Can you hear me, wherever you are? It’s me. Your mummy.
I don’t even know if you can hear me. I don’t know if you’re there. But I need to talk to you. I need to tell you just how much I love you, sweet baby. I can’t have you thinking you’re not important. I don’t want you to think you’re forgotten. I need to explain myself to you.
I’ll admit, my darling, you weren’t planned, but you certainly weren’t a mistake. You were my beautiful little surprise. When I first did your test I couldn’t believe it. I was so thrilled, beyond what any words can describe.
They say a mother’s love is unconditional – and it is, my darling, it is. I knew at that moment, when the little line told me I was pregnant, that I’d adore you and cherish you no matter what. You could grow up to be a murderer, gambler, thief, but you’d be my little baby, and I would love you forever.
I went out and bought a tiny pair of boots. It was nearly October, so the only ones available were woolly ones. I collapsed on the bed and stuck my fingers in the boots and made them walk across my stomach.
I cradled my tummy, knowing you were swimming inside, so small, so tiny. ‘Hello, little baby,’ I whispered. I knew every noise must have been so loud for you, amplified to a thousand times its original volume to your miniature, fragile ears. Did you even have ears yet? I didn’t know, but the noise must have vibrated and shook you something rotten – so I whispered instead, to protect you.
‘It’s me. Your mummy,’ I whispered in a hushed voice, so quiet I could barely hear it myself.
I whispered to you for hours, while Daddy was at work. I told you everything about myself – do you remember? I wanted you to know your mummy, so that when I held you when you’d been born you’d love me with the intensity that I’d instantly loved you with.
I told Daddy the news straight away. He was so excited, darling, you wouldn’t believe it. He placed his big hand on my stomach – could you feel him? Did you know it was your daddy out there? He beamed at you, even though he couldn’t see you. We loved you instantly, even though we didn’t know you. Daddy’s voice boomed as he talked to you, but I hushed him, frightened his loud voice would hurt your little ears. He whispered to you too.
I called up all my friends. They squealed excitedly and discussed clothes, prams, cots, and dummies. I told my mum and dad, who threw their arms around me and squeezed me. Could you feel their warmth as they hugged us? They cooed at my stomach, so in awe of you. They’d be grandparents. You’d be their first grandchild.
I wondered if you’d be a boy or a girl. It was too early to tell, but I wanted it to be a surprise anyway. Would you have looked like me or Daddy? We discussed baby names until the early hours of the morning, Daddy’s hand cupped around my stomach as we lay in bed. We decided on James if you were a boy, or Lydia if you were a girl.
We even talked about moving home. This seemed to be the first baby of many, and you weren’t even born yet. We wanted a nice, big house, with a green, grassy garden that you could play in. Daddy doesn’t know, but I looked on the Internet. There were some lovely ones, with balconies and ivy running up the door.
You made us so happy, little baby. You were all we could talk about. Sometimes when Daddy was asleep I whispered very quietly to you, having little conversations to you. I whispered because I didn’t want to wake Daddy, but also because I didn’t want to hurt your tiny ears. Loud noises used to make me jump terribly; I was convinced they’d be much louder to you. I wanted to look after you, sweet baby. I ate very carefully, not even breathing in unhealthy foods, let alone eating them. I was determined for this pregnancy to be perfect.
I tried my best, little darling. I really did. But I didn’t eat much at all, and it really affected my immune system. With it being winter, I got a nasty cold. I didn’t really think much of it, though I worried about you. I didn’t think it would turn worse. I didn’t think something so simple would turn into a horrible illness which took over my whole body – including you.
I was at work and Lorraine, who sits on the desk opposite me, noticed something was wrong. I wanted to downplay things – not just to everybody else, but to myself. But something was burning inside of me. I could feel my underwear dampening with blood. I couldn’t be bleeding, I couldn’t, I couldn’t.
Lorraine rang an ambulance and they carted me away. Everything went in a blur. I don’t remember any of it. I just remember the nurse’s face as she smiled at me sympathetically and explained you’d died.
No it wasn’t true you couldn’t be dead I loved you wasn’t my love enough to keep you alive why hadn’t it worked I adored you you couldn’t leave me why why why why.
I howled for hours, laid on that hospital bed. I stained the pillow with tears. Nurses came, offering sympathy, but I didn’t listen. I could barely hear them over my own thoughts.
I clutched my stomach but you weren’t there any more. I missed you. I sobbed, my shoulders shuddering, my throat raw with the effort of crying. I bent over and whispered to my stomach, ‘My little baby,’ but you couldn’t hear me anymore. You weren’t there. You’d died. I felt as though I’d died too. The nurses might as well have stabbed me in the stomach and cut you out. That’s how I felt.
We adore you, we really do. We miss you terribly. Daddy doesn’t really like to talk about it, but when I told him the news his eyes turned pink and filled with soft, glistening tears. He bit his lip and took a deep breath, then wrapped his arms around me and pulled me close to him. The tears never seemed to end. I cried and cried. I could feel his body shaking. I think he was crying too.
I know everybody thinks it’s sent me crazy. Even Daddy suggests some sort of therapy or medication. Is it wrong to be sent mad with grief? I miss you, little baby. I want to whisper to you, to stroke my stomach, to hold you when you enter this earth. Why was that opportunity ripped away from me?
It’s December now. I’m stood outside, my hands shoved in my pockets. It’s snowing gently, flakes of white landing in my hair. I’m looking up at the sky, wondering if you’re there. I’ve never believed in heaven, not properly, not the way everyone else does, but I somehow find myself almost hoping you’re up there, waving down at me with your tiny fingers. I wave back, then shove my hands in my pockets again, just looking up at the sky.
I’ve been stood out here for an hour now, just letting the snow land on my face. I just want a sign, anything, to let me know you’re up there - whatever 'there' is. I need to be alone - but I want to be with you, too. I want heaven to be real. I want it to protect you, my darling. That’s why I’m stood here - so I can wait for you to give me an indication that you’re okay.
The cold snow lands on my face and keeps me awake, reminding me that this is real. Of course you’re not okay.I’ve lost you, little baby. I never knew you, and now I’ll never know you.
Nobody understands what it’s like for me. It’s horrible for me, because it was horrible for you. I can’t imagine what it was like when the arms of death tangled themselves around you. I don’t want to think about it. I could feel it, when my stomach boiled and burned as I lost you. I couldn’t hold onto you. Did you try to hold on? You were much too weak to fight it, my sweetheart.
My weak little baby who I couldn’t speak too loud to, out of fear the noise would hurt you. In the end, my carefulness had hurt you in another way. I can’t whisper to you any more.
I drag my head down, letting the snow land on my head now, instead of my face. It’s cold. I should be getting inside. Daddy will be wondering where I am.
I don’t want to leave you, darling. But I don’t even know if you’re here. I’ll never know where you are, who you are. It’s torture, not knowing anything about you. I’ll never be able to know. I can imagine and visualise and have lots of other children but it just won’t be the same. It can never be the same.
I miss you, my sweet little baby. I’m sorry for doing this to you. I didn’t mean to, I really, truly didn’t.
I will always love you.
A/N: I realise this is a delicate subject. I don't wish to offend or hurt anyone by this work. I'm sorry if that's what has happened- that was my last intention. I hope this doesn't upset.