Thursday, December 9, 2010

This chrissy...

is turning out to be quite awesome.
Our little family is very, very busy with all things Christmas.
I am participating at almost 100%.
We are decorating, crafting, baking, partying, singing, wrapping, buying, making, laughing, giving and loving.
Lucy is very well. Suddenly she is less fragile, scary and overwhelming to me. She is smiling at me which reassures my worrying. She is bigger too (of course) which makes her seem less fragile.
Millie is struggling a little with refinding her place in our family. She is swapping between acting like a baby and pretending at being mummy. She ends up sleeping with us every night and is constantly seeking cuddles and reassurance and there is lots of acting out (super frustrating but easier to take when considering why she is behaving that way).
Jackson on the other hand has taken it all in his stride. He is pretty besotted with his littlest sister and is very protective of her. He also seems pretty ok about finishing kinder and starting school next year (gasp), me less so!
Lola is still not here and this special time of year makes us feel that missing a lot more than usual. It would just be heaven to have her here too, to have three little girls to watch grow up together. I feel guilty at the end of the day, when we have had a lovely time and have been happy. I lay in bed and remember that Lola wasn't there and I hope she knows we havn't forgotten her.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Lucy's birth story


35 weeks pregnant

At our weekly appointment the Obstetrician had a chat with us as to how I was coping and offered to induce me at 37 weeks rather than 38 weeks. Needless to say we jumped at that idea. We really felt that our baby would be safer born rather than cooking inside me for longer. The idea of being able to see and touch her was just more reassuring than going along blindly hoping all was well in the womb.

36 + 5 weeks pregnant

I had an appointment booked in order to be given an internal exam to check if I was dilated. Given this was my fourth baby it was expected that I would be, which would mean I just needed to turn up on the day of induction. If not I would need to be admitted the day before I was due to be induced to be given the gel to ‘ripen’ my cervix. My cervix wasn’t dilated and I in fact needed two doses of gel, an unusual scenario for a fourth time mama! We had a bit of an awkward moment when the doctor, inserting the gel (i.e. hand inside me), and my husband realized they played basketball against each other and were discussing mutual friends! Well a bit awkward and weird for me but the doctor was really sensitive and lovely about the whole situation.

When we realized the gel was not going to start labour I sent brendon home. I spent the night with regular hour long monitoring to ensure our baby was doing ok. The nurse looking after me always sat with me for the entire time I was being monitored and told me what was happening with the monitoring and gave me lots of reassurance. I was extremely nervous, we were so close yet the biggest hurdle of all was in front of us.

37 weeks, Lucy’s birth day

The morning was spent with me nervously pacing my room, Brendon joining me up to weird groups on facebook (and seriously confusing our friends in the process), and my Aunty trying to distract me from my nervousness. The labour ward was too busy for them to be able to take me up to get my waters broken so it was a waiting game.

Finally about lunch time we moved up to the labour ward. Things happened really quickly from here on in. The doctors came in for a chat and we agreed to just go for it, meaning we weren’t going to ease into the induction too slowly, I just wanted to go for it. After this discussion I had a big crisis of confidence that had me spinning. I knew I needed to be calm going into labour but I just couldn’t control my negative thoughts. I decided to ask my friend Amanda for reassurance as she ‘knows’ things. Just as I expected she was right on it. As soon as I heard from her I was able to trust that things were going to be ok.

There was a shift change just at the time the drip was going to be inserted and my new midwives came in to introduce themselves. They couldn’t have been more perfect for the kind of birth I wanted. They were so lovely and so on board with our plans for a calm, intervention free birth. They reminded me of my friends and we all clicked with them immediately.

My contractions started fairly soon after the drip was inserted and Brendon and I found our groove easily. We slipped into our routine that we’d successfully used for Millie’s and Lola’s births. About 15 minutes in I suddenly felt elated; I knew Lola was right there with me. I smiled to myself and enjoyed every second of feeling her so close for the first time since we’d said goodbye to her. I think she was there to help me through and to make sure Lucy arrived safely.

About 45 minutes into the labour I started to say things like “I can’t do this anymore” and “I’ve had enough”, a sure sign that I am in transition but I didn’t believe it, it was way too soon. Everyone around me did though as they started bustling about the room preparing for Lucy’s arrival and then I did too when I realized I was pushing!

Lucy arrived with a thud on the table. She was born so quickly that no one was ready to catch her. The midwife announced with a chuckle “…and she’s here”. I asked over and over again “Is she ok?” and was reassured over and over that she was perfect. Every body in the room was crying. They all knew the journey we’d had to get to this point and everybody’s emotions reflected that. Brendon just clung to us and cried. He kissed me over and over again telling me how proud he was of me and how beautiful Lucy was. I desperately tried to see her face, I love that they put her straight on to my chest but I also really wanted to look at her properly and see for myself that she was fine. Instead I just kept asking if she was ok.

It was so amazing, Lucy’s birth, the perfect way to finish off our family. Lucy is just so divine; she has been medicine for our family. I feel really strongly that there is a very strong connection between Lola and Lucy. I think that Lola is a part of Lucy and I think that Lucy is here because of Lola.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Road trippin

We went on a ten day babymoon* to Anglesea, right at the start of the Great Ocean Road, in our caravan. Many mentioned they thought this was an ambitious plan with a newborn and it kinda was but only because lil Lucy worries me a lot with her health issues. We were unable to take her outside the caravan hardly at all as her eczma became so bad and was agravated by the beach it seemed. I'm glad we went though. The big kids had such a great time and it was really nice to see them so carefree and loving the freedom staying in a caravan park can afford kids.

I must admit that I have been fairly certain that I have post-natal depression/anxiety. I have been feeling consumed with fear about every little thing. Lucy sleeping, awake, feeding, not feeding, vomiting, her skin, a cough, it all sends me into a panic. As well as the rest of my family like when I couldn't spot Brendon out in the surf. However today feels like a new start. It is our first day home and Lucy suddenly looks to me like she is thriving and i feel a lot more relaxed about us all. It could be an avoidance tactic as I really don't want to talk to my doctor or MCHN about how I have been feeling, I feel a bit embarassed and I guess I also dont want to face up to the possibility.

*Babymoon - like a honeymoon but after a new baby is born rather than after your wedding

By the way, it is kinda hard to keep up with my writing with a newborn as well as two big kids. I am BUSY BUSY BUSY!!!!

This photo is from right after Lucy Rose joined us earthside! It is a teaser and a promise that my next post will be her birth story. It was AMAZING!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Lola and Lucy

Lola would have been 18 months old today. (Yes I am still counting the months as they go by)

Lucy is three weeks old.

The last three weeks have seen us continue our life on the rollercoaster. Lucy has been in and out of hospital with an infection, her weightgain was minimal, we had feeding issues and the skin on her hand has been damaged by the IV antibiotics possibly requiring plastic surgery sometime down the track. My anxiety has been enormous, I felt like I was failing my baby and that I am incapable of taking care of her. My confidence as a mother took a massive blow.

But Lucy is well again now, in fact she seems to be thriving, and I am regaining my confidence through positive self talk prompted by my caring friends and family.

Lucy is so divine, I am losing hours, days just holding her close and looking at her. I adore watching her big brother and sister dote on her. Millie is so proud of being a big sister and tells people randomly at every opportunity. Jackson waits till noone is looking and then covers her in kisses.

I imagined this time to be just the bliss and happiness. Someone told me our grief would be easier to bear when our baby arrived and they were right. I, however, took those words to mean that our grief would disappear. I can see now that that was naive. It is impossible for our grief that Lola is not here to disappear. It underpins all of our life with Lucy. It makes the bliss more blissful, the happiness happier but it also amplifies the anxiety, worry and fear. Lola is constantly in our minds and so much of our journey with Lucy makes us think of Lola.

When things are good (i.e. when my kids are healthy and well) they are amazing. Lucy has brought so much joy and hope to all of us. There is, however, a little part deep inside me that is constantly worrying that it will all be taken away from us in the blink of an eye.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Hello from the land of bliss...

She is here!

Lucy Rose May-belle

arrived on Wednesday the 13th of October at 4.45pm after 1 hour and 15 minutes of labour.
Everything in our world has changed, again.
She is pure heaven and the whole family is in love

I had visions of us having an open house this weekend with birthday cake and champagne and celebrations. Instead it is more like cat naps wherever you can get them, sore, achy and leaky all over and over-excited siblings! And we are lapping up every single second of it!!!!

I'll be back with our story when I can drag my eyes away from my girl for more than two seconds

but in the meantime a quick photo of how we spent thursday (kangaroo care with our girl ALL DAY!!)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

My Big Question

What is it like giving birth when the last time you did just that the baby had died?

