Friday, November 19, 2010

When your baby dies...

I spent an hour or so just sorting through paperwork from the bookshelf tonight.
Bank statements
Phone bills
Tax reports
Receipts
Coroner's Reports
When your baby dies booklets...

This is it. My life.

When your baby dies.

I feel a sense of impending urgency sneaking up on me.
We've still got quite a while before we actually move anywhere but I have a sense that something big is going to surface or perhaps shift when we do.

Not a leaving her behind kind of feeling but a moving on feeling.
I know somewhere in me I'm going to feel emotional or sad that we are leaving her place.
I'm nervous about the emotions it will bring. I'm anxious about feeling lost again.


I've sensed her lately
Her love is breathtaking
Her soul is Earthy and pure Goddess
Bigger than I could ever imagine
The tears flow not out of sadness but out of aching love
She is mine
I am hers

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Working through it...

In some ways you can rationalise death. You can process it, understand it and perhaps even be grateful for it. We're all different when it comes to these processes too. It could take years to get there. Sometimes we don't. We stay stuck in one place for a long long time. I feel like that right now. I think it has a lot to do with the stagnant emotional state of those around me. There's a lot of tip toeing and not talking or expressing of emotion. There's also a massive lack of understanding. I worry about me and me only. I have to. I learnt that the hard way.

I'm really struggling not so much to understand but to process? No that's not right either. Maybe I mean to say "find peace" or the like with the reality that I had a hysterectomy and it wasn't something I chose. It was done.

I'm really struggling to grasp that.
I can say it."I've had a hysterectomy." but it really doesn't go deep.
I don't let it.
I feel the knot in my stomach, the ill feeling that washes over me.
The tight chest.
The sting of tears brimming to the surface.
Then I just switch it off.
Change the subject, even in my own mind chatter.

I've read the medical notes, I heard the surgeons explanation but it isn't enough. There seems to be no closure to this. It's not something you just move through. Or is it?

I didn't feel like I was dying. That's trauma. It's sneaky.

Maybe it was his opinion
his attitude
his disgust with me as a mother
as a woman
my choices
Maybe that has made this harder to accept.

Oh his face right there behind my eyelids.
Always.
Maybe he made the best decision.
Maybe he didn't.
Maybe he was angry and in a stressful situation.
Maybe he acted too quickly.
Maybe he did the best for me.
He'll never tell me
I'll never know

I am hurt that it was taken from me and disposed of.
It was mine and it should have been given back to me.

I try to seek support but it's always the same.
Oh you're so lucky! No more menstruation.
No! I'm not lucky.
I honoured my bleed. I miss that.
I want to feel that again.
I want my womb to ache.
I feel nothing but aching scars.
A constant reminder of my failures.
My disgusting body.
My hatred for myself.

I don't want it to be this way. I want to create beauty out of my pain. I wish I knew how. I can't paint or draw it. It never comes.

I was thinking about asking friends for a bead to represent how they feel about their precious wombs and then I'll connect them all and make a necklace to hold me together. To share with them what it means for me. I don't know. I'm feeling a wee bit insane, even as I type this.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The womb-less woman.

I am the loving nurturing goddess mother
Inside I am the angry womb-less woman

I am warm and passionate
Inside I am dead, black, empty

Inside I am broken

I am tied in knots
I am womb-less woman
Bitter and Broken
Angry and Confused

She waits for weakness
She captures me
She lives in the darkness
The depths of my despair

I am the angry womb-less woman
Etched forever into my skin
Scar after scar
Disgust after disgust
Pain after pain



I don't know what this is. I need to create with this theme. I need to get it out...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fell off the wagon

Totally.

A combination of
life
parenting
work
lack of sleep
and life

all threw me off the wagon. I'm a blogger failure. Oh well.

I'm sure you really didn't miss anything amazing or wonderful or would have really learnt anything new.

Every time I sat down to blog, a million emails needed replying to, bills to be paid, houses to be looked at, removal quotes to be filled out and future schools to be looked at. Occupied much.

Every time I sat at the desk to blog all I wanted to say was how empty my arms feel.
How hollow my body feels without my womb.
How dead my baby is.
How I stretch the memories so far and wonder what she'd look like now that it hurts my head.

I've discovered how tired it makes you to change masks all day long.

Work cheery nurse mask
Mother mask
Partner/Lover mask
Dead baby mask
Healthy eating/ exercise mask
Fat Ugly want to eat chocolate all day mask
Keeping it together/I'm totally fine mask
Total mess mask
It was meant to be mask
Why me? mask
Accepting of my womb less-ness mask
Painful desire to hold another baby of my own mask

I can't keep up.
I can't talk about it.
I can't bring myself to say the words.
Help me. I'm drowning.
I can't just be.
Am I fighting too hard?
Am I not fighting at all?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Day 14 and 15

Day 14
More books...

A non fictional book that is meaningful to me. Hmm I think one that comes to mind that I've really used almost everyday is my Australian Bush Flower Essence books and cards by Ian White. I love the history, the stories and the knowledge that comes from the Earth. Flowers are no exception. Bush flowers have really saved me. They've pulled me through some of the darkest of days and supported my in processing of life in general really.

Today's flowers for me were Boronia and Sturt Desert Pea.

Day 15

Something about my house? Well I'm kind of in transition at the moment.
Home to me isn't here. My heart is elsewhere. I think it's what you create that makes home, not the actual home itself? Gosh how do you answer this question? I'd like to say I love the fact that my daughter was born here at home but I'm not really sure I do feel that way at the moment.
I have so many future hopes and dreams for our family home and right now we're not there yet. So perhaps I'll leave it at that.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Day 12 and 13

Day 12
Something you are OCD about.

