After Grace was born we spent time with her until the early evening and it was lovely but painful. It hurt to know we would not be taking her home for keeps and lovely because we had her, she was ours and we could hold her, touch her and she was with us. My husband B was so gentle with her, taking photos and making sure these moments were captured. Mum came to hold Grace and meet her granddaughter, making this time special and memorable.
It felt weird as we were not ringing people to share our wonderful news that we had a baby, and that we were getting lovely text messages but they were of sympathy not of congratulations.
That night when we were ready, the funeral home came to pick up Grace and I have to say how wonderful and caring the man we dealt with was. He could not have been nicer and we were given a lovely stone with an angel in it and Grace had one placed with her and this is something that will be a treasure forever. I held onto that stone all the way home that night and while I slept it was under my pillow. It still goes places with me when I need strength and help. We walked out of the hospital and came home to the kids, my mum and sister. It was lovely to be surrounded by their warmth and energy.
The next few days were hard, busy, a struggle and it was necessary to spend time doing what had to be done. People told me to slow down and rest but I just couldn't knowing that my time with Grace was short and I had to make the most of it. We went to rock climbing only one day after I had given birth and I was shattered but needed to remain living life and being part of what was happening. I had this focus and needed to ensure I did not get lost in the grief. C was rock climbing and all of my husbands family were there so to see them was lovely and kept us busy. We then spent time with Grace at the funeral home and this time was quiet, just us, talking and looking at our baby. B choose a beautiful casket with pink and tiny flowers. It didn't look like a 'box' so I felt a tiny bit relieved about this.
On Sunday I was determined to buy a bracelet with charms that represented Grace and I really wanted it before the service, so I went with my best friend T to buy one and found just what I wanted. Two beautiful charms on the bracelet to keep close to me, for me to hold and play with when I want to feel close to or am thinking about Grace. T then came with me to meet Grace and I could see she was being strong for me and vice versa. I gave the funeral home a photo of what we had chosen for the service sheet and discussed some hand and foot moulds being taken by a company.
Monday arrived and I knew that time was getting close to the day of the service. This was also my sisters birthday and I felt guilty for not spending time with her that day but I needed to focus on Grace. I really felt like I needed to bring Grace home and B was great about doing this. We picked up Grace and we placed her in our room for the day. B was busy around the house and took care of M while I spent time with Grace, taking photos and making sure I held her and talked to her and said what I needed to say.
That afternoon we made the decision to have our son's C aged 5, and M aged 2, spend time with Grace and this was a hard decision to come to. I wanted to shelter them from what happened, protect them but I also wanted them to know the truth and to meet their sister. C especially had a hard time with seeing Grace, but also it helped him understand what had happened and he was able to talk about her and hold her. I had to choke back the tears through this time as he showed real sensitivity and depth to his grief. M was too little to understand and wanted to play peek a boo with Grace! I really did not want her to go back to the funeral home that night and just wanted to keep her forever and ever.