Nine Months On And Six Months In

 
Lentil should be nine months old today, I’m almost two thirds of the way through my pregnancy with Pip, I’ve been pregnant for fifteen of the last eighteen months.  My poor husband!  I’ve been a neurotic mess for pretty much the whole time.  Things are getting easier, I miss Lentil every single day, there is a little boy shaped hole in my life but my heart is full.  Pip helps more than he or she will ever know.  Every movement I feel gives me new hope.  I’m starting to believe that Pip will arrive safely.  I’ve had a few really lovely dreams where Pip is healthy and happy (and always a boy, maybe because I only have experience of having a boy?  Maybe my subconscious is trying to tell me something?).  I’ve started to try to think of ways to stop myself from being too neurotic when Pip arrives.  Paul and I completed an infant first aid course recently and I’ve started looking at baby breathing monitors.  Anything that will allow me to be a bit less of a terrified mess has to be good.

LanaSalt recently published a post talking about the weight of responsibility, something that I can really identify with.   

 

I feel like there is a huge weight on my shoulders, the responsibility of keeping my baby safe and recognising any problems but it’s not just me that will be crushed if I get it wrong.  It’s my baby, my husband, our families, our friends.  It’s so lovely to know that so many people love and care about our baby but it also makes me feel incredibly responsible for the happiness of an awful lot of people.  I just have to remember that everything is going well and I need to stay as positive and calm as I can.  It’s just easier said than done.

We have been talking to Derriford Hospital recently about how the money raised in memory of Lentil will be spent. So far we have raised £14515.99 in memory of our little boy.  Next month Paul and a group of his friends are taking part in the Plymouth Half Marathon in order to raise more money for the hospital, to help other parents who suffer such a devastating loss.  It looks like there is going to be a new room converted at Derriford, for parents who lose a baby, before, during or soon after birth.  Nothing can take the pain away in that situation but providing a room where parents can spend time with their child in peace, away from other new parents and babies; a room where staff can prepare themselves emotionally before entering; a room where families can visit and spend all too little time with the newest members of their family will help and anything that helps, even just a tiny amount, is worth it.  If you would like to sponsor Paul and his friends you can do so by donating directly to Lentil’s just giving page.

Although I am emotionally far more stable than I was nine months ago, I still find that some things just knock me sideways.  Visiting Lentil’s grave yesterday was hard, it’s so hard not to think about all that we are missing out on and what our little Lentil Bear would be like now.  This morning I received this email:  

  
I’ve asked them several times to stop emailing me, most recently in December when they promised me that I wouldn’t receive any further emails from them. 

They aren’t the only guilty party, I guess I shouldn’t have signed up for so much during my pregnancy!  I really feel that companies need a better strategy for dealing with these situations.  I guess maybe it’s a good thing that they don’t have to deal with it enough to have a system in place.  I feel so much stronger now than I was at the beginning and I’m only three months away from holding Lentil’s brother or sister in my arms but this email still made me shed a few tears.  I can’t imagine what it would do to someone who isn’t coping so well, someone who is struggling to conceive after loss, someone who has lost more than one child, someone who can’t try again.  I have emailed John Lewis (again) to make them aware of the upset their emails can cause.  Maybe they will see this and donate to Lentil’s fund.  It would be nice if they could be part of the solution (not that there is really a solution but it helps) rather than part of the problem.  I will update this post if I hear anything from them.*

On the whole we really are in a much better place than we were.  Time definitely heals.  The tears still come sometimes but I’m gaining more control back.  My anxiety levels are still high and I don’t leave the house on my own much, partly because driving is still an issue because of my pelvic pain but I am getting better.  I can’t believe we’re 3/4 of the way to Lentil’s first birthday and 2/3 of the way to Pip’s birth.  

*I’ve had a couple of emails from John Lewis.  One in reply to my original email and one in response to this blog post.  They both apologise and say they have passed my case on to the appropriate department.  I’ll let you know if I hear anything else.

Today (31st March) I have received the following email from John Lewis:

Dear Ms Evans, 

Thank you for your patience.

 The email marketing team have now responded to advise that they have looked into this. The only way to withhold specific nursery marketing emails is to unsubscribe you from nursery emails altogether. I understand that this may not have been the response you were looking for; however I’m afraid we do not have the facility to restrict sending specific emails within a certain selling division. 

 I would like to take this opportunity to again apologise for any upset we have caused you. This would never be our intention and I can completely understand why you felt the need to contact us regarding this. If you have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call or email me personally and I will be more than happy to be your point of contact. 

 I wish you and your family all the luck with your new baby. 

