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.