For Joseph, Baby Loss Awareness 2018

Joseph,

12 years, 2 months and 19 days. That’s how long it has been since the day you came silently into the world and changed our lives forever. And in that time I have told your story on countless occasions: I have shared it with friends and loved ones, I have confided in bereaved parents to help them feel less alone, and I have relayed it in numerous publications, across TV and radio, in the hope of raising awareness of stillbirth and baby loss.

And as much as I have stated that I truly believed stillbirth was something which happened to other people, and as much as I have voiced my absolute shock when we heard the most devastating words a parent can ever hear, what I didn’t share, and what I seldom say out loud, is that deep down, on some level, I already knew. 

I knew, despite the scans and the reassuring kicks, that we would never get to bring you home. I knew, despite our consultants confidence in her monitors and her charts, that this would never end well. I knew, when we shopped for your outfits and decorated the nursery, that you would never wear those clothes or sleep in that cot. And I knew, as I cradled my belly and I counted down the days, that sooner or later our biggest fear would become a reality.

I knew. 

And I’m sure to others my confession is unfathomable, to think that, had I known, I still allowed the midwives to placate me so easily with my concerns. I’m sure others would question why I had not demanded an induction when doubts were raised over your growth scans, why I had been so easily reassured when your movements began to slow. I guess the finger of blame must be pointed towards me knowing that, even when I had known, I did nothing at all to save you.

And it’s impossible for me to explain my reasons, or even rationalise my thought process at that time, but what I will say, and what I truly believe, is that although, on some level, I knew, I didn’t realise I had known until the moment I was reminded.

Until the moment you were gone.

On that beautiful July morning, when the sun was cracking the flags and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, I had told your Dad to wait in the car whilst I popped in for my hospital appointment, so certain I was that it would all be fine. And lying on that hospital bed as the midwife struggled to locate your heartbeat, I remained completely calm as they ran out to get him, as the doctors rushed in and took over. And yet when I saw you on the screen, our beautiful baby boy right there, so still, even before the doctor had uttered those words, I knew, instinctively, you were gone.

And throughout my labour, during 35 hours of agonising pain and heartbroken cries, I want you to know that that I fought for you in those final moments, with all of my strength, and with every ounce of my being. I want you to know that I desperately tried to convince myself that it wasn’t happening, that you would come into the world kicking and screaming, showing each of us just how wrong we were.

I want you to know that I didn’t just give up on you. 

And yet there you were, so perfect, so silent, so still. With your shock of black hair and your ruby red lips, and those eyes which would never open, never stare into mine, never prove me wrong. And as I held you to my chest, breathing in that newborn smell, and pressing my lips to yours, I knew that this was always how it was going to end, that, for whatever reason, the three of us had been destined to be right there in that moment, huddled together in that hospital room, a definitive moment in our lives in what would forever be known as before, and after.

And later, as we returned home, as your Dad and I shared a moment sitting on the edge of our bed, looking at all of the beautiful things we had bought for you that you would never use, never wear, never need, I will never forget how he turned to me, and in the softest of whispers, barely audible above the sound of our sobs, he said just two words which broke my heart all over again.

“I knew.”

12 years later and I will never stop wishing that things had been different. I wish that I had memories to share and stories to tell; I wish that I had awkward photographs and embarrassing anecdotes; I wish that I had spent the last 12 years of my life thanking my lucky stars that we had been wrong, that our doubts had been nothing more than morbid fears.

And whist I will never profess to understand why you couldn’t stay, or ever stop longing that things had been different, I wouldn’t change having you, not even for a moment. You taught me all that I know about life, about love, about loss; you taught me that the path we walk down is never certain, that hearts break and dreams fade, that forever does not mean for always, that today and tomorrow can often be worlds apart. And you taught me that sometimes our darkest fears can become a reality, that bad things happen for no apparent reason, that regret can eat you up inside, and that moving forward doesn’t mean letting go.

You have touched the hearts of so many, spanning right across the globe, and you have given us a life we never dared to believe was possible. In such a short time you changed each of us and, over the last 12 years, you have made us exactly who we are meant to be, exactly where we are meant to be.

