Stillbirth – The Story Always Rumbles On.


T H E  L O W - D O W N (8)

 I imagine that it is true for most life events good or bad that they change you, shape you and ultimately become part of you.

If I were ever to forget about the impact Stillbirth has had on my life, the universe has a knack of bringing it to the fore again, a gentle nudge in the ribs to remind me that my story is there, it always rumbles on.

On the school run I was walking with a new mum who lives down the road, cooing over her gorgeous 2 week old daughter. We were discussing how her second caesarean had gone and she casually enquired if my first caesarean had been an emergency like hers, when I said they had both been planned she questioned ‘how had I managed that?’. Louis isn’t a secret in my life.  I explained that my first son had been stillborn, with a natural delivery, so I had caesarean’s with both my daughter’s as I couldn’t face an uncertain labour.

I instantly felt sorry for her (I always do when people have innocently asked a question that leads to this situation). I wouldn’t have brought my sad story into her day on a whim but I also owe it to myself and Louis not to hide him away or make up stories.

I explained it happened 12 years ago. Instantly she obviously felt better – this always makes me smile, people seem to feel better when they hear it’s been years. To me that is just a whole different type of sadness, that I have persevered through so many years without him.

Later that week I sat with my husbands Nana to keep her company while he took his grandfather for a check up at hospital. The girls came with me and as they played we chatted. She spoke about their three daughters and how although she knew she had been blessed she had hoped for a son when she was younger. She asked if I had wanted a son or if we might try again for a boy (older people get away with asking such questions!).

The question hung in the air.

My husband’s grandparents are the only ones who don’t know about Louis. We didn’t want them to worry when I was pregnant with our eldest daughter – we also didn’t want them to think I ran around having babies with everyone (call it a generational thing!!).

I smiled, looked away at my beautiful children playing, and said we were happy with our girls.

She put her hand on mine and said ‘it’s not too late!’.

I thought, if only that were true. It is much too late for my son.

Stillbirth has become so much more than the event that it was, it is part of who I am and it weaves it’s story throughout my life.

There is happiness and laughter, good times and joy to be found in life despite the loss of a child but it is always there. The story always rumbles on and you just have to take the nudges as they come.


Mami 2 Five

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16 Comments on Stillbirth – The Story Always Rumbles On.

    Spidermummy x
    20th November 2014 at 2:03 pm (4 years ago)

    This is such an honest lovely post. I’m so sorry that Louis didn’t get to stay with you, but you obviously carry him with you every day in your heart. It’s really interesting that people seem relieved when they realise that it was 12 years ago, like that would ever make it any easier for you xx

    • Claire
      20th November 2014 at 3:25 pm (4 years ago)

      I think that people imagine the passing of time makes grief easier, and they are absolutely right as it does – however, I do believe though that losing a child is a unique grief that never eases to the same degree, it just changes into something more manageable over the years. As I said in my post there is happiness and joy to be found in life but the reminders are always there, it’s just how you deal with them that counts.
      Thank you for your lovely comment.

    Honest mum
    20th November 2014 at 8:09 pm (4 years ago)

    Oh honey, crying reading this, I am so sorry, you are right time doesn’t really help with grief, time doesn’t exist when it comes to grief really. Wish I could give you a huge hug, thinking of you. Thanks so much for linking up to #brilliantblogposts x

    • Claire
      20th November 2014 at 8:15 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you, that’s so kind.
      I wouldn’t want anyone to think grief doesn’t get easier with time – it’s just that the reminders are always there.

    Mini Travellers
    23rd November 2014 at 9:03 pm (4 years ago)

    I have a number of friends in a very similar situation. Grief like this changes doesn’t it but never goes away. I’ve read quite a few of your posts now and like Honest Mum want to give you a huge hug. Thanks for linking up with such an honest post. #sundaystars

    • Claire
      24th November 2014 at 1:14 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you so much for reading and leaving such a lovely comment.
      When I started JoyandPops it was really to have somewhere to talk about how grief changes over the years and impacts life, parenting and ultimately happiness. Through writing I’ve come into contact with some lovely people, everyone is so welcoming, it’s a lovely community!
      Thanks Xx

    23rd November 2014 at 10:08 pm (4 years ago)

    It must be so hard to face situations like this, and deal with them. Even though each year passes I am sure lots of things continue to remind you – and make it incredibly hard. Thank you for sharing your story and I hope you reach out to many others too. Thanks for linking up with #sundaystars Jess x

    • Claire
      24th November 2014 at 1:31 pm (4 years ago)

      I think it’s important for people who are at the beginning of their own grieving story to know that although the reminders are always there, and although grief will always remain, it does become easier to deal with. Situations like the ones in my post would have brought me to my knees 10 years ago. Now, although I obviously feel them I can also cope better. 10 years ago I would have liked to have read an honest account of how I might actually have moved my life forward, that is what I try to give.
      Thanks for reading. Xx

    25th November 2014 at 7:07 am (4 years ago)

    What a beautifully honest post. I’m so sorry for your loss. I can tell from your writing that your precious son will always be a part of your life, and rightly so. Don’t worry about upsetting other people with the truth- I hope you always feel able to speak his name as is right. x x x

    • Claire
      25th November 2014 at 2:56 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you for reading and leaving such a lovely comment.
      It took me a long time to be able to speak about Louis and the impact the situation had on my whole life. I guess I had to move beyond that place in time – which I have, my life today is very different and very happy but I live alongside those memories and I keep him with me. I recognise now that he is a big part of who I am today.

    Leigh - Headspace Perspective
    29th November 2014 at 2:41 pm (4 years ago)

    A beautiful post. It’s crazy we have the sense of feeling sorry for someone who has asked ‘the question’, isn’t it? I never like to lie, it is like denying Hugo’s existence, but it can be really difficult dependent on how the person reacts to what you say to them. Louis will always be a part of you xxx

    • Claire
      29th November 2014 at 3:18 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you.
      I once had a woman burst into tears when I told her as she felt so sorry for me, I ended up comforting her!
      You should never feel like you have to ‘lie’ about Hugo, 9 out of 10 people will react sensibly and with compassion – it’s just that one occasionally who doesn’t know what to do with the information.
      Thanks for reading. Xx

    Julia @ Rainbeaubelle
    29th November 2014 at 8:38 pm (4 years ago)

    What a lovely post on such a sensitive and sad subject. I’ve had friends who have had stillbirths and we have spoken about how other people react and how hard it is for them to deal with it, often because they feel the person they are telling feels uncomfortable and doesn’t know what to say. I am so sorry for your loss. Xx

    • Claire
      1st December 2014 at 1:53 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you for your comments. It is difficult when you’re aware that your situation is making others uncomfortable, I think it’s human nature not to want to expose ourselves in that way – it’s a hard one to balance when you’re trying to keep your child’s memory alive for yourself too.

    Jemma Taylor-Smith
    15th December 2014 at 11:02 am (4 years ago)

    An honest post and a great blog! I have friends who have recently experienced stillbirth and it is so awful. Big hugs! Jemma xxx

    • Claire
      15th December 2014 at 12:36 pm (4 years ago)

      Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.
      I’m so sorry to hear about your friend’s recent experience. All I would say to anyone at the start of their grieving process is that it does get better. It took me a long time to see it and there has been a lot of suffering along the way but it is possible to be happy again. I never thought I could have the life I have now. I hope they are doing OK.


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