My first baby loss Christmas, survived

December 25 has come and gone. My first Christmas without Hugo, survived.

Christmas was a day I had not been looking forward to. In many ways, yesterday was no different to any other day since March 28 this year – I still woke up without my son, and I still faced another day knowing I would not be able to touch him, care for him, sing to him or read to him. Those simplest pleasures of a mother.

Christmas was dreaded because of everything it represents: happy family times, and the fact that this time last year I was pregnant and looking forward to the baby’s first Christmas this year.

The week hadn’t been great because I’d got a stinking cold/virusy thing that had laid me low, and with it my mood. I felt like everything was like walking through treacle.

Yesterday morning, I was awoken just after 8am with a paw in my face from Fat Cat, her gentle way of telling me she wanted to go out. She has been spending more and more time with us this week, and has been incredibly affectionate demanding lots of cuddles; I don’t know if it’s because her family has gone away for a few days and she is a clever cat who knows where the soft touch lives, or whether she wants to offer us comfort. Either way, Martin and I are grateful for her company.

Fat Cat cuddles

Fat Cat cuddles

On the mantelpiece in our bedroom we display photos of Hugo, as well as some other special bits. Martin had set up some colour-changing lights on the mantelpiece as a surprise. The lights make the stars on the picture I made sparkle.


For the first time in a few days, I put some make-up on, styled my hair, and thought about my outfit. I chose a dress with a bright flowery print, and Martin wore a brightly-coloured shirt.

Yesterday wasn’t really about gifts, but people kindly bought us some. Hugo was remembered through these gifts, such as this beautiful Hugo stars bracelet from my Mum.


Martin’s gifts to me included Haruki Murakami’s latest book – a book I didn’t know was out, and I call myself a huge fan. I’ve lost a connection to things I once loved. Murakami is one of the authors whose books I will just pick up and read without pausing to look at what it is about – I know I will enjoy it regardless. Murakami’s new book is called The Strange Library. I love the old-fashioned library pocket on the cover. It is a beautifully-illustrated short story that I shall indulge myself in soon.


Martin says he bought it for me for inspiration, which is a great gift – reconnecting not only with my love of reading, but with my creativity and imagination. Murakami’s imagination is second-to-none – I find his books fascinating, partly because of the window in to Japanese culture and society, but also because his world is mesmerising, anything can happen. While I will not insult Murakami by comparing my writing to his, I hope to reconnect with that imagination and creativity – it is peeking out already, like little rays of sunshine in the dark.

We had the Parks and Recreation box set, but it was Game of Thrones we sat and watched. I’ve read all the books and have watched the series so far, but Martin hadn’t, and is now hooked too. It’s so good I don’t mind watching it again. In fact, the second time around is better, the third series in particular because there are certain storylines that divert from the book, which confused me during my first viewing. This time around, I can sit back and watch. As much as we like Parks, Thrones was an ideal choice yesterday because of the level of concentration needed to keep up with the story – it is engrossing.

There were some tears, inevitably. We thought of what should have been. Our cards to each other provoked tears; reminders that for a few hours on that day in February Martin was facing returning home alone. A Christmas with no baby and with no partner, either. It does not bear thinking about.

A Hugo star candle, a gift from my youngest brother.

A Hugo star candle, a gift from my youngest brother.

Smiles were put on our faces by the beautiful gifts people sent us in the forms of texts and messages saying how they were thinking of the three of us: me, Martin and Hugo.  A gift that cost nothing, but was the most valuable of all. Thank you to everyone who took the time to do that – it meant so much.

I hope my readers enjoyed their Christmas. I hope Christmas was gentle to my readers who also have a broken heart.

The three of us

The three of us


The Reading Residence

38 thoughts on “My first baby loss Christmas, survived

  1. pottymouthedmummy says:

    I thought of you in the lead up and on the day. Of you and me and all the mothers I know who have experienced baby loss in some way. It is lovely that you and your husband are such a strong team. Some couples don’t always bind together in such times but you two seem so supportive. The bracelet is beautiful. Lots of love xxx


    • Leigh Kendall says:

      Thank you, Sian. I’m lucky that Martin and I are so strong together, we help hold each other up – I know many other couples don’t make it through things like this. I love the bracelet, it’s a lovely tribute to Hugo. Lots of love to you too xxx


  2. mummyshambles says:

    I’ve been thinking about you these past few days…I always say a little ‘prayer’ for those who have heavy hearts at Christmas because of the loss of a loved one.
    It’s at these times that we need strength and that’s what I ask for.
    You and your family have remembered your special little boy in beautiful ways…the bracelet is beautiful.
    As for Fat Cat…well some people say they are just ‘dumb’ animals but in my experience, that’s not true. They sense when we need comforting and they up their affection a gear or two.
    Christmas is a time of hope and your blog is filled with positivity. It’s reaching out and touching so many people. That’s a gift in itself.
    Much love to you, Leigh xXx


    • Leigh Kendall says:

      I hope Christmas was gentle to you, I know it is also a difficult time for you. Thank you for thinking of me.

      Hugo is remembered in so many ways. I’m delighted with the bracelet, another reminder of my special boy. We are so fortunate to have Fat Cat adopt us, she’s special too.

      Thank you for your kind words. I try to be positive, and to try to find a little bit of good in things, there seems little point in things otherwise, and I do hope it helps others.

      Love back to you xxx


  3. bridgeanneartandwriting says:

    This was a huge day for you and your post was v moving. Am v glad you had the support of each other and family. This was our first Christmas without my mum, and although not the same experience at all as your loss of Hugo, it was also a milestone. I am so sorry for your loss and send you blessings for 2015. May it be a year characterised by love and hope. x


  4. Emma - Me, The Man & The Baby says:

    I paused to think about you 3 as the sparkly lights on the tree made a brief star shape. Everything I was experiencing should of been happening under your roof as well. Though maybe not the disagreement and paddy I pulled because Gavin forgot to do my sprouts. Your bracelet from your mother is beautiful. Love you lovely lady xxxx


  5. ch says:

    Dear Leigh, I often read your tweets, we also just had our first babylost Christmas. We survived, just about. So many friends and family members said nothing though – which I found made things harder. Wish Fat Cat would visit us. Wishing you gentle times. x


    • Leigh Kendall says:

      I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m sorry so many of your friends and family said nothing. I was getting Christmas cards without mention of Hugo, which upset me so I put a message on Facebook saying it’s ok to mention Hugo, and actually it causes more upset if he’s left off. Sadly, some people don’t know what to do for the best, and you have to tell them. It shouldn’t be this way on top of everything else, but it is. I wish you had a Fat Cat to visit you too. Hope 2015 is gentle to you. Love. xxx


  6. thereadingresidence says:

    I’m glad you got through it, as best you could, and had each other. The colour changing lights are such a lovely thought, and I do hope you enjoy your new book. You were in my thoughts, as I wrote my own WotW post, along with over Christmas. Hugs and strength to you, and thank you for sharing with #WotW xx


  7. Caroline B says:

    GoT is definitely better second time around, (I’m only a little way through the second book) and I am proud that I know everything that the series has shown us – spent season 1 confusing Beard man with Beardy man!

    Sounds like you made the best of a bad lot this Christmas, well done to you, Martin and Fat Cat (who obvs enjoys your company +/- food)



  8. kykaree says:

    I love you

    I am going to send something but I decided to wait until murky old January to give you something to look forward to.

    I am so glad Hugo was remembered for his first Christmas by people other than yourselves.

    Continue to be kind to yourself young lady x


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