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

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....

Monday, November 15


I am very aware that this space is lacking.  Its lacking Elizabeth's story and the serious thoughts that I have been left with since her birth.  This isn't the only space that I write in, I have the 'Mourning Pages' that I wrote in to begin with and then writing to my dearest friend L.  I'm not worried that there isn't the full story here for anyone to read, its more to do with me looking back and are unable to piece together my full days.
Writing to L is my priority - we 'talk' so much about our everyday struggles, we laugh together, take the micky out of each other - we do this because we can.  We are understood so completely, so fully that there is no hiding behind our grief; we explore the changing aspects of it together.  We support each other, we encourage each other and we are there for each other in this dark and lonely place.   The one person who I don't shy away from on any matter...
I don't mean to take anything away from A, he is my rock, my security blanket and the love of my life - but to tell him all of my inner most private self; all my 'isiums' and idiosyncrasies...  too much.  He would worry, rather than understand and would want to try and fix me - L understands and shares hers, I end up feeling validated and and not quite so bonkers.  I thank you L for being here for me, I am so glad to have met you under such devastating circumstances and I value our friendship enormously.

I'm not quite sure how to continue this...

Lost track of my leading thought and intention for My Space.
So far all that can be seen here, is me thinking around Elizabeth and the grief I am in - my days are mundane, I do a lot of navel gazing.  I guess that is why I found comfort in doing the 30 posts in 30 days - a focus for the white hot jumble of emotions.  I don't feel interesting enough to carry that on now; about 'where I live', or what my days are full of, and I certainly can't see beyond my nose to plan anything of great consequence.  As for my dreams for the next year?  That is simple, I dream of only one thing; a healthy, live baby to bring home with me.  I couldn't care less about the other 'things' in my life right now - its A. and I, and that is all.

A. starts his set of night shifts tonight - that gives me all the time and space to really write.  I really want to write about Elizabeth's pregnancy and eventually her birth story.  I know the latter is going to be tough; reliving that terrifying time and I know I will need those few days undisturbed to get it all out.
Yes, that is a plan I'm going to work towards now - I will have those completed by the end of this week...


Sunday, November 14

Breathing Easier

Operation Pink Flamingo was hard - bloody hard to get into, but I got there and was present with them.  There is no gold medal, or reward for doing so, but no regrets for really trying my best.

It was raining all day, just like it does back in the UK and it took me back in some ways, to the innocent times before I knew all this grief and loss in my life - it seems like such a long time ago, reality tells me it was just a single year and four long months ago.  Can I find a 'rewind button' and go back to that time, can I please go back and have my time with Elizabeth again - even knowing her outcome would be the same?  I just want to hold her again, feel her weight in my arms and whisper how much I love her....
But surely if I could go back, there would also be away I could prevent her slipping from my grasp; that my whole world would be different right now.  I would demand life.

But I digress.  Yesterday I bullied myself to do as much as I possible with them - I even made a batch of rock cakes (they are P's favourite).  I know that I couldn't do more; couldn't offer anymore than I did of me and I hope that was recognised and accepted.

All I wanted to do was close out the world and concentrate on myself - I honestly don't know the reason why, I'm not sure what my leading thought is?  What is the aim of sitting in this chair all day writing? Why do I just write and think and read - to what end; what purpose?  I guess it saves me from dwelling too much, on what I would and should be doing with Elizabeth.  Also serving to distract me form the 'real' world; of jobs, families and friends, as well as the greater things; other peoples war, the poor economy and the destruction of our planet
I read somewhere that grief is a journey, for one to get their head around and accept the fact their loved one is gone, dead and never coming back.  Am I getting any closer to that goal?  I know Elizabeth isn't coming back, but getting my head and more so my heart around that is somewhat harder - its going to take a lifetime from where I'm sitting.

Yes, my head space is a mess.
My environment however is not - I have sorted that aspect out; it is something I can control to a greater extent.

I was totally knackered after my 'normal' day yesterday, just as it is exhausting to run at an other's pace.  I used the day as one huge distraction - after all it is just one day and I know I can tend to my wants the next day, and the day after that and that...
This grief is not going to go away by just ignoring it, to be honest, I didn't ignore it all at, I just changed the face that I put out there.  I was present, to my guests, but also very present to my thoughts of Elizabeth.  The rain helped me with that and I am very grateful.