I just want to say that the term doesn't sit right with me. I'm sure those suffering with this condition wouldn't feel comfortable with the representation of their condition as something to make fun of. It's like the improper use of PTSD and post natal depression or homo or gay or lady. I could write a whole blog post about the use of certain words and how they bug me. In no way is this post meant to be derogatory of those suffering OCD.

On that note...

I'm a pretty serious organiser. List keeper. Date keeper. Time keeper. I stress when things aren't done. It may have something to do with being a Virgo too.
I always have been like this.
If my very dear friend is reading this, she'll understand. In fact I'm pretty sure she'll be LOL'ing at this when she reads it.

It was greatly intensified after the birth of my second son. Trauma does that to you, did you know that? I learnt this at a Midwifery conference. It was one of those "OMG that explains everything, that's why I do that!" moments.

I clean. I put things in order. I have to make the beds every morning or I cannot function. I have to have a clean bench. I have to brush my teeth in the shower or I've not really had a shower...

I clean when I'm stressed. It's more of an angry whirlwind kind of cleaning. Or I get really uptight and irritated when the things around me aren't tidy.
It's about control of the environment around you because really I'm pretty lazy and like to keep stuff.

That being said my experience of losing Yuna made me a lot less uptight about the small things. Worrying about being on time or the mess made by the kids at dinner time seemed so unimportant now. Life is way more important than being consumed by that sort of worrying.

I think I do tend to internalise a lot of my "issues". Who doesn't? It's pretty safe to say anyone that's experienced the death of a child worries about their living children in a kind of morbid (to those who don't understand) way. Like not seeing them again or them not having any photos of their mother or what they'll remember of their sad grieving mother in years to come. I do that a lot. Thankfully I have very similar friends and a very dark sense of humour to get me through the tough days.

I still have my little tendencies about other things that I'll keep to myself or I'll come across even stranger than I already do.

Day 13
A fictional book that is meaningful now

Gosh I read such crap. Really I do. Well it's not crap as such because I love the writers. Their stories and books take up a good part of my life. There's nothing better than putting the kids to bed, making a cup of tea, lighting the candles and getting into my own bed with a good book.

I don't read heavy thinking material. If I did well, it would be birth related and that just spirals out of control into a hole I don't want to force myself into any more.
I read to escape. I read to relax, to imagine, to hope and to dream.
My favourites that I've read recently are The Mortal Instruments books.

So nothing really deep and meaningful or grief related. Perhaps you can recommend some reading material?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Bellycast

Today I was going to come home and take a nap. But the sun is shining and it's hot.

The past week or so I have been working on strengthening and painting my belly cast from my Blessingway when I was pregnant with Yuna. Yes that was a loooong time ago.

But today as I went to hang some washing out I just stopped, grabbed the oil pastels and started scribbling. Here's the finished product.


A sad yet peaceful day

I replay this day over and over in my mind.

It still seems
cloudy
fuzzy
not real
but so so very sunny and bright.

Yet here I am two years later on another beautiful bright sunny day and you're still not here.
I certainly didn't dream you.

I'm not sure whether it was shock or a million and one medications or just a general knowing and acceptance right from the start that this day would be coming.
Creeping ever so slowly yet so fast it hits you like a tonne of bricks when it does.

11 days old, so perfect and whole yet so empty

The day we relieved you of the medical machine
The day we got to hold you until our arms ached
The day I used every last bit of strength to be there for you.

9 more hours to see you
to remember you
to touch you
to bathe you
to dress you
9 more hours to fuss
to cry
to worry about your cold feet
to make sure you were always held
For 9 hours you were never alone
9 hours until you slowly faded

I'm alone today
My mind is replaying the last day I spent with you
What do I do today, now that I am alone?
Or are you here, somewhere?
I'm not sure that's ever comforted me

I think you are in the ocean
Swimming
Maybe I'll see you there?
Maybe I'll send you flowers into the waves
Maybe I'll go to sleep and dream of you
Maybe I'll just be alone today and remember you

Maybe...

Monday, October 11, 2010

Day 10 and Day 11 Photos of me


So I discovered the printer is only a printer and copier, not a scanner too.
Alas thank you Miss Mac I photo boothed my reallllllly old photos. Ta da!

I was hard pressed to even have any photos from 10 years ago. Like I said I was sixteen. The year I started seeing B. The year before we decided to start our family.

So here we are...

The year 2000 and 2001 because I couldn't find anything else.

I have no idea how they make me feel about myself now. I don't feel like I've changed all that much, you be the judge? Maybe my skin was better then...

I've taken one side by side and I'm in my after shower glamour pyjamas, have VERY unwaxed eyebrows, a pimple from eating chocolate on the weekend and I'm exhausted after pre-school swimming lessons and a generally long day of feeling like shit.


This photo was taken the night of a friends debutante ball, the night I kissed B for the first time. Naaaaaw. I think the only night I've ever stayed up all night.


Day 11
A recent photo of myself...
Changed much? I'm not sure. I asked B and he said "you were more carefree back then". I'll ponder that one for a while I think.
As I said in another post I think I look sad now. I don't want to appear that way to the world. I want to smile and feel joy and be carefree again. Although I think when you're left picking up the pieces of your life after your baby dies it's hard to go back.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Day 9 and Pending Day 10

Day 9
A photo taken since my loss...

Photography has always been a big hobby of mine, even when I was a little kid. So after Yuna died I seemed to take a lot more photos. Of every little thing. Perhaps not wanting to miss another minute of this life. I'm not sure. Despite my loss I think it made me see so much more beauty in the world.

Day 10
A photo taken 10 years ago.
This one requires me to get down an old suitcase full of photos and look for a picture taken that long ago. Gosh I was 16. So so so long ago.

