Life after loss

Reliving the past


It is only 13 days until Maisie’s birthday.

It makes me a bit anxious, not necessarily for the day itself, but all of the memories after it. With time-hop and photo albums, we will relive each day as it happened last year.

So something I am going to try to do is use the opportunity to tell her story – event by event, using her blog. I’m not sure whether this will work or not – it may be too painful. But I’ll be reliving it anyway, so I thought it might help to write it all down and share her (and our) story.

This time last year, I was heavily pregnant. There were no signs that the baby was, or would be unwell.

This was my second pregnancy, and, like most, the second was unrecognisable to the first. I can barely remember my pregnancy with Lowen now, but it was definitely a little calmer. Only a little, though. We still decided to move house just before Lowen was born, get engaged and redecorate most of the house. Working full time, we were often both up decorating until midnight each night – so it definitely wasn’t restful!

But I still had the time to prepare, put my feet up every so often, sleep for 7-8 hours at a time, think, and most importantly: focus on the bump. We’d sing to Lowen, massage him, count all the kicks, watch him wriggle.

Maisie’s pregnancy, on the other hand, seemed to just disappear. I spent the majority of it heaving the weight of a toddler around everywhere, and she was often trampled on by her boisterous big brother! So the poor thing was barely concentrated on. My main concern was how it was going to affect Lowen. He had been out in the world for the past 2 1/2 years, I couldn’t imagine being able to love another baby like I loved him, I was terrified of hurting him. I was also so scared of how I was going to cope with two children. Lowen was a bad sleeper for some time – he still woke several times in the night, so how were we going to do it?!?

We didn’t find out Maisie’s gender. This time we wanted a surprise. A small part of me knew she was a girl. It was my instant thought, but then I didn’t want to get my hopes up, so tried not to think about it. It’s hard to believe this time last year we didn’t even know we were about to have a daughter. When in just a few weeks time we’d be in Bristol hospital with her having open heart surgery.

It was definitely a very busy time. Family visited, excited for the future. My sister-in-law arranged a surprise baby shower. Ben had been doing a total kitchen re-fit for the past three months (including knocking a wall through, closing up an external door and fitting a has hob). So most of my attention was on Lowen.

One thing I did manage to do though was fill in a @mother_of_daughters ‘How to Grow a Baby’ Journal. I’m so pleased I did, as it is a small written record of how I was feeling during those first 9 months of getting to know Maisie (the bump).

Reading through it, it’s become more apparent how our story with Maisie began so much earlier than when she was first born. She was in utero longer than she was outside in the world. She had been part of our family for far longer than just the 6 months she was on earth. And all those hopes, dreams and fears – she had been in our minds and hearts the minute we saw that positive test result. Lowen’s sibling, our child.

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