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

Thursday, September 29

Hello Kitty

I had to share this photo from last week. I was visiting a great friend who had just brought a new kitty (named 'Hello Kitty' by the kids) that was 6 weeks old and was helping the kids to get adjusted to her. My heart melted as I'm totally a cat person and grew up with cats and kittens all my life and she is just a wiry tailed ball of fuzzy, mewing energy! Well HK was just so pooped after her first day at her new digs that she fell asleep purring on Amelia's bottom.  Melted heart and just wanted to take her home, she is just so adorable!!
34 weeks & 4 days - September 23rd with Hello Kitty

Laughing Out Load

I've not laughed that hard for a long time - A said he'd forgotten what my hysterical laughter sounded like and yesterday afternoon it felt good!

Silly really, but aren't the greatest if things?

We were returning from the city at half three, but it looked like it was 6 going on 7pm. The dark brooding clouds ladened with so much rain, thunder and lightening and it all kicked off just as we were leaving the cafe we'd settled in.  It did happen to be lovely, warm and sunny when A. left for teaching at silly o'clock that morning, so he didn't even have his jacket let alone a brolly - I did however.

What had me in stitches (and when I think of it now, makes me smirk still) was the fact that we were trying to walk fast (a hard feat considering the almost constant BH) A. almost dragging me with his arm around me, my arm around his waist holding on to the his waist of his jeans, A. clutching his bag to his side (full of text books and paperwork) and myself holding the brolly. It's a good brolly that you can see through as it is more of a long dome shape rather than a shell on a stick. The rain was coming down at us from the side and wow was it pouring! Anyway, I could see where we were going so I was steering him from the waist and with the brolly as his head up in the spines, shouting out to 'jump' this puddle or this way, or that way...

It got to the stage where the rain was coming from his direction so heavily,  I was pulling the brolly downward to make him more my height he is 6 foot 4 and I'm 5 foot 6)  and so the brolly was protecting me a little more. The puddles where getting bigger and deeper, the rain harder and the wind stronger, all the while trying to watch the skies for the flash of electric pink lightening forks and marvelling at the racket of it all.

At that point I just found our situation hilarious - myself almost 9 months pregnant being hurried along by her soaked husband who is almost doubled over under this ridiculously girly umbrella (clear with blue polka dots) - and you know when you're laughing so hard you can't catch your breath, your eyes scrunch up, you can't say whats going on; A. thought I was in pain or some sort of trouble!

We got home eventually half carrying each other and looking like we'd been swimming backward with everything on, but we did look like we enjoyed it - my tummy ached, I woke Amelia up rudely only to get her feet caught in my ribs. As A. remarked, that was the first time I remember having a fit of the hysterics since Elizabeth's birth; and it really did feel wonderful!


I thought this would be a great time to tell a little of the nurturing corner in this crazy world I've made for myself, and by that I mean when I'm being good to myself. I sum this up with my favourite drink; the Signature Hot Chocolate.

Lets first set the scene...

The cafe is in the centre of the city, on one of the busiest crossroads where the pavements are almost as wide as the road itself - it is usually full of people rushing, plodding and wandering about their business.
To get to this place I walk 25 minutes (it used to only take about 15) to the train station where this journey into the city takes 10 minutes and then have another walk depending on where I get off.
The days I head into the city are usually when I have a hospital appointments to attend, which are just out of the city centre, so I usually get to the cafe before the lunchtime rush after those morning appointments. On route from the hospital I stop off at the big indoor market and get myself a wonderful snack, fresh out of the oven, two dollar and 50 cents worth of deliciousness; a 10 inch hot spinach and cheese borek. I walk to the cafe devouring this slowly, taking my time doing so and it is usually eaten up a block before I get to the cafe.

So this SHC isn't the smallest, nor is it the biggest by far, but I do have it with skimmed milk, no whipped cream or marshmallows - thank you very much. I find myself somewhere in the window to sit and have gotten lucky enough to find a foot stool near by on some occasions.
I take my drink and get myself comfy, my puffer jacket behind my back, ipad and phone out; only then do I have a sip. The first sip is the best, I get the cooler, frothy chocolaty milk, the hit of sweetness that is so needed after the savoury borek. That first velvety sip is closely followed with another and I savour the slight heaviness of the drink; it's not too sweet, not too chocolaty, not too milky - it is just prefect for me. I could sip at that drink for an hour, if only it could be kept at the right temperature to last that long. I sit back enjoying the chocolate taste sensation, watching the people pass my window, wondering what they are all about - today it was stormy after a bright and sunny start, so looking and sniggering at people's summer attire while it's bucketing it down was amusing to say the least!

