Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fell off the wagon


A combination of
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


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
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
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


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.

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.