I have been thinking about this and wondering. Will being in labour take me back to the grief and trauma of Lola's birth and if so how do I push through that in order to focus on this labour?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

SURPRISE

About a month ago I received an email from my friend organising for us girls to all get together for a lunch. I was super excited. My friends mean the world to me, time spent all together is difficult to organise but invigorates me like nothing else, I love my girls. The timing was perfect too, just a couple of weeks before the baby would be here, so hopefully the energy from that day would bounce me through to the birth of our baby. So I marked it in the diary, made doubly sure Brendon would not be working and looked forward to the day.

A minor spanner was thrown in the works when the Grand Final drew the week before meaning it would be replayed on the saturday of our girls lunch. Brendon didn't really seem to care though and didn't make any plans for the replay other than to maybe watch it at another friends house who also had his daughter in tow. Brendon was extra generous and offered to drive me in to the city, and then he was keen to come in and say hi to all the girls, I did think this was a little unusual but didn't really think too much of it.

As we were walking towards the pub I saw the lovely friend who had organised the lunch, Liv, and waved and then I noticed who she was with, our friend Ruth who now lives in Canberra, instant tears, squeals of delight and hugs. She had caught the bus down from Canberra to lunch with the ladies. I was so impressed with her effort and it was such a lovely surprise. We headed inside where I assumed there were others as we were a little late.

As we were walking in Liv was holding my arm and I was trying to tell her the latest with the pregnancy, she was trying to tell me that the day was actually a surprise baby shower for us! When it finally clicked what she was saying I looked over in the direction we were headed and at a beautifully decorated table was our nearest and dearest friends, SURPRISE!!!! (Cue many more tears from me)

WOW, WOW, WOW, The day was perfect, we just had such a nice time with all of our amazing friends (even the Collingwood supporters, ha). I finished the day feeling so supported, it just feels like there are so many people behind us, helping us to get to this finish line and the truth is, it hasn't been easy being our friends over the past 18 months, having to witness what we have been through in that time is hard, confronting and sometimes a bit scary but they have been there every step of the way. True friends! We are forever grateful!

For liv xx

Thursday, September 30, 2010

My wish list

deliriously happy tears
sleepless nights
exhausted, hormonal tears
THAT newborn smell
sore, leaky boobs
a birth day cake
the best bottle of champagne, cause we survived
a million nappies to change in a day
happy, newborn photo's to add to our photo wall
sleep cycles, feeding cycles, 24 hour time
milk drunk baby
load after load of washing
Maternal and child health nurse visit with a baby to weigh, check over and coo over
a bassinet beside my bed with teeny little newborn sounds reassuring us all night
to watch Millie come over all mother hen with a real, touchable, huggable baby


Nearly there xxxx

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A day

4am
awake
worried
prodding
poking
small movement
asleep
7am
awake
worried
prodding
uneasiness
knots
headache
driving
driving
child vomit
friends
tears
can't breath
vomit
prodding
worried
deep breaths
distractions
driving
driving
driving
hospital
monitors
silence
.
.
.
vomit
can't breath
room spinning
blinding white terror
NOOOOOOO
new midwife
135 bpm
relief
breath
just breath
perfect trace
exhausted
emotional
home
collapse
fetal position
grumpy
edgy
sleep

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Not so bad...

I am 33 weeks pregnant today. I had my weekly check up at the hospital and as we were driving away I realised that I was feeling happy, excited and kinda calm.

I didn't expect to be this calm this late in the pregnancy. I expected to be a bit of a mess actually! I could quite easily be a mess but I believe my calmness is largely due to the amazing way I am being treated by the hospital. I just can not fault them. Nothing is too much trouble. There is an appointment for me with a doctor and including a scan AS OFTEN AS I NEED! I have been told over and over again that I can come in ANY TIME for monitoring, that ensuring my anxiety is alleviated as much as possible is the priority and the doctors are on top of everything.

Our baby girl is growing beautifully, she looks strong and everything looks healthy in there. I believe that all bases are covered and that we are being given the best possible chance of having a breathing, healthy baby in our arms in 5 weeks time.

I finish work this week *happy, happy dance* and I am really looking forward to spending lots of quality one on one time with Jackson and Millie and my friends.

Life is good!

Monday, September 6, 2010

All you need is love



We are so lucky to have each other and our mutual adoration for our kids!

That's what gets us through the rough times.

I love you Brendon, you really are an amazing Dad and husband!

Thankyou xx

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Rituals

For the last week or so I have been waking up at 4am in a panic thinking that I havn't felt the baby move all night (probably because I was sleeping ;)). Soo I get up and drink a very cold drink, go back to bed and wait. Almost immediantly, off she goes, with lots of dancing and wriggling in my belly. Enough to send me back into the land of nod!

Only this morning at 4am when I did this, she didn't move. Not even a hiccup to console my worry. I lay there for three hours poking and prodding, standing up sitting down, lying on my side, everything. No movement. I planned to go straight to the hospital as soon as the first child stirred.

Jackson came in at 7am and suddenly there was a party in my tummy and she has, literally, not stopped all day!

Massively huge PHEW!!!!!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

On Being Brave...

I'm not brave for sharing our story, I do it because it helps me. My motives are purely selfish. A couple of weeks ago when I was asked to share my story over at Kidspot I jumped at the chance. Many people have commented that they think I am brave or strong for being able to share which has had me thinking about what I am getting from it. It is hard to pinpoint how it helps me but I think part of it is that I feel validated in how we feel about losing our baby by the way others respond. It also keeps her memory alive for me, it gives me an opportunity to say her name.

I am not strong or brave, I'm really not, I am just finding my own way to cope the same as you would, because I have to, because I love Jackson and Millie and my husband as much as I love Lola and for them to be ok they need me to be here.

I have a memory of Brendon and I driving down the Eastern freeway one day long before we lost Lola and hearing about a family whose newborn baby had died. I remember thinking and feeling that if that happened to me I'd have to die, I wouldn't be able to cope with that pain and I said as much to Brendon.

To be completely honest and frank I have spent a lot of time thinking about dying in the last 16 months, some days the words "I just want to die" have been on repeat in my head for the entire day. At the same time the thing that has stopped those thoughts from going any further is my family. I think that rather than being strong or brave, I am lucky and blessed that I have a number of reasons to keep on keeping on.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

free falling

this last stage feels exactly like that. I am hurtling towards the ground at unbelievable speeds, I am out of control. It feels like she could be taken away in the blink of an eye, though the doctors assure me that is not the case. I hope with all my heart that they are right.
I spent the entire day yesterday feeling breathless and a bit panicked as I ran around the house preparing to bring a new born HOME. Something clicked in me when I woke yesterday morning and it finally felt like I could do it, so i did, really quickly and all at once. I THINK it was the right thing to do, even though every day prior to yesterday I didn't think so. It's done now, the kids are excited at the prospect and the preparing and we are ready.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Here I am

28 weeks pregnant today.
While many women are fairly relaxed about their pregnancy at this stage (you know because they are out of the 'danger' period), my anxiety is increasing every day. It is really hard to concentrate on anything other than whether my baby is moving or not and whether she is growing as she should be, or not. I always knew that my fourth pregnancy (from the time we started to consider a fourth) was going to become increasingly difficult.

I know that I can not live through the loss of another baby, I just can't.

However, the care I am receiving is second to known. I have utmost trust in the doctors looking after me. They are leaving no stone unturned and nothing to chance. I am having fortnightly check-ups and scans to track my babies growth as that will be how we can tell if things are not right and while we want the baby to stay where she is for the time being, any indication that her growth is slowing, then I'll be induced.

Despite the excellent care, I am feeling like the weight of responsibility to keep my baby alive rests with me. It is up to me to monitor her movements, it is up to me to decide if we need to go in for monitoring, it is up to me to know if things are not right. If things go wrong, well, it is my body that has failed our baby, it is me that will have let everybody down, again.

I am living in hope of the day that our story comes full circle and we announce the safe arrival of an extra special and amazing new member of our family!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Lady Luck

I would like to have a serious chat to Lady Luck if only I could find her. Things have really not been going our way of late and I would very seriously like to change that.

I wonder what it is that influences things that seem as though they are out of your control. Is it attitude, voodoo, witchcraft, fate?

I can't change the fact that Brendon's brother died, or that our car broke and has landed us in financial hot water, or that I keep having scary bleeds, or that my Dad had a heart scare. BUT I want to turn things around from here on in. I want good news phone calls. Only. Please. Does anybody know to whom I should address this request?

A Complete Family

I am wishing hard and pinning all my hopes on the safe arrival of our new baby making all the difference to our family. I have had it in my mind that things will get better, easier, when our new little bundle arrives. I have been told by those that have walked this path before that that may very well be the case.

