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