My darling Matilda Mae
9 months ago you were born to us our beautiful miracle baby.
I was not supposed to fall pregnant naturally but I did.
People did not expect me to carry you to term but I did.
I gave birth to you and I fell in love with you the moment that first we met.
I wore you close to my heart most days of your life. You were never a fan of a buggy.
I slept wrapped around you almost every night. You never were a fan of a cot.
The bigger and cheekier and cleverer you grew
The more we fell in love
I had such plans for you Matilda Mae
In my diary I had written down what day you would start pre school, your first day at school.
I was planning our adventures til then.
I planned out your bedroom for when you were moved. Pink horses and teepees, white bed.
You never made it into your own bedroom.
You never slept more than a metre from me for more than just a few hours.
Your cot remained in our room, right by the side of our bed.
Though mostly it lay empty as you attached to my breast through each night.
You woke me each morning with you nuzzling.
Gazing at me with your deep chocolate eyes.
My dearest darling Matilda Mae.
On the 2nd February 2013 you were exactly 9 months old.
You had been out in the world just as long as you were growing inside me.
You learned to crawl that very day.
You had been trying so hard all week but that day you gained power and speed.
The world was yours for the taking.
But instead I fear that you crawled to your death.
You crawled to the angels to take your place there.
Far far far too soon.
The last time I saw you with spirit and soul
I lay you down to sleep
I fed you as I always do then lay you in your cot
You were so beautiful, so peaceful, asleep
Later you cried and your Daddy came to soothe you, to wind you
Later still I came to feed you, just as I always do
I could not hear you breathing as I entered the darkened room
I placed my hand where your chest should be
To feel the movement of your breath
You were not there Matilda Mae
I could not find you where you were supposed to be
I turned on the light so quickly
And a horror met my eyes
You had turned and crawled under your blankets
I pulled you out but I knew
Before I saw you I knew
My beautiful darling daughter lay dead in my arms
She had gone from us while falling asleep
My precious daughter Matilda Mae
I screamed your Daddy’s name at the top of my voice
I shrieked I wailed I cried
Daddy tried so hard to save you
He did all he could til the ambulance came
They tried everything possible they could
But you were gone from us
Our beautiful baby was gone
A mother does not lose a baby
You were physically wrenched from my heart
I cannot imagine my life without you
I don’t know where to start
I love you with all that I am
I can’t bear that I could have saved you
I listened for you, you made no sound I heard
I should have checked you
I should have come to bed earlier
I should have known
I am your mummy
I should have saved you
I cannot believe that you are no longer here
I miss you with all that I am
You are my baby
No words can describe the searing pain in my heart
The mixture of love and loss and confusion and grief and desperation for what I am supposed to do without you
What are we supposed to do without you?
Dear Matilda Mae
You are with the stars now
You will be shining down on us as we remember you and live our lives in your honour
I am going to make you so proud and I am going to make your life matter
Just as soon as I can stop myself thinking that this is all just a bad dream and some time soon you will wake up and cry and I will lift you from your cot and you will wrap your arms round my neck and cuddle me as you have always done.
You are part of me.
You are dead and a part of me has died too.
I am not sure how to find the dawn after the night we found you sleeping.