It's been a couple of years since I posted and time has really brought about a lot of change for our family.

Pat is now 4 and starts school in September.  He's grown into such a lovely boy: caring and kind with a lovely warm sense of humour.  He is very loving and comes out with such sweet things.  He's quite a sensitive and thoughtful little guy - although he loves making friends and having fun, he's also quite reserved and cautious.  Pat talks about Sadie quite frequently although we neither push nor avoid this.  He seems to grasp that Sadie was here and that she was his sister and he tells us that he loves her and that she's in Heaven, but I sense that he'll start to ask more in coming weeks.  We've been advised that he is likley to grieve around this age, but he's still trying to grasp the concept of death, so it'll come in it's own time for him and we'll handle it as and when.

I became a published author with thanks to some amazing support from friends, and we sold a fair few copies of Sadie's Star to raise funds for Francis House, SOFT UK and a child bereavement charity called Reuben's Retreat.  It was nice to put something back and to share Sadie's memory.

I've been back at my career as an HR Business Partner full time now for a couple of years  or so and really enjoy it.  I work at a charity called British Council where we bring expertise to cultural relations.  It's really good to be back on all 4 cylinders!  I travel around the UK a fair bit and it's quite long hours but it's interesting and keep me out of trouble.

I'm 26 weeks pregnant and am scheduled for a caesarean again (for medical reasons) on 27th August.  We have another daughter on the way and Pat is chuffed to bits.  It's been utterly terrifying and I was in a state of high anxiety for several weeks initially (I got quite unwell) - especially coming off a strong dosage of anti-depressant medication abruptly.  We hadnt planned to have more children until recently because it's a very frightening prospect.  We always felt that we couldn't risk putting Pat through the grief of experiencing losing a sibling, even though the chances of another child of ours having Edwards Syndrome were so very slim.  In fact genetic counselling told us that Sadie's Edwards was a complete fluke and that having more kids is as safe as it is for any other couple.  However, we've had our eyes opened to all the dreadful tragedies that befall families and so these risks scared us just as much as experiencing Edwards Syndrome again.

We'd pretty much settled on no more kids and then one day in November I was away with some of my girlfriends on our annual walking and cava drinking holiday and I had a very sudden but very sure change of heart.  Fuelled by discussions with my closest of friends, I came home and freaked Drew right out by telling him I wanted another baby.  I set about persuading him and within a month I was telling him that I was pregnant - unbelievable!  I've gone from being completely infertile before the miracle of getting pregnant with Sadie to getting pregnant immediately with this one.  So poor Drew's head is spinning!  He's really happy too though. His arm didn't take too much bending.

Happily the anxiety about the pregnancy and the uprising of grief and depression is all more manageable now as the weeks have gone by.  Being pregnant has thrown me back into dealing with alot of traumatic memories both remembering pregnancy with Sadie and with Pat amongst other things.  Being visibly pregnant aso brings about the usual questions about how many children we have, which as a time-to-time conversation isnt too painful, but there have been times when I've attended conferences for examples, where it's been a constant stream of conversations about our family and the inevitable conversation, which has been very hard and I've sought refuge in the odd toilet cubicle and found myself blubbing in car parks as soon as I let my guard down.  It's just unavoidable but very tiring and sad.  Kind of the opposite of how it should be.  That said, I try not to feel sorry for myself - we are really blessed, but we just miss Sadie so much and the grief bubbles its way up to the surface quite fast these days.

Tears and sadness arernt the only way grief seems to show up at the minute.  I blame hormones for my quick temper too.  I get pretty agitated and some days I feel like a complete bitch.  Drew can't wait for me to get back to normal but he's got a few weeks of waiiting yet.  I'll keep trying! My main way of handling all the fresh grief is to hibernate and I'm just cutting myself off from anyone that upsets me and anything that is tough where at all possible.  It's tried and tested and seems the best way to keep heads above water.  

It's funny that the baby will arrive just days before the 5th anniversary of Sadie's death.  The weeks that preceed the anniversary are typically hellish, so this will be really strange to navigate the feelings but we'll just go with it.  I know that there'll be lots of comments from well-meaners like 'at least you have Pat and baby'.  Really hurtful and thoughtless but we take it on the chin when people say things like that as they always mean well.  Talk about kicking someone whilst they're down though!  I get really irritated because of course we know we're lucky - it doesnt diminish the loss of Sadie though - she was a person in her own right and even if we had 10 more kids, we'd still feel the same amount of pain. 

Well I'm conscious I'm getting grumbly now and whilst I wanted to be honest in my account of how things are from a grief perspective I also don't want to come off as being a grouch.  We are so excited about this baby coming and are really happy as a family.  Life is pretty full and active and we're building an extension on the house to makke more room for family life and for entertaining friends.  We have a year of great stuff ahead to look forward to and lots of change, so my next blog (when I get time) will reflect a very different scene I imagine!