June

The month of June, I look forward to it but I also dread it. I love it but I also dislike it.

June marks the half way point of the year, and dare I say it, only another six months until Christmas, eek! June is also the beginning of summer in England and the beginning of winter in New Zealand. Living in New Zealand now for just over 12 years I am well adjusted to the seasons here, but June will always be a summer month to me.
I celebrate and remember some pretty special people during this month. The first week of June, it is one of my younger brothers birthday and Little Misses birthday. (I still remember the same brother saying to me shortly before I had Little Miss that I wasn’t too have her on his birthday, as it was his day). Brothers huh?

June 2nd 2011 was the day my beloved Grandpa passed away, he lived for 97 years, pretty good innings huh? And the 3rd June 2011 was the day I delivered our beloved, firstborn baby boy Alex.

This year marked five years since we met him and said goodbye to him. Wow, five years, it’s quite a milestone huh? The build up to the day was harder that the actual day itself, it always is. I had the day planned, I knew how we would celebrate his day and we did.

It is a day to remember him, but of course it is also a day to celebrate. I miss him everyday, and often find my mind wandering at different times of the day, what would he look like, what would he enjoy? What would he have liked for his fifth birthday?

A few days leading up to his birthday I explained to Little Miss that we would be having a family day for Alex’s birthday. Mummy and Daddy would not be going to work and the four of us would have a day of fun. Little Miss decided Chipmunks would be a great idea (indoor soft play venue), followed by cupcakes for afternoon tea and a trip to the cemetery with Nana and Grandad (my Husband’s parents) to do our balloon release.

When I was having this conversation with Little Miss, one evening after dinner, she looked at me and said “But Mummy, Alex is supposed to go to school this year”. With these words I burst into tears. Just hearing these words from my daughter made the event seem more real. I hadn’t felt like crying prior to my chat with her, so the tears caught myself as well as her off guard. I guess with the lead up to the actual day, the tears were a form of release. Little Miss and I shared a hug and I explained to her that Alex couldn’t go to school because he lives with the stars, but he would be watching over her when it will be her and Mr Happy’s turn to venture off to school.

To us Alex is our shining star, we look to the sky at night and we can always see him. Little Miss will always point to one of the brightest stars and says it is Alex. For me and our family I feel it is really important to have a symbol we can look for and see and be able to think of our boy and big brother.

We had a lovely day remembering Alex and celebrating his fifth year. To me as hard as it is, his birthday is a celebration. He existed, he was and still is my first born baby. I think of him everyday, and these days I smile. It wasn’t always easy to smile but know I feel that I can.

Here are some of the photos from our day.

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Mr Happy

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Slide Fun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Five Yummy Cupcakes

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Beautiful Flowers 3 vases xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Balloon release

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xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mothers Day

Sunday May 8th is Mothers Day in New Zealand, Australia (where some amazing Mumma’s live!) as well as several other countries. The day to awknowledge our special Mum’s and thank them for everyone they have done and continue to do for us. This day has always been a day I haven’t forgotten (memory of an elephant over here!) and now I am a Mum myself it is even more significant.

Unfortunately Mothers Day isn’t always a joyous event, it ends up being another day we would rather just forget about.

Mothers Day 2011, I was pregnant with our firstborn, dear Alex. I remember working that day and a few people mentioned to me, that Mothers Day next year would be my first Mothers Day because my baby would be here. Apparently, some people thought being obviously pregnant means you aren’t a Mother yet or deserve a Mothers Day. At the time I didn’t think anything of it, why would I? I would have my baby next year to celebrate being a Mummy with.

Moving on to Mothers Day 2012. I was heavily pregnant with my second baby, (with our soon to be four year old daughter). This Mothers Day officially sucked arse! I was angry and sad my baby wasn’t in my arms. I knew I was a Mother but I thought back to the comments I had the previous year, this WAS supposed to be my ‘first’ Mothers Day. Instead, I was blessed to be pregnancy but also mourning the loss of my boy. I remember my thoughts drifted to “Why me? Why my baby? And would I be able to celebrate Mothers Day next year?”