BUT sometimes I get confused, and forget how many babies I have had or have or will have or should have. That is a little strange right? At yet another emergency room visit last week the nurse asked me what number pregnancy this was. I answered four. Correct! She then asked me how many children I had. I answered three. Wrong! Brendon corrected me and I turned crimson with embarrassment. When I think of my family being complete when our baby arrives it just doesn't sit right. There will be three children but now it feels like there should be four. I will have been pregnant four times and I should have four children but one is missing, one is gone. This baby can't, wont and shouldn't fill that void, there will always be one missing, Lola will always be missing.

Eavesdropping can be fun!

Millie is in between needing an afternoon nap and not needing one (waaaaa). Some days I REALLY need her to have a sleep and so regardless of the signs she is giving me I put her in the cot. Today she didn't need one but I really did so in she went and I turned the monitor on so I could hear her and crossed my fingers that maybe she might just sleep.

Ummm no such luck!

I did however get to eavesdrop on her for a good 45 minutes and learnt a few things about my little munchkin like...

she can count to 10!

the swearing problem I thought we had under control? I was wrong! It seems my daughter has learnt not to drop the 'f bomb' around mummy and daddy (and presumably, other adults) but leave her alone in her bedroom and she will let loose! What can i do? It can be quite therapeautic to swear over and over when nobody is listening!



Butter wouldn't melt eh!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

It IS a Mad World

I have been watching as my husband goes through all of those stages of grief again these past few days, as his brother passed away on Thursday. It has been difficult to watch but I am also struck by just how amazing he is, he truly is a man with a big, generous and loving heart.

We played the song 'Mad World' at Lola's funeral and as such I have posted it on my blog. This song is going to be played at Justin's funeral this coming week also, it just sums up the way losing someone close to you can make you feel.

♥ RIP Justin ♥

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The weight of pregnancy

Three pregnancies in three years. Each of them related to a trauma of sorts. I guess that can take its toll and I guess that is the crux of my black cloud at the moment. I am feeling the weight of this pregnancy, the pain and the tiredness that comes with it which is a stark reminder of the the emotional journey of this pregnancy. It is not an easy one and it is putting a huge strain on all aspects of my life.

I want the baby so badly though it hurts just thinking about it. Please let everything be ok! Please let us get through this difficult, testing time. Please Please let everything be ok!

The line has been crossed

I am on the other side now of that invisible line. I think when your baby dies people give you a one year period of grace. By 'people' I mean those that you are close to, your family and friends. 'Odd' behaviour within a year is forgiven because 'oh yes, her baby died'.

I realised this a couple of weekends ago when a significant family member to me responded with 'so?' when I told them about the things I had found on the internet related to 'my medical issues'. That one word wounded me. They dont care anymore. They dont remember the baby, in their family, who died.

Someone else was counting the number of grandchildren in our family and they forgot Lola or at the very least decided she doesn't count. That wounded me too.

I feel sad at the moment, and really, really angry. I can't quite pinpoint why but I think it is partly because i am now on the other side of that line. I keep giving myself the pep talk about just getting on with it, be grateful, just be happy, it has been over 12 months now! I wish it was as simple as a pep talk to lift the weight off my shoulders and the black cloud out of my mind.

I want the old me back. The carefree, innocent, grateful and happy me.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The waiting game,

limbo land, whatever you want to call it, it is hard. Are we waiting for a baby, a little sister for Jackson and Millie, a daughter to hold and care for and watch grow or are we waiting for even more heartbreak.

I am trying to think positively but then I am not sure if that is wise either. Does it hurt more if you are expecting the best outcome or does it hurt less if you have prepared yourself that things may not go perfectly?

Who knows? All I do know is that this is THE. LONGEST. PREGNANCY. EVER. Excruciatingly long. I am only 22 weeks pregnant but I feel like I have been pregnant forever...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Reeling

Brendon pointed out that the quote below was using information from 1989, over twenty years ago. Fair point! A lot can happen in the medical world in that time so I did some more research and the latest I was able to find was from 2005 but it was still saying the same thing, pregnancy after uterine embolisation is rare and if it does occur the risks of miscarriage and stillbirth are high.
When I was pregnant with Lola I was so worried as to what the impact of the embolisation would be, i was so worried that I asked a number of doctors over my first few appointments. All of these doctors either dismissed my concerns on the spot or consulted with another doctor who assured us it would be fine. Noone went away and consulted the literature or previous cases. I feel a fire begin to spark inside.
what would you do?

I spoke to a lawyer last year about our case and she told us what the process would involve, and it sounded horrendous! We would have to undergo psychological testing to find out just how 'affected' we are by Lola's death, compensation would be based mostly on the financial cost of losing Lola on our family and the final comment that put my off? "Are you receiving counselling?", "Yes, I am", "Good, that will look good". The whole process just sounds more than I can cope with and with the courts putting little value on the life of an unborn baby, it hardly seems worth it!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Not happy!

My appointment on wednesday has left me thinking and my anger is festering! I decided to do my own research on the condition I had after Millie's birth that has caused so many complications (Arteriovenous Malformation). The first medical journal article I found said this "Pregnancy following embolisation for uterine vascular malformation is rare. Increased fetal wastage and stillbirth following treatment is common (Fleming et al 1989) So far, only four other successful pregnancies following embolisation have been reported in the literature (Poppe & Van Assche 1989). to the best of our knowledge, only one of these four women was delivered normally, with the rest being delivered by caesarean section."
Oh. My. God.

Where is Erin Brokovich when you need her!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Where I have been

Yesterday we had our BIG 20 week scan. I wouldn't say that I have been sweating on it or even thinking about it, just ignoring everything pregnancy related in the build up.
I guess I was emotionally exhausted after Lola's 1st birthday and my head needed a break from stress and at this point in time it was possible to ignore (most of the time) the pregnancy and just be 'normal' for a bit. It was also a way to not get too invested in this pregnancy until I had a better idea of where we stand. Our scan yesterday gave us a pretty good idea of how things are going.
It was pretty extensive as far as scans go, it took over an hour and all the potential dangers were investigated. So far it all looks pretty good AND 'it' is a girl!!!This news surprised us, we were sure it was going to be a boy and most people had guessed a boy but we are so happy and excited now that we know.

*Rant starts here (r rated)*
Unfortunately there is a bit of the bitter thrown in with the sweet. I couldn't help but feel pissed off that the same level of care I am receiving in this pregnancy was not given in Lola's pregnancy. It would have been so EASY to just do the same extensive tests in Lola's pregnancy as what we had done yesterday. The doctors were unsure at that time as to the effect of past procedures I'd had and decided in a quick 2 minute hallway discussion 'I am sure it will be ok'. They just didn't bother to write the extra two sentences on my scan referral that could have saved a babies life. It is not enough that there is a risk of something being wrong, a baby has to actually DIE before they will bother to write that extra two sentences. Excuse my french but that is fucked!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The reason...

for my silence, for my inability to 'talk' or mention that thing i can not talk about? It is here today!

I will be back later to 'talk'!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

My Happy place

♥ Rainy saturday afternoon, with my little family all at home, spending the afternoon cooking something fabulous (if I wasn't pregnant I'd include finishing the bottle of red I opened for said fabulous dish). Then all curling up in our king size bed together to watch the saturday night kids movie.

It just does not get much better than that!



(If you had of told me that this would be my idea of bliss 6 years ago I would have surely laughed!)

Friday, June 4, 2010

I am back...

at a place of acceptance. I am feeling grateful for what I do have. Jackson, Millie and Lola just couldn't be any cuter. Jackson and Millie fill my days with sweetness, kisses and cuddles and Lola reminds me to be in the moment, right there with them all.

I have been remembering lately the lessons I learnt in the beginning. I have been remembering that life is precious and when things are going along nicely, well you just have to be happy and grateful for that moment.

Sometimes I do forget to stop and smell the roses, sometimes I get so caught up in the grind of juggling work, and a family that I get grouchy and impatient(and I yell) and then something will remind me to slow down and take those moments to enjoy what is here and right in front of me.

Take those moments and treasure them, enjoy them, relish those hugs and kisses and smiles and the preciousness of what you DO have.

Have a lovely weekend my friends xxx

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Offensive? YES!

