Sunday, December 23, 2012

Nearly Christmas....and another year gone

I have not written here for ages now.  It is not that I stop thinking about Grace and that will never happen.  I just have to be honest and say that life gets busy again, your life does carry on as much as some days it feels it wont, and my two other children take up a lot of time.  I enjoy life most days.  I still live with loss and this will never change.  I guess my emotions have settled and mostly I have them under control.  I will never say that I accept what happened.  I just don't believe that I can accept.

I find that I still cry at mothers in books or on tv who are going through any kind of turmoil or loss with a child, I feel so much pain for them and then think of the pain I went through and still go through some days.  I still light a candle and sit quietly staring into the flame and thinking of Grace..where is she now, is she anywhere, is she around me?  I still print photos that remind me of Grace and honour her memory.  I take photos of my roses and blossom tree when in bloom to remind me of beauty and what the plants stand for.  I find that I miss scrapbooking pages about Grace and wish I had more time to do it.  I catch a glimpse of a lovely little girl at play and wonder if that what my Grace would have grown to be like.  I see the way people look suddenly at me every now and then when a topic comes up that could offend my.  I get offended when people forget and careless things are said but then remind myself, this is my loss not theirs and cant expect them to always remember.

I put up the Christmas tree and with care hung all the decorations that are symbolic of Grace.  I got a bit teary eyed and had to give up for a while.  I then smiled and embraced how much love went into choosing these ornaments but wished they were for rememberence and honour in life rather than in loss.

We had some visitors who don't know our journey and their little girl was called Ella Grace.  Matthew piped up "hey just like our Grace" and I was frightened that the mum would ask "who is Grace" and I wouldn't have known how to answer.  I still find times that are difficult and not sure what an 'appropriate response' is.  I could shrug it off and pretend not to hear but it feels so wrong to do that.  I could answer honestly and say "Grace is our baby that we gave birth to stillborn 5months into the pregnancy" and then be met with sympathy or silence.  I don't want to explain.  I don't want it to be real.  I don't want to have to answer this but I also want to be honest with our children.

I wrap presents in preparation for Christmas and think to myself how many more there would be if Grace was here.  I think about how life would be different if she was here and if we would still be travelling 5hours to stay in a caravan at the beach.  I look in pain at the fairy dresses and tutu skirts and wish I could buy one for Grace, not for another child, for Grace.

I have started trying for another baby.  I am not sure if this is really the 'right' place to write this but got to share.  I had some fear at first, I cried after realising that I wanted another baby and that we would not be getting Grace back.  I then took it easy and focused on 'see what happens' and five months down the track we are just 'waiting' and cruising.  I cant put all my energy in knowing we may not come out on the other side with anything.  I don't want to love a baby and then lose again.  I don't want to feel that anxiety.  I also know I don't want to look back and regret not having another baby.  It is very confusing and scary and no-one understands unless they have been through this.

It sounds awful but some days when the kids are pushing me to the brink I wonder if we lost Grace because I struggle some days with the boys then I tell myself not to be so silly.  I wonder why and wonder how I could have done things differently to avoid catching the virus and know deep down that there was no changing what happened. I know that it just happened.  It sux.  It sux big time and we have no control over some things.  Why us...why not us?  Some people have so much worse going on in their lives and I have to try and be grateful that I have two healthy boys, challenging but healthy and we are still living.  It still sux though no matter how positive you try to be.

Another year of life has nearly come and gone as we near the end of 2102.  I am mixed about this. The realisation that another year has passed and takes us further away from when Grace was born and everything was real and raw but still fresh memories and we had her with us.  Now we are getting further away from that and people have less understanding about the grief you still carry.

I am sad my boys are getting older and their lives are changing so much now, so many sports and Matthew due to start school. I now have the stark realisation that he no longer will be with me during most of the day and he will be at school.  I will be left with no pre-schoolers and that makes me sad.  People rejoice about having all that extra time, but I just feel sad and think back of the last few years and the sadness of just coping, no delete that, just barely getting through each day is what was the focus and to know that I have lost so much time with Matthew in particular is sad for me.  I cant get back that time.  I couldn't change anything about it.  But I tried my best as a mother of two preschoolers and a mother who lost a baby, I tried my best just to exist and be here and get to the next day.  I would like to think that I did a good job creating memories and being their mum, but truthfully I cant remember much of it as my mind was often with Grace.

