In the hands of a bitter, bitter moon.

Dear Freddie,

You should be 2 months old today. I can’t remember what a 2 month old is like – i was very much looking forward to reminding myself with you, finding out all over again about having a baby in the house.

In a perfect world, the one i have to remind myself we would probably never have lived with you, you would be smiling now. You’d be robust enough to leave down on the floor for a moment, i expect, growing out of the crook of my arm, probably firmly into 3-6 month clothes, given you clearly didn’t fit newborn ones from the very start. You’d be looking into my eyes and you’d know your sisters well. Daddy would have started slinging you and you might have spent a night or two in a crib, the crib i never brought here for you, even though i did for all your sisters. You’d probably be gurgling at us and settling into a little bit of a familiar routine. There would be things in the house that were Freddie’s, washing to sort out that was Freddie’s.

I have to remember, because it is hard to do so, that that isn’t the little boy we were going to bring home. If you’d come home, it would have been feeding tubes and worry and trips back to the hospital. Daddy and i would probably still be living there with you and all of us would have been broken apart. The other events wafting around the wider family would have been nothing more than a background rustle, instead of the clanging pain and stress they are. If you’d lived, i’d still be waiting for you to die, maybe for years.

The problem, Freddie, is i don’t have to mourn for that little boy, the little boy who arrived in the room broken and damaged beyond repair. I only have to mourn for the one who we were expecting, the little boy who should be ready to snuggle down on daddy’s lap for the World Cup. I only have to mourn for the one who should have cried a newborn cry at birth, opened his eyes and looked at us and come home the same day. I only have to mourn for the one we believed was coming.

I don’t know what happened to you, i’m never going to know. I don’t know who to blame, what to do better, what i could have changed. I don’t know why i have 4 children in my house, not 5, or why i can sleep whenever i want, why there aren’t babygros in the wash. I have no idea why you grew but didn’t grow strong enough to stay. I don’t know if my choices broke you or if i made a mistake, or if i put myself before you. I don’t know what to tell people when they ask. I keep wondering if you knew? I keep wondering if it hurt, or frightened you, or made you sad. I keep wondering if any time in that 11 days i told you i loved you, or if you were aware enough to know it and feel it before you were born.

I keep wondering if there was a moment when things went wrong and i missed it?

I know i did love you – do love you – and that photos of you are just not enough. Sometimes i dream i walk to your bedside at night, like i did almost every night of your life. I can remember every pace, every door, every buzzer. I can feel my way back to you but when i get there, i can’t make you still exist. I can’t force you to be there in a way that means i can hold you and touch you and talk to you.

I wish i knew where you were. I wish i had some sort of something that would help me find you. I can’t seem to make you settle in my soul anywhere; i can’t feel you there. There is just an aching great hole in the place i expected you to be. I badly need you to find your way back to me.

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  1. Catherine W says

    My heart aches for you, your family and your little Freddie.

    I always wonder about that moment too. If I missed it. If I could have changed things if I hadn’t. I wonder if it hurt or if she was frightened. If I should have asked them to stop sooner.

    ‘If you’d lived, i’d still be waiting for you to die, maybe for years.’ I think, sometimes, I forget that chasm between the child that I mourn for and the child who could have been. The child of that perfect world, the child we believed would arrive.

    I think that Freddie knew how much you loved him. I hope it knew it before his birth, I hope he knew it afterwards, I hope. Because that is all I can do.

    I’m sorry that Freddie won’t be watching the World Cup. For some reason, that sentence was the point at which my tears started to fall faster. The image of your little boy snuggled up to watch. I am so, so sorry.

  2. says

    You write so movingly that I can’t help but keep thinking about you and what you are going through and I keep reading even though I don’t know you. I just wanted to say that its sounds like you have countless friends there and also countless other people like me out there just reading and just willing you on and on. The feeling of “If only” when I read is so powerful it takes my breath away.

  3. Sue says

    There’s nothing constructive I can say, but your writing moves me to tears. I hope there is some way in which blogging about Freddie is therapeutic and that it may one day help someone else going through similar pain. But in the meantime, I doubt if anything can make the emptiness go away. I only wish I could help in some tiny way. ((((hugs))))

  4. Rachel says

    Dear Merry

    still thinking of you here, a lot. We are very blessed with Joe and the fact he survived against the odds I understand where you are coming from when you say the difference between the imagined baby of pregnancy and what the reality both is and was. Joe was four months old when we finally got him home and we live with the whats going to happen next all the time. sending you hugs. you way with words im sure is helping others tahnk you for your honesty.
    Merry please dont feel you were to blame, Im a carrier for Joes condition its technically my fault hes ill, but beating yourself up in any way well…..hindsight is a two edged sword

    Freddie and the Girls have the best Mum in the world. (((hugs)))

    Rachel (ps feel free to delete my waffle)

  5. San says

    So sad Merry. No answers and very few words, just wanting to let you know am thinking of you all.
    Big hugs San x

  6. Tech says

    “Every leaf on every tree
    And every drop of water in the sea
    Every grain of weathered sand
    That smashes itself onto dry land
    Every stone and every petal, everything that’s elemental
    You are never gone.”

    Found that the other day and it made me think of Freddie.

  7. Georgina says

    Dear Merry and family

    I only know you through this site and can only let you know that you and your family are very often in my thoughts.


  8. Tania says

    Dear Merry,
    i’ve been a frequent visitor to your site for a few years now, i have 3 daughters of my own, the youngest of which is 5yrs old and is being HE by myself and i’m pregnant with a boy, due in September. My heart sank when i returned to your site to read the recent events in your lives concerning little Freddie…Merry, i believe that there’s a good,loving, merciful God in heaven that does know all the answers. Like a tapestry, we only see the reverse side, which is tangled, confused and a complete mess, God sees the beautiful picture on the front. I truly believe that your little boy is in the most perfect place, apart from any pain & suffering which we all endure on this earth and in the loving arms of his the Lord, Merry, he will give you rest…love & prayers…Tania..xx

  9. says

    Thank you all for the kind and supportive comments – Catherine, Jeanette – i wish i had anything to say back that could possibly help :( Rachel – hugs back. Urgh… if only the world was perfect :(

    Tech, that has an amazing synchronicity with a half written post – thank you :)

    Tania, i wish you well with your baby boy, i really do – but i’m not someone who gets any comfort from being urged towards Christianity. I appreciate your support and i am glad it is good for you but… well… it just doesn’t do it for me.

  10. Alix says

    all love, Merry – have been reading all your posts. Mute with tears and distress for you. Sorry I can’t say more, more eloquently.xxxxxxx

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