In August 2014 our baby Conor died suddenly. 9 months was the length of his short life kicking away inside me. Grieving for the boy who never came home is complicated . The mind has never been so busy. Everyday it battles recurring emotions of sadness, anger, fear & anxiety to name a few. I grieve a past, present and future. The day we buried Conor my dear husband (chief taster) and I vowed to keep going. Everything changed the day Conor stopped kicking. Our world was “bombed”. I am learning that keeping going isn’t about rebuilding the old life its about building a new life. I am slowly starting to accept this.
A maternity leave with no baby to care for leaves you empty and without purpose. Baking cakes for Conor has become a big part of my survival plan. The BBC’s Great British Bake off was the first TV program watched in my new life. Its predictable format was safe. There were no babies, nappy adverts or pregnant women; all reminders of our loss. I could become absorbed in technical bakes and show stoppers. Very slowly I gained confidence and strength. If Mary Berry could survive the death of her precious son then so could I. Baking Mary Berry’s Apple & Cinnamon Cake was the first time in my new life that I managed to apply myself to anything purposeful. Baking allows me to live in the present. For those few hours mixing, blending, kneading, whisking, frosting and tasting, I am in the moment. For those few hours the mind is quietened. Baking helps me to keep going. This is my story of love, loss and cake, all served with the added ingredient of salty tears.