A Reflection On The Last 11 Months

11 months have passed some days it feels so raw some days it feels like it happened so long ago.

This time last year we were getting excited and ready for the arrival of our new addition to the family. 11 months on we are dealing with grief and heart ache.

When I look back at the last 11 months I see a stronger version of myself not because I’ve had to but because I chose too. In the early days of grief and losing Violet someone said to me “because you have too” no you don’t everyone has a choice and my choice was to be strong and carry on for Violet. I also knew if I didn’t I would end up not being where I am today.

I look over the months and see myself someone who has stood tall through it all and proud to have become a mother. The first months dealing with grief and the loss of Violet was hard which you would expect. No one is going to get up and say “ok I’m fine now” after a month. I pretty much spent the first two months living in my pjs drinking tea, not going out at all and staying up half the night because I couldn’t sleep. I spent plenty of days crying In fact most of my days I would sit for hours crying with my husband sat cradling me as I wept where ever I was at the moment I needed to break down and cry. The first time I went out after Violet was born I braved getting in the car and going out to Asda the furthest one away so that we didn’t bump into anyone. At the time It wasn’t long after I’d given birth to Violet probably about two weeks. I’ll never ever forget the lady at the check out said “when are you due?” I felt a moment of silence and the woman’s face when I said “I’m not” and walked off leaving my husband and the shopping behind. To then get in the car and break down in tears. If only she knew. How could I face ever living on with my life without Violet in it? But I did and I have been doing for the last 11 months.

The week after Violet being born we planned for Violets funeral. It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done and for any parent ever. It took a lot of courage for us to walk into the funeral directors and say “my baby died” the funeral directors were really nice and very very empathetic. I will be writing a blog post on planning for Violet’s funeral I haven’t as yet as it’s been the toughest post to write.

Christmas was about to arrive I was not looking forward to it at all. We attended my husbands Christmas party which was the first event we had been too since Violet was born. I was dreading it but also wanted to enjoy it. I remember sitting there feeling nervous as hell as the people we were going with all knew what had happened and some are our close friends who we’d hadn’t yet seen us only at Violet’s funeral. People came up to us to say how sorry they were and if they can do anything to let them know, unsure of what but we noticed this was a thing people said I think it was more of a ‘I’m thinking about you but I don’t really know what to say’ although deep down everyone knew we wouldn’t be ringing a stranger saying “can I come round to weep on your shoulder”. It was nice to be thought about and that people showed they do care something at the time we needed. As Christmas came around it was pretty quite for us just how we wanted I found it really difficult having our first Christmas without Violet we had planned so much, even buying matching Christmas pjs. We got through it and tried to enjoy it as much as possible. January and February was quite we literally did nothing I tried to recover from being ill with Sepsis and still had visits to the hospital which I needed to attend. By February I had decided to return to work for my own sanity as being in the house alone was like torture I was making myself worse.

Going back to work for me was a massive achievement and something I thought I would never do. Like many I must have been the first to return to work. I didn’t want to but I forced myself to go back and I did. Something I now regret. Work has been let’s say challenging. Mainly because it’s difficult no one know what’s to say, everyone just seems to rush by without batting an eye lid your actually sat there. Or that’s how it feels from some.

Time has passed has it got easier? Yes. Things don’t feel so raw although it’s all still there at the front of my mind. Time really does pass by and the world does carry on. I can honestly say I was dreading and am dreading October.

October is Violet’s birthday month and also pregnancy and infant loss awareness month. I will try and make it as special as possible but I have already found it extremely difficult knowing that this time last year my baby died.

I have come so far in the 11 months I’ve also met some amazing parents. I couldn’t even see myself doing half of what I’ve done. I’ve grieved, returned to work, raised awareness for Sands, Group B Strep and The U.K. Sepsis Trust via social media. I’ve climbed a mountain in memory of Violet and raised £900, myself and my husband set up a fund ‘Violets Wishes’ which has raised so far over £1500 and I’m up for an award at this years Butterfly awards, I’m involved in a research study at the University of Manchester, I’ve helped changed the path way of care as well setting up all my social media and helping raise awareness to others. I’m amazed how far I’ve come some times it makes me realise just how far when I write it all down or reflect on the past few months. I can honestly say I wouldn’t of changed it for the world all because it’s in memory of Violet to keep her name alive. This is all a massive achievement for me already all though to others it may not seem a lot.

Although the last 11 months have been very difficult they some how have also been memorable moments and massive achievements!

Question is where will the next twelve months take me….?

Grace xox

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