There is something that has been bothering me for a while, as time goes on my annoyance is gaining momentum. I really dislike, in fact am offended by, people using the word retarded in a derogatory sense.
I have always felt uncomfortable when people use this word to describe someone who does something silly, mean, bad or gets extremely drunk. But I admit I didn't really know or understand my discomfort at the use of this word so I never really thought about it.
Then my friend had a son with a condition that medical dictionaries describe a feature of which to be mental retardation. I saw that she was hurt by the use of this word in a derogatory sense and so I felt offended on her behalf but I didn't truly understand her hurt.
However, the more time I spent with her little man the more I felt personally upset by the way people use this word too. Why? Because he is the exact opposite of what that word has come to mean outside medical dictionaries. He is soo gorgeous inside and out and teaches all of us around him about what is really important in this life, what is beautiful in this world, and about unconditional love and acceptance. He is an incredibly special little boy!
I think we need to NOT become more relaxed around the use of the word retarded in such a negative way. It bothers me a lot that so many people use it so flippantly without any idea of the offense it will cause. Acceptance is the way forward people, difference is not bad, it is beautiful. It opens our eyes and teaches us things about ourselves and our world.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Have you ever...

wanted to do something that you know MAY turn pear-shaped but could be JUST the thing you need at the time? Something like take your baby out of their cot while they are sleeping because the idea of sleepy snuggles is oh so sweet?

We did just that last night and it was so worth it!

Brendon was in a 'lola missing' kind of mood after a looong, cold and lonely train ride home last night. The sadness he was feeling was so clear when I spoke to him on the phone but I knew what would cheer him up. Jackson had fallen asleep in our bed with me (we watch tele in bed together when Bren isn't home). I would usually move him back to his bed before Bren arrives home but he looked so cute and snuggly I decided to leave him there. When Bren finally arrived home he got into bed with us and we snuggled our boy and marvelled at just how beautiful he is. Bren carried him back to bed and we kissed him goodnight. As we were walking past Millie's room I felt an overwhelming urge to get her up for snuggles too, so we did! Millie is not quite as sleepy as jackson and so the moment we lifted her out of her cot she woke up and we snuck her back to our bed. We put her in between us and Oh My Goodness she looked like the cat who got the cream! She had a great big smile on her face and put an arm around each of us. It was such a sweet moment and Daddy was happy again! Jackson and Millie are good like that!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Terrifying

Imagine...

Brendon was out not celebrating his basketball grand final win last night (they lost), it was just me and the kids at home. I dont fall asleep usually until Brendon gets home, it's this weird thing about me, since i was small I have never been able to fall asleep until all members of the household are home. At 11.30 pm I suddenly sat up with a start as I could hear our dog charlie thumping her tail on the floor, something she does when she sees a person. My heart stopped as the next sound I heard was distinctly the sound of someone, a man, clearing their throat. Next our kitchen light turned on. The panic inside me was palpable, my heart was beating so fast and loud in my ears and I could not think straight, there WAS someone in the house.
I rang Brendon's phone, on instinct, to tell him to come home (he was pretty close by) and while doing it was praying i would hear his phone ringing, telling me it was him in the house. He didn't answer and I didn't hear his phone ringing! OH SHIT the person was leaving the kitchen. I quickly hung up from Brendon and rang 000 but wondered how or what I would say as my voice was gone and I didn't want to alert this person as to where I was. My panic was at fever pitch, the person was walking to our bedroom, I saw the shadow of someone walk into my room and then they spoke "did you just call me?" It was Brendon. I burst into tears and collapsed on the bed in a shaking mess. His phone had been on silent and amazingly I must have fallen asleep and not heard him until he was already well into the house. Absolutely unheard of, if I ever do dose off the moment his car is in the driveway i am wide awake. Most. Terrifying. Experience. EVER.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

I think I can...

thanks to wonderful people with big hearts.

Lola's birthday week was extraordinary, ordinary and everything I was not expecting it to be. It was a special time that we will remember fondly, amazingly. There were tears and heartache but for the most part we stayed close to each other and felt like we were being wrapped up in a wonderful warm hug by our friends and family. We had family staying with us who nurtured and cared for us allowing us to *just be*. No responsibility, no expectations, no demands. We received cards, gifts, flowers, messages and lots of pink cupcakes were baked and eaten in Lola's honour. Perhaps most special of all were the birthday cards written to Lola. It was so touching to read messages from our nearest and dearest to our baby girl, to read how they feel about her and what they wanted to say to her on her birthday. It was simple and beautiful.

And now here we are. We survived the first year. Our family is still strong. I can not help but feel triumphant that we made it through that, relatively intact. Honestly this is not how I expected to feel at this stage but here I am. It feels a little like the fog has lifted. Some of the weight on my shoulders has been released and I feel happy, happier than I have felt in a long while.

Thankyou to those that have helped carry us through that year. I really do feel like many of our friends and family have been going through all of this right along side us, and you didn't have to. You could have walked away, some did, but many have stayed with us through it all. You know who you are and we are forever grateful for that love and support.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Love Letters (4 year old style)




To Jackson..
I love you, you are cute and I love your parties.
Love Ebony


Dear Ebony,

I know you are in Perth but I want to go to Perth and play with you. I'm gonna play a game today.

Love Jackson


To Jackson,
I want you to come to Perth and play with me. I love you.
We can play duck, duck, goose together with Ashton's toys.
(giggles)
Love Ebony


Dear Ebony,

Last week I was being super fast because I was in a super fast mood. We went to someone's birthday yesterday and her name is baby poppy. I've got a remote control dinosaur but we cant play with it anymore because the batteries are flat. I want you to come and play in Melbourne. When some people come for a sleepover I sleep on my top bunk and they sleep on the bottom. Do you want to come for a sleepover?
Love Jackson xx


Dear Jackson,
Today I had a bike ride and I was super fast too and I didn't fall off. I was a speed demon on Mathletics today too, before that I was a junior giant.
It doesn't matter because you can put new batteries in your dinosaur.
(typing by Ebony...)
and on my birthday i got a lepod (leopard) and i love it.
i do wont to have a sleepover love ebony


Jackson: We better tell her that we have to put the same battery back in but we need to find the charger.
We better tell her that I have a baby sister called Millie and we are having another baby and we had another baby too called Lola but she died.
Tell her I would LOVE to come to Perth. I have a boyfriend called Zac and hayden and lachlan and I have girlfriends called Maya and grace and charlie.

love Jackson


Dear Jackson
Its not nice that your baby Lola died.
I hope you love her.
From
Ebony



*A couple of weeks ago, on a sunday, I woke up to find an email in my inbox for Jackson from his friend in Perth. The day was spent writing to each other and waiting with much anticipation for the replies. The emails were written exactly as dictated to us mums. I thought it was really lovely that Jackson was able to tell his friend in a letter about Lola as he doesn't ever mention her to friends normally.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Lola's Eulogy

Kristalee and I would like to thank everyone for the love and support we have received. We’ve been truly overwhelmed by the care and compassion we have been shown. Thank you.

Lola Constance Evelyn

You were born on Tuesday the 5th of May, 2009 at 11.56 AM. We got to hold you, kiss you, cuddle you and talk to you, our beautiful little angel. Although you weren’t able to respond to us, we know that you could feel every cuddle and kiss and hear every word we said. You know that our love is never ending, along with our sadness and sorrow. In the fullness of time our sadness and sorrow will diminish, but you will never be forgotten.

The last 9 months we have watched you grow, felt your movements, and listened to your heart, anticipating your arrival. Sadly when you did come, life was no more. Jackson was excited about having another baby sister, and lovingly chose your name. You gained your middle names from your great Nana and your great great Gran, who have provided love and support to us over the years, this is why these names were blessed on you, as we knew that your world was, and still is filled with love and support.

You’ll never get to play basketball with Jackson in his room, or play dolls with your big sister Millie, but we know in everything that we all do, you are part of it, and always will be. We won’t have the chance to see you smile, take your first steps, or hear your first words. We won’t have the chance to watch you develop into the beautiful girl, that I’m sure you would have, or become a woman and create your own life.

You are a part of our family, and will always be with us, at everything we do. Mummy and Daddy love you very much and always will. You are forever in our hearts.

*Brendon and I spent Mother's Day last year writing Lola's eulogy as her funeral was held the following morning. It was an incredibly hard day. Perhaps selfishly, I decided to pretend Mother's day was not happening last year. While it has been one year I kinda feel a lot like pretending it isn't happening again this year. I feel bad about ruining this day for my family by having this attitude. Anyway just want to say that I am thinking of all those that find Mother's day difficult, those that have lost a child, a pregnancy, struggling with fertility and those that have lost their own mothers! Thinking of you xxxx

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Happy Birthday Lola

I hope you can see how much everyone loves you and misses you and thinks about you!

You are super special my tiny girl xxxx

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

That day

It's like a dream looking back. Was I really there? The memories of that day are very clear but it's like I am watching it rather than living it. I was really nervous walking into the emergency department. Brendon and I hardly said a word to each other, although I remember him saying that everything was going to be ok. Little did we know just how wrong he was.

The image that I can never get out of my head is of looking up at the ultrasound screen and just KNOWING. The image was of Lola laying with her back to us and she was completely still. We didn't need the doctor to tell us, everyone in that room could see that this baby was dead. So they all filed out to give us some time and space.