I am numb now - going to reconnect; to read out Once Upon A Rainbow

Saturday, November 13

The Last Day

Our visitors are leaving late tonight - I can't say that its not a bad thing.  I hate it that I don't want to be around anyone, I especially feel sorry for Ma.  I can lie to myself and not see the hurt in her eyes, not see the distance that has taken over here under my own roof - we spoke more when she was on the other side of the world!  What is wrong with me?!

My layers of skin aren't thick enough to break down in front of known people yet - strangers I couldn't give a hoot about and they, me.  I am a very private person and I feel with such an over whelming intensity that more often than not, I haven't a clue about the what it is I'm feeling... its just there and I react along the path of least resistance.  That is my new mantra if I'm questioning myself, not, what is the best thing for me to do, or what anyone else would expect of me, or even what other 'babylost' people might have done - I'm asking myself what my threshold can take...  No not even that, I'm treating myself like a incapable 12 year old and having the lowest expectations and just taking it from there.

But today is different, I want to pull out all the stops and connect with Ma in real time.  I know that down the line in weeks or even months to come, I'm going to be kicking myself for not doing so when I had the chance - I'll not see her for another year or so and that is if we're lucky.
BUT isn't that selfish of me for the future me?  Why not do this just for her?  Just one day; one selfless day - can I do that, have I got the strength to put myself and Elizabeth away for one day and do what is right?  Can I ignore the longing, the injustice, the pain, the rage of emotions, my empty arms, the quite house, the hushed words, the lack of baby paraphernalia lying around the house?  Can I ignore the fact that Elizabeth is not here?  It makes my heart break and the tears flow, just thinking that is what I have planned for today.  How can I do this, how can I even try to deny my dear sweet baby girl?  I'd be denying me as a mother too - not that I see myself as one....  Just as my Grandma is still my Grandma, she isn't here anymore, but she will always be my Grandma.  This is how I am to continue to mother Elizabeth - shifted to obscurity.

Operation Pink Flamingo (total distraction) is underway today, the mission is to connect with The Mother.  Just writing that says it to me - I've got to open up, connect with the mother in us both, help her understand that its not her that I'm shunning, it just is my way of surviving; my self protection barriers going up.
Why use my strength on her, she doesn't need it to breathe like I do?  I know she grieves for my daughter, probably grieves for me; her daughter that she sees as so very different now.
That is why it is called a selfless act - doing the right thing.

Round and round a circle, like a teddy bear....

The spiral continues and I get nowhere fast.  I will take the day as it presents itself. I will try not to just react to others, and make my own actions.  It will be interesting how things pan out during the day, to see how the self imposed pressure eases (PMA).  Fingers crossed all will be well.

It is pouring hard here and a great deal of comfort is in that alone
Thinking of you L and our dear babies

Friday, November 12

Day Whatever

Yeah, I know I started it the 30 posts in 30 days - I make no excuses, this is my place and I should do just what I damn well want to...

I found the 'why not me' post, I was wrong in thinking it was a Glow post - but I found it.
Read it again.

I too used to think I was lucky, no more than that, I thought I'd made my own luck; I lived a blessed life.  This life that everyone envied, I fitted the 'perfect life mould', everyone said so and I truly did count my lucky stars.
I took what life had to throw at me and I landed on my feet.
I was young, fit and healthy.
I met and married a handsome, gentle and very smart man who makes me a better person.
I traveled the world quite literally; was able to feed that passion through work and later, through A's work.  The work I did love - it payed for the travels and allowed me to drop everything and go.
We followed a dream to live here in Australia and I love where I live, there is nothing I could want.
My friends are fantastic support, I am honoured to know them and call them so.
I loved my family and we're all very close and there are no silly feuds.
I'd had not known death, of family, of a loved one....
Until now.

No one will ask me how many children I have, it is clear on the outside I have none. I am a new face; not familiar, not known to anyone - so why would anyone bother to ask me why the long face, why the unsure eye contact and a sadness surrounding me like a thick black veil.
I want to say her name out loud; 'Elizabeth, my beautiful daughter....  She died'.  I want her recognised for the little girl she'll never be, the wayward teen, the young woman, the wife, mother, grandma that will never be.  Mostly I want them to know she was here and I love her.

