“Hey Jude, don’t make it bad
Take a sad song and make it better
Remember to let her into your heart
Then you can start to make it better”
From the moment that Sam died, I knew I would have another baby. We had spent eight months pregnant with the twins, planning our life around four children. When the chance to mother all four was so cruelly and unexpectedly snatched away from us our family in that instant became incomplete.
Being pregnant with my fifth baby, Jude was very different to my other pregnancies. When the pregnancy was confirmed I felt numb. Not numb with fear or anxiety, but numb with nothingness.
You see, Jude was conceived by another mother – not physically, but in every other sense of the way, a completely different person.
He was given to a scarred woman, one who knew the pain and despair of baby loss. He was given to a mother who no longer enjoyed the luxury of blissful ignorance and the security that everything would definitely be okay.
At 13 weeks we announced the pregnancy to our children and extended families. Everyone was over the moon but still, I felt nothing.
Then horrifyingly, my nothingness grew into resentment. It twisted around my very being and thrived, along with my growing baby inside me. It occupied my thoughts and kept me awake at night. The truth was that I wished the baby growing inside me was Sam. I didn’t want this new baby; I wanted Sam. I wanted my twins; I wanted the life I had planned out in my head.
Unlike my other pregnancies, I didn’t ask my obstetrician about the baby’s gender. I didn’t dream or plan a life ahead with my newborn, nor imagine how he or she would be, or might become. I didn’t prepare a nursery and I refused to celebrate the impending birth with a baby shower. Whilst everyone around me breathed a sigh of relief that I was pregnant, I just couldn’t bring myself to be the happy pregnant mum I was expected to be.
Then, at 33 weeks, taking us all by surprise, Jude arrived.
At birth, he bore no resemblance to the brothers who had come before him, or to his two older sisters. He was unsettled and colicky and I struggled to adjust my romantic notion that he was supposed to have been sent to heal me.
The months that followed were tough. I cried. He cried. The more frustrated I became the more unsettled and restless he was. Then finally, we declared a truce. He was Jude. He was not Sam. He had no intention of ever being his brother’s replacement.
Acceptance, not of the life I had planned, but of the life I have been given.
Much love … Kate xx
Kate Polley is the author of the beautiful memory book ‘Sam and Finn’ …
and the personalised child and adult loss books ‘The Story of Books’ – CLICK HERE