I am determined to do it though because 1. I'm super curious to see how much older I look and feel now and 2. I'm not sure there are actually any photos of myself. I'm always the one behind the camera.

So this one I will come back to. Hopefully tomorrow after mothering, swimming lessons and all the random daily goings on of life I'll have some quiet time to sift through the photos.
Watch this space...

Friday, October 8, 2010

Day 7 and 8 Photos that make you


I have blisters all over my feet. They hurt. My legs ache.
Working to look after other people all day takes it out of you.
Hence the reason I haven't blogged my day 7 on the right day.
I crashed into bed so early last night, only to be up at 5 to do it all again today.
Home now, enjoying a coffee.

So where were we? Day 7, Share a photo that makes you smile...

Charlie reminds me of Thing 1 and 2 from Dr Seuss. He's always doing something to make me laugh and smile.

This one makes me smile because despite all the mountains and black holes, we're connected. We're together in this and we can rely on each other. Awww super mush hey?

Day 8, a photo that makes you sad...

This one always breaks me. I know how hard it was for B to leave her to see me. He wanted to be with us both every minute of every day. He wanted to do everything he possibly could for her and for me but there was only one of him.


Everyday there is a constant reminder that there is a person missing from our family. That I indeed once upon a time had three children. It doesn't appear that way from the outside but inside it's always there, like a little grey cloud waiting to rain down on me. I needed to in some way put the three of them side by side and together. I was amazed at how much they all look alike.

This photo was a complete accident but still when I saw it I was shocked at how sad I look. Do I look like this to the world all the time?


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Day 6 Calming

Day 6- 20 Things that calm you.

  1. The sunshine
  2. The ocean
  3. Being in the garden
  4. Sleep
  5. Reading a book
  6. Bush Flower Essences
  7. Quiet
  8. Music
  9. Writing
  10. Creating
  11. Space
  12. Long hot showers alone
  13. Swimming
  14. Lighting candles
  15. Yoga
  16. Walking
  17. Cups of herbal tea
  18. The night sky and the moon
  19. Lavender
  20. Massages
Pretty simple things. Now the challenge to include at least one thing from the list each day.

Day 5 Quotes

Day 5 -A favourite quote.

When I was in hospital for 4 weeks after Yuna's birth and death a nurse came in one day and offered to give me a massage for the hospital beds aren't the comfiest, especially after weeks in one.
During that time she shared with me her experience of loss. A loss in a time where babies who died we just forgotten. No death certificate, no funeral, no ashes to keep in a little box. It just never happened. You were expected to move along.
As she spoke she quoted Kahlil Gibran and told me to find his books.
She was a beautiful, kind and caring woman who tried her very best to nurture me in a shitty place.

So my dad went to the library and returned with 'The Prophet" for me to read.
I loved the way the words made me feel. The emotion, the power, the understanding.

So some of my favourite Gibran quotes...

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.


For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of to-morrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Days 1-4

Day 1 - a song that reminds you of your child, or one that you can't listen to anymore and why.

After Yuna died I went through so many different phases. I hated all the music I used to love. My music tastes change depending on my mood. I've found music my saviour. It soothes me, it heals me. I just drown out the world with music. There are so many different songs that remind me of Yuna. Here's a few from the playlist of Grief.

Warm Whispers-Missy Higgins
Peaches and Cream- John Butler Trio (we played this at her memorial day for B) we recently heard this played live and there we were in a crowd of happy dancing concert goers just overflowing with tears!
Melon Collie and the Infinite Sadness- Smashing Pumpkins (The pumpkins get me out of the blackness)
All for Believing-Missy Higgins
Beautiful- Lifehouse
Your Angel- Ophelia of the Spirits
Now Comest The Night- Rob Thomas
Into my Arms- Nick Cave
The Scientist- Cold Play
Like Rain- Ophelia of the Spirits

Day 2 - a movie that helped you get through the hard times, or one that jumps out at you after your loss.

Before Yuna I wasn't really a big movie watcher. I used to fall asleep before the end of most movies and we rarely went to the movies. I did have a big passion for really lame horror movies. I can't watch horror movies now. I've seen enough horror in my own life.
Now however I have spent many a night up late watching absolute garbage movies. Ridiculously NOT funny movies that make you laugh anyway. They're so bad I can't remember any of their names!
I guess laughing at silly movies got us through the tough times. Anything that wouldn't have the potential to make me cry out of sadness. Lots of Seth Rogen, and sbs late night movies.

Day 3 - a television program that helped you either get through hard times or that moves you.

I really got into TV watching after Yuna died. What else was there to do when you were too sick to leave a hospital bed, too tired to get dressed or too awake to sleep? Most of these answers I'm realising are the ways I managed to just tune out the reality of my life for a little while. It's a survival mechanism.
Nothing that really moved me or profound in my journey through loss. Just a non-reality.

Dexter
Sons of Anarchy
Big Love
True Blood

Day 4 - your favorite book. has it changed since your loss?
I don't think I've ever had a "favourite" book as such. There are too many. I read a lot. I read all kinds of books. After my loss I read the Twilight books over and over again. I still don't know why I liked them. Perhaps again escape from my own reality into a world of fantasy. They really are terrible books and I am embarrassed to even admit I've read them. Over and over again. ;)
One book that still sticks with me though about loss was "The Alchemy of Loss" I love this book. I relate to it in such a strange complicated way that makes me realise how far wide the web of grief and loss can stretch and connect people.
Layla's Story was another book I read over and over again. Loss related also.
Lots of Spirituality books too.
Buddhism for Mothers.
I also loved reading the Melissa Marr series and the Cassandra Clare series. When I need a break from said reality I read these books. Nothing heavy, just a world of fantasy.

