Tuesday, 30 June 2009


My life has gone upside down. This is due to absolutely appalling news about my friend Honey. She was the person who started me off writing this blog - and she's been a great support to me over the last couple of years and now ....... It would be wrong for me to write anything about what is happening to her because she is telling her own story, on her blog, in her own clear, brave and humourous words ....... Her blog is called Honey Letting Off Steam and it is linked to mine. Honey is extra-ordinary - courageous, honest, loving and graceful. Thank God I am near enough to go and see her. I love her so much and I'm so privileged to be part of her life. Remember - if you do know her real name, don't use it. Send all your loving thoughts her way. She needs and deserves it all - and much more.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Days when it doesn't matter

My son just turned seven. He's an amazing child. One day, about a year after his sister died, he and I were walking down the street together. Suddenly he said to me, 'Mummy, can I say something to you?' I said, 'Yes, of course. You can say anything to me.' He said, 'Yes, but Mummy it's about Laura and I think maybe you won't like it.' I said, 'You can say whatever you want to say.' So this is what he said. 'You know, Mummy, some days it seems really, really sad about Laura but some day I just feel like it doesn't really matter at all.' I was amazed by his self awareness and honesty so I gave him a big hug and told him that what he said was absolutely right. And he is right. Absolutely spot on. I have days when Laura's death just seems huge and terrible and overwhelmingly sad. But there are also days - I admit it - when it really doesn't seem that big a deal. Days when I think, 'For goodness sake, a child is dying every eight seconds due to lack of clean drinking water in this world so just get over your little problem.......' And, in that moment, I can effortlessly bend my mind to that particularly geometry. But grief is - beyond all else - unpredicatable. I can never tell whether it will be 'an overwhelmingly sad' day or a 'perhaps it doesn't matter' day. And neither can I tell what apparently trivial incident might turn one kind of day into another ...... Often there isn't even an incident. Nothing happens but suddenly I'm in a state where the whole thing is so awful that my chest caves in and I'm gasping for breath.....

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

What other people want

Yesterday we went to the hospital again. They are very keen to push on us the donor egg idea. Apparently it has a very high chance of success. I can see that my husband is pretty interested in this. I've spent the last twenty four hours in tears. I phoned my Mum and she also thinks that I should be doing the donor egg thing. She tells me that the fact that the baby won't be my baby doesn't really matter at all. I think she's talking about her need for another grandchild, not what is really best for me. The truth is that I've never been anywhere near a new born baby since my daughter died. I find having to go anywhere near a hospital very traumatic. When I think about having a donor egg baby all I can envisage is lying there in a hospital bed, looking at the baby and thinking, 'No, I don't want that one.' I'm so confused and upset by all this. The choice seems to be between living with the pain of our daughters death forever - or doing the donor egg thing and finishing up with a baby which I might not want. Neither option looks good to me. Just to be clear, I'm not anti anyone else doing the donor egg thing. I just don't think it can improve our situation - and anyway it probably wouldn't even work. All we'd be doing is damaging ourselves further by creating the possibility for more disappointment.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Gloucestershire SANDS

When I moved back to England in September of last year I rang up SANDS (The UK Stillbirth and Neo-Natal Death Charity) to ask about a local support group. They told me that in the area where I live - Gloucestershire - there was no support group. I was pretty shocked. Gloucestershire has 250,000 people and it takes more than an hour and a half to drive right across it. So I decided that I would just have to set up a support group. There really wasn't any choice about it. I was exhausted by the move and I didn't know anyone here. I needed support, not the work involved with offering support to other people. But still I just knew I had to do it ..... Another bereaved Mum at school helped me and other bereaved Mums came in as well ..... And to cut a very long and tough story short ...... Gloucestershire SANDS has now been set up. The website was done for free by the husband of one of the other committee members. And last Tuesday was the first Gloucestershire SANDS meeting. It was totally terrefying. It was too close to the anniversary of my daughter's death...... But it worked. In fact, it was great. Well, as great as a Dead Baby support group can be. I know that it was really, really helpful to the people who came along. Now it is going to meet every month. Also one of the other committee members organised a ball which has raised loads of money. I don't want to sound big headed but I feel pretty proud. What I've learnt is that the line which supposedly divides the helper and the helped is so thin that it doesn't really exist. Some how I wasn't able to do anything much at all to mark Laura's anniversary - but this support group is a tribute to her.