Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Oh my

I miss my baby girl so much. I just long to hold her. To see her getting all chubby and mobile and smiley. She should be here. We should be packing a bag for her for our holiday too. I HATE that she cant be here with us, her family.
Grief at this time of year is debilitating. I am just emotionally exhausted but there are so many obligations and expectations to be fulfilled.
Lola's tree is so pretty, we have been getting decorations to hang on it nearly every day but I want to show her the tree and explain where each decoration has come from.
Oh Lola, we love you and miss you every day xx

Monday, December 21, 2009

It feels a bit like Christmas

I have been trying so hard to give my kids the most wonderful Christmas ever this year. We have been hurtling through December at full speed with barely a moment to ourselves, hardly a moment to stop and think. We have been having a load of fun participating in all things Christmas. We have been feeling incredibly happy at times. However you just cant escape the obvious gaping whole in our family at this time of year, no matter how much you try.
This time last year we were dreaming of this Christmas with three babies, our complete family. I took a photo of the kids in our (empty) fireplace for our christmas card and planned on making that a tradition every year. We took the photo this year but I cant send it. It makes me too sad. Writing Christmas cards has just been an undoable task this year.
I have sunk. I am exhausted. I have hit a roadblock and feel miserable. It would be quite nice to go to bed tonight and wake up on boxing day.
We are leaving for our caravaning holiday on Christmas afternoon. This is exciting and scary at the same time. We are going to the same place as last year. It is the kind of place where all the same people turn up each year. It is a pretty special spot but again the fact that Lola is not there will be glaring us in the face. Our caravan neighbours will be expecting us to have our baby. That could be a bit awkward.
I hate to say a goodbye on such a sad note but this is where I am.
Our family is sending your family lots of happy wishes for Christmas. We really hope you have a fabulous Christmas, we will try our best to do the same too. Thankyou for all the continued support you have shown us this year. (The Christmas decorations arriving on our doorstep have put a big smile on our faces)
Goodbye for a few weeks our friends xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Friday, December 18, 2009

I learnt something today

You can run as fast as you possibly can for as long as you possibly can but it doesn't matter, the darkness, sadness, missing will always find you.

A new one today

This has been stuck in my head the last few days and not letting me sleep so I had to make it today in a minute while Millie was asleep! So very rough. Millie not so willing for photos either, poor princess that she is.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A tree for Lola

I told you about our special tree for Lola right?

I thought you might like to see some of the decorations on it.

From Lola's step-grandma

Made by Millie

Made by Jackson

From my friend Chantelle. She is super nice and her blog is so pretty (think I may have already mentioned that ; )) AND she is having a HUGE giveaway on her blog at the moment, you should definitely enter!

From Daddy. He went off on his own, of his own accord and bought this. (The plate at the bottom says 'Always in my heart') Made my heart melt and bought a tear to my eye. Gosh darn it he is a sweet daddy xx

Friday, December 11, 2009


I still have moments of thinking "What the hell? I cant believe this happened to ME!"
Because this happened to me I feel like a walking target. If that could happen to ME what else could happen.
I miss my baby girl, Lola.
I wish I could talk to her.
I'd tell her I miss her like crazy, that I am never not thinking about her. I'd tell her she is beautiful and special and loved.
And I might read her a Charlie and Lola book, probably our favourite one.

Does she look like this?

Or this?

p.s. I am thinking of my dear friends Jose and Scott tonight and their family. I hope with all my heart that everything is ok xxxxxxxxx

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Passing it on

The following was given to me by my SIDS and kids counsellor and I found it really helpful. I copied it out for some friends of mine and thought I may as well post it here while I am at it.

*Quick note: it is really nice and thoughtful to include the baby or child that has died in a Christmas card. If you dont mention the babies name or anything about what has happenned it feels to the family like you have forgotten about her or that you would really just rather not mention that unpleasant business again!*

This was given to me by SIDS and Kids but it is in the Queensland newsletter for SANDS (December 2004)

25 suggestions to help the newly bereaved

1. Buy tissues

2. Dont worry about decorations. If you want to place a few decorations around, do. If you dont want to, dont.

3. Spend time with a few close friends or family members and share fond memories of your child.

4. Dont tire yourself out shopping for long periods of time like perhaps you used to do. You have less emotional and physical energy now.

5. Consider getting away for Christmas - to a hotel, the beach or someplace else.

6. Remember Christmas signifies hope - Jesus was born to set the captives free and bring peace. This is the real meaning of Christmas, not presents, glitter or who can bake the best cookies.

7. Treat yourself kindly

8. Consider online shopping for gifts.

9. Breath in the night air and search the sky for bright stars.

10. Dont feel you should or must go to every function you get invited to.

11. Spend time writing about your child.

12. Buy candles in childs favourite colour and light them in her memory

13. Hug those you love

14. Write a card to another bereaved parent or sibling

15. Rent a funny movie and laugh

16. Talk to another bereaved parent about the loneliness you feel

17. Make a banner that says 'we miss you (insert child's/babies name) this christmas' and hang on your front porch. Neighbours will be reminded of your child and perhaps realise it is a sad season for you.

18. Compose a letter or poem to your child

19. Dont expect to feel like you used to. There is a clear void in your life now.

20. Reach out to someone who is needy. It always feel good to give to someone less fortunate

21. Know that every christmas after this one will be less tough

22. Dont feel like you have to keep up with old traditions. If you dont want to send cards this Christmas then dont.

23. There never is nor ever will be the 'perfect' christmas. Be reminded that even when your child was living, there were flaws in this season. Your neighbours who seem to 'live the easy life' will not have a stress free holiday.

24. Create a new tradition in honour of your child- serious or silly- so that you are including him/her in a unique way during this month

25. Buy a gift for someone in memory of your child.

This was in the December issue of the SIDS and Kids newsletter. It was written by a real mother and the issues raised are directly related to her family but I think it is a good starting point.

The letter:

Dear Friends and Family,

This message is to say a heartfelt thanks to you all for acknowledging all of our four girls this year, whether by writing all their names in a card to us or by simply acknowledging that we have four daughters and not three.

Christmas is a real challenge for any bereaved parents and this, our fifth Christmas in these shoes is no exception. Despite knowing that this time of year may catch us unawares and knowing that we will never stop being bereaved parents, today, I unexpectantly experienced the breathtaking sadness and tearful disappointment that comes when someone makes an unfortunate comment or action that seems to show that, to them at least, Ron and I only have three children, or, that lija never was, or isn't part of our family today. This unpleasant experience in turn made me appreciate you very dear people who continue to mention Lija's name from time to time, to write in your Christmas cards to us amongst the other girls names, to remember her birthday or to have a small gift for her. These things are vital in keeping a bereaved parent going in a time when tears are never far away and the happiness of Christmas is mixed in with sadness.

So, whether you remember and acknowledge all our girls because it just seems right to you to do so and not miss any of them out, whether you do so because we have asked you to, or whether you think we are nuts and you are prompted by the fear that you'll be attacked while you sleep if you dont mention Lija (ha ha!!!!) doesn't matter. What matters is that you are showing our family that you have the courage to follow our lead in knowing what is right for us and what we need in order to survive this time of year. You are also showing us that you respect and acknowledge all our girls and that you care for us as a family.

So, thankyou! May Christmas bring some lovely memories and experiences to you all.


(Parents names) and all four girls

I hope this helps! Much love and hugs and thoughts for those that are finding this time hard.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

So many words

So many words on my blog lately, time for some photo's!!

I have some time up my sleeve, admittedly there is a million things I should be doing but anyways...

A favourite of Millie

A favourite of the two together

My all-time favourite wedding photo

Another favourite wedding photo

My all-time favourite photo of Jackson (taken by my lovely friend Davina Hurst, starring her just as lovely baby girl)

Monday, December 7, 2009

A good place

Today, at this moment, this rollercoaster has me in a good place. I am feeling the absence of Lola very much this festive season but I am also feeling ... I dont know? Acceptance? Calm? Peace?
A lot of what has been eating me up in recent months has been others reactions to me, our family, our ways of expressing our grief, our journey through this grief, others judgements and opinions on how or what we are doing to heal. So few people have an understanding of how we are feeling, more people show compassion but many judge! I care a lot less about this now.
I have realised that our love for Lola is unconditional, as a parents love should be, but this also means that our love transcends life. It isn't conditional on her being alive. The same way that we have a need to show our love for Jackson and Millie, we need to find ways to show our love for Lola too. That is what we are doing this festive season, actually that is what we will do forever.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Do you want to help someone who has lost a baby/child?

I thought I would come up with a list of sugestions as this is a common question/concern

Early Days

Send a card (one of the sweetest cards I received said congratulations on the birth of your baby, sorry she couldn't stay), I have kept every single one I received and look over them often as it is solid concrete evidence that yes, she did exist. Dont worry if you think it has been too long before you managed to get around to it, it is nice to still receive a card a month or even two after the birth.

