My son Ben died at nine hours in December 2001, and I have not yet been able to return to work.

For the first few months I was not able to see or speak to anyone who was not a close friend. I felt dread towards my place of work. I think I had so many memories of being pregnant and looking forward to this baby that I dreaded returning. Also a colleague was due around the same time as me and although I was obviously glad her outcome was good, I was frightened of hearing about how well she was getting on and how the baby was growing, when my son never would.

My manager was very good. Nobody has pressured me and they have been very understanding. Nobody knew what to do or say; what might be OK one minute is not the next.

As I am not sleeping well I still feel very tired; my concentration is not very good and especially in the early months I would not have been able to get any enthusiasm for anything.

I will go back to work but will definitely wait for the first year to pass.

The trouble is so many small things trigger a memory - hearing about other babies, children's birthdays, Ben's name. I will let you know how things go when I do return.

Ben's mum
written in 2002