Everyone But Me

9 weeks without Baby Tilda today.

Two months of people telling me how Matilda Mae has helped them to be a better parent, a better person.

How they are more patient with their children.

That they spend more quality time as a family.

That they do not mind if their children make a mess.

How they find it easier to deal with moans and whinges and whines.

How they have become a calmer referee of fights between their offspring.

Everyone has been changed in some way for the better by the little life of Matilda Mae.

Everyone but me.

I am not a better mummy.

I am not doing more for my family.

I am not making the most of every moment of our time.

I am not able to deal with silly sibling rivalries whilst remaining calm.

Matilda Mae has not made me better.

She has left me.

And left me much much worse.

I do not feel that I am making the most of Esther and William.

In fact often I am terrified of being on my own with them.

Esther and William are adorable children and incredibly well behaved.

Why am I so scared of being with them?

I should embrace their loveliness.

Wrap myself up in their loving cuddles and infectious giggles.

I should fly high on the wings of their attention and love.

Revel in their cleverness and creativity.

Laugh at their comedy antics.

But I do not.

And I know that the fault lies not with them.

But with me.

I am scared of being a bad mummy.

I am scared of being a good mummy.

I am scared of being a mummy.

Of not loving my children enough.

Of loving my children too much.

I am terrified that something will happen to them too.

But it is more than that.

My heart feels so heavy.

I have forgotten how to have fun and be carefree.

There is a dark edge to everything I do.

Because it stabs my heart that Tilda is not here.

In the heart of our family.

As she should be.

Wherever we go I miss Tilda.

Whatever we do I miss Tilda.

And it is not the kind of missing that makes a hazy smile.

It is not the kind of missing that warms your heart.

It is a twisting, stabbing, searing, shocking, cruel and unbearable missing.

And it hits without warning.

And it knocks me to the floor.

Sometimes I just cannot work out how to pick myself up.

Not without that beautiful gummy smile.

Not without that cheeky little baby.

Not without those expressive chocolatey eyes.

Framed with those feathery lashes.

How can my baby be gone?

How can she not ever come back?

I am not sure I am ever going to be patient and kind.

I am not sure that I am ever going to be the mummy I always wanted to be.

I am not sure I am ever going to be anything good again.

And that scares me, frightens me, worries me.

What will I become?

Without my baby what will I be?

What should I be?

I don’t want to be an inspiration to others.

That poor lady without her baby.

I want to be me.

If only I could remember who I am.

Or even when and where I last saw her.

I want Matilda’s legacy to apply to me.

I want to be an inspirational mummy.

I want to keep my children safe from harm.

I want to clothe them and feed them and love them.

I want to make their lives full of fun.

I just don’t know if I can.

Everyone else can it seems.

Everyone but me.

27 thoughts on “Everyone But Me

  1. Jennie the way you feel applies to everyone that has lost a baby I promise. In everything I do I think I should make the most of it but I cant because I am constantly scared. My whole pregnancy was 9 months of terror and even now I am a mummy to two, I live in constant fear and dare not get too close or love them too much in case they leave me as all their brothers and sisters did. Its not the same as loosing a baby at 9 months but the legacy is similar – fear and a constant painful longing, you just learn to hide it from others and yourself. Today is Clovers angelversary and its all I have thought about. I have apparently inspired so many on baby loss websites and on FF but it has changed me and I will never be the same, happy carefree and smiling. Because every smile has tears behind it. And the awful thing is that it affects everything – because when the worst has happened in one area of your life you start to think it can happen in other areas. One thing that helped me was to get off the websites and stop posting and just concentrate on my immediate physical reality with the help of a counsellor. As you say you dont need or want to be an inspiration to others, you just need to get back to you. Dont feel bad if you want to take time out from blogging – you can inspire later. For now just go back to small steps and be with your family. Matilda has left you a legacy, you just need the time and space to find it and it may be something you never even dreamt of before. Sending hugs from another mummy whose heart is hurting badly today too xxx

  2. Oh jennie. I am so so sorry. I fear I have had a part in making you feel like this. In alevery day that you spend with the twins you ARE being everything that they need you to be. I hope one day you will see that. I don’t want you to be ‘that poor lady’ either and I do not think or youbthat way. I think of you as a friend who is heartbroken. Nobody is perfect and not every day is idyllic as the rest of us say it is. We are all just trying toddo our best and somenof us have a more difficult job than others. Ibam so sorry but what i told you the other day is true. I have a lot to make up to luka and I will do it. Of course the painof losing matilda is horrific but the fact you feel the way you do doesn’t make you a bad mum and I actually think you appreciate your twins in a way many of us will never understand or be able to.
    Sending you lots of love as usual

  3. How you are feeling is horrible, but completely natural under the circumstances.

    Everyone wishes that you still had Matilda Mae with you.

