Monday, June 29, 2009

Up and down and up again

I am home! I came home on saturday so I only had to stay in the hospital for one night because the procedure went well, I get the results in a few weeks. I really hope it is good news, cross your fingers for me. Admittedly it was all a bit dramatic at the hospital, I totally freaked out before going to theatre and decided I couldn't go through with it. The Doctors were incredibly patient and kind to me, they gave me time and talked me through my fears and convinced me to go ahead. I was lieing on the table in theatre about to have the drip inserted and decided I needed to go to the loo. The nurse took me and did not let go of my arm the whole time, I think they thought I was going to do a runner at this point. Anyway, all was ok in the end and I am glad I got it over and done with.

I want to focus on getting physically strong now. I have 14 weeks of maternity leave left and that time is going to be about looking after me and getting the most out of this time with Jackson and Millie. My kids really need to be the focus, Jackson is starting to show signs of anxiety. It makes me feel ill to think that he is worrying about things at the tender age of 4.

To change the subject completely, some amazing things happened to me on the weekend. When I came home on saturday from the hospital waiting for me was a pretty little parcel. Inside was a gorgeous chain and pendant with my three children's names stamped on it. So special! The parcel was from three of my beautiful friends and came at exactly the right moment! The photo doesn't show up the names very well but you get the idea right?



On Sunday a couple of our friends dropped by our house as they said they had something they wanted to give to us and it had a story to go with it. Sooo this lovely friend had contacted the author of the 'Charlie and Lola' books, Lauren Child, to see if she could possibly have a book dedicated to our Lola. Unfortunately Lauren is no longer writing the Charlie and Lola books but was touched to hear how our Lola got her name and so sent Jackson and Millie a copy of one of the books signed by her with a little message for them. She also sent a card to Brendon and I with a little personal message. How amazing is that!!! On two counts, that our friends would go to so much trouble for us and that Lauren Child responded as she did.





The ideals which have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Kindness, Beauty, and Truth. (Albert Einstein)

I found this quote yesterday, it sums up absolutely how I feel at the moment. I am yet to discover Lola's legacy to the world but a picture is beginning to emerge of the gift Lola's devastatingly short life has given me.

p.s. apologies for my shocking photography!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Waiting For Spring



Waiting For Spring is the name of the picture above. That's me right now. I'm waiting for spring. I was back at the hospital today, alone this time. The newborn babies being held, hearing their cries, the pregnant bellies, the questions, were all too much for me today. I cried the whole time. I have to do it all again tomorrow and possibly for another couple of days and nights after that, with fear added into the mix.

I will be away for a few days and hopefully when I return the news will be good. Cross your fingers for me, surely it is time for our luck to change xxxx

Image: Danita.art

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I have this friend


and she is awesome! She always rings me or messages me to see how I am. She understands that even though I may not always answer the phone I notice that she is ringing and that is enough to let me know that she cares and then she will ring again the next day. She understands that I find it hard to travel far from home at the moment so is always up for making the journey to me. She is not afraid to witness my emotions in all their rawness and feels it right along with me. She asks me what I need from her as my friend and does her absolute best to give it to me and then some. She mentions Lola's name all the time because she isn't afraid of seeing me upset and how it will make her feel. Our friendship feels so one-sided at the moment, she is giving soo much but she doesn't care one little bit, she just gives! She really is awesome and I love her!!

Image Shirae

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Holiday Nostalgia

This weeks Blog this challenge is the perfect distraction I think (and a sneaky way to cheer up my blog).

My dad came to us with a small dilemma one day "I have a car in Melbourne that I need in Perth, do you know anyone who would be interested in driving it across for us? I will pay for petrol and accomodation" Ummm how about US!! Given we had a 2 year old, dad didn't really think it would be an option for us but it sounded too good to turn down so we signed on the dotted line. We actually decided that 10-12 hours driving a day, three days in a row in a teeny two door car was too much for our little 2 year old so dad agreed to take Jackson in the plane to Perth with him and Brendon's mum agreed to look after him for the three days we were driving so planning our road trip began!

We planned each leg of the journey meticulously, well Brendon did, I generally prefer to just see what happens but Brendon gets anxiety without a map! Brendon even had the music we would listen to all worked out. Then a couple of weeks before we were due to leave I found out I was pregnant with Millie. Very exciting news for us but we were a little unsure how that may affect our road trip as I had suffered terribly from nausea when pregnant with Jackson. We decided to just wait and see and crossed our fingers that things may be different with this pregnancy. All was good the first few weeks, I had the normal extreme tiredness but no nausea! So we set off very early on a monday morning. One hour into our trip and BANG! My first vomit! I sat in the passenger seat the whole way with a bucket between my legs! Three days driving from one side of Australia to the other feeling soo sick!!

