A wedding is usually a joyous occasion. I can’t tell you how pleased we were when my brother got engaged, finally! I remember announcing Silver and saying we would need an extra seat at their wedding if possible. They were overjoyed for us naturally, as was everyone. We were very excited about baby number two on the way and were already looking forward to having two babies to dress up for this wedding.
I still remember the day we bought Silver’s first ever item of her own. We had been to Sainsbury’s and saw the cutest vests which said “Are we nearly there yet?”. Deciding they were pretty gender neutral we worked out how old our baby due in April would be and how old Beau would be. Her first item and we thought how cute to be able to dress them matching. Perhaps I should put into context the phrase on the vest. This was a wedding “down south”, roughly a six-hour drive from beautiful North Yorkshire! You can see just how much pride and joy Fabian had knowing he was going to be a daddy of two.
Unfortunately, things clearly did not go as planned. Silver was so healthy and happy at her twelve-week scan but by twenty weeks we saw a very different picture. We hadn’t actually bought her any other clothes yet but nonetheless despite being told she would not survive we never gave up hope. Each week the scan would show something different and we never knew if she would live or not. We did at one point buy two more outfits as we were hopeful she was doing better than we realised. Unfortunately, I was then reminded of her likelihood to not live so didn’t purchase anything else, I never got the chance to nest for her and it was almost easier some days to tell myself I wasn’t pregnant.
When Silver was born she did better than ever expected though! She was a fighter and despite a little wobble in the first week where we had to be pulled aside and forewarned of the worst she continued to improve. She liked to show off and even took surgery in her stride. Despite poor lungs she breathed surprisingly well and soon was requiring less and less ventilation support. Once I was allowed to leave the hospital after my C Section we would always go into the city via a Marks and Spencer’s and every day I would look at all the beautiful tiny dresses. With how well she was doing I truly forgot there was even a risk of losing her and I began to believe she would in fact be attending this wedding.
Since then as you can imagine going into Marks and Spencer’s became quite difficult, especially when searching for an outfit for Beau. When we lost Silver, I began to dread the wedding. Not because I wasn’t truly so happy for my brother and his now amazing wife but it was just a painful reminder of the hope. It was a painful reminder of what we had lost. I always had it in my head we were going as a family of four. Okay I am pregnant so technically we did but we also made sure Silver was as much a part of the wedding as she would have been.
Remember those vests I mentioned? Well Beau still wore his and hung at the other side of the car was Silver’s. They still drove down together as brother and sister. I also had Silver’s blanket which used to cover her incubator on my lap for the journey too, something I sleep with every night (unless I get too hot in this weather!). It was obviously quite an emotional drive down, six hours to contemplate life and “what if’s”. I’m not sure if it was general stress or because of how emotional the drive was but I did manage to have a hemiplegic migraine which then made me even more upset! Nonetheless it meant so much to us knowing we were involving Silver as much as we could.
For the wedding we also actually bought Silver an outfit. I bought the smallest size (0-3 months) which in all fairness if she had been born on her due date she would have been 3 months but was in fact almost 5 months from her actual birth. I actually chose this because she was always so tiny and I like to remember her that way. It was very emotional going to buy her outfit and I did nearly cry in the store. I was elated however that I got exactly what I was looking for and I love the fact all four of us were colour coordinated with navy blue.
I didn’t want to just buy her outfit and then leave it in the room, I really wanted her to be a part of the wedding. I didn’t want to trigger too much conversation or upset people though and take away from the couple’s perfect day so whilst pictures were being taken my dad discreetly took some beautiful pictures for us. I am so in love with these pictures and hopefully I can get them framed either for the wall or Silver’s shelf.
I thought this was where Silver’s involvement of the day would come to an end. I had no other ways to really include her. What I never expected was what my wonderful brother and his wife had done. They had an afternoon tea in a marquee. We made our way to the table (Beau had fallen asleep in the pram so we left him in a quiet place within view) only to see a blue elephant on Beaus high chair. Elephants were Silver’s special animal and as soon as I saw it I knew it was the matching blue elephant for the pink one Silver has. Well the floodgates opened for both me and Fab.
I was absolutely overwhelmed, overjoyed and broken all at once. They made sure our little girl was part of their big day, because she meant so much to them too. The event organizer panicked and rushed to me crying but my throat betrayed me and no words came out, I couldn’t explain why I was crying. I know there was probably a lot of people looking but family that knew comforted us both. I cry every time I am reminded of this small gesture, it is one thing for me and Fabian to remember Silver but it means so much to us when others remember her too.
Fabian also spoke with some of my family members and shared Silver’s story as they were wanting to know more and were happy to talk about it. We always share her story when we can, even if it does make people tearful. I too shared her story with one of the bride’s family who was pregnant also so we discussed pregnancy in general. Of course, having the C section has big implications on my current pregnancy so it was a natural evolution of conversation.
As you can see, no matter what Silver is always a big part of our lives. We may be happily pregnant, if not a little terrified but we haven’t moved on. I worry that the baby loss community find it hard to follow my story as I am currently expecting but I can assure you my baby girl is always in my mind and the tears are often flowing. We include her in conversations often and have items throughout our house that make her presence noticeable at all times.
Silver is and always will be with us.
Until next time,