Posted by: irishdad | December 14, 2009

two sleeps

I’ve been trying to write a post that expresses my thoughts about the last year…but I can’t come up with anything that makes sense.

This year has been the worst year of our lives. Hopefully it will prove to be the lowest of our days.

Now, just over a year after our second child was stillborn, we have so much to look forward to. Our third baby is scheduled to be born on Tuesday morning (15th December). Call me selfish but I’d really like it if things went pretty much normally for us. A birth without drama, a live healthy baby.

The last few weeks, even months, have been difficult. Neither of us have slept well for as long as we can remember so we’re just getting more and more tired. From time to time one or both of us will be so stressed out we’re just about keeping a lid on things, be it from worry about the pregnancy or all the reminders of Littlegirl’s death and birth and the days around that period that this time of year brings up.

Now, we’re nearly there and our thought turn to nerves about the actual birth and the fact that we’ve thought so little about the prospect of actually having a baby in our lives that I at least feel very unprepared for what is to come. I don’t know what to expect or how I’ll feel about it all. I suspect its going to be tough to reconcile my happiness at the birth and how much it reminds me about how hard things were with Littlegirl – and how much we have lost.

I know that this is a lovely problem to have!

So, tomorrow my wife has one last check up with the doctor in the morning, and we’ll go over to the hospital in the evening to get her settled in for the night. On Tuesday we’re told that we are first on the list for Caesareans.

Who knows, maybe by lunchtime we will be taking our first steps into another new chapter in our lives.


Having recently done a gardening course I’ve concluded that grief is like making compost! You take all the horseshit you’ve been dumped with and all the cuttings of social stress that come with the loss. Every layer of difficulty gets piled up in your mind, sometimes to be dug over, generally just to undergo its own slow transformation into something that can hopefully provide the basis for healthy growth in the future. It takes time. It can’t be rushed, and shouldn’t be tampered with. It needs a little air now and then or it become unhealthy.



  1. wow that sounds like quite an emotional cocktail so soon after Littlegirl’s anniversay! Bitter Sweet to say the least.

    I do hope everything goes great over the next few days and that it isn’t too stressful for you. I am sure you won’t be innocent in the joys of labour but I hope you find joy nonetheless and can still continue the grief journey for littlegirl as best you can.

    take care

  2. I think you nailed it with the compost analogy. It is all shitty and you add all these smelly things, and it becomes something that feeds creativity and growth, hopefully. As I approach a year, I find myself unable to sort of sum everything up too. I think it is our nature to try to make sense and a larger meaning for our loss, lesson learned, but really, it just is terribly unfair and we just have learned in the last year how to live without our babies. To me, that is heartbreaking.

    Woah, Tuesday is tomorrow. Will be keeping all of you both in my thoughts. Can’t wait to hear about the new little one. XO

  3. You’ll be in my thoughts over the next days. I can’t even imagine the mix of emotions that must be stewing inside you at this point. Hopefully everything will go as smooth as it’s supposed to. May this be a Healthy Holiday for you and your family.


  4. I like that analogy – a big pile of shit and discarded scraps that with time and the occasional turning to expose new layers to air will be something from which to grow new life, or at least nurture your own life.

    I am hoping with all my might for a drama free birth and a screaming healthy baby for you both. Can’t wait to hear of your good news – both of you are in my thoughts.

  5. In less than 24 hrs less than 100 miles away… I’m thinking of you both and hold you in my thoughts to get you through this with a very happy, healthy new beginning.

    love to all five of you

    xx Ines

  6. Irishdad, I’ll be thinking of you all tomorrow. I hope with all my heart that your baby is born in the drama-free way you want.

  7. Gosh, what a mixture of emotions to have in little more than a week and I hope they will be at such opposite ends of the spectrum ie, intense joy and relief on 15th. I didn’t realise your baby was due to soon, really really hoping all goes well.

  8. Sending lots of love your way…

  9. I have been thinking of you today

    I really hope it has gone well today and you are the proud dad to a wonderful and healthy baby. And that Irishmam is okay too

  10. Brilliant analogy.

    Im a bit new to this blog (CONGRATS ON THE BIRTH OF YOUR BABY GIRL BTW!!! THAT IS FANTASTIC NEWS!) and was wondering why the caesar at 36 weeks?

    (I obviously ask with my own situation in mind… I lost my baby due to a placental abruption at 37 weeks so for a future pregnancy they would consider inducing at 36 weeks as a precaution).


    • Hey Caz,

      I’m so sorry about your baby. It’s just such a shock isn’t it? To get so close and then to have everything fall apart.

      Regarding the caesar at 36 weeks, it was at 36 and 6 days. (I think 37 weeks is officially ‘full term’)

      Here’s why the baby was delivered at that time:

      Our second child, a baby girl, died for no detectable reason at 37 weeks and 5 days. This time around we were recommended to have a ceasarian, and because our consultant does his procedures on Tuesdays!! it was either the 15th of December @ 36 & 6 or the 22nd @ 37 weeks and 6 days i.e. gestationally the day after our last child died. Sooo, leaving our baby within her mother up to that time was a big psychological hurdle for us. (And from early in the pregnancy we felt – and discussed with our consultant – that if it was medically acceptable and the child was well we just wanted her out in the world where we could see her, rather than inside her mother being all mysterious!)

      Our consultant and the pediatrician discussed the proposed delivery at 36 and 6 and concluded that the risks associated with this gestation were acceptable while the benefits were great.

      As it turns out our new baby was more premature than we anticipated but thankfully it was not too serious and she came home after 9 days of gradually decreasing observation. I’m lucky to be able to say that she’s asleep beside me here on the couch and coincidentally, today (Jan 6th) is her actual due date!

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