If you bought a gift for the baby before she was born I would suggest still giving it to the family as, again, they are something tangible that can be held and added to the memory box.

If you can cook then definitely cook a meal that can be frozen for the family in a disposable container. Frozen meals are a godsend in the weeks following. Maybe a lasagne or soup?

Rather than always asking the father how his wife is going, check with him that he is ok too. The focus always seems to be on the mama's but the papa's are suffering too!

Send a message or email or letter to let them know you are thinking of them. It is quite nice to also add that you aren't expecting a reply unless they would like to talk, it takes a bit of the pressure off you know?

Dont put any pressure or expectations on the family for a while as it can add a lot of extra stress. Social situations are so difficult for reasons you will never understand unless you have been through it too. At the same time though still invite the parents out or catch up the same as you always would just dont take it personally if they say no (or cancel) more than once.

Chocolate biscuits are good too!

Some of the best support I have received has been the gentle, quiet but consistent support on the sidelines. I have a few friends that regularly send supportive sms's or emails, dont expect anything in return but just letting me know they are there, they casually let me know and invite us to any gatherings but truly, honestly have no expectations and dont hold any grudges.

Six months plus

Understand that special events (birthdays, christmas etc.) are usually hard and a stark reminder that their baby is missing. Let the parents know that you understand this. If it is appropriate and you feel comfortable doing so maybe find a small way to include the babies memory like a candle burning or another cute thing a friend of mine did was having a lolly bag for the baby (although admittedly I ate the Lindt chocolate block, you know because that is what Lola would have wanted ; ), I did put the little clip in Lola's memory box though).

When mentioning the baby use her/his name, the same way you would if the baby was still here. Even though the baby has died mama's (and papa's) like to talk about their babies just as much as if they were here and hearing their name spoken is nice. (although if the parent changes the subject quickly go with that, maybe it is a hard day)

Chocolate cake is good! It cures many ails!!

Maybe send a card on a significant anniversary or at a time you know is tough.

If the mama or papa cries let them feel like that is ok, dont make them feel bad about being sad and crying. Dont take their crying personally, you didn't make them cry (unless you said something hideous but if you are reading this I am sure you wouldn't have done that), they are crying because their baby died.

Ask the parents how things are going and be interested in the answer.

If the parents have gone out and are having a good time and are smiling and laughing let that be ok too. It's ok to have good time sometimes right?

Understand that it takes a really long time to heal from the trauma of losing a baby/child. Be patient with the parents. Love them.

Again, I cant emphasise enough, to not put pressure on the parents to be up to socialising. Grieving is really exhausting, it takes up most of the brain space and what is left over is mostly taken up by getting through day to day. When you do see them keep in mind that they will quite possibly be very vague and maybe sigh a lot,
please dont take this personally, it really isn't because of you, their baby died remember.

Finally, Oh my goodness, you must be a super duper special friend if you managed to read all the way to the end of that huge list!!! It is an awful lot isn't it! I know there are wonderful friends and family out there who want to know these things though, I know because lots of them have asked for a list of tips just like this! I think it is worth sticking by the babyloss parents through this tough time though because when they get to a place of peace and acceptance they will be an extra generous, life loving, thankful friend!

(If you are a babyloss parent and would like to add anything to this list then feel free to email me)

Do you know how I can add a link to this post over there to the right? I thought it might be useful to have a direct link rather than having to search for it!

A tree for Lola

We have two christmas trees this year.
A family tree AND another little tree just for lola.
The kids made little decorations for her, I am making one for her and my step mum had one made for her. Another blogland friend is sending one for her. (Check out her blog, it is soo pretty)
I am hoping our family include Lola in our christmas celebrations. I have realised that that is the best way I will get through Christmas, if she is remembered in some way, her name is mentioned and it is recognised that one important, special little person is missing. Even if this happens I cant promise I wont cry a few tears but that's ok right? Surely it is ok for a mumma to cry a few tears for her baby that is not with her at Christmas, one less stocking hanging, no presents needing to be bought for her, one less child to make happy on THE day that is all about the little people.
Those tears will be about missing, acceptance, happiness, sadness, one less, innocence/naivety lost, appreciation, remembrance.

p.s.(There is a little butterfly flying around outside the window right by where I am writing this, Lola says Hi!)