30 days through the grief looking glass

As inspired by Still Life With Circles blog post about 30 posts in 30 days. I'm jumping on the band wagon. Who says that anymore? Well I just did. This list is her adapted grief version. After all I'm a dead baby mother too. Sometimes that lens is hard to clear. Chances are majority of these 30 days will be riddled with the dead baby blues.

I'll do a multiple post to include the days I've missed and no that's not cheating. I just like to be up to date. I never handed my assignments in late. OCD started at a young age, okay?

Day 1 - a song that reminds you of your child, or one that you can't listen to anymore and why.
Day 2 - a movie that helped you get through the hard times, or one that jumps out at you after your loss.
Day 3 - a television program that helped you either get through hard times or that moves you.
Day 4 - your favorite book. has it changed since your loss?
Day 5 - your favorite quote.
Day 6 - twenty things that calm you.
Day 7 - a photo that makes you happy.
Day 8 - a photo that makes you angry/sad.
Day 9 - a photo you took since your loss.
Day 10 - a photo taken over 10 years ago of you and how it makes you feel seeing it now.
Day 11 - a photo of you recently and how it makes you feel seeing it now.
Day 12 - something you are OCD about.
Day 13 - a fictional book that is meaningful to you since your loss.
Day 14 - a non-fictional book that is meaningful to you since your loss.
Day 15 - what you like about your house.
Day 16 - a song that makes you cry (or nearly).
Day 17 - an art piece (drawing, sculpture, painting, etc) that moves you.
Day 18 - my wedding/future wedding/past wedding.
Day 19 - a talent of yours.
Day 20 - a hobby of yours and how it changed since your loss.
Day 21 - a recipe.
Day 22 - a website that has been meaningful since your loss.
Day 23 - a youtube video that makes you laugh.
Day 24 - where you live
Day 25 - your day, in great detail
Day 26 - your week, in great detail
Day 27 - your worst habit since your child's death.
Day 28 - what's in your handbag/purse
Day 29 - hopes, dreams, and plans for the next 365 days
Day 30 - a dream for the future

Sunday, October 3, 2010

One woman One baby One Birthday



Yesterday wasn't only Yuna Jane's birthday it was also my grandmother Jane's too.


It's nothing but eerily amazing they share a birthday. She was so thrilled that we'd had a daughter. She used to joke with me and tell me I had to "get rid of B if we had another boy. It's always the mans fault!"
This coming from a woman who'd birthed 6 daughters herself. She also said many a time "love goes out the window when you get married." She was a strong, kind and warm woman.

I made a birthday card for my grandmother a few days before I went into labour. That card I never managed to send. I was busy giving birth to her great granddaughter. I knew she was with me that day though. I knew she knew.

On November 2nd 2008 my grandmother died. Four weeks after Yuna was born.
Again something that makes me wonder about spirituality and souls and life and loss.
We were extremely close when I was growing up. Although she never got to meet Yuna I'm positive they are together somewhere now.

Yuna, a little girl that would look just like me. Dark curly hair and beautiful deep soulful eyes.

Yuna the rain goddess has blessed us with an awful lot of rain. It's been absolutely pouring with rain the last week or so. I mean LOTS of rain. It could also be the fact that we live in the tropics...

So for her birthday this year we didn't plan any outdoor activities. It suited me in fact because really I wasn't sure I wanted to do anything at all. I just rely on the flow of the day itself and hope it all turns out as it should. No planning means no stress.

We went to the markets after breakfast to buy both Yuna and Nan some flowers.
The boys chose the most magnificent violet and blue orchids.


This year we really didn't want to do a birthday cake. It just didn't fit with our family.
So in honour of Nan's favourite chocolates B and I made cherry surprises aka Cherry Ripe.

Chocolate is good for the soul, right?


I painted this star with Alexander to put under her tree. So far it's survived the rain and the cherry flowers are blooming. I managed to get out and take these photos while there was a five minute break in the rain.


So another year has passed and I'm missing my daughter like it's only been a day.

This poem from the Still Life 365 Community is beautiful and seemed so fitting for my post tonight.

In your Memory
by the Community


In your memory, the day after you were born,
We came home and chose music for your funeral.

At 3:33, I close my eyes, commune with you, see your face, touch your cheek,
in a space that's not a space and a time that's not a time. I open my eyes--3:35.

I make embroidery a meditation.
Each cross, a kiss.

Each day, I recall that snap shot image of you I etched into my heart & mind the day you were born. I’ve planted a spring garden for you and talk to you through my thoughts every day.

I make an altar and kneel.
Say a prayer to the Saint of Heartbreak.

I seek out the patterns of the stars;
Your pattern never lost from my heart or the twinkling heavens.

I wake to the early morning light, look through the window to gaze at your garden and think, "Good morning.... I love you".
Then I stroll through the fading evening light to stand at your garden and whisper, "I love you... goodnight".

We plant roses and light candles,
and hold you in our hearts when we'd rather hold you in our arms.

In your memory, today I will reach out and embrace friendship.



Thursday, September 30, 2010

Time flies when you're a zombie


This time two years ago I'd given up all possibilities of ever having a baby.
I was going to be eternally pregnant.
I've just spent a while reading over my pregnancy blog, Journey to a Birth.
Wow what a lifetime ago. What a different place. What happened to all that time?

Grief happened I guess. Life happened too.

Life continues with just a cloud of grief washing over you every now and then.

This Saturday, the 2nd of October was the day Yuna was born. Two whole years ago.

Although the 1st holds more significance for me. The day I laboured. That day I remember so clearly. I have mixed feelings about it. Sometimes it's a wonderful peaceful memory and other times it's a bitter memory of her dying inside me. Not sure what to make of that, so I just let it be.

