"When a baby is born, it's a mother's instinct to protect the baby. When a baby dies, it's the mother's instinct to protect their memory."
This really sums up what I am trying to do with Erin's Gift. Of course it is amazing that we are able to raise the money we are raising for some great charities and awareness of Turner Syndrome, but what makes it even more special for me is that we are doing it in Erin's name. We are saying thank you to the organisations that helped us by helping them to support other families too, all in memory of our beautiful and precious little girl. I had not thought of it before, but this truly is my instinct. I find it hard to contemplate going back to life before Erin because I feel so different now. I am a mummy, even though my baby girl is no longer with me. I spend hours each day tweeting about little Erin and sending emails regarding our fundraising because it is my instinct to do this. I need to spend time thinking about Erin, writing about Erin, telling people about Erin because the thought of her being forgotten or of her life not meaning anything terrifies me.
One thing I really hate now is being bored. I cannot stand having nothing to do because it just reminds me of how busy I should be. I am able to lie in, but this makes me sad because I know I should have been woken by little Erin crying for a feed. I am able to watch my favourite TV programmes without distraction, but this makes me think about the fact that we have no need for baby monitors on the side of the chair, listening out for Erin's cry. Everyday ordinary things now stand out because they highlight this huge emptiness I now have in my life. I do the weekly shop and I feel sad that I am not parking in the mother and baby spaces; that I am not struggling to push a pram and carry a basket; that I am not rushing around doing it as fast as I can because I need to get home for Erin's nap.
In some ways it seems strange that I can miss things I have never even done, but I do miss them; I miss them terribly. I had imagined them so vividly and with such eager anticipation when I was pregnant - I couldn't wait. Now when I hear mothers having a moan about their lack of sleep, or the fact that they are unable to go out somewhere because they cannot get a babysitter I find it really difficult. I know it is understandable for them to moan and that most parents do on occasions and I don't blame them for this, but I know that their situation is so much better than mine. I know that I would give anything to be sleep deprived and missing out on the social event of the year if it meant that I had little Erin in my arms.
This fundraising really is my instinct - it is keeping Erin's memory alive. Maybe this explains why I am able to do things that I never would have imagined myself doing before - writing this blog; tweeting celebrities; asking people I have never met before for donations to our auction. I feel like I can do anything when it is for little Erin - and that anything is possible!