We still had fun though! We stopped at the Great Australian Bight and were blown away by how amazingly beautiful it was, we saw Camels on the side of the road, stopped at some tiny, remote little towns, got a little spooked by a scary looking guy (think 'Wolf Creek') who was at all the same stops as us until we realised he had no choice! There was no other road! We were amazed by an awesome looking storm headed our way, we could see it coming for about an hour before it hit! We talked, listened to music, missed our little boy and arrived safely in Perth. Not the most memorable, beautiful or fabulous holiday we have ever had but a fun adventure all the same!




I stopped writting for a few days there as I didn't want this to be a big whingefest of a blog and well I havn't been great of late. Last night however I was thinking about what this blog is really about and it is suppose to be an outlet for what is happening with me so in the interest of being honest in this journey I have decided to blog anyway.

One thing I have noticed is that my emotional state is inextricably linked to my physical health. As you may have noticed my physical health has not been great due to an infection caused by left over placenta. This has left me feeling tired and tender and like I am not coping. Millie and Jackson are both unwell at the moment as well which is sending my anxiety through the roof. I spent a few hours last night with my heart in my mouth sitting by Jackson's bed trying to think if an earache could be fatal until Brendon came home with the Nurofen. Half an hour later Jackson was sound asleep. I hate this new feeling of being so completely aware of how fragile life is and how easily it can be taken away, I wish I could go back to being the mum that worried when my kids were sick but didn't instantly start stressing out that they might die. I hope that this eases over time.

My missing of Lola is still so strong and raw, maybe even more so seven weeks later. I still find it hard to believe that I was so close to having my baby in my arms and now she is gone. However despite this I have still found reasons to smile.

Reasons to smile today -

Walking in to Millie's room this morning to get her out of her cot and finding Jackson in there with her.
Watching Jackson trying to do 'the twist' with the wiggles.
My Lovely friend ringing me to check we survived 'THE EARACHE'.

What has made you smile today? Share in the comments section, it might make me smile too!

Friday, June 19, 2009

I wish, I hope

I wish

I listened to my gut instincts instead of believing the doctors know my body better than I do,

I'd had even just a few moments with Lola before she died so I could look into her eyes and know her,

Lola appeared in my dreams,

I hadn't complained so much during Lola's pregnancy,

I'd spent more time talking to and connecting with Lola in my belly,

Lola was still here.

I hope

My family and friends are always safe,

It's safe and not too complicated for me to have another baby,

The pain eases,

Jackson and Millie do not suffer because of our families loss,

That Lola did not suffer,

To dream of Lola,

I meet Lola one day.

I wrote this while at the hospital today waiting and thinking.

Not so strong

I'm not feeling quite so strong today. We spent the day back at the royal womens due to ongoing post-birth issues and it was harrowing to say the least. I thought I was doing pretty well but it all came back up today being back where it all happened. I feel like the universe it trying to tell me 'no more babies'! Sad face today but hoping for a better day tomorrow, Im going to surround myself with people who love me and hopefully get some TLC.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Maternity Leave

I am on maternity leave at the moment, the plan is for me to go back to work in term four so I still have just over 3 months off work. We decided to keep the kids in creche on a thursday so I could have one day a week just for Lola and I. Today was the first thursday where I was home alone as Brendon started back at work on Sunday night. Enough said really!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The perfect response

I had to go for an ultrasound today and was feeling really nervous about it. Part of that nervousness was related to knowing that I would have to tell the Sonographer that my daughter had died, which is not what I was nervous about but rather his response. It was bound to come up since I was there for post-birth issues. I was imagining the sonographer saying 'congratulations' or some such thing and I would have to reply that she had died which would then be followed by an uncomfortable silence because he didn't know what to say. However I needn't have worried as his response was just perfect. He first asked me if I'd had a boy or a girl to which I responded 'a girl' and also jumped right in with 'but she was stillborn'. He responded that he was really sorry to hear that and then rather than staying silent at this point because he was embarrassed or didn't know what to say or was worried that he had upset me, he asked me if I was alright and then continued to ask me questions about all three of my children again, intermittently checking that I was ok. He had a very gentle, caring way about him.