You are probably wondering what it the point of this blog post? Well, for me I look forward to Mothers Day, as I’m sure most Mothers do, but I also dread it. As my boy’s fifth anniversary looms next month I find myself thinking about him more and more as the day comes closer. And sadly Mothers Day is another reminder that I have three children but only two to wrap my arms around.

Mothers Day can be incredibly difficult for Mothers that have lost children or are yet to have living children and of course those that do not have their mother around to share the day with.

Some women will choose to ignore this day and want to hide away from the world and that is fine, but please remember you are a Mother, this beautiful quote from Franchesca Cox sums up exactly how I and some others Mum’s feel

“A Mother is not defined by the number of children you can see, but by the love she holds in her heart”

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My beautiful ‘Queen Mum’ mug from Sands New Plymouth xxx

 

This is an awesome article by Lexi Behrndt of Scribbles and Crumbs

7 Ways To Remember the Hurting Mothers This Mother’s Day

Please be kind to yourself  on this day if it is particulary hard for you, sending love and hugs dear Mumma.

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Guest Blog post: Mama Love Magazine

A little while ago, Leigh from Mama Love Magazine was looking for writers to share stories about Motherhood and tales of Inspiring and amazing women. The posts are titled ‘Tales From The Hood’.

I got in contact with Leigh and I told her about my blog, my passion for writing and hopefully helping others through my experiences.

I was asked to write a piece on my experience and my feelings after I lost Alex in 2011. To begin with I actually found it really hard to write what I wanted to say, and for the first time I experienced a touch of writers block!

In the end the words flowed and it all came together.

I have since reread the piece several times since it posted on the Mama Love Magazine website and I am so, so proud. I actually think this is one of my favourite pieces of writing.

Stacey xxx

After The Loss Of Alex- Mama Love Magazine

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Dear Lily

I realise as I start to write this, the person who it is intended for my actually never see it. But that is not going to stop me from writing. I need to write to this person, they need to know how their story has provided me with comfort at times. What we have both experienced, as well as what others have experienced, well there are no words to explain it. There are many words I could use to describe it, but I am not going to list those words right now.

As soon as I saw the post on social media post yesterday morning, I had to open the link immediately. I read the brief story and then I listened, to a beautifully written song.

Here is the song “Something’s Not Right” Lily Allen contributed to the movie Pan.

 

Lily Allen thank you. Thank you for sharing this song and your thoughts about your Son with the world.

I remember hearing and reading about the loss of your son five years ago, I was heartbroken for you. I couldn’t imagine what you were thinking, feeling and going through at that time. I felt sad for you and just wanted what I reading not too be true. Through your music and seeing you perform live, you came across as such a feisty, carefree and strong woman. Would or could you still be this woman I imagined she you were this heartbreaking loss? I guess the only person who can answer that is Lily herself.

Lily you have kept your loss of your Son private and I thank you for now sharing. On the anniversary of the fifth year since you first met your boy. The words are beautiful and honest. You may of been told you are a strong and brave woman, and you truly are. Although at times you would not of felt like that. I too have had those words to me and I too do not feel strong and brave. I have experienced something very similar to you though, I too lost my firstborn baby, a Son.

I mentioned earlier I remember the time when you had your loss, it was before I knew I was pregnant with my first baby. After my loss, I thought about you and realised we had something in common, we had both joined a club we didn’t want to join. I find myself rereading your story on the Internet, I was desperate to talk to anybody who understood and could give me any form of comfort at that time.

Like yourself, I too am a strong supporter of Sands. I went to my first meeting a month after Alex died and I still go to monthly meetings now, four years on. I am extremely passionate about Sands and I’m constantly searching for ways to awknowledge Alex’s memory.

I will now end this note to you now Lily, we will probably never meet but I wanted you to know how truly special this song is, thank you again for sharing it. I know it is not always for everyone to share and put their thoughts and feeling out there for others to read and hear.

