Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Lucy has been asking lots of questions abou Jamie and why he died. She knows he had a poorly heart but she is struggling to understand. She has asked why Jamie died but she and alice lived and are healthy and why other babies don't die. We have a picture of Jamie in intensive care with all his wires and tubes attached - Lucy was looking at it this morning and she wanted to know what they all were. So I explained what all the wires were for and she seemed to get it. She left the room with the picture and then she came back :"I miss Jamie mummy" and she gave me a huge hug.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I'll never forget...

I’ll never forget:

Knowing something wasn’t quite right at the beginning of my pregnancy
Getting to know him when he was in my tummy – his kicks and squirms
My belief in my instinct to know that he wasn’t going to die inside me
Feeling at one with him in the last few weeks of being pregnant
Telling my baby that if it was too hard and too painful, he could say goodbye

Seeing my baby boy hooked up to so many machines and feeling helpless and detached from him
Seeing my baby hooked up to so many machines and feeling my heart breaking

His tiny little fingers
His tiny little feet

The Freeman consultant who told us our baby was probably going to die and the fact that he was chewing gum as he told us

Jamie fighting to stay awake despite being anaesthetised for his transfer from the RVI to the Freeman

The kindness of the nurses and doctors in NICU at The Freeman

Washing my son’s hair as he lay in his NICU bed

The last time we saw him alive – he was properly awake. We got to talk to him he held our fingers, we tickled his feet and we saw him smile at us.

Thinking that this was Jamie saying goodbye to us

Waiting at home for news of Jamie’s surgery and crying when we were told it had become complicated and Jamie had been put onto bypass

Seeing my husband sob uncontrollably

Waiting back at the hospital for further news about Jamie

Being told by the surgeon that he was fighting hard to save Jamie but it was looking unlikely

Seeing the blood on the surgeon’s boots, knowing that was blood from my son

Telling the surgeon’s we wanted them to stop. Jamie had been in surgery for 12 hours, he had been bleeding out for several hours, all of his internal organs were damaged, and he would most probably have suffered severe brain damage. The surgical team agreed with us.

Feeling like the walls were closing in on us as the staff went to switch off Jamie’s life support equipment

Seeing my dead son being brought into the room, all wrapped up as if he were asleep.

Hearing a scream and realising it was me

Holding my son and willing him to wake up

Kissing his cold skin and stroking his beautiful black curly hair

Telling him how much I love him

Wishing the nightmare would end

Holding my husband

Walking on the beach at sunrise the next morning. My heart was broken but it was so beautiful and peaceful walking on the sand that maybe it was a sign that his pain was over

Holding my girls

The kindness, the support, the words, the tears from family, friends and acquaintances

How difficult this year has been on all of us but we have found our strengths when we have needed it and I will never forget the strength of my children – they have kept us going on the darkest of days

I’ll never forget our little boy and the precious time we spent with him
Sleep well Jamie, we love you

Monday, June 09, 2008

How old is Jamie mummy?

me: Jamie would be almost one
Lucy: Just like Joe (our friend's son)
me: yes, he would have been like Joe
Lucy: will Jamie be having a birthday party
me: we'll be having a little party to remember him
lucy: is he excited about his birthday
me: well Jamie died didn't he
lucy: yes he did die - she thinks for a minute - that's going to make it really difficult for him to open all his birthday presents isn't it?

I'm crying and I'm smiling, what a beautiful conversation with my little girl about her brother. These little moments are so special and so unexpected - what a gift children are :-)

Sunday, June 08, 2008

My children never fail to surprise and amaze me

Alice has written a card for Jamie's birthday:

To my baby brother
I love you so much I wish you were still alive
Love your sister Alice

And little Lucy was telling my friend Emily that her 18month old son was being naughty:
"My brother Jamie was never naughty, he was too poorly"

Me and Gary don't often talk about Jamie, it hurts too much but the girls mention him several times a week. When adults say that young children are unaffected by the death of a baby because they can't possibly comprehend what has happened, they are wrong!

My girls are keeping Jamie's memory alive, he is very much a part of their lives, he is in their thoughts, he has touched their lives in ways we never imagined. They tell their friends about him and they explain that he was too poorly to stay with us for very long, they explain about all the tubes Jamie was attached to. Alice also explains how Jamie was cremated and turned into dust so we could scatter his ashes in the sea. I am so so proud of my girls, they shouldn't have to experience this loss and all the emotions that accompany it but they have coped brilliantly and they help us during our darkest days with their questions, their hugs and their love of life.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

a few wobbles

I'm feeling a bit wobbly and fragile, not hugely so I don't think anyone would notice but I can feel the difference.
It is 5 weeks until Jamie's birthday and I can't believe how fast this year has gone - how have we coped, how have we held it together? It's fair to say the first few months passed in a blur, a whirlwind of emotions and an ocean of tears. But we are all coming through it stronger.
Every now and then, but not very often I allow myself to wonder what Jamie might have looked like and what he might be doing now - would be be crawling or even walking, what kind of child would have been, would he be as crazy as his sisters?

I feel happy and relieved to be back at work. I have been teaching since January and I have taught ALOT of courses. I can detach myself and my grief from my classes, they are completely seperate and work means too much to me.

I am taking most of July and all of August off work, so we'll be stretched financially but I need to spend that time with my girls - to enjoy them and to connect with them again after such a tough 12 months.

I am trying not to think too much about Jamie's birthday because I really don't know how I'll feel but it will also be a happy week with Alice and Gary's birthday, which I am also busy planning.
On Gary's birthday last year Jamie was in intensive care at the RVI. It was an emotional day, Jamie was recovering from his first surgery, his heart was scanned and we were told he was probably going to die. So I'm sure Gary would like a quiet and less dramatic and emotional day this year.

As for my amazing Alice, still thinking what to do for her birthday. I feel the need to spoil her and make it magical.