Since Rosie’s death and birth I have become more sensitive to life. More sensitive to having breath in my body, having the gift of life, more sensitive to those that endanger other lives by making them inhale their toxic smoke, more sensitive to those that have lost a loved one and suffer the pain that brings, more sensitive to those that hurt themselves because they don’t want to be alive. Life, this thing that we take for granted but we know one day it will be taken from us, we don’t realise the pain the ending of life will cause.
I was walking the long way home with my husband, Andrew, I still can’t walk past the girl who had her baby at the same time as me, I can’t handle the pain of seeing her baby alive, doing and growing as Rosie should be. It makes me angry that they have their baby when mine is dead. I’m angry and jealous of her and her family.
I passed a squashed dead pigeon in the middle of a road which had evidently been run over by a car. I looked at this dead pigeon and cried with a real and painful emotion. My heart beat faster, my arms wanted to make it feel better somehow. I had to tear myself away from that pain that I wasn’t expecting. I said to my husband “can we pass this quickly, there’s a poor dead pigeon there and it’s making me sad” Andrew replied to me with an automatic comment which has changed my way of thinking about Rosie his reply “why are you sad? Its just a dead pigeon, there’s millions of them.” I got so angry at him but came to a sudden realisation that people think of my baby in that way. They didn’t know my baby, she’s just one dead baby when there are millions of other, living, babies in this world. My Rosie is a dead pigeon to you, she is just one dead baby that you didn’t know. My baby the anonymous pigeon flattened by the car of life.
This brings me to the failure I feel, I’ve failed as a mother because I couldn’t keep my baby alive, I couldn’t speak for her when she needed me to, I didn’t protect my baby from the wrong doings of the “experienced” midwives. I’m trying to keep my Rosie’s memory alive but I’m failing her with that too, I want to talk about her all the time but people don’t want to listen, those friends that knew me when I was pregnant don’t want to know me or Rosie now, they enjoy the new babies in their lives and forget about mine. They don’t want to feel my pain or joy in Rosie they just want to fly with the living pigeons.
How can I be a good mum when I can’t show my baby I love her, want to teach her, how can I be a good mum when I have no chance to give to my precious bundle? I can’t hold my baby, I spent only sixteen hours with her, I watched her bleed and swell and deteriorate, I watched my baby’s body die slowly in my arms. Yet I still loved and still treasure every moment of it. The only time I have to remember my baby, so excited to see what she looked like, whose nose she had, what colour hair and it was taken away from me quickly. So when you watch your baby breathe, move and grow remember that I’m the mum that watched her baby’s body die, she never took a single breath, nor did she move outside of my womb but she is still the best thing I have ever done. If I could carry and grow Rosie and give birth to her all over again, still knowing the outcome I would. I’d do everything all over again because she, my baby, my Rosie, my pink perfection is the greatest thing I have ever done in my life but here I am, the failed mother. Failed as a woman, I failed my daughter, my husband, my family. I have failed to live since Rosie died, I haven’t done anything amazing in the past nine months since Rosie was born.
Let me tell you something wonderful, something powerful, it’s okay if all I do in a day is breathe. As much as I want to be with my daughter I am not failing at life, I am breathing. As much of a failure I feel and know I am I am not failing at life. It’s very hard to not try and kill myself, in all honesty I have thought about it a lot, every week, I have written a suicide letter and have worked out exactly how many painkillers I need for my weight and have set them out in front of me but I haven’t done it. As much as I hurt I haven’t let my husband or mum go through the pain I am going through.
Don’t mistake this for feeling suicidal, this is normal, wanting to be with my baby, to be able to cherish her and look after her is not a wrong feeling, it is normal.
I am breathing.