I used to always wonder what falling in love would feel like, who it would be with, when it would be…
The type of love you have for your parents, family and friends is different, you grow up loving them, it’s by force.
This love was different.
On May 29th 2017, I fell in love. I fell in love with my brand-new baby brother, my first ever sibling.
During the nine months, my step-mum was pregnant; I got myself a job, I was excited because I knew that my first pay-cheque was about to come through just after the baby’s due date and I was so ready to blow it all on baby stuff, I’d been bookmarking things online for ages.
On Saturday, the day before she went to the hospital, I spent the whole day at a family wedding. The whole day was spent guessing whether the baby was going to be a boy or a girl, we argued over potential baby names and we joked about who the baby was going to take after.
My Dad told me that I could give a speech at the baby’s first Birthday party, I was already planning it in my head. We even joked that if I were to have kids in the next few years that my Dad’s kid and mine would grow-up together, insane.
The following day, Sunday I WhatsApped my Dad in the early evening asking about the baby, we made a bet. £100 to me if it’s a boy, £100 to him if it’s a girl, I even put a screenshot of our conversation on Snapchat. It was only 35 minutes later that I received the worst phone call, ever.
I’ve only heard my Dad cry twice in my life, his crying voice is very distinctive. When I answered the phone and he said my name in that voice, I was not prepared for what I was about to be told next.
It felt very surreal, at first. I didn’t believe him when he called, I was waiting for him to tell me it was a sick joke.
After a 40-minute drive, I arrived at the hospital where I stayed for 19 hours. I spent most of my time there with one of my cousins, whom I’m so grateful for, because without him my head would have been 10x worse.
My beautiful chocolate chip was born a stillborn baby on Monday morning. I won the bet, it was a boy.
My perfect, little angel.
Soon after he was born I got to see and hold him.
The nurses had placed him in a tiny, white basket and as soon as I held it, I felt my heart break into a million pieces.
It was a strange feeling because my heart broke but I fell in love, all at the same time.
I remember a thousand thoughts going through my mind all at the same time, holding him in the basket, it still didn’t feel real.
What could he had possibly done to have deserved this?
The whole situation felt very unfair. But, none of that mattered once I laid my eyes on him, all I cared about was spending as much time with him as I could before God took him away for good.
My beautiful baby.
I looked at him so hard, I spent a lot of time studying his face so I could keep a mental image of his face in my mind forever. Taking pictures of him didn’t feel right but it was the only way that it would feel as if he was with me at all times.
The first outfit that he wore was the little Nike outfit that I brought for him months before he was born. I kept all the gifts that I had brought for him in the boot of my car so I didn’t forget them for when he was born.
He looked all swagged out, all matching everything, proper little G.
I remember starring at his mouth a lot, the longer I stared at it the more it looked as if it was moving, it looked like he was breathing. I knew deep down it wasn’t, I just wanted an excuse not to believe it.
He was so perfect, the longest eyelashes, chubbiest cheeks… I wanted to hug him forever.
Have you ever seen a baby and wanted to just squish their cheeks onto your lips and kiss them a million times? That’s how I felt when I held him.
I said my final goodbyes to him 2 weeks later… I can hand on heart say that it was the hardest thing I have ever done/had to do. He was brought home for an hour or so before we took him to the chapel. The kids and I all wrote letters and put items in his casket. I had brought matching North Face t-shirts for us, so I used the laces from the pair of trainers I brought him to tie my t-shirt up to put in his casket, that way he had something of mine, forever.
I remember sounds the nails made when they were screwed into the lid on his casket, it was awful, I hated the concept of him or anyone for that matter being placed in a box.
I didn’t cry for the most part; I was proud of myself because every day prior to his funeral I cried a LOT. But, I think I had accepted and made peace with the fact that he was gone for good.
The only thing that I hadn’t accepted, and still haven’t come to terms with is that I’m never going to physically see or hold him again. During the past 2 weeks, we could visit him at the funeral home, spend time and talk to him. It upset me the most that I wouldn’t be able to do that anymore.
All in all, this experience has been the worst. However, I do believe that God only hands us situations that we as individuals are strong enough to handle, as much as I wish I wasn’t handed this situation it has made me realise that I want a closer relationship with God.
I believe that my little brother is now with God and if I’m close with God then I’ll be closer to my beautiful angel…
Miss you my little chocolate chip.
Sands is the official charity for ‘stillbirth and neonatal deaths.’
Sands’ movement is to help promote research in regards to this matter and reduce the loss of babies’ lives. This charity supports those who are affected by a death of a baby and helps improve the care received by parents affected by this specific issue.
I have decided to help Sands by trying to raise awareness for their #15babiesaday initiative. The #15babiesaday initiative has been created to highlight the shocking statistic that 15 babies die every day either before, during or shortly after being born. Find out more about: #15babiesaday.
You can help make a difference by donating a small amount to this cause by clicking here.
Thank you for reading this post. This hasn’t been done for any sort of attention, it was just a part of how I’m choosing to grieve.
*I wouldn’t usually publicise anything this personal to me, but I felt it was important to share my experience. I’d like to take this time to let anyone know who is going through something similar or anyone going through anything at all know that my DM’s are always open if you need to talk or vent. I got you. (Twitter: @nav_ena)
**I would like to thank everyone who knew what I was going through and kept my brother and I in their prayers and checked up on me regularly to make sure I was good. I appreciate you.
***In my little brother’s name, a trust fund has been opened in India where my Dad and his wife will be giving money to the less fortunate children there who can’t afford equipment for necessities such as school, so, shout out my Dad and Step-Mum.