This week, we’ve been doing some redecorating. Painting the hall and stairs and spending, what seems like days on putting together a photo wall. Said photo wall goes all up on side of the stairs and it is huge.
This meant we had to take down some of the other pictures so it didn’t look quite so crowded. We had a square canvas on one of the walls. It was a photo of life pre-my boys. Mummy, Daddy and Izzie. It also is the only photo I had of me when I was pregnant with Sophie, taken a month before we lost her. I wasn’t keen on pregnancy photos – I don’t think there is a single one of me pregnant with a Izzie, although I have loads with the boys. You can’t even really see my bump as Izzies is on my lap, but after February 1st 2012, the date our baby girl was born sleeping, that photo was to be the only ‘photo’ we had of her.
It seemed strange, taking it off the wall – we had the canvas made and Ell put it up just before we lost her. For the last four years I have walked by that photo a million times, and it made me sad. Taking it down almost felt like a release – I have a smaller version of the photo on the photo wall, so it is still there but not as huge and over powering as it was.
Being an angel mummy you can’t ever move on…and neither would you want to. It does get easier as each year goes by, four now, I can’t believe it’s been that long, although it seems like yesterday. Sophie is always a presence in our world, sometimes in the most random of ways.
This week we went to ikea, to get some more frames for the wall, and afterwards we got our obligatory 60p IKEA hotdog. The man serving the hotdogs was asking about Mason who was asleep in the pushchair. He asked how old he was, and I told him. He said that he had a boy and a girl – I started chatting about Izzie and Ollie, and their ages. He said the same as most people, ‘three kids’ and I nodded and smiled. Moments like this I feel guilty. I feel like I should explain. Four children, four babies, four labours, but only three I get to kiss goodnight. I don’t explain – I don’t want to upset the random kind ikea employee, or the nice old lady commenting on the kids beautiful eyes in the supermarket.
I smile and nod, and wonder whether Sophie would’ve had those eyes – would they have been brown like Izzie, the brightest blue like Ollie, or green like Masons seem to be going. I feel sad, like in September when I should’ve been applying for her school place, or when I see little girls in matching clothes – I would’ve loved doing that for Izzie and Sophie, as I now love doing it for Ollie and Mason,
The feeling of guilt never leaves. And the whys. Why didn’t I notice she had stopped moving? Why wasn’t I offered the flu jab that could’ve potentially written our story differently? Why didn’t I go to the doctor when I had a stupidly high temperature? Why was Ell working in London that week, why did I have to struggle through a temperature of 104 to look after Izzie who was 20 months old at the time on my own? Why did the midwife covering mine who was off sick, not check her on the Doppler that week? Why was I able to carry my boys with no problems, and protect them in a way I couldn’t protect her? Why did I only get 24 weeks with her in my tummy instead of a lifetime that other people get with their babies? Most of the time the guilt is easy to suppress, in the madness of daily life, but February 1st is hard. Its her birthday but it isn’t really – her birthday should’ve been May. February 1st sucks.
We are okay though. At the beginning we had to keep pushing on for Izzie, she didn’t understand, she was just a baby herself. I believe everyone happens for a reason, and the thought that if we hadn’t lost Sophie, we wouldn’t have had Ollie. My pregnancy with Ollie meant I didn’t have time to spiral, I was pregnant 7 weeks after I gave birth to her. I had to get this baby into the world safely. The funniest, good hearted little man I know. Those beautiful big blue eyes, and his little mouth that chatters non stop. I couldn’t imagine my life without him. He really was our rainbow after the storm – although sometimes he is the storm – my mum calls him the wrecking ball. The way he lies next to Mason on the floor, and says ‘ahhhh mummy’s boys’ and the way that if anyone upsets him, you are no longer his ‘best friend’!
So this February 1st we will remember Sophie and smile, because she gave us a lot – the family we have now – that is something to be pretty grateful for.
Happy Birthday little one xxx