Right Where I am 2012, two years ten months and two days

5:02 pm

 I'm taking part again in Angie's right where I am project 
Here is last year's post on the same theme.

The weather this week has been glorious, hot and sunny, Summer is finally here. Out and about with Ernest and my mindee, I realised I needed a parasol for my double pushchair, and remembered I'd bought one just a few days before Florence was born, but hadn't even taken it out of the packaging.
I couldn't remember where I'd put it, I thought maybe the cellar with the pram frame, but it wasn't there.
I remembered that the carrycot was way at the back of a storage cupboard in our room, and maybe I'd put it there.
When Woody got home, he held a torch over my shoulder as I squeezed into the cupboard and made my way past the bags of breastfeeding (pumping) paraphenalia, and the carrycot for Ernest's pram, the boxes of old college work, and art folders...there right at the back was the old carrycot, and I pulled it out, triumphantly.
I unzipped the cover, and my heart was suddenly ripped right out of my chest. Yes, there was the brand new parasol, but the carrycot was still made up with sheets I'd sewn, and a precious fleece blanket I'd saved and laundered ready for Florence.
I must have put it away like that, two years,ten months ago...or thereabouts.
That little bed made ready for a real live newborn, a real live newborn, a real little girl...not the shadow, the memory, but a real baby, my real baby. My heart pounds out of my chest, into my throat, I can barely breath and the sobs are caught there, stifled. I mustn't do this, I'm fine, it's ok...but it isn't, it isn't.

Last night I dreamed of giving birth. I was standing, I could feel the baby birthing itself, but I couldn't speak to tell the midwives. The baby was born suddenly and fell to the ground. I looked down and there he was, a baby boy. I shut my eyes and screamed no no no, because I knew he was dead. Then though, I knew I was dreaming, and I decided no, he wasn't dead, and he was beautiful. I put him over my shoulder and he opened his eyes. I said "Hey you, I know you".

I woke up confused and scared, and weirdly elated at just having given birth.
I used to love pregnancy and birth, I guess a part of me still does despite everything.

Right where I am today is not right where I was last week, and it wont be right where I am next week either. That's something I've learned to accept. (I think)

Don't be shy, say hello!


  1. Jeanette, you capture this moment - and all the love and grief and disbelief of it - so perfectly. This place where you are where it's ok but it isn't.

    So much love to you.

  2. Oh Jeanette I don't know what else to say, but know I am thinking of you and Florence and all the family.

  3. this too shall pass - all of it, the good and the bad.

    you're on my mind a lot at the moment (((hugs)))

  4. xxx many hugs cxx

  5. beautiful photo xxxxx

  6. I love you and your writing and glimpses into your life. Thank you for sharing with us. xoxo

  7. I wish I could love pregnancy again. I sadly never really got to love birth. If I could fall in love with either again, I might have another crack. But right where I am now, I think I am done. I'm glad the baby lived in your dream in the end. It is bad enough they died in real life, would be awful if they died in our dreams as well.
    Love to you, dear friend.

  8. Jeanette, you are far more of a gifted story teller than (I suspect) you give yourself credit for...

    You are lovely.

    xo Florence Violet xo

    Cathy in Missouri

  9. This is so beautiful. It is funny how those moments catch us and what we think is "It's okay. It's not okay. It's okay. It's not okay. It's okay to not be okay." But this captures grief in its complexities. It truly does. Thank you for your sharing this. Much love to you, as always.

  10. I love your acknowledgement and understanding that grief is ever changing. If I wrote my right where I am post now instead of this morning it would be completely different. Hugs and much love.

  11. Oh Jeanette. Oh you've made me cry. That carrycot, so carefully made up with Florence's little sheets and blanket. Made up a real little girl. Oh, it isn't ok. Not consistently. Perhaps not completely? Ever? Although we do move around so as the weeks past and I honestly can never predict right where I will be at any particular given point. But how can it possibly be ok when a little girl with a fleece blanket is gone and only a shadow remains behind? It is seems so hard to believe.

    I love pregnancy and birth but I hate them equally fiercely.

    And I think Cathy is right. You are lovely and gifted and I do so wish your little Florence was here, being raised by the mama who loves her so and made her beautiful little sheets x

  12. Oh, that moment of opening up the carry cot, I can feel the gasp and sobs.

    Thinking of your last lines, last year, I did a right where I am follow up, about a week later, because I was in many ways in a different place than I had been. It does change and change and change.

