When my daughter was born, we posted a photo of our fresh little bundle of joy on Facebook for our friends to see. We emailed a birth announcement and photo to family and friends. We phoned our parents from the delivery room to let them know that they were grandparents to a beautiful baby girl. Cards and presents arrived in the post, almost all of them pink - so much pink! We hardly slept and I learned how to breastfeed. I was nervous about my husband's return to work after three weeks on paternity leave - how would I cope by myself? I didn't know anything about babies!
I am proud to have given birth to two babies. I consider myself to be a mother of two but I have only one child and a broken heart.
Why didn't I celebrate my son's birth. I carried him for seven months before he was born. He was real. He has a name. He has a mother and a father and a big sister and is part of my family. I didn't celebrate because he was stillborn. I was consumed by grief - only aware of what I had lost, not what I had achieved.
I have kept all the cards. The pink ones congratulating us on our daughter's arrival are in her 'treasure box' along with her first vest and some gifts she received. The sympathy cards consoling us for the loss of our son are in a special box in my wardrobe. I look at them occasionally. My favourites are the ones written by friends who have also lost babies and one from a neighbour, which came weeks later and simply said "I bought this card but I didn't know what to write".