As you may know from my twenty week pregnancy update we recently celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary. What might that have to do with baby loss you might ask? Well of course this time last year I was in my first trimester with Silver Rose and blissfully unaware how unwell she was. In fact, I was the one who was unwell! We had made plans to go to a new pancake house we had discovered which have a full vegan menu. It was meant to be a simple day where we took Beau and went out for a little treat. Instead I couldn’t even leave the house that day. Morning sickness with Silver was extreme! Well, actually it was more nausea than actually throwing up but it was an intense three months.
Would you believe we’ve never once thought to go to that pancake house since? I’m not sure why but as our anniversary approached and my morning sickness this time despite being more persistent is milder and manageable the thought came back of going to the pancake house. We were dog sitting at the time so a few other ideas we had wouldn’t have worked, such as I’ve been craving a greasy pizza takeaway recently and there is meant to be a good vegan place in Manchester – three hours away! We were pretty stuck for ideas and didn’t want to splash too much cash so decided it would be a nice thing to do as a family to go for pancakes and walk around the beautiful city of York, enjoying the change of seasons (and a starbucks!).
I’m in two minds of how I feel about going for pancakes that day. On the day I started to feel pretty down about it and was very retrospective and nostalgic. I think the thing that hit me the most is knowing that this time last year I honestly had no idea Silver was unwell, I simply thought I was “dying” from morning sickness and just wanted to give birth. Hindsight isn’t always a wonderful thing. I now realise that even in this pregnancy where I want to complain because my body feels horrible I am so grateful just to be blessed with a healthy baby and I’m also so much more aware of how I speak about my pregnancy. I make sure not to complain too much and suddenly silly little comments like “I feel like I’m dying” take on a different meaning and I realise how insensitive these can be. Silver put my life into perspective which I am forever grateful for.
As I said however, it was quite a triggering event and at times I wanted to cry, realising how my life has changed and trying to process this is something I’m still struggling with. On the other hand, after speaking with a friend I can also see how in some ways maybe this was our subconscious way of still involving Silver in our special day. I wish I had taken her picture with me so I can say she had finally reached this pancake house. Their food was absolutely delicious and I will be making a point to go back the next time we are in York. Its funny how to them we will have just been regular customers but to us this meal was not only special for our Anniversary but also has a special place in our heart because it reminds us of the good times with Silver. The times when we were so excited and hopeful of bringing a baby home.
We did actually announce our rainbow babies name on this day also. Its nice to feel that Silver and Leilani have a special day where they are connected. A day where we celebrated Silver’s life, Leilani’s life and of course our anniversary. I have a separate blog post on our name announcement if you’d like to take a read! Because we had been so disorganized with the announcement and up all night the previous night my pregnant body needed to sleep in a bit on the anniversary before we went to my parents around lunchtime to announce the gender. This meant after pancakes its was getting pretty late in York so we simply went for a walk, enjoying the city and park, vegan pumpkin spice in hand before heading home. And yes, for some reason Beau decided to suck his toes while waiting for Starbucks… (Is this normal for a two year old?)
On the way home that night Beau fell asleep in the car as usual, sucking on his blanket. Normally I take pictures because I think it adorable but for some reason on this day he looked different, just the way he held his mouth as his blanket fell out of his mouth. It sounds awful but I honestly panicked and thought he had passed away, his mouth looked just like Silver’s had after she passed away and her lips had parted. It was the scariest thing to see and I had to check he was breathing, I guess that’s just what happens to you once you’ve lost a child. You become over protective. I know Beau is too old for SIDS risk now but I still worry in case anything would happen to him and honestly don’t think I could cope. It has completely broken my heart seeing SIDS cases on Instagram and how completely devastated the parents are that had an otherwise healthy baby they had spent so much time loving and cherishing.
As it was late by the time we got home that evening Beau ate separately to us. I then realised I’d made another triggering mistake. I had thought how nice it would be to treat ourselves to all our favourite oriental foods from Marks and Sparks. Yep, not totally glamorous and just as expensive as a meal out but nonetheless it was easiest with Beau and Loki. The only problem is I’m pretty sure the last time we ate those foods was in Crawford house, one or two days before Silver passed away. We had actually gone to York the day before our anniversary to do all our errands so we could be more relaxed on the day but even walking into Marks and Spencer’s was a trigger. It always has been ever since Newcastle. It was our way of getting into town so we walked through it often and when Silver was well I had looked at the baby clothes for her too, now a painful reminder.
So what should have been a nice romantic meal was a very late exhausted tea with painful sentimental reminders. Don’t get me wrong the tea was lovely and I would have it again but remembering those last few days is the hardest. Mostly because she was doing so well and everything was looking up. We moved Beau and lots of our home items up to Newcastle expecting to be living up there for several months. Her passing was so unexpected and such a painful shock that I find it hard to think about those days in Crawford House. This particular picture below I find hard to look at, we were having lunch in Crawford House on the 27th Feb getting ready to go see Silver. I was so excited because Fabian had spoke with the nurses and arranged that I could have my first ever cuddle with her. I felt so happy, Silver was doing well and life seemed to finally be looking up and moving in a positive direction. 24 hours later and I was cradling a dead baby and trying to process the shock through my sleep deprived head.
I didn’t actually cry on our anniversary but I did spend a lot of time thinking about Silver, picturing her face and remembering how she felt to touch. Sometimes I cope pretty well, probably because I’m so distracted with Beau and this pregnancy but other times the reality really does hit hard. I feel so guilty at times because I want nothing more than to have her back, she’s my baby and I want her. But if I had her I wouldn’t have Leilani, and I don’t ever want Leilani to feel she is second to Silver or a replacement. I don’t know how to balance the love I feel for both of them as it feels impossible for them to coexist in my heart. They contradict each other. I have tried to take a different perspective and acknowledge the reality of Silver, realising that right now I have one living daughter who deserves so much love, the same love I gave to Silver as I tried everything to save her. I love Silver as my little angel who will forever be an angel now, and I love Leilani as my growing, living baby.
I can imagine over the coming months how hard at times it will be, looking back on what I was doing one year from now. I find it strange being pregnant again one year on, it almost feels like a do over but I have to keep reminding myself it isn’t and give myself harsh reality checks. I will be writing a separate post about the approach to Christmas as I feel this is something a lot of grieving parents along with myself and Fabian are going to find extremely difficult. All in all it was a very emotional day we had but I’m so glad looking back that I did have twenty weeks with Silver filled with hope and wouldn’t go back and change the fact we were unaware and able to enjoy some of the pregnancy.
Until next time,