Some of you may remember a post I wrote a few weeks ago, where I shared the news that I had been short listed in the Mums Net Blog Awards for the category of Best Campaigner. I was genuinely shocked, and hugely flattered, that my name had been put forward for the award, let alone short listed, and had it ended there I would still have been over the moon with the honour.
I found it very difficult to campaign for votes, which is ironic given the nature of the award, and although I shared a post about it here, I felt very uncomfortable about it and would much rather someone voted for me because they felt I deserved it, as opposed to voting simply because I asked them to. And so for that reason I resigned myself to the fact that, although it was lovely to be short listed, this was as far as I was going to get.
So on Friday, when I opened up my emails to see “Congratulations – you’re a finalist in the #MNBlogAwards!”, I was in complete and utter shock! I sat there in my kitchen, crying at my laptop, the kids looking at me as though I had completely lost the plot, and I felt an over-whelming sense of achievement. Not for me, nor for my blog, but for Joseph, a fitting tribute in what would have been his tenth year, and to a cause so dear to my heart, Baby Loss Awareness.
In that way, I have never been prouder.
And I want to thank each and every one of you who voted for me, I can’t quite put into words how much it means to have your support. It has been an absolute honour to share the story of Joseph with you all, to write about the babies we never got the chance to meet, and to raise awareness of a subject that has affected not just our lives, but the lives of many.
I think, as with all parents who lose a baby, there will always be a small part of me that wonders could I have done more to save Joseph? Was there something I could have done differently? Could I have changed the outcome in some way? And there shall forever be the heavy weight of guilt that, for all I loved him, ultimately I let him down. And I know that should I allow myself to think too deeply about those questions, it would eat away at me inside, and for all of the “What ifs?” we live with daily, there is nothing I can do now to change the outcome. Through my blog, I have found a way to channel that grief, to rationalise with the guilt, and to tell myself that, although I cannot change our story, I can raise awareness of Baby Loss, in Josephs memory, in the hope that other families get the happy ending that eventually, we were lucky enough to find.
And so in honour of my beautiful boy, and all of the babies we met alone the way, this one is for you.