I am sad that this year has meant big changes in our family and the break up of my brothers marriage has carried some stress and also sadness.  To have someone so close, no longer in our lives is hard and I am slowly adjusting however regardless of what hurt she brought upon us all, she did have a good side and she was an amazing support to me when I needed someone the most.  I wish her all the best for life and hope she can find the happiness she is searching for.

A past friendship has been re-united for me which is pretty amazing.  All without effort and I just let it happen. I gave up a long time ago trying to 'make things work' with friends and some have come, some have gone.  All of them have left me with good memories and I will cherish those.  However losing a baby makes you realise that life is bigger than squabbles with friends and if they matter and think I matter, they will be in my life, and if not then good luck to them on living their lives.

My marriage is strong, my love for my children is immense, my strength is there when I draw upon it, my family is supportive and amazing, my friends provide me with laughs and good times, my job is enjoyable, my house was built by us and how we want it, my car is new and great, our holidays are filled with fun and lots to do, our bank account could be higher, music provides me with relief and time to sing out-loud with happiness or pain, my life could almost be described as perfect....except we are missing our baby....we don't have Grace to hold in our arms and she will always be our angel, our precious child and our baby daughter who we love so much more than words can describe.
I wish her a Merry Christmas for tommorow and I now have tears as I think of her, tiny, in our arms but still......her memory remains.......I have hope that she is dancing with angels and catching glitter from the fairies as they fly with her amongst a garden of flowers and other children are there with her, laughing and playing and loving and knowing that Grace is loved.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

All about when my babies were babies...

Lately it seems the subject and talk has been around babies and when babies were babies and what my babies were many babies seem to keep getting born around me at the moment...great for them and their families...not so great for me and my emotions.....Im happy for them Im just sad for me.....So many things have been talked about in relation to kids and when they were born etc and what it was like etc and today I was talking about my two boys, their birth and what they were like when they were born.....on my way home from dropping my youngest son at kindergarten the stark realisation hit me that I talked about them like they were my only two babies....and yet they were not!  I have had three babies, three pregnancies and three very much wanted, much loved children.  However I have two boys living that people in general know about or talk about. 
Grace is not talked about much.  Grace is no longer part of many of my conversations with my friends or family.  Not because that is what I choose, its what they choose.  They choose to no longer mention her.  They are past the point of realising that she still matters, she is still part of my everyday longing for her and they are past realising that I still hurt this much.  Most people dont know that.  Only the people very close to me know. 
As I drove home I felt guilt that my conversation this morning revolved around my boys and how they looked at birth etc but yet I didnt once say "Grace was tiny, Grace was only 210g. Grace was 20weeks early, Grace was my light and my love but Grace was also my baby I lost, my baby I couldnt hold forever and my baby that I have no longer".  Only in memory and in the ashes I have in my special angel box in my room, only the items of rememberence, only the poems, only the photos, only the jewellery....thats what I have left.  I cant take more photos, I cant hold her again, I cant cuddle her or be challenged by her. I cant tuck her into bed at night, I cant greet her in the morning with a kiss and a cuddle.  I miss her.  I really really miss her.  I dream of what would have been.  I think about the little girl she should be now, a toddler, a cheeky girl getting into mischief and up to no good.  I think about how life would have been with 3 children, with two boys and one girl.  I think about how busy life would be.  I think about how good life would be.  I think about why the heck life/god/nature thought I needed to learn something.  I think that things happening for a reason is utter bullshit.  I miss her.  I miss Grace.  I long for the daughter I have always wanted in my life so that I can take her to tinkerbell movies instead of borrowing my neice just so I can take a girl to the movie.  I ache for the loss.  I feel hurt by comments that arent intended to be hurtful but they are just thoughtless.  I feel pain.  I know Im never getting her back.  I want her back.  I want my daughter.  I want Grace in my arms.  I dont want this pain and this loss and this life.  I want three children here and I want to talk openly about Grace like I can talk openly about my boys.  I just want her here. 
Some days just suck and some days just hurt even more.

