Thursday, 27 August 2015

Telling your child they're never going to meet their sibling

I've always maintained that honesty is the best policy, especially when dealing with children. 

There's being honest and there's being too honest when it comes to children. It's a fine line and often easy to cross. 
People often forget that children know a lot more than they are letting on. They know when you are worried or upset about something, they may not know what that something is but they know there's something going on. 

Lily is a natural worrier, just like me. When she knows I'm upset or worried or stressed it, in turn, worries her. I try to be as honest as I can with her without causing her too much upset. But there's some things she doesn't need to know the details about. 

When I had the ectopic Lily was 2. I was taken in to hospital in the middle of the night. We all lived with my mum so it wasn't too worrying for lily when she woke in the morning to my mum instead of me. When I came home a couple of days later after surgery I was in pain and extremely upset. We told Lily I had a poorly tummy and it was sore which was why I was upset. She worried about cuddling me incase she hurt me which was really hard. But she helped my mum look after me and was soon back to her usual snugly self. 

Lily had turned 3 when I became pregnant with Albie. We told her before our 12 week scan that she was going to have a brother or sister. She was so excited! She was always talking about 'the baby in mummy's tummy' asking when she would meet her sibling. 
When we found out something may be wrong with Albie we didn't tell Lily. Partly because we didn't want to worry her and partly for selfish reasons. She was the only person that still treated us the same. There was no passing looks of sympathy and she didn't avoid the subject. She was still happy to talk about him and spent her time making sure he was ok in there, chatting away to him, telling him stories and cuddling and kissing my ever growing belly. 

When our 20 week scan showed how poorly Albie was and we knew the outcome we still didn't tell Lily strait away. On the day I was due to be induced we had booked Lily in at nursery. We knew this was the best idea for her as it was a safe place and if she was at home she would be constantly worrying about where her mummy, her Brent and her nannie were. My mum sorted Lily's care out and made sure there was someone there to look after her. My dad and my brothers stepped in and Lily's dad had her over night. 
When I returned home numb the next day the best I could do was sit on the sofa and sob. There were people around me but I felt totally alone. That was until my wonderful amazing girl came home. I needed her more than she had ever needed me. 

Her little face when she saw me like that I'll never forget. I knew I had to tell her there and then. My heart broke again that second. I told her that the baby in my tummy had been very poorly and he hadn't grown properly so he had to go and live in the sky. She asked lots of questions like why was he poorly and was he still in my tummy. I was honest. I said his brain hadn't grown properly and that he had come out of my tummy. We told her that we called him Albie and that he will always be her baby brother and that he loved her so much. She sat in silence for longer than I've ever seen before (Anyone that knows Lily knows she doesn't sit still for 5 seconds). You could see she was trying to process the situation in her head. She asked some more questions and said ''But we were going to live in our own house and be a family'' it was one of the hardest things I've ever had to hear. I assured her that we were still going to have our own house and no matter what we're were still a family and Albie will always be a huge part of our family. And that was it. She cuddled me and then asked if she could have her dinner. She accepted it just like that. That's what had happened and no one could change it. 

I'm im awe of that little girl every day. She's had so much to deal with in her short little life. But she picks herself up and she carries on. She's stronger than all of us. She's bright, she's kind, she's polite, she's the only one in the world that can put a genuine smile on my face on the really bad days. She talks about Albie every day and I love it. She's such a proud big sister. If it wasn't for her I don't know where I'd be right now. She's 4 and she understands me more than anyone. She understands that I can't always take her out every day because I struggle to even get out of bed, she understands that when I cry all I need is a cuddle. She knows that tomorrow is another day and that we can start over again and do exciting things. 
Don't get me wrong I feel the guilt of those bad days I don't want her to miss out but I'm so glad she's the way she is. She's perfect, and I'm so proud of my little rock. I try my best for her, my world. 

After all, life goes on.