Juggling Motherhood and Grief

Rochelle Followes by Rochelle Followes Additional Needs

Rochelle Followes

Rochelle Followes

I am parent to a gorgeous little blue eyed boy who has complex needs. I have a Facebook page, 'my daily miracle' where I share our life with others...

Back in November I submitted a rather exciting blog titled ‘Zachariah's going to be a big brother’, and had it scheduled to be posted after our 20 weeks scan.

However, this was never published, as our 20-week scan didn’t go the way we thought it would.

The worst happened.

There was no heartbeat.

Our baby had died.

As many of us do, I blamed myself.

The questions started.

Did I strain my body lifting Zachariah?

Was it stress?

Was it my diet?

The only thing I could think of that could possibly take my baby away from me was ME!

Why are we so hard on ourselves?

My guilt didn’t stop there.

As once we had received the news that I had contracted the Parvovirus which had resulted in the devastation, and I was clear of being blamed.

I began to punish myself for thinking I could be privileged with another baby when I had Zachariah to take care of.

I felt guilt for losing so much time with Zachariah whilst I was poorly and tired carrying his baby brother.

I felt guilt for needing time out to grieve and rest after the trauma of delivering my sleeping baby. Zachariah had lost his Mummy, who was there, but not present and available in the way I used to be.

The more I punished myself the more distant I got.

I started to forget important things:

  • Appointments
  • Meetings
  • Things that I needed to chase
  • Things I needed to pick up
  • Paperwork
  • Groups
  • Playdates
I started to slack with physiotherapy, visual stimulation, play.

I was living in a very dark cloud, I was not only grieving over my baby, but feeling like a rubbish Mother who had also neglected her big boy.

The vicious circle got bigger as I tried to juggle the everyday things and prepare Zachariah for school by working on his EHCP.

I very quickly tired and needed space.

I almost found myself regretting the decision we had made to have another baby, and for believing that we could manage two children.

It was incredibly difficult and I couldn’t see a way out.

People would praise me on how well I was doing, and how well I had continued to keep up with the busyness of life being Zachariah's Mummy.

But the reality was, I was barely keeping my head above waters.

4 months on, I am just about beginning to find myself again and releasing my advocate, caring role back out and getting my head back in gear.

I am being the Mummy that I have always aspired to be.

I’m getting my drive back, my passion and enjoying precious time with my boy.

Tonight, a friend told me that I haven’t lost time with Zachariah, as I haven’t completely gone anywhere.

And I shouldn’t focus on any time lost, but the time that I have had with Zachariah and how special that time has been, and the time I have to look forward to.

I needed to hear this and feel I can now move forward.

Remembering baby Ezra whilst being the best I can be for Zachariah also.

Grieving a baby whilst being full time mummy and carer for your other child is unbearable, and I pray that anyone else out there going through this finds peace and hope in the darkness.

Ezra will always be a part of our family.


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