13 April 2018.
Who would have thought I would make it this far. It feels like only yesterday when I was doing my first post about being pregnant, labor and delivery. How has it been 9 months since I first saw Mason?
I have forgotten what it felt like to be pregnant. Some days I stop and pinch myself and think “did I have a baby?” or “did this really happen?”.
I wish I had something more exciting to tell you. We have had a few milestones which I have written about. Saunders birthday the month after Mason left for the stars, then shortly after that was Father’s day, then Christmas, New Years, Easter and in a weeks time it will be my 31st birthday.
(Mason didn’t miss out on his first Easter, no way hozay!)
That time last year I was 30 weeks pregnant and turning 30. That was the first time I thought I would throw a big birthday party to celebrate. I had organized everything, from the cake, to getting a Souvalaki company to set up shop in my backyard to serve guests. 60 people were coming. I even washed the carpet in my house since I didn’t have time to organize for someone to come out and steam clean it. 30 weeks pregnant with a bucket of hot soapy water, on all fours, washing the damn carpet. After my friend did my makeup and left my house, I started getting weird, low stomach pains. The pains felt like the type when you needed to go to the loo……STAT… or else you were going to shit yourself. Sharp guts ache pains. So I went. And I tried. And nothing came out.
I started getting all hot and sweaty and could feel a lump build up in my throat. I told Saunders I wasnt feeling right, but maybe if I vomited I would feel better. So I did. I have never really spewed before let alone tried to bring up a spew but one cough and it all came out. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh. So much better. Until the pains come back. And then stopped. I went outside for some fresh air.
Standing on the deck Saunders built for me, well from my constant nagging that I wanted it done for my birthday party I felt a little better until someone offered me a lemonade. Apparently lemonade fixes everything, including upset stomachs. All it did for me was acid wash the polish off the brand new deck as I power chucked everywhere. Saunders suggested we go to the hospital. I told him I would go after the party as guests were arriving in a few minutes. Saunders told me if I didn’t spew again within the next half hour we could stay, but that ended in about 2 minutes and we were off to the hospital as guests were coming through the front door.
To hear how the night unfolded, if the guests enjoyed a souva or two, or if I finally did a poo, I wrote all about my dirty thirty here.
I think about that time last year quite a lot. I often think if Mason had of come out that night, he would still be here today. That he would have had more of a fighting chance. That he would have been at a hospital where they would have given him the proper care that he rightly deserved.
Then after my birthday follows…you guessed it…..the most important days/reminders of all……. MOTHER’S DAY (woooofknhoooooo) which falls on 13 May and Mason will be exactly 10 months. But yeh, lets not talk about that day….just yet.
Saunders for the past week has been asking me what I want for my birthday. In previous years I would make birthday lists on my iPhone. This year I didn’t even create one. I would usually remind Saunders of my “Birthday Month”. It would be my excuse for everything and anything. No washing dishes, no scooping out Manu’s turds in the litter tray, eating whatever I wanted when I wanted. Birthdays now to me will forever be a constant reminder of the night Mason could have been here. And what do I want for my birthday and for birthdays until I am 88 years old? Mason. But you can’t buy the most valuable, priceless and one of a kind gift.
No one can.
So we are going to Bali next week. We actually fly out on my birthday. It will be Saunders and I, and our good friends whom are married and will be celebrating their wedding anniversary whilst we are there. We all have never been to Bali before, so we decided randomly to go very last-minute and stay in our own private Villa. So why not?
To be honest, I hadn’t even thought about Bali. There hasn’t been an exciting “lead up” like there was when Saunders and I went to Thailand. There wasnt any countdown apps downloaded on my iPhone reminding me that there are 12362632724387768744393847 seconds left til Bali (yay). I just havent felt excited or interested yet. I am sure that once I get there it will be amazing. But I keep thinking I should be there with a 9 month old. I should be excited and life would be perfect. But it’s not. God Debbie Downer has nothing on me.
In two days time Saunders Godparents, Saunders and I are hosting a “Remembering Mason movie night under the stars” with proceeds going to the hospital that Mason was transferred to and spent his remaining days. To say thanks for the care, support and love they gave to Mase and ourselves and our families and to help other babies in NICU make it home to their families. About 60 of our family and friends will be there. The movie I have picked out is “Wonder”, (I have linked the trailer here) if you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favour and watch it. It’s an all round great family movie that everyone can learn from. We will be watching the movie on a big screen at Saunders Godparents huge, beautiful property. I have bought everything star themed for Mason. From star-shaped plates, to silver glitter cutlery to starry napkins. We will also be indulging on the same Souvalaki’s that I missed out on from my dirty thirty birthday party that were apparently a huge hit. At least this time I will get to have one!
As typical Melbourne weather, and just my luck it is perfectly sunny all week either side of Saturday, where on Saturday it has some showers and possible thunderstorms during the day but clearing up at night. Listen to your mother Mase and hold back the rain and bring out the stars for me you cheeky boy! Fingers crossed it will be a ripper night for everyone. I will write about how the night went in my next post.
