The people who work there are honestly on another level, but being at the hospital for 24 hours was more than enough to confirm every single reason for planning a home birth altogether.
“Unfortunately I was positioned in an adjoining room to a woman who was giving birth.”
Yes you read correctly, actually giving birth, like mid contraction screaming the building down, 9cm s**t.
I felt sick to my stomach.
It was only when I went to use the shared toilet, that I realised this. How on earth can this be fair, and what was worse was the blind on the window was facing upwards or downwards (the wrong way) enabling me to see everything.
To be quite honest I didn’t really know who to feel sorry for more in that moment, me or her! Inside, half of me was spurring her on, come on you can do it your nearly there, the other half of me was thinking no, this isn’t right what the f**k?! You can’t give birth here, no, I can’t hear your baby’s cry, please.
It was at that point I realised where I was.
The labour ward.
When I was wheeled from the ambulance, jacket firmly over head I didn’t see where I was, I assumed, well actually I have no idea what I assumed but I didn’t think anyone in their right f**king mind would put me here?
I walked back from the toilet to the faces of our families and an elephant in the room. I quickly addressed the fact that I needed someone to confirm that we were ACTUALLY on a labour ward and that I had ACTUALLY just witnessed a poor woman with her legs sprawled on the bed in front of me and that she was ACTUALLY about to give birth.
The relief was visible in everyone’s face knowing they didn’t have to tell me themselves.
“I put music on my phone and sang along in my head to Emeli Sandé – Starlight. I listened to this song a lot the latter part of labour and little did I know, this would soon be “the song” at Luna’s service.”
The day felt like an actual year. We had so many visitors both family and medical staff, we were both physically and mentally drained so we were looking forward to spending some quiet time together as a family.
The midwives squeezed a little pop up camp bed into the room for Ryan to sleep on. It was soooo f**king funny. It’s amazing how we can make light of any situation and make each other laugh at the worst times. It was about a foot off the floor and well, he may aswell have slept on the floor! 😁
Ry was effing and blinding (any excuse for a moan with him 😂) moaning about how much we pay in taxes and what an awful state the NHS is in, but hey ho we were just happy he was there for the night, alongside our little baby bear tucked up in her cot while we had quality time together as a family.
The butterfly suite (which is allocated for families in our position) was being used by another couple who this had sadly happened to on the same day, hence why I was in this room.
“The statistics are that it happens to 9 families a day in the UK, yet here we both were in the same situation with only a corridor between us.”
As if there’s two on the same day. That’s crazy.
I was so glad she had the room as I was strong enough to deal with these sounds, circumstances and the hospital scene. Maybe not at the time, but I was okay, I had seen my baby girl I had gained strength from her love, I could do anything.
Ryan is my hero. He always has and always will be. The strength he had on that day and since is remarkable. The words he spoke to me, the positive thoughts and courage he gave me will live with me forever.
Without him I wouldn’t be here today and I know that for sure.
It was getting late and I asked Ry to help me across the way to shower. My sister was still around so we left Luna with Auntie Sophie while I tried to sort myself out.
“I don’t know even to this day how I functioned, how I brushed my teeth, how I looked down at my new body and milking breasts and didn’t have a breakdown.”
We returned from showering, to absolute heartache. My little pouty lipped girl was fading away, the reality was setting in that she was gone, her soul had left and only her body remained, she was changing.
We knew we had to make a decision, but when would be the right time to say goodbye?
My sister left shortly after our return and we had a low lit hour together, bedtime hour. ❤️
Ryan had no clothes and squeezed into my maternity pyjama bottoms, much to the delight of the midwives and night staff.
He cuddled his darling and yapped away as though she was sleeping. It was such a sad moment. We both came to the realisation that she really had gone.
I held her one more time which would be my last (although I didn’t know at the time) and Ryan put her to bed.
A wave of sickness and guilt flooded my gut and heart. I couldn’t eat or concentrate on anything or anyone because having Luna in our room made me feel sick. Why was I feeling sick she’s our daughter for f**k’s sake.
But she didn’t look like her, she was gone. I couldn’t bring myself to tell Ryan that I didn’t want her in the room, I couldn’t sleep knowing she was there in the corner freezing cold and in need of warmth.
Ryan telepathically knew this and asked for the midwives to move Luna into her own room for the night. Even now as I type I feel so guilty but for my memories and peace of mind I had to grasp them at her best, my pouty girl had gone but that was okay.
“There’s no right or wrong decision, you have to do what’s best for you.”
The night in the hospital was the scariest night of my life. I was petrified Ryan would die in his sleep of shock, sadness, a broken heart, anything and I honestly thought I would too. I was so scared he would go off the rails, have to live on anti depressants, quit his job, leave me, what if he would never be happy again. My mind played with me all night.
To get us both off to sleep we lay there, discussed our wedding, the holidays we would go on, the things we would buy for each other, the new memories we would make. It was this conversation, these little pockets of hope and dreams that saved my life.
