Last weekend we had a manic weekend: I organised a children’s masquerade party for the Oxford Hungarian society, then on Sunday we hosted a joint birthday party with Dadonthebrink. 15 adults, 9 children and a dog. The party was winding down when Dadonthebrink ran through from kitchen en route upstairs with a worried face.
As he returned I looked at him questioningly- ” all OK?”
“Yes, just the monitor went off; he’s sleeping fine though.”- he shrugged and we thought nothing more of it.
You see I was a paranoid mum first time around 6 years ago (heck I’m still a mum on the brink): After a traumatic labour, for the first couple of nights I would only sleep if Dadonthebrink was with Little Miss. Eventually he bought me a motion sensor monitor.
It allowed me to sleep a bit better, especially when, second time around, Little Man’s silent reflux meant he would only sleep in our arms or on his tummy. Mini Man has inherited the monitor even though by now I am much more relaxed in my parenting (I actually forgot to use it in the first week or so of his life). Mini Man is just coming up to 8 months, and I had become quite laxed at putting the sensor on, he moves about so much in bed anyway and he’s over the threshold of being at risk of SID (sudden infant death) … or so I thought.
Monday I logged on to Facebook and Twitter and saw the shock waves rippling through a community of parents far and wide: The heartbreaking news of a vibrant baby girl taken way too soon from her loving, caring parents.
With a baby just slightly younger than my own I have followed this mummy‘s pregnancy and birth, read about what her baby likes and admired the gorgeous baby’s stunning big chocolate brown eyes in pictures of her.
Did I know them? We’ve barely met, we congratulated each other on the birth of our children, chatted on twitter once in a blue moon, sharing the ups and downs of mothering babies about the same age.
Yet, I have not stopped weeping, tears streaming down my face or in my heart, since that day for the baby girl and her family.
Her mummy is extraordinary: throwing herself into planning a funeral, sharing her deep, dark thoughts and some incredibly positive ones too, as well as her and her husband’s internal torture, her toddlers’ different coping mechanisms.
I grieve with her and for her.
Every time I pick up my own baby and look in his eyes, I feel a tinge of sadness for a mummy who cannot do this for hers;
Every time I pick up my own baby demanding a feed in the middle of the night, the middle of preparing dinner, the middle of whatever, I give in and feed him, smiling as a gift, for I know there is a mummy who is aching do this for hers;
Every time I pick up my own baby because he is not wanting to be left in his playpen, I indulge him for just a bit more, take a bit longer to settle him with a toy before I get on with the chores for I know there is a mummy who would give up almost anything to have this time with hers;
And every time I pick up my own and it hurts my back, I bare it for a little longer, for I know there is a mummy who would bare excruciating pain to be able to do this again for hers.
How can this happen?! How can this be fair?!
Those doting parents cannot blame themselves! They have cared for and loved that little girl with all that they could (and always will)- this has been so evident from all the post, tweets posted from the moment she was conceived.
I pray that they don’t torture themselves with the what-ifs, because I truly believe what her Mummy wrote:
“You were born to be an angel
God has made this so
He chose us to look after you
To help you earn your wings
Now he has reached down and taken you back
On to better more beautiful things“
Such beauty is sometimes placed on this Earth to touch our hearts, leave a message and go.
“Autopsy over. No cause of death could be determined…” her mummy wrote.
How could science explain a Higher Will however cruel it seems?
God has bigger plans, some already evident by how far and wide the ripples of this beautiful baby girl gaining her Angel wings have reached.
For me, as a mummy, this tragedy has certainly been a wake-up call to appreciate every minute of being with my children. It’s giving me some strength to take steps I need to take to be there for them, but was too scared to admit to myself even.
May your body rest in peace little Matilda Mae and your soul soar high with it’s Angel wings!
Jennie, David, Esther and William, you are in my prayers, may you find peace in your memories that your beautiful baby Matilda Mae has left you with and the ripples her short, but purposeful life have created and will continue to create. x