June 09, 2011

The post you all knew was coming

I just went through the posts since Amelia's birth, and I've realised that I haven't really written about what it's like to be parenting after stillbirth. The experience so far is varied...

It's odd. I measured Amelia's head circumference the other day, and it's only 1.5cm shorter than Ianto's whole body was. I just find that so weird, that her HEAD is just a touch smaller than her brother.

It's sad. Amelia was only six days old when we took her on her first real outing - to go look at photos of her dead brother. It felt a bit wrong having her there, like it was supposed to be his night and she was invading his space.

Taking her to the cemetery is awful, too. It's a nice feeling, being with both my babies, but taking a baby to a cemetery? It's just not right, especially given we're visiting another baby. I've gotten into the habit of buying him flowers from her, letting her "decide" which ones to buy.

It's scary. I wasn't that scared, being pregnant with Amelia, that I would lose her. Part of that was confidence it wouldn't happen to me again; part of it was knowing that if I did lose another baby, I knew the process and could deal with it. But it's so different now she's born. Now I know her properly like I never knew Ianto. I'm always wanting to check on her when she sleeps, making sure she's still breathing. I know it's normal to do that, but is it normal to break down crying in the car because I can't hear her breathing and can't pull over to check on her? I don't think so.

It's a relief. I can make babies that live. I can watch my kids grow up, play and smile. Not all of them, obviously, but I can look at Amelia and know I'm not a failure.

It's maddening. I've had far too many people act as though now Amelia is here, I should forget about Ianto. From a tactless family member ("oh sweetheart, you shouldn't have those photos up any more, you have a real baby now") to a woman at Spotlight who didn't like my answer when she asked how many kids I have ("so just the one then?"), it hurts. My son matters. He was as real as his sister is. She will always know about her big brother, how he watches over her everyday.

It's a lot to deal with.



  1. There's no need for improvement hun. Your post is perfect as it is. I don't know what you've been through or how you get through each day because I've never walked in your shoes but I just don't understand how anyone could dismiss your beautiful baby boy. To say that you shouldn't have his photos around or that you only have one child leaves me speechless :( You became a mummy long before Amelia was born and know one should ever try to tell you otherwise. Ianto is with you everyday and he knows just how much you love and miss him. Your bravery is truley inspirational xx (Tina, teepee2)

  2. Colleen holleyJune 09, 2011 5:57 pm

    Ternel l Fell your pain, I have no ansewers for your grief,so many amotions go through your head when you have a new baby and it's so sad because all you won't is to nurture your new bub.You have had 2 children and you still have 2 you keep your baby photos out, don't let other peoples lack of knowledg change your perenting.I can tell you it takes time for your grief and every ones grief is not the same you can not put a time on ones grief, for me I lost my little man over 30 years ago and at times the pain I feel at special times is very painful,I will never forget him and I don't won't to, he is very much a part of our family tree we talk about him as if he is still with us in body. Sorry this is not about me but hope I can help in your grief.Your baby girl will help you in so many ways thay have a way of getting into your broken heart. Sending you BIG HUGS xxx

  3. I know.... I know sweetie - I think all of those things are normal....

    And I like that you let Amelia pick flowers for Ianto.

    My counsellor told me a story of a client now friend of hers who had a still born baby, as her first. She then had another baby A who turned 21 recently and in his speak her referrred lovingly to the older sister he never got to know....

    That is the relationship I want HB to have with her sisters and brother. I think it's beautiful.

    I wish people wouldn't think that everything is ok now there is another baby here.... but they do.

    Anyway, I haven't checked in on you for ages... glad that Princess Milly is doing so well. You're a great Mum, to each of your children. Never forget that.



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