 Kind regards, 

I have had a few emails going back and forth in between and I explained that I am happy to receive marketing emails, I just don’t want to receive emails specifically about Lentil and the milestones he should be reaching.  It seems that they cannot remove his due date from their systems and therefore can’t stop emails relating to him.  I find this really crazy and it makes me wonder how many other women are receiving heartbreaking emails from John Lewis after the loss of a child.  I will be unsubscribing from marketing emails and have told John Lewis that I don’t think that this response is good enough, their system really needs to change.  They haven’t mentioned considering donating anything to Lentil’s fund, at least a small gesture would have made me think that they were sorry that they couldn’t do anything.

I’ve just had a chat with a lovely man from John Lewis.  He says that he has their tech team working on a way to unsubscribe me from their milestone emails about Lentil but that I should still be able to receive general nursery emails, special offers etc for Pip.  He’s going to ring and update me on how they’re doing later in the week.  I’ll keep you posted!

The head of Social media at John Lewis has been on the case.  It turns out that there was a glitch in the system.  When I requested to be removed from the mailing list I was unsubscribed however there was an issue with the specific ‘milestones’ emails and so I continued to receive them. They have had a technical team working on this and have kept me informed every step of the way.  They are as sure as they can be that they have now solved the problem and I can receive general emails again without receiving emails specific to Lentil and what he should now be doing.  John Lewis also gave me some money to compensate me for any upset.  They would have donated to Lentil’s fund but were unable to due to the way that they support charities.  I decided to donate the money to Lentil’s Fund myself.  Once Pip is here safely I will have everything I need so I’d prefer the money to help others who are less fortunate.  Thank you John Lewis, my faith is well and truly restored.

6 thoughts on “Nine Months On And Six Months In

  1. Blooming maths – everything’s about numbers isn’t it? Time should move in steps – everyday is a day closer to your gorgeous little Pip arriving safely, and it’s one more step stronger too.
    I do also think you’re far too nice to John Lewis- should’ve sent a link to Lentil’s fund whilst grumping at them xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha the numbers reassure me, it means that we’re moving forward. My Countdown to Pip calendar is one of the most helpful things I’ve done though and that lets me tick each day off, I think I’d tick each hour off if I could! I’ve tweeted this post to John Lewis xx

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  2. Back-to-back pregnancies can be intense in these circumstances. I conceived my youngest son just four weeks after delivering his stillborn brother. My hormones were all over the place and launching straight into another (difficult) pregnancy after such a traumatic loss was emotionally fatiguing. I ended up really struggling with my thoughts and feelings after I delivered my youngest, safe and healthy, because I had not had time to process everything regarding the loss before I had more to deal with and juggle. It was a really confusing and difficult time for us, overjoyed to have our new baby in our arms while also going through the stages of grief. Reading your blog, I have a feeling you have progressed further on the bereavement path than I had managed so you will likely be just fine but I thought I would offer that as something to look out for. I initially thought I had postnatal depression again but I was just bombarded by lots of conflicting emotions and hormones.

    John Lewis need a metaphorical slapping for their insensitivity. I found those emails to be hugely distressing and thankfully successfully unsubscribed from them all. The fact they persist in keeping you on the mailing list is just unacceptable.

    Huge well done on all the fundraising. That is wonderful. You must be really touched by everyone’s efforts in memory and celebration of Lentil. I also really support your goal. When I had my baby, I was in the same wing of the hospital as people delivering healthy, screaming babies. I was hearing yelling followed by newborn cries and it was so very hard knowing that was not going to be my outcome. The midwife had to go and check that no new, happy, glowing mothers were around before I could go and shower. Being in a more protected space would have been hugely beneficial. You should be really proud of what you are achieving.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The hormones do play havoc at the moment! I think I’m fairly lucky in being naturally quite emotionally strong. I’ve always been able to see the positives of the short time that we shared with Lentil and he will always be a huge part of our family. It’s amazing to see his legacy at the hospital coming to fruition. People have been so kind and generous. I can’t imagine how difficult delivering in that environment must have been for you. We were very lucky to benefit from the legacy of Jasmine, a little girl who was stillborn quite a few years ago. We had a private room and toilet which really helped. The new additional room will hopefully help even more families though.
      I have had a tweet from John Lewis requesting my email address, I’ve sent that to them so will see what happens.
      I think everyone will be keeping a very close eye on me once Pip is here but I feel like taking a year off from work has allowed me to give myself the time I needed to process everything that has happened. It must have been very hard for you going straight back into family life and having to put a brave face on for your boys x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think this process – loss and pregnancy after loss – is bloody hard whatever your personal context and family dynamic. It is just differently hard. My kids were a blessing in that they kept me going in the darkest days but, on the other hand, having to be strong for them all the time and keep it together around them probably contributed to the stunting of my bereavement journey. I have always been emotionally strong too but those back-to-back pregnancies and all that they involved just knocked the stuffing out of me and floored me. There is no easy way through any of this for any of us. Just one foot in front of the other.

        Liked by 1 person

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