Lucy feels so very far away from me now. My pregnancy with Lucy, and the subsequent heartbreak and devastation that followed - well they are taking on more and more of a dream like quality these days.
When I think about the key moments that are engrained in my mind - that sickening realisation on that sunny morning that I couldn't get her to respond to me, the drive to the hospital, the scan, the hysteria, the phone calls, the tearful relatives arriving, the endless questions (the list goes on and on) - they have that dream like haze over them these days. Like when you wake and you try and think about the dream that was just very clear in your mind, yet now the more you think the more it is like you are watching it through tinted glass - the edges are smudgey and you can't quite get clarity in the picture, just fleeting glances of faces, rooms, minor details.
The rawness of the emotion I felt in those early days has settled, but is never far from the surface. It can sneak up from nowhere, but all of a sudden the hot tears are stinging my eyes and the knot in my throat is suffocating and no matter how much I swallow it won't shift and then the tears fall. Time at first forces you to carry on living, you can't fight it as the second hand keeps going round and minutes pass, then hours, then days. Gradually you stop trying to fight it and acceptance of what has happened begins, albeit very slowly. And eventually you start to find joy in life again, although it is a strange happiness that you have now because underneath your smile and laugh your thoughts always flick for a moment to that little baby soul that touched your life and was gone. And then you want to scream at people and tell them your inner anguish. I hate it when people don't see Lucy as a baby. They don't have to say anything, but the way they speak about her, their body language - a whole host of things - it's a dead give away. I don't know how they perceive her, a miscarriage maybe? A strange alien bump that was once protruding in front of the host and then vanished? I just know that in their head they don't imagine ten pudgy baby toes and soft downy baby hair when they think of her. They don't imagine a baby.
Or do they?
Is this just my own paranoia? These almost protective feelings I have as her mother, I don't want my beautiful child to be though any less of, I want her memory to be respected and cherished. I don't want her to be classified as something she's not, or feared as some sort of freak. I just want people to see her and understand this pain we suffer at having lost her, she was a baby, she was absolutely perfect and we loved her fiercely with all of our hearts. We still do.
7 months today I held her for the first time.