Wednesday, December 14, 2011

back in that old routine...

Once again I find myself in that old place.
Telling myself that I'll do xyz as soon as .... (insert current crisis here)

We are now officially living with my mum. It is less painful than expected. She does work a lot, and in recent years she has come to understand and respect that I am an adult with my own life. I think she is liking having people around, but not loving the noise of two boys (one unable to control himself and the other a toddler!!) particularly at the 6am wake up time each morning :)

As a result, we do not have our Christmas tree up. I have done no Christmas baking, and no Christmas crafts. I have done no Christmas decorating of any kind. It's quite unbelievable if you know me because ordinarily Christmas is a big deal for us.

The fact that I am now officially unemployed and we face financial uncertainty has made the decision to renovate and sell our house pretty damn pressing. It has gone from "yes we should reno and sell that" to "OMG WE HAVE TO SELL IT NOW SELL IT NOWWWWW"
Yes, it keeps me up at night. Frustrates the hell out of me at the moment because I am completely, physically unable to do anything renovaty-related.

I am still daydreaming about all the things I want to do. I am still spending hours on Pinterest pinning things I want to do, make, create, be involved in. But I am not doing anything about it.

Like usual, my thinking is "when I get over ... I will get right on that".
First it was "once this IVF is over"
Then it was "once I get over this miscarriage"
^ repeat the above ad nauseum.


Okay taking a minute to say HOLY OUCH CHILD THAT HURTS! It feels as though the bebe is sitting resting its feet on my hip flexor and just kicking the crap out of it. Feels literally like a knife in my side. Is it January yet??? Jeebus.

Anyway. Wah wah wah I'm sick of being lazy...but not enough to do anything about it ;)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Declaring bankruptcy

no, not literally (thank the gods we are not at that point yet). I'm declaring an internet bankruptcy.

I did not have the headspace to deal with anything beyond what I had to do on a given day for the last month or so - the idea of blogging, reading blogs, twitter or facebook (beyond my random updates on my personal page) was just too much to deal with. I did not respond to emails unless I really had to - I have barely been keeping up with text messages, it's been bad.

Today I feel like I can finally open the computer again (the only internet I've been using is on my phone!) and dive back in, because I kind of miss it. I do love me some interwebz, but I am glad I took the time off.

So I have cleared my inbox, marked all items as read in my google reader, and started on a clean slate. Lets see how long I can keep it up...my life is still pretty chaotic!

Monday, December 5, 2011

more changes

Last week I lost my job.

We are all still reeling over what this will mean for us. I am in a better position than many of the other 11 redundancies announced the same day...but still. Just when I feel I can't handle any more thrown at me, the universe decides it needs to shake things up again!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

overwhelmed

Things are overwhelming here in my little corner of the world.
I haven't had the emotional energy to come here and blog, despite having thoughts of what I could blog about most days...I sit in front of the computer at the end of the day and my mind goes blank.

I may have already said, but we got a bit of a rude awakening from our accountant recently regarding some financial decisions I made a few years ago, and it's prompted a total re-think of our investment strategy and had caused a great many late nights up reading, and learning, and reading some more.

I think I'm about on top of it, but it does mean that we have decided to sell our house without building the extension that's been in the works for months and months. It also means we have to get our butts into gear and renovate/update the place ASAP in order to make it enticing as it is (not a very big house currently, hence the extension plans). Hoping that a low price that allows us to simply break even will make it sell quickly, as it will be the cheapest beachfront property around.

All this in the same week that we settled on investment property #4 (only 2 currently held) - which puts all our reno plans for that one on hold indefinitely! Phew.

Add to that the fact that I am 7 months pregnant and definitely not feeling the best at the moment, and the 2 year old has reached hyperspeed and yells non-stop - there isnt a moment of peace around here!

Moving plans are well underway - you wouldn't know it by looking at the house but we are moving tomorrow (eep!) I should really be up right now packing, but I've woken up this morning with a pain in my hip that makes merely standing up a very painful exercise.

Moving should be fun!

Oh did I mention it's raining for the first time in weeks too? Typical...

28 Weeks

It's hard to believe I am 28 weeks pregnant today.

A year ago it seemed like this day would never come. I thought we were doomed to repeat the same cycle of loss over and over. To be honest, I didn't know how many more times I could put us both through it.

And here I am with a (so far) (knock on wood) healthy baby, weighing in at 2 lb 11oz already :)

Feeling all the giant thumps and kicks...amazing




Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Moving, moving, moving on

It has been a long ass month. And we are only halfway through it!