Here on The Daily Mail website Lily Allen shares how losing her Son is something “I’ll never get over”

I will end this post by sharing my favourite Lily Allen song ‘The Fear’

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Remembering and Reflecting

October can be an up and down month for me. It’s getting closer to Christmas, I’m already planning what to buy and how we will celebrate the day and the weather is starting to get warmer. The clocks have gone forward so summer is officially around the corner. I find the the beginning of the month is pretty busy and an incredibly emotional time, remembering Alex. There are a couple of big events during this month. The 9th-15th is Babyloss awareness week. For me this was the first year I helped to organise the events to symbolise this important time.

As I am now the Secretary of our local Sands group. I realise now as I write this that some people may not know what Sands stands for. It used to be an acronym, Stillbirth and neonatal death support (I think!) but nowadays pregnancy, baby and infant loss support is how New Zealand describe Sands. Geez, I hope this is making sense. Here’s the link for . I have a lot of love for Sands, I truely believe if it hadn’t been for Sands, I’m sure my grief would of taken me down a very, dark path…..

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Love this xxx

Back to Babyloss awareness week……. I volunteered to contact the local paper to ask if we could advertise our events in our area. I got in touch with the paper towards the end of September and received a yes quickly and then waited to hear back from them.

I was contacted on the first Monday of the month, (which is actually the day when we have the Sands monthly meeting in the evening), we arranged to do an interview for the newspaper the following day. Whilst I was at the meeting , I received a phone call from the reporter who was going to be during the story and she asked if there would be someone willing to talk about Stillbirth. I discussed with he group about the phone conversation and I said I could share my story about Alex.

For me four years into my journey, I felt I had the strength to share my story. For the first few years I felt I had to hide the fact my first baby had died and I had a stillbirth. It sounds a bit strange to me now, but I felt I had to protect myself and him. Plus, I also found the tears would come nearly every time I spoke of him. But now, I feel very privileged to share my story, I’m a proud Mum of three. Speaking about him, does take me back to the events of four years ago,  but it’s ok. They are extremely important memories and it’s a pleasure in include him. Read my story here

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Stuff.co.nz Friday 9th October 2015

I had such an overwhelming response to my story being in the newspaper and a massive THANK YOU to those of you who took the time to message me, leave a comment, I even heard from people I don’t talk to much these days, it I was really pleased to with the way the article turned out. The reporter was lovely and as I shed a few tears whist talking about certain parts, it was comforting to not feel awkward about crying in front of someone I hadn’t met before. I now know allowing the tears to flow are good, they are a good and healthy release.

Our balloon release last Sunday the 11th went well and it was featured in the local paper. As much as I am proud to share my story, I am mainly pleased about raising awareness for Sands and hopefully helping others. I would anyone to feel alone in their loss and grief. Link to the Taranaki Daily News article discussing the balloon release Balloons released to remember lost babies

October 15th is when we remember our precious babies by lighting a candle at 7pm, and letting it burn for an hour. This is done all around the world and therefore it is referred to as ‘Wave of Light’. There was a service at the chapel at the hospital, and myself and a few other mums arranged songs and readings. I actually did a reading this year, those who know may know I’m not a public speaker but I felt I wanted to read something. When I thought about what to read, the only thing I thought of was a reading I read at Alex’s funeral. I hadn’t looked at it since I read it out over four years ago, but it seemed the right time to share it. So, I got up and read it, had to read through the lump in my throat in a couple of places, but I did it. When I sat down, I cried. Reading it out loud again took my mind back to his funeral. But I’m glad I read it and I had some lovely comments from people afterwards.

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‘Wave of Light’. Candle lit at 7pm, burned for one hour.

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Individual candles lit to remember our babies

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All set up ready for people to light their own individual candles

 

 

I’m pretty pleased that part of the month is over, it’s emotionally exhausting but worthwhile all at the same time.

This month I was also the feature blogger for AskingMums, check out my blog post if you haven’t already. It has been a real honour to share some of thoughts and ramblings with people. Here is my first submission to AskingMums Mummy Guilt

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I also have a few more things planned, so watch this space!

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Love, Empowerment and Strength through Loss – Part 1 (3 part series)

This is my story of birthing Alex, my Stillborn first baby and birthing my two subsequent children.

I also share the what happened on the day we discovered he had died and the events leading up to his birth.

Part Two and Part Three to follow

Source: Love, Empowerment and Strength through Loss – Part 1 (3 part series)