After the first finger full I open my ipad and make a start on the emails, I guess that is why some are disjointed; I'm too focused on the chocolaty goodness I'm sipping (or maybe its just my sieve-headness?). I'm in the flow of the SHC and during those first sips nothing else much matters; I am watching and thoughts of 'where I am' are far from me.

At this time I'm feeling warm and fuzzy inside, I'm reading the kind words of anothers to me and imparting stored up emotions and feelings of my own onto the blank page - cathartic doesn't quite do it justice really. I am feeling nurtured by this little routine I have surrounding the SHC, I'm doing me some good, I'm being kind and gentle and giving myself a treat. I'm taking time out for me, I'm not rushing, I don't have to be anywhere and can watch the rest of the world charging by the window - this is my piece of calm in the mad, mad world and I just want to get this down here, make a mental note of how good it's been for me to carve it out. I'm not sure how many more I'll get in the future after Miss Amelia arrives, so am really savouring every moment sat in this window...

Tuesday, September 20

4 Weeks Today

In just 28 days we'll be holding Amelia in our arms.

That is a broad statement that covers all bases really. By that time we'll see her face for sure; whether she comes earlier or how she is born and of course if she lives through that birth.

That realisation is exciting to us both; to know her birth date, to have that goal to work and look forward to. We didn't have that with Elizabeth, we were always on tender hooks to be vigilante for signs of impending labour and that took away from the fact that we were about to have our baby - and that in turn held me back from seeing Elizabeth as our baby; I was more concerned with the end of my pregnancy and thought we'd have the rest of our lives to get to know each other...

It is quite a sobering thought to know that Amelia is coming, our baby daughter will (hopefully, fingers crossed that all goes according to plan) be born in 4 weeks - I see her as our baby and that is new and exciting for me.

I still can't think beyond her birthday, heading into the hospital, getting booked in, but anything after that it's just far too abstract for me to really visualise. I can imagine an alive Amelia (I still have that wonderful dream to look back on), but I also have last years memories of her big sister to flood my mind. Those are bitter sweet memories, for they are my only ones of Elizabeth that I cherish, but conversely they are so heart wrenchingly painful to put myself back there. I have time still to work up to that, or I can just let things happen and take it as it comes - I know her birth and all thereafter is going to be the most bitter sweet moments of my life - but how do you prepare for something like that?

On a more practical level I have given myself these next two weeks to myself, I'll concentrate on getting things sorted for Amelia in the last two weeks before her arrival. That should be plenty of time to get items washed, sorted, organised and in working order - I really should make a list so those things so they aren't running around in my head. That is started now and I feel like I'm accomplishing things just by that small act of list writing.

Something really quite stupid knocked me off kilter yesterday and the feeling hasn't dispersed yet. Yesterday was the first really warm (if not hot) day we've had this half of the year and that 'something' brought a sense of deja vu - not a nice one either. It kind of hit me that I was dreading something; like I had assignments due in the next day at school and hadn't yet started it. I can't think of what to pin that feeling on; why is it still here?

I spoke to the 'harsh words' lady last night - she initiated the exchange of information, and that was all it was from me really. I just can't open up to her, I still hold much bitterness. I can hear how she is trying, I feel sorry for her in that respect, but can't/won't do much to lessen that effort on her part - she will have to do better to make a mends with me for the way she treated me.

My heart feels so sensitive to others pain right now. I am emotional and the slightest thing gets it aching - hormones I suspect.

I'm going to pull My Space off the Internet - I need to write freely and can do so knowing that others won't be reading - I'm not sure if I'll put it back up after this phase; no one really reads all the past posts and I really want to share Amelia's arrival and all the rest of it.

Written on the 15th - I Love My OB & Update

That must be said firstly I do love her, Penny is amazing.

Why? Yesterday I had the first 'tightenings' since being discharged 5 weeks ago. Luckily I was at another appointment (Dr Thyroid) and had my 'safetly net' form with me that Penny gave me at my last appointment (CTG, AFI & Doppler) with the instructions to use it 'whenever'. Long story short; I was getting the 'tightenings' (BH is easier to write) maybe three times in a ten minute block and by the time I'd been seen by the physician I was into the third hour like that.
CTG all good. AFI 11.6 - all good. Doppler on her umbilical cord showed brilliant blood flow and my little wriggler was doing her thing. But when it came to why I was actually there (BH) no one addressed that and assumed that the monitoring that had been done was enough to put my mind at rest. The nurses there at the Day Care Unit don't know me in fairness and all the doctors are on a different team (different day, different team on clinic duties) and I didn't want a repeat of 5 weeks ago with being admitted for a two night stay. A. wasn't with me and I just got very emotional. I felt like a complete idiot for that (or was I made to feel that way?), but it's not something you can control at those times...

