Blue Monday?  I have a blue kitchen..

There’s been lots of talk this week about people having a “blue Monday” or a “blue week” as apparently people are skint from Christmas/New Year/Sale shopping and have fallen off the wagon when it comes to New Year’s resolutions.  Well if those are your major problems in life to be upset over well boo f*cking hoo or at least that’s what I want to say to people.

Of course I don’t wish to belittle anyone who is genuinely suffering from depression, as it is an awful illness but those people who are sad because of minor issues like the weather I just want to grab and violently shake.

I wake up and every day is a blue Monday, as the first thing I think of when I open my eyes in the morning, like most parents, is my children.  I’m then slapped in the face by reality and the fact only one of them is alive.  My little girl Aurora makes me smile despite the blue start and proves there is always a little sunshine in the darkness if you focus on the light no matter how hard that can be.   I’m so used to feeling “blue” that it has become just another part of me.

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The face that makes me smile every morning

On the positive side because of this sadness within me other things going wrong seem to just be absorbed into the same abyss that’s already there, so I don’t feel anymore sad but exactly the same as I did before.  For example our washing machine just gave up the ghost and a few years ago it’d have meant maximum stress about the cost but we simply ordered a new one on our credit card, to be paid for later all sorted.  Minimum drama and less fuss as my mum says “don’t sweat the small stuff”.

So to those of you who think you have issues this week then….

You’ve put on a few pounds since Christmas and the diet you started on the 1stJanuary you’ve given up on already, so now you’re depressed.  Think yourself lucky at least you’re not living on the streets homeless and hungry.  At least you’re healthy too and not in hospital battling some horrendous disease or sat beside a loved one who is.

The weather is a bit grey and miserable so it’s making you feel down.  Well you do live in the UK and it is winter so get over it or look to emigrate.  Change your situation. Remember also that grey and miserable can be pretty too just change your perspective and wear bright colours to compensate.

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Look for the sunshine through the grey clouds

So you spent too much money over Christmas and New Year so you feel a little down.  Why not start a side line business connected to a hobby or dig out some things you don’t want any more and sell them?  Basically stop moping and get moving.  Do something about it and change things.  You have the power!  (Now I sound like He-man I do apologise)  Websites like Ebay have always been popular but also look at selling things through sites and apps such as Depop and Facebook marketplace.  If you’re really struggling then get advice from the Citizens advice bureau they can give impartial advice on debt and other issues.

Given up on whatever New Year’s resolutions you started?  If they involved spending money on gym membership, then cancel it and donate the cash to charity, think of the actual good you can do with it instead. The time you’d have spent in the gym you can spend volunteering at a homeless shelter, local dogs home (that’d be great free exercise!) or visiting elderly people? Think of the good you can do for others instead of focussing inwards on how bad you feel personally. Stop being selfish and think of other people instead.  I can honestly tell you that you will start to feel much much better just try it!

You can easily find volunteering opportunities in your community via sites like the Do it Trust

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Grey can sometimes be quite beautiful even in winter

Chin up; keep going and soon it’ll be springtime.

Big love,

Sarah x

 

 

What a difference a year makes?

Today is the official birthday of our baby boy Arthur George who was born sleeping at 22 weeks of pregnancy.  Legally he doesn’t exist as he has no birth certificate or death certificate as he didn’t draw breath.  If he had he would technically have been alive.

He was a termination for medical reasons known as TMR and it was the hardest decision myself and my husband have ever had to make (read more about it in this earlier post) but we knew it was the right one to make as he wouldn’t have survived to full term passing anyway around 30 weeks so we felt it was the kindest decision.  We still wondered and worried as to whether we were right.

We were still grieving the loss of Violet and then felt as though we were burying our last little bit of hope when we said goodbye to her brother.  We entered a period of darkness even darker than we could imagine and felt our little flicker of hope we had extinguish completely when we were informed there was a 50/50 chance of future seriously ill babies like Arthur.  A few months later we got the surprise news of another pregnancy.  A pregnancy fraught with worry, stress and anguish as we wondered if once again the light we thought we could see at the end of the dark tunnel was in fact yet another high speed train set to derail us once again.

Now exactly a year to the day we held and said goodbye to our little son I’m holding another 5 week old little daughter, Aurora.

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Aurora at 3 weeks old.

We named her Aurora as it means “Goddess of the Dawn” and “Light”.  We thought this was beautiful and had special resonance for us as we now can start to see daylight again through the fog.

Happy birthday to our little rainbow Arthur George who taught us to dream and hope again after the loss of our first precious daughter Violet.

