PTSD

So there’s a part of this road that I haven’t really shared with anyone. Not only am I traveling on the grief cycle but I also have ptsd which triggers my existing anxiety. It’s a hard thing to live with and be able to grieve fully. This is something we are both struggling with on a daily basis.

Ptsd is when your brain gets stuck following trauma. In my case it means I smell newborn smell and get silent clips of times with Jack in NICU. It’s like when you look at a memory except I can’t place exactly when the clip happened, there’s no narration or sound, it’s a very short memory clip. Anything can set it off and it happens at least once or twice a day. It’s a split second but it’s just stopping my progression though grief to moving on. This then triggers my anxiety which in turn pushes the negative depressive thoughts to the surface.

All in all it’s been a tough time and we are both taking steps to get through. I’m back getting cbt and just looking after me. I tend to try and look after others or make excuses for shitty people so that I can have an easier life. Mark does a very similar thing. No more. We are both putting ourselves and immediate family (including close friends) who matter and are there for us first. We have cut out people who have negatively impacted us. People who care and are important will always understand and be there in one way or another.

Self healing isn’t always obvious, it’s sometimes first accepting you need to let go. That maybe things need to get worse before they can get better. It’s a long road ahead but I truly believe that Mark and I will get there.

– Allana x

Mama Orca ❤️

Not my writing but I felt it appropriate:

This story has been moving millions around the world. #Tahlequah is every #grieving #mum.

Day 10. The female orcas are now taking turns helping the Mama Orca carry her dead baby across the sea… so the grieving Mama Orca can eat and rest.

This is grief. This is love. This is true, compassionate grief support.

THIS – THIS IS HOW IT SHOULD BE DONE.

Sadly this is not usually the kind of grief support the brokenhearted receive in our grief illiterate culture.

This is such a heartbreakingly beautiful visual of love and support. The orcas are showing us how it should be done. Step in. Show up. Lead with your heart. Feel your friend’s broken heart. Let it break you open. Carry each other’s burdens. Grief shared is grief divided. Your friend or family member needs you— more than you know. Literally step in, show up, and help carry the weight of grief. It’s too heavy for one person to carry alone.

The female Orcas are literally carrying this mama’s 400 pound dead baby across the ocean WITH her and FOR her. I have never before seen such a beautiful display of solidarity. Of community. Of compassion. Of love. This is how we need to support our grieving, heartbroken friends.

My wish is that every grieving person in the world would feel THIS supported, loved, held— carried.

It pains me to know this kind of support is not the norm for most grieving people.

We need to do better.

We can do better.

We MUST do better.

FULL ARTICLE: http://www.abedformyheart.com/I-will-carry-you/

#grief #loss #abedformyheart #loveneverdies

Wedding!

So we did it! We got married!

It was a perfect day for us. We had so many amazing people help to ensure it was everything we hoped for and more. Especially our parents, my brother and his fiancé, the bridesmaids and best men and Karen and John. We couldn’t have done it without you guys in particular. There are many others who helped us too though!!

The main thing that we wanted was for Jack to be present for us. We didn’t necessarily want it to be obvious to everyone but just so we knew. We had butterflies all over the place, his name is on our wedding rings, a collection box for our NICU fund and flowers for him. We raised £320 to add to his fund ❤️

It was a beautiful day for us and everyone made it so special. We had been really focusing on the day and it was therapy for us to plan for it and keep busy. It wasn’t just a wedding but a renewal of us, a sign that we made it.

Annoyingly we had a very small amount of drama right at the end and a few people who let us down last minute (and didn’t let us know). Frustratingly these people haven’t apologised and didn’t contact us at all. However, it’s a simple way to handle these things, these people are no longer part of our lives. Nothing can ruin our day and spoil what we have. We are so strong and so very thankful for the vast majority who made it incredible.

Our next route is to keep moving forward and healing. It’s still hard and it’s always going to be at times, but we have each other and so many incredible friends and family around us. We will be ok.

– Allana X

Update

So it’s been awhile since I’ve posted. It’s been very up and down for us. We had the pm and then I went back to work. It was very hard at first and I did struggle. It’s not that I didn’t get support, my work are all amazing, it’s that I’m not the same person I was.

