Sunday, October 2, 2016

As some of you may know, October is Baby Loss Awareness month. Our Lily and our loss is something I have never been quiet about and I am saddened when I hear of people who feel they can't talk about their baby or their loss. In 2013 I took part in the Capture Your Grief project and I am going to do it again this year (I missed a day but that's ok!). This is the only time you will find me hash-tagging! Lol.
#captureyourgrief #iwanttotalkaboutit

October 2nd - Capture your grief Day 2
~Who are they?~
She is my Lily Tyne. She is the child who made me a mum. She is someone that taught me more about love than I ever knew. She is my inspiration. She is a big sister Zeke talks about often. She is a part of our family that is forever loved and immensely missed.
It's funny, when I think about her now, I remember holding her small body in my arms and I remember the baby she was, but I think of her as a 5 year old. I think about her as though we had lost a walking, talking, playing child, though we never even heard her cry. I miss the memories we desperately wanted to have and I often look at Zeke and Annie and wonder what she would have been like. Would she have been a deep thinker, or cheeky, or funny or theatrical?
She is forever my baby but what we lost was a complete life and I will spend the rest of mine wondering what could have been, while accepting and embracing, loving, what was. She was worth every moment and IS still loved and missed.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Enough is Enough!

Those who know me well know I'm not very good at staying quiet, so today I am going to reaffirm that by posting this out there.

In a few places around our country today the marchformoko was held where people attended a walk, making a stand, demanding better protection of our children. I couldn't attend the Hamilton one, but wished I could, so instead I have changed my profile pictures away from the beautiful pictures of my beautiful, amazingly loved children, to messages saying 'enough is enough'.


New Zealand has the fifth worst child abuse record out of 31 OE

CD Countries, and that is disgusting, we are doing something wrong!

More than 30,000 NZers got together to march against the TPPA (great!) but what is it going to take to get that many people to STAND TOGETHER against child abuse? Don't quietly sit by and discuss your opinions and ideas around a small dinner table, lets stand side by side in our streets, in the schools, it's time to make some drastic changes!

I don't have the answers, I don't know how to change it, but clearly what we are doing isn't working! Maybe we start with tougher sentencing (currently it's a bit of a joke if you ask me), or less 'second (or third or fourth) chances' for parents. More support for parents? More help?
The children of this nation, are this nations future, it's about time we start looking after them ALL.

Speak out! Speak up! Make your voice heard, for the sake of those not listened to, for the sake of our children and our future.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mother's Day 2016

This Mother’s day, we know of a family who, earlier this week, had to say goodbye to their little one just a couple of weeks before they were due to meet her, and it has reminded me of my first Mother’s day.

5 years ago I had my first Mother’s Day. My baby had come, but she had also gone and I wondered if I was still a ‘mum’ and I learned some big lessons about motherhood. Firstly, I learned just how many different forms there are that mothers come in and once a mother, always a mother.

Mother’s day 2011, for me, wasn’t about holding my child close, getting extra snuggles and revelling in how amazing my baby was, or liking the extra sleep in that day. It wasn’t about handmade presents and breakfast in bed. It was about remembering  a life that had already come and gone, a life that was too short, but a life that changed the person I was, and the person I would be tomorrow, a life that made me a mother and a mum. It was about taking joy in the life that was and everything she had given us, but there was a level of grieving for what would never be.

This Mother’s day, 2016, I did find joy in a sleep in, in the wonderful, handmade gifts and cards, this year I get plenty of snuggles. But there is always something missing, not just on Mother’s Day, but every day, Lily left a hole that can never be filled or fixed, she can never be replaced.

Don’t get me wrong, my life is awesome, amazing, fantastic, I love it! But something will always be missing.

Happy Mother's Day to all the mums out there, those holding their children and those who can't, to the mother's to be and the mother's who should be.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Happy? Bereaved Mothers Day

I hope you took a moment today to send some love to a special mum you know. 

And to all those mums blowing kisses into the wind and hoping they get to our babies, this journey is a tough one. You are strong and you have the strength to continue to walk this walk, even if you have to take pauses along the way. 

Saturday, April 30, 2016

International Bereaved Mothers Day

Mothers day is coming up in just over a week and I love this celebration. I love being able to celebrate my own, special mum, and also the other mums in my life, 2 step mums and a mother in law, all wonderful women worth celebrating!