I wish I had friends here to spend the day with.
I haven't planned anything.
A few people have asked what I'm doing for the day.
Nothing.

I've got a new candle to burn and I had a fleeting intention of painting my belly cast but I doubt it will eventuate.
I am supposed to be attending a birth workers meet tomorrow but I'm not sure I'm up for it.

I just want to sit and stare at a wall.
No what I really want is to go home. To the beach. To sit and stare at the waves all day.
I miss home. I used to spend so much time here. Looking out into forever.


13th Beach, Victoria

13th Beach - Victoria - Australia

Friday, September 24, 2010

Every day forever

As it's gets closer to her birthday I wonder what that's supposed to mean for me.
Celebrating a birthday that ultimately wasn't a celebration at all.
Birthday wishes for a person who's not here.
Birthday wishes for a person you didn't really know at all?

As our second year without her rushes upon us I wonder what I can do to honour it.
Nothing feels right.
Nothing feels appropriate.
I don't want balloons.
I don't want cake.

For me, right now it feels like it's just another year that she's fading into oblivion.
Like you're fighting against the storm just to keep her near you.
She's dead.
The more years that pass the less people know about her, remember her.

A "birthday" just doesn't cut it when you baby is dead.

Like a smack in the face I realised I'll be at this point at the same time every year for the rest of my life.
What does one do with that shitty realisation?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sketchbook: The beginning



So I finally felt like my ideas for the Sketchbook Project fell into place. No longer were they a mess of tangled ideas with a million directions in my little head. Brilliant.

Now where to start. It's always intimidating when you get a new sketchbook. You never ever want to mess up the first page!

I first had to rebind it because the paper was too thin for my liking. I'm lazy. So I sewed the new paper in with my sewing machine! It worked surprisingly well. Impressed easily, I know.

Then I did the cover. Simple but I like it.
My major theme "Great Hopes and Massive Failures"

Minor themes I'm playing with are:

Grief and Loss (surprising eh?)
Music Saved My Life
Lyrics and Poetry

The theme will make more sense and tie together as you see the pages emerge here on the blog.






Thursday, September 9, 2010

Checking in

Just a boring update.

My sketchbook arrived. It's still blank. I need to rebind it and get to work. I've got some interesting ideas running through my head. I just need the time to create now. Woe is me!

Work has been busy. Interesting and great to get my confidence back.

I'm ready to write some letters to people. There's a lot of resentment and anger that I'm holding on to. It no longer serves me. I don't think I'll ever send them but maybe just the act of writing it down and getting it out of my mind will let me sleep.

September here is supposed to be beautiful. Last year it made me bittersweet sad. I remembered the joy of being blissfully pregnant with Yuna. I remembered everything. The smells, the flowers, the sun, the wind. This year I'm just cranky at the humidity and the damn rain. Nothing seems beautiful this Spring. Perhaps it's fading. I'm not sure how I feel about that.

It's my Birthday next week. B and I are going away for the weekend. ALONE! Oh my!
We're going to a music festival. He gets to hear great music and I get the bonus of admiring John Butler.

I've been dreaming about Yuna. Lots. I don't know what that means. It's her birthday so soon. I can't believe it. That in itself deserves an entire blog post. I'll get to that.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Ribbons

When does this story end?
Maybe it never ends
It will always be layered underneath all my future stories

She is my story
I am her story

Like a ribbon
Gently but tightly weaved all throughout my life
Entwined within my very soul

She holds me together
She tears me apart at the very seams

Pulling me in every direction
Emotional turmoil
Our story strung together with ribbons of

Joy
Pain
Love
Loss
Hope



Thursday, August 19, 2010

Health Goals Part 2

Errr well I've been a bit slack on the health goals posting. No one really noticed though, did you?

Today I had a very intense, no nonsense, let's get to the point and past this garbage therapy session today.

I despise that word. Therapy. It's not therapy. She's not even a psych. She's a VERY alternative social worker. Anyway...

I've been participating in a women's group for the past 6 weeks. This week was our last group. So today was our first session together for many months. I've been plodding along nicely and haven't felt the need to really book in and see her. When the group finished though I decided I'd like to really do some more work with her. There's been something massive I've been avoiding. She knew that, I knew that.

So today it began.

This isn't baby loss related. This is another form of trauma that I've been hanging on to for a good 10 years. Never taken out of the box. Just left lying dormant for one day when I was strong enough to grab it head on and remove it completely from my life. It took losing a whole lot more for me to be able to do this. Funny how grief and loss puts these things into perspective.

Despite being absolutely exhausted I feel lighter. I feel like this is going to be good. Painful and intense and raw but so good.

Uhh so back to the health goals...

  • I'm mentally processing the garbage
  • I'm seeing my GP next week with the support of my Social Worker to make a plan of action
  • I'm drinking plenty of water
  • I'm eating a little better but still could do with some improvement
  • I rang the Kickboxing trainer and I'm doing my first class on Saturday morning
  • I'm taking Billy Goat Plum Essence for my self image issues

How's your week going?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Sketchbook Project

This year I'm trying to express more in a creative way.
I love art. I love to create.
I'm also trying to let go of the "I can't do that and it looks crap" voice.

I was so excited to have been reading Curls O Fred's blog and found this project.

I'm terrified and inspired by all the beautiful talented artists but I'm going to jump right in and give it a go. If anything it's not about their art and how silly mine might look amongst theirs.
It's about my process. My journey. My sketchbook.

Finding my way. My style.

So yeah I'm a sucker for a big project. Just the word "project" makes me want to be involved. It's also a really good excuse to buy some new pens and paper. Art supplies make me happy.