The world is unfair. Why me?  Why Elizabeth?  Why Taggpole?  Why us?  Why our family?
They are of course unanswerable and unrelenting.  But I didn't have to come to the conclusion of 'why not me?' by myself.  I stumbled on it and it did speck to me - why not me?

Why did I think I had been singled out to suffer this?  We are all the same, living with what life throws at us, trying to survive and do the best by ourselves - I am no better than anyone else in that respect.  I came to the conclusion that everything is random.

I didn't pray to the wrong God
There is no 'grand plan' to anything
There is no rightful 'order' of things
There is no karma
There is no fate
Horoscopes, superstitions are utter crap
There are no magic falling stars to grant wishes
There is no lucky four leaf clover to find
I didn't break mirrors
There is no playing by the right set of rules - who rules are they anyway?
And I've certainly not got the fallout from failings in other areas of my life

We can only control so much of our lives - the rest is random.  That is what I've got to get my head around and accept; why not me?

Then the helplessness of it all comes back to hit me full force in the chops...

Wednesday, November 10

Streams of conscious while out and about - usually hiding in plane sight.

I have been in Sydney, a getaway of sorts for A. and I.  And we did have fun, we did laugh and enjoy the sunshine, almost as much as we loved the rain, hail and storms that surrounded us there.  I had a hard time coming back, coming back down from a cloud where there was only a distant memory of a long lost daughter - boy did that crash landing hurt.

So, I will get on my 'blog hat' back on soon - maybe once our visitors leave at the end of the week.  Be assured though, I'll be back with the full explosive head mess that is my thoughts.  For now be pacified with these notes, taken from my pad - Streams of conscious while out and about - usually hiding in plane sight.

Thursday November 5th, from the Corner Shop window

Is today a good day?
I feel almost normal - the old me
I feel so very distant from my dear
Am I forgetting her and moving forward?

I feel guilty for having these lucid moments
these moments where the world is at rights
where I rejoice at the warm of the sun
bright skies and rhythm of it all

I have missed feeling this way
she almost feels foreign, a stranger
but I look into my heart, I see the 'ugly shoes'
they are still firmly there; painful, misshapen and bloody
I hate these shoes!

But I can't help but love them also
its the only connection I have
my scare of honour; my specialised subject

I wouldn't have it any other way, sweet Elizabeth
you are in my life - in my heart forever
I won't deny you, I won't deny these 'ugly shoes'
because I choose them, they are my grief

Elizabeth you aren't the pain in my heart, this grief is
Elizabeth you are my love, my memories and I cherish them
Elizabeth you are the future I long for

I am not alone looking for you in the bright colours
always remembered precious girl

I love you


Darling Elizabeth
You are safe within me
I keep you in my heart
No bad can harm you there
You'll always be here
I'll always be here
This is where you reside
We'll always be together
We'll meet again, sweet Elizabeth

He can always me laugh
He is original and authentic
He is my man, my partner, my mate
He is my life-line, my life preserver
He is so very handsome
He is my love
He is my lover, my friend
He is your father, Elizabeth


From the next day, again in the window of the Corner Shop

Why is it at night, when I an at rest
that the mice are running about, running amok?
But why is it that I think my lucid thoughts,
my best and most thoughtful thoughts then?

There is no distraction in the darkness
Under my eyelids and the stillness of nighttime
I wish all my days were nights
the clarity without meditation....

Saturday 7th at Sydney airport

Why am I feeling changed?
Why do I feel so far away from you?
Why so detached, why so distant?

I've only been away three nights
how have things changed so much?
Why do I feel normal, yet so wrong?
The pain is in my heart; its just...  Different
Its not at the front on my mind
I don't like it!

It seems my 'life' has taken over
there isn't reminders at every turn
her photo to glance at, to touch and talk to

I have been distracted from my grief
She's not forgotten, but she's not the first thought
I hate myself for getting on with things
for enjoying the sunshine and holiday atmosphere

I miss you Elizabeth
11 weeks and 2 days since your birthday
We would be inseparable

I don't know you my dearest sweet Elizabeth
All those dreams I had of us, ripped from me
Our family gone, just leaving a couple in love
Just two - we should be a family of four

I am lost, broken and at odds with the world again
This is familiar, these feels are known, safe
It shows me you were here, my love for you burns
and rips through me with a rage of not having you here
I won't give up these 'ugly shoes' - they fit
and I wear them with pride, dear Elizabeth


Here I find you're more real
where I let myself feel you
All the horror around your birth
The all encompassing love too

I calm myself with you my sweet Elizabeth
I stroke your soft, silky hair
I smell that floral scent
I see your beautiful, peaceful face
I feel your cool, waxy skin, I try to warm you
with holding you close, with my tears, with my kisses

I want your skin to blush, to look anything but pale
I want to see your lips plump
I want to see you move, to breath, to open your eyes
I want to you to be alive, sweet baby girl
I want to you to be our future, my future and your fathers

I love you 
I am reconnected to you

Friday, November 5

Day 23 - A You.Tube video that makes you laugh

Hitchcock's Ninja Cat comes closer without moving

Being creative today, the glue, coloured paper and scissors are out - just considering the glitter!?
The music is on and the weather is warm - things are good today - distraction at its best.

Thursday, November 4

Day 22 - A website that had been meaningful since your loss

At the moment my head is in the sand, in regards to everything.
I hardly go out.
I don't watch TV.
The only music I listen to is my 'Best Of All' playlist, no radio, no news.
Papers don't interest me at all and the gossip magazine I have delivered weekly is glanced at and chucked, hopefully not catching my  eye to any of the 'famous' pregnancies that they are filled with.  

The only reason I found out the terrible news of  Lily Allen's baby boy, was looking at the various topics of my life-line, Glow In The Woods.  Glow is the place I look to after I have read my e-mail and before I get out of bed in the morning.   I like to lurk on the forums, learn form others and have rarely commented.  I love the discussion board.  That is the key for me, to think out of 'woe is me - my baby died' and to think and really search of meanings in other directions.  Glow is a life-line, another perspective, other ways of thinking and drawing the best from a really, really fucking shit time in my life.

I know that I wouldn't have made important connections, if I was not looking there and these connection are even more of a life-line to me.  I have 'heard' other voices and follow them to there own blogs, I have made very good friends - this community is awesome to say the least.
I have currently six tabs open that I'm reading right now, four of those are Glow topics - I am trying to lap up so much information, so many back stories.  There is so much to think about, these avenues opened to me and are in need of exploring - I can't and won't rush these things, I need time to think on these new ways to see things, I need time to see if I can use tools to help me along this path.

But today I am feeling off, I have spent the best part of the day cleaning (it really does get on my nerves and can't settle if there are dust bunnies roaming around) and am having difficulty thinking and writing - I need to think on my baby Elizabeth, all the 'woe is me', reconnect with her and stop distracting myself with menial tasks....

My beautiful girl - oh, how I'm missing you xxxxxxx

Wednesday, November 3

Music for my soul

This piece of music really touches my heart and to have Arvo Part explaining what his music means, is just so moving.  To see his emotion while he plays 'Alina'.  His explanations is of a complicated path, of two people who's paths cross... almost.  I can't say that I understand his explanations totally, but I know what it means to me, him talking about the tiny simple things in life and how they move together to form this beauty.  Such a simple piece of music, so gentle and elegant.  With Arvo's explanations I think if Elizabeth, how our paths didn't quite make it together; we didn't meet.  Her life was too short... but the memories of her will be with me for all of my lifetime - as if they lasted an entire life.

Listening to Arvo Part talk about 'Alina' spoke to me, I just wanted to share that here.

Day 21 - A recipe

Oh, now I do have some really nice recipes.

When pregnant with Elizabeth I was so turned off food, all cooking smells would just make me want to hurl!  Especially onions, the worse thing about cooking with onions was the chopping; the smell would linger on my fingers for days - I kid you not!  I had a nose like a blood hound, every smell was heightened; onions my particular enemy.  Anyway, I could cook things only once, the after smell was too much to bare doing again, so I got through many recipes and cold meals, only to be totally off all those cooked meals once the 'all-day' sickness had run its course.