The other day two 'friends' decided to facebook hack my site and stupidity took over and I was fuming...putting on my page along the lines of me expecting another baby....I was angry and hurt by their actions.  What they thought was funny was a senseless, hurtful act that I'm still reeling from.  The link to the talk that people would question me about being pregnant is just too hard to deal with.  One 'friend' apologised and had not realised the impact.  I think she truly did feel remorseful and really just had not thought.  The other friend laughed it off...still considering if she really should be in my life is not funny, it was hurtful and it upset me to the point of tears and tieing my stomach in knots fo rthe night and the next day. I felt sick about it.

I miss her.  It's simple.  Nothing more to say, except I miss you Grace, I love you every day of my life.

Monday, October 8, 2012

It will never be ok

I pondered the thought the other day of how to be ok about what has happened, how some people manage to move forward and seem to accept what has happened as being 'meant to be' or in the 'grand plan' etc etc.   Now I'm going to say straight up from right here that I am writing from my grief, my pain, my journey and no-one else's and religion does not play a part in my life to any large degree so therefore what I say may be offensive however this is my story and my life.

I will never accept that 'it just wasn't meant to be' because why the f*** not?  Why could I not have had my perfect family with my two very adorable but very energetic boys, my wonderful husband, my great job as a teacher and then to have had our little girl, something I have dreamed of all my life.  Because it just wasn't meant to be...bullshit is what I say to that and to those that believe that.

I will never understand that every life has to has lessons and this is mine...what the hell am I meant to have learnt by having to be the person to decide my child's life would end in order to prevent her from not having a life and what have I learnt by having to be in pain for every day of my living days with the loss of my baby whom I can never ever hold again.  What have I learnt...nothing good at all.  I can not put a positive spin on the fact my daughter is gone.  I can not conjure up some positive things to say about life and the grand master plan and how I have learnt from this.
What I have learnt is something I already knew but now it has been strengthened: *Family is so precious, don't waste time without them in your life.  *Friends will come and go, spend time and focus on the ones who spend time with you and focus on you.  *Life is unfair, life can be cruel and life was extremely unfair and cruel to me and my family.  *Nature is harsh, it has no boundaries and nature hits when it wants, with such force and there aint a damn thing you can do about it.  *Medical professionals, they have their limitations and no matter how much we want them to have that magic wand they cant take all the bad stuff away from bodies.  *Loss is huge and everyone copes in different ways, now I know how it feels to lose a child where before I only thought it would feel awful and wondered how people could survive such a loss.  *Time, it just keeps moving along and in time people forget and almost expect you to also.  I have lost time with my two boys because my time was spent mourning my daughter.  I can never get that time back but I can also never change that time.
I could have learnt these lessons without losing my daughter.  I could have figured them out along the way as I aged or as I lost pets etc.  My daughter didn't have to not be in our lives to teach me anything except that I have loved so much harder and deeper than I thought possible for someone I only knew for 20 weeks and yet that someone is my little baby, my girl, my daughter, my much wanted child that will forever be in our hearts and memories for our entire breathing days.

I carry the guilt of the fact that I went through with a medical termination.  I did that.  I feel sick about it every time I think about it and I try to bury it within myself, but the truth is I did something I never ever thought I would do and I feel horrified at myself and carry that guilt and disgust forever within me.  There is a part of me that hates me and what I did.  There is a part of me that also recognises that the decision was not taken lightly, it was done under medical guidance and realisation that if, IF our daughter had of even been born breathing, she would have almost %100 been mentally handicapped, physically and mentally incapable of ever leading a life of 'normality' and would be dependent on the medical professionals to keep her alive and for me to keep her safe and loved.  I would have loved her.  I would have fought all her battles.  But I would have hated myself for putting her body though such struggle and it was a choice that had to be made.  Some people don't have that choice and they wouldn't choose any different.  But for me and my family and the fact that I didn't want us ripped apart and our lives forever in both love and despair for this child, this person who would never walk, talk, or experience life as we know it was just too much to bear.  Was I weak in this decision.  Should I have let life take over and just see what happened, I can never answer that but I forever question myself on that also.

It will never be ok that my daughter is not here with us.  It will never be ok that Grace is not here fighting with her brothers, growing older, getting into the kitchen cupboards, learning how to walk, taking her first steps, smiling up at us, posing for the million photos I love to take, and it will never be ok that her life is over and it will never be ok that I can not hold her again.  It will never be ok that she is gone.  It just never will be ok.....