  13. i teared up reading this post - the love and the grief hitting you all at once in that moment. Xo

  14. Right here.. this line "I used to love pregnancy and birth, I guess a part of me still does despite everything." This is something that has been on my mind for months now. Thinking of you and Flossie with love and light... as the years go by.

  15. I'm just getting my dreams back after a very long time without. They're frightening and full of loss, not of Freddie so much, just.... Loss.

    Max wants another baby. Can you believe it? And me.... I'm done. Never again. It is the most shocking bloody reversal. I wanted to love birth and it got taken just at the moment I was allowed. So now I'm done.

    Thinking of you. Remembering the day I heard your story and knew my future and sending you love for the next few weeks.

  16. I love how you state t the end that grief is ever changing... so very true. And I agree you try to be okay through it... but it's not okay, not even a little bit. So very sorry for your loss... <3

  17. Still here, always reading Jeanette, even if the comments are scarce. This is a beautiful piece and I'm so glad you took part in the project.

    That last paragraph sums things up nicely.

    Peace to you,


  18. "Right where I am today is not right where I was last week, and it wont be right where I am next week either. That's something I've learned to accept. (I think)"
    That about sums it up for me too. The ever changing waves and shades of grief. I think Im just starting to get used to it. maybe.
    Ive had dreams of birthing againg too. Quite scarey. When i read that, the dream filled my mind like it was something I had just woke from.
    Thanks for sharing <3

  19. That last sentence you wrote has stuck in my mind ever since I read it.. I read blogs of other others and feel like I'm looking into my own uncertain, unstable future. Nothing is predictable. I'm so sorry about your Florence. Thinking about you both.

  20. Oh Jeanette - the build up to finding Florence's carrycot and then finding it ready for her ... I cried. I cried for you and for Florence and for how NOT okay it really is.

    I still love the idea of pregnancy and birth, just not my reality and I'm happy to be done now.

  21. Jeanette...your post had me in tears. You know how to capture that moment. The one we've all had in some form. And even years on, years, finding that knitted hat stashed in the back of a drawer or the baby blanket in the closet. It just hurts.

    I'm so glad he was alive in the dream. We had the nightmare in real life, thanks very much. At least our dreams should be a safe haven.

    The only pregnancy I loved was C.'s. That's because it was only love, innocence, and joy. After that, everything pregnancy and birth lost its glow.

  22. I'm so much newer to this whole grief thing, but I can really relate to your description of it changing, always. As I read all these new (to me) blogs, I'm realizing that perhaps where I am now is as good as it gets - the themes repeat themselves over and over and over, no matter how far from the loss one is. Thank you for sharing. I'm so, so sorry for your loss.

  23. The unexpected reminders still blindside me as well. Thank you for this.

  24. Those moments where sense memory just overrides everything else are so shocking. I caught a whif of hand sanitizer the other day and I was right back at R's bed side. That difference between being 'ok' and being 'as ok as you can be' is just so tough to manage some days.

  25. "That little bed made ready for a real live newborn, a real live newborn, a real little girl...not the shadow, the memory, but a real baby, my real baby." This sentence stopped me in my tracks, just as the sheets on the carrycot stopped you in yours: sometimes it is hard for me to remember that I was supposed to have a real baby, not this ghost-baby presence I carry with me now. Thank you for sharing your story, your real baby.

  26. Oh gosh, this is just so powerful and lovely. And just perfect--the missing, the sudden surprising glimpses of fresh grief, the longing, the fear. Thank you for this. It is beautiful.

    Lots of love to you.

  27. thank you for sharing.

    I could just about feel that ripping your heart out of your chest when you saw the carry cot still made.

    I know where your coming from when you say that you wih you could love pregnancy and birth. I loved it!!!


  28. Thank you for this post. I'm nearly a year behind you and you have reminded me that I am still allowed to have moments of suffocating sobs and it won't mean I'm falling apart at the seams, but that I still miss him and it's okay.

    You're a beautiful mother. xo

  29. It is ok, but it isn't ... And, that's how it always will be... I'm so sorry little Florence is not in your arms.


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