I can’t believe it is now my second Father’s Day without Poppy being here with us. A day that a year ago I was dreading so much. A day that I’m now bittersweet towards. Happy I get to enjoy the day with Reuben but sad Poppy isn’t here with us too. Father’s Day after baby loss is hard and filled with images that you just want to escape from. It has been easier this year thanks to Reuben but it is still going to a hard day again.
Back in 2016 Father’s Day became a day just about Poppy and me, despite the fact she wasn’t even here yet. She wasn’t even in the country. Emily had gone on holiday with her Mum and I was going to decorate Poppy’s nursery. I did it all on Father’s Day. Gutted the room out, painted it a light pink. I got pictures put up on the wall and I even got a pink rocking horse. This was my gift to my unborn baby girl. I just loved the idea of doing it on Father’s Day for her. I’d made the day special for me and it was something I could fondly look back on in years to come. I still do look back on that day with great fondness but I also get sad knowing Poppy never got to see her room. That same day I also announced we were expecting a girl to the world. Little did I know how life was going to turn back then.
Last year having those memories made me sad, a reminder of a time when we were excited, blissfully unaware of the nightmare about to hit us. Memories of preparing to bring our first born into the world. Memories of doing something for Poppy just from Daddy. Memories of lost dreams. It was another first without Poppy. Having spent so much time of the day doing something for Poppy it really hit me in the days leading up to Father’s Day last year. Looking back on last year though the day wasn’t as bad as I thought. It was the best day it could be in the circumstances. It was the build up to the day that hit harder.
June is a month full of birthday’s in our family so a trip to a Greeting Card shop is a given most weeks. That in turn leads to seeing the take over of the shop with their Father’s Day preparations. A dagger in the heart of any bereaved Dad. Despite knowing Reuben was growing in Emily it was a tough month. To have to walk in and be confronted with a sea of cards that just remind me that Poppy isn’t here with us is tough to see. Walking through to the birthday card collection and hearing whisperings of people about their Dad’s. Longing to have Poppy be saying these things about me.
It always hit me. It was hard to not break down in tears in the middle of the shop. To be crying rivers inside for fear of looking like a fool for crying in a card shop. But it is a massive trigger. A day to be remembered as being a Dad, yet last year I felt far from that. I was a Dad but not the same kind of Dad that this day was geared up for. In some way you feel like a fraud. You fell like you don’t have the right in a strange way to celebrate this day. Then comes the fear of wanting to celebrate being Poppy’s Dad despite her not being here. I wanted to celebrate being Poppy’s Daddy but I felt guilty for doing that. As any first it is tough. Filled with complex emotions that are hard to explain. I still struggle now to convey them in an articulate way.
I also had the fear that the pain could be double. Reuben was growing away but I had the fear he wouldn’t make it here like Poppy. Worry that history would repeat itself again. A long with the pain of having to celebrate Father’s Day without Poppy, in the back of my mind the worry of it happening again was lurking. Not wanting to let go. The emotions of Pregnancy After Loss are hard.
As I said though the day was better than I thought it would. Emily made sure it was. She’s bloody amazing like that. She always makes the rough days better. She made Father’s Day a relaxed day, a picnic at Poppy’s grave, a lovely walk with the dog and just allowing me to feel and be how I needed to be. Just being able to go to Poppy’s grave was heaven. To be as close as I could to her, longing that she could just cuddle up with me.
Your mind just wanders to dreams that you aren’t going to see come true. The dream of my little girl running into our bedroom on Father’s Day with a homemade card that is the bestest most brilliantly designed card that world has ever seen. That dream has now evolved. Now the dream I have that can never come true is having both my children running into our room on Father’s Day. I’ll never get to see my little girl and little boy together. No doubt arguing over who’s made the best card for Daddy. How I wish I could spend every Father’s Day morning with my 2 babies cuddled up in bed with me. Along with the dog trying to get in on the cuddling action.
While this year is going to be amazing to have Reuben be here with us, laughing his little head off and brightening up the day. It is still going to be bittersweet. Longing for Poppy to be running round. She has sent the most amazing little brother to us though. He really does brighten our world up. Whenever he catches a picture of Poppy he smiles and that just melts my heart.
If this is going to be your first Father’s Day after the loss of your baby I’m so sorry you have to go through this heartbreak and heartache. It will be a tough day filled with countless emotions but with the love and support of family, friends and the baby loss community you will find a way through it. It sucks but you are still a Daddy, the best to your angel and never forget that.
To Poppy, I miss you and I hope I’m doing you proud princess. To Reuben, thank you for brightening my world with your rainbow laughter and smile.
Happy Father’s Day to all Dad’s, especially those who have lost.