Since losing Poppy, through the squares of Instagram, Emily and I have found other parents who have heartbreakingly lost a baby. We count one couple as true friends. We had coffee with them the other day and we ended up talking about Dad’s being a forgotten voice after baby loss. How it is so odd that despite being Dad, your views and feelings don’t seem to matter. Really though they do matter, just as much as Mum’s do.
When Poppy died as I’ve mentioned in Another Step Forward we had her death referred to the coroner and her inquest is in a few weeks. I don’t actually get to say anything in the inquest. I don’t give any evidence what so ever. Now when you actually think about it that is kind of odd.
I’m Poppy’s Dad and I while I haven’t been through everything Emily has been through I still lost my daughter. Why isn’t my voice needed? Aren’t my feelings and hurt just as important in this? In the world where Gender Equality seems to be at the forefront of the news it still feels that Dad’s aren’t fully treated as equals to Mum’s in certain aspects.
There are certain parts of Poppy’s story that I remember more than Emily. Poppy’s first 7 hours of life weren’t seen by Emily. She was in recovery from her emergency C-Section for 2 hours and then in bed recovering after. Poppy couldn’t be wheeled in to see her as she was being cared for and prepared for transfer to another hospital. In those first few hours I was alone, without my wife and Mother of our daughter. I was pulled into rooms to be told what was going on. Moments that I can picture but find it hard to tell you what was said in. Is my view of these first moments not important at Poppy’s inquest?
You turn the clock back to when Emily was first brought into hospital and she can’t remember most of that. Why? Well because she was in a painful labour and despite that my view again doesn’t seem to be needed. While we gave a joint statement it is classed as Emily’s and she has to stand up and read it. I struggle to understand why I can’t do it, why I haven’t been summoned to give evidence in my own daughters inquest.
The area our friend’s and us really got stuck into was the legal side of things. We have obviously put in a Medical Negligence claim as things didn’t happen as they should have and Poppy should still be here with us, they fucked up. MASSIVELY!!!! Now we can only claim for Poppy and Emily’s damages. We can only claim for Mummy’s emotional damages. What about Daddy’s emotional damage? Now this is not about money, there is no amount in the world that can change things. But I’m still emotionally scarred by Poppy’s death.
It hurts me everyday that Poppy isn’t here with us. I sat with my little girl worrying over her, wishing it was me there and not here. Hoping she would pull through and be ok. I sat there with Emily and cried at her bedside. I sat there as we both held her in our arms as she passed away. I was there with Emily on that first surreal night after she died. Walking around like a zombie, not being able to focus on anything. To be just laying on a sofa bed next to my wife with a piece of my heart gone. I was there when we drove home. Too scared to look in the rear view mirror for fears of seeing Poppy’s empty car seat.
I was there on our first night home, too scared to be home just the two of us because we should have our little girl here too. I was there during the first few days where everything was just too much. Where all that I wanted to do was curl up in a ball and cry. Just lay in a pool of tears because what else was there to do. I was there when we had to go over what happened to our midwife. I was there when we had to sit and talk to a funeral director about Poppy’s funeral.
I’ve been by Emily’s side through every moment, every first without Poppy. I’ve been stood next to Emily while we went through a pregnancy after loss. Through it all I have cried, I had worried and wondered why us. I’m hurting too, I find days hard still, I miss my little girl just as much as Emily does. Yet, yet that doesn’t seem to count in the eyes of the law. Why don’t my feelings matter? I’m only half of Poppy, I’m only her Daddy. I’m one half of the two parents that should be raising her. I’m the guy that should have walked his little girl down the aisle. I had to walk her coffin down to her grave instead. So none of that matters then. This hasn’t effected me? Have I not found life hard since losing her?
It’s so hard to understand why a Dad’s voice in so forgotten about. I didn’t grow Poppy for 9 months I know that, but I was there still. I’ve had hopes and dreams shattered too. Dad’s matter too. Our voices need to be heard too, our feelings matter too. We hurt after the loss of our babies too. We should be a family of 4 but only 3 of us are together, that hurts Emily and me. We should be seeing how Poppy is with Reuben and not having to tell him that his big sister lives in the stars.
A Dad’s voice after loss should never be forgotten. We hurt too and yes we might find it hard to express how we feel but that shouldn’t means our voices are forgotten. If you can share your story, share your feelings because hopefully they can help someone else going through this shitty hand life has delivered you. Sharing your story helps keep the memory alive. I’m sharing Poppy’s story to help others, keep her memory alive and create a legacy she’ll be proud of.