Sunday 17 September 2017

Leg of Lamb

(To vote for me as 'inspirational mother' in the baby loss star awards please Click Here and click on the heart. See bottom of blog for more info. If your phone won't let you click the link then you can also vote on the Facebook page 'storm in a tit cup by Heidi'. Xx) 

I cried on Sunday!

That makes it sound like I never cry...I do.
I cry at every Oxfam or RSPCA advert. 
I cry every time I hear the 'Moana' soundtrack because it reminds me of the moment in the film when the old granny comes back from the dead as a giant ghostly stingray. 
I cry when I laugh so hard my face hurts.
And I cry when I've had a good nights sleep because the following night I'm not exhausted enough to drop unconscious while watching 'Suits' on the iPad and my mind starts wondering.

But this Sunday I cried whilst massaging a leg of lamb. 

Let me paint the picture...last week my eldest, Noah, started Primary school. 
I've been mega excited about this day all summer...particularly when Noah pushed Tait off of the bunk bed and when Tait kicked Noah in the balls. (We then had to have a discussion about 'balls' and whilst I managed to explain like an educated adult that the 'balls' are where boys keep their potions to make babies, I couldn't find a more palatable word than 'balls' for the 'balls.' So they are now officially called 'balls' in our house......" Tait's got small balls!", "daddies got big balls!", "do some people have three balls?", "Where are your balls mummy?" Etc etc) 

So on Wednesday I stood shoulder to shoulder with a playground full of mums and dads waving off their 4 year olds. All these tiny children in oversized clothes dragging book bags in equivalent heights artistically interpreting 'the stone of shame' scene from 'The Simpson'.

It's fair to say that there were a shit load of tears in this playground not coming from the eyes of children! 
Actually my friend Emma had been crying for three days straight prior to Wednesday (accounting for the 'yellow' weather warning for Bristol) and had forced her husband to take secret photos of her meltdown as evidence...

(Disclaimer: Emma wanted me to make it quite clear that this was more period related then child starting school...personally I call bullshit.)

So there were many playground tears and I recalled a conversation I'd had with one of the mums at the 'settling in' day who was also crying and she said to me 'is it weird I'm crying'? And I said "of course not" as I also had a few tears start to prickle at my eyes. She said 'I'm going to miss her and it's the end of an era' and I thought 'I'm crying because I'm so relieved I'm not dead'. 

So Wednesday came and all I could do was grin from ear to ear like I'd slept with my face pinned back with drawing pins! To others in the playground that saw me that morning they must have thought I was just so bloody glad to have one of them off of my hands or that I was simply beaming with pride! Well to be fair both are true.....I love him dearly but I'm glad he's starting this amazing adventure and that someone else may be able to answer his one million questions without having to google. 

But mostly I was beaming with relief. 

I remember the night 2 years ago when I was told I had Inflammatory Breast Cancer whilst pregnant with my 3rd baby. I came home and I checked on Tait who had just celebrated his first birthday. He looked so peaceful and I felt immense guilt that things would never quite be conventional for him and that because of his young age that he would never look back on a time in his life when his mum didn't have cancer. I felt bad that this would be his 'normal'. I shut his door and went into the next room where Noah was sleeping. He was 2 at the time. I climbed into bed with him and cried desperately into the pillow. I felt I was going to miss out on his life. I was going to miss all his milestones and I would never get to share one of those pictures of my little lad starting school in his oversized uniform baring the logo of his new life, of his independence and really the beginning of his pathway to who knows what. 
I wouldn't see that. I wouldn't know what that felt like.

And now I do know what that feels like. 
Both feelings of course.
I know what it is like to take my son to school.
I also know what it's like to not have the chance to ever take my little girl to school.

But Wednesday was about Noah. 
I didn't actually think I'd make this. 
This is one bucket list item that I'm ecstatic to tick off. 
I got to walk my little boy to school and chuffing hell was i proud! 
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And so, the lamb. 

Noah had started school that week and Sunday was Taits 3rd birthday. Keith had taken them to 'comic con' in Bristol while I prepared the boys favourite meal of lamb with a shit tonne of mint sauce. I was 'thinking' because I'd had an actual full nights sleep and the house was empty so I guess my head was too. 
This is dangerous territory for me. This is when the thoughts start to creep in. I knew that with Taits birthday followed a milestone of diagnosis. It would be two 2 years the following day that I was diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast Cancer and was staring at a life span of 2-5 years. 
As I delicately massaged lemon juice into the decaying carcass of a sheep, that fucking tractor song came onto 'Spotify'. You know the one....'I'm rumbling in my JCBeeeee. I'm five years old and my dads a giant sitting beside of me' ( even as I'm typing this I'm welling up ) well it's something to do with struggling to fit in at school and the boys dad works his bollocks off on the farm all day but no matter how tired he is he's always got time for his son. They're rolling up the bypass, him and his dad having a top laugh. And I started thinking about my funeral!!!!! POP! Straight into my head, just like that. I thought what a lovely song this would be for the boys to listen to to capture how fantastic their relationship is with their dad, Keith. And because it would have been chosen by me it would become even more poignant. And this would be the song they would remember me by and although they'd be sad they'd also have these little smiles on their faces too! 
AND.......well of course then the tears and snot came flooding down onto the fucking lamb. The lamb that had been enjoying a deep tissue massage for the last 10 minutes.
Then I cried because that lamb also had a family once and maybe it to had longed to drop its kid off at sheep school or something. 
Oh it was awful.

And then I had to kick myself right in the ass! 
Because actually this was an amazing milestone (not the leg of lamb, I'd cooked it before like). Noah had started school! I'd been there! Tait had turned 3! I'd been there. I wasn't dead! I was alive! And I'll be there for Tait to start school too because just you try and stop me! 

And the lamb, even when marinated in snot, still tasted good.

I'm up for an award ladies and gents, others. I've been shortlisted as 'Inspirational Mother of the Year' by the Butterfly Awards. I'd love it if you would take a few seconds to follow this link and vote for me by simply clicking the red heart I would be so greatful. But equally you don't have to either. I'll still like you all the same. But you'll be top of the haunting list if you don't!!!!
It's a very special event that recognises mums, dads and support networks around parents who have lost their babies. We will all be attending an award ceremony on October 14th and it goes without saying it will be a very emotional event. All these mums and dads are inspirational and talking about our babies to others is so important so I'd urge you to vote for someone whether it's me or not. Thank you xxx