But finally I am moving forward. The past few months have been filled with plans of renovating, dealing with builders, day to day struggles of a high maintenance 9 year old and a willful 2 year old both trying to exert their dominance, deciding whether to continue at work or resign, and just getting into my rut of being brought down by the minutiae of daily life.

Of course I also decided to buy another investment property at the same time. An old stone villa in serious disrepair that was an absolute steal. Also possibly may fall down at some point. Structural schmucktural. I'm sure it'll be fine...Fairly sure...Yeah she'll be fine.


We are also literally moving......in with my mother. My slightly neurotic, gets on my nerves, too much like me, mother. It should only be for 6 months. While we renovate our house and put it on the market. Oh and renovate the new investment property. Oh and have the baby.

My mother has lived on her own for ten years. She's about to have a house full. My kids are LOUD. I am LOUD. My mother is QUIET. Should be.....interesting?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Survivor's guilt?

Mama guilt. 

We all have it. Some of us, like my Catholic mother, become experts at passing the guilt on to their children. But I feel confident in saying we all experience it in some form throughout our parenthood journey. Those of us who go back to work feel guilty for leaving our kids (at least I do). Those who stay at home have different triggers.

Mine feels like a whole new breed of Mama Guilt. That of the mother who survives a child.

I have heard so many times "losing my baby has made me a better person" and I've commented before how I didn't feel that was necessarily the case for me. Another gem that seems to pop up a lot is "I've become a better mother since my baby died".

Another one that just doesn't seem to ring true for me. It should, though. I mean, once you have buried a child, surely you understand just how precious and amazing a gift your living children are....right?

Well of course you do.

However. Having said that...your precious darling treasures will still drive you crazy with their incessant whining. As mine has today. It has been a hard work day. And I have yelled. And then I felt guilty. And then I walked past photos of my Starbaby and felt doubly guilty.

Because I love my kids. But my WORD can they drive me insane.

Friday, November 4, 2011

motivation?

How do you motivate yourself to get going?
Motivation is a key word that seems to keep bringing people to my blog...which is amusing considering I mostly talk about my lack of motivation.
Why, right now, I am sitting in front of the TV watching Supernatural eating Fruit n Nut chocolate. I had planned on doing a great many things today, on my day off. And yet....the Little is asleep peacefully on the couch and I could be doing any one of the many things I always claim I want to do...and yet...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Dia de los Angelitos

One of the traditions I have observed each year since my baby's death is Dia de los Angelitos, on the evening of the 1st November each year. I create an ofrenda for him and devote some time to remembering his spirit.


My ofrenda usually includes orange marigolds, but this year the day snuck up on me and instead I crept out at night into my back garden and picked the first flower I saw...a small, perfectly formed rose. I could not have picked a more perfect flower for him.

I leave toys, always a new and different Pez, as my Lou collects them. I leave trinkets and candies, and again, normally we make and decorate beautiful sugar skulls (the one pictured is from 2008), but sadly not this year.

I leave him his teddies, and a pillow and his blankets so that his spirit can rest after his long journey.

I leave a light on in the window all night to guide his spirit home.  I feel him the closest on this night, more than his birthdays, more than any other day. I know he is with us.



Do you have any traditions that you stumbled across that have become important to you over the years?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Running out of room in here...

There are so many things on my mind at the moment that I am finding it hard to find the headspace, rather than the time, to sit down and blog. My brain seems to be reaching critical mass.

My primary concern right now is the bad news we got from our accountant last week, about a stupid decision I made to sell one of our investment properties within 12 months of it being transferred to me *headdesk* yes holding it for only a few more months would have reduced my CGT liability by 50%.


You live, you learn.

So that's what I have been doing for the past week. Learning. Reading, reading, reading, and developing new strategies for dealing with our investments and liabilities. Prudent timing also, as I did in fact go and buy another investment property recently (settlement in 2 weeks!) and all of my newfound knowledge will hopefully assist me moving forward.

We are still packing up our house with the vain hope that we will have to move out soon for the renovations to start (but just quietly, I am not holding my breath).

I have bit the bullet and decided to make an appointment with the GP to get my big kid tested and find out what is going on with him. I'm pretty sure its some form of ADD, but accept that there is a possibility of him being on the autism spectrum. I've thought it many times over the past few years and done what I could to reduce the problems, but he's just not coping at school so its time I find out what's going on.