Anyway the BH were getting less and I just wanted out of there, but that was only once the Dr on call had listened to my concerns and reassured me enough - I had an appointment booked with Penny the following day anyway.
I couldn't believe how that made me feel to be honest; to lose it like it did because no one would actually listen to me and my anxiety, they had to call the doctor to do that. I decided that I have to put myself aside, no matter how foolish I felt; I had to put Amelia's well being first.

On seeing Penny this morning I have come away feeling as light as a feather and fully assured that I did the right thing. She spent over an hour talking with me, doing tests (fFN - Fetal fibronectin test to see if labour will start in the next 7-10 days - negative, phew) having a look at Amelia via ultrasound (saw her smile and swallowing with her eyes closed, as well as lots of cord floating in lots of space), writing out more 'safety net' forms and letting me know her personal experiences with BH and how she thinks it could be a precursor to early labour. I was a totally different person leaving the hospital today, a spring in my step and feeling the lightest I have all week.

I just can't express how lucky I am feeling to have Penny as my OB.

Pregnancy Update

33 weeks and 4 days
33 weeks - September 12th
How am I doing physically?
Not bad at all considering really; a bit achy in the belly, but have been taking it easy - if I'm walking faster than a sedate pace I get BH, if I get up quickly I get them; so I'm not wanting to push it.
Up till now I've had a pretty busy week, made all the more so with the fact that I've not been wanting to spend time in my own head - distraction rules and that means getting out of the house most of the day. The awesome side effect from all this 'doing' is that I'm sleeping like a log (no matter how many times I get up to use the loo). I am also managing the smaller capacity tummy well now; my eyes are far bigger than it, so least I'm not getting so very uncomfortable after each meal/snack/SHC.

And emotionally?
I am feeling a lightness that I've not felt for awhile. Amelia is staying put and is happy in here. Relief also that I'd been taken seriously and had my anxiety addressed and validated by the wonderful Penny. Prior to this morning I've been feeling quite strung out, very quite, emotionally sensitive, exhausted and very uninterested in everything. I hope that blip is done with now, and I know not to push myself too hard.

Hospital appointments and clinical
Penny goes away for holidays for two weeks, so will see her in three. I have a 'safety net' for next week and am seeing a trusted and primed colleague the following week - that will take me up to 36 weeks when I see her again! Did I mention we had our c-section date through?!

Who the hell cares - it's not important today.

Sweet things and fresh, green things. Tuna and a good few SHCs.

Plans & Preparations
I've been out of the house and so haven't gotten anywhere with sorting out the 'girls room', not even mentally. Starting to think of Amelia as a little baby now, not just as  the little being growing in my tum. Getting excited? Dare I hope to.

Written on the 13th - Where Am I?

Well that one in part is easy - I'm in the city sat in a coffee shop with a SHC looking out and down on to the busy street below, while taking particular notice of the 'cat's danglers' tree with it's new and small leaves and 'danglers' sprouting.

The harder part of me knows that I avoided the question. The question I'm writing about is what am I feeling inside right now, that is why this post may or may not get posted...

But on that note I'm going to be selfish right now and use my blog to vent, which was basically the reason why I set this space up - for myself, my sanity; it is a place where I should feel no pressure to write or 'say' anything in particular, a place where I can just let go of all the thoughts, feelings and emotions that I'm feeling - to have it all in one place for me to maybe go back later to see just how far I've come.  Somewhere along the line I found a pressure to conform (conform to a norm in the BLM world?), to take my writing queues from others, and that in turn hid what was really festering underneath my skin. Don't get me wrong, sometimes I have needed to take others perspective and to open myself up to that, but not to the detriment of my own.

I have felt that it is necessary to hide much of my pregnancy, my thoughts and feelings about it because it is a sensitive subject out there. I try not to alienate and maybe down play things - but hold on, this is the biggest head fuck there is going; I need this space to get it all off my chest, more so than ever now that things are coming to a head.

Hmm, I'm considering taking this off the web and just keeping it for myself, saying exactly what I want - but what of all the friendships I've made here; I don't just want to disappear, these connections have been a life line to me and there is something to be said for feeling 'normal' within this world and having your feelings validated by those who comment.

Where am I going with this?
Fuck knows.

