Just recently I was caring for a woman (‘Georgie’) in early labour , she was very calm and relaxed and preparing to go home . I’d left the room once to get Georgie a glass of water and when I’d returned I’d noticed a beautiful spring like aroma in the room which I commented on . I have a very keen sense of smell which seems to be heightened as I get older . Read more facts about the SENSE OF SMELL HERE Georgie’s partner was at home looking after her other child so her mother (‘Lydia’) had brought her in . I asked her about her last pregnancy and then I asked Lydia “How many children do you have?”
Lydia replied “Two but I would’ve had three – one of my children was born asleep”
As she spoke I was helping Georgie to get comfortable – Lydia’s sadness was profound, tangible and palpable – I said” I think you need a hug ”
I stopped what I was doing and hugged her for at least one minute we both cried and she said “that’s the first time I’ve talked about my son for a long time – and people usually don’t respond to me saying I’d HAVE three children”
The reason why I responded was because I could see, smell and feel her sadness . I also have a dear friend Andrea – we’ve been friends for 35 years – our children have spent weeks at each other’s houses during school holidays when child care was less of a working mothers right and more of a struggle – as a double parent I was bringing my children up doing shifts and being on call. Andrea and her husband helped me so much and our children all had so much fun together . The bonus was that although 60 miles apart our children practically grew up together .
Andrea and Micks beautiful son Christopher was killed by a speeding driver in June 2009 who lost control of his car – Chris was 15 years old . Chris was almost at the kerb and had pushed his friend to safety only to lose his own life in the blink of an eye.
Andrea and Mick will never get over the death of their beloved son. Andrea’s daughter is left with only memories of her dear brother and the impact of Chris dying goes on daily in their lives, as well as affecting their family & friends . In February this year 21 red balloons were released on a foggy white sky day to celebrate Chris & his life but also to show that we all miss him & love him. This was also to show Andrea Mick & Rebecca that we LOVE them too.
When Andrea meets new people some ignore the fact that when asked about her children she says “I had two” she is slowly learning to talk about Chris to strangers and when I met Lydia that’s why I connected with her . I felt her sorrow and pain as I see & feel Andrea Mick & Rebeccas pain on a regular basis – although I cannot put myself in their shoes .
We are humans and humans thrive on love and kindness . Why did I talk about the sense of smell ?
As Lydia & George were leaving the hospital , Lydia turned to me and said “please don’t say no Jenny ” she pressed into my hand a small bottle of perfume half used and said “please have this and when you smell it think of how you helped me today ” I cried and told her that I wasn’t supposed to receive such gifts that I was merely doing my job – but she said “I I will get myself another bottle I really want you to have this one “
I was with a future midwife who say the whole story unfurl and she was also moved by the Lydia’s story
The bottle is the picture connected with the blog and I will treasure that bottle even when it’s empty. It’s called Summer Sky 🌈
I’d like to dedicate this blog to all mothers who have lost children. If you ever ask someone how many children they have and they hesitate to answer or say “I would’ve had …. ” give them a hug – it’s a small act but it will mean a world of difference to no hug at all