Wednesday, June 13, 2012

You know that show?

On channel Ten? Offspring?

I love it.

And I hate it.

I think it must be written by someone who has lost a baby. The issue comes up regularly and the way it is dealt with is so true and compassionate. Tonight's episode was so close to home that it physically hurt. I sobbed hard. So hard I could hardly breath. But anyway it brought something up for me that I haven't spoken about before and I thought maybe I want to.

On the show the father of a baby born very prematurely had his family rally around him. His mum and dad and his sisters. They were so involved and it was their pain and their experience too. We had a load of family around us too. Some had immediately jumped on a plane from Perth as soon as they heard the news. However there was one glaring hole.

I have a brother. Our relationship, in adulthood, has been fractious. The day after Lola was born I received a text message from him that read 'sorry for your loss'. It made me so angry (the anger is building up in me again just writing this). Why did he write that? Why did he bother writing that? That meant nothing to me. He didn't use her name. It wasn't just a loss, her name is Lola and she is his neice. It's not just my loss, it is my pain and your pain too, she is a part of our family, you are related to her. Did you cry about losing a baby neice? Did you actually care that your sister was in the most pain a human being can ever feel. Your words, in a text message, had no meaning, they felt cold and uncaring and probably hurt me more than if you'd done nothing at all. At least if you'd said nothing I could imagine that she, Lola, meant something to you.

*It's true what they say. The pain never goes away, you just learn to live with it. It still surprises me, the verocity of grief after three years. We shared our story yesterday for a television interview in order to promote the organisation Hearfelt and it was more difficult than I imagined. However we talked about whether we could do it again. The answer is a resounding YES. Despite it being hard, it brought us incredible satisfaction and peace to think that our pain and Lola's short time on earth could be used to help others and well, do good. The story was for the ABC's 730. It won't be aired for a few weeks though.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Hopeless and lost

I am finding it hard to bounce back from Lola's third birthday. I am falling into desperation. I feel manic at times. Forced happiness that feels like craziness. Overwhelming anger over nothing much. Hopelessness at how to pull myself back.
I sense Brendon is struggling too. We're like zombies, just getting through, side by side but separate.
I want change, I need change. I feel burnt out from my job. It is hard to give what I need to give to the people I work with when I feel like this, especially when the pressure continues to increase. It is too much.
I could ask for help, I know. But I don't know what that help looks like.
Everything that was great and exciting a few months ago feels grey now and too hard.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


We don't know for sure, but we think this day, three years ago, is the day Lola died. Tomorrow will mark three years since we found out that she had passed away and Saturday would have been her third birthday.

I have had it in my head for months that I would take today and tomorrow off work to give myself some space to grieve, be sad, cry or whatever I needed to do. As this week approached I tried to keep my diary as clear as possible. My job is such that it can be hard to say no sometimes though. Our clients are vulnerable and depend on us to be there for them. So I said yes to a meeting this morning despite what I knew.

I started crying last night and have been teary since. I cried all the way to work. I cried the moment I walked into my office and saw my friend. I stopped crying for the meeting and held myself together for the entire time, but I started crying the moment I was out of the meeting. I cried the whole way home.

I feel pain in my chest and I can't breath. My muscles all over my body are fatigued. My head is pounding and I can't think. I can't see. My heart hurts so bad.

It stills feels unjust, unfair. Why me, why us, why Lola.

Three years is forever, and like it was yesterday.

I am right where I need to be. At home on my couch under a doona.

Monday, April 30, 2012

7 - 11

"Millie where is Lola?"

"She's in 7-11 up in the clouds"

I think Millie and Lola have been talking!

Sunday, April 29, 2012


I propose a difficult week ahead. (as strange as that may sound, I do mean propose)
I wont be putting on a brave face.
I wont be pushing down my sadness.
I wont be disguising my feelings.
I wont be hiding in the bathroom to cry.
I wont pretend her birthday is a celebration.
This week I am doing what feels right.
I will be having days off,
moments to myself.
I will mention her name and bear my scars.

Every year, so far, I have not quite known how to mark the passing of another year. I have been torn between a celebration or a mourning. Either feels not quite right. I put pressure on myself to come up with a significant tradition or something to make the world remember. This year I will take each moment as it comes. No planning, no pressure, just one moment at a time.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Autumn - Lola

I struggle through these days.

I have a pain in my chest, my head aches, I am emotional without any warning, my limbs feel heavy and smiling feels wrong.

April and May are when it hurts the most.

Memories and missing come to the fore and now

I need to try and put on a brave face.

It is harder to understand three years on, for the outside world.

The inside world, the pain is still raw and here.

Those words come back to haunt me, the words that were set on repeat in those early days -

"I just want to die, I just want to die". It is not so scary hearing that echo anymore because I know why I hear it. In a strange way it is a soothing chant. I know I wont actually die. I know I dont actually want to die, yet those words swim around my head. I know it will stop when this time passes.

My children are a little confused but accepting of my tears. My chest tightened, I gasped for breath and tears poured while reading to them in bed. My son took the book out of my hands and took over the reading aloud, my daughter snuggled in and offered to rub my belly.

