Today marks two years of Hugo’s Legacy.
I was reminded of this by a Facebook memory this morning, which prompted me to think about everything that has happened since I hit ‘publish’ on that first post.
In April 2014 I was in that stage of raw, visceral early grief. I was confused, angry, frightened. Full of self-loathing for my body having failed my baby, for not having done enough to save him. Full of fury with the world for this happening to me, to us. Trying to come to terms with the fact that I nearly died, myself. Holding the knowledge that at that time I should have been around 30 weeks’ pregnant, and with everything still to look forward to.
Instead, Hugo had been born, lived and died weeks before he should have arrived.
My blog became my outlet for my sorrow and rage in the absence of any formal support at that time. I can remember writing HELLP Raise Awareness feeling full of anger at myself, and needing to do something.
I remember other bereaved parents giving gentle advice in those raw early days. They said it would get different, that I would cope and survive. I didn’t believe them – how could that level of pain ever go away? And there was a time when I didn’t want the pain to go away.
In many ways, I was punishing myself.
Believing that I was alive at Hugo’s expense, I lived every moment for my son.
Two years on, I am in a different place.
I miss Hugo so much it hurts every single day. I wonder every single day what he would be like, what my nearly two-year-old little boy would like to do and be interested in, and what my toddler and I would be up to on any given day.
It is not better; I don’t think it ever will be better, but it just as those other broken-hearted parents testified, it is different. I have coped, and I have survived the worst times anyone can imagine.
During the past two years my blog and Hugo’s legacy have been ways of keeping Hugo alive.
My blog has also kept me alive.
And that really is no exaggeration.
The past two years have brought me more than I ever could have imagined. My blog has in many ways enriched my life through freely expressing my creativity as well as being an outlet for my grief and trauma, and giving me a sense of purpose. It has shown me that I am capable of far more than I ever realised, that I am strong, tenacious, and resilient.
Through my blog I have achieved more than I thought possible, and it has presented me with opportunities I never thought might come my way.
I have stood up in front of hundreds of people and talked about my Hugo, and how I want things to change for other parents. I have found my confidence, my voice, and I know how to use it.
Through my blog, I have made the most wonderful connections with the most beautiful people. Some of you I have met, some of you I haven’t yet met. I would like to say a huge thank you to each and every one of you – your support has kept me going.
I have been nominated for awards, and even won won.
The past two years have taken me on one hell of a rollercoaster: from the depths of the abyss to being intoxicated by possibility and back again – and everything in between.
And I have had fun.
That creative side of me – the side I always knew was there but I had kept hidden for too long – has come to the fore. I have explored my creativity, opened doors in my mind that has let the breeze flow freely and conjure up all sorts of magic.
But for all this, I wish it had never happened. I would give it all back without a moment’s hesitation to have my Hugo back in my arms.
I cannot, I know. It is not possible.
So I do what I can, with what I have.
Who knows what the next two years may bring? If the past two years are anything to go by, the only way is up. For Hugo’s legacy, for support for other families like mine.
To borrow a quote from the late, great David Bowie: