I'll find you in the bright colours and quite places, always remembered beautiful Elizabeth - Auntie K

Tuesday, December 28

Christmas Has Passed

Where do I start?

There has been lots of realisations over the past few days - I have had a lot of time by myself, to think, to take stock and for those realisations to settle within me. Conversely, I have had much distraction too; its all or nothing for me right now.

Christmas day was okay in the end.  It just does not feel like Christmas over here; it being the height of summer (although it is actually quite chilly).  I am used having Christmas celebrated in winter time; dark nights, grey days, driving rain, sleet and snow and all the fairy lights giving of that rosy glow.

Last Christmas was the same really, there was no Christmas celebrations to speak of, although the decorations had been up for some weeks and Elf.fm was blaring.  We found out I was pregnant again on December 15th and were just over joyed, we couldn't believe it the best gift there was!
But that didn't last long; the long and short of the story is that my blood tests that were taken a few days later (then every other day from then), they were showing that levels of hCG were not doing what is was supposed to.  Everything was to shut up shop for the week of the holidays and that is when my GP told us to expect a miscarriage.  Happy fucking Christmas to you too Dr!  We'd only just told our immediate families that I was pregnant again, there was no way I was going to tell them that news; we just didn't want to believe it.  So a show we had to put on for the families while inside we were just waiting for the worst - thankfully that was only for a few phone calls and the odd chat on Skype.

But we're talking of Elizabeth here, so hCG levels were great with the next blood test in the new year and that relief was awesome!  Christmas' here have been awful since moving out here, but there has been ways of getting around them and not celebrating; just like this year.

This year A. was working night shifts (hence the time away before hand - still working on the getting together a post for that), so I spent the 25th with my dearest friend here in my real life here; J.  She is awesome, compassionate and caring, mostly she tries to 'get it'.  She grew up in a communist country and so doesn't do Christmas; she has two kids and so makes efforts for them, but there is no traditions, no grand meal and nothing but an ordinary day - it was fantastic, as much as any day can be.  It passed quickly with Bruce. Springsteen and Missy.Higgins playing and before I knew it I was back home waking A. to go to work.

The 26th was my quite time and I spent a lot of it in bed asleep with A.  Nothing stands out as being anything particularly and I'm not complaining! Then yesterday both A. and I went off to the cricket at the MCG - I couldn't believe how diverting it was and had a really good time!  It did help that the Aussies are bonkers about the cricket, there was a wonderful atmosphere and the English were whooping their arses!!  Ha ha.

Then I had a call from home, M my fathers partner; I may have mentioned her and her father, Ray passed away just a few weeks before we lost Taggpole.  M. is without children herself, but she 'gets it'.  She is so attentive, compassionate and empathic and it warms my soul when she calls from the UK.  We spoke for hours last night and I off loaded so much, but all the deep and heavy talk of emotion started with her telling me how the family are thinking of me at the Boxing Day family gathering.

Now I've been thinking a lot about my father's side of the family, after commenting on Glow in reply to Eric's post.  I tried to bite my tongue, but couldn't and out it all just came; that Christmas card from my cousin with no mention of Elizabeth, the silence from the family, A's whole family not speaking Elizabeth's name and his sister just blanking everything, that has happened to us  - my total disappointment and hurt just boiling over in hot tears down the phone to poor M.

That lead to the fucktard at Victoria Gardens and how opening up to people is like playing Russian roulette, but in not doing so, would be denying my daughter.  We talked of our beliefs and the difference between the old and young dying.  I spoke of my aspirations; of how I want to get to a point where I think of Elizabeth and just feel the love (I don't think that is attainable for any length of time - but I'm going to try) and we spoke of the family some more.  M got the impression from them, that I have had contact; cards, notes, calls and she was shocked that I've had heard from just four (including that card).

She understood my feelings of disappointment and hurt and was angry for me - talking of how people just don't understand, don't take the time to put themselves in these ugly shoes and have an ounce of empathy - there is no bullying compassion or attentiveness and I don't want their pity.  I feel somewhat validated and understood by her and glad to know that I wasn't over reacting.  Just talking it all through with someone on the outside, was good and was left numb.  I am so thankful for M's ability to listen to me properly and so very thankful that she is in my life.

There was another moment where emotion over took and floored me.  I received a mail from my dear friend from my old life back in the UK, where we both lived and worked away from home - oh, we did have so much fun, myself her and her son!  I miss her; she was and continues to be a great pillar of strength to me.  The snippet of the mail she sent:

'I had my candles lit for Elizabeth for Christmas.  Had to explain all the candles to E. He said he understood why you were sad.  He said it was because you lost something that was one of a kind that was so precious that it could never be replaced, even by another baby (I was amazed by the depth of his comprehension).  The reason I bothered you with this story is because he believes that everyday, Elizabeth tries to give you a hug to comfort you because you're sad all the time.  He prays for Elizabeth because he believes that she would be very sad that her mummy is so sad. You remain in in our hearts all the time'.

My friend's son is just eight years old.

Words can't describe how completely I am in awe of this child and his Ma.  I am so touched and thankful that she 'bothered' to tell me of her son's words and I am just floored by the level of understanding and compassion.  A child of eight; a young man in the making with such an empathy and perceptiveness - it just highlights my family's failings and the majority of the human race too.  I cried and cried after reading that, with the tears of a BLM knows all to well.

I thank you dear friend and your young man, that is an amazing gift.

Friday, December 24

Stop All The Clocks

Let others celebrate Christmas this year; to me its just another day to struggle through.
There is no tinsel hanging, nor ball balls or a fine great tree with fairy lights.
There is no merriment, or festive cheer in this house ~ my daughter is dead.

It is so very hard to feel contentment when there is always the feeling of being wronged, someone so beloved always missing and a longing that is as primal as fear.

This sums up my feelings today:

Stop All The Clocks ~ W. H. Auden

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

Thursday, December 23

The Pursuit of Happiness

I read an interesting article in the magazine that I subscribe to today.  This magazine is the only one I have ever read cover to cover and still do after my world was tipped upside down - I get it shipped from the UK too.

Anyway, I read the short article on The Pursuit of Happiness written by Dr R Holden, who has started the Happiness.Project, from his want to investigate the real purpose and value of happiness.  He goes on to say how people were happier back in the 1940s than they are now, which is surprising considering all the choices, education, technology and entertainment we have nowadays.

The clincher that I found a great thinking tool was this: 'what has become a pretty standard model in happiness research, which suggests 50 per cent comes from our genes (by this they mean our personality), 40 per cent from our choices and 10 per cent or less from our life circumstances.  How strange, then, that most people dedicate their energy to improving an area of their life that will only influence their happiness by 10 per cent'.  He goes on to say, that the choices he is on about is being grateful of what you have, rather than complaining about what you don't have, and choosing to forgive rather than hold grudges.  He says 'choosing to believe that happiness is not just something that comes only to those who deserve it'.