Now I dont want those who love me to be worrying about things they have said to me at all as nobody has said the wrong thing to me (except maybe a nurse in ER but that's ok, I know she meant no harm, but just for the record saying 'well at least you know you can get pregnant' doesn't make me feel any better about my daughters death) but today I didn't expect the perfect response and was pleasantly surprised.

I guess another point I want to make is that this was the perfect response to me. Someone else may not want to talk about their stillborn baby to a stranger but obviously talking about Lola, having her so gently acknowledged as my third child is the right response to me. So many people say that they just dont know what to say and are scared of saying the wrong thing and I guess I dont really have an answer for everyone else but acknowledgment is definately better than no akcnowledgement.

The thing that makes it hard for me to talk about Lola is when I see that flicker of uncomfortableness cross someones eyes when she is mentioned as it makes me feel like they are offended by the mention of her. The logical part of me knows that response is probably more about fear but another part of me, that lioness/ protective mother part of me is hurt that my third child is a taboo subject, sometimes, but not today!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A day like any other

Today I woke up, showered, got millie up and dressed, made my kids breakfast, (Stay with me folks, I do have a point) assisted Jackson in becoming a superhero (kid cool to be exact), was told in no uncertain terms we were going for a walk by Millie (without words), had a coffee with the kids (I drank coffee, they ate a biccy), cooked the kids lunch, chatted to my friend on the phone while the kids ran amok, took the dog for a walk, played, cooked dinner and did the whole bedtime thing.

Now I bet you're probably thinking that sounds like a pretty ordinary day and you would be right BUT that is the beauty of it! I didn't feel sad today, I just went about my business. Lola was, of course, never far from my thoughts but I felt a bit different today, like maybe I am starting to claw my way out of all encompassing grief.

The following video is about a year old but it is my favourite, and fitting for this post I think. Hopefully many more of these moments are to come for our little family!
video

Monday, June 15, 2009

Random acts of kindness

I have decided to take up the latest Blog this challenge. Well actually I didn't have a choice, I have been shown SO much kindness over the last 6 weeks that me participating is a given really! The only difficulty is deciding which random act of kindness to discuss!

When I was thinking about all the acts of kindness my family and I have been shown recently there is one in particular that keeps popping up in my head, especially in that I think it is something that will be treasured from the bottom of my heart for the rest of my life.

On the afternoon I found out that my daughter's heart had stopped beating at 41 weeks gestation I sent a text to a few of my closest friends and family to let them know what had happened. At that stage I'm sure they all probably expected the text to be an announcement of our babies birth rather than letting them know that her heart had stopped beating and that she was still yet to be born. We received text messages back from everyone letting us know they were thinking of us and how sorry they were to hear the news.

Later that night one of my oldest and dearest friends sent me another text asking if I wanted her to organize a photographer to come to the hospital after the baby was born to take photo's of her. To be honest organizing a photographer is one of the last things we would have thought to do so having this suggestion made to us plus having someone organize the whole thing was a godsend. My friend told me of a charity, of which she is a member, of photographers who offer their services for free for families of stillborn or ill babies. They also give you a number of prints of the photo's and a disc with a copy of all the images captured.

Once our baby was born all we had to do was call my friend and she would organize the rest. The photographer was at the hospital within an hour of Lola being born and stayed for 3 or 4 hours. He was a beautiful man and took amazing photo's during this time. Even at the time I didn't realise how precious these photo's would become to our family. He captured all those post-birth moments and now, that is all we have of our precious Lola. Even now, only six weeks after her birth, I look at the photo's and realise that there were so many little memories we would have lost forever if it wasn't for the beautiful photo's we have.

I also have to add that though my gorgeous friend organized the photographer for us, that same evening, on a forum to which I am a member, I had about 8 other people contact me to let me know about the charity including another of the member photographers. It really is one of the kindest things you can offer to the parents and families that have lost a child in these circumstances. Since we lost Lola I have read so many stories of families who have hardly any photos of their baby and deeply regret not having more. I will be forever grateful to all the people that were in some way involved in helping us capture on film these oh so precious moments. Below is one of our favourite photos! Thankyou for reading



Photographer: Gavin Blue (C/o Australian Community of Child Photographers)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Poppy


Yesterday I met a very special little girl called Poppy. She is 8 weeks old and the loveliest of babes. Poppy's mum is one of my very best friends so when we found out the news that our babies were due only days apart I was absolutely over the moon. We had already planned a summer holiday together which would now be all the more exciting because we would both be beached whales on the sand together (well me much more so). We spent much time on that holiday daydreaming about the fun (mischief) our girls would get up to growing up together, not only the two babes in our bellies but amongst our group of friends there is six little girls all born within two years of each other. The thought of this little gang of girls made me soo excited about the years ahead and watching them all grow up together.