They are wise and I am grateful.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

An afternoon with butterflies

In a bid to have myself "surf able" next summer I have been pushing my body to new limits. I haven't felt really strong, in body, since I had my first baby and this year that must change. As such I made my way to the Kokada trail (out my way) with the intention of doing the 1000 steps, a really tough walk up a mountain which, funnily enough, includes 1000 steps.

However once I arrived I was not so sure. The place was jam packed with people, I struggled to find a car park. I knew this meant the steps would be busy and they are narrow. I also knew it was going to be a struggle for me to get to the top (I did the steps once late last year) and I felt embarrassed that so many would be witness to my struggle. I forced myself out of my car and checked out the map. There are five walks in this area and from what I could see the 1000 steps wasn't necessarily the toughest. About a few hundred metres to the left of the 1000 steps is a track that goes straight up the mountain. It is a steeper and longer walk but there are no steps. I decided to do it.

Within about 5 minutes I realised how hard it was going to be. I was already struggling but I had to keep going. As I was walking up I noticed a butterfly here and there which made me happy, as butterflies always do.

This walk was much quieter. I saw hardly anyone especially when I took a fork in the road that talk me the long way around, back down to my car. The first downward stretch I came to,I started to run, and got a piercing pain deep within my abdomen. At this point I felt hopeless. I wasn't doing the 1000 steps as per my intentions, I was in struggle town on the walk I was doing and I was in the middle of nowhere with noone around. I looked around me and again noticed the butterflies. So I kept walking.

Everytime I looked around there was ALWAYS a butterfly flying next to me.
It seemed like it was one butterfly next to me the whole time. It was completely overwhelming, so much so that at one point I burst in to tears. I felt pain and happiness at the same time. I needed to do this, I needed to believe in myself and I needed to continue working at getting strong. This was clear in my mind.

I feel a bit silly telling this story now, a few hours later. Maybe they were just butterflies and had nothing to do with Lola. All I do know is that at the time, up there alone on the mountain, there was no doubt in my mind that Lola was with me.

Monday, March 5, 2012


Reading - Twilight (I know, embarrassing right. I call it research)

Watching - New Girl (Zooey is my favourite actress)

Listening - Lana Del Rey (controversial I know)

Training - for our upcoming surfing adventure (you need to be strong to surf, well certainly stronger than I)

Planning - A big night out for my birthday (ok maybe not that big, I can not party like I used to)

Excited - about my 5 day weekend

Sad - That I will not be sharing a single one of those days of with my love

Reminiscing - about our sunny summer days swimming and lounging and socialising

Procrastinating - instead of preparing for tomorrow

Dreading - Winter

Freaking out - about the creepy sounds coming from the walls of our house

Amused - by that cute photo up there. It has absolutely no relevance to this post.

Bittersweet - Autumn, the season of Lola.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Itchy feet

I want out!!!!!

I want to live where there is lots of sunshine and warmth. Lots of warmth.

With that will come less sickness (right?)

Less work, more surfing.

I dont ask for much.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

My top parenting tip

If your child sleeps through the night,


talk about it or celebrate it out loud.

If your child gets even the smallest inkling that sleeping through was AWESOME for you.

They will never do it again.

I know this, I have made this mistake (more than once) and my child has never slept through the night more than once.

That is all (for now)

Monday, January 2, 2012

The old and the new

The old -

2011 was alot about finding me again. I got the job I have been hankering for the last few years which saw me out of the home four days a week. This meant that the home maker/house parent role was shared much more evenly between Bren and I.
This in itself was bittersweet.
I love my job and confidence in myself grew at a great rate. However being a mother that works outside the home, as well as in the home, is a constant tug of war between being the best mother I can be and trying to maintain a high standard and regard in the workplace. The industry in which I work has a culture of putting work first, working whatever hours you need to get the job done and beyond, and there are very vulnerable lives affected by the work we do so the stakes are high. As a people pleaser and perfectioist I have struggled a lot with the idea that I would be letting people down or dissappointing them by choosing my family needs over work when that choice has arisen, or vice versa. It is a tough gig.

Juggling family and my career has been the big focus of 2011, it was no longer about finding our way through grief, surviving the loss of Lola. I guess it is true that life goes on. There is sadness in this idea though. I hate that Lola is so much less of a focus in ours and others lives. It's not that I want to live in sadness but rather that I want my daughter to matter. She is part of our every day in our little family. Her name is spoken literally every day. My children are growing up feeling her prescence and we are happy about that. But it isn't something that others ever talk to us about anymore and I find less and less reason to say her name outside our family. I accept this though even though I feel a bit sad about it.

The new

I want to find a way to bring in an income in a family friendly way. I want to work but I dont want to feel guilty about putting my own kids needs first. I'm not quite sure yet how this will happen, if I need to address this within my current role or if I need a career change or if we change things within our own family.
This year will be our last before Millie starts school. I hope to soak up every little bit of her this year before she goes off to school next year. (sniff, sniff)
We are rebuilding our lives bit by bit and I feel like we are in a moving forward stage. My thinking sometimes becomes catastrophic and I find myself holding my breath anticipating something terrible happening but I am trying to be more self aware and rational and can talk myself out of those thoughts.

I have high hopes of 2012 being a great year for us. I am pinning my hopes on getting more sleep, lord knows it is about time.

Happy New Year to you, my friend!