I love watercolour but I'm not entirely sure how to achieve greatness. I also recently discovered a love of fine liner pens. I've got lots of experimenting to do.

My sketchbook, I'm thinking will be a combination of drawing, watercolour, collage and written word. I'll post about the theme when my book arrives.

In the meantime check out The Sketchbook Project and get yourself involved.

The Sketchbook Project: 2011

Friday, August 13, 2010

You died today


You died today
Not now but a while ago
You let go but it seems I did not
Your eyes closed
Your cheeks grew cold and you just stopped
In the dead of the night
How appropriate it is

I knew it was coming, yet that feeling
The spinning out of control feeling that washes over you
The fog
The heaviness that holds you, yet your feet do not seem to touch the ground
The numbness
The process
The tick- tock

I fussed
I tried not to cry all over you
Too aware everyone was watching me
I fixed your clothes and wrapped you tightly knowing that you wouldn't get out anyway

I kissed your hair
I touched your skin
I looked at you closely
Hoping I'd remember you

I held you for a while but returned you to a foreign place
The smells
The sounds
The lights
It wasn't peaceful anymore
Maybe it was for you
For me it was calm with you in my arms even if you were cold

You died today
and I am still sitting here
trying to remember you


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Let me be

You seem so far away

Time and space do not exist anymore

I cannot reach you

I cannot hear you

I cannot touch you

I cannot feel you

You seem so far away

I am so far away from you

So lost

If I cannot touch you, I do not want to be touched

If I cannot reach you, I do not want to be reached

If I cannot hear you, I do not want to be heard

Let my tears be silent

Let my heart be locked

Let me be with you for I am nothing without you

Sunday, August 1, 2010

A head full of garbage

I'm so awesome at keeping my shit in order.

You know the mental shit we continue to store in our never ending head space?

This week it's a garbled mess of short fuses and broken connections.

I'm not sure why.
It's irritating.
I irritate myself.
Everyone around me is irritating.
The word irritate is irritating.
Get the picture?

There's definitely something lurking there.

Either I'm subconsciously ignoring it and choosing to be cranky at the world instead or I'm going insane.

I guess I already knew both of those options were likely.

I think it may have something to do with going back to paid work for the first time since I was pregnant with Yuna.

I'm a nurse. I work in a hospital.
Not my most favourite place in the world. Lots of history. Lots of memories surface for me.

I coped. Well that's the key isn't it. Coping?
I think though it may have been more of a "put yourself on autopilot, do the job and not think about anything too emotional or you might lose it" mode.

Which in turn has left me feeling like I don't know how I'm feeling at all.

In two months it will be two years since Yuna was born. Saying that and acknowledging that fact seems to create that deep empty black vortex in my chest. The one I've managed to patch closed without too much spilling out.

I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do with this information either.

It would have been her birthday.
It will be her birthday?
I don't know how to approach that this year.

Last year, the first year was a blur. We did things for her but it wasn't felt.
We just did what we thought we should have done.
Like robots.

This year it's all just a big ???? for me.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Health Goals

As inspired by A Garden For Butterflies blog post.

I'm going to hold myself accountable by writing my health goals here.
I'm not just talking eat less shit and work out more.
I'm talking holistic Mind Body Spirit health goals.

I need to. We all do.

I've been going to a weekly women's group. I hate it but would feel bad if I didn't show up. So I endure it. It's about self care and what we do to nurture ourselves.

I spend a lot of time on my own during the day when the kids are at school and pre school so I guess I feel like that is my self care time. I think though having time away from the kids to hang washing and go to the post office aren't really self caring activities, unless of course you really enjoy those things...

So a health goal that was reignited last week was my decision to brave the gym again. My membership was still current, I just lost interest. It's easy to forget how good it makes you feel to sweat it out on a treadmill. Really easy. Hence my 5 month absence from it.

Goal #1 Try to go to the gym a couple of times a week
Goal #2 Think about the food I'm eating and the possible emotions behind them
Goal #3 Find a kickboxing class and release some of that tension
Goal #4 This one has been really jumping out at me. Create more. Paint, draw, cut and paste. Whatever just create more. It's in me just waiting for an outlet.

That's a good starting point, don't you think?


Jeans

I am here.
That's about it for me.

I traded my maternity jeans for a pair with an actual name. "THE BUTTLIFTER" and they cost a fortune but they do as the name would claim they do.

I can't commit to anything more than sharing my new jeans with you.

It might get messy.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Mirrors and wisdom

It's that time again.
The time when my emotions begin to unravel.
The tightly bound ribbon holding it together begins to fray.
The cycle begins.
I get lost in my mind.
It dawns on me, that in fact I'm not great or okay or even as wonderful as I thought I was.
I lied to myself. Or I tricked myself into thinking I really was moving in the right direction.
Or I am okay and just having a "moment".
How many of those are you allowed in a lifetime?

I've been asked on a number of occasions if I've I felt like I've really grieved.
Or if I'm really ready to let her go.

How do you know?
How do you honestly know that you've grieved enough? How do you know it's safe?
How do you let go? Let go of what exactly?

I've spent days pondering this. I say, even out loud I'm ready to let her go.
But what does that mean? What does that involve?

I do realise I'm in a different place in my heart and my head. I'm adjusting to life again but it's rough. I'm different. I'm new. I'm learning about me. It sounds so cliche! The new me. It's ridiculous but on a more serious note, I'll explain.

I spent a weekend away at a training retreat. It was amazing. I went to study and get my practitioner certificate for bush flower essences.
Anyway I shared a cabin with a complete stranger. Intense for me, the loner. We discussed many things over that weekend and I learnt so much about life after trauma. I'm not just talking about grief and loss. I'm talking about any kind of trauma to a person. How it really changes you. Our experiences were so completely different yet so very similar in the aftermath. At one point we both began with the same sentence. "I just woke up one day and looked in the mirror and didn't recognise the person staring back at me."