I make no apologies, no excuses for my words; they are here to please no one but myself, to get them out of my head and down somewhere safe so they're not rattling around up there. I always had a journal in the years gone by that I would only truly write in when things were bad, blue or looking quite glum - I've never needed this more in the here and now. I write to stop the cycle of spinning that my thoughts take; it's a vent, a way to put focus to my thoughts and to put understanding to them - I 'talk' myself around into feeling better in some ways. Writing for me is for my mental well being. I do continue to write in other places; Elizabeth's journal and one I started when I first found out I was pregnant carrying Amelia. I also really write my head and heart in most emails - I can't help but wonder what will happen when I run out of time to do that; when Amelia is born.

Enough about me explaining why this post is the way it is and to get on with the venting/'talking' myself around...

The trigger for this 'blip'; the thing I want to get off my chest the most is the fact that my sister in law has just told us she is 14 weeks pregnant. I have only one SIL and she is the one who has had a terrible time of late with her husband (long story short - first boyfriend, got married, had daughter after 5 years. She wanted more, he said no for 4 years. Meanwhile he had (having?) a 2 year affair and there is a baby due this month from that). They are staying together for their daughter, from the little SIL has been writing to me there is zero trust, respect or confidence in the future, mainly to his actions once the other baby is born.
The word that springs into my mind is irresponsible (well all I hear is screaming). How could she let that happen; bring a child into such an uncertain family? I know this world is just so uncertain anyway, but to willingly bring a child into such circumstances that you do have control over? My mind is reeling and just can't get over it - every precious child needs it all; the love from both parents, stability, safety, a trust they are in a secure place where bitterness, mistrust, resentment, anger, betrayal, hurt and denial are not known to them. My feelings run so deep about this - I just wish there was no poor children messed up with all this affair; it makes me so sad, maybe mixed with disappointment and a dash of anger too. It goes without saying how many people/families I know of who are struggling with loss and infertility - do I really need to write the obvious?


This morning I received our c-section date - so much for electives being on a Friday! Ours is the following Tuesday which will put us at 38 weeks and a day and I am happy with that and am excited to have this date now. I'm actually quite relieved that it's not on the Friday before to be honest; we get to have a last lazy weekend together; maybe go away doing something special as I'm sure we'll have everything as ready as it's going to be well in advance. That Friday is a dear BLMs graduation that we weren't thinking we'd make, but I will get to wear that beautiful summer dress I brought not so long ago (and to be honest that is the cherry on top of the cake that we get to make his graduation; we're both really quite chuffed about that). Also the Saturday is the Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day that we will be giving ourselves over to - I remember so clearly the powerful feelings of lighting our candles at 7pm in the 'wave of light' last year and intend to honour that time again this year too. I do think those four days between the Friday and Tuesday are going to be the longest four days in history for us both...

Provided everything goes according to plan.

The anxiety is climbing now; so close (5 weeks today) and yet so bloody far. As I mentioned in the Pumpkin Pages, anxiety is not known to me in an everyday capacity and it's really letting the punches roll now. Car accidents, umbilical cord accidents, falling accidents, accidents and more are running through my head at the most unsuspecting moments - it really takes a great deal of my energy to get my head around them and knock them into touch.

I am being very self absorbed - for one reason or another I don't have the scope of emotion to take on anything outside of me and mine in everyday life. If it's not rearranged on my iCal then it doesn't figure in my thinking. And my calendar is quite full; meeting or visiting friends, a remembrance walk, hospital appointments, an evening at the ballet, group meetings and the incidental appointments. Oh, taking the car into be serviced was one of those things that triggered a lot of stress for me; the last car service was the day my waters broke! These things just knock me sideways.

Then there was the Father's Day weekend and that fell on the date that we lost Taggpole two years ago - I didn't realise how that had knocked me down until picking myself up again. It maybe just the tiredness, hormones, the residual head cold or the fact that I seem to be out of sync with everything.

Family matters are okay. I have spoken to them since Elizabeth's birthday and didn't give the 'harsh words' lady a chance to bring up her past fuck up, just keeping things light and simple. My father is in India and my sister is getting quite excited about her visit coming up in November - I had to be honest and say that I couldn't think of anything further than Amelia's arrival; she understands and that started a whole conversation of what Auntie Kayla will be like with Amelia, it was good to hear and share her confidence.
The out laws are wanting to book tickets to come out and visit next year before they move back to the UK. I haven't addressed that with them intentionally; I mean how can I say that I don't want to have them here nicely? There seems to be an unspoken truce between A. and I that we don't talk of this, but saying that I did stipulate that he was to take time off to entertain them.

I hate A's new working hours; they are supposedly sociable hours of 8am-6pm, but with a commute and theatre lists running over it is more like 6am-7pm. He only has two weekends to work in this 3 month period and he doesn't have nights to do - but I feel as if we don't get anytime together and the weekends are spent catching up on sleep and other such stuff which I don't count as quality time. When he was working shifts he was actually working longer hours, but his time off seemed longer too; three full days a week.