You are so loved and so missed, in every moment, in every heartbeat, in everything we do.

You, my darling little boy, have always been special.

And that, I always knew.

xxxxxx

 

 

 

 

 

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80 Comments

  1. October 8, 2018 / 7:42 pm

    Beautifully written and so very honest. I can relate to that sixth sense that you dismiss as morbid fear. When I was pregnant with Jessica, before we found out about her heart condition, I had the feeling that I was being prepared for a journey I didn’t want to take. I had the same feeling again in the first half of my pregnancy with Thomas. I dismissed it as a fear that something would happen to him. When Jessica died, that feeling of foreboding disappeared. I think I knew deep down that we were being prepared for heartbreak. I just didn’t know it would be Jessica. I do question whether I could have done more and it is hard to accept that bad things just happen sometimes and those darkest fears can become reality. Joseph’s story has touched so many people – he was a very loved, very special little boy and I know that those of us who have heard his story won’t forget him. Lots of love to you all xxx

  2. Helen
    October 8, 2018 / 7:51 pm

    Beautifully written as always, Laura – as I’ve said before, I find much comfort in your words, especially now in Baby Loss Awareness Week and as we approach what should’ve been our daughter’s third birthday this month. Moving forward doesn’t mean letting go, ever, and that’s something I wish others would see, too.

    Lots of love to you all xx

  3. Monidipa Dutta
    October 8, 2018 / 8:02 pm

    Beautifully written and so very honest. I really respect you for that my dear.

  4. October 8, 2018 / 9:13 pm

    Always honest my beautiful friend, no matter how much it hurts you to press that button, to share your story you always do it. You and Joseph have helped so many people in telling your story and I know he would be as proud of you, as you are of him. Lots of love xxx

  5. October 8, 2018 / 9:20 pm

    Such beautiful words Laura! Thank you for being so honest and sharing your story with us fonraise awareness. You truly are an incredible woman.

    Keeley

  6. October 8, 2018 / 9:23 pm

    I got chills and got teary-eyed while I read this post. It sometimes feels like it was just yesterday. The pain never really heals.

  7. October 8, 2018 / 9:35 pm

    You’re always so honest Laura and every time I read a little more of your thoughts and memories my heart breaks a little more for you and your family. You give so many people strength to talk about what they have been through. You really are incredible.

  8. Claire
    October 8, 2018 / 10:04 pm

    Beautiful post. Beautifully written. I resonate with your words so much. 16 years for me. Gone but never forgotten, always remembered and loved forever. Sending you so much love ❤️ xxxx

  9. October 9, 2018 / 12:11 am

    I’m sure you’ll never forget him and he’ll always be in all of your hearts. It’s good to grieve in your own way. Take heart.

  10. October 9, 2018 / 1:36 am

    This is so beautiful. So well written. I can feel the emotion through your words and am thinking of you today. Sending my very best and thank you for sharing your story with us.

  11. October 9, 2018 / 5:20 am

    This is so beautiful and sweet. I have not known stillborn, but I have known many miscarriages before my rainbow baby girl. Thank for these beautiful words.

  12. October 9, 2018 / 6:33 am

    What a well written and composted post. It really shows what a strong family unit you all are!

  13. Elizabeth O
    October 9, 2018 / 7:39 am

    A beautifully written piece here Laura. I am so sorry for the pain you are going through.

  14. October 9, 2018 / 9:37 am

    Oh Laura this is so beautiful, I have tears in mmy eyes. You are truly stronger than you will ever know, thank you for sharing x

  15. October 9, 2018 / 10:03 am

    I had similar thoughts in my pregnancy and dismissed it – then when she was diagnosed with her illness it was like I kinda already knew it was coming – just not on that scale. x

  16. robin rue
    October 9, 2018 / 10:28 am

    I am so sorry for your loss and thank you so much for sharing your story. You are so brave for putting it all out there.

  17. October 9, 2018 / 11:13 am

    Do beautifully written.I can feel your loss, your love, your honesty and your desire to help others.

  18. Candy
    October 9, 2018 / 11:48 am

    My brother and his wife lost their first baby. Something you never forget or get over. They planted a tree That tree is now fully grown and strong.