Only someone that's lived it knows what that really means. So many people tell me I'm still the same person and it will heal over time. Yeah yeah time does heal. You don't have to be stuck in the dark forever. I'm working on that bit.
Slowly.

But when you look in the mirror and you really have to wonder who you are, what you want, need and love and what happened to you. That's not something you just walk through easily. That's not something that will put itself back together. That takes work. Really hard work.

This same stranger shared stories of love and trauma and of loss. She'd been there and had just barely walked out the other side. Yet here she was 6 years later crying the same tears but without the crippling hold. Without the guilt. She worked hard and processed. She was free from that black hole.

Her words left a lasting imprint in my soul. Something I'd never ever thought of. I was so busy beating myself up with guilt and hurt and pain. I'd never looked at it any other way.

"Your daughter gave up her life for you. She gave up her life so you could walk from this and continue to live, to love and to learn. She gave you her life."

She did.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Stitches


I keep dreaming about her.
She's alive and healthy and here.
Life is boringly normal. It's nothing exciting, just day to day life stuff but it's all foggy and unclear.
Then I wake up and I swear I've got an actual gaping hole in my chest.
It's tearing apart as I try to breathe.
My world comes crashing down around me as my eyes adjust to the daylight.
It's not supposed to be shocking now, yet it is. It's very real.

I flick on the computer it hums into life and up pops a picture of her feet.
Cute little pink feet bathed in sunlight on a fluffy pink sheepskin rug.
I remember when B took that photo. I was actually out of a hospital bed and in a chair.
I remember the sun out the window.
I remember being humored by the hideous yellow outfit she was wearing.

Then I remember that I once had a little baby girl. I did. I really did.
The hole inside my chest appears again just to let me know that it's real.
This pain is real.
She was real.

I stumble throughout the day trying to keep the hole closed enough for me to breathe.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I had planned to come here and ramble incoherently about spirituality and astral planes and my deep profound understanding of my life without my daughter.

Instead I'd just like to complain. I'm sure that will be more interesting, wont it?

To say I'm tired and I'd really really appreciate it if i could get some decent sleep.
I'd like to say I don't like babies.
They are in my face today and I don't like it.
Makes it hard when you need to make post natal visits with mothers and their squishy screaming newborns. Even harder to listen intently as they cry and complain about not getting enough sleep and how sick of feeding they are. To be sympathetic to their worries and complaints.

Pregnancy and birth. I'm freakin' excellent at supporting. When it comes to the real live baby at the end, well I really suck. I really do. I just can't be around babies and this is a new feeling.
It makes me feel so uncomfortable and I'm not exactly sure what it is.

More to ponder and analyze. Brilliant. Just what my already over active brain needs.

Perhaps I should go and do some hard core boxing on the Wii. That should help. Or maybe chocolate cake?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Today

Today.

Today I am happy.
I feel the light in my voice.

I'm enjoying my blueberry polenta breakfast.
It's got maple syrup in it. That would make anyone smile!
I'm enjoying a coffee while listening to Florence+The Machine.
It's cold and I have a headache but meh coffee shall be my cure today.

Today is just today and I am okay.

What is your day today?


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Shifting

I've really spent the last few weeks healing, listening and looking after myself. If I've learnt anything at all over the past two years it's to look after myself. To go within and to listen to the messages I'm receiving.

I really feel a shift of energy. It's quite difficult to put into words but I guess the mantra playing over in me is about letting go, moving forward and really gaining an understanding of what happened to me, my family and more importantly my daughter.

"To hold her forever in my heart, to have her with me and remember her out of love. Not out guilt, sadness or grief."

That sums it up really well. This came to me during a session of healing/ energy work. It seems so simple yet so profound in my ability to shift the stuck feeling. I really feel like I'm making progress.

I had a conversation with a very dear friend and we acknowledged that yes this will always be unfair and sometimes won't always make sense but it's what you do with it that really counts. You're entitled to those days when everything is black, when you really don't want to get out of bed and when you see a baby and your heart aches for what you lost. That's okay.

I am not defined by my grief. I am privileged enough to have had this experience and I've been taught some really valuable lessons about life, death and human emotion. Both positive and negative.

I am ready to process this. I am ready to listen. I am open to understanding.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Floating

I am floating
without boundaries
making sense of it all
letting go
adjusting
figuring it out
wishing
hoping

I can't put my finger on what I'm feeling right now.
A little bit sad, a little bit lost and a little bit numb...

I do know I'm just floating through it. Letting whatever it is take it's course.
I wish I understood more or perhaps had more of a faith to place it on. To blame. To understand.
Thus the lack of boundaries with all of this.

If anything grief is about winging it. You just do it however it comes. I've never been to a support group, really haven't had intense therapy. I just process piece by piece. Maybe that's the problem?

I'm not angry so much. My daughter died. It's a fact. There's no point being angry at myself or anyone else. It just is. It hurts like hell but it's fact too.

A great portion of this journey has been me figuring out who I am. Wow that sounds so cliché! But truly. I am such a different person, well I WAS such a different person when I was pregnant and preparing for Yuna's birth. Or maybe it's all in my head and I still AM that person?

It really was transformation and now I'm not sure where or who I am. What that transformation was, if it's relevant to me now or what I've learnt from it.
Or more to the point what I want. What I need from all this.
I can't just keep being that woman who had a baby and that baby died. Now that said woman is, well she's just sad.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

What do you want?