I have desperately been wanting to meet Poppy but at the same time have been terrified of all the feelings it would bring up for me and Yes, I'll admit it was hard, but wonderful at the same time. Poppy was ever so gracious in letting me cry all over her and even gave me some lovely smiles. I feel really blessed to have Poppy in my life as I'll be able to watch her grow up and know what Lola would have been up to. Hopefully she wont just think of me as her parents weirdo friend who looks at me strangely and cries!! Love you guys xx

Image: printmakerjenn etsy

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Ugliness

Today has not been a good day. The pain in my chest is making it hard to breath and I really just want to curl up in a ball and sleep until it goes away. I have a bit of a F@#k you attitude about the world and can't quite shake it. I dont know exactly why I am feeling like this today but it could be a few things; the anticipation of a family event without my baby girl, tiredness, or that Millie isn't here today, or maybe the stress of having to answer questions about Lola tomorrow and act like I am totally ok while doing so. I thought it would be useful if Millie had a sleepover at Grandma's tonight so I could be organized for the party tomorrow but I wish I hadn't now as I am worrying about her and missing her. (Her Grandma is very competent at looking after her, I am just a stresshead at the moment)
Hopefully I will get all this out of my system today and be fine tomorrow... for Jack!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Secret Mens Business

I have been really proud of the way my husband has been dealing with his grief over losing Lola. He has been so open and honest about all that he is feeling. At no time has he shut me out or shut down emotionally. He has been beautifully supportive of me and allowed me to support him.

While I have been using this blog as an outlet for my grief, Brendon has done as many men before him have done and retreated to his shed! Brendon has been putting his energy into creating things out of wood! He has almost finished making bunk beds with a built-in desk for Jackson. I must admit, I was skeptical at first as Brendon has practically no woodworking experience, but... dont tell him I said this, they are pretty impressive!

The following picture is the almost finished product, they still need to be sanded and some varnish, polishing thing done to them (not my domain). I will show you a picture when they are all finished and in Jackson's room too!



Meet Charlie



My husband has been begging me for years to get a puppy and while we were living in a two bedroom unit in Hawthorn the answer was always NO! Then we moved to a 1000 m2 block but I was about to become a mum of three kids under four so the answer became 'when lola (although we didn't know her name then) turns three!' Anyway I am not really a 'dog person' but Brendon got me at a vulnerable moment and she is pretty cute plus the thought of naming her Charlie (from Charlie and Lola the kids show) persuaded me to finally say yes.

She has won me over, she has a lovely nature and has not been too much trouble to train and I like that she can keep me safe when Brendon is on night shift. I still refuse to deal with dog logs though!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Look what I just found




I love this print! Guess what it is called? Lola Freedom
It is so beautiful. I think that print would be gorgeous in Millie's room. My girls were going to share a bedroom. It looks so cute set up for two little girls, all pink and red and white and girly. I feel really sad for Millie that she will never get to share her room with Lola. So sad that I am yet to move any of Lola's things out of there. I'm thinking of hanging this print in Millie's room so that Millie can still share her room with Lola.
I tried to add a link to the 'Belle and Boo' website but my greenness to blogging is not allowing it. (Tips welcome!) Anyway the print is from 'Belle and Boo' and they have tonnes of other beautiful things!

*Hmm off to convince hubby*

P.S.

I'd love to know if you are reading and what you think. All the encouragement I've been receiving so far has been awesome. xxxx

P.P.S. Jackson's Grandma asked him today if he wanted to blow out a candle especially for Lola, Jackson replied 'But it's MY birthday today!' Love it!

Happy Birthday Jackson

It is our Jackson's fourth birthday today! As luck would have it his best buddy had to be out of his house for the day so carpet could be laid so Jackson got to spend his birthday playing with Zac ALL day (and mummy got to have a glass or two of wine with his mum!). He had a great day of presents, cake, balloons and play AND he gets to do it all again on saturday when we have his dinosaur party.

On this day four years ago our life changed forever. From the moment we saw Jack we were totally and utterly besotted with him. He is just more beautiful than words. Being Jackson's mummy and daddy is the biggest privilege, something we realise on an even deeper level than we ever did before the last few weeks!