I had to come up with new ways to eat good nutritious food, but in a bland way that I could actually eat.  It goes without saying that I was taking the antenatal multi vitamins, to fill in all the gaps that my diet was missing - I'd like to think that I did okay though. I was totally off the sweet things until the 3rd trimester, then I'd just want to eat lots of green fresh things and sweet chocolatey things.

One of my favourites was a vegetable bake - cram as much veggies, with mushrooms, chicken or some sort of protein into a baking dish and whack on a cheesy white sauce -  with more cheese on top and bake.  I'd put sprouts, broccoli, peas, courgette, sweetcorn, green beans, runner beans, then potato and sweet potato - not all in the one mind you, but I'd cook a few of them up and freeze them.  I'd make a big vat of white sauce using wholemeal flour - it seemed that I couldn't stand white things; pasta, bread, cakes...  still turns my tummy now.
Anyway, it was also summer here for the first half of my pregnancy, so I had a lot of non-smelly salads and bland stir fries.  I didn't much like meat either, a bit of chicken sometimes - I still don't eat a lot of it now - One thing I couldn't do without, and that is bacon!  Ah, the toe curling smells of crispy bacon!!

Anyway, I digress.  The recipe.  This is my favourite, sweet thing to make right now - the chocolate brownie.

I love making these, because they are so good to eat raw, while making them and once baked.  I must admit that I have never used melted chocolate in loo of milk or water before!!

250g unsalted butter
200g dark chocolate - 70% cocoa solids
75g roughly chopped walnuts
80g cocoa powder, sifted
65g plain wholemeal flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
360g caster sugar
4 large free-range eggs

Preheat oven to 180'C/350'F/gas mark 4
Line a 25cm square baking tin with grease proof paper
Melt butter and chocolate in bain-marie - once smooth add the walnuts
In a separate bowl mix dry ingredients together, then add to chocolate mixture - stir together well
Beat the eggs and mix until you have a silky consistency
Pour mixture into the lined baking tray and bake for 25 minutes

You don't want to over cook them, they should be slightly springy on the outside, but still gooey in the middle.  Allow to cool in the tray and then transfer to chopping board to cut into chunky squares.

Enjoy!  I do, but now I have to have a good excuse to make them - I was getting through far too much butter and that was a sickening thought to be honest....

Anyone have a birthday coming up?

Tuesday, November 2

Day 20

A hobby and how has it changed?

Erm....  Drawing up blank again.

I have a fancy, all singing, all dancing camera - it hasn't been out of its case in a long while.
Andy and I went around the world on a cruise, it was a trip of a lifetime and I snapped everything that didn't move, I loved taking photos and came back home with thousands.  I wanted to upgrade the computer program that I was using to get the best out of those photos - all I managed to do was screw up my exsiting program and bundle all those thousands of photos into one album.  I tried, oh, did I try!  I pulled my hair out and I eventually gave up.  All those photos are on a hard drive, in a basket sitting along side all electrical item not used - wasted... but still there waiting for me.
I should start again, if I can't get anything out of the photos that I did take, then I should at least take more, keep track of us now.

I did knit Monkey while expecting Elizabeth, my first knitting project and it took me months!

Okay his ears are wonky and he's a little over stuffed, but I made him for my baby girl.  He has a curly tail with a bell at the end of it and I'm going to find some red velcro to put on his hands and feet.  It will forever be Elizabeth's Monkey and will sew a 'heart tag' on his bottom to show this.  All Elizabeth's toys I'll do this for and they'll all be handed down to another baby, when that happens (PMA) and I find comfort in knowing that Monkey will be played with one day.

I knitted Andy a huge winter scarf, with tassels in the middle of making Monkey.  I have brought wool for a hat that I'll make for Kayla's birthday next month, but have yet to start that, or even look at the pattern - it looks daunting.

I had actually brought material to make Elizabeth a tree.  I had it all planned.  It was to be a hanging for her room, a big blue cloth sky and the tree, I'd knit the trunk and some big branches, sewing the rest in with wool.  I'd make all the green leaves individually out of felt and then made the Autumn leaves too that I could swap around with the changing seasons.  I'd make bugs and a nest with birds, and a swing to put in the tree and there would be this great rainbow over it all.  Rainbows would be the 'theme' in her room and bright colours.  Her light fitting was a yellow globe signifying the sun, a flying gull attached to the ceiling and she had a green rug on the wooden floor - why am I using the past tense?  These things are all still there in her room, its just that Elizabeth isn't here anymore.

