I always offer my blog as a place to share your Right Where I Am for those without blogs. Claire emailed me the other day, asking if I would oblige. Happily. Claire describes herself as a "wife, angel mummy and teacher from Scotland with four losses. Molly born sleeping April 2011, Grace born sleeping May 2012 and two little stars lost at 6 weeks." So grateful to welcome Claire to still life with circles.
At this moment, I don't know where I am anymore. Back at the beginning of a nightmare and doing it all over again I guess.
We faced Molly's first birthday in April knowing that her baby brother or sister was fighting a losing battle inside me against the same condition that took Molly from us. Four weeks later, we buried Grace alongside her big sister. I have now lost 4 babies. Molly, Grace and 2 little stars lost in early pregnancy.
So I am back in the early days of grief. Once again, my confidence is gone (although I don't think it ever properly came back after losing Molly). I am afraid to leave the house. I am afraid to face people - they'd rather not be faced with me anyway. A stark, sad reminder of something they would rather not think about. The guilt is overwhelming - I feel like such a failure. I feel that I have let everyone down, especially my husband. He would be a wonderful father. I watch him with my niece, who adores the ground he walks on, and it breaks my heart. Even amongst friends I have met on this journey who have also lost, some of them don't know what to say to me as they just cannot imagine having to life through the nightmare again.
I sometimes feel I am living an out of body experience. I do things, go places but I am not really there. I tune out, I can't always cope. I still don't think I have fully let myself realise that I am going through this again. If I stopped to think, I don't think I would start again. I have become so good at putting on a face. People tell me I am doing so well, that I am strong and brave. I don't feel it.
I try hard to count my blessings every day now. My wonderful husband, our supportive family, my friends, new friends met on this journey of loss, my sands group... I am lucky to have these things. I have met so many brave and inspirational women on this journey who have lost children in many different circumstances and who, instead of drowning in their grief, have used it to support and reach out to other women. This inspires me. Supporting other women in this situation has helped me. I was sent a poem last week written by a mother who lost her child recently and who I had reached out to. Instead of thanking me, she thanked my girls - because of them their mummy was able to offer empathy, support and advice to another bereaved mother. I loved this. It meant my girls had meaning to someone else. Last week also, a fellow bereaved mummy and wonderful friend, wrote my girls' names on the beach in Costa Rica. I love it when someone thinks of my girls, I love to see their names, to hear their names. These things mean so much to me.
My hope is still flickering somewhere and I really don't want to give up but I think another loss would destroy me. Nobody can say to me anymore that 'it'll be alright next time', we lost our next time. I can't give up though, I want so much to be an earth mummy. I don't want my girls to have died for nothing. Without them, we would not have met such inspirational people. People who have now given us access to research which shows a way forward for us. Strong women who, after many losses, now have healthy rainbow children in their lives or are pushing forward with the strong belief that their rainbow is on the horizon. I am trying to cling to this, desperately.
I look out for my girls and I see them... in rainbows, sunshine, stars, little coincidences. I feel them still and, though I miss them dreadfully, I find comfort in knowing that they are still with me in my heart.
A friend once said to me that losing your child was like walking in mud. Some days the mud is thinner and you somehow manage to drag yourself through it. Other days, the mud is so thick that you are stuck and can't move...... the thick mud days hurt your heart even more.
Right where I am... stuck in the thick mud and looking for a way forward.