Thursday, September 27, 2012

September is nearly over

So it is almost the end of September...I don't like September much. I look forward to it being another month past our pain and past reminders of what should have been.  September is the month our Grace was due.  September 30th 2010 was the due date however quite likely she would have been born at the beginning of the month if she followed pattern of my two boys.  So September is a long month for me...the beginning is a reminder and the end is a reminder.  I try to keep busy.  I try to ignore what the days are and what they mean.  They mean nothing to anyone else around me now.  No-one else remembers now that is has been more than one year.  Everyone moves on, but I cant, I don't and I'm still reminded.  Im better than I was.  Some days anyway....Some days I'm ok....some days I smile and I'm actually great and have good days....other days I wallow and I feel so sad and sooooo lost and just want my baby.  Some days I feel like nothing every happened and then I catch a glimpse of a child who would be Graces age, or I see something on tv that triggers everything all over for me.  I was asked if I had watched the latest programme on tv with women in the birthing unit.  Why the f*** would I want to watch that!  Seriously I couldn't bring myself to watch that.  I cant look for too long at the photograph in my room of Grace...I feel too sad and I don't want to go down that dark path.  I want to remember her but I also don't want to feel sadness and pain.  I was asked by someone who knew what happened how I was doing.  It was nice she cared enough to ask because it's been a long time since anyone recognized the fact I still grieve, I still care, I don't just live and forget.  I will never forget.  I spent last Sunday night crying and feeling so upset and this was quite unexpected.  It came from nowhere and the grief was striking me down and pushing me under.  I felt so absorbed in the loss of Grace I could hardly focus on anything else.  It was exhausting.  I was overwhelmed and hurting.  I feel guilty that I haven't blogged for ages.  I feel that I had nothing new to write except my grief and my pain.  I feel guilty I haven't scrapbooked about Grace for ages.  To be honest I just haven't had the time or the energy.  I have to be able to focus and deal with the sadness that comes while looking through images, pretty things to put on a page and know that each photo I scrapbook is closer to being the end of the pile of photos that I can never take again.  I take photos of candles burning that I light for memories,  I take photos of my blossoms and roses that are significant, I take photos of anniversaries, but I can never ever ever take another photo of Grace and that sux, its painful to think about and it pisses me off really.  I'm angry that people have chances to spend time with their kids and they don't.  I'm angry that people hurt their kids and not take care of them.  I'm angry people laugh off the fact they are pregnant again without even trying.  I'm angry that I don't have Grace.  I am angry that I have not had a 'sign' to let me know she is ok.  I am angry that life has changed and she is not here with us.  I am angry that I haven't got 'my girl' and spending time with other little girls is just not the same.  I miss Grace and I still treasure her and wish that things were different.

Monday, September 3, 2012

what they say

this is a post from a blog that I follow and find it very inspiring, truthful and can relate to many of the posts. I especially love this post and wanted to share it.

what they say

Today's post isn't going to be lyrical or beautiful.  It's not going to uplift you or share a new perspective on the terrible tragedy of losing a baby.  And it also contains a fair bit of swearing so be forewarned.  
Today's post is about other people, the ones that have all their kids and don't know one single thing about how to talk to us, how to behave like a true friend, how to navigate in our dark depths and instead say incredibly stupid and insensitive things without using their heart or brain before opening their mouths.  So, let's start with my favorite:

"Well, everything happens for a reason."

What I want to say & do in reply:

Oh really?  It does?  So when I wind up my arm and clench it into a fist and punch that person directly in their disgusting, thoughtless mouth, I can just chalk it up to 'everything happening for a reason?'  What a relief!  I thought the Universe was just random, brutal and unforgiving, but here you are with your deep wisdom born of nothing, telling me I can do whatever the fuck I want because hey!  It all happens for a reason!  And the reason you are flat on your back from my knuckle sandwich is because you're an unthinking, insensitive ass.

What I say instead:

I disagree.  There could never be a good reason for my son dying.  What you are saying is very offensive to me, and I would appreciate it if you would keep those sentiments to yourself.  I know you're just trying to help, but it's not and you aren't and please, please stop. (or else, see above, I say with my eyes)

"Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger."