My word that opened up a load of worms for me, as I happened to look up and see a very pregnant lady walking by - I know that this will happen for me sometime soon, but its not for me to worry about it yet; it is completely out of my hands.  I need to concentrate on all the things that I do have in my life right now and acknowledge them and yes, to be grateful for them too.  I will always want the unobtainable; my daughter Elizabeth; alive, happy and healthy, growing before my eyes - I will never get her back.

I know grief is all part of the process and very different from just being down in the mouth about things; I am no way minimising things at all and this 10% is somewhat slightly fucking larger in my case and in all the BLM lives.  But we all have choices of what we choose to react with.  I know its easier said than done - but at the lady waddling across the road, I though with a longing that I will be in that position one day....  And that was it, change subject, engage A with words of good things in our present and imminent future.

I have always thought of myself as an optimist and a naturally happy person, but when I do feel down everyone tends to notice that too.  Andy has wafted the 'D' word (depression) around once or twice in the 7 years we've known each other - the last time wasn't all that long ago funnily enough (?), but after explaining the hows and whys of what I'm feeling and telling him that its not going to last forever - he understands my point of view and lets me get on with things.
I have become quite apt at finding my feelings and verbalising them recently.  A few years ago I would just react in a knee-jerk action, not knowing why.  Now I calm down and take notice of the feelings, sit with them, working backwards through the reactions, wants, actions, desires and coming to the raw emotions underneath all that - I have grown up in that respect.

I do want to feel happiness again.  I do want to be happy with my lot in life and not let the death of my baby be the defining moment in my life, but I know its going to be hard and conscious work.  It is something to aspire to, something to work towards.  If I can work on the that and let the 20 - 30% of my 'life circumstances' go that I have no power over - doesn't that mean I have up to 70% to work with?  To me those are good odds making happiness something attainable.

Tuesday, December 21


We are back from our 'holiday', where we spent three nights away in a small cabin, up in a gum tree valley on the coast.  That was the getaway that was to be our Christmas time, where we opened our presents, drank and ate too much and focused on ourselves; as a couple and individuals.  We are back at home now and if it wasn't for the Christmas adverts on the tv when that goes on; I'd be none the wiser to the fact that it is Christmas - it certainly doesn't look, or feel like it.

There was no celebrating anything there, more like a striving to retain the connection between husband and wife from the hot ashes of our broken family.  That is me looking back at that time there - but while away I did enjoy.  We did drink too much (failing to get drunk which was a great disappointment!), we did eat too much rich and refined crap (my system is still trying to recover), we read books, I knitted until the cows came home and we did a lot of thinking and talking there.  We exchanged a few presents and we toasted our babies with smiles and tears in our eyes.

It was lovely to be in a different environment.  A different bed to sleep in, different light in the mornings, a different shower to stand under and a different view to lose myself in.  Different sounds too; the Cockatoos and parrots squawking, the sound of the waves crashing down on the beach below and the awesome sound of the rain storms on the thin tin roof - even the smell of the burning gum tree fires, were different from the smells back at home, only a two and a half hour drive away.

All those sensory changes served to lighten my heart - only the car, A and I were the same.  We could have been on another holiday, some years ago somewhere; anywhere, were we didn't know the heartache of losing our first born.  We were taking leave from our everyday lives and I almost felt 'normal'...  Well almost.
I wasn't running away from Elizabeth, her memory or ties to her; we brought her blanket along with us (that rests between our pillows) and a handful of candles we lit each night that lights my favourite picture of her.  It was just nice to breathe the different air, to be away from the oppressive nature that has become my routine here at home.  Only stepping away from that, did it show me how much I wasn't doing the best by me.

I feel as if I'm choosing my words too carefully now - its to no disrespect or detriment to anyone else; this is all me and I am just realising that I need to limit my intake of sadness - for every book of babies dying, I need to read a griping adventure or 'who dunnit'.  For every every hour I sit reading others blogs, I need to sit another to write my own.  For every hour I sit in front of the 'box', I need to have another to get creative and make beautiful, meaningful things.  For every appointment at the hospital I have, I need to take myself somewhere special out on a date.  For every hour I am sat here in this chair thinking, I need to get myself out into the real world;  conversations with others, out exploring (even if that means just walking and thinking too) somewhere new, meeting new people, visiting friends.
For every tear that I shed, I want to be able to smile for those times too.

This is how I'm feeling right now, just getting back from the break in my grief - I wouldn't even call it that though.  My grief was not on holiday, there wasn't a moment where I wasn't questioning my feelings - I would think; is this the closest I get to the old 'normal'?  But there wasn't a minute, or hour that didn't go past where I didn't think of Elizabeth.

I think the best part of that realisation was there was no external triggers to those thoughts.  There was no, pregnant lady to silently wish good luck, there was no newborn crying for a feed in a cafe, there was no pram or pushchair to remind me of the most precious thing I am without.

I thought of my baby girl because I had the time and space to be able to do so on my terms.  Mine were dreams of how our lives would have changed if she was still here with us - would we have gone away with a four month old, to a tiny cabin up on a valley side, with the koalas, parrots and gum trees to keep us company, in the middle of nowhere?  Yes, I'd like to think that we'd manage those three nights away from the comfort of home - trekking up and down the steep path to the beach; sling tided to my front and her brightly knitted hat firmly on her head from the chill of the sea breeze.  Not only would I be taking photos of the wild life, the moody weather on the beach and A; I would be taking so many of my growing daughter....

I think of these with a smile on my face (and maybe a tear or lots) and I hope there is a future ahead of me were I will be able to do this in real life too - I believe I will get my time with Elizabeth, but like this?  Who knows.
So for the time being I will ride this, I will see how long I can go with trying to do more with my time and not going off into distraction mode.  Grief just is.  There are no hard and fast rules to follow, there is no timeline for 'proper grieving' and there is no magic wand to wave to make everything better again - it is just acceptance. With that acceptance comes all that hard work; of loving a daughter who isn't here to feel the warmth of my kisses.

My work is cut out....

The Christmas card my Ma sent Taggpole and Elizabeth touched me:

Oh, my dearest grandchildren, I've had so many plans to spoil you at Christmas.  I've missed you so much it hurt, but then I looked in my heart and there you there! Children of my child - I love you xx

Seeing and reading that makes my heart swell - makes my work a little easier too.

Friday, December 17

More Realisations & The Dream

Something hit me yesterday.  

I was talking to Elizabeth while in her room, looking at her beautiful Memory Box (which holds her ashes; I see it as a part of us both residing in there; the mother in me and the daughter in her, both captured together and immortalised on the front) and I just thought that there is no right or wrong way to grieve.  

She is my daughter, I love her, I miss her so damned much - but why do I struggle to keep her with me?  I struggle to keep her on my mind all the time and often feel guilty for all this distraction I make myself.  

At the end of the day, I can not love her more, there isn't a fibre in my body that wouldn't give everything to have her back with me.  I know this and so does she I believe.  So why am I struggling so much?  

I need to let go of all the should dos and could dos, and just love her the only way I know how - and that is to just be me.  

I found a peace in that realisation.  I feel I've let myself resister how much pressure I've been putting on myself to feel a certain way, about how to grieve and what I feel, I should be doing.  I have taken that limiting expectation away now and can feel a relief and calmness.  It stemmed from yesterdays post.  Now I hope I can feel, do and think what ever it is that I need to, and know that I am grieving, loving and missing my beautiful girl without restriction.


In my dream I am pregnant.
I am fearful, protective, but I am in absolute awe of what is happening.
I am getting quite big and carrying quite low.
I know this is my second time around; I know what I could lose.

The next moment I am giving birth, is it too early?
It is painless and quick, and I'm left looking in pure amazement at the placenta that I'm left with.
Where is my baby?  But I'm not panicking; I'm content to be in wonder at the placenta

Ah, I am handed my bundle...  its eyes are open and looking at me, my heart swells
I am told matter of factly to lose my top, I do so instantly.
But before I take my babe back, I move my long necklace out of the way
My baby looks at me and I cox it to start finding its feed...

I am stuck by so much in this dream, but mostly by the facts that this babe was not Elizabeth.  I don't know its sex, only that it is my baby and its alive, warm, alert and pink - so very, very different from the memories I have of holding Elizabeth and her birth.

The necklace I moved from my chest?  It is the glass locket I wear almost daily, it holds the pictures of Elizabeth and names of both her and Taggpole. 

To me, this is the clincher; this is my hope.  I have been shown a possible future; it can exist.  I do know there is hope and I do know there is a chance that I will birth a live baby in my future.
I woke crying this morning from that dream and my heart is swollen from renewed hope and love.  This is another layer of protection I am giving myself, in a round about way - it is not from my own thoughts, but a gift from myself never the less.  

Do I believe Elizabeth sent me this dream?  It would be nice to think so, but its a lot to put on a her - but I don't want to not thank her just in case....

Thursday, December 16

Grieving Without Hope

Up until a week and a half ago, I have been grieving with hope in my heart.
With the PPT diagnosis, there was a sudden disappearance of that hope.

I knew as soon as I was able to think straight, that I wanted and needed a babe to actively mother - I don't know how long it took to realise after saying our finial goodbyes to Elizabeth, but I can't think of a time when there wasn't a glimmer of hope for another child.

Grieving with hope, there was always a knowing that I would someday be a mother in the not too distance future, always a ray of light in the deepest depths of this black hole I'd been abandoned in, always something to grasp on to in those times of such self-destructive desperation and pain.  That little ray of light acted as a nightlight to me, as safety blanket of sorts and a calming voice to placate the what-ifs and that took the vagueness out of my dreams and gave them quality, colour and sound. The hope also gave me some sort of distraction from the grief, it mostly gave me something to work towards, a goal to achieve and yes, I felt a purpose again.

Grief was bearable with hope, gave me want to look after myself properly, made me take a vested interest in living again, made me want to see the brightness of a future again.  It got me out of bed in the morning and made me strive toward something with a passion - to be an active mother.

But grief without that hope?  That is something that I have been struggling with since being told to 'hold off from trying for now' - see there wasn't even a timeline to 'hold off' on!  How am I supposed to get to grips with that?  Something so intangible.

It has been a hard to get that into my head, that I have to strive to move forward with all hopes put on hold - but I think I'm getting there.  I am seeing this as my time to get back to the basics again; get me healthy, fit and well and just let me grieve my beautiful daughter the way that comes naturally.  There are no hard and fast rules to follow, there is no ultimate timeline to keep to - this is me feeling and grieving; there is no right or wrong.  And I'm okay...

Wednesday, December 15

Pot, Appointments & Calm

Things have gone to pot here - I wish that meant just smoking the stuff!  I did give up smoking like a trooper 6 years ago and have only twice thought about sparking up again - a time not so long ago actually.

Where to start?

16 weeks out and I feel so estranged from my Elizabeth, maybe that is too harsh a word, but I feel so detached from from everything around me.  I move through the days just getting by; just reacting to everything and not having anything original thought or feeling...  Other than something is so very wrong, the deep sadness that has settled in me and a unquenchable thirst for what is missing.
I am bogged down with life issues right now and that pushes away all attempts of grieving out of my head.

So, leaving all thoughts of Elizabeth aside for the moment, I hate to do so, but this isn't about her - it is all me.  It is all my worries, my health and my woes right now. This is My Space.
I have a day surgery appointment on Friday and while I am thankful for the prompt actions with getting me in; I am shitting myself.

I don't want to go back to the hospital where I left empty handed, where I was put under an GA and on waking they told me they couldn't save her; she is dead.  I hate that hospital for what it stands for, not because of some sort of failing.  I hate the fact that I have to go there for all out patient clinics, investigations, treatments and what not I will ever need, whatever happens in the future.  I hate everything about it.  I hate the smell, I hate its an all women's hospital, I hate the clinic waiting rooms full of innocent pregnant women, I hate seeing the newborns going home in their brand new car seats, I hate the statues outside in all its pregnant glory.  I hate the journey into the city with that as the destination, I force my feet walk. There is one exception and that is the RS/fertility clinic - its on a floor where no bump or babes will be, but you still have to walk through those doors.

So with that and the PPT diagnosis, I have found myself at the hospital every week for the past 6 weeks and its getting to me now.  This clinic that I'm under for Friday's appointment and the RS clinic are great in fairness, they have my best interests at heart and they know of Elizabeth and our past in the hospital and make allowances - I just wish the others would give me the same courtesy.

Distraction techniques are in full operation these days, which leads me back to the beginning; feeling so very far away from my sweet baby girl.

Last night I went to a local meeting for bereaved parents, I am glad I did go.  There was talk of next pregnancies and it brought a lot of emotion from many, just why is it a taboo subject and only thought of as a hesitant after thought?  It is not to replace the babe that died, we had been setting ourselves up for parenthood for the best part of nine months, then its get whipped away and its gone?  No, it certainly isn't gone from me; that was my identity too.

But listening to others views and perspectives was enlightening.  Some waited a year, and it was then suggested that to wait that time is for the better (said by the counsellor).  Some wanted it desperately before they'd even left the hospital, where some worked up to the wanting.  

I listened to the lady who waited (she is thinking of another children and has one older and younger from her son who died at birth) and something just clicked inside.  I could see she is where she wants to be - all be it three and a half years out.  She didn't push things to happen, she had the foresight to see the big picture and to be patient.  I can't put my finger on what it was she actually said, that made me see and realise that it is okay to wait. I have to wait, there is no bullying, coercing or tempting a pregnancy to happen now - its just not going to happen.  To know that is okay, and to see how together she is - I think that showed me to have a patience and turn down this desperation I have for another pregnancy.

I don't know how long this feeling of calm will last, but I intend to ride it out.  I have other things on my plate that needs my attention, or rather my distraction and am just going to accept this gift from Cowen's Ma.
My picture of calm
Taken from the Royal Princess, Feb 2009
Crossing the North Pacific Ocean

Sunday, December 12

Little Things

Elizabeth was born on August 22nd.
Now does that mean that she would have been 16 weeks today?  Its not 4 months by the date? At any rate Sundays are the worst for me ~ Sunday's child is full of grace?

I have feelings of guilt.  Guilt for wanting to be 'normal' again.  Its not that I want to forget my daughter, but sometimes my distraction techniques work a little too well. I'll be watching the tv (the greatest distraction there is for me and it is rarely on), so engrossed I'll be and then something will come out of nowhere and slap me across my face. Be it a moment in the program/film (the last time was 'Dan in Real Life', explaining he was born, just like everyone else and grew up, just like everyone else...) or I see her candle flicker out the corner of my eye and I get snapped back into the reality of my life.  It is sad when you want to escape the misery that surrounds, to break from the old routine that is everyday life and when I realise that, I feel a guilt that is pliable that serves to hurt me more so.

Elizabeth is a part of our lives, she is part of our family and always will be, I wouldn't have it any other way. I just want to get to a point where I remember her with a smile of happiness, where my heart swells with the love I have and yearn to make more memories for her.  Right now my heart is too heavy, it has been wronged and it is in pieces.  Everything is too unfair right now, too desperate and too raw.

Ha - A. has just walked in from the mall baring gifts!  A box of white chocolaty balls of goodness and the Eclipse dvd.  The connotations attached to the film?  When watching that the cinema on July 1st, I was eight months pregnant and half way through the film I started having my first real strong Braxton Hicks contractions.  I was so excited, so much so that I couldn't tell you what happened in the latter part of the film; I was glued to my iphone app, 'the contraction counter'.  Those BH went on for four hours, I remember walking and walking them off and finally waking up to them gone. I am smiling.

Something else that came back to me that made me smile with wonder, a sneeze. Just a simple sneeze when I was feeling sick, somehow they do have magical properties; once sneezed the queasy feelings are truly gone.  I did indeed sneeze a lot with the morning/all-day sickness and the relief that a single sneeze would being, was amazing.

So, not all these realisations are a slap in the face - I guess I am healing after all?

Thursday, December 9

Life is Amazing

Life can be amazingly fucking shit at times and things are pretty shit right now from where I'm sitting.  It isn't too bad, its by no means good, it is just complicated and its fucked up.

It is health issues that is destroying my goal for second best.  First place?  That goes to the one who can hand me back my sweet Elizabeth; alive, fit and healthy...
The second best is another baby and that just ain't going to happen while my body is fuck arsing me about like this.  I've been diagnosed with PPT, there is nothing I can do about this - there is no medicine I can take, no amount of relaxing or being calm about things is going to sort it out.  I just have to wait it out and let it run its course.

Deep breath

It is hard to sit back and let your dreams go for awhile, especially when they are so desperately yearned for and needed - but here is my attempt to be present and really see the beauty that surrounded me at Vic Gardens today (taken from notes).

Life is actually pretty amazing...
I am sat on the damp grass after the hospital appointment this morning.

The beauty of just sitting in VG by myself, watching the wild life; the ducks, hearing the mewing of the Moorhen chicks, watching Willy Wagtail darting about; wafting his tail for flies.  Seeing the amazing blue of the Azure Kingfisher, swooping and chirruping away.
Sitting in the sun, letting it warm my back.  Having the backdrop of the bright blue sky, making such contrasts against the lush greens of the tree foliage and lily pads in the pond. Small things catch my eye; a dragonfly, a white butterfly and two red admirals doing a mating dance over the bright white lilies.

Life is amazing

... It is also amazingly unfair.

How did I get here?
How did I become so lost and broken?

But now is not for dwelling on all the sadness and frustrations that I am faced with; for I have no control over that and that is the key for me....  I've got to let go of these stresses, of that need to have all the answers and all the information.  It is just a waste of my mental and physical energies, which I should be putting into healing and grieving.

I see the Azure Kingfisher again - ah, such beauty.

I've got to take a step back from myself, my wants and worries - there are quite a few, but aren't life threatening thankfully.  I have to calm myself, at a good look at the big picture....
And breathe and relax and take comfort in everything and everyone around me.  These months will just be insignificant in the long run; moments of deep grieving in the grand scheme of things - why don't I stop stressing about things that I clearly not under my control?
It really does take some hard work to do this, I guess that is why I've not really tried  - too hard and my motto recently is; 'the path of least resistance'.

Why do Dragonflies have two sets of wings?

I find you in the bright colours and quite places, always remembered beautiful girl

Today the rain and sun were battling it out.
Then they came together

Thursday September 9th 2010

Sunday, December 5

I Just Can't Stop Loving You - MJ

Listening to my 'Best of' playlist, totally engrossed getting creative - yes, the glitter is out!

The words hit me like a sledge hammer and the tears stream down

'my life ain't worth living,
if I can't be with you'

I Just Can't Stop Loving You - Michael Jackson

If you get past the bits about him wanting the woman, you'll see how it could touch me as it did.
Here are the lyrics:
I Just Can't Stop Loving You 

I Just Want To Lay Next To You

For Awhile
You Look So Beautiful Tonight
Your Eyes Are So Lovely
Your Mouth Is So Sweet
A Lot Of People
Misunderstand Me
That's Because They Don't
Know Me At All
I Just Want To Touch You
And Hold You
I Need You
God I Need You
I Love You So Much

Each Time The Wind Blows
I Hear Your Voice So
I Call Your Name . . .
Whispers At Morning
Our Love Is Dawning
Heaven's Glad You Came . . .

You Know How I Feel
This Thing Can't Go Wrong
I'm So Proud To Say
I Love You
Your Love's Got Me High
I Long To Get By
This Time Is Forever
Love Is The Answer


I Hear Your Voice Now
You Are My Choice Now
The Love You Bring
Heaven's In My Heart
At Your Call
I Hear Harps,
And Angels Sing

You Know How I Feel
This Thing Can't Go Wrong
I Can't Live My Life
Without You

I Just Can't Hold On

I Feel We Belong

My Life Ain't Worth Living
If I Can't Be With You

I Just Can't Stop Loving You
I Just Can't Stop Loving You
And If I Stop . . .
Then Tell Me Just What
Will I Do

'Cause I Just Can't Stop
Loving You

At Night When The
Stars Shine
I Pray In You I'll Find
A Love So True . . .

When Morning Awakes Me
Will You Come And Take Me
I'll Wait For You. . . 

And It goes on and on and on...

Cherry on Top Award

This is a lovely recognition for my out pouring of emotion and thoughts.  It is really nice to share Elizabeth with so many that won't shy away from the pure rawness that is my life in the aftermath for her death.  In turn I tip my hat to and warmly hug those that have supported me through reading here and in turn for sharing their journey, their blogs.
I owe so much to this baby lost community, without it I would feel so alone, misunderstood (by myself, more than anyone) and without hope or friendship.  I am accepted and supported here, and so to is my little girl.

A big heartfelt 'thank you' to Missy who is sharing the 'blog love' with giving me this award.  I read Missy's blog because she writes so damned emotionally.  She doesn't edit herself, her thoughts or words - where as I do.  I read her raw emotive words and I see myself reflected in them, I haven't the capacity to write like that and I admire and respect her for it.  Thank you dear Missy and baby Chai and Ayana.

The rules of this award are:

1. Link back to the person who gave it to you
2. Pass it on to five (or more) other blogs
3. Leave them a comment telling them about the award

I don't read a lot of blogs to be honest, but the places I do find comfort:

The Happy Sad Mama
Cullen's Blessings
Tuesday's Hope
Hope, Interrupted
Mommy's Sunshine - Of course the love flows back to you Missy

I know some of these have been repeated from previously awarded bloggers, I just wanted to show my appreciation to these wonderful ladies here - Thank you so much.

Friday, December 3

The Sweet Smell of Roses

I just thought I'd share a quite moment of beauty...

Elizabeth's Rose - The Children's Rose
Gifted to us by Susan H - Thank you xxx

Thursday, December 2

Difficult Days

I've been trying to write new posts, always starting and then getting waylaid with something or other - I am just so very restless right now.  I flit from one thing to the next, I have grand ideas of starting new projects and I go out and get supplies, it often takes days for me to get around to a project.  This has been going on for about two weeks - I don't think I've written a proper post since the Happy Days post.

I'm feeling overwhelmed with everything once again and because of this deep restlessness within, I can't sit down and make a plan of action - how do I relieve the pressure that I am creating around me?  I know it is all by my doing too.  It is timing.  This is the month of fucking celebrations; Christmas.  I am far from a place that I want to celebrate it and luckily enough, I am far from the people who I would usually celebrate with - half a world away, literally.

Christmas used to be so worth celebrating when I was growing up with the family, it was indeed a special time when everyone got together to enjoy all the festive fun.  Oh, the feelings of such joy!  Just going out Christmas shopping with the sisters, buying these wonderful thoughtful presents for my family.  The excitement of decorating the tree, putting fairy lights up everywhere and going out to laugh at the hideously over the top decorated houses in the area.  The gear up to Christmas was the best bit for me, all the preparation and thought, making the Christmas cake and making a wish as we took turns stirring it - yes, we still did these things as adults; myself, Ma, K and I.

Where ever we were, we'd always make it back to home with Ma and celebrated Christmas day with her, everyone under the same roof again and what a ball we always had, such great catch ups, excitement and anticipation.  We'd all still have stockings; silly things, but always a Toblerone, a satsuma and a walnut.  One year Ma made the awesome mistake of putting Silly String in our stockings - Ha ha, the utter mess of the place with five adults emptying our cans into one another; it was priceless and there was absolutely no bad moods what so ever.  I think that was the last one back home with everyone actually, two years ago.  We were all sit around the kitchen table eating chocolate and drinking, each with a bowl of veggies to prepare and we had the most almighty meal; everyone wearing the silly cracker hats and eating till we popped.  Then after a vegetate in front of the TV, the Wii would be out and we'd all be playing bowling, golf, tennis and then brain academy in pairs - things would get silly the later it got, still drinking!

Boxing day was always another epic day, it was the White's gathering; my fathers side of the family.  My father was brought up Catholic, he is one of six children (I have since discovered that my Grandmother lost at child at birth) and I think at the last count there was 48 cousins - so this gathering is amazing.  I can not remember a time when we didn't have these gathering, these Boxing Days make my favourite childhood memories.  Myself and the sister were the youngest batch and so all my older cousins dotted on us - they still do.  We got all the hand me downs as kids and later on taken to the pub!  After a grand feast, we'd all hike up the 'the clumps', miles it was, while the older members slept off the food, then prepared the next meal.  Oh, the puddings where the best; pink fluff, pavlova and pies and crumbles.  We'd always stay round the hosting house; we lived the furthest away, camp beds and sleeping bags, a late night talking and catching up with everyone...  I can almost smell the Rudolph and pheasant pie we ate two years ago!

Christmas was truly was a family bonding time

I'm just realising again what I've taken myself away from; by moving over here, to Australia.  I know all the cousins have moved on and have there own families now, but away from my sisters - I've potentially removed myself from letting my children experience that....  Not that either of my sisters are nearing the thought of having kids.  Even so, those as I said are some of the fondest memories I have growing up.
I really hate this time of the year now - I always question myself about this move we've made.

But this year was supposed to be so fucking different.  This time last year I was just five short weeks pregnant again - life was now looking up and I could say; next Christmas, it'll be our own little family enjoying all the festive cheer.  It doesn't even seem like Christmas over here, growing up with it in the winter and now to this; another summer holiday - it just doesn't feel right.
So, this year I am in hiding from Christmas, no decorations, no tree or fairy lights and the ones I do have will not be going on, no Christmas shopping and singing along to Elf.fm.  Christmas is cancelled at this house - there is no celebrating anything.

However, Andy and I are very lucky - a colleague has lent us their holiday home on the beach for the week leading up to Christmas and we will be there.  Andy is to be working the night shifts over the Christmas week.  It will be so good to get out of this somewhat stagnant environment of 'woe is me'.  I know it will be a relief, we've had a recent long weekend in Sydney and it was like we were on holiday from our lives of grief.  I just want an escape from here, to get away and put on hold making any Christmas memories, any new Christmas traditions for us here in Australia with all this strange, hot and sunny weather.  I  think that I will be taking a few of Elizabeth's things though - I'm not running away from her.  We will have presents at the beach house (try telling Andy otherwise!) and we will enjoy ourselves on the beach everyday, but it will just feel like a holiday; nothing more than that.

