One year has been and gone and much has happened and changed since Cacia was stillborn on Friday 13 February 2015. I have had to find a way to live with her missing space, I have moved and settled in the Sandpit, the Rock and I have started actively trying for our third child. In some ways, I have been dreading the first anniversary of Cacia’s death. The first 10 days of February 2016 have found me suffering with insomnia. I have been lying awake all night reliving everyday from the run up Cacia’s scan, where we found out her heart had stopped, right up to her delivery.
Although these evenings and nights have been upsetting, I didn’t find myself slavishly considering the shoulda, woulda, couldas, as I did in the months following Cacia’s stillbirth. These moments were simply the reliving of memories, reliving the experience. In some way, those memories are excruciating but in a more important way they felt cathartic. They are sad and painful but, unlike the early grief stricken months, I no longer look at them to apportion blame (if only we hadn’t argued, if only I had insisted more forcefully to be brought in for a scan, if only, if only…). I now realise there is no blame, I couldn’t change anything, nor could Rock, and the end result would have been the same, even had the circumstances differed, Cacia dead.
In the final days before 13 February this year I started thinking about what I wanted to do for Cacia’s first anniversary. I realised I didn’t want to mark the day at all. I didn’t want a big production or gesture for Cacia, for me the day of her stillbirth is not nor would it have been her birthday. Although 13 February will always remind me of what we lost and what we went through I don’t want to live in the shoulda, woulda, couldas.
But, Cacia is never far from my thoughts and I feel her missing space everyday, so I donated money, in Cacia’s name to organisations that research why’s and how’s to prevent the devastating circumstances that lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, early labour, infant deaths etc… I donated money to organisations that support families dealing with the after affects of the loss. I did research, I was shocked to discover the UK has the 3rd highest rate of miscarriage and stillbirth in Europe, we have held this dubious title for almost 10 years! With no real improvement and so many countries don’t recognise the loss that is felt from these circumstances. My own post natal care in the Middle East in response to my loss was ‘inshallah’ (God’s will).
But life is for the living. So on the day of Cacia’s stillbirth, I went with Rock to the cinema and watched ‘Star Wars: the Force Awakens’ (I am a huge Star Wars, Star Trek geek) I had a normal weekend with my family with tickles and whining and laughing and dancing and tantrums with Tyrant and Rock. I don’t want Cacia’s missing space to be all encompassing, there are other people that are here and fill spaces in my life. Life is for the living, and I want to remember that on the day that I lost my baby.
However despite the above sentiment, I am resolved that I want to do ‘something’. Too many of us are living with missing spaces and for some these spaces could have been avoidable, for some they couldn’t have been. So, watch this space because ‘something’ is coming…