We fell asleep but I repeatedly woke in the night, mind going crazy. I had to check Ryan’s pulse consistently throughout and pray that we would wake up again.
“Drained, exhausted, mind blown, shocked, sick, hormonal, stressed, sad to the bone, every single emotion was playing with me. I just wanted to give up. How the f**k am I ever going to rebuild my life again and feel happy?”
The next morning I woke before him and decided to write my Instagram post through blurred vision and watery eyes. I was absolutely petrified of anyone trying to contact me to ask if she’s here yet.
I wanted to get the message out to the world in my own way and share with as many people as possible to protect myself, to protect us both.
It was around 7:15am when I crept out of bed in so much pain, literally forgetting that I had given birth hours prior. I descended to the floor next to Ryan’s camp bed and cuddled and kissed him. I didn’t want to wake him, I wanted him to rest and regain strength but he hadn’t moved the whole night.
“We had a lovely moment together, we repeated our conversation of our hopes and dreams and I thanked the lord he still loved me.”
Something was still bothering me and making me feel so sick, I didn’t know how and I couldn’t bring myself to say those selfish words.
I don’t want to see her again Ry.
Even typing that now I feel like such a wrong person. But for my own health, sanity and ability to deal with this I just couldn’t do it. If she had changed by bedtime last night, what would another 12 hours have done? I didn’t want to keep those images with me when that’s not her.
I heard the words I had dreamt of hearing.
“It’s okay baby, I don’t either. Daddy put her to bed last night, she’s happy, safe and comfortable. I want to remember her as she is, perfect.”
The wave of sickness literally lifted immediately. It’s a sickening subject and hard to understand what is right or wrong but there is no right or wrong. People deal with things differently. For me, knowing I wasn’t saying goodbye and only saying goodnight gave me enough strength to get through the day.
If someone were to decide for me or if I had to choose that this is my last ever kiss or my last ever cuddle I wouldn’t want to stop and would feel torn away.
This decision saved me.
Today was the day. Home time. We were in complete apprehension, over and over we wondered and discussed how we would feel. The only image left in my fuzzy mind was of complete carnage before we rushed into ambulances, how on Earth was our living room ever going to be so warm and cosy again?
My sister, brother in law and Lizzie the midwife, came home and redid it all for us, removed the pool, hid all the evidence, tidied up and moved all of her baby stuff from the car and house, into her room to make it perfect for our return. Bless their hearts. ❤️
Just before we left Emma, (amazing midwife) put a bracelet on Luna’s wrist and gave me a matching one to wear. How amazing.
There’s also a key ring for Ry too which we’ve put on our keys. It’s things like this I love, I wear it on my ankle rather than my wrist but it’s funny as to the outside world they think oh cool she’s wearing an anklet, yet to me, it’s my last tangible connection to my daughter.
Emma then said she may have something else for us, she’s making a few calls but she hopes it will be ready in time for when we were leaving aka… ASAP.
She rushed back about an hour later as we were all packed up and said she had done it. There it was. Wow.
A 4D cast of Luna’s hand, the most beautiful little memory we could have taken away. We are able to hold it and kiss it and show the world it. It is beautiful. We thanked her beyond belief and left the hospital with a piece of her.
It’s the little things that go a long way.
We then walked out of the fire exit looking like criminals in tracksuit bottoms, hoods up and hurried into the back of Ryan’s parents car. We held hands the whole way home, I don’t think I said a word.
“We were on the dual carriageway, approaching the bridge to our home and it just hit me.”
It was rush hour and there were loads of cars on the road as normal, all going about their own business. Most of them having left work and heading home to their families and loved ones. Yet our world had crumbled, our life had practically ended. I just couldn’t believe how life goes on.
I learned a life lesson in this moment to never judge anyone again, you never know what’s going on behind closed doors, and the sad reality is that life really does go on, it’s as harsh as that.
Our families followed us home and picked up pizzas. We still had no idea how we would feel. We walked through the door hand in hand.
Ah, home, and a huge sigh of relief.
We held hands like primary school lovers and walked through every room in the house to confirm we were happy here. We placed our memory box and bear that we received from the hospital, under the tree and put on I’m a Celebrity just as we had when my waters broke.
I wanted people around us to make noise. I didn’t want to talk or be spoken to but I wanted to blend into the background, hold Ry’s hand and listen to noise to distract my mind.
“Everything felt so still and quiet. The heating and fairy lights were on and it felt like home.”
We walked up the first flight of stairs and into her bedroom. I hand on heart swear to God her room was SO cold, I checked the radiator which was on 4 (always on high in our house) and then we stepped back admiring her cot, her pram, the view from her window and we had a cuddle. We had a moment.
“It was in this moment a flood of warmth filled the room. She really had come home with us.” ❤️
…continued Wednesday 21st March.