Despite being so pleased with the range of coverage Baby Loss has gathered this week, it’s also really really hard. It seems a lot of people in the Baby Loss community are incredibly heavy hearted whilst being really pleased that we seem to be getting somewhere with having the much needed conversations in the mainstream. Maybe it’s because we are a bit further from our loss, a little less desperate to have it acknowledged, more quietly accepting of our pain, or that progress feels too slow and you find yourself wondering “why didn’t this happen before my baby died” or perhaps you are crushed by the overwhelming responsibility an awareness week gives you.
You know, I don’t want this life. I don’t want a blog, award nominations, being invited to Facebook and blogger events, being quoted in the Guardian. I don’t want this. This wasn’t my #lifegoals. This was thrust upon me. When I was asked at the age of 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 what I wanted to do, what my life aspirations were, I never once thought “you know, I think I’d like to write a semi successful blog on Baby Loss”. I wanted to be a lollipop lady (for real), an archaeologist, a photographer, a psychologist, a mum. In that order, at those ages. But as they always say, I wants, don’t get.
Maybe I sound bitter. Probably because I am. Because if a fantastic week of baby loss awareness and coverage does anything, it reminds you that your baby died. Not that you really needed reminding. It also reminds you exactly why this is your “hobby”, the way you obsessively spend your days. Because it wasn’t just your baby. Their baby died too. And nothing ever makes that acceptable. So you fight.
Everyone’s fight is different. We don’t all blog/fundraise/campaign. We all do our own little bit in our own little way. And it all adds up. But whatever we do it’s to either survive ourselves and/or make sure other babies survive too. Maybe, your baby. Because, if I could have done anything after Leo died, it would have been to make him the last one. But more babies have been buried next to him. We have seen friends mourn their own babies. And there’s not much more that can bring it home that this won’t stop unless we do something than witnessing it all from the outside.
No doubt it’s boring for some now. Even people who started interested. A bit of the same thing over and over. The constant plea for fundraising. The relentless dead baby chat. I wouldn’t be surprised if people have unfollowed it all. No wonder friends just disappeared. After all, just desperately trying to save lives over here. Desperately trying to raise money to fund research that drives public health campaigns that literally stops babies dying. Its hardly the party life.
If I’m honest, outside the deep sadness I’ve felt this month at missing my first son, and staring at second wondering how we got so lucky at the same time – I feel like I’m increasingly talking to no one, echoing in the chamber of Baby Loss parents, and not sure what good it’s all doing. Little feedback from it all just feels isolating. Somedays, I’m fine with our lot, our little groove and our friendship circles. The circles that are 90% dead baby club. Surrounded by people who have true understanding and allow us to be however we are. And then other days, I look up and wonder what we did so wrong to make everyone disappear.
So I guess what I’m trying to say is, if you are reading this, and feeling bored of our relentlessness on the dead baby chat. Please remember we never asked for this. We don’t want it to be our reality. But we are trying our damn hardest to help somehow. In small steps, but help at least. And sometimes it’s exhausting and you just want someone else to run with the baton for a bit. To do it for you. To have your back. To be a friend. To give you a hug. Drop a text. A comment. Jeez, even a friggin like. Just something to make you feel like you are getting somewhere and that you are supported. Because it’s hard. It’s hard reliving that day, over and over, fighting against it to try and help and never really being sure if it’s enough. Sadly, it’ll never be enough. That’s the cruel reality of it all. The guilt. You can’t ever counteract it enough.
I didn’t set out to write this blog (rant). I set out to acknowledge that this week is hard for those who have lost a baby. Some feel able to get out there and wave the flag. Some can’t. But it goes in circles, and we all prop each other up and pass the baton around. Deep down, we are pleased the conversations are happening. We look for the headlines. We may avoid some of the articles. We may read every single word. We are pleased that they are there. But it doesn’t stop it being hard. Hard on our hearts and minds and memories. Because we are raising awareness, whatever that is, of the worst thing that has ever happened to us. We know it won’t bring them back. But in their honour, we try and just make things a little better.
I set out to be gentler, kinder, warmer but I guess some days it doesn’t flow like that and it’s been a while since I’ve written the emotion I’ve felt in the moment. So here it is.