What I want to say:

Hmmm, let's see, no.  Not true.  Some things that don't kill you make you weak and fragile and bitter and sad.  Some things, like losing your child before they had a chance to make a breath or live a day, make you hollow and desolate and open your eyes to how bad life can get.  The strength I relied upon to live through that terrible experience came from who I was before he died.  His death did nothing but rip the naivety and innocence from my soul and lay the world bare in all its brutal viciousness.

What I say instead:

My son dying didn't make me stronger.  It made me nearly dead myself, and I'm not stronger for his death. I would have been made stronger by getting to be his father. What you are saying is painfully insensitive.  Please stop.

"At least you're young, you can have another."

What I want to say:

Wonderful!  Thank you so much for being a fucking idiot.  Because as you know all kids are replaceable. One breaks or dies, just go out and pick up another one.  How about this?  How about I take one of your four kids and raise it as mine?  After all, you've got plenty!  Spare one for someone who misplaced theirs when they fucking died.  How about it?  Since you're such a dumbass you will probably raise awful children anyway.

What I say instead:

Nothing.  I say nothing to those people.  I just look at them for a moment, shake my head and walk away.

"God works in mysterious ways."

What I want to say:

Fuck you.  Get out of my house.

What I say instead:

That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard.  If this is God's mysterious way of teaching me some kind of lesson, He/She/It can go fuck themselves.

"Is he your first?"

What I want to say:

Why do you want to know?  Or are you just asking things without thinking about it?  Do you really want to know about my first, about how he died?  About how we are still devastated by his absence?  About all our hopes for him and us dashed against the black shards of death?  Or are you just some blissfully ignorant stranger who can't keep their mouth shut and don't really give one fuck about us at all?  Ah, I thought so.

What I say instead:

No, our first son died due to complications during birth.  Then I just look at them while they crumble into despair and I think to myself be careful what you ask people, they just might tell you the truth.


What insane, awful and horrific things have people said to you when they learn that your child died?  Let's rage on this together with the only people that know the truth and feel a little better by getting it all out for once

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

It still hurts

I haven't written for a while but I still have strong feelings of loss and guilt and wonder about what life would have been like.   I still have thoughts everyday about Grace and I know that life is much more settled now for me emotionally however i do still feel the loss and it hurts still.  I wonder if that hurt will ever go away...but I hope it doesn't because in one way it is a reminder that I care, I love and I had/have someone in my life that mattered to me.   I ponder on the decision we made and how it affected us...initially the guilt was sucking me under and leaving me dark and desolate.  Now I can almost 100% acknowledge that we did the 'right' thing and we 'saved' Grace from a life either short or long that would have definitely been a struggle and she never would have been a child living life to the full and everyone in this family would have been affected in ways I could not even imagine.  I still feel guilty.  I still think 'what if' and still wish things could have been different.  I still look at baby girls and children that would be the same age as Grace each day and think that I would love to be holding and playing with my own little girl.  It makes me sick to hear of bad news about children and it makes me angry to hear of parents mistreating their children, having more children when they already don't enjoy being a parent, children put in bad situations...etc...the list goes on.  I was told to 'let her go' but how do you do that without accepting what has happened and I don't, I don't accept what has happened.  I don't want to forget but I also find it hard to continue with pain and loss but I have no choice.

I continue to honor my little girl and surround myself with special items such as new charms, photo images with Graces name etc and I no longer receive as many now my sister in law is no longer in our lives but I will always treasure and appreciate what I was given.  Every now and then friends acknowledge Grace or mention a baby loss of someone else or something they have heard and how it relates to me, but not as often now.  It appears that the first year is huge as far as support goes and then after that people move on from mentioning anything to you and its almost like they think you are doing ok so they don't say anything.  I guess it gets to a point also when people no longer have anything to say but I still believe it is important to recognize the loss still.

September is a strange month where people no longer understand why this month would mean anything however it still remains a month of a reminder of when my baby was due.  Its still a time where other little girls are turning two and families are celebrating and Im reminded that nearly two years ago Grace would have been a little bubs screaming and keeping us up at night and now she would be a toddler making us crazy with getting into cupboards but very much a part of our family with our boys and keeping us extra busy.  I am excited however that on September 1st I get to organize a party for my niece and its all about fairies and tinkerbell.  I dont get to organize any little girls parties and Im super excited that I can do something special for my beautiful little girl in my life.  I did find it a tiny bit hard buying the decorations and wished I was buying them for myself but also recognized that I am lucky to be doing this for my niece.

