Grief

I see this a lot. Loss parents in so much pain that they lash out. I’m guilty of feeling it myself. When someone posts about losing a grandparent I admit to feeling like that’s just the natural order. That may be but it’s still a loss and it’s still painful. A child losing its life will always be so so traumatic and wrong but it doesn’t make it a more valid loss. By stacking up reasons and proof that your pain deserves more validity you ignore that pain.

I remember when I was early into this, I was so angry all the time. I would see people with babies and hate them. Every other loss would grate me as it took away from Jack, or so I felt. Sympathetic and often pitting looks infuriated me. But again anger is a distraction technique. To move forward and get to where I am now I had to see what was really going on, break through those walls, heal my heart.

It’s not easy. It’s taking intense CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) and a lots of safe place visualisation techniques and grounding. Trauma manifests in many ways, one is anger, another is distracting from the issue. It’s hard, it’s painful to have to deal with loss, but take it from me, it does get easier if you do. Getting help is the key, you don’t have to struggle alone.

I’m never going to forget Jack, how could I? But his memory now makes me proud and happy, it is always sad too but that’s ok, that’s normal. I no longer think of him and then am instantly angry and wanting to lash out. I still get angry but I make sure I use my cbt tools to get through that and deal. Anger is ok, hurt is ok, it is wrong that i don’t have my baby, it is unfair, but I don’t want to live my life thinking of Jack that way. I don’t have to hurt or hate others for that to be real.

So next time you see a friend or family member sad that they have lost a grandparent, aunt, dog etc. Be kind, be loving and remember it’s their emotion and it doesn’t take away from your pain.

– Allana x

One day at a time

So it’s been awhile since I’ve posted. Over the last 2 months I have been taking time to focus on myself, going to therapy once a week and getting physically healthy too.

Therapy isn’t without it’s ups and downs. I have found that the hardest and most difficult times are the ones that make all the difference. Finding what feels uncomfortable and unravelling those emotions is progressing. There have been lots of unexpected realisations, a big one being that I felt I let Jack down. Not just by my body not keeping him safe, but by losing hope in the end. This was a surprise to me as in my front brain (what I call the conscious brain) I didn’t and don’t feel that way. That said, it’s always the “what ifs” that play on your mind.

Letting go of my need to comfort and be there for others is a personality trait that I struggle with. It’s how I am, but in being people’s rock and staying strong I have neglected myself. Being able to throw my hands up and say “I’m struggling, I’m angry, I’m heartbroken” is ok. Telling people to go elsewhere for comfort, is ok. Finally knocking down my walls and just being sad/angry/hurt/broken has been a great move forward. It hasn’t been easy for those close to me to handle sometimes, I never realised how much of a resolve I have. How I’ll fight kicking and screaming before I’ll shed a tear and “cause a scene”. Realising that the world will keep turning and that no one expects me to be ok and so strong as I have been is liberating.

I’m still very much a work in progress but I feel more and more like my old self. I feel that fight and need to keep going returning. I’m not quite at a run yet, but I’m definitely at a slow jog.

– Allana x

P.S. I will be doing some fundraising for baby loss awareness month this October. Please feel free to share my JustGiving link or if you have friends who need t-shirts, hoodies or baby grows visit my shop (www.shop4tshirts.co.uk) and 10% will be donated.

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

Mindfulness

I try to live this everyday. By choosing to have a open and positive mindset I am able to grieve fully. I’m not rushing or dragging it out. My head, body and mind are just open to how I need to and do feel. I refuse to be consumed by grief or push it away. Neither are productive or things that I think Jack would want.

So we still haven’t had the post mortem results yet. It’s hard waiting as I want to shut that door of unknown. I know why he died but we need to know why he came early. It’s hard having that unanswered. I know we may not get one but at least I can deal with that once it’s done.

We had a lovely letter from Southampton Hospital thanking us for the donations from Jack’s funeral. In it they also included a pack of forget me nots. I’m not sure why but I have had a real connection with these flowers and see them everywhere. Seeing the packet brought tears to my eyes. Not sad ones but just raw emotion. It was unexpected and really touching.

We still have our JustGiving open but it’s not where I want it to be. I’ll have to start pushing it again. I really hope we can reach £5k by Jack’s 1st birthday in Neverland. That would be so wonderful.

Not long now until the wedding! 3 months and 2 days to go. ❤️

– Allana x

Passing time

Time is moved by forward and life goes on. We have found a kind of new normal. I keep expecting to go back to how I was or wake up a new version of myself, but it’s a slow process. I’ll never be who I was before. I have lost a little more of my sparkle. I’m much less tolerant of people. I used to make an effort with everyone, even when they were pretty shit friends. I don’t now. I give exactly enough to most and more to those I love and value. I don’t think that’s a bad thing though. I just know that life is too short and precious to waste on any one or thing that doesn’t deserve or appreciate it. I have found that I do have a great deal of wonderful people around me. I’m very lucky in that respect.

We still haven’t had Jacks pm back yet. It’s hard. We cannot move forward without that. It’s like the last part of this. It’s keeping me in this limbo between the old me and the me I’m becoming. Fingers crossed that it will only be a few more weeks!

Taking each day as it comes. The sad times are starting to be outweighed by the good. Life is slowly moving on. I know we will find a new normal. One that is enriched by our memories of Jack.

– Allana x

Due date.

Today is Jack’s due date.

Seems crazy that our beautiful boy was born, lived for 3 weeks and died all before today. The last few months have been so hard after losing him. The thing is though, as painful as this feels, I would do it over again in a heartbeat if it meant I got to spend time with him again.

To Jack: Can’t believe today is your due date my beautiful boy. Miss you every second Jack ❤️

I hope you are being looked after up there in Neverland. Know that mummy and daddy love you so much. We are so proud of you always. The short 3 weeks that we spent with you were the happiest of our lives. We would do it all over again if it meant having those moments again.

I miss your long legs, just like your dads. I miss you giving us the thumbs up. I miss you putting your middle finger up and swearing at the nurses. I miss you seeing over the incubator. I miss changing your tiny nappy. I miss daddy doing your tube feeds. I miss holding you. I miss your smell. I miss you.

❤️🌟💫👼

Mother’s Day

Thinking of everyone not able to hold their little ones today. I know the heartbreak and pain you are feeling. I know how much it hurts seeing everyone post their gifts and cards from living children. Seeing the love and joy which should have been ours. Whether it’s your first empty armed Mother’s Day like me, or your 50th, know you are and always will be a mum. You are just as valid as any other mum this day.

Unconditional love and care is what makes a mum, not gifts or cuddles. It’s knowing you would do anything for your baby, even if it breaks your own heart.

We are angel mums and we are strong. We can get through this tough day and all others. Our angels are always looking down on us. Until we meet them again ❤️

Mummy loves you Jack, always xxx