Me and Mine – July 2018

Last month, I reflected on that feeling of being in limbo between two family lives. I felt that we were crossing a bridge across a great chasm. On one side of the bridge was our family life with Jessica and on the other our family life to come with Peanut. We have now crossed that bridge and arrived on the other side. Baby Thomas decided that he wanted to be a July baby rather than an August one, arriving at home two weeks before his due date.

 

(top) me, hubby and Sophie in Jessica's garden; (bottom) Me holding Thomas with hubby and Sophie sitting on the sofa with a cushion showing a picture of Jessica in the middle of is - "Me and Mine - July 2018"

 

I have to admit I wasn’t surprised that he came a little early. Jessica also arrived two weeks early and my pregnancy with Thomas had felt similar in many ways. There was one big difference though. Thomas decided he was most comfortable in the breech position. Despite several attempts a moxibustion and an attempted ECV in hospital, he was determined to stay bottom down. Thankfully I had already booked care with independent midwives who were experienced in home breech birth and had my home birth with him after all.

 

Me, hubby and Sophie standing in Jessica's garden at preschool

 

A week before Thomas’s arrival, Sophie finished preschool. She had a wonderful time with her friends at her leavers’ party. It feels appropriate that our last Me and Mine photos before Thomas’s arrival are these ones taken in Jessica’s garden at the preschool. Sophie’s last day was a very emotional one for us. It brought back so many lovely memories from Jessica’s leavers’ party. I know how excited Jessica would have been at the prospect of a new baby arriving during the summer holidays and Sophie starting at her school at the end of them. Having our family photo taken in Jessica’s garden was a way of making her a part of that moment too.

 

Me, hubby and Sophie standing in Jessica's garden at Sophie's preschool

 

Needless to say our first photos since becoming a family of five had to include Jessica too. I am so thankful for the lovely photo cushion that my sister sent me after Jessica died. It’s one of my favourite photos of her and it provides such a lovely way to help keep Jessica included in our family photos.

 

Me, hubby, Sophie and baby Thomas on the sofa with Jessica's cushion in the middle of us

 

The last few days have been very mixed. Thomas’s arrival has brought us so much joy. I am so thankful that I felt such a rush of love for him when he arrived. I was so worried that I would struggle to bond with him and that his arrival would take us further away from Jessica. In some ways, yes it does take us further away from the family life we had with her but at the same time his arrival takes nothing away from Jessica. She is still just as much a part of our family and Thomas has his place in it too. I love all three of my children equally.

 

Me, hubby, Sophie and baby Thomas on the sofa with Jessica's cushion in the middle of us

 

In amongst the joy there are many, many moments of sadness. That first rush of emotion I experienced when Thomas was born was overwhelming grief for Jessica. I needed to cry for her before I was able to look at her new sibling and connect with him. We have shed so many tears for Jessica over the last few days. It breaks my heart that she never got to meet her baby brother. She had wanted the baby to be a boy. I remember how adorable she was when Sophie arrived and as I watch Sophie being loving and gentle with her new brother, it helps me to imagine just how Jessica would have been. It just makes me so sad that I will never get to see it for real; that I will never get to see my three children together. That the only photos I have with them together, there is one who is either a picture or a bump (or both!).

 

The Me + Mine Project - Dear Beautiful

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9 Comments

  1. July 31, 2018 / 10:39 am

    So beautiful Louise. Both words and photos. I can’t imagine what this has been like for you all. But it’s lovely to see Thomas in your arms and to know you’ve connected with him
    X

    • Louise
      Author
      August 2, 2018 / 11:56 am

      Thank you Laura. It’s been quite a rollercoaster x

  2. July 31, 2018 / 10:46 am

    You did so well having Thomas at home with him being breech….
    It makes me smile that Jessica is included so much in your photos…Sending love and hugs x

    • Louise
      Author
      August 2, 2018 / 11:56 am

      Thanks Kim. I love being able to include Jessica in our photos x

  3. July 31, 2018 / 4:36 pm

    I’m so pleased for you all Louise, those last photos of you all together are so lovely. It must be the most overwhelmingly emotional time for you all, but I’m so pleased that you felt that rush of love and that your fears were unfounded. I’m so glad Jessica got her wish and you had a little boy – the way she’s looking up at you and Thomas is so beautiful.

    • Louise
      Author
      August 2, 2018 / 11:58 am

      I love the way she’s looking on in that photo – it’s one of my favourite photos of her. It has been such an emotional time but there has been so much joy mixed in with the sadness too x

  4. Dreadpiraterach
    July 31, 2018 / 4:53 pm

    So much love for you all. We are thinking of you, knowing how bittersweet this all must be. We look forward to meeting the newest member of the tribe, and will continue to celebrate Jessica’s part too <3

    • Louise
      Author
      August 2, 2018 / 11:59 am

      Thank you Rachel. Looking forward to you and James meeting Thomas at some point too x

  5. August 3, 2018 / 3:19 pm

    It must be so difficult and emotional for you – I hope you are taking care of yourself and ask for help when you need it. The picture of Jessica on that pillow is gorgeous, she looks so happy! Lovely to see Thomas joining your family now too.

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