So its another month in to my 5for5 challenge – if this is the first time you are reading anything about it, have a look at my pledge and my month one update – but most importantly, have a read of the challenge website and join in.
This month has been quite a big one really, with getting Leo’s post mortem results, dipping our toes back into socialising, and just practising our new normal – whatever that is – so its quite nice to have a time to reflect, learn and evolve.
So lets see what we’ve been up to?
FUNDRAISE : To raise £5000 by Leo’s first birthday
This really is the thing that keeps us going. On my last update, we had raised £2375 and now we are comfortably over half way and sitting on £3,335 which is incredible! We have hit the half way mark for our first official event, the Colour Obstacle Rush, which is on May 7th, and another friend has started fundraising too. I get so hungry for the next milestone, but I am also so concerned that we are going to run empty!
To donate to our next event which is fundraising for our local hospital, visit our JustGiving Page.
To see all of our events, and keep up to date with progress, feel free to follow along on Facebook.
WELLBEING : To do everything I can to be healthy mentally and physically
At Day 50 for #100DaysOfWellbeing, I am now into Week 7 of C25K which involves just running, and no walking! Gah! It feels good to be out there again, but its so difficult. I am trying to learnt to not be so hard on myself, but equally really don’t want to let myself down. I need to remember, that I will get out there, and just trying is better than not.
We also went to our first counselling session, which I’m not convinced is a good move for us now, but its there should we need it.
We have started doing the odd bits of socialising, and learning where our limits are. Its an ever-changing game is grief, and we need to just make sure we are always listening to our instincts and each others to work out what is working, and what isn’t. Being healthy has become very important to me, but at the same time, gives me a fair bit of stress for when I am not being as healthy as I could be. I am trying to learn the balance, and get the right perspective on it all – grief isn’t a challenge I’ve had to balance out before, so the pressures and approach is all new.
Tapping into the support system of the online community seems to be the most helpful, and using anything and everything to honour Leo in some ways. And, as someone said to me last night – as long as I am breathing, then be proud.
STUDY : To read the Lancet papers and research stillbirth and IVF and respond in some way
So I haven’t done any of this yet either, but I am learning more about Leo and the circumstances around his death. We have had two post mortem review appointments now, and a specialist one coming up. I have requested by notes, and will go through them with interest. Whilst Leo’s circumstances may not repeat themselves, its important to understand the complexities, and give ourselves the power back by doing so.
I have stared reading Three Minus One, which is a collection of hundreds of short stories of different circumstances. I told my Bereavement Midwife about a few of the books that I have read and she asked what I found useful about them. I think it goes further than knowing you are not alone, for me, its about discovering all the range of stories that led us all to this world of ‘bereaved parenthood’ – the complexities, the struggles, the timings – its so very varied. It makes you wonder just how any of us are still surviving to this day, when so many babies went through so much just to try and get through pregnancy. At discovering new people to our community, it pains me. I said to The Wife today, that if I can’t have Leo back, then I really wanted him to be the last – what a legacy to leave… but this isn’t possible.
VOLUNTEER : To enquire about working with a charity or organisation to help others
This is another one of the future, and hopefully the fundraising is enough ‘giving back’ for now. We are going to hopefully start going to a few events run by other charities, and I want to expand our fundraising to include others in the future. You discover so many organisations when entered into this world – organisations that should filter into the mainstream, but sadly don’t.
On a slightly different topic, I restarted my volunteering for RAFA’s Storybook Wings which I volunteered for pre-Leo. It was good to get back into doing something and wasn’t as scary as it could have been.
REMEMBER : To participate in some local & National SANDS remembrance events & take part in #CaptureYourGrief in October
This is always my favourite bit! We have done a range of things this month to help remember and honour Leo. We commissioned by Uni friend to do a piece of artwork, which we adore. We have entered Leo into 5for5’s Pebble Project which we are SO excited about, and Leo’s pebble featured in the little video they did, which I have watched over and over.
We got to write Leo’s name in the sand for the first time, and ‘celebrated’ milestones like Easter and my birthday with him. My poem that I wrote for his funeral got shared on the SANDS website and I shared his story with Maternity Matters. His Grandparents also purchased to have his name on a Red Arrow, and we started Leo the Lion geoaching which is a bit geeky, but quite exciting all at the same time.
A cherished memory will be our best friends surprising us with a balloon release following their engagement party – our first release for him, and was so special.
Its so nice to have a way of reflecting and remembering all the little things.
If you would like to honour Seamus’ fifth birthday, please have a look, set yourself a challenge and don’t forget to donate. All the information is here. Please spread the word!