I sat on the bed watching Brendon. His face was scrunched up in pain, he was pacing the end of the bed with his head in his hands and he looked like he was having trouble breathing. I sat and waited to feel what I could see he was feeling but I felt nothing. I knew that what had happened was bad but I was not feeling the pain my husband was feeling.

Brendon seemed to suddenly go into protective mode and he put his own needs aside and came to me. He held me and told me that we would get through this. I still felt nothing. In fact all I could think about was the fact that this baby was going to have to come out somehow. How? Surely I would not have to give birth naturally? Surely I would be sent off for a caesarian immediantly?

The nurse said No. I had to give birth naturally but I could have whatever drugs I wanted. She said "besides, you wouldn't want a scar to always remind you". Little did she know there would always be a scar regardless of how I give birth and I would never want to forget anyway.

It was all too much, I couldn't make any decisions that day, my head was struggling to keep up. We went home with the plan that we would return the next day in order to make the decisions that needed to be made.

Does it seem odd that we got in the car and sent text messages to our closest family and friends, does it seem odd that I went home and wrote a post on an online forum of which I am a member to tell people what had happened, does it seem odd that we went home at all, does it seem odd that I felt nothing at this stage except fear of giving birth to this baby, does it seem odd that I updated my facebook with the news, does it seem odd that I didn't fall in a heap on the floor overwhelmed with grief?

I know the answer to all of these questions is probably yes. Looking back though (and knowing the true pain of grief was yet to come) I understand the way I acted. It was shock, it was self-preservation. I was trying to understand what was happening. I was reading and watching the strong reactions to what had happened from everyone around me as a way of validating that, yes, this was bad, very bad. I was trying to make myself feel that too. The shock and adrenalin was stopping me from feeling anything at all. I wandered around my house and sat at our computer for the entire night trying to understand. I dont think that understanding really hit me for a long time after these events. If I looked back over the posts on this blog I could probably pinpoint when that may have actually happened.

I have felt shame about the events of that day for a long time. I struggled myself to come to terms with how I reacted and imagined how others probably perceived my actions also. I dont anymore though. I understand that grief does not happen in the way you imagine. It is different for everybody. I understand that it took a long time for me to come to terms with losing Lola and that is ok.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Love Daddy

My dear beautiful Lola,

It's been 12 months today,
since you passed away,
You're the daughter I never got to cuddle,
Because of this my tears left a puddle,
Every day my heart yearns for you,
I will never forget you!

I love you sweetie, I hope/know you're in a happy place, and I know you are always with us,

Love Daddy.

How grief looks

...in this house today.

Today marks the one year anniversary of Lola's last moments on earth. A painful and sad day for our family. But grief does not look how you would imagine it looks, in this home.

As Lola's mum, dad and brother cling to each other and sob as they think of their loss they look down to see their two year old daughter/sister followed by a trail of wet footsteps as she comes to say "I wee'd mummy!" and they all laugh through their tears.

Lola's dad takes the kids for a swim to give mum some space ... so she can clean the house. As she cleans, she cries and listens to sad music, always thinking of the beautiful baby taken too soon.

Friends send their love and support and people all over the world think of this tiny baby they never met, putting a smile on the face of her family, momentarily giving them a break from the tears.

Lola's dad is called in to work, he has to go despite his heavy heart so he puts on a brave face and off he goes.

A candle shines brightly through the house on this day to show that they are thinking of her.

Life goes on.

This is not what I imagined grief would be like. I didn't imagine that life would go on, that while grieving I would also be doing ordinary things like cleaning up after my cute two year old who is toilet training. But the reality is that these are the things that have saved my life over this past year. My kids and my husband need me here. In those moments when I have contemplated not being here, the thought of leaving them behind has pulled me through.

We are asking you to light a candle for Lola today, the anniversary of her last day on earth. On her birthday, on wednesday, have a pink cupcake to say Happy 1st Birthday to Lola xxxx

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Big ball of fire

is building up inside of me. The closer we get to the anniversary of Lola's death, the less I am coping. The ball of fire inside me is ignited so quickly and i find myself full of anger. And sadness. I knew this time would be hard but I could never have predicted how far I would fall. Some days I dont know how I will make it to the next, the hopelessness is overwhelming.
It has taken me this whole, long one year to feel the complete impact of our loss, I believe. To realise the void that Lola has left in our family will never be filled, never.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Hope springs eternal

I thought I was without hope.
I thought I was protecting myself by expecting the worst.
That way I would not feel disappointment and anything better than the worst would be a bonus.
Leading up to our scan last week I prepared myself for there being no heartbeat on the screen. I pictured how that would look and I decided that is what I would expect. If there was a heartbeat and a healthy, growing baby then that would be a bonus. I kept up this thinking right up until the doctor called our name.
However, as I walked into the room I felt a tiny, irridescent bright light beaming from my belly. It was hope. As hard as I tried to not feel it, I did. I couldn't help but feel it. With hope came calm and light. It was a strange feeling, the way it just came over me in those moments. I realised, in that moment, that 'with hope' IS the way to live this difficult time.

This story made me feel hope too. I want that! Everything Angie describes in that post! (Well maybe leave the sore ass out of my story!)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

There's this thing

...that happens to me in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. It is called Anti-Natal Depression. Have you ever heard of such a thing?
All day, every day my head says
'You are lazy'
'You are a crap mum, wife, daughter, friend'
'You are hopeless'
'You are fat'
'What is wrong with you'
I hardly move off the couch while this inner dialogue plays on repeat in my head. It becomes a self-fulfilling phrophecy.

I have been here twice before though (I didn't have it with Jackson's pregnancy) so a part of me knows that it will end around the half way mark. I believe it to be a combination of hormones, 24/7 nausea and extreme tiredness and probably grief and fear thrown into the mix this time.

In short I am struggling daily at the moment but I have gotten through it before and I will again.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The hard thing

...about grief

nearly 11 months down the track I am still gut wrenchingly devastated.

Compounded by the stomach turning fear and anxiety I feel every day because I am pregnant again and I am finding it so hard to imagine that this pregnancy might end with a baby breathing in my arms.

Embittered by the fact that I am bleeding on and off. Something that has never happened in pregnancy for me before except two days before Lola died.

Made worse by the thought that I should by planning a 1st birthday party. Instead I am trying to think of a way to keep Lola's memory alive and wondering if our loved ones will be offended by a gathering at one year anyway.

Exacerbated by the expectations of others that we will be ok because they no longer know what to say or feel uncomfortable sitting with our pain.

It's where I'm at, noone said this journey would be pretty.

Monday, March 29, 2010

A Chance Meeting or A Beautiful Connection

One day the idea of contacting a psychic jumped into my head and in a desperately dark moment I searched for one online who would do a reading by email. I found one and contacted her. She got right back to me and I paid for the reading right away, she said it would take a couple of days. It took three weeks, numerous emails from me and excuses from her and finally after I sent a grouchy email saying I felt like I had been taken for a ride, the reading came through. It had such bad feelings about it that Bren and I read it once, felt nothing and moved on.

The VERY next day I woke up to find an email from a psychic in my inbox. She had read on my blog that I was waiting for an email from a psychic and she wondered if she could help me. After spending the day emailing and building a friendship, she offered to do a reading for me.

The VERY next day I had the reading and it was SUPERB. It struck me right in my heart, I felt like I was talking with Lola. It was so intimate and detailed and beautiful, I recall it as a dream of pictures now when I think back to it, it was so much more than words on a screen.

Our meeting was more than chance, someone brought us together at exactly the right moment. ♥

Sunday, March 28, 2010

from baby to boy

By day
his arms will hug reluctantly
cute must not be used to describe him
he is no longer my baby boy
he is big now

With the cloak of darkness
his arms cling tightly
his head rests on my shoulder
he nestles in as close as possible
he is lulled to sleep by his mumma's closeness
he is my baby once more

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sunshine

I dont have enough sunshine in my life, according to my pregnancy blood tests. Seriously that actually came up in my blood, I am vitamin D deficient.
How does a beach lovin, try hard surfin mama with roots in Western Australia, at the END of summer find herself deficient of sunshine? Could there be a more perfect analogy to describe my life over the past 11months?