  19. October 9, 2018 / 12:55 pm

    What a beautiful story and I am so sorry for your loss. My nephew also lost their first baby and no, talks about it. This bothers me because I am the baby’s Aunt and I want to remember it in a way but I try and honor my nephew and just let it go.

  20. October 9, 2018 / 1:04 pm

    A gulp in my throat. A beautiful, heartwarming and truthfully written piece on a very difficult subject xxx

  21. October 9, 2018 / 1:27 pm

    I am glad there are more opportunities for women to share their stories. Most of the time women were expected to “carry on.” You so eloquently put in words what so many women have gone through.

  22. October 9, 2018 / 1:41 pm

    what a beautiful post ! I cant image what you must have feel that day! But you are such a strong woman now with a beautiful children!

  23. October 9, 2018 / 1:55 pm

    This is definitely something always worth sharing. It is such a terrible loss! We lost a child ourselves and it was devastating. I am very open to talking to people about it because I know there are other people that are hurting and can use someone to talk to also.

  24. October 9, 2018 / 2:14 pm

    I think that is amazing that you raise awareness for a subject that just is not talked about. It is people like you who make it easier for those going through such loss and I see friends give up time and effort to give people like you precious memories and keepsakes, that they may not have done if they had not listened to yours and others stories

  25. October 9, 2018 / 2:16 pm

    a mother’s intuition is an odd thing to try to articulate but you did it well here. This loss is a hard one to bear for any parent, just remember you will see your babe again someday in heaven.

  26. October 9, 2018 / 2:19 pm

    I still have goosebumps after reading your’s and Joseph’s story. No words can ease away your pain. I only want to say that I admire your strength to bring it on in front of the world and I am so sorry for your pain.

  27. Melissa
    October 9, 2018 / 3:23 pm

    This is beautifully written! I had an early miscarriage and that was hard enough. I can’t imagine the pain you went through. I admire greatly people that talk about their stories like this!

  28. October 9, 2018 / 3:39 pm

    Beautifully written Laura. I can truly admire your strength. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

  29. October 9, 2018 / 3:43 pm

    As a charity dedicated to preventing stillbirth and neonatal death, we believe that conversation around baby loss is an important way to break the taboo, prevent it from happening to others and help parents grieving their baby be understood and supported.

  30. Geraline Batarra
    October 9, 2018 / 4:14 pm

    This is a very well-written post and I do have a mixed emotions while reading this. I am sad because that was a terrible loss and I know it’s really hard for you to accept that but I am glad that you are able to overcome it and aside from that it gives you a strength to bring that awareness with all of us.

  31. October 9, 2018 / 4:19 pm

    It must have been heartbreaking that have your intuitions about it be true, I have always admired your strength and even those it was tough, you’re an inspiration to many of us

  32. October 9, 2018 / 4:25 pm

    What a beautifully told story of remembering your precious son! You touched my heart and I have tears in my eyes. Bless you and your beautiful family!

  33. October 9, 2018 / 4:50 pm

    What a beautiful blog post in memory of your son. I am so sorry you all had to go through this, but thank you for sharing for those who are going through similar.

  34. October 9, 2018 / 5:25 pm

    This is painful to read Laura and as a mother, I can’t bring myself to imagine how your heart breaks because of the loss.

  35. October 9, 2018 / 5:36 pm

    Losing a baby is the worst pain that I have experienced. I had a miscarriage at 10 weeks and it took me over a year to grieve. God gave me two babies after that.

  36. October 9, 2018 / 6:10 pm

    What a difficult thing to write about, but you have written about it so beautifully. All that heartache can be felt through your words, and the pain. I do not think this is written about enough and how it affects parents, and relationships. Those that have not been pregnant have no right to think they know what you are going through, as we were expected to “get over” our 14 week miscarriage. We’ve been lucky in going on to have three more little people but it was an almighty struggle.