The pressures that I speak of, is in reference to the family; I do just want to disappear and forget what I'm missing out on.  I also want to forget the cards - and what will I say in them anyway; Merry Motherfucking Christmas?  I'd love to, but honestly where do I add Elizabeth's name?  Do I just add her in the 'with love from, A, T & Elizabeth?  Or do I just put 'remembering Elizabeth'?  Fuck -  this isn't what I'm supposed to be thinking about.  I think I will get some of those cards, at least people won't think I'm enjoying myself then.
All these are self imposed pressures, I'm sure no one expects anything much from me this year and I am thankful for that.  December is usually a fantastic time of the year for me, now I have all these new strong reactions to it and its knocked me down again....

Breathe and let be - this can't last forever.

Friday, November 26

Todays Rainbow

As the sun was setting

Thursday, November 25

Rainbows on the 22nd

Ma mailed me this picture yesterday

Its taken from her back garden in Lincolnshire, UK.
It was taken a few days ago, November 22nd 2010

Last month she sent me this photo

This was also taken from the back garden over looking the fields of crops
It was taken on September 22nd 2010

Elizabeth was born on August 22nd.  
It seems everyone finds Elizabeth in the bright colours and quite places, always remembered and forever loved baby girl.  

I love hearing of people remembering my precious, little Elizabeth, talking of her and keeping her close to them in their everyday lives.  My father proudly talking of his granddaughter, to his fellows and telling me what he sees when he looks at her photo - it touches my soul and makes my task a little less arduous; knowing that she is on the minds and lips of others.

I saw this morning a beautiful photo, it made my day to be honest.  To know M took the time out to remember Elizabeth and so many other babes that should be here with us, but are not.  Well I cried at seeing the 'Leaf Tree', so touched; it is awesome!  I am so very thankful to you M, for writing Elizabeth's name on a bright, colourful leaf of fall, in Kansas.
Chaun-chai, Ayana and all the other babies names on that tree are well remembered here...  

Along with many that are not.

Wednesday, November 24

The Bullshit Stars

Some things do change...  a lot of things have changed.

I was once a girl who would believe anything; not necessarily gullible, but would like to believe in the nice and fanciful things.  Father Christmas as a young kid, the tooth fairly too.  The Easter bunny, not so much.
I wonder how I started my wanting and needing to read my horoscope?  I was born mid March, a Pisces - oh, how I loved to read all about them; their traits and characteristics.  How their feet were the best parts of their bodies, they loved the water and were the dreamers of the zodiac.
Much to A's amusement I had bookmarked pages on my lap top, I checked my app of a night time to set me up for the day ahead and would go out of my way to read about the fishes.  I remember there being a cafe that cut the horoscopes out of the daily paper, stick it to the back of the coffee machine, so all customers could read their star signs while waiting to place their order, that place soon became a favourite.  I wonder how much time I wasted on that?

I remember reading in the local paper at the end of last year - 'Your Stars for 2010' and I was hooked!  I read how 2010 was going to be my year, how after some long stint of 8 years or so, this was it - all my dreams will be revealed.  It said the best day of the year would be August 23rd.
Well that was absolutely fantastic and spot on, we'd just found out that I was pregnant and knew her due date was August 25th.  And do you know what I thought?  I could live with that, I mean if I was to have a Leo; surely I would want it to be on the best day of the year for me. I simply can't believe I was disappointed to be having a Leo and would have preferred a Virgo; just a few days later.  I mean what a fucking load of bollocks!?  To pin all my hopes on that one day?
Okay, it did kind of give me this invincible feeling, when we were in the middle of the two scares we had with Elizabeth - I'd always talk myself into being calm about it all, with the thought of what my fucking horoscope said.

As it turned out, the Sunday morning of August 22nd was when Elizabeth made her entrance into this world, by emergency c-section - only to leave it again some 14 minutes later - that was the single most heart ripping moment I have ever beheld; when they told me they couldn't save her.

It wasn't the worst though; I was so filled with love, this Mother's love for my baby daughter that I held lifeless in my arms.  I was bowled over by how perfect she was; the fact that we made her and she was so beautiful.  Our love had created her.
Elizabeth was with us all day, and that night she slept in A's arms on the fold-up mattress, down beside mine - all I could do all night was stare down at the two most important people in my life.  That was the longest night of my life.  It didn't matter that the catheter wasn't draining, that the nurses didn't listen to me, or the fact that the morphine wasn't attached to my arm and was dumping the pain killers on the floor when pressed, and pressed, and pressed - all I could think was, how did we get here, what was I supposed to do with life now?

The very worst was leaving the day later; the 23rd August.  Leaving the bed, the oncology ward, the hospital, the city - leaving behind my precious daughter, walking out of the doors without our baby....

That is why I don't subscribe to the horoscope bullshit

Monday, November 22


I find myself on the good side of this grief again - the past two days have been hard, yesterday I was still gathering myself from Fridays explosive emotional outburst.  I was just telling L how good I was feeling; two whole days in a row, where my mood has been positive - that was where the "Happy Days' post stems from.  I did feel really quite relieved getting my wonderful pregnancy down, with all the photos and dates added as well.  I have an old style photo album that I brought a week or so after Elizabeth's death and wanted; planned to have that documenting 'our Journey' - the 'Happy Day's post is sort of a rough draft of what is going to be in that album...  when I can put myself to that task of ordering all those photos to be printed.

A comment said, how brave I was to document my pregnancy.  That is not how I feel about it - yes, it did make me so very, very sad to see our last photo together; me asleep in the chair, in the coffee shop, in the city - how I would do anything to go back to that time, change things and live life from then...
How I feel about Elizabeth's pregnancy is...  I don't know, I had a strong and urgent need to change that longing into something that I can hold up as my light, something to be proud and happy about.   I loved being pregnant and I celebrated every moment of it; it is all I had of my baby girl and I wanted all its glory down for me to come back here and see later on.  Just as I will celebrate every other pregnancy I will ever have - no matter how long or short it is.  There is life and I am excited by it, I will anticipate it, I will be over joyed by it and I will hold it tight to my heart - if it is the only time I have with my children, then I will celebrate that with them.  I know it is pessimistic to say such things, but that is all I had with Elizabeth and I want to honour her memory in the best way I know how.

But why I am here in the middle of the night writing now?
I wanted to get down the trigger for this last meltdown, that I'm resurfacing from now, days later.
We went to see the first part of the last H.Potter film.  I loved the books and can see new meaning with these grief goggles on now, but this film is long awaited. I couldn't tell you what I thought of it now, its kind of been erased by the scene that struck me - it was the second last one I think.  I think I cried at least twice that I recall; where his owl was killed and then again when he was standing before his parents gave.  But the scene in question took me back down to the darkest depth of despair I thought I'd climbed out from, totally stunned by the images.  It had me looking at myself on the huge screen in front of me; in full colour, full sound.

