Our First Family Holiday Without You

The first family holiday with your little bundle of joy is an amazing time. Full of new firsts and adventure. Last week we had our first family holiday but sadly there was a missing piece. Poppy.

After Poppy died there were a so many firsts we never got to see her do. One that I never thought about was her first holiday. There is always a first you’ll never get to see hiding round the corner. One that’s never crossed your mind until it creeps up. The shadow that never leaves your side.

I miss Poppy everyday and that will never change but as is life you have to move forward with that ache in your heart. While it hurts that Poppy never got her first holiday I can’t forget it was Reuben’s first holiday too. He deserves an amazing first holiday and while I’m sad Poppy can’t enjoy it too I know she’ll be watching over us wanting us to enjoy it with her little brother.

The first family holiday abroad can be stressful and the first without your baby that has died can be hard and emotional. Taking Reuben away worried me. He was our rainbow and I dreaded anything happening to him while we were thousands of miles from home.

I blogged about his triumphant first flight and the whole holiday was just as good. Reuben took it all in him stride. From changes to routine, meeting you people and being in a swimming pool. Our little rainbow amazed us.

In my parenting after loss journey I’ve learned that it’s in bed when things hit me. After a day with Roo and whatever achievements he hits, it creeps into my mind at night, I never got to see this with Poppy. It had never crossed my mind about what Poppy would have been like on a plane ride. Then the night we landed as we lay in our bed with a sound asleep Roo it hit me. I lay there and wondered what it would have been like with Poppy on a plane. Would she have been as chilled as Roo?

These unexpected firsts that I’d never thought of before can hit me harder than the ones I’ve already imagined. It’s easy to forget how much new and exciting things our little ones experience on a daily basis. It’s a fresh dagger to the heart and yes Dads feel that dagger too. We think about the what could have been and are hit with the waves of sadness. After that first night I knew each day was going to bring amazing moments with Roo but also have that twinge of sadness and longing to have that days moments with Poppy as well.

Our mornings on holiday stayed the same with a 5:30 wake up. Our morning walks were longer and instead of woodland trails we had deep blue oceans and golden sands to stroll across. Precious moments with my little rainbow.

Ending with a little walk in the blissfully quiet hotel reception that was loudly awoken by a happy Roo testing his vocal chords. Smiling at the reception staff and the local baker. Would Poppy have been so chilled with them all, or would she have been a little shy?

Our daily routine from home changed with mealtimes later than we did at home. This didn’t seem to bother Reuben and the more relaxed we went the easier he found the changes. It’s so nice to see him be able to be so adaptable to changes like this. While I feel so blessed to have a rainbow baby I still get the usual parenting worries of how will he cope. Roos our second baby but I’m finding things out for the first time still. I don’t have the experiences from Poppy because heartbreakingly couldn’t bring her home.

It can make me feel a little lost at times. I feel I should know it all with Reuben. He’s my second child. But I don’t because those experiences with Poppy were cruelly ripped away from me. It stops me in my tracks at times and I have get my head around the fact I’m learning at all still.

That’s something you can easily forget when parenting after loss. You don’t have the lessons you learned from doing all this before. You heartbreakingly never got that chance to have this moments before.

Now attempting to get our second baby into a swimming pool was something we couldn’t hark back to memories of putting Poppy in the pool. It’s another first we never got to do. But for the record he hated it for 2 days and then loved it. Another first moment that later that evening while in bed my mind started to thing about how Poppy would have been in a swimming pool. 

Then my mind started to wonder what it should be like to be on holiday with both our babies. Instead of having just Reuben sleeping with us there should be our little girl as well. As well as all the firsts we have missed out on with her, we have also missed out on seeing Poppy and Reuben together. It’s not fair that we can’t see our two babies together, it hurts that the only time I can see my babies together is when I write their names in the sand.

Our first family holiday was amazing and we created precious memories with Roo. We of course included Poppy, we wrote her name in the sand and left her name on a rock on the beach. It just hurts that we couldn’t be the family of 4 we are on the beach instead of the family of 3 we looked like. We left our footprints on the beach just like Poppy has left he footprints on our hearts.

They say that there is no foot too small that cannot leave an imprint on this world and that every life no matter how brief leaves imprints on our hearts. This couldn’t be more true for our beautiful daughter Poppy.

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