As part of baby loss awareness week 2018 I have been so lucky to have some really inspirational families willing to share their stories of loss and parenting, having been blessed to go on to have their rainbow babies.

The final story I am sharing this week is from Caroline, here is her story…

My name is Caroline, wife to Simon, step-mum to Courtney and Mum to George, Jack and heaven-born Max. We live in Blackpool with our two border terriers Ruby and Poppy and can often be found holidaying in the UK in our caravan.

I’ve cried the last four nights, sometimes silent sobs and sometimes big ugly tears, sometimes alone, sometimes cuddling one of my boys or my husband, I’ve cried about what happened and I’ve cried for what could have been.

Not just because it is baby loss awareness week.  Not just because I’m writing this blog.

But because it was one of my baby boy’s biggest milestones – now even writing that I don’t know if it should be boy’s or boys’.  You see, October 6th 2018 was Jack’s first birthday.  A milestone.  A celebration.  A day of happiness and joy.  But these days will always be bittersweet and tinged with sadness.  Because Jack is a twin.

Jack is a twin and yet other than in the womb and in our memories he will never know his twin brother.  Max died at 19 weeks gestation and yet was born two minutes after his brother.  So even the day of Jack’s birth was tinged with sadness.

When we brought Jack home the following day, I cried and cried and cried as we had to walk away from the hospital leaving one of our little boys behind.

I then had to arrange a funeral whilst caring for a newborn.  Grieve whilst enjoying those first few weeks.  Accept people’s ‘congratulations’ whilst feeling that life was particularly unfair.

And it was hard.  I can’t pretend otherwise.  And I think it’s harder knowing that it will always be the same.  For every milestone Jack hits, we will know that Max should be hitting them too.  The first day of school; high school; possibly university or driving test, I will always be thinking that we should be celebrating for both of my babies.

I battle with how we make this fair for Jack.  He doesn’t need to know that mummy closed the door after his first birthday and cried her heart out.  He doesn’t need to know that sometimes when it’s late at night, all snuggled up in bed that mummy has silent tears rolling down her cheeks.  Or that when she sees him kissing his doll that she wonders whether he knows he was a twin.

He doesn’t need to know but if he ever asks, he will get all of these answers and more.

Our first night together was spent on the delivery suite; Jack and I in the bed and Max in a cuddle cot and they each had a little teddy from the charity, 4 Louis.  One teddy stayed with Max and one came home and lives in our bedroom.  My four year old likes to ask whose teddy it is, and I always tell him the truth (although I am not sure the understanding is there just yet) and Jack will be told the truth as well.

We have a box full of memories of Max – his handprints, footprints, photographs which will all be ready if / when Jack is – but in the meantime I will continue to be the best mum I can.  To love and smile through the tears for the two gorgeous boys that are here on Earth, whilst always remembering Max in my heart.

“In my heart, you live on
Always there, never gone
Precious child, you left too soon
Though it may be true that we’re apart
You will live forever, in my heart”

Precious Child by Karen Taylor-Good. (played at Max’s funeral)

If you have connected with this story and you would like some support yourself, you can follow me, Helen Grimshaw, on social media by clicking the links below
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