It is ok though, you can get sunshine in a pill, that you take once a day!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Some days

Some days the strength of my missing takes my breath away. Often on the days that should be the happy days, like today. I should be happy today but I find myself sitting with a feeling of emptiness in my heart.
Last night before sleeping I felt flutters in my belly. It was just like there was a baby in my belly. I couldn't possibly have been feeling what I thought I was feeling yet it felt exactly like that. I thought of Lola. I felt Lola moving in my belly always as I drifted off to sleep at night.
I miss you, tiny girl.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Hiatus

yep, I am taking one. I have been hit with the lazy stick. Even writing this post I can barely lift my fingers up high enough to type.
It is nearly the end of term 1 and I am so ready for holidays, I bloody deserve them too, I have been working hard, hard, hard. (teaching and baking a baby)
Speaking of our fourth babe, we saw the precious little jellybean yesterday and all appears to be well.
I'll be back soon xxx

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

So tell me...

if you had $50 to spend at Funky Fabrix what would you buy?
Because I do and I cant decide!! help me!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

32 and ...

In just over a week I will be 32.

For my 30th two years ago I had a nearly three week old baby who was permanently attached to my breast. It was a very low key event. It was lovely but I decided my 31st birthday would involve a lot more Champagne to make up for the lack of it at my 30th birthday.

For my 31st birthday I was 7 months pregnant. I had not imagined that would be the case 12 months earlier but we were excited that that is how it turned out. My birthday card read
Dear Mummy
Thankyou for letting us draw and play. We love you. Daddy said to say that he promises you wont be pregnant for your birthday next year so you can drink Champagne.
Love from Jackson, Millie and Lola

That card cemented the baby in my bellies name as Lola! I started planning my 32nd birthday party in my head. I thought a Champagne fountain might be nice!

BUT I guess sometimes it is great to break a promise!



YES I AM!!

Disclaimer: I most certainly do love all of my children much more than Champagne! (Just in case you were wondering)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

My boy...

Jackson has been mentioning Lola a lot lately. He has been asking questions about her and telling Millie about her. The other day he pulled her photo down from his bookshelf and put it on his bedside table "so everyone can look at her easily".

I asked him yesterday if he has been thinking about her a lot lately. He turned to me, looked deep in my eyes and with a very solemn face said simply "every day".

I was stunned by the conviction in his voice and my heart immediately melted. He is a lovely soul, my boy.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The season of


My absolute favourite time of the year in Melbourne is Autumn. This city really turns on the amazing weather at this time of the year. We have many beautifully sunny days without the stifling heat. The kind of days where you get warmed up by sitting directly in the sun but as soon as you go in the shade you need a cardi, my idea of perfection.
This year Autumn reminds me of Lola, and probably for many years to come. I am ok with that, i am ok with the idea of my favourite time of the year reminding me of my daughter, the one that I can not reach out and hold. Instead I will look at the amazing colours of the leaves and think of her, I will feel the sun warming up my skin and think of her and as I reach for my cardi when there is a chill in the air, i will think of my sweet, little lola.

Image found here

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A tiny detail

I have had a little detail from the last days I held Lola in my belly swimming around in my head. I just keep remembering that after we went to the hospital and DIDN'T hear lola's heart beat my stomach went all floppy. I couldn't feel her in there anymore. I knew she must be but her tiny lifeless body was no longer squeezed into a tight space with no room to move. A pregnant woman's belly is usually as hard as a rock. I was full term but my belly was no longer as hard as a rock. You would never have guessed there was a baby in there.

I am not sure why I have been thinking about this, I have been feeling pretty happy. This year is shaping up to be a new start, a better time for us. I dont have the words 'my baby died' on repeat in my head anymore. There is room to think about other things too. I wonder what Lola thinks about this? Does she think we are forgetting about her? We are not. Jackson just asked today what are we going to do for Lola's birthday and we started to think about that as a family. I take moments out of every day to stop and think about her. Lola is everywhere for us.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A story of triumph, power and love. And a happy ending.

This is Millie's birth story. It is a lot like Lola's birth story but a lot different too. I am posting it here exactly as it was written a few weeks after her birthdate. I am posting it today because it will be two years on tuesday since it all happened.


Background: the birth of my son two years ago was very long and hard and involved a cascade of interventions. By the time my son was born he was put on my chest and I felt nothing but exhaustion, I couldn’t touch him or even look at him and then before I knew it he was whisked away. When I fell pregnant a second time I knew that I had to do everything I could to not let that happen again as ultimately I felt that I hadn’t prepared myself properly for that birth and that was the reason things happened as they did.

On the 22th of February I was 15 days overdue and had two days to go into labour naturally or I would be induced, something I was desperate to avoid. That last week pregnant I tried everything to get things going but on the Friday we decided to up the intensity. My acupuncturist told me about the ‘golden three-pronged approach that they’d had 100% success with – acupuncture, castor oil and a stretch and sweep. She went really hard on me with the acupuncture (it actually hurt) and told me to do the castor oil that evening. I was a little scared about doing the castor oil so I actually only ended up taking about a quarter of the recommended dose and decided I’d do the castor oil properly the next day after the stretch and sweep. The small amount of castor oil I had I’m pretty sure had no effect and so I went to bed at 11.30 that night.

I woke up at 12.30 with a full on stomach cramp that lasted for about 30 minutes, it wasn’t agony but I felt like I had a stomach bug and thought it was the castor oil but turns out it was the start of my labour. After the first 30 minutes the contractions settled into a pattern of about 3 minutes apart and were pretty full on right from the start. I found I had to be standing and leaning against something to feel somewhat comfortable and I was also making a lot of noise through them as that really helped as well, just moaning really but it helped. We rang the birth centre and found out it was empty which was really good news but I decided I wanted to stay home longer as I didn’t really believe I was making progress and wanted to avoid stalling labour. Bren busied himself packing everything and talking me through the contractions, he was so supportive throughout the labour.

Eventually at about 4am I realized that maybe we should head into the birth centre as since I had to be standing to get through contractions the 40 minute car ride could be fairly intense! So we rang to tell them we were on our way. What I learnt in the calmbirth classes really got me through that car ride, I went totally to another place to get through contractions but it was so possible and I was feeling good about how I was coping. When we got to the birth centre I didn’t recognize the midwife and I had in the back of my mind that I didn’t think she was a birth centre midwife but she seemed fine with the idea of me having a water birth so I wasn’t too worried. Plus I had Jenn coming (my support person and student midwife) and I had total trust that Jenn and Bren could support me through it. I still didn’t think I was very far along so refused an examination as I didn’t want to hear “oh you’re only 1 cm dilated.

I got into the bath and found that to be a great place to labour as it allowed me to really go into the birth zone although it took me a while to find a good position. Prior to getting into the bath I’d been chatting between contractions but that all stopped once I got in and I just got down to the business of laboring. I really didn’t feel like things were intensifying, I certainly felt like I was coping really fine and the thought of any drugs never actually entered my mind. It also helped so much that my support team kept telling me how well I was doing all the time and just generally looking after me. I also really lost track of time and honestly the time was flying.

All of a sudden, I guess about 7.30, I started to feel like pushing! This was a very pleasant surprise as I still didn’t really believe I was progressing. The pushing sensation was actually really satisfying to begin with and I was excited that I’d made it that far. That stage of labour was really good as well as I still got breaks in between contractions where I could rest. But I felt like something wasn’t quite right, it felt like I was only getting so far and then bubs was getting stuck. The midwives wanted me out of the water at this point so we could try a few different positions to push in. By this stage I wasn’t upset that my daughter wouldn’t be born in water, I just wanted to see her! Things moved really quickly from this point on, I ended up on the bed, on my back with my legs pushing against the midwives. I sensed I bit of panic in the room at this stage and the midwife told me she would have to do an episiotomy. I didn’t really have time to care at this point although I did groan a big Noooooo! At her.

At 8am on the 23rd of February Millie Patricia was born. It was the most awesome feeling ever to have my daughter put onto my chest. My husband and I were both crying and kissing and hugging and he kept telling me how amazing I was. It was the best feeling ever and I felt so awesome that I had done it. I was so in love with her from the first moment I saw her and the best part of all was that she stayed laying on my chest for two hours after the birth, no one tried to take her away and I was able to hold her and look at her. Staying in the birth centre was lovely, Bren and I spent the day laying in bed together looking at our daughter, Jackson came in for a while and played and kinda checked Millie out from a distance and I had a midwife all to myself to look after us. I think the things that made the birth everything I wanted was my two fabulous support people Bren and Jenn and the calmbirth classes that we did.

Friday, February 19, 2010

A change a month





The tomatoes and rosemary that we put in last month are looking fab! The strawberries not so much, pretty much dead!

Composting has been an easy change. Our friend told us that it is helpful to have two bins actually. So when one is full you can leave it to decompose and make all that good stuff and start filling the other, handy hint! So we did that this month, we upgraded our composting system. Did you know that composting is good to do even if you dont need it for your garden? I didn't know that but apparently even the natural stuff that goes to landfill has a hard time breaking down and creates Methane in the atmosphere. So composting is helpful for that and super easy too!

Also I was feeling a little uneasy about the extra water we were using to water our new plants so we bought a little mini-tank to help with that with a view to one day upgrading to a big tank.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Your kidding right?

