Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Just love those kicks in the guts...

A 'Big W' catalogue.  That was what set me off.  The bumper baby edition which I used to look forward to.  I LOVE buying baby clothes, you see, it's my thing.  I adore those tiny little dresses and cute jumpsuits and tiny hats and socks.  So when I got the mag in the mailbox I initially thought, 'Great!' and then (in the few steps back to the door) realised that the last thing I really wanted to look at was baby clothes.  Kick in the guts number 9057...

I'm getting a bit sick of these kicks, I'll tell you that now.  It's bad enough that we have to live without our daughter, why can't the rest of the our lives continue?  Every time I look at a mum with a baby in a pram; pow!  A pregnant lady; pow!  Nappies in a trolley at the supermarket; pow!  Forget walking into Target or Big W or Pumpkin Patch, all my old haunts, it's just too much.  I can't even drive past a baby shop any more without that familiar ache redoubling it's efforts to puree my insides.  Puree; yet another thing I can't walk past in a supermarket...

I've had a few kicks in the guts recently.  My big little man Xav started school last week, and we had been looking forward to this for months.  I wasn't sad about it.  It was exciting, and he was so looking forward to it.  We rock up and stand out the front of the classroom with all the other nervous mums and excited kids.  A couple of the kinder mums from last year avoid talking to me.  Pow.  One of the other mums is pregnant. Pow.  Three have little ones in prams. Pow, pow, pow.  G and I walk Xav in to the room, the classroom I taught in for my whole pregnancy with Poppy.  Pow.  We settle Xavi in and say goodbye and head for the door.  I get halfway across the oval before the biggest kick.  We should have Poppy with us.  She should have been one of the babies in the line of prams heading into the classroom, and Xav should have kissed her goodbye. 

The paper thin resolve I have left crumbles and I burst into tears as we leave the school.  I'm sure other parents just thought I was one of those mums who was shattered to be leaving her little boy at big school.  But I was shattered because I never imagined I would leave my only child at school.  I imagined I'd be busy with a newborn, chatting to other mums and asking after the kids I'd taught in previous years.  But instead I am walking away empty handed.  Again.

When you lose a child, something inside of you breaks.  But what I am finding the most difficult to deal with is the ripple effect of that break.  It's like when a window shatters and the spiderweb of cracks spreads in so many directions.  You can't predict which way those cracks will go.  I never expected to not be able to face supermarket shopping, or junk mail.  That I would live in constant fear that I might run into someone I haven't seen for ages and they ask me how I am and I might tell the truth instead of putting on the facade of ok-ness, or I'll meet someone new and they'll ask how many children I have.  These are the unexpected effects of the shattering of my heart.

There are some positive things that were unexpected.  I wasn't expecting that my husband and I would become closer than we have ever been, and become better at understanding one another.  I wasn't expecting to meet some amazing women online who know what I'm on about when I lament the arrival of the newest Big W catalogue.  Or that I would find out that my boss appreciates me at work and that many of the families of kids I've taught over the past few years thought highly enough of me to send cards and flowers and attend Poppy's funeral.  I am more thankful now for my family and my son, and the friends who make the effort to dig me out of the big black hole I often live in and ask me out to things.  But I knew I had great friends and family, I just appreciate them more now.

I guess I just wish life was normal again.  I wish I was happy, and that G and Xav were happy.  I wish we had Poppy with us.  I don't wish she wasn't born, because I value what she taught me.  But I wish we had never had to experience such a traumatic event in our lives.  I wish buying bread and milk wasn't an event I need to prepare for emotionally.  I'd like to be able to walk to the mailbox without worrying what I might find in the junk mail.  It would be great to feel happy for people having babies instead of jealous of them. 

I can't change what's happened but I can refuse to accept that my whole life has gone to the dogs.  And I can make sure one of the kicks the guts doesn't happen.  I might just stick a 'No Junk Mail' sticker on my letter box...


  1. Bec I am continually amazed at your courage and persistence.
    xo Louise

  2. Hi Bec,
    I think of you every time I call Maddie her nickname which is Poppet (*sigh*) and my heart aches for you. Please know that although I have never experienced what you have and can't possibly begin to understand I am always here to give you a hug, a tissue and wear my "listening ears".
    Susan xxox