People keep asking me what “the point” of me sharing our story is… “The point” of this story is that our son did not only die, but that he lived.
Our little boy exceeded every expectation and lived for 35 weeks against all odds. That’s what many people do not realise about stillborn babies – even though only for a short time, they still lived.
Otis provided us with 35 weeks of getting to know this amazing little person, with his own personality and his own little quirks. We got to know what food he liked and disliked; we got to know what type of music made him sleepy and what type of music made him dance; we got to know when he was more active and when he usually slept; we got to know that he already had a noticeable routine of sleepiness and wakefulness.
Through the circumstances surrounding Otis’ death, we got to learn just how strong and resilient he is; we got to learn how much he fought and how long he fought.
Through the aftermath of Otis’ death, we get to learn how LOVED he is; we get to learn how much of an impact this perfect little soul has had, and continues to have, on the world; we get to learn about life in a different way because of him.
You see …
The fact of the matter is that we didn’t choose for this to happen. This is why I am sharing our story. We didn’t choose for this to become our lives; the harsh reality of becoming a “stillbirth parent” is the massive cloud it puts over your life, not only because of the loss you endure, but because of how much of a social stigma and taboo that loss is.
It’s a dark and heavy cloud, one that people tend to struggle to see the light through. I’m sharing our story because this silence on stillbirth needs to be ended, and if I can be even just a tiny part of that change, that movement, then it means my little boy hasn’t died in vain.
It’s hard, you know, sharing. It’s emotionally exhausting. Forcing myself to remember every last detail that a massive part of me wants to forget; it hurts. Forcing myself to be HONEST about how I feel so those who have never walked this path can understand more; that hurts too. I feel completely vulnerable. I don’t share our story “just because” … I wouldn’t. If I didn’t think for a second that my blog was raising some form of awareness, providing some form of comfort, or doing me any good; then I wouldn’t be writing it.
Otis Dominic Anthony Cullen; When we found out I was pregnant with you, we didn’t choose to become the parents and siblings of a little angel baby. We didn’t choose to bury our child. We didn’t choose to say hello and goodbye to you all in the same day. We didn’t choose for your grandparents to lose their grandson, or your aunts and uncles to lose their nephew. We didn’t choose for any of this. But honestly, if I had to do this all over again, if choosing you and losing you meant having the chance to LOVE you, then I would pick for you to be our son again in a heart beat. If I had the choice between you or a healthy child who would have lived, please know that in any world, at any time, in any circumstances; I would choose you. You are my son; you were destined to be my son & I am eternally grateful for the short time I did get with you. I hope you know that.
The only reason my heart is so heavy; the only reason this grief is so hard to deal with; the only reason this hurts so badly; is because of the immense love I have for you. I put a lifetime of love in to just the two days I got to spend with you – do you know how powerful that is?
Otis; I am blessed to be your mummy, I am thankful that we are your family, I am beyond honoured to have carried you within me. You may have been stillborn, but you were STILL born. That is a beautiful thing. I love you, sweet boy, more than you will ever know 💙