Are you still not over this? You're still talking about it?

I'll never be over it. How could I ever forget about the sweetest angel I ever had the pleasure of growing in my belly for 41 weeks. She will be in our hearts forever. Talking about it, mentioning her name, that is how I keep her memory alive. She gave our family many gifts, especially that life is too short to be unhappy, to be putting your life on hold, to be waiting for {something} before you start living your life. We are forever grateful to Lola for what she gave us. So, no, I'll never be over it, I'll never forget, I'll never stop talking about her.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Up Side

Project "My body is a temple" is going great guns. Hmm maybe not the right wording. It is going great but so slow. It has had a knock on affect into other areas of my life that I wasn't quite expecting.

* I am feeling a renewed faith in my bodies abilities to do what I need it to do, to work in the way that it is meant to work. I didn't realise how much I hated and resented my body for being the cause of Lola's death and also for being that constant reminder of my failing. I am finally (after nine months) back to the weight I was before Lola's pregnancy. I still have a way to go but my body is responding in the way I expect it to to all the hard work I am putting back into it.

* I am feeling like I am worthwhile. I deserve to have 30 minutes a day to excercise even if that means someone else in my family has to miss out on 30 minutes of my time. I also feel like I am worthy of spending some of our tight budget on some of the things that I need. I worked out the other day that it has been 14 months since I last had a haircut.

* I have energy. It feels so good to have energy. Energy to play with the kids, energy to excercise, energy to catch up with friends on a weeknight, energy to be organized, energy to keep up with the housework.

* Our budget is benefitting too. From my organization and my energy and my motivation. I have been cooking yummy, healthy food for our lunches and dinners and we have hardly eaten out.

* I feel happy. I have for a few weeks now. I think it is partly excercise endorphines but also because of all of the above.

* My maternity clothes are getting too big! Another constant reminder of my failings and sadness was not fitting into any pre-pregnancy clothes. I have been wearing maternity clothes everyday since Lola was born except in the last week or so. Yippee!

The down side

Actually it isn't so much a down side as a challenge I need to overcome. I have really isolated myself in the last month. I have only attended social gatherings twice in all that time because I just dont trust my willpower when confronted by temptation. I slipped up both times. I dont know how to overcome this issue. I know isolating myself is not healthy so I am working on this.

I'll be back tomorrow with an update on project "A change a month" (towards a more sustainable lifestyle)

xoxo

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Lovely Love Story

By Edward Monkton

The fierce Dinosaur was trapped inside his cage of ice. Although it was cold he was happy in there. It was after all, his cage.

Then along came the Lovely Other Dinosaur.

The Lovely Other Dinosaur melted the Dinosaurs cage with kind words and loving thoughts.

I like this Dinosaur, thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur.
Although he is fierce he is also tender and he is funny.
He is also quite clever though I will not tell him this for now.

I like this Lovely Other Dinosaur, thought the Dinosaur. She is beautiful and she is different and she smells so nice.
She is also a free spirit which is a quality I much admire in a Dinosaur.

But he can be so distant and so peculiar at times, thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur.

He is also overly fond of things.
Are all Dinosaurs so overly fond of things?

But her mind skips from here to there so quickly, thought the Dinosaur. She is also uncommonly keen on shopping.
Are all Lovely Other Dinosaurs so uncommonly keen on shopping.

I will forgive his peculiarity and his concern for things, thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur. For they are part of what makes him a richly charactered Individual.

I will forgive her skipping mind and her fondness for shopping, thought the Dinosaur. For she fills our life with beautiful thoughts and wonderful surprises.
Besides I am not unkeen on shopping either.

Now the Dinosaur and the Lovely Other Dinosaur are old.
Look at them.

Together they stand on the hill telling each other stories and feeling the warmth of the sun on their backs.

And that, my friends, is how it is with love.
Let us all be Dinosaurs and Lovely Other Dinosaurs TOGETHER.

For the sun is warm.
And the world is a beautiful place.

The End

Friday, February 5, 2010

What's up?

Welcoming: new readers who have found my blog this week, Hi!

Thinking: about getting crafty this weekend

Cooking: Cupcakes for a christening this weekend

Appreciating: this little reprieve from summer today

Enjoyed: searching the mountain for an op shop I have heard about even though we didn't find it. It was all foggy and a bit spooky but so pretty too.

Looking forward: to Jackson's second basketball clinic in three sleeps. Every morning he gets up and asks if it is Monday yet. ♥

Looking: for ways of increasing my income without too much more time away from the kidlets. (Anyone need a Primary tutor?)

Loving: getting two blogging awards in one week!

Planning: A dinner out with friends (if we can all co-ordinate schedules!)

Listening: out for Bren to get home so we can start our weekend

Trying: so hard to stick to weight watchers even though losing weight is soo slow these days.

Wondering: what to do with the 'cute as' fabric I found this morning for a bargain price.

Thinking: How thoughtful my friend Melissa was for gifting our family with little wooden name puzzles, including Lola ♥

Hiding: from the world lately in our little sanctuary at the bottom of the mountain.

Happy: to have been married to my husband for 3 years now.

Thanking: my lucky stars that I found this medium to realise the thoughts my mind is working overtime to create

Frustrated: at the spaghetti sauce dried onto Millie's face that she wont let me clean. She is the same hue as an oompa loompa!

Wishing: I had a crystal ball that allowed me to see what is in store for us.

Feeling: a little melancholy today, Lola was born exactly 9 months ago.

Hoping, Hoping, Hoping

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Making Progress

Kids being back at school means that I am back at work! The year for us starts with a couple of professional devevlopment days before we get to start working with the kids. I can't wait to get back to the kids but it has been quite nice spending some time with my colleagues, I dont get to see them very much. My boss called on me as an 'expert' yesterday! I am not an expert, just been there longer than most, it was quite nice though I must admit!

We have some new colleagues just starting this term, they are really nice. I never know whether it is ok to mention Lola when meeting new people. To be honest I was a bit scared on the first day about what questions I would be asked and how I would answer them so I was a bit withdrawn. The second day I spent with them, the fact that I had a baby 9 months ago did come up. I talked about what happened and I didn't cry! That is a first for me! It was really nice to be able to talk about what happened, to not feel like I had to hide Lola's existence. They were super nice too. They asked me questions and didn't look scared to talk to me about it. One of them had also had a baby die in her family too. I think this is going to be a good year folks, a year for healing and happiness, mostly!

Beautiful Blogger



For me? Why Thankyou! You are so very kind! And I feel honoured that you like my blog!
My friend, Megs, tagged me with a Beautiful Blogger award which I am pretty chuffed about but you know what is even more exciting than that? She had a baby yesterday! I cant wait to hear the details. You should check out her blog too, it is really pretty and the next post is bound to be wonderful!

So part of the award is that I need to share 7 things that you may not know about me, here goes;

1. I moved to Melbourne 7 years ago! (WOW, I cant believe it has been that long!) I moved from Perth, my home town. I adore Melbourne and doubt I will ever move back.

2. I have had to go to court once. I had to testify against a housemate I had when I first moved to Melbs. I only lived in the house for 6 months and I moved out because that particular housemate was pretty awful (Oh the stories I could tell you about her!). I had one other housemate too (she was lovely) in that house. We both had to testify against her as she put in a fake insurance claim saying the house we lived in had been robbed. It was a very icky experience!

3. I worked at Hungry Jacks when I was 15/16. I was really bad at it and always got people's orders wrong. The bosses were really mean and I felt so sick before every shift because I was so nervous about getting into trouble. I quit after 6 months.

4. Before having babies I was a youth Drug and Alcohol Clinician. I loved the job but it wasn't very conducive with having a young family.

5. Next week is our 3rd wedding anniversary. It will be our first that I am not pregnant!

6. I am turning 32 next month. Argh, how did that happen!

7. I hate watching the news! It makes my anxious.

I get to tag seven more people now , ok here goes;

1.Lover of Little things

2. life love babies

3.Pepperberry and Co

4.Still Life with Circles

5. Spilt Milk

6. Gee Your Brave

7. Little red riding cook

Ooh they are some of my favs, go ahead and check them out. It is a real cross-section of blogs. Lots of different, inspiring topics.

Friday, January 29, 2010

something a little bit fun and happy

I wish there was more spontaneous dancing in the street.
Oh if only life was a musical!