This is something that I’ve really noticed. I’m not as easy going as I was. I don’t take nonsense and I cannot listen to trivial things anymore. When I hear people moaning about their kids I want to go crazy. I have no time for tiny things. I can’t be everyone’s agony aunt anymore. I’ve noticed how much people have relied on me for that. I know I’m more blunt with people now, but I think that’s a positive change. What isn’t positive is my anger and my hurt. I have been very strong over the months and it’s ready to protect Mark and myself. However it’s gotten to a point where I’ve pushed back and pushed back and now I find it hard to open up my emotions. This has meant they have exploded out of me every so often. It’s not ok. I’m going back to cbt to try and help me to deal with the ptsd and move forward emotionally. It’s time for me to stop being the mother hen and look after me.

So, this week we are doing the final preparations for our wedding on Saturday. I’m so excited I cannot wait! It’s lovely to have something positive to look forward to. I’m just sad as there’s always someone missing. We bought little suits for him to wear, they are still in the packaging in the nursery. The nursery is half done and filled with bags and gifts for Jack. It’s heartbreaking to walk past that door everyday. I just wish he were here right now. I miss my baby. 💔 he will be involved in the day though.

Post Mortem

Today is a day that we have been both anxiously waiting for and dreading since we lost Jack. We were keen to get this last part of the medical side completed but so scared at what might show up. What if we did some thing wrong? What if the hospital did? I dreaded having another wave of pain ahead of us. We both knew that wasn’t the case, but as with all things your mind runs away with itself and concocts all of these horrific things.

What we found out was that Jack had pneumonia covering all of his lungs, his lungs were severely damaged. He had no chance of pulling through it. His tiny underdeveloped lungs were also damaged by the ventilator tube, which is also where the infection came from in all likelihood. By the time his lung collapsed he had no possible way of fighting it or inflating it. The drugs he was on (one of which had been an antibiotic that fights this usually) had no impact and his micro-premmie body couldn’t go on. Our choice to let him go wasn’t just right, but also meant he didn’t suffer.

Yet again Southampton NICU staff showed love and compassion. They are so incredible and really deserve a lot more credit than they get. Please donate if you haven’t yet, we are going to take all the money raised in on Jacks 1st birthday on 12th December.

Its so hard. On the one hand you have this relief that, yes you did the right thing, but on the other the sadness at how sick our little one was. We wish he could have had happy and fun life, not one filled with tests and beeps. But we did the best we could with what we had. We showed him as much love and care as we could and that’s all any parent can do. We hope that he’s happy and playing up there in Summerland, with no pain, no wires and no sadness. We will see you again one day little one.

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Just a quick reminder

Self improvement is an ongoing thing. Always reaching to be the best version of yourself shouldn’t be a stretch. You deserve to be happy, Free, calm and successful. Remember though that success isn’t measured by what you have or what you’re worth. It’s in happiness and your own sense of well-being.

I choose to move forward in my life. I confront my issues face on and deal with them. It’s not weak to talk about your problems, weakness is burying them. Never having the balls to actually deal with anything is weak. You have to confront things to be able to move forward. It’s not about forgetting it’s about confronting the problem and neutralising it. Not letting it have power over you.

A few things I do when things get too much:

  • Meditate – it’s incredible I encourage everyone to do this
  • Walk – being in nature and getting some peace is always healing
  • Cry – let it out, sometimes you need to release it
  • Talk about it – with a open minded person who is good at providing a healthy perspective. There are lots of helplines and charities you can call.
  • Garden – I find doing jobs like this allow me to think

Lastly, this is something we all need to remember:

– Allana x

Giving Back

It’s been a little while since i promoted this but we are still wanting to raise money to give back to Southampton Hospital and NICU. We will be splitting the money between 2 charities, these are:

Southampton Children’s Hospital Charity – https://schcharity.org.uk/

Holding Little Hands – https://www.facebook.com/HoldingLittleHands/

Both of these charities directly help to save the lives of children and baby’s everyday. They give money to all aspects of child and baby care. This means that the incredible people on the front line can continue to provide the outstanding care that they do. Not only that but it means they can keep giving the kind and respectful end of life care that baby’s  like our Jack received. They are not only medical professionals but they are counsellors and some of the kindest people i have ever met.

Even the smallest amount will add up to something wonderful. Please share and donate if you haven’t already.

https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/jack-tigwell

– Allana x