bereavement · Childbirth · childloss · grief · infantloss · Labour · miscarriage · pregnancy · stillbirth


Natalie_Oldham_Otis_Cullen_005If you asked me one year ago if I thought I would ever say this again, I’d have probably screamed in your face that it’d never be possible … but I’m actually quite looking forward to Christmas this year.

Last year was our first Christmas without Otis and I cannot begin to explain how empty the day felt, knowing I should have been walking in to his nursery in the morning and carrying him downstairs to open his presents (then probably try to eat the wrapping paper). This year, I’m safe in the knowledge I can honour and include my son. It might have seemed like a ‘strange’ thing to do, to some people, but going to see a replica of Otis’ coffin last week has been incredibly healing for me. It has allowed me to put many raw feelings to bed and has answered a lot of questions that I knew I couldn’t move forward without knowing the answers to.


I’m finally starting to tell myself that moving forward does not mean I am moving ON, 20229106_804260436421960_2003369418687116588_nthey are two completely different and separate things. I will never move on from the death of my baby boy. But I can live and adjust to our ‘normal’ of constantly and always missing his presence. He is the undercurrent of my days, with the tide now ebbing and flowing as opposed to being like a tsunami daily like it was in the early days. Otis, like every other child who has ever graced the earth, was and is one of a kind. He will never be replaced and there will always be an Otis shaped hole in my life that only him coming back could ever fill …

But I only have one chance to make this life a special one for his two sisters and I’ll do everything in my power to do so, and I know he won’t be mad at me for trying. His picture will always be up in the house; his name always written in cards; his footprints embedded forever on my heart; the hole he has left in our lives will grow the same as he would if he had lived; I’ll still have nights where I cry myself to sleep and question what I did wrong; there’ll still be times I cannot face even getting up in the morning because grief is not a linear process and it will still catch me unaware every now and then … but I can honestly say for the first time since his heart stopped beating almost 18 months ago, that I am content.

I am forever thankful to my son for teaching me some of the biggest lessons I will ever learn. He has taught me how to love deeper, laugh harder, and how to survive the unsurvivable.

received_601984963316176Healing – being at peace – does not mean that him not being here is okay or easy, nor does it mean I’m over his death. Healing simply means I’m choosing to do the one thing my child was never given the chance to do … I’m choosing to live

“On the night you were born, the moon smiled with such wonder and the stars peeked in to see you and the night wind whispered ‘life will never be the same again’ … because there had never been anyone like you in the world.”r his death. Healing simply means I’m choosing to do the one thing my child was never given the chance to do … I’m choosing to live.

Thank you for choosing me to be your mummy.

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