I do still want to make these things, I will ask my artistic mother to help me draw her tree out, that is a start and I know I will want to continue to work on it once it is started.


It has been awhile since I started this blog now and I have hardly told any of Elizabeth's story.  I realise that her birth is her story and I am steering away from that; it was traumatic for me and have only written about it once in my 'Morning Pages' or 'Mourning Pages' as I'll be calling them from now onward.

I guess this blog has been very disjointed, I'm doing the 30 posts in 30 days and that is my starting block, to see if I really want to continue and to see if I get any benefit from all this writing and navel gazing.  I am writing a lot more that I am posting here to be honest; my dear friend L and I are exchanging many mails and I am taking great comfort with our connection, mutual understanding, support and friendship.  Rightly so they take president over my writing here.

I will try and bring this blog up to speed once the 30 posts are completed.  I want to have a complete picture of my feelings, thoughts and actions on this path that I've found myself travelling.  I also want the memories down here, in their entirety - I do have the time, I just wanted to make that intention real.  This place is for me and all my feelings and the 30 posts has enabled me to focus the often raging torrent of emotions.  It has only been 10 weeks and two day since Elizabeth has come into our lives, I'm still finding my way in the darkness and find that sometimes just thinking about the unfairness of it all far too over whelming - so I write around her.

Monday, November 1

Day 19 - taken from todays notes

A Talent of yours?

So what talent do I have?
I don't think I have one to be honest

I can't sing, or play an instrument
I have no great sporting prowess
I am not a mathematical genius
And I really don't have an artistic bone in my body
I am no clairvoyant
I can't perform magic
I am not multilingual
I don't even have a job, the ones I have had were just that; jobs that you learn and progress in.

I know A. finds my 'dancing' eyebrows cool - I can move them independently from each other.  Talent says to me that it is something that I'm born with - a natural aptitude or skill.

My self worth has taken a massive hit.
It has made me question everything I do and reevaluating it.
Has me questioning my life, what I've done with my life and what is left for me to work with - I'm coming up blank.


I am lost.

I am sitting in a window watching the world go by.  It is busy and there are a lot of bumps, prams and happy families to watch - they are all in the 'game of life', and me I'm just an observer, sitting here on the sidelines, watching, waiting for my turn again.  Am I just talking about being pregnant again?  Yes, No.  I want what I should have, what was whipped away from me - I should be living that life, I should have my dear Elizabeth strapped to my chest in her Baby Bjorn.

I am hating this world right now, I just want to run away from it all - I didn't sign up for this, this wasn't in my plan; my wants and wishes for this life.

Streams of Conscious

I hate the fact that I'm hating myself
I hate this persistent lump in my throat
I hate these tears always wanting to fall
I hate the pain that is my life blood now

There is nothing I can take for this pain
It courses through my every fibre, every thought

I hate that I can't function
I hate the fact that alone is the best
I hate that I see 'life' as a distraction
I hate that I need this isolation for my own
I hate that there is no one else to talk with

I don't want to talk to anyone
I must have understanding
I hate explaining what they can never comprehend
I hate the fact that that I haven't got my baby girl
I am so lost without her


Why can't I talk?
Its not just me and her
I don't want him to see me cry
I don't want him to share my emotion
There is no talking to the 'ugg man'

She doesn't understand
She's not delved deep
I don't expect her to
Elizabeth wasn't her daughter
I am

This is their holiday
'Don't expect too much from me
I am lost without her
I am broken, I am alone
I'm not just your daughter now
I'm a mother without her baby

I am only understood by those lost
I only understand words from the lost
It is all my world is - lost
It is all I gravitate to - the lost
I am lost
We are lost
Elizabeth is lost


And I am back to hating everything again

I hate the fact that the sun still shines
The stars still twinkle
The moon still rises
The tides still come and go

Why has the world dumped me off?
Why does it still turn without me?
Why does life still go forward?
Why am I the odd one out?

I am a freak
I'm a mother - I have no child here
I know a mother's love
My baby girl would be 10 weeks and a day old
And I am nothing
I am broken