Tuesday 7 August 2012

Due Date and Self Indulgence

Today Joseph should be turning 3. Ok I know not that many babies actually make an appearance on their due date, but the vast majority are born within a couple of weeks of it, not 13 weeks early. Not only did his due date look cool 07/08/09, but he would have shared his birthdate with his cousin, Livi.

I feel like I am the only person in the world for whom this date is significant, in terms of Joseph's life. Everyone else has, and I suppose, quite rightly, moved on. His birthday is May, and May it is, it's only me that feels a desperate sadness every August.

As my blog, and my work in our gorgeous premature baby community has grown, I find myself talking to a lot of parents at various stages in their journey. I listen, hopefully, more than I talk. And I try to reassure. "Let go of the guilt" I say. "This is not your fault" I say. "You wouldn't blame me, I don't blame you, so don't blame yourself" I say.

But as I write this, the guilt and the sadness is overwhelming. It does seem weird, when Joseph is fine now, well, apart from his pooing issues, but that is a (funny if gross) tale for another day. He is fit, and healthy, and developmentally, just fine. He is better than fine.

But I feel guilty because the last 3 months, I have been back there again, living it everyday, that journey we went through, the hardest, but most amazing time of my life, watching this tiny little creature grow and develop into a clever, beautiful, headstrong and bossy little boy. Being seperated from my little boy every day, watching him in that plastic box, seeing the procedures, having awful conversations with doctors that no parent should have to have, it's hard not to keep reliving it.

When your living it, you have no time to dwell on it. Expressing, hospital visits, eating, keeping life ticking over, takes so much energy. It's only later you have time to consider everything. And I still haven't come to terms with that time.

There is sadness too, because Joseph nearly didn't come home with us, and I can't imagine life without him now, it hurts like hell to think of existence without him, so I don't think about it, except this one day.

And then, there is that whole other can of worms, the survivor guilt. How dare I feel this way when others have it so much worse, and are facing huge obstacles with their darling children. How can I feel sad when everything is ok? How can I feel sad when some mothers, sadly, never took their babies home?

For Joseph, today, I feel nothing but joy. He is properly 3 today, and is just like any other 3 year old.

But for, me, let allow me myself  these moments, to feel sad for what I didn't have, for what pre eclampsia stole from me. My pregnancy, my birth experience and my innocence.



  1. A very honest post my daughter was born at 25 weeks for no reason except probably my incompetent cervix I after 4 years find it hard not to blame myself, and to feel robbed. Although I decided to stopher blog when she turned 3 and feel I am leaving a lot of her early start behind me, I will never completely forget.

  2. Yet again I wish I lived closer mate. I'd be round there with cake and hugs faster than you could say "pre eclampsia"! x much love x

  3. Kylie just lovley to read this as I felt like you were writting for me, Daisy is 3 in 9 days and I can feel all the emotions building as it creeps closer, I completley agree with everything you have writtenit helps so much to know that other mammy's feel the same. Thankyou so much feel a kind of normal after reading this xxxx

  4. Hit the nail on the head again! It's not just you. Gemma was 2 properly on Friday and that was a tough day at work every time I had to write the date on a file!
    You can feel sad when others have lost babies. Try not to add that guilt to everything else.

    Look forward to post about poo! We need some laughs x

  5. I know how you feel and I had to have a wry smile when you mentioned the cool date Joseph would have had. My daughter's dd was the day after my birthday and a couple if weeks before Christmas. Instead she was born on 9/11 - could you get any uncooler???

    Having said that my fil tried to tell us we shouldn't celebrate her birthday on the day she was born, we should celebrate on her due date. Naturally, I took exception. She was born on the day she was born and the dd will NOT be a day for celebration - it will be a day where I will always feel a little sad that my beautiful daughter was not able to be born perfectly or healthily on or around this day x

  6. Nothing much more to say than I am always there to just listen, I hope you know that. Hugs & love x

  7. charlotte.cheshire10 August 2012 at 10:54

    Hugs Kylie, as you said to me once, the pain never goes away but it does get easier with time. X

  8. Such an emotional post, Kylie. You obviously need your one day and you have every right to feel the loss of all these things. One of the main lessons I've learnt along my own grief path is that you can never compare one person's loss or grief to another's. They are simply different, not worse or better than another. Treat yourself with the same compassion you give to others xx