Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers

Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers

18 Oct 2012

My body. I don't trust it.

Amelia was supposed to be the safest with me, in me. But my body betrayed her, it let her die in it.

It took me a while to forgive the object that my soul occupies, while it might sound weird to those with different beliefs (I'm not religious), but I definitely felt a separation between body and soul. Soul despised and blamed body. Body didn't care.

Since I got pregnant with Wiggles, I started hoping that this time it will not betray me. My soul seems to be doing everything it can to please the body to avoid being hurt again. Yesterday I realised that no matter what I do, I still might not be able to prevent things from happening.

We went to see our midwife for a routine appointment. Wiggles was kicking all morning, on the drive to her office, and during our appointment. At the end of it we decided to listen to the heartbeat of the active little baby in my belly. But we couldn't find it. We kept getting mine instead. She tried and tried and tried. One doppler, another doppler. Just like with Amelia. A sound of another baby's heartbeat coming from the room next to us. Just like with Amelia. Our room stood still. Everyone was thinking the same thing, I could tell. But Wiggles was actually giving us a few kicks while we were searching for that magical sound. So in our minds, we knew baby was alive. But there was NO heartbeat. To our hearts, baby was gone. In that moment I felt so betrayed by my body again. I can no longer trust kick counts, for what if it's just my body playing tricks on me, deceiving me so that it can kill my baby. What if as I feel the kicks and get reassured by them, Wiggles is actually in trouble, or worse? What if lighting will strike twice?

Then, all of a sudden, the magical sound - the heartbeat. Baby is Alive. This time we get to walk out of there with a heartbeat.

Such a mix of emotions...

My midwife told me that most likely Wiggles had his/her back next to mine and that's why we couldn't get the sound. So last night I was supposed to sleep over my right hip to make baby move to the front of my belly.

The night Amelia died I slept on my right for the first time in that pregnancy. I still can't accept that.

I did not sleep last night. Neither did Wiggles. We kept tossing from left to right to sitting upright.

I hate this. Why can't I be like many other moms, worrying about mundane things? Not knowing how much can change in a heartbeat.

15 Oct 2012

October 15 - Stillbirth Remembrance Day

Today is the day we remember all babies who died before they were born.

Stillbirth a cruel way to end a pregnancy. A baby so loved, so cherished, never gets to see the light of day. A mother, ready to spend the rest of her life with her child, never gets to look into her baby's eyes, hear her baby's cry. A father, ready to teach his child games and life lessons, gets to bury his baby instead.

Stillborn babies are not just dreams, like some assume, they are not figments of our imagination. They are real children, made of flesh like the rest of us, loved by their parents, like the rest of us. They lived, briefly, but their heart pumped blood through their systems, their eyes opened and arms waved and legs kicked. They experienced light, warmth, sound. They felt love. They will always be loved.

Candles are lit across the globe for babies who live in our hearts.

14 Oct 2012

We Walked For Them Today

A dream came true today: we walked with family and friends, old and new, to celebrate our children that died, remember their lives and make meaning out of our new lives by raising awareness that, sadly, it happens. Pregnancy and Infant death happens to the best of us.

In the morning I called Mother Nature a Bitch for two reasons: for taking away our babies and for raining on the day we celebrate them. It Rained on our "parade" today. Seriously.

But you know what,  rain can't dampen our love for our children. Friends and family gathered in good spirits, we had a wonderful day full of love, laughter, balloons and cookies. Tears were shed, hugs were shared, love was in the air as we came together in the park in the pouring rain. There was almost no-one else there and that's when I realised how lucky we were with the weather. We had the place to ourselves, we felt safe to share our feelings. For our first walk rain worked so well, it literally brought everyone closer together! And that was the whole point. It was incredible.

For the first time I felt like Amelia's life had meaning. Thank you all who made it possible.

Lots of love.

(Pictures to follow!)

And let's hope next year there will be sun ;)

11 Oct 2012

Being A Better Parent

A few people told me that Amelia has made me a better parent, a better person. I don't know about better, I think I was just fine before. Was I really a bad person and a bad parent before?

She made me a different parent because she made me a different person. One that is more grateful and forgiving, one that it more paranoid and over protective. I don't know if that's necessarily better...

Still, did I really need to learn that lesson through my daughter's death? If anyone thinks that to be true, please explain to me how this mother has five living children...

