Today is Eli’s due date. 40 weeks. This is not a date that we ever held as being significant in terms of his arrival, as we always knew our pregnancy would never last that long. But it does feel poignant, so we are going out to celebrate this would-be end to our pregnancy. 

These past few weeks have literally disappeared into a world of eat-sleep-poop-repeat but it’s been wonderful. A welcome respite to anxiety and uncertainty. I never really knew how we’d respond to the post natal, early days period. I wasn’t sure how the shift of anxiety would feel, whether it would sky rocket, or just continue as is. I didn’t really expect it to lift. 

It has certainly lifted. It hasn’t disappeared, I’m not sure you can ever forget the anxiety that life after stilbirth and pregnancy after loss gives you. It’s one of those intense feelings, that once felt, your mind and body has forever learnt. It means getting back there is far to easy. We are and will always be vulnerable to it. But it isn’t controlling or overpowering at the moment. Looking back, you even want to say what was all the fuss about. Yet, we know what all the fuss was about – and it was beyond intense. But I guess it’s like what ‘they’ say about labour, apparently you forget the pain. 

35+5 – on day release from the hospital, a few days before Eli was born

We are working on just embracing the joy and the calm, and leaving the stress elsewhere. Of course, we’ve had our moments, and I’m still recovering from pregnancy physically and hormonally, but on the most part, we are able to go with the flow, and it’s such a freeing feeling. 

Whilst today’s date is not that significant to us, something magical is happening elsewhere. I won’t say what, as it’s not my magic – but its significance really isn’t lost on me. The impact Leo has had on our life’s, and the people that now exist in our support network has been phenomenal. Whilst I’d do anything to have Leo here, and be a true family of four, I’ll forever be full of gratitude for the people that have entered our lives as a result of him dying. 

Today, for Eli’s due date, I’ve written him a short letter. I’m not sure how I can ever fully explain the intensity of this period in our lives and everything that has led up to this point – or that I’ll need to. I just hope in the future he feels that intensity in the love we have for him and the gratitude we have for his existence. 

Dear Eli,

Today, is your due date. It wasn’t ever a date we fixated on, as we knew you’d be born before today. Yet, it holds quite a bit of significance – the official date you’d be fully cooked. I’ve often wondered over the past few months, that had your brother lived, when would you have been born. I often think the same for your brother too. It’s an unanswerable question though.

What I do know, is that, today, on the 10th July 2017, you are here with us and it’s wonderful. For so long, I didn’t know what this picture looked like, or what we’d journey through to get to today. But with your wriggling womb legs, and your squeaky noises – you have made your presence known and felt. My only wish for you, would be for your brother to be here, and for him to be practising his best big brother mischief.

I’ve tried to tell you a little bit about your brother, but you may have noticed, it doesn’t really end well yet. I’ll keep working on it, because we want you to know your brother, to remember him and to be able to say his name. You will always be brothers, you see, even though he isn’t here. He is yours, and you are his. 

When I was pregnant with you, we fought so hard to get you here. It was so difficult at times. But believe me, when I say, I’d do it all again, for you. I can’t quite believe that it’s been four weeks already since you entered the world, and looked at us for the first time. I can’t believe that we made it, and we are together. You’ve overcome so much (including my incessant poking) and we are so very, very proud of you. I will always hold a bit of guilt for making you arrive early, but you settle my worried brain with just how well you’ve handled your early entrance. 

Please know, you and Leo, are two seperate people. We love you both, equally. We don’t expect more from you, just because Leo isn’t here. Nor do we expect you to heal us, or remove the pain that we have from missing your brother – you are your own person, in your own right. It is up to us, to heal us. Not you. 

We are working on creating as many memories as possible with you. We want to cherish these early days, and all of the days to come. Each day is a true gift to spend it with you, and whilst we may sneak in a few naps here or there, we will never forget our gratitude that you are part of our days. It feels like you’ve always been here, it’s gone by in a whirlwind, but these days are being savoured, I promise. 

We do not know what the future will bring us, but I am looking forward to finding out what beautiful moments we can all create together. 

We love you, always. 

Mummy xx

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