  37. October 9, 2018 / 7:13 pm

    Beautifully put as always. I can also relate to that inner knowing as I knew my baby had gone but I desperately wished it not to be. Just because you know doesn’t mean that you know you know until it happens and you cannot feel guilty for such feelings. My inner voice is now so terrified of loss that I constantly panic about such inner voices and thankfully they are far more often wrong than correct. You have absolutely no blame in such a loss and you must never think otherwise.x

  38. October 9, 2018 / 7:43 pm

    Oh Laura, this is so beautifully written and I thank you for sharing this and all the people you have helped by sharing yours and Josephs story. xx

  39. October 9, 2018 / 7:50 pm

    You give so many women a voice, even an internal voice to accept and reason with themselves about what happened before they feel ready to share with others. I wish I could say I know what you are going through…because I don’t.

  40. October 9, 2018 / 7:51 pm

    Beautiful words, I know this was very hard for you to share. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  41. October 9, 2018 / 10:08 pm

    Oh my goodness. I hurt for you and with you. What a beautiful story. I have yet to ever write something like that after I lost my adult son 9 years ago. God Bless you.

  42. October 9, 2018 / 11:27 pm

    I can’t imagine what that must have been like. Thank you for sharing your story, I know it can’t be easy. Hugs to you.

  43. October 10, 2018 / 1:12 am

    Beautiful, touching post, but it was also heartbreaking to read. It’s a good thing though that you’re raising awareness on this matter. So sorry for your loss.

  44. October 10, 2018 / 1:14 am

    I’m sorry this happened to you. You’ve written a beautiful post, yet my heart was crushing while reading it. Still, it’s brave of you to share your story and raise awareness on the subject.

  45. October 10, 2018 / 1:47 am

    Thank you for sharing your story. It must’ve been hard for you to write this but it was so beautifully written.

  46. Alison
    October 10, 2018 / 2:18 am

    The flood gates opened on that. I’m so sorry you have to endure this forever pain. As women we seem to always know even when we don’t want to accept it. Your words help others to realize they are not the only ones.

  47. October 10, 2018 / 2:31 am

    I can’t imagine going through this. What a beautiful post. It is nice of you to share your experience, it will help others going through the same.

  48. October 10, 2018 / 3:32 am

    Such a very heartwarming post. I can feel every word and yes, we lost a loved one and the sadness indeed is still there, we never forget but we learn from it and it may never be that easy but we still keep on going.

  49. October 10, 2018 / 3:36 am

    Reading this brought tears to my eyes. You have written it so beautifully. I must say that you are a very strong mum.

  50. October 10, 2018 / 8:46 am

    This post is very strengthening. Please continue to share your thoughts and feels coz it might be the exact words that are needed to be heard by someone ?

  51. Catalina
    October 10, 2018 / 9:12 am

    That is such a beautiful letter! Yes, it is a little bit sad, but reminds us that we need to cherish every moment with our kids!

  52. October 10, 2018 / 12:08 pm

    A beautiful tribute to your light in the sky. Thank you for sharing, it cannot be easy- then or now.

  53. October 10, 2018 / 12:54 pm

    This is heartbreaking to read. Yet it has been written so beautifully and I believe that these are the life events that need to be more talked about in society. Many women who often face these difficult times have the needed support and resources to be able to cope however there are some women who do not. You are definitely helping by making your experience available for others.

  54. andrea
    October 10, 2018 / 2:15 pm

    what beautiful letter you wrote, you def made me tear up in the most way possible. while a bit sad I am sure it is therapeutic for you.

  55. October 10, 2018 / 3:47 pm

    Laura, you are undeniably one of the most generous and courageous mummies in blogland. To write about and raise awareness of something so painfully heartbreaking takes incredible strength. This was so beautifully written and I have no doubt that it will find its way into the hands and heart of a parent when needed the most. Much love. Xx

  56. October 10, 2018 / 4:13 pm

    Heartbreaking yet enlightening. They say you only get what you can withstand… Babushka miscarried twice before Cristyl came along, and the memories still sting. God Bless you for sharing, BB knows she wouldn’t have been able to.

  57. October 10, 2018 / 6:09 pm

    Another beautiful post, you will never forget your beautiful little boy and he will of known just how much you loved him then and now

  58. October 10, 2018 / 7:52 pm

    Beautifully written. It’s really amazing that you’re raising awareness and continuing to reassure others that they’re not alone, you’re incredibly strong. Someone will read this and it will truly help them, and that’s an amazing gift to give.