I also love mothers day because I get to celebrate it with my children, because we can have a day as a family, with pictures and cards, breakfasts etc made by my kids. But I do remember that first mother's day after I had Lily, wondering what the day really meant to me, could I celebrate mothers day even though I couldn't hold my child in my arms? Could I still claim to be a mum even though I didn't have the task of raising my child?

5 years on and 2 more kids, I am certainly a mum in all ways, but I am no more a mum now, than I was 5 years ago, I may not have my Lily in my arms and I may never hear her tell me she loves me, or "Happy Mothers Day". But I have been a mum since the moment she existed.

Tomorrow, Sunday May 1st, is 'International Bereaved Mothers Day'. While these mums deserved to be acknowledged on Mothers Day (Sunday May 8th), tomorrow, please remember all the mums you know who are missing a child, you may be surprised how many people you know have lost a child. If you talk to them, mention their baby's name, tell them you are thinking of them today. And if nothing else, send them an encouraging message on the good old Facebook, remind them they are thought of, their babies remembered (even if you never knew their child), it's not hard, and it doesn't have to take you long, but it could mean a lot to that person. It doesn't matter how long ago they lost their child, it is a heartache that will never leave them, it is something they will always be thinking about.

And if, when you are talking to her, a tear runs down her cheek, don't panic, don't change the subject, give her a hug, or simply give her a moment, when it comes to our babies we can no longer touch, a tear is never far away, but that doesn't mean we don't want to hear their name or talk about them, and it means a great deal to hear you speak their name, to acknowledge they existed and remind us we aren't the only ones thinking about them and remembering them.

And if you have some time... ask the mum her story, most mums and babies have one and want to share it! Just be prepared to listen.

Happy Bereaved Mothers Day to all the mums out there who long to one day hold their baby/babies in their arms, to tell them 'I love you' face to face and of course, to hear it back. 

Friday, April 22, 2016

Surprises of grief

When I look back to 5 years ago and the memories surrounding our time with Lily there is much that I remember, both good and bad, and the grief of losing a baby, that never goes away and I am often surprised at when it comes back with force, but reading back on my posts from that time, I realise there is so much I don't remember.

5 years ago, here, I wrote about not being able to understand what grief was doing in my life at the time, the panic I was feeling at different aspects of my life that had, in the past, been perfectly normal tasks, simple things like going to the supermarket.

If you asked me to talk about what grief felt like for me and what I experienced, I would tell you about discovering that 'heartbreak' was a physical feeling, not just an emotional one, I might tell you about my experience of the emotional roller coaster that I had never experienced before, or the feeling of seeing people when I was out walking, or about specific events that I remember, like the Balloons over Waikato night glow festival that happened not long after I had Lily where I made it through without breaking down by imagining what fireworks must look like from heaven, perfection right? I might even try to explain the feeling of the first time going to the movies after we lost Lily, but the anxiety and panic over everyday things is not something that springs to mind.

Grief is such an individual journey and everyone experiences it differently, but reading todays 5 year ago blog reminds me how far I have come, grief never goes away but it does stop being the all consuming feeling that it is at the beginning. It still jumps out at me at times and I do still break down and cry and that heart break feeling, it is just as powerful as that first day, but over the past 5 years, without even trying, I have found ways to cope, to carry the grief without letting it consume me.

Zeke, almost 4, talks so often about Lily and every time he mentions her name my heart flutters and I feel like we have done something right in keeping her memory alive and her place in our family is never diminished. He talks about her like he knew her, like he met her and held her. He talks about her as his sister and says things like he wishes she didn't die, he wishes she was here and for him that's not a depressing statement, it's a beautiful statement of a boy who just wishes he could spend time with a member of his family.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

I love those reminders on Facebook about what you posted this day in previous years. It is always interesting to look back on and especially for me, around this time when, 5 years ago, losing Lily was still so fresh. I feel I knew and understood more then than I do now! Anyway, 5 years ago I posted this and it is still as true today as it was then. Having Lily was a very special time in our lives and we often speak of it in this way as that is the part we chose to focus on, but it was also the hardest time of my life and the pain is always there, and always will be. If I had to, I would do it again, every moment was worth it, but losing your child is to lose a huge part of yourself and not something I would ever wish on anyone. But at the same time, I wouldn't give it up. The time we had with Lily was all we were ever going to get, and every moment was worth it. What she brought us, was worth the pain because it was so much more than pain. In the 8 months of Lily's life, she made me a mum and I had to play parts of that role in those short months that some mums (thankfully) never have to play, instead of having years to learn how to become the best mum I could, I had weeks and while my heart will always be broken and something will always be missing, I know I did everything I could for my daughter, I fought for her, I provided the best environment I could for her to thrive, I prayed for her, I cheered for her, I hoped for her and above all else, I loved her with every thing I have.