8 Oct 2012

Another Day, Another Hospital Visit.

This morning started off in a panic. I wasn't feeling well and we got very worried (read: completely freaked out). So I brushed my teeth, got dressed and we headed to the Hospital. Again.

It took just 17 minutes to get there, thankfully it is a public holiday. Thanksgiving. It brings such mixed emotions.

We haven't been to the maternity ward at this hospital yet, so it was all new. Strange, unfamiliar, unsettling. Yet friendly and purple, which is not blue, that was our old hospital. Thankful for that...

We were seen by the nurses right away, baby was trying to escape the fetal monitoring device and everyone was relieved by that. This was the first time we got to use the device, first time I got hooked up to it. With Amelia, we went in for the test but the doppler showed no activity. Neither did the ultrasound when they brought it in. We never got to the stage of getting the pads attached to belly and seeing lines appear on a green strip of paper. Today we were thankful for that green strip of paper.

After a few hours of meeting nurses, residents and doctors, we were released with good news. We got to go home with baby alive and well in the belly. Yet I couldn't shake off the feeling of sadness, panic and guilt. We never got to do that with Amelia. I'm so sorry my sweet baby girl. Thankful for Wiggles, so sad and sorry for You.

There were so many emotional triggers in the hospital, that didn't help either. From chasing the heartbeat, to the hospital bed, to the apple juice (which after giving birth to Amelia I drank in large quantities, trying to get some energy to hold her, and then vomited in a spectacular display of apple juice three-tier fountain). Water only from now on, please.

I have no idea how we are going to get through the next nine weeks. I just hope that we will be taking home baby, alive and healthy, for ever and ever. If not, I'm still thankful for Wiggles.

5 Oct 2012

Things for Baby

So far, I bought a few things for this baby.

First was a toy, at about 14-15 weeks. A present to baby for making it through the first trimester and being alive. That way in case something happened I had a toy to bury baby with.

Second was a pack of receiving blankets at about 20 weeks. Baby was big enough to be born and I needed those with Amelia, so I decided that either way I needed these now. I have them packed in my hospital bag already.

Third was me allowing my mom to buy a winter suit for baby a few weeks ago. That way I have something to bury baby in...

Cheerful, I know.

I also had a nightmare one night that baby was born alive and well and I was so unprepared that he or she had awful diaper rash, because I didn't have a bum cream. Next day I went out and got a pack of wipes and bottle of cream. Those are the only things I bought for "live baby."

But I have to say, making those three first purchases made it much easier to walk into a baby section now. The only things that get me there a clothes for girls Amelia's age...

1 Oct 2012

Is there going to be a baby?

This morning we had an interesting conversation with Hubby that went something like this:

 - Your belly got bigger since yesterday! It seems so much more real, like there is a baby in there...

 - I know, it feels so strange. Not sure how I feel about it.

 - So, what are we going to do if we actually get a baby out of this?

 - Um, I have no idea. I can't really think that far... I was so prepared with Amelia, and this time - it seems I forgot everything.

 - I guess we'll offer it tea or coffee and go from there.

The strangest thing is that we have no idea what to do with a baby that we might have a chance to bring home, alive and well, kicking and screaming. With our sweet Amelia, we read books of attachment parenting, had plans on making sure the umbilical cord was not clamped right away after birth, plans on breastfeeding and co-sleeping. We felt ready. We were so excited.

With Wiggles, there are none of the books, none of the conversations. There is the date: Christmas Eve. That's the one we tell people who ask on the street, in a random conversation. It is our due date and it's pretty cool. It takes the conversation away from inappropriate comments telling us how hard life will be once baby is born... If we want to let them in further, we tell them that we will most definitely be induced earlier, as a precaution, because our first born baby died. That makes them run...

I can't find a word that will describe how we feel right now. We are cautiously hopeful while remaining fearfully optimistic. Preparing for the worst, hoping for the best. We don't know what will happen in 10 weeks and we can't think past that. Life as we know it is 10 weeks long, anything beyond that is a great unknown.

That's our experience with pregnancy and birth so far: normal pregnancy, and then unknown, unexpected. Amelia's death was unknown, unexpected. Wiggles' upcoming birth is unknown, and the outcome will be unexpected, no matter what it is. We just don't know what to expect. No-one knows. They might have wishes and desires, but they don't know.

So what's the point in reading about attachment when in the end we might have to be letting go?