The unbeatable lovliness of friends

Not just any friends but those friends who have been there with you for most of your life. Through all the ups and downs. I have two friends like this. Davina and Nicole. They have been with me forever and I believe they always will be. They live on the other side of Australia to me, in the last twelve years we have only lived in the same city for 4 years. But it does not seem to matter how far away we are from each other, our bond is unbreakable.
When Lola died they decided they would be at her funeral. They have three kids each so it was a mammoth task in itself to make a last minute dash across the country. Lola's funeral was to be held on monday morning and they were leaving Perth at midnight on the Sunday night, arriving in melbourne in the early hours of the morning. When they arrived at the airport on Sunday night they were unable to board their flight. They spent the night in the airport unable to get on another flight until Monday morning. To late to make it to Lola's funeral. They came anyway. They arrived on my doorstep Monday afternoon. When I opened the door to them we all just burst into tears, all three of us. I was so touched that they went through all that and came anyway. I had 24 hours with them before they had to get on a plane and go back home. I think it was so amazing that they did that for me. I will never forget it. I love them, my lifelong friends.

p.s. I had lots of family make the trek over from Perth for the funeral, I was really overwhelmed by how supported we were by our friends and family from all over. Thankyou to everyone who was there for us, in person and in thoughts xx

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Goals, goals goals

I have a few goals for this year. I am only just starting to get the ball rolling but, hey, better late than never!

The first one I wrote about in my last post.

My second goal: I want to work towards holding a market stall with all my own handmade kids stuff. I was planning on doing this in the first few months of the year but have been rethinking this the last few days. Anyway, my goal is to, sometime this year, hold a stall at the Camberwell market.

We also have a family goal, one change a month towards a more sustainable lifestyle. I think that is doable. I was given a really great book for my birthday last year called 'A slice of organic life'. It is full of things you can do (small and big) towards changing to a better way of living. We started on this goal yesterday. We have planted strawberries, tomatoes and rosemary plus we have started composting. Hey, we are starting small and really, small changes are better than no changes, right? We do have bigger goals for later on in the year (cause they cost a bit to implement). Oh and we have signed up to Freecycle which could help us reach those goals sooner with any luck.

My final goal is to find the courage to get through another pregnancy.

Have you set yourself any goals for 2010? I'd love to hear about them ♥
I am trashing my body at the moment.

Booze, fat, sugar, caffeine

My new mantra as of tomorrow

'My body is a temple'

No but seriously, it is out of control and I have to focus on getting healthy ASAP

Salad, vegetables, water and heaps of excercise. I have to, I really, really do.

It all starts tomorrow

'My body is a temple'.

One of my goals for 2010

Give me strength!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Lovely Bones

I just completed my second attempt at watching this movie. I found out a few months ago that this book (by Alice Sebold) was going to be made into a movie. I knew I would have to watch it as soon as I found out. I read the book last summer when I was pregnant with Lola. I was so taken by the idea that death isn't the end. I was so taken in by this story. It was beautiful but utterly devastating at the same time. I knew the time for me to watch this movie would have to be just right though. While on our summer holiday my sister-in-law mentioned that she wanted to see this movie. I jumped at the chance to watch it with her. I pictured a small, cosy country cinema with a supportive friend next to me. Perfect.

I lasted about 25 minutes and then I had to leave. We were sharing the cinema with a big group of teenagers, they were sitting right behind us kicking our seats. They were joking and laughing really loudly right behind us. I had tears pouring down my cheeks and was just about at the point where my tears were coming so thick and fast that I could barely breath and would soon be gulping in air. I stood up and walked out with the intention of returning when I'd pulled myself together. I just could not bring myself to walk back into that cinema though.

I properly prepared myself tonight to watch this movie. Just me and my puppy (she is lieing on my feet) and a packet of tim tams. I could weep loudly if I needed to, no need to feel self-conscious about letting it out in front of a group of kids. (I honestly dont feel any resentment towards them. My guess is that it was all bravado so that they didn't have to let the movie take them to that feeling of devastation.) Charlie (my puppy) was so sweet. I sat on the floor with her. She couldn't watch though and had her head behind my back but still had her front leg resting on my arm.

My verdict: It was intense. But beautiful.

If I watched a movie like this before Lola died I would have comforted myself with the thought that 'that would never happen to me'. That thought does not comfort me anymore. It did happen to me, my daughter died too. I live in fear that it might happen again and a movie such as this can take my mind to places I just dont want to go. 'So dont watch' I hear you say. I could have just not watched it but there were other elements to this story that I needed to see, that I want to believe and they have the potential to make things alright.

I used to believe that bad things dont happen to good people. So I tried to be a good person. But I was wrong. (Even if I am a bad person this didn't just happen to me, it happened to Brendon and Jackson and Millie and Lola and they are nothing but good.) Bad things do happen to good people. How do we explain this? How do you make peace with this? Why do bad things happen to good people? I have read many others theories on why, and while they make sense as I read them (most anyway) they dont really resonate enough to become embedded in my psyche so I guess I am still searching for answers. I do believe that this movie has maybe taken me a step closer to finding my own explanation. At the very least I have some beautiful imagery to spark my imagination.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

♥♥♥

I went to see a new doctor today, a female doctor.
I really liked her.
I made her cry.
Which made me like her even more.
Is that bad?

I went to see her about an unrelated matter and had planned on not saying anything about Lola as I am not in a good place at the moment and I knew if I did tell her then I would cry. But I had to mention I'd had a baby 8 months ago and then she asked if I was breastfeeding. So it came up. And I did cry. And she cried as I told her. I have seen a lot of doctors in the past two years of my life and it has been rare for a doctor to show any feeling. I understand this, they have a job that could be much harder if they didn't desensitise themselves from stories such as mine. BUT jeez it was good to find myself today sitting in front of a doctor who was also a woman and also a mother.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Whispers in the wind

A family of four we were. We liked being a family of four, two girls and two boys. And then we dreamed one day of being a family of five. Oh yes, we shed tears of fear. Will Mama survive? Can we afford it? Where will we live? But we worked it out, actually it was easy. Everything just fell into place. It was meant to be.

But then it wasn't. Then our baby died. Our families heart broke. Right when we should have been bringing our baby girl home, we were attending her funeral. She never came home.
Our families heart broke.

That feeling of empty arms that I felt in the early weeks after Lola's death returns for a couple of days every month. I ache to hold our newborn baby, to breath in that heady, overwhelming smell of a newborn, to feel their cheek against mine and to look into their eyes. For the rest of the month I feel a consuming fear as to whether we should take that leap and try again. Or not.

A desperate need vs an overwhelming fear

My solution is to live in a fog for some of the time and not acknowledge any of this story or sometimes I throw caution to the wind. What will be, will be. Other times I live and breath this story and graffiti my life with it.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

My happy place

This is where I go to create, escape and make!



My very own little corner of our house, just for me!



I am hoping this is just the beginning!


And just for the hell of it

My cute as a button christmas princess


Yippee, santa remembered to stop by our place

Monday, January 11, 2010

Narcissism

I really wanted to start the year on a positive note. I tried, but I can't fake it. We arrived home from our holiday today. We had good times but it wasn't what I thought it would be.
I have vivid memories of my pregnancy with Lola from this time last year until she was born and they are stirred up every single day. It is wearing me down. I am caught between wanting to change things, be positive, be happy, be thankful but also feel as though being those things will be a betrayal of my devastaion of Lola's loss.
I read today that a grieving parent can be quite narcissistic. I think I fit the bill. I am pretty consumed by my own 'stuff' and get annoyed when others put their own issues on my already massive pile of issues to deal with. I have even deleted people from facebook when I have been faced with their pregnancy and newborn baby daily, a seriously selfish act.

I am going to go to sleep tonight saying over and over again 'happy thoughts, happy thoughts' and hopefully that will create a happy post for tomorrow! It is possible too because i will be sleeping in our MASSIVE king size Sealy posture pedic bed tonight after a couple of weeks in various beds that were not MY AMAZING bed. Have I told you how wonderful our bed is? Seriously it is soo good for the first six months we had it I fell in love with it again every night that I layed me head down in it!

*Disclaimer* All of what I have written above are normal feelings for a mother whose baby died. I am coping as well as anybody who has been through this. These are words I have written on a blog about Lola, words that consume a part of my head and heart but not what I live every moment of every day. I am still able to function in a normal way. (Can you tell I am sick of people talking behind my back and saying 'she's not coping!')

Friday, January 1, 2010

Lost

No direction.
No motivation.
No energy.
Broken.
Leaving 2009 behind is like walking away from a war. I am bruised and battered and limping away from this war that I lost. Or did I? I guess I am still here. My family is intact, just. It just doesn't feel like a win.
Last night the last song they played before the fireworks was 'Lola' by the Kinks. I should have been happy and thinking that Lola was looking out for us. I just cried through the whole song. She should have been there.
I have never cried at midnight on New years before last night.
I guess I will just pick myself up and brush myself off and try again.
I have big plans and ideas and goals for 2010.
They might have to wait till tomorrow, or the next day, or next week. I am bloody tired!