Captured (verb): Record accurately in words or pictures
I was scrolling through my phone this week and a couple of photos popped up on my Timehop app. It’s one of these apps which shows you what you were doing on this date, one year ago, two years ago etc.
Sometimes when I find quotes or thoughts which resonate, I photograph them. I’m not sure why, perhaps so I can revisit them later. It’s not something I tend to do often, but this week, I was struck by some of the content on my Timehop. I had captured two years of consecutive book quotes: more accurately, I’d documented two consecutive years of baby loss.
One year ago…
On May 6th last year, it was approaching 2 months since the death of Summer. She was our third pregnancy loss. In a UK lockdown, cocooned and isolated in my grief, I had taken to reading baby loss self-help books (again). These two pages must have really hit home last year, but they mean even more to me now, one year on.
In the first photogrpah “Day 32” , I know what I was thinking then and it’s a huge contrast to what I’m thinking now.
I can see how I would have felt shame last year, how I didn’t want to be pitied. But I can also see how this page in Zoë Clark-Coates’ book, which I read in the first week of May, planted a seed for this entire website. By the 12th May 2020, with encouragement from two friends, I decided to start this blog. It took me just a day to come up with the name, Mumoirs, for when I started writing, it just all came pouring out: ALL of the hurt, ALL of the thoughts, from ALL of the losses.
If I initially read this page, in hope, it has since become my mantra. The author was right: people seem to like the bruth. And where I once did not want to be defined by baby loss, I have now come to embrace it.
When I reread the second photograph “Day 54” (you can tell that I’m an impatient person and I wasn’t reading the book as I was supposed to, though perhaps it also highlights my desperation), I’m fairly sure I know who and what I was thinking of: all of the good friends who had been holding my hand, since Summer died. To this day, I remind myself of how important it is, to hold these friends close, always. Rereading this, it’s no wonder I soon after wrote a blog entitled Light in the Dark.
Now, when I read this page, I also think of new people. Of all the strangers who I’ve discovered along the way, in the baby loss community. These women have offered a new perspective and another level of acceptance, in a way I never could have foreseen last year.
Two years ago…
Next, these two photos popped up, from May 6th 2019.
Mitch Albom is an author I adore, I’ve read most of his stuff, it just sort of speaks to me. But I remember this particular book, because of when I read it. We had just returned from China, attended our Godson’s Christening and headed to Wells for the Bank Holiday weekend. It was a whirlwind of a time. We had miscarried our second baby, a month earlier. And I was still reeling from it. I am still reeling from it. I needed some hope:
I recall reading the following page and being blown away by it. It felt like it was summing up my (misguided) approach to baby loss: “Anjulie, you can better prepare! You can better prepare for motherhood. Next time, will be better”.
Rereading the sermon, it’s made me cry. It’s a wonderful idea, but it makes me cry thinking of the Anjulie of two years past, who still had hope, who naively thought she could reason her way out of what was happening to her. She was looking for the silver linings. But I also read forgiveness in the passage, the idea that I was telling myself “you did all you could do, so Anjulie, you can sleep in this storm, you can say goodbye”. Little did I know, that the storm was not over. It may still be far from over.
One of the reasons I’ve continued to blog, is to document how things are changing (or not) over time. I think I’ve said before that I’m writing my own survival guide here, in case it happens all over again. If it does, I hope I’ll find familiarity in the despair, yet faith in the healing. There’s still such a long way to go, but look my friends, how far we’ve come.
N.B. I found these additional little snippets on my phone which made me smile, so I thought I’d also share them here, for posterity. This time last year, I had just begun to write. I am so glad, that I did.
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