22 letters to you. Letters 5 & 6. Dear Réalta.

05.03.18

Dear Réa,

I may have had your brother with me for longer, but I have struggled more with loosing you. For a long time I wasn’t even able to comprehend what had happened and that was a dark and difficult time.

With Emmet I was terrified, unsure but excited. Pregnant with you there was nothing but an icy gripping fear.

I prayed over and over again ‘please, please, please’, but I don’t know what I was praying for. To keep you? For that line not to be real, or to be darker? To get darker and not fade away because by the time I tested I had already begun spotting? For something else entirely? I do not know. I wanted hundreds of things and nothing at all.

I thought I should be ‘used to it’, that I should know how to cope. That because I lost you so much sooner, it should be easier; and that I shouldn’t feel the same grief as I did and do for Emmet.

But life and grief don’t work that way, at least not for me, and each of your losses has sliced as keenly unto my soul as the other.

It hurts the most because my previous pregnancy had given me the knowledge of what my body feels like when I am pregnant. I got suspicious early on. I felt the same thing with you. I was late, dizzy but not fully nauseous and something just felt off with my body.*** I knew it was early but I knew with Emmet early. I still had a test left over but I was too scared to use it. I went to the doctor instead. I said I felt pregnant but I was spotting. I am glad my doctor didn’t shoo me away until I was sure, but was compassionate. I was examined. Took a test. And I was told that unless the line got darker you were gone. In the same visit my contraceptive pill was changed, I collected my new prescription, pulled myself together and my gran took me home. I went under the guise of a medicine review. Which in part it was, and nobody was any the wiser.

The line did not get darker as I used the tests I had left over. The bleeding got worse and you were gone as suddenly as you crept into my life.

Physically loosing you was easier on my body. I still struggled with my hormones settling down, and mentally I was more of a mess than I had ever been when I found myself without you, but the cramps were easier and you were too small to have seen your body, although I thought I was much further along because of my dates, my cycles are irregular at the best of times, and I checked constantly just in case.

I do not know if you were as tiny and perfect as the glimpse I got of Emmet, but in my mind you are. Even though, it has to be said, very tiny babies that look more like stringy blobby aliens than human beings are probably only beautiful to their parents, and even I will admit that had it not been my baby, and I not blinded by maternal affection, I too would have thought him and ugly blob.

***(I should probably point out at this point that I am unusually good at listening to my body due to living life with a chronic illness. Noticing what is going on for me, can mean the difference between a gp visit and an ambulance ride, so I keep mental tabs on everything that’s going on.)

Réa, I miss you. There isn’t much to be said about it. I want to know what would would have liked, what you would have disliked, who would you have looked like, what colour hair would you have, would you have you’re daddy’s full lips, or would you get the Arnold nose, although I have avoided it, it afflicts mummy’s cousins in a big way.

I want to know everything but instead know nothing. You are as easily obtainable as the North star. I can see it, but never touch it, and by the time we see stars all we see is echoes of their light, and they are already gone.

March has been easier on my that the days leading up to it suggested it might be. Now it is here I am coping, not well, but as well as can be expected. My friends are supportive and offering me a lot of distractions and making sure I’m not on my own too much. Your Daddy is a trooper, as always in making sure I am okay.

I love you,

Praying one day I will see you all again.

Mummy xxx

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06.03.18

Dear Réa,

Yesterday I made a skirt. It is bright yellow and white gingham. The same yellow that is ‘your’ yellow although at this point I can’t remember why. It bugs me that I don’t remember, and what I do remember is fuzzy and far away. I know my brain didn’t cope well with loosing you. It’s shut a lot out and I get frustrated with it. What I remember comes in fits and spurts and often feels as if it is viewed through fog.

I feel guilty that I blocked you out, even though it was not consciously done. I feel as if I have failed you, and been a bad mother, because I did not cherish you how I would liked to have done.

I always thought that if I had a second pregnancy I would do all the things I wish I had done with my first. Instead I am left with more regrets than I ever was. Although I think that regret is also a natural part of loss.

I know why blue and birds are your thing. Because your Christmas present was the little willow pattern China bird. I was looking for stars, but that bird felt exactly right in the way no star ever has,even though Réalta means Star. Stars are your thing obviously due to your name, but yellow. I don’t have a reason for yellow. When did that become yours?

I sung ‘You Are My Sunshine’ and cried to you. Perhaps that is why sunshine yellow and you is linked in my mind. I was listening to the song the other day, which I do often, and I now remember that I went for a walk and sang it around the fields like a mad woman with tears running down my face. I had forgotten. I am now slowly remembering you in snippets, and occasionally it still feels like I am viewing my life from far away.

I get frustrated with what I do and don’t remember. I know I should be easier on myself, my body and my brain. I went through a lot in a short space of time and I couldn’t process it. My brain took a bit of a holiday and when it checked back in it was a bit of a shock. That’s the best was of describing it.

I know, rationality, that what happened was that I slipped into a state of dissasosiation, but I still struggle with worrying it is all in my head.

I didn’t know I wrote anything in my sporadically kept diary about you, but I found that I did and I clutch that proof of your existence as if it was gold. It makes me feel less as if I am going mad. Which I’m not. But things like that make you worry.

Green and yellow are ‘Emmets colours’ because of the dinosaur hat. Blue, white and yellow were the colours of the baby shoes I made him. So it seems you share colours too. In a way I like that.

Therapy helps, but I suppose it might always feel as if something is just beyond the grasp of my memory. Maybe there is very little to remember. Certainly I don’t think the days were remarkable at all except for having contained you within their allotted 24 hours. But because they contained you, it frustrates me that I cannot remember every little detail.

What I can promise you now is that you will not be forgotten again.

Love always,

Mummy x

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