We are still in the deciding phase of weather or not to TTC again or not...we think we are ready then we pull back from 'making babies'.  The fear of the pregnancy, the fear of the reminders and the fear of losing again is huge and no-one can understand that unless they have lost before.  Its fine for everyone to say "oh feel the fear and do it anyway" but unless you have felt the loss and been to the deepest darkest time of your life and no longer have a baby or child then the fear is like something unknown.  Time will tell and we will know when we are ready.  I really dont care about having big gaps between the children, its not really been our choice so that's not important to me.  I love kids and I am not ready to give up on having another baby just yet but I am also not quite ready to experience pregnancy yet either.

Grace if I had you in my arms, here in our home, I would cuddle you and love you and tell you how much I love you.  I hope that you are an angel and you hear my silent talks with you and know that I love you and think of you often.  I hope that you know how much I treasure my roses that beautify our house and symbolize you and know that you are so special.  I hope that you know one day I look forward to seeing you and holding you for longer than a short time.  I hope that you know you are our baby, forever and no matter what this life brings you are forever our third child and you are special.  Love you baby girl xo

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Friends - response to a blog

My response to a post on a blog about friends and life after loss:
"wow you have such an honest and amazing way of saying what so many people experience after loss of a baby. I relate so much to what you have said and read your post almost with my breath held waiting on every word and waiting to see what you would say next. I wondered if your story would end the same as mine....with loss of friends and the recognition of forgiveness needed. I too lost friends, some by my choice, some by their choice. I made new friends also who lost a baby. I found moments of strength from people I never thought that would be so supportive and I found disappointment in others that I thought would be supportive. I came to the conclusion that my grief, my loss, my life was far too important and needed to be lived by me and if they could be in that with me, great, and if not I have many happy memories and they became people in my past. I was angry, I was sad, but now I know that I had to focus on my life and my moving forward with the grief in ways that I knew how".

Blog:  Glow in the Woods:  
In the weeks after, it became abundantly clear that I had no idea how to feel anything but anger and longing about her death. I was not emotionally equipped to handle the death of my daughter, except I had to handle it. It was awkward and painful. I clumsily talked to people, until I just couldn't do it anymore. I drank heavily. I watched the same safe comedies over and over. I was afraid to call friends and cry. I thought I would never stop--hysterical, uncontrolled tears. Keening. Misplaced anger. Blame. Fear. Blubbering. I heard the conversation before I uttered a word.

If I say I want to die now, you won't understand. You will think I am suicidal. You will call the authorities. You will take my only living child. I just don't know how to live this life without her. I don't know how to shop for groceries now that she is dead. I don't know how to make small talk. I don't know how to watch Law & Order. I don't know how to do anything.

Being the me I was and grieving was fucking torture. So I changed stuff about me, like who I trust and when I trust and what I trust and how much I trust. I changed what I give and what I take and what I give personally and what I take personally. I changed what I complain about and what I don't.

I couldn't call those old friends after I changed. I didn't know what to say to them anymore. I wasn't over her death. I would never be over her death. But I learned to live with it. Time had moved forward. I moved forward. They moved forward. I missed so much, and they missed so much. Not many people stepped up. Those that did, stepped away eventually. I never called them to ask about the thing I should have been asking about--birthdays, illnesses, new jobs, old jobs, pets, boyfriends, girlfriends, new babies. When I came to fully understand that my daughter was never coming back, I came to understand that neither were my friends. I don't blame them anymore. I was a terrible friend--grieving and overly sensitive, impetuous and distant. I didn't and still do not understand how I could have been any better. I did the absolute best I could with who I was. Emotionally, I was stunted and small. And maybe they were too.


I wrote because I didn't know what else to do with this ache in me. I couldn't speak it to my closest friends, so I wrote her birth story. I posted it on the internet. I thought that was everything I knew about her. I put it on a blog. Maybe someone will read it, maybe someone will understand. It was a flare shot into the night. Or a campfire, as we say around here.