    It is so, so sad and so unfair.

    I really wish that I could change things for you.

    So sorry, Jennie xxx

  4. Jennie be kind to yourself it’s been 9 weeks. Emotionally and physically you must be so drained. Everything you do is for your children you are an amazing mummy. Sending you lots of love the sadness in your eyes speaks volumes xxx

  5. Dearest Jennie. I wondered if this was a post you would end up writing and have been thinking for a couple of weeks how hard it must be sometimes for you to hear how much everyone has changed for the better.
    I just want to say that how you are parenting Esther and William through all this is amazing. I don’t think I could even do half of what you’re doing. You are an amazing Mummy to them, Jennie. You are also still an amazing mummy to Tilda too. Through your writing and what you are doing with the twins she lives on and always will. She may be gone but she will never ever be forgotten. The love that you have for all your children radiates from you. You will never be ‘that poor lady without her baby’ – you are a friend, a friend who has lost her beautiful baby, a friend in need of support, love and a shoulder to cry on.
    Remembering you and Tilda every day but especially every Saturday.
    Sending love and strength…always xx

  6. Dear Jennie,
    Yours has been the first and only blog I have ever read. And what has driven me to it was a coincidence. And what keeps me as a reader is the fact that through sharing your ideas about play time with your little ones, your home arrangements you help a mum like me to be a better mum. You are a great creative mum and I love your honesty. I think you are fantastic just as you are – thanks to you my son is now crazy about the trains, has wicked time with messy play and will have a scent garden.

    Mourning has been in my life since always. It is a long and complex process and one can easily get lost whilst in pain.

    My thoughts are with you and I hope you will soon find a way through that pain to gradually start to feel that you are able to reconnect with your-true-fantastic-self.

  7. I think the lady above (Dominika) sums it up perfectly. You ARE being a brilliant mum, even though you’re not feeling it. I hope you move through the grief stages in good time and eventually manage to experience your memories without the pain x x x

  8. So very, very sorry that you have to endure such torture. If only it could have been different.
    Thinking of you and wishing you courage, strength, healing tears and so much love.
    Vicky xx

  9. I am just so sad to read this and wish that words could make it better. I think your feelings around motherhood and Esther and William are totally natural. Hang in there. I have some good friends who have been where you are they have pieces their lives together again, bit by bit. They are not back to their old selves, never will be, but have found a way through it. Take care x

  10. I am so, so sorry as I know I am one of the Mummy bloggers that have said you are an inspiration to many of us- I in know way wanted you to feel so sad about it- I didn’t think how it must feel for you hearing that from others when one of your precious little bundles has gone.

    Please don’t feel you are a bad Mummy at the moment, your twins are lovely and you do so much for them whilst keeping their sister alive in all the you do. They are such bright imaginative sparks from what I have seen in a few videos posted-they must get a lot of that from all the play you do with them.

    And just you know we all have moments of feeling bad Mummies-it doesn’t mean that we are. You do so much more with your children than many manage-I for one am struggling to fit lots of play in amongst day to day life still-and I’m very envious of the twins play scenes you set up for them.

    Sending hugs, love and strength your way, and so sorry if I’ve upset you in any way from saying how much of an inspiration you have been xxx

  11. Bless your heart Jennie – I am praying for you and your family. I pray that Jesus wraps you up in his arms and comforts you through the loss of your precious daughter….now is not the moment to be a perfect Mummy to your children – we all find motherhood hard and none more than mothers such as yourself who have had to say goodbye to one of their children. Just survive the next few weeks for the sake of Esther and William who need you and don’t care that you are not giving them what you feel is the best….to them you are the best….you are their Mummy and they don’t care that you are not perfect. You wear your heart on your sleeve when you write a blog and I believe one of the other ladies who has posted on here is right in that you would benefit from counselling – it won’t change anything – your Tilda will still have died – your heart will still be breaking but you may find ways of coping with your raw grief – there is a church in Ashford called Vineyard (I know the one in St. Albans which is really good and filled with loving people who come from all walks of lives) – they meet 10.15 every Sunday at Repton Manor Primary – you would be so welcome and I am sure they would be able to offer your family friendship and support – sorry if that’s too much but I am thinking of you – Claire xx

  12. You have to remember that your grief is still so new. There is no magic wand that will make it go away (even though I wish their were). I see all you do with your lovely twins. And you are not failing them !! You are incredibly brave….and one day you will be able to look back with fond memories and smile. xxx

  13. I’ve sat here with this comment box open for ages now and still can’t find the right words. I don’t think they exist.