The end of the poem says "we never wanted memories, we only wanted you" and while that is true, I am also thankful for having the memories. Memories that remind me she is real, remind me of something so beautiful and so special, it broke my heart to say goodbye. Memories are all I can have now, and that's ok (today...)

If we could have a lifetime wish
A dream that would come true,
We'd pray to God with all our hearts
For yesterday and You.
A thousand words can't bring you back
We know because we've tried...
Neither will a thousand tears
We know because we've cried...
You left behind our broken hearts
And happy memories too...
But we never wanted memories
We only wanted You.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

5 years ago today, more than 3 weeks before she was even due to be born, we said our final goodbye to our beautiful baby and used her funeral to celebrate her short life.

We were lucky enough to have been able to have an open casket (she wasn't embalmed) until just before we left for the church. People had left notes and small gifts for Lily and when we closed the lid on her casket, you should have seen how much love was physically surrounding her! She was dressed in a beautiful hand knitted cardi and booties, wrapped in an amazingly beautiful crochet, mohair blanket, there was a book written and illustrated for her (and us) in there, a special rosary, letters, my first attempts at knitting hats (not on her head though because her hair was so beautiful I didn't want to cover it!), small soft toys, and jewellery.
Her casket was white, the front had a picture her great grandmother painted for her on it of a water lily and all over the rest of it were messages of love from people who had come by while we had her at home. She was 100% encased with love.

Lily travelled in our car, her Grannies had lovingly decorated the back of our station wagon so she had a special spot. I don’t really remember much of the service in detail, I remember Luke and I carrying Lily in to the Bruno Mars song “Just the way you are”, a song I will never hear without thinking of our Lily. I remember being amazed at how many people came, and we had my brother and sister in law who were in Scotland attending via Skype!

We were, and still are, lucky to be surrounded by some pretty amazing people and we received a lot of love and support. Lily was carried out of the church by her grandparents, as people walked out they were given a helium balloon and once we were all outside these were released, there were more than 160 colourful balloons released at the church and it was beautiful to watch! They even formed a heart shape as they flew away.
Then we took her to the cemetery where she was lowered onto a bed of flowers and petals before releasing another 30 odd balloons. All flew away except a small pink one which stayed behind, it hung around for awhile, then with some encouragement it flew away in a completely different direction to the others and even the clouds formed a heart for it to fly through.

These heart formations would be pretty beautiful anyway, but it was extra special because our Lily had been born with half a heart.

And while that was one of the hardest days of my life, it was a beautiful send off and a very special time. 

Friday, March 18, 2016

A tattoo

I got a tattoo today :) I have never planned on having a tattoo, never knew of anything I would permanently want on me then I saw a tattoo of the name 'Lily' somewhere and I LOVED it. And I thought it would be nice to have one, it didn't look like this, it just made me think. 

I really love this tattoo (which is just as well!) and am very glad I got it! I don't plan on getting any more though! Ouch!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Happy 5th Birthday

My dear Lily Tyne,
Today is a hard one, probably the hardest one yet, maybe because you are now the big 5 but we don’t get to help you do all the things we normally would when someone turns 5?
As I have always said, I would do it all again even if we knew how it would end, you were worth it! And I have come to realise, if I could do it again, there isn’t much (in my control) that I would even change! But if I could do it again, I wouldn’t put you down, I would ensure you were always in the arms of someone who loved you, until the very last moment. I know no amount of holding you would have been enough, but I don’t know why I let you lie there.
I don’t’ know how you celebrate birthdays in heaven, but I hope there is someone there today to give you an extra big cuddle and kiss from me.
There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t think about you. Zeke has been talking about you a lot too, he drew a very cool picture of you the other day, did you see it?
Today I really wish I could hold you tight and wish you happy birthday, but instead I will whisper it in the wind and blow kisses extra hard in hopes they make it all the way to you.
You changed our lives and made me a mum. I will forever be thankful for the privilege of having you in our lives. How lucky we were to have something that made saying goodbye so hard!
Happy birthday my precious angel, you are always in my heart.
I love you.
Mum x