• Laura

Karen's Story

"It’s hard to know where to begin but I’ll start with the joy of being told I was going to be a Nan. After my daughter miscarried her first, this news was amazing. We were all so excited and I was thrilled with the thought of being a grandparent.   I started to think about all the things I would do and even started to think about making my house ‘baby proof’.

Pregnancy was going well and then we got the devastating news that baby had a very rare and serious heart defect and it was life limiting.  My happiness quickly turned to despair. I felt helpless, I wanted to make things right and I couldn’t.   I had to ‘dig deep’ and be strong for my daughter and her partner.  I’m her mother I should be able to protect her from pain but I couldn’t, I cried myself to sleep most nights.

Not long after the devastating news, my grandson was born sleeping and I was present at his birth. My daughter was so brave and I’ve never been prouder of her. It was a beautifully, sad experience if that makes sense, the birth of an angel.

The midwife was wonderful and we were all treated with such tenderness, that helped.

I cried all the way home. There’s nothing worse than seeing your child hurting and you can’t take the hurt away and then there was the additional pain of losing my grandchild. 

For quite a while I put my grief to one side as my daughter was my priority. In fact I probably didn’t grieve for some time. I had to be there for my daughter and her partner. When you see your child struggle, you struggle too ! I had my moments, my partner and friends were great. I cried a lot at home when I was on my own. My friends at work have been great they got me through each and every day.

I think my grief caught up with me at Christmas. He was honoured by us all with special ornaments and I got the most beautiful poem from him via my daughter. Even through her own pain she was able to do this for me. A priceless treasure.

We’ve always been a family that talks, we’ve certainly been through some ups and downs, and talking really helped.

We talk about him all the time and he has a special place in all our hearts. 

Do you ever get over something like this ...... no I don’t think so but you learn to move on in the knowledge we have a guardian angel looking over us.

I have exhausted the why us and if only thoughts and especially through these recent unprecedented times I am grateful that my family are all healthy and well.

There are still days I cry, tears for my daughter and her partner and for my grandson. When I’m out walking the dogs I think about him and then a robin appears and I know he’s ok.  That gives me comfort.

The only advice I can give is talk. Don’t bottle things up. This certainly helped us all get through this.

I think now we are all able to look to the future with hope and happiness and maybe a little apprehension but in the knowledge he is looking down on us all."

- Karen

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