He also made us more determined to change more babies lives by raising more money for Violet’s cardiac surgery fund at Alder Hey Hospital and we set a date for the Violet Ball at the end of this month, 29th September at Radisson Edwardian hotel in Manchester you can get more information here.  There are tickets still available and we are looking for raffle prizes too so if you can help please get in touch.

Love and thanks

Sarah xx

 

Somewhere after the rainbow

Everyone talks about “rainbow” pregnancies and what a blessing they are.

It is very true that when we were expecting Arthur we were overjoyed and all of a sudden we had a new lease of life.  We had hope for our future, as a family and truly believed the sun was shining on us again.

Yes we were still immensely sad about Violet and our grief for her was still strong but we had a renewed sense of optimism towards the future especially after we had Arthur’s 16 week scan and they confirmed that unlike Violet’s his heart looked ok.  We were ecstatic and so relieved that we genuinely looked forward to his 20 week scan as they would double check his heart again in more detail but if there were any slight abnormalities then they would be minor.

Arthur scan

We were so pleased and reassured by his 16 week scan results that we even felt confident enough to let friends and others know we were now expecting.  That in January 2018 Violet was going to be a big sister.

Then we had the 20-week scan.  Arthur’s heart did still look ok but what didn’t look right was his brain.  The sonographer wouldn’t/couldn’t tell us too much other than his brain didn’t look how it was supposed to look and she would have to refer us to a top specialist.  Our world crumbled.  We then had to wait over a week before we could see a specialist to get more details.

We were heartbroken. The fact that something might have been wrong with his brain hadn’t even dawned on us, as we almost expected a heart defect and as we knew from our experience with Violet that wouldn’t necessarily have been a deal breaker as a heart can be fixed but a brain?  The interim week waiting to see the specialist was one of the longest in our lives and in the meantime I could feel little Arthur kicking and wriggling around much more hyperactive than Violet had been.

When we finally saw the specialist he explained that Arthur’s brain had declined and become even more severe, just in the week since our previous scan.  The issue was the amount of fluid in his brain, which was already so vast it had crushed most remaining parts of the brain including the area responsible for reflex and animal impulses like breathing and swallowing. The increased movement from Arthur was put down to the nerves being over stimulated by the fluid sloshing around his brain.  His symptoms weren’t even anywhere near the borderline and in fact he was so beyond this that the prognosis was that he might at best reach 30 weeks of pregnancy and then would die.  His head would be so large and full of fluid that he wouldn’t be able to be birthed and would have to be removed through caesarean section, which could have complications for me too and given my age we were told if we still wanted other children then losing him earlier would be the kindest option for everyone.

We explored every alternative but I couldn’t bear the thought of my little boy suffering (incidentally his deformity had affected him so badly that they couldn’t even identify his gender through the scan) and it wasn’t until I birthed him at 22 weeks that we realised he was a little boy.  Having to end his life was the hardest decision we have ever had to make but the thought of him suffering and declining further was too much to bear. Having to give birth to him was traumatic and extremely upsetting.  We did get to meet our little boy while he still looked like a healthy but tiny baby and he was beautiful like a miniature version of his daddy with dark brown hair.  We spent several days saying goodbye to him in hospital and gave him a funeral service before burying his ashes with his sister almost a year to the day that we lost her too.

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We will never forget our little boy and we miss him more than imaginable but it is a very different type of grief to that that we have over Violet. We knew her, shared experiences together, heard her laugh, babble away incessantly and have a million photos of her that we can look at too.  In a way this makes it easier as we have constant beautiful reminders of our memories of Violet.  I find I’m much angrier at the world over Violet because she had battled and overcome so much in her short life that it feels much more cruel for her to have been taken away as she was.

Grieving Arthur is much more difficult as his loss so early was our decision however his brain abnormalities weren’t and he would never have survived to full term anyway.  Never been able to breathe or swallow unaided if he had survived to full term.  It is the cruelty of us having to endure this on top of losing Violet that I find very hard to bear.  I remember screaming “how much pain do they want us to go through”, “what have we done to deserve this” and “how cruel is the world”.

People talk about rainbow babies and how they are “God’s gift” well Arthur did fill us with hope for the future before it was cruelly ripped from us again.  I’m often asked why I don’t believe in God and this is the reason why.

Now we are struggling to discover what there is “somewhere over the rainbow” or as I like to say we are somewhere after the rainbow; what happens when you’ve had a rainbow and it is faded and disappeared?

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We look for the next one I guess and try to keep positive.

Lots of love

Sarah x