How about a trip down memory lane?

(Davina Hurst Photography)
And one from today.......

Tuesday, June 9, 2009














I just found this photo on our camera, I forgot they were there. I lay with Lola tucked under my arm like this for a long time. How beautiful are her fingers and how cute do they look clutching her teddy bear!

Our Big Night Out


We had a great time!

The kids and the puppy were dropped off at lunch time so we could make the most of the hotel room and our time together. The lovely lady that booked us into "The Grand Hyatt" gave us a late check out of 2pm. What a great start. Our room was on the top floor of the hotel and we had a great view of the city. I took 2 hours to get ready to go out and was not interrupted once. That was 2 hours of pottering around, doing everything I had planned on doing, a sip of champagne here and there, stopping every now and again to check out the view and chatting to hubby. BLISS! I actually felt relaxed and put together on time, rather than rushing out the door and putting make-up on in the car. Such a treat.

Our friends came to join us in our room for a drink and then we all headed out together. We really did have a great time. But as the night went on I felt a dark cloud closing in on me. I was putting in a huge effort to keep smiling, not let anything get to me (even when a guy asked me if I was pregnant with number 2 or number 3) and to keep going. I lasted until 1am. We snuck away, fell into each others arms and cried until we fell asleep.

I managed to sleep in until 9am and then kept myself busy bathing and blowdrying until 10.30 at which point I woke up my husband so we could go for breaky as I was starving! So that was our ever so exciting night away. Made all the more sweeter by Jackson and Millie's squeals of delight when we returned to pick them up!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Excitement

Is a grieving mother allowed to feel excited? 1 month and 2 days after her daughter has died? I didn't think so. I thought I would still be living in a cave of darkness and pain, some days I still am there, but today I am excited and subsequently feeling guilty about that excitement!

Lovely friends of ours are having an engagement party at a bar in the city tonight so we have booked a hotel, the kids and our puppy are having a sleepover at Nanna's and I have a new dress to wear. I get to drink Champagne with our fabulous friends and, well, I am a bit partial to a few champagnes. All things to be excited about under normal circumstances.

This is my first social engagement since Lola died. It could potentially be a disaster for us. I still look a bit pregnant and my dress doesn't exactly hide my belly. What if someone asks when I'm due? Or asks me how many children I have? We had planned to only go for a couple of hours as I would be breastfeeding a teeny little bubba, what if the thought of this makes me sad while out in public. I am not keen on a public display of grief.

I am going to be positive about tonight though. It is a good opportunity for my husband and I to go out and have a great time with our friends, something we havn't been able to do for about two years because I have been pregnant then breastfeeding and then pregnant again for all that time. Wish me luck!!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

So what now

Originally I set up this blog just as a way to share Lola's birth story and photo's but now I think I will also use it as a space to get stuff out of my head. I feel like talking about Lola every single day and telling everyone I meet that I had a baby girl 1 month ago but it is just not that simple. At least in this space, even if noone is reading, I feel like I am meeting that need just a littlle bit.

So Lola would have been one month old yesterday. To almost everyone else yesterday was a day just like any other. Brendon and I thought a lot about the 'what if's' yesterday. By one month old Millie was giving us huge smiles, would Lola have been smiling? I wonder how much she would have grown? How would she have been sleeping? We had a cry for all the things we were missing out on with Lola.

Despite our sadness, friends of ours brought us some joy as well. These amazing friends remembered that Lola would have been 1 month old on the 5/6/09 and sent us a card to say they were thinking of us. We were touched beyond words. One of the most painful things about this point in time is that it feels like people have forgotten about Lola. I know they havn't but people rarely mention her name when talking to us now, so this gesture was so special and we are so grateful.

I also received a letter yesterday from the hospital to say that our debriefing/autopsy results will be on the 4th August. So far away. I am very anxious for this meeting. I need to know what happened in order to get closure, at least that's how I feel now, do you ever really get closure though? Who knows, that's just my expectations of that meeting at this point. I also want to know what the implications are on a future pregnancy. Hmm, it feels like I'm saying a dirty word mentioning another pregnancy already. I think these thoughts though are a way to resolve the hurt I am feeling about my empty arms. This is an absolutely real physical feeling. My arms are literally aching from the need to hold my baby.

Enough for today. I have to take my mum to the airport as she is going home to Perth. One more step towards getting on with every day reality, whether I am ready or not it is just happening!