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

Friday, August 16

In the city

I'm here in the city today for I think my last acupuncture appointment - I've not had any for 3 weeks and I don't think I'm any worse for not having the pins... But I may reserve that judgement until I've heard a heartbeat! I'm still having my day a week(ish) alone to meander about the city as I choose, even without my appointments. 
The weather has been much kinder to us without cars this week, we've been able to get out of the house, do things and meet up with people - which has been lovely for us both. Andy is less stressed about the car, having passed his exams this week for the ARV. He has also take on board my fears, emotional out bursts and dread of spending Elizabeth's birthday without him. He took my suggestion and asked for a compassionate day off - thank goodness!! So much relief about that, now I will be able to properly compose myself and plan a nice way of remembering her this year... Also in reminding others that her birthday is almost on us (to be figured out today), I'm just going to put the word out that its time for sunrise and set photos.

Other news is that I've had an appointment made for me at the women's to get booked into the pregnancy clinic there. I'll be 12 weeks then, I'll have to look up when my first appointment with Millie was - I know I wasn't showing then. Thank goodness that A. will be free to come with me too. I'll make an appointment to see my GP at 10 weeks for the NT blood test and then the ultrasound at 12 weeks - a few days apart. Thing is that I'm not sure they'll find a heartbeat, how do I know that everything is okay on the inside? I'll break out the Doppler in a week or so and hopefully that'll give me some sweet sounding news.

I'm knackered most if the time these days. Millie is full on and acts up if I'm not 'fully' there with her. I sleep when she does during the day, sometimes that maybe for almost 3hrs, or at least once a week that is down to zero! I don't want to kiss goodbye to her midday naps yet... Although I don't mind her going to bed at half 7 after being up for 12hrs - she usually has about 12hrs of sleep aday. My biggest concern is having enough time for 2 children, I know my heart will love them all continuously, but will I have enough of the proper mother in me to mother them both properly? And then have anything left for myself and A. afterward? I still want a husband after kids!!

This year is going to be tough. For lots of reasons, but the main is that A. will be taking his fellowship exams at the end of a very intense year of study...

...To be continued

Saturday, August 10

This week has been a hard one

The realisation that its Elizabeth's birthday so soon has been tough. The fact that A. is working a 12 hour shift from 10am is the thing that is spinning me out of control. This time last year I was back in the UK with Millie - just the two of us, A. couldn't get the time off and I needed to get my fix of the family. I'd booked up the tickets almost as soon as we got back from our Xmas back there, I'd had such a wonderful time - although it was different without A. and I didn't realise on booking flights that I'd be away for Elizabeth's 2nd... I vowed that A. and I wouldn't be separated for another, it was so much harder than it needed to be.
I'm mad at A. for being so passive about this, but can see it from his position too - he has just started in his new job and is still in the training phase, so asking for days off, is off really. Last year we went to the beach in Deal and took sun rise photos, then trekked into London to take our sunset photos with the back drop of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliment - how can I top that? Elizabeth's 1st was here in melbourne and a local beach for sunup, the the highest building for the sundown - how can I do better, how can I get something new - what the hell am I going to do with me and Millie for the rest of the day to honour her?

1. A low key picnic at the open range zoo with lots of '3' balloons (that we'll be taking home again with us - I hate to think of the dead balloons that have been let lose on nature) and friends that I can count on for support... Friend.

2. A different local beach for her sunrise.

3. After googling I've settled for a sunset over melbourne CBD, the actual sun isn't in the shot but the colours in the sky could be beautiful... And easy to get to with a little lady in tow. Much like the iconic 2nd year photo of London.

Thank goodness for that - feeling lighter for thinking about that already, plans are making themselves known. I'm feeling more together on the whole today. This week I've been every detected, stressed and actually down trodden. I've had to relinquish the car for A's new job (zero public transport to the small airport he is working out of now for the next 6 months) and both Millie and I have been driving each other bonkers - cabin fever. The weather has been crap and the more pressure I've put on myself to get doing things, the more I've retreated into myself - oh the time that we've spent in front of the tv! A. being at work all day (mon-fri6-6pm) is something that I'm not used to either, we usually have him for one half of the day due to his shift working hours, and usually that's cup up with a day off I between too. These 'office hours' are only for these two weeks of training until he starts proper and then it's back to a shift pattern, but with nights added too.
I guess that being over emotional right now doesn't help - it due to quite a few things, but bubbles down to Elizabeth's birthday looming and that just heightens all my sensitives. There has been a particularly triggering soap that has left an enormous gaping wound in my heart - and I think I made it worse by not watching it with the rest of Australia, seeing the social media going off at it, churning it over and turning it into my own experience (watching it wasn't as bad as I'd made it out to be!). BUT then to top things off with that, the next morning I got a call from A. saying that he'd just been in a car accident! He is fine - the car isn't. I'm more grateful today than I've ever been I think.

So I find myself still pregnant at 7 weeks and 4 days. I've had no sign that I'm not, so I'm doing okay with that. The fact that we lost Taggpole 2 months or so before we knew about it is keeping me from really connecting to this pregnancy - I just can't go pinning my hopes on another baby just yet. Unless I start bleeding again there won't be any early ultrasounds, so I'll have to rely on the Doppler we brought almost 3 years ago now, and I didn't pick anything up on there until the 10th week. Only 2 more to go before I pull it out.
I do have signs that I'm pregnant though. The almost all day nausea. My inability to find something appetising and my ability to eat lots of the things that I do want! Tuna being the top thing right now, along with anything cold (anything that doesn't smell - I have my stuffy, blood hound nose back!). Heartburn. The tiredness is sapping me and making me into the type of parent I don't want to be - I want to engage and be on the ball with Millie and not be the passive parent who sits her in front of the tv and vegetates. It's just one week and I'm feeling as if I've pulled myself together to focus on next week... Fingers crossed.

Thursday, July 25

A Quick Catch Up

I've been living. I think that sums up the past year and a half aptly.

Amelia will be two in three months and my last post was a week or so after she was born. Elizabeth's third birthday is just a month away - I feel sad and guilty when I think of my beautiful girl. I think I struggle to hold onto the love I feel for her, but all it takes is a moment of deep thought and she is near again.

I am thankful for that.

I've been so engrossed into the loving of the hot ball of energy that is her little sister that I didn't have time for anything else - for my grief, for myself and husband. It's only been recently that things have changed a little, Millie is growing up fast, she doesn't need me quite so much as she used to and I find myself with spare moments to think. She is sleeping in her own room, in her own bed and loves both. She is becoming so independent, so happy and so quick - both on her feet and mentally.

I do feel I've pushed Elizabeth away, pushed the heartache and grief away from our happiness which is my everyday life. I now know what I'm missing, I know what it is to mother a living child and that tears me apart - not just for me, but my darling girl who didn't get the chance to live. It's not just about me and how her death effected me, the sadness is that Elizabeth died.

A part of me did, but I am still alive to live a life - she is not. It is so final.

I tell myself on an almost daily basis that I'm loving Elizabeth through Millie, doing the best by her, being more of a conscious parent and being there whenever she needs me. Elizabeth has shaped me into the mother I am - I'm a stay at home Ma and have no intention of going back to work before she's at school. I suppose I'm juggling my daughters needs and well being and Millie wins, she is the one who is living and thriving.

But as I said, things are getting lighter and easier, and I have more time to myself. I'm growing too, my grief is changing - I just need to touch base more regularly with the deeper thoughts that I shove away when I'm living.

Amelia's first 6 months were a steep learning curve. I was on a high during most of that time too thankfully - so damned grateful to have her here at home with us, so in awe of her just living and growing, getting to know her and building a stronger bond. Looking back now it's a blur of sleeplessness, wonder and pure joy... with always a whisper of what could have been with Elizabeth.
I started a daily journal from that point onward - before I got into bed I would write a page in her book of the things we'd done that day, her latest trick, new words and how she'd wowed us. A. and I would really enjoy doing that and I hope that Millie will enjoy reading that when she's older. 365 days we did that, but missed out on adding photos, video clips and the like.

So this is why I'm back at My Space writing again. It's so much easier to add all those things, to take a proper slice of life, rather than just words. I can't say that I'll be posting each day, more like weekly. My aim for the next 20 or so posts is to catch up - show a month of Millie's life in photos and clips, so I have a place to see them all, jot notes and collate stories. I've not really sorted through her first 6 months of photos and I guess that's where we've got the most pictures from - I have her journal from 6-18 months.

There is another reason too, I'm pregnant again.

I didn't get my fertility back until Millie weaned herself just before her first birthday, and then it took seven cycles to fall pregnant. A long, long seven cycles. I'd buried a lot of feelings wound up with the whole TTCing process, it just threw me back to when I was trying to conceive Millie and to a lesser extent Elizabeth - the desperation, jealously and the inability to even look at another pregnant woman with anything but envy, petty and a whole lot of sadness too. Not a pretty look, so I wouldn't think deeply and avoid putting myself into harms way.
I recently read Brooke's post about her thoughts and feelings on Other Peoples Pregnancies and felt validated - I'm not the only one who feels like I'm living on another planet - Planet My Baby Died... although she is so eloquent and gets to the point succinctly, so very unlike me.

So yes, it has been a long road to getting here for me. Conceiving Taggpole and Elizabeth only took three months apiece and with Millie it took slightly longer due to my unstable thyriod function (four and a half months). Charting, OPKs, acupuncture, Chinese herbs, moxa and even oesteotherapy. Not to mention all the sex - it's been exhausting for us.

But we're off the starting blocks. I can't really say anything more than that - we're hopeful, but we have our eyes wide open. I'm going with the mantra that took me through Millie's pregnancy; I'm pregnant right now, things are okay until they're not.


I'm currently 5 weeks. I found out really early 3 weeks and 2 days (DPO 12) because I have short cycles and ovulated on CD 12. I remember getting to DPO 11 and just waiting all day for the cramping to come - it didn't and the thought of the test waiting for me in the morning was keeping me awake - and then needing the loo at 2am. So I did the test then and saw the faint line and spent the following hours looking back at the Pumpkin Pages and finding out the due date, getting so very excited.

Until the morning light when reality set in.

I don't really want to think about this pregnancy too much - I don't want to do the excited 'normal' pregnant innocent bit, just to be brought back down to earth with one huge bump; the guilt, the presumption, the loss and the sadness. It's too much right now. Then I get guilt for not wanting to be a little excited that we have another baby on the way - my fourth pregnancy. Round and round we go, where we stop, no body knows.

I want to get things down here about this pregnancy, just as I did for Millie's - I loved reading the Pumpkin Pages, so without further ado...

Beta hCG levels:
15th July (12:05) DPO 14 = 155
17th July (3pm) DPO 16 = 374... Doubling time 40hrs
25th July (6am) DPO 24 = 8670 ... Doubling time 40hrs + progesterone 80.5nmol/l

If you squint you can make it out.