I restart blogging, post twice and a year elapses.
Life has thrown us on a huge roller coaster and 2015 was the most challenging year of our lives.
The year started well in January. I returned to work part time working just 3 days a week, Jack started to attend his school nursery on a Thursday allowing me a few hours at home with Jessica to get my jobs done. We settled into our new routines quickly, Jessica started to attend nursery whilst I was at work and enjoyed her time there.
|Jessica Rose at 10 months|
February changed the course of our lives forever. The month began with Jack's third birthday celebrations, then on the morning of Thursday 12th we discovered our beautiful little had passed away in her sleep. The events of that morning and the preceding evening will be etched on my mind for the rest of my life. From collecting her from nursery with what seemed like a routine tummy bug to hearing my husband screaming for me from the bedroom, waiting for the ambulance to come to being told that she couldn't be saved, I will take those horrendous moments to my grave.
After 8 long months we were finally given the results of the post mortem investigation and received a cause of death of "Sudden Infant Death Syndrome", or SIDS for short. They could find no reason why a healthy, happy and loved little baby was so suddenly taken from us.
We are very lucky to have a great support network of family, friends and counselling from a local child bereavement charity. We decided very quickly afterwards that this would not define our lives. We have an incredibly strong relationship and I clearly recall how we discussed that before our children there was "us", and that will always continue. Day to day we grieve as we need to. Some days are incredibly hard, most, to be honest, are just normal. We have a lot to live for, there's still so much in our future, not least the amazing little boy who needs his Mummy and Daddy.
|Hello! Baby 3 at 12 Weeks|
In June we were thrilled to find out that we were expecting a baby. We never wanted the age gap between our children to be long, so as time passed that gap would only grow larger. We missed the busy family home, we always wanted two children and in the spirit of not letting this defeat us, the only way was forwards.
The rest of the year has been a whirlwind of positive activity. We have made huge changes to our home, at a rate we could not have anticipated at the start of the year. We are thrilled with the renovations and finally feel settled and comfortable.
Hobbies wise we continue to grow and learn in our respective interests. James is still enjoying cycling and has set himself some exciting challenges for the coming year. Craft wise I continue to love sewing and knitting. My dressmaking has really come on this year, I've tried to move my focus to creating more practical and wearable pieces to fill gaps in my wardrobe which has seen many more handmade items getting wear. Knitting wise, I've been slowly pottering at whatever takes my fancy, I'm still a fan of knitting hats for both myself and the small people, I've also completed a couple of pairs of gloves and have a big cosy cardigan on the needles right now.
|Julia Cardigan - Mouse House Designs|
One hobby which took me by surprise was learning all about gardening. In the days following Jessica's death I was gazing out at the daffodils in the back garden (a sight which forever reminds me of my spring baby) and thinking about how I ought to cut back the unruly roses out there before the new growth took hold. I decided quite suddenly that gardening would be my focus, my Mum has always been a keen gardener and it had been on my list of things to learn when I had more time. Going suddenly from two children to one, I felt it would give me something to nurture, not to mention the fresh air and exercise benefits. If all else failed, I would get a nice garden at the end of it, so why not give it a go?
As I type I look back out on an entirely different scene, we managed to remodel large parts of our plot, adding new structures and plants, establishing rose beds and a vegetable garden. It quickly became my obsession as I happily absorbed new knowledge (I had no idea of my capacity for Latin plant names!), checked my precious little seedlings, fed and nurtured my beautiful roses (a tribute to our girl) and spent many an hour weeding, grass mowing, or tending to my plants. Just 30 minutes of an evening after work pottering cleared my head and frankly I think it was my saviour many days to just get out there and dig away the stress.
Jack continues to bring us so much joy and happiness. There really is no time for feeling sad with this little ball of energy and excitement in our lives. He is a bright, beautiful and sensitive boy who loves nothing more than running, cycling and swimming, he really has been my rock in the last year. He doesn't fully comprehend what happened to his little sister yet but it will come in time.
On holiday in Weymouth this summer
So what next? I feel that there's so much I'd like to write about, not least our journey as we learn to live with the loss of a child and the difficulties of having another baby so soon afterwards, I know that I have found reading about other's experiences of real comfort - I'd like to give something back.
I'd still love to use this space to talk about crafts, home making and gardening - I hope you'll read along and enjoy a virtual cup of tea with me.
So here's to 2016, what will undoubtedly be a difficult year, but full of promise and excitement. I can't wait to meet our new baby, get back out in my garden, continue with my hobbies and make lots of great new memories.