    I’m so sorry that you lost your darling Matilda Mae. It’s truly devastating.

  14. Dear lovely Jennie, I am so sorry you are feeling this way. I am so sorry you lost your beautiful baby girl. I’m so sorry that this is the reason behind many new friendships and connections you have made with so many people. I value your friendship so much, but I wish it could have come about any way but this way. You are an amazing, inspiring mummy, and you are doing so well in terrible circumstances, but you just can’t see it. Don’t forget that the rest of us are imperfect mummies too, often less patient than we should be, with far less excuse (well in my case anyway.) Please don’t be so hard on yourself. Just keep on taking little steps forward each day as much as you can, and when you have a setback remember that it is not your fault. And remember that children are resilient, Esther and William know that you love them, and they don’t need you to be perfect. They just need you to be good enough, and you are. In as much as the blogging and tweeting is helping, keep doing it, but if you ever need to take a step back from it for a while, then that’s okay too. Concentrate on your lovely family, and doing whatever you need to do to survive. Be a bit selfish – that doesn’t come naturally to you, I know, but you need to look after yourself. I know I’m rambling, and I should probably stop. Really I just want to get in my car and drive to your house and give you a hug. I know it won’t make the pain go away, but one of these days I am just going to have to do it anyway I think. Okay, just one more thing before I shut up. You are not that poor lady without her baby. You are my lovely friend. You are Esther and William’s mummy. You are Tilda’s mummy and you always will be. Sending you so much love and huge hugs xxxxx

  15. Jennie,
    I sent you a little poem the other day and I want to let you know how deeply sorry I am for your loss and my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time.¬
    I know a little about grief having lost 2 babies before they were born and my sister 2 years ago to cancer. I however cannot begin to imagine the huge sadness that you must be feeling right now as you are overwhelmed¬†¬†with grief and shock. I know that you won’t only be grieving for yourself but for Esther and William too who have lost a precious sister.¬†I’m sure you are being strong Jennie but you have lost a dear daughter so let your family and all your friends support YOU.¬†There will be shock; grief; anger and deep sadness for a long time to come. I hope in time you can take comfort from your¬†memories with Matilda but right now there is only grief. A great river of it. You have to let it flow and carry you with it. ¬†

  16. Dear Jennie,
    As a mummy, when I read your words my heart breaks for you. Your posts radiate the love that you have for your family and, although you don’t feel it, such strength. Your little family has been through so much in the last nine weeks. Your creativity, energy, skill and innovation is astounding in the midst of devastating trauma. The perfect mummy doesn’t exist- all we can do is our best every day to give our children someone human to aspire to be. Your little ones just want their mummy, plain and simple. Give yourselves the time and space that you need to grieve as a family. Baby Tilda will be with you all every day, watching from above laughing at her brother and sister. Sending you all love.

  17. Hi Jennie…Love is truly all William & Esther see & feel & so very obviously have & they do not judge – that is the beauty of children….. I do not judge you either, who am i who have never walked your path but as a fellow human being & mother I care. I pray that you have a peace & can just be…….. be whatever you need to be, day by day to slowly move you to a place where your heart is less heavy & the intense pain you feel gradually begins to ease. Lots of love xx

  18. Jennie
    you ARE an inspirational mother, and a remarkable woman
    someone who has been through the most horrible, heartbreaking trauma and is doing so well just to be able to put one foot infront of the other, to keep going, to write, and, well… just to be.

    my words are tangled and tight as write and I know that if it was my small girl I would be utterly unable to function

    take care of yourself … take all the love and support you can from your online friends and also from people in the real world, lean on them, let them help with W&E … you don’t have to be super mum or prove anything to anyone

    sending you what feels like a paltry amount of love and strength and courage but it is so very heartfelt

