Day six of Capture Your Grief (in memory of Freddie Leigh Bromley) and the subject title today is ‘Ritual‘.
Once we were back home from the hospital I couldn’t bring myself to remove my hospital name tag from my wrist. Everytime I looked at it I remembered the experience me and my son had been through together, the experience of ‘birth’. I had a birth plan written up which was for a natural water birth with minimal medical intervention but when we were told that Freddie had passed all my plans came into question. I guess you could say that through shock and disappointment I chose a different route for the birth. I was scared and upset and remember thinking I just wanted the experience to be as pain free and quick as possible.
Looking back now if I could take my panic stricken self to one side I would have placed my hands upon my shoulders, looked into my eyes and calmly said ‘you can do this’ to proceed with the birth I had originally intended to have. Freddie fortunately had been head down and engaged for a few weeks and because I had been having contractions for 12 hours already, my body was ‘ready’ to have a vaginal delivery. Okay so I opted to have a drug to strengthen the contractions and an epidural to help relieve the pain but my birth was the calmest experience I can imagine and at the time that is all I could have asked for.
Freddie arrived with a few blows from me and was kind enough not to leave a tear. I was awake, alert and able to really take in the beauty of giving birth and appreciate what an honour it is for any woman. Freddie was born at 10.27pm and I birthed the placenta at 10.34pm following an injection of syntocinon (active third stage).
I knew I couldn’t leave my hospital name tag on forever so I decided to cut it off exactly a week on from Freddie’s birth. My husband and I set our alarms and with a few minutes to go before 10.27pm we lit a candle in our fireplace and as we reached the time of his birth a week on, I cut the tag off. We decided to leave the candle burning until 10.34pm to mark the full birth of Freddie and use these precious seven minutes to think about him and his birth.
We initially lit the candle every week on a Friday between these two times marking his weekly angelversary and his birth from when he arrived to when the placenta was birthed. We now do this every month on the 16th day to mark his monthly angelversary. Whether we continue to do this as a monthly ritual or as part of Freddie’s angelversary every year I am not sure, but what I do know is that this ritual will continue to give us time to stop and think about him and everything he has brought into our lives.
Freddie’s candle will next be lit on October 15th as part of the Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day Wave of Light Service at Forest Church. If you would like to light a candle in Freddie’s honour you can do so on his memorial page – www.freddieleighbromley.muchloved.com