The scene was where the house elf was dying in his arms, he was cradling the elf and moved his arm onto his little body - such a loving movement; the elf looked cared for, looked sleeping with his arms close by his side, not left to dangle and uncared for.  And then there was a shot of him holding the elf's hand, holding the elf's fingers around his.

All the while he was sobbing openly into the elf's body, calling his name and telling him to stay.

That was me just three short months ago
That was me up on the screen
Those was my sobs
Those were my tears
Those were my actions
Those were my words
Those were my emotions

And that was our afternoon at the cinema, that is where I've been for the past few days.
I have resurfaced and I can see the positive again, it just took awhile to get back up to the baseline I've been managing now - its a long way from 'normal' I know, but its a start.  I am only just realising how long a road/path this is....

This is my loving you Elizabeth.

A very wise lady told me, 'grieving them is yet another way of loving them. Let yourself love her Tess. Let yourself miss her, and let your heart ache without restriction'.

Oh, how right you are L, how easy it is to love our precious babies.

Thursday, November 18

My adaptation of The Bereaved Parents Wishlist

  • I wish my daughter hadn't died.  I wish I had her back.
  • I wish you wouldn't be afraid to speak her name. Elizabeth did live and is still very important to me. I need to know she was important to you also.
  • If I cry and get emotional when you talk about her, I wish you knew that it isn't because you've hurt me. Elizabeth's death is the cause of of my tears. You have talked about her and you have allowed me to share my grief. I thank you for both.
  • Being a bereaved parent is not contagious, so I wish you wouldn't shy away from me. I need you now more than ever.  
  • I need diversions, so I do want to hear about you, but also want you to hear about me. I might be sad and I might cry, but I wish you would let me talk about Elizabeth; my favourite topic of the day.  
  • I know her death pains you too, I wish you would let me know these things through a phone call, card or note or a real big hug.  
  • I wish you wouldn't expect my grief to be over in six months. This first year is going to be traumatic for me, but I wish you could understand that my grief will never be over. I will suffer the death of Elizabeth until the day I die.  
  • I am working hard in my recovery, but wish you could understand that I will never fully recover.  I will always miss my daughter and I will always grieve that she is dead.
  • I wish you wouldn't expect me 'not to think about it' or 'be happy'. Neither will happen for a very long time, so please don't frustrate yourself.  
  • I don't want to be pitied, but I do wish you would let me grieve. I must hurt before I can heal. 
  • I wish you understood how my life has been shattered. I know it is miserable for you to be around me when I am feeling miserable. Please be as patient with me as I am with you.  
  • When I say, 'I'm doing okay', I wish you could understand that I don't feel okay and that I struggle daily.
  • I wish you knew that all of the grief reactions I'm having are normal. Depression, angry, hopelessness and overwhelming sadness are all to be expected. So please excuse me when I'm quite and withdrawn, or irritable and cranky.  
  • Your advise to 'take it one day at a time' is excellent advice. However, a day is too much and too fast for me right now. I wish you could understand that I'm doing good to handle an hour at a time.  
  • Please excuse me if I seem rude, its certainly not my intent. Sometimes the world around me goes too fast and I need to get off. When I walk away, I wish you would let me find a quite place to spend time alone.  
  • I wish you understood that grief changes people. When Elizabeth died, a big part of me died with her. I am not the same person I was before she died and I will never be her again. 
  • I wish very much that you could understand - understand my loss and my grief. But I hope and wish that you will never understand.

Taken from The Bereaved Parents Wishlist (author unknown). I found it here. Thank you dear friend.

I am going to send this to Ma - I hope this will bridge the chasm that has formed between us.

Wednesday, November 17

Happy Days

We first found out I was pregnant with Elizabeth in mid December, we had been trying desperately for three months after losing my first pregnancy; Taggpole at 16 weeks.
We were over joyed, such a happy day, the start of many, many more. There was no checking and peeing on handfuls of tests, but I did make an appointment with my GP for as soon as possible.  I was thrilled to go in for blood tests every few days - but that was until I got the results back; Dr C told me to expect a miscarriage, the hCG wasn't doubling and to get bloods done in a week.  That was over the Christmas and New Year break - Happy fucking holidays to you too Dr C!  That wait I remember being very long, terrifying and not to mention helpless, I think I talked myself into believing the same was going to happen again and we were going to lose this pregnancy.  Hardest thing for us was forcing a Christmas cheer when speaking to the family.
A week passed and A. took my bloods, taking them into work with him and he texted me later; '4444'.  Those digits where magic.  I felt like I could relax knowing that everything was going okay, knowing I'd jumped a hurdle - surely everything was going to be alright?

Oh, I loved the fact that I was growing a little person inside.  I always wanted a girl, A. did too.  I suddenly had reason to take better care of myself again, eat properly, exercise right and making sure I was doing all I could to make this the perfect start to our child's life.  I brought and read all the books, had the magazines delivered, joined the mailing lists and forums and I had the apps on my iphone - I just couldn't get enough information in me!  Excitement is a total understatement, I wanted to be as ready as I ever could be - forewarned is forearmed I thought.

'Happy sick' was dubbed the new thought of the day for the first and some of the next trimester, with Taggpole's pregnancy I hardly felt it - things had changed with Elizabeth. I didn't up chuck too much, but it was my sense of smell that was through the roof!  I could smell a stinky pit at 1000 paces; I felt like a blood hound and was therefore put off most things that gave off a remotely unpleasant smell.  Onions were the worst, I still can't stand them even now!  But, I was lucky in the fact that it was summertime and there was loads of lovely, sweet smelling fruit and crisp salads to eat; those were my main cravings - Oh and plenty of fruit smoothies with mint; those were my favourite.

We went up North to the tropics for A's birthday in January, we had a fantastic 5 days there!  

It was only there in the heat and humidity that the 'all day' sickness took full hold and was very sick.  This pool was outside our room and we spent long, pruney hours in there with the underwater camera.

Here I am at the beach making drip castles - mid February; just days before our world shifted.

We booked a private ultrasound at 12 weeks and were beside ourselves with joy at seeing our little girl, seeing and hearing her heart beating like a galloping horse - it was music to our ears.  

