Childless Mother and Football Widow

My husband is a massive Arsenal fan. Like obsessed. He used to read an Arsenal podcast to the bump almost every day, so much of what Isobel heard her daddy speak was of keepers, defensive midfielders, formations and transfer gossip. Simon also watches every football game available, regardless of who is playing. Hence I have lost him this weekend (the start of the Premier League season) to the TV and iPad (yes he will watch two games simultaneously!) and my football widow status in addition to my childless mother status has left me feeling lonely. Normally I’d make plans with friends but those who have been around have been going out drinking continuing the wedding celebrations I wrote about yesterday and I can’t face bars or pubs right now. 

So this weekend I’ve been occupying myself, reading mostly, but today I can’t stop looking at pictures of Isobel and watching the videos we made in her company. I see her face, even on my iPhone screen, and my fingers itch to be able to stroke her, my arms ache to feel her weight, my chest is heavy with an unnatural lightness. The absence of Isobel is a physical presence, so wrong and so alien. How can I not be pregnant anymore and yet also not have my baby to nurse? My body doesn’t understand. 

The pictures I have capture the only facial expression of my daughters that I will ever see. There should be so many more pictures, years and decades worth; different places, different times, different clothes – a baby, a toddler, a little girl, a teenager, a young woman, a woman grown. These pictures (four days, one outfit, one location) are all I have and I resent that fact, even as I am so grateful for them. I cannot stare at her here in real life, so I will stare at her picture. 

My beautiful baby girl.  



10 thoughts on “Childless Mother and Football Widow

      1. We have a book of Lentil’s photos, I leave it on a table in our front room so that people can look if they want to. It’s so hard, I want to show the world how wonderful he was but I know some people feel uncomfortable looking at the photos. I think we should be proud of our little people. Your daughter really was lovely xx


      2. I think it’s good for others to see that they were real and perfectly formed little people too, rather than ‘lost pregnancies’ or some abstract notion of a baby. I think in time I will put some pictures up xx

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  1. Gorgeous!
    I felt the same for a long time but especially the first month or two. The ache of your arms. Trying to remember how she felt in them. How her skin felt. I used to and still do caress her arms and hands and face in photos. Kiss her forehead and try to remember what that felt like on my lips. I still have the faintest of memories of how the top of her head smelled like.
    I have always thought to other people this would sound strange and morbid but a part of me wishes I could have brought her home for one night and had her sleep in my arms. And yet I knew that wouldn’t have been possible? And the final moments of her in my arms, to be the last…devastating. It’s just so heart breaking.
    My little girls birthday is coming soon and my heart is feeling very heavy.

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      1. It’s the most natural thing in the world to want to take her home and sleep with her close. I would never have believed that I would want to hold my baby and kiss her if she had passed away but if I could have kept her wee body without it deteriorating I never would have let her go. As it was, parts of her face had started to discolour so we knew it was time to let her go after the few days we had. Knowing we were seeing her for the last time was just horrendous.

        When is your little daughter’s birthday? Are you planning anything special for it? X


      2. We only had one night. Four hours. I wasn’t able to go through it over and over again.
        Were you staying in hospital and that is why you got a few days? And did she stay in the room with you?
        Aida’s birthday is next Wednesday the 19th. She would have been 4.
        We don’t plan anything special as nothing seems like the right thing to do. I think about her for weeks leading up to it. I usually pull out her photos and memorabilia. It’s so heart wrenching.


      3. We came home after the second night but Isobel stayed in the hospital. They had a quiet room that we were able to see her in for as long as we wanted and then when we came home to sleep she went in to the cold room to try and preserve her. We had her from Friday morning until Monday night when the undertakers came. I can understand you feeling it was too hard to leave your little girl multiple times though. Plus going in and out of maternity was really hard. We kept getting in the lift with people bring home their babies with handfuls of balloons and presents! Awful!

        Aida is a beautiful name. I can only imagine what anniversaries are like, I’m sure nothing feels right at all. I will be thinking of you and Aida on Wednesday x

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