  19. Thinking of you. I have followed your blog with such admiration and yet with such a heavy heart. I wish you every bit of courage and strength. You are soooo hard on yourself- I hope that one day soon you will recognise what a fantastic Mum you are. Your twins are thriving inspite of them living through such an awful experience. Your health visitors comments were very well deserved and that is down to you and David. On the videos you post E&W’s communication is excellent!!! The play ideas you describe are phenomenal and it is so evident you take your role as prime educator of your children so seriously. I wish so much that things were different. Please take good care of yourself. You describe all the efforts you are doing for your twins please make sure you are making time for yourself. I know we have never met but I think of you every day- especially Saturdays x

  20. Im not sure what to say that is comforting .. it is totally understandable that you have these thoughts. you have been hurt possibly the worst way a parent can be and you will never be the same as before. Life has the tendency of throwing incredibly joyful and painful things at us and we have to learn to deal with them the best we can. I do hope that you will find some peace one day, im sure you will. You are a very strong person and a wonderful mom to your kids, from what i keep reading, there is no doubt about that. hugs

  21. Jennie, you are an incredible mother and I agree with all the other comments. I wish I had the right words. Try and be kind to yourself; you are going through so much. We want to make things better for you and are thinking of you always. I wonder if grief counseling might help but like the others said, grief is a long winding road and it will take time to feel life getting a little easier. Sending love and strength xx

  22. For the past 9 weeks, yes Matilda Mae has changed everyone else for the better and you have been inspirational to everyone…but you ALWAYS have been inspirational. You couldn’t be a bad mother if you tried! You can’t see it, but you are still wonderful you, just without the light-heartedness for now. How could you not be heavy-hearted right now? You wouldn’t even call yourself a good mother if you were light-hearted and carefree right now!

    Don’t worry about how anyone sees you, don’t even worry about how you see yourself for a little while. You must be exhausted, Jennie. Totally and utterly, emotionally wrung, mentally spent and physically exhausted. No matter how beautiful and clever and funny and creative and affectionate and lovable a couple of two-year olds are, they are still full-on hard work and draining for any mother -especially when we’re exhausted. It’s because we instinctively want to give them everything and love them so right, that when we can’t be 100% of what we consider to be our best, our mother-guilt always instinctively kicks in. Give yourself a break, have a day off from perfect play and spend a day snuggled on your mattress with William on one side and Esther on the other, watching simple light-hearted DVD’s that you and the twins can enjoy together (NODDY works for us!). You can hold them close or you can close your eyes a little and if you need to have a cry a little you can, then after a few episodes, if they become restless and you really feel like they should have some sensory play, lay a towel at the end of your mattress under your feet and introduce them to a pump bottle of some moisturising lotion or sorbolene cream and let them rub it all over the bottom of your feet for the cutest and most beautiful foot massage you will ever have :-) It’ll soothe your soles and maybe just a little, soothe your soul too. xxx

  23. Yet again Jennie, you are able to find words so powerful to make us know how you feel. Yet again, I can’t find the right words to say back to you. I know you inspiring so many can not take away your pain. I just hope that there will be a time when it won’t hurt like you describe and you will be able to know what a wonderful mother you are to all your children and that Matilda’s legacy is you xx

  24. Such beautiful, poetic writing of your feelings. You are extremely brave to share this with the world and I salute you for doing so. The fact you recognise your feelings shows what a fantastic mummy you must be!

  25. im a regular visitor to your blog, ive followed your journey. i hate that you do not believe in yourself. i haven’t gone through what your going through, i haven’t lost a child. but i am not half the mother that you are. my life is riddled with depression, i try and i try and my best is not good enough. ive often wondered if my children would be better without me, but i continue because the love i have for them is the only thing that keeps me waking up day after day. you are an amazing woman…. a beautiful wife… the kind of mother i long to be. one day i will be. i hope. please remember your worth… x

  26. Oh Jennie, I am so sorry that your path as a mother is different from the one you envisaged, a path that fewer walk and a path that very few walk with such grace, strength and determination as you have been walking. There is little I can comment on how you feel, (how could I?!) instead, as someone who cares about you, I just ask you don’t let the darkness grip you too long at a time, for you are a wonderful mother to all three of your children! Every twinkle in Tilda’s eyes, her smilie demeanor and her happiness in her short life is a testament to that.
    And remember you are you, an individual, too, not just a mother. Give yourself time and space to grieve, to stay down for a little bit…for you need that to see the world from that angle too. How else can you gather the strength to carry on, to carry Tilda’s legacy on?
    Love and hugs to you. There for you, to provide any crutches I can.

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