5 weeks
34 days
830 hours
49,842 minutes
2,990,533 seconds

That is all that is going around my head right now; the c-section date.

I almost cried at my OB, Penny at our last appointment on Thursday; she gave me a form for anytime monitoring ('safety net' forms). I was getting concerned that she'd just want to continue to see me every two weeks and hadn't mentioned any other monitoring to me at all. I was so relived, not to mention the fact that she indulged me again with another ultrasound just to have a look at Amelia - didn't matter the day before we'd had our level 2 scan. I am so very lucky to have Penny as our OB.

Monday, September 5

Since Elizabeth's Birthday

Where to start?

All in all it was just a beautiful day - much more than the first real warm day of spring. It is hard to explain, but there was no sorrow about the day, there was a lot of reflecting, lots of hugs and smiles, lots of talking of Elizabeth and so much love in our hearts. That was my main aim for the day; to hold my beautiful Elizabeth in my heart, to revel in that love that her mere presence opened up to me. Yes, there was some tears when I just couldn't contain them anymore - when I was watching those final rays of sunlight dipping below the horizon, I was saying our goodbye again...
And then I thought about the sun coming up again tomorrow and the next day, then the next and things were put back into perspective once again.

Elizabeth is always going to be with me, I've not lost her. We have a future (not the one I ever envisioned, but a future none the less), we have this now and we have some very, very fond memories to look back on. And those memories won't stop there, I'm making them all the time - the most recent being the sunrise/set photos. Friends and family have overwhelmed us with their response for taking those, remembering Elizabeth in that way and we have truly been touched my the many whom have kept us in their thoughts and hearts.
'Smarties' covered super duper chocolate cake
We didn't celebrate her birthday as such, yes we ate chocolate birthday cake I'd baked the day before, we lit candles (not on her cake), we went out to the city and ate out after a lazy lunch at another beach, we wrote cards, I wrote in my journal to her and we had relaxing, quality time together A. and I. We woke early to venture out and take sunrise photos and stayed up to take the sunset ones - but we didn't celebrate; we remembered her, we showered love on her, on each other too and we kept all our personal sadness away. I got up ridiculously early with a buzz about me, I just wanted to do our best, to continue this good mood and remember our daughter with all the love we have and we did it.

I'm still on a kind of high from her birthday, although it's morphed into more of a relief than anything else - we survived with smiles on our exhausted faces, we took some amazing photos, we connected with each other and we were for that moment feeling like real parents.

I guess I'm relieved too that we weren't forgotten by friends and family - I'm still writing my heartfelt thank you's; we were just inundated with texts, mails, face.book updates 'tagging' us both in those photos and thoughtful kind words - thankfully there was no phone calls.


Where to start again?

I wrote the above about two weeks ago and have just been taking a break from everything since then. Really I've been kind of immersing myself into everyday life again and feeling the relief from having survived Elizabeth's first birthday.  Its been a relief just having a true taste of being a 'normal' pregnant lady and that has been good for me. A superficial type living again I know, but I'm taking the path of least resistance right now.

I'm feeling run down and haven't the energy to do more than the bare essentials; I have a cold and have really hurt my ribs from all the sneezes - it really is the most uncomfortable thing when sneezing! Then on this past Sunday it was Father's Day here and that coincided with it being two years since we lost Taggpole. So a pretty shit few days that we managed to turn into a lovely weekend for the pair of us, amazingly enough!

We are still receiving beautiful things of remembrance from Elizabeth's birthday two weeks ago - we're just so bowled over by the strong show of love and support we've received from everyone; the amount of time and effort people have gone to to remember our daughter Elizabeth. We've been left speechless to be honest and reeling in the fact that we have so many around us that have Elizabeth in their hearts and minds.

It has been a nice break from everything really - and it has been everything and everyone. I've only been emailing and am still catching up with those, the phone has remained thankfully silent since before Elizabeth's birthday. Speechless, mute, not wanting to burst this bubble of so called 'normalcy' - it's where I'm most comfortable right now. It does help that I've been keeping myself busy. I'm trying to be mindful that Amelia is going to come in about two months; I'm trying to make each moment last all the while trying to mentally prepare for her arrival on the outside. It's difficult; no it's fucking hard and I need this time to gather my head and get my shit together!

I'll leave with a quote that I found in a magazine this week; it was written about spring cleaning, but I found it more profound than that and I want to keep it somewhere that I can see it again and again:

'Remember that ultimately things are only reminders. If it really matters, it will be where it counts - in your head or in your heart'.

Oh how true...