Only when Dr N was measuring the nuchal translucency was there any question about her development.  Results came back to us a day later that was deemed, Elizabeth had a 1 in 31 chance of having Down's Syndrome.  We went back to Dr N that day and underwent a CVS.  The two days it took for initial results to come were very hard (we paid extra to get the FISH results, otherwise it have been 2 weeks before hearing anything).  No, not just 'hard', I think that was the hardest I'd known things to get up until that point!  The not knowing and having to make a decision about our baby girl right there and then; whether we would keep or terminate her if she had Down's?  That was fucking hard looking back, but compared to my pain now at having to live without her - that is nothing.
I digress.  It was also another stark reminder that week, that the ground could disappear beneath our feet; it was Taggpole's due date.  Things were at an all time low, not helped by the fact that my youngest sister was visiting and she just didn't 'get it'.

The phone call we got from Dr N was short and brief; everything was 'normal', our little Elizabeth was chromosomally perfect!  Relief.  We also found out her sex then - we'd had enough surprises by that time.  Now we really did relax, we'd been through the emotional mill and was willing to go with the flow.  I continued will my yoga and swimming which I loved (where I first had Braxton Hicks) and began in ernest to plan for Elizabeth to come into our world.

Pictures from the 19 week ultrasound.  
These were taken from the dvd we got of that scan - it breaks my heart to know that I have moving images of Elizabeth alive...  will I ever watch it again?
 The blissful sound of her heart

At 20 weeks - April 8th, I started to take photos of my growing tummy.
Oh, how I loved to see us grow.

Week 21 - April 14th

Week 22 - April 21st

Elizabeth and I went to see Lamb, where I sang my heart out to the deafening tunes (my favourite song being Gabriel), we went to hear the Dali Lama talk here in Melbourne and we also went back to the UK to visit the families.  We went back by ourselves for the month of May, arriving days before Ma's birthday, where we had a great family gathering and BBQ.

Week 23 - April 30th. At Ma's

 This photo is dear to me.  The cat; Becky was a magnet to Elizabeth, she wouldn't leave us alone.  
She is gone also and this is one of that last photos of her.

Week 24 - May 2nd. At Ma's

It was great to catch up with Ma's side of the family and the sisters and I had a great time!
Family bonding at its best.  I & K

Week 24 - May 5th.  Yeah, not trying to push her out - much!

After spending time with Ma up in Lincolnshire I went down to Deal to visit M and Dad.  On the way past Dover we saw one of the Princess ships in dock (A. had just left working for them, strange to see and not board it) I had been on that one; Capt Bill was the one who took us around the world.

From there M and I went to Gaia House - a silent mediation retreat of 3 days.  I had been there before, such a calm, tranquil place in the middle of the rolling hills of Devon and really touched base with myself.  Gaia house feels like a home to me - I wonder if I'll ever get back there?  I can still remember the noise of the crows when trying to meditating in the hall - so loud and funny!
This is my view from the pagoda.  
At the top of the estate, where the only noise comes from the birds and bleating lambs in the next field.

Week 25 - May 8th
Calm and full of peace, optimism, hope and joy.
This is me living in the moment and loving it.

From there I spent time with Dad and his side of the family - there was a gathering of everyone.  All but four members of the family was there; Myself from Australia, my cousins and new daughter from the California and my Uncle from the Seattle, all there at the same time.

Us all - May 16th.  My cousin standing a person away from me also was pregnant, she had her second son 3 weeks after Elizabeth's birth.  I don't think I'll be able to handle seeing Jacob.

My Auntie B and cousins hand made Elizabeth a fantastic play mat. The hare in the middle is Little Nutbrown Hare, from Guess How Much I Love You All Year Round.  I was so touched by that.  
It is still waiting to be laid out and played on.

I was just such a wonderful time with the family, quality time with everyone and was able to really catch up, over a fantastic feed (pink fluff was made too!).  I couldn't have asked for a better visit with them all.  From Didcot to Angel, London where I was staying with my sisters.  K and I had such fun, we swam, we shopped, we wandered and explored.  St Martin-in-the-Fields concerts were great and again, just spending time with her was awesome.

Week 26 - May 18th.  At K's

Week 27 - May 26th.  At Ma's

Week 28 - June 3rd.  At home again and very happy to have A. back!

Arriving back at home at 7 months pregnant, gave A and I lots of time to go out and get all the necessary (and otherwise) baby paraphernalia.  We were lucky that a Mothercare had just opened a store near by, but it was so easy to buy things for our little girl. Soon the nursery was ready to go, all we needed was the arrival of miss Elizabeth Layne.  I was also busy with practical things to do, making and freezing dozens of home cooked meals, birthing and breast feeding classes, hospital appointments, car seat instillation and buying more cute oneies and ladybug fairy lights.

Week 29 - June 9th

Week 30 - June 16th

Almost week 31 - with a huge packet of my favourite English chocolate, thank you A.
O boy was I eating all the sweet stuff now!

Week 31 - June 23rd

Week 32 - July 2nd

Week 33 - July 7th

Week 34 - July 16th

Week 35 - July 21st

Here is me showing off to K the wonderful sling she made us - filing it with 7lbs of potatoes, thawed ice poles and a banana or two.  I just love the pattern!  She is so talented its so much better than a shop brought one - made for us.

My first knitting project - Elizabeth's Monkey, he has a curly tail with a bell in the end of it.
I just just finished it then, after starting it about 3 months before.

Week 37 - August 4th.  Not sure what happened to week 36's photo.

This week we attended the Winter Ball with A's work collaegues - I wore high heels, a full length, beautiful metallic grey dress and I kick myself for not getting a picture of us dancing.  We met so many lovely people there, some of which had become very close, supportive friends to us both.

Week 38 - August 11th

Getting bigger, slower and a lot more tired.  Feeling Elizabeth move was just awesome - I think I first felt her at 16 weeks and A. felt her a few weeks later.  I will never forget the wonder of that.  She used to try poking my belly button out, with an elbow or heel - it hurt sometimes, but always made me laugh.  We actually used A's stethoscope to hear her heartbeat too - such precious memories.

Week 39 - August 18th

Friday August 21st - 39 weeks and 3 days

This is the last photo we have of us.  I am sleeping in a coffee shop's armchair, I am knackered.  We had to bring the car into the city to get repaired - a lady in a big SUV reversed into our packed car, while we were in a baby shop buying Elizabeth's bassinet mattress.  The car was in for the entire day, we decided to stay in town; it was more bother going home and coming back in to collect it.  So we killed hours in that coffee shop, drinking my favourite Signature Hot Chocolate and falling asleep.   
I remember being so uncomfortable and changing seats countless times in our hours spent there, but A managed to capture this peaceful moment - I couldn't look at this photo for a long time; just wishing with all my might to get transported back to that time and live life from there.  
I always used the name 'Gerty' when asked for my name for my order in that coffee shop - I love that name, but would never use it to name a child of mine - Gerty now represents the girl I was back then; she died too.

Oh how bloody different I'd do things, knowing what I know now.

Later that night my waters would break....