I want to move far away
I want a fresh start
I want to pick up the pieces of my life
I want to remember
I want to forget
I want to love
I want to smile
I want to do something meaningful
I want to be loved
I want to be someone
I want passion
I want to focus
I want to run
I want to hide
I want to tell my story
I want no one to know me or my story
I don't want to hurt
I want to know who I am
I want to know why

Today I've had a shit day.
Today I feel like I'm lost.
Spiraling backward into the abyss that is grief.
The black hole of nothingness.
I just want to move on and pick up the pieces of my life.
To forget this sadness.
To just be me. I don't know who I am though. I feel like a miserable awful ugly person.
I just want to be happy and love life again.

Without you that is so very hard...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Sound of White

The words of this Missy Higgins song keep playing over and over in my head.

Like a freeze-dried rose, you will never be
What you were, what you were to me in memory
But if I listen to the dark
You'll embrace me like a star
Envelope me, envelope me...

If things get real for me down here,
Promise to take me to before you went away
If only for a day...

But if I never feel again, at least that nothingness
Will end the painful dream, of you and me...

I only seem to feel the deep urge to write here when I'm feeling raw, broken and full of emotion. I guess that's when I reach a point where I can't keep it inside anymore.

There's something about this place that keeps me hiding in the shadows of grief.
Keeps it lurking inside me.
I feel trapped by it.
I need a fresh start.
Fresh air.

I completely understand that to move past grief you must process it but being here I'm stifled. I'm just swimming in it over and over again. I'm not connected to this place. Yuna's not here. She's somewhere but not here. I will always have her, my love. This place isn't it.

You know it's the place that hurts you and causes you repeated pain when you want to vomit at the thought of the hospital.
When you can't go for a nice walk along the esplanade without feeling anxious because it's in your line of vision.
When you're at the local shopping centre and your partner grabs you and hugs you so tight in order to protect you from seeing the surgeon who had his hands inside you.
The person who stole so much of me.
Who broke me into pieces.
Who just so happened to be shopping too.
When you can't go back to work because everyone knows your story
When they don't trust you and don't want to involve themselves.
When you can't breathe.
When you can't start over or even go back to where you were.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Echoes

I'm sure it's the presence of the moon that sucks me into this deep dark vortex. I just can't seem to cope with anything. Everything is hard, breathing is hard.

I miss you. I miss us.

Perhaps it's the energy it takes to support another woman to birth her baby. It takes me so far back. Back to when life was beautiful. Back to when you existed.

I love it but it's just so painful too. Yet the good seems to outweigh the bad so far. So I forge on. I love and support. I nurture and cherish all while wondering where it all went wrong.

Another woman will be giving birth in the same pool I did. It's so bittersweet.

That's not where I wanted to go with this post though...

Actually I've no idea what I needed to get out.

I'm confused about relationships, about friends or complete lack thereof. Confused about decisions, about choices. About me.

Lots of flashbacks, nightmares and dark moods the past few weeks. I'm struggling to keep afloat I think.
Feeling a lot of guilt but at the same time just wanting to move so far forward it's impossible.
Denial? I skipped that one. I want to just forget. That sounds so selfish.

Something crafty...

I painted a little case with a leather handle today to put Yuna's blanket and a few pieces of her clothes she wore in. I have them sitting in the cupboard in a plastic bag. It's knotted so tightly closed just in case the smell disappears.

My head screams every time I see them. It seems wrong to just have them shoved in the cupboard. They need a place too. It's all I have left of hers that needs to be put somewhere.

After that there's nothing.

That last sentence echoes in my head all night.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Whirlpools of funk

Absolutely nothing wise, wonderful, beautiful or profound to say.
I'm stuck in a rut. A funk. A mess. A whirlpool.

My eyes are going to fall out of my head it seems. I'm tired. Oh so tired.
Tired enough to burst into tears at the doctors over a simple piece of paper.

I sleep, I can't sleep. Am I sleeping? It's filled with dreams and nightmares and terror.
It sucks and I hate to be like this. I don't want to be this grouchy person ALL of the time.

I just feel like I can't catch my breath. I'm running myself into the ground and it's all coming from my head. Manifesting into other things. I don't know how much longer before I'm buried under it all and I crash.

I'm irritated and angry but I'm working on that, well actually I'm more breathing it out and ignoring the reasons for it. I can't deal with that right now. Another time. Another life. Oh what? We only get one?

Blergh. Totally sums it up without using profanities.

*Random thought #1- All of your pictures look different to me now. You don't look beautiful anymore. You look sad and tired. Pained. That crushes me. Were you feeling that way? The photos of me, you, all of them look different. Wrong somehow. The beauty seems lost. I can't look anymore. Even as I resist the urge to take them away my heart aches. I know even if you aren't on the wall you'll make my heart ache, so why is it so hard to look at you? I need a break.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Words can mean so much more


As inspired by Still Life's Mid Month April Challenge I've been thinking about all those well meaning and not so well meaning comments I've had thrown at me by a whole variety of people. I thought I'd put them here so I don't lose them in the abyss that is my mind. Not that you forget some of these. I'm also sharing how words can sometimes be so so wrong.
I'm still processing what to do for this challenge, so I'm brainstorming here. Better get to it, I'm running out of time!
  • At least you've had two other children
  • You have two other children to worry about
  • At least it wasn't your first baby
  • You gave her everything you could
  • You made the best decisions at the time
  • You were lucky
  • It was meant to be
  • She's an angel now
  • It was her path, her journey
  • She was teaching you
  • She'll always be in your heart
  • I'm sorry
  • You'll have this burden to carry for the rest of your life
  • I know it hurts, I understand
  • Have you thought about surrogacy/freezing your eggs?
  • You can always find out about surrogacy
  • Where's your baby?
  • Did you have your baby yet?
  • Was it because you had a homebirth?
What sort of things have people said to you?