I gave birth to a sleeping Ziggy at 21 weeks and 5 days into my pregnancy. Another 2 weeks and 2 days and he would have been entitled to, in fact required, a birth and death certificate. As it is, there is no legal proof that he ever existed bar the fact that he is buried in a cemetery. But he definitely existed. He changed me forever. I am a better mother because I lost him.
What people don’t tell you is that the loss of a baby in pregnancy never leaves you. The pain of it never diminishes, never decreases. You learn to live with it, that’s all. If you go to that space in your heart, where your baby lives, expect to be seared. So I try not to. However, there is one week in every year that I have no choice because it is the run up to his birthday. I try not to think about him, I keep myself busy, but there is a sleeping volcano in my soul that erupts, without fail, every single year and does not let up. I am in pieces, held together by sheer strength of will. I do not want Moo to feel my pain and I don’t want to bring everyone around me down. Yet inside, I am a mother who is broken, like too many others. Ten years on and it doesn’t lessen, my arms still ache for him. This pain is as intense as the year after he was born and I expect it will be this intense in twenty years too. It is the proof that he lived, that he was loved and cherished and that he lives with me still.
It’s his birthday in a week and I may finally write his story, if my husband is okay with it. It’s pretty intense. If you know someone who has lost a baby, give them a hug, send them a note or a text or an email. Even if you have the most extraordinary rainbow baby, the loss of an angel never fades.