So yeh that’s about where I am at. I am still working 5 days a week, at a job I love. I am still waiting on the Coroners report where are case has escalated to the highest level. Still wondering why this has happened to me, after a healthy, low risk pregnancy, producing a healthy happy baby boy. Still angry some days at the hospital that failed my son and made him wait. I still love babies and seeing them still makes my smile appear. I have joined F45 and have been going for two months now with a mission to lose the baby weight Mason oh kindly so left me. I can’t complain and do nothing about it. I can’t use the old excuse “I had a baby 15 years ago” can I? Jesus Christ it is hard to lose the weight turning 30 though. Before 30, I used to sneeze and burn 170,000 calories. Just looking at a sushi roll these days and I gain another leg.
Saunders and I finally finished our “Mason Garden”. We kept all the flowers and plants given to us when Mason was born and from the funeral, along with flowers that will bloom on his birthday and planted them in garden beds that can be seen from his nursery window. Some roses are planted called “Sweet Child of Mine” and “James Mason”…closest rose we could find to his name ha! The grass has finally been laid and I also bought a Cherry Blossom tree. The significance of the Cherry Blossom tree in Japanese culture goes back hundreds of years. In their country, the Cherry Blossom represents the fragility and the beauty of life. It’s a reminder that life is almost overwhelmingly beautiful but that it is also tragically short. Plus they are super pretty. Add in a bench to sit on amongst Mason’s flowers sipping on a green tea and we are good to go.
….Oh wait….I had a shit day this week.
I was sitting on the train one afternoon coming home from work. The commute takes about 50 minutes and in that 50 minutes you are just sitting there, alone with your thoughts. On the train ride home, I usually pull out my phone and go through every single photo and video of Mason in my “Mason James Saunders” folder. I zoom in on Mason’s photos. Every wrinkle, every fingernail, every strand of hair, his eye lashes, his toes, his fingers, his nose.
Everything. Everything absorbed and refreshed for me so I don’t ever have a chance to forget or remember. I recharge. I get my fix. I should choose a different location to do this and not in such a public place because often you’ll see me, the girl sitting in the corner of the carriage, with tears streaming down her face, trying to cover it up by staring out the window.
Life is shit. Can be shit. Can be great. I am not an angry person. I think anger is too much effort. But out of the blue that day I was overcome with anger. I did everything right. I was a model pregnant lady. Followed everything by the book. Went to every appointment. Researched and read everything in sight. Didn’t eat soft cheese or soft serve. Exercised. But how come I went to the same hospital that so many women go to every day to give birth and I came home to an empty baby car seat? I did my time, I did more than my time. I was 13 days overdue! Mason was healthy just wanting to come out. But he had to wait for someone to get him out. For a long time. A really long time. How come my son didn’t receive the same care as everyone else did? What did he do to deserve to be separated from his mummy and daddy? What did we do wrong?
So on that afternoon that day, I opened up Instagram and furiously typed some word vomit. I didn’t even read what I wrote. Pressed send and felt a lot better. I put my phone away for the rest of the trip home.
So as you can see grief is a bitch and I was holding a pity party on the last carriage of the 5:01pm train.
I checked my phone that night and my post had a huge response. Other angel mums and dads, (many others who havent even experienced child loss), sending their love, letting me know that its ok to have shit days and or that they too are experiencing the same thing. I felt like the biggest sook. But I had received so much love, from 90% of people all over the world that I had never even met. If there is one positive to come out of losing Mase, is that I have gained so so much. That our angels brought us together. That Mason brought us together. So thank you to everyone for the last 10 months for making sure Mason’s mummy is ok, for sending me photos or items that made them think of Mason, to the followers of this blog, to the followers on Instagram, to the hundreds of emails and dm’s I have received, to the millions of star items sent to me, to the lovely gnocchi eaters who have sent screen shots of their dishes they are eating in memory of the poor diet Mason and I shared. THANK YOU.
Losing a baby is like waking up every day with a lump in your throat that never goes away. Or feeling winded all the damn time. Like someone has kicked you in the guts. You are just barely breathing but at the same time you have to get on with life. When you can engage in lengthy conversations but still think about all the wrinkles your babies hands had. When you have to continue with life but you also think about your baby non-stop. Which also makes you the worlds best multitasker. When you feel like the world should stop for you, but it doesn’t. Some days you feel like time has stopped and that everything is moving so quickly around you. You get angry that you hear your baby’s name less and less. But then one day someone will ask you about your baby. And then a smile appears. And then its back to business. And then you get sad again that no one has asked about your baby. But then you will hear a mother shout at her child at the shopping centre who has the same name as yours. And then you smile again because you know its your baby reminding you of them. Of what you will always have. It’s reminding you of the never ending love you have for your baby. Days can end but the love a grieving parent doesn’t. If anything it pours harder and flows stronger because we don’t physically have our babies here to give our love. Our immense love that grows has nowhere to go. Grieving parents love hard. So don’t forget about us, and certainly dont mess with a grieving parent. We might just suffocate you with our love.
Happy 9 months my beautiful, scrumptious little potato gnocchi filled baby boy. Mummy and daddy havent stopped loving you nor have forgotten about you. We love you with all of the stars in the sky and then times that by infinity…..and then infinity again.