  59. October 10, 2018 / 7:59 pm

    Beautiful post. I do believe in a sixth sense so to speak. Your boy will always be your boy – forever in your heart and soul.

  60. October 10, 2018 / 8:03 pm

    I had a good read through your blog a few weeks back and was blown away. you wrote so beautifully and my heart was so sad for you. I could never imagine experiencing anything like this and you are so so brave sharing this.

  61. October 11, 2018 / 2:02 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss darling. You have a strength worthy of admiration. You have a beautiful family and I know that you are a great mamma. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

    XO
    Candace
    http://www.thebeautybeau.com

  62. October 11, 2018 / 3:10 am

    I thank you so much for sharing this. It is a topic that I don’t think is spoken about enough. Your story helps people. I’m sorry for loss. This is beautiful

  63. Wendy
    October 11, 2018 / 5:43 am

    Oh Laura, this post is both beautiful and heartbreaking. You write so honestly and this will be such a great help to other parents who have experienced babyloss too and need to hear from someone who truly understands their pain. Your little Joseph would be so proud of his amazing mummy xx

  64. Annemarie LeBlanc
    October 11, 2018 / 7:27 am

    I am so sorry for your loss. I know there are no words that would be comforting enough to help you get through the loss of your child. Rest assured that Joseph is looking down from heaven and guiding you always

  65. Renata
    October 11, 2018 / 9:12 am

    This is so sad – reading your text, I couldn’t hold back my tears. As a mother, I do not even want to imagine what it must have been like to get through all of this. It’s so good that you are sharing your feelings – I only hope that this gives you a teeny bit of relief. Big hug, Laura!

  66. October 11, 2018 / 12:36 pm

    Thank you for sharing such a beautiful and extremely intimate story with us. You are your family are truly remarkable inside and out.

  67. October 11, 2018 / 2:09 pm

    This made me cry. Such a profound love spoken through your words. I don’t think there will ever be right words to express the kind of love you have, but, you just did.

  68. October 11, 2018 / 2:28 pm

    This was a bit hard for me to read… However, it was very beautifully written and I admire you for sharing such an intimate story with us.

  69. Echo
    October 11, 2018 / 3:47 pm

    Your beautiful words touch so many and I think it is amazing that you continue to share your memory of him with all of us. Thank you.

  70. October 11, 2018 / 3:58 pm

    This is such a beautifully written post. I couldn’t even imagine going through this, but I am glad you shared your memory of him with us.

  71. Devyani Ray
    October 12, 2018 / 3:39 am

    A child’s loss is something that a parent can never recover from. I had tears in my eyes while reading this.

  72. Ruth I
    October 12, 2018 / 6:11 am

    I know the pain of losing someone and the tears shed for them are endless. But I admire you for moving on and keeping the faith. God bless your family.

  73. October 12, 2018 / 8:26 am

    Oh wow, this was a tough read but well worth it. I find it staggering you felt this was going to happen. Then again, I guess a pregnant woman knows her own body best. You would know what doesn’t feel right. I have seen the impact of SIDS on a family. I can imagine stillbirth is similar. Headed over from #blogcrush

  74. October 12, 2018 / 7:10 pm

    This absolute broke my heart into pieces, it’s a woman worse ever fear, in her bare hands m, and she is unable to do anything. I wish for nothing but strength and peace ?

  75. October 13, 2018 / 5:15 am

    This is painful and beautiful to read. You express yourself so well on this really difficult subject. I admire the positive attitude and ability to look at the bright side of this and appreciate the few moments you did have with him. I don’t know you personally, but I have been keeping up with your blog and it is humbling and beautifully written. This is an important topic to discuss since people are so afraid to talk about it. Thank you for sharing

  76. October 16, 2018 / 6:23 pm

    This is so very beautifully written , thank you so much for sharing your story.
    Someone loved this post so much they added it to our #blogcrush linky

  77. Lynda Graham
    October 27, 2018 / 12:23 am

    So touching Laura – I sense your broken heart and your eternal love. Bless you Brave Lady. x

  78. November 7, 2018 / 5:14 pm

    Such a beautiful story. I am sure this will help many.

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