22 letters to you, letter 13. Dear Réa.

Dear Réa,

It is 9 days now until what would have been your due date. In some ways yours is easier than Emmets, as I was pregnant so briefly there was little time to imagine bringing you home. I knew you were already leaving our lives. The packs I am putting together to donate in your memory are going well. I am nearly done with them.

In some ways it is harder experiencing everything for a second time with you, each time we re-live another ‘first’ with you it is harder to comprehend the enormity of what we have lost, who and what will be forever absent from our lives and futures. Another first Christmas after loss, another mothers Day, another birthday. Another name missing from our family tree. Another baby we will never get to meet and watch grow.

I miss you, and despite your only having the briefest flicker of life, I love you. Deeply. I feel your loss just as deeply as with Emmet, and I feel just as cheated out of the future I fleetingly tried to picture.

Yesterday I saw a photograph of a little girl, a toddler with a small fluffy dog sat next to her on Pinterest. They looked so much how I see you in my head it hurt, when I let myself dare to imagine all the could have beens that is what you look like to me. Shoulder length, light brown curly hair, blue eyes, round cheeks and hands like little starfish hugging the doggy. In my head you wear bright red but sensible Mary Jane shoes, perfect for small feet to explore in, animal socks, dark baby leggings and a dress top. A cute but sensible outfit. One you can move and explore in, but that is still bright and cheerful. Or sometimes I picture you in the mushroom print dress I bought as hope for the future. If I am lucky enough to dream of you, that is what my mind often dresses you in. Dreams are strange things.

I hope one day we bring home a sibling for you who can wear that dress, or if they are a little boy the soft pyjamas with the striped print, or Emmets dinosaur hat. But they would have to be a very little baby, and I have no desired age to adopt, perhaps we will instead have more grown up children who do not require baby clothes? If no baby girl enters our lives I know that I will still treasure that dress, or pass it on to whichever little girl is in my life when we have finished growing our family. It is such a sweet dress.

I saved the image I saw if that little girl, and had a good cry after seeing that. In some ways the unknowns are as bad as the loss itself. You loose a future, and you loose the knowledge that as a parent, you feel you should have had. I should in the future be certain of the knowledge that I will know your likes and dislikes, but I won’t, because you have none.

I know I feel your loss very deeply. Much deeper than a lot of others, or at least, I express that grief in a way other feel they cannot? Which is sad because I cannot imagine not feeling as I do and hiding it away. I have to express it or I fear imploding.

In the dark moments I worry I make too much out of this. But then, how could I possibly make ‘too much’ of the two beings I love more than anything else in the world? You are my family, and I love you accordingly. Expecting me not too would be like expecting me to stop breathing, I would not be living.

This half state of motherhood is the only type I know, and therefore I will embrace the little I have left of it to the full.

To me, and to your daddy, if not to anybody else, you are as much real and ours as any other baby, you just happen to not have stayed long on earth with us. To us you matter, you matter deeply.

I do not see you as ‘real’ in the same way and your cousin, my baby niece is ‘real’. You are not corporeal, I cannot hug you and bounce you on my lap, you do not laugh and dribble everywhere. But I see you as having existed in the same way she now exists.

To me you are as real and as vibrant as the stars you are named after. Bright and beautiful, real but forever out of my grasp. Each night sky is full of a thousand, thousand reminders of you.

I miss you, and I love you deeply.

Fly high little Star, 🌠

Love always Mummy xx

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