Also, our car decided to fall apart this week too (literally) so that's taken up some headspace, and my mind is still reeling from all the things I learnt at ProBlogger.

I have a lot of things on my "to do" list and even more on my "to write about" list...but alas, they may have to wait.

Oh and I foolishly signed up for NaNoWriMo...again. I have yet to complete it, tried three years in a row. Perhaps this time will be different??

Is anyone else out there foolish enough to attempt it this year?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Are you a Boy or a Girl?


When I dropped my Little one off at daycare the other day, pretty much the first words out of one of the "older" carers mouths was "Are you a boy or a girl?"

Cue a WTF look from me.

One of the little girls answered "I'm a girl!" and the carer shushed her and asked my Little once more "are you a boy or a girl?"

His answer was a quizzical look and a strong "I'm Manny!"

I grinned. That's my kiddo. Labels are for soup cans.

The carer looks up at me and explains that she is teaching them "differences" and the differences between boys and girls. I must have had a deer in the headlights look because she went on with "maybe Mummy can practice teaching you at home!"

Honestly I had no idea what to say. I was dumbfounded. I didn't want to cause a scene so I stayed quiet. Was I being oversensitive because of my queerness? Probably. But it just seemed wrong to me.

Do I say to her that we do not enforce gender stereotypes on our children?
Do I tell her that within our community of friends we have a number of transgender and genderqueer peeps who we love and support?
That a couple of people our children once knew as "she" are now "he"?
Do I tell her that Manny is way too young to know yet whether he is a girl or a boy?
Or quite simply that I feel it is an inappropriate choice of topic?

What would you do?



I would like to clarify that I do call him my sweet boy, darling boy etc constantly, we are not raising him genderless, it just struck me quite strongly (and unexpectedly) as I heard her asking such a black and white question. We assume he is a boy. That he will grow up to be a man. But that may not be the case and I know it. I dont think there is anything wrong with explaining genders to your kids (aka "Mummy is a girl") but this seemed different to me. Perhaps I am oversensitive?!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Viability

Interrupting your regularly scheduled nonsense post to say.......


VIABILITY!


That's right...24 weeks today. Not that I'm ready for the little one to come any time soon.

Had my regular Dr appointment and had a quick growth scan, everything is ahead of dates which warms my heart, because growth is one of our key markers to make sure there is no repeat chromosomal problems that took our Starbaby from earth (we do not want to do any invasive testing as we have decided we would continue an affected pregnancy anyway).

HC = 24w4d         FL = 24w3d
BPD = 24w4d       AC = 24w5d

Which puts the average at 24+4 = a full 4 days ahead...grow baby grow!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pro Blogger's training day and a whirlwind weekend away

Very early on Friday morning...and I do mean very early...(like 5am early)...I was up and on my way to Melbourne-town for my first venture into the world of professional blogging. Well, let's be honest, me being me - the best I can hope for is semi-sometimes-almost professional blogging ;)

When I heard that Darren Rowse from ProBlogger and Digital Photography School (two of my favourite sites) was hosting a Training Event, I knew it was time to finally take that step towards creating the spaces that I have been thinking about (and procrastinating from) for over a year now. My bestie happens to live in Melbourne so I figured it was a good way to tie in a visit and a conference at the same time.

I probably should've thought through the 6:50am departure though, and flown in the night before - considering the free accommodation! Mornings and I are not friends, and likely never will be. I did, however, make my flight - with a few minutes to spare (can you believe it?). Unfortunately, with my inability to calculate times effectively, I landed at 8:35am...and registration for the conference was at 8:30am. Oops. As the event started, I was sitting in a taxi with the laziest taxi driver on earth, frantically tweeting all the other bloggers stuck in traffic. At least I didn't have to drive (seriously Melbourne, WTF with the hook turns??) and I did eventually make it there (an hour and $58 later).

It was an interesting and valuable day (especially within my amazingly sleep deprived mind). If anyone is interested in the things we learned, please let me know and I am happy to pass on my notes (I took so many!). I may even write up a proper summary of the day at some point (hoping to get on it tomorrow). For now, if you're interested, Veronica and Tina Gray have both written great reviews. One of the most amazing moments of the day was the surprise speaker - Tim Ferriss, who had just come from being a keynote speaker with Richard Branson at a very high profile convention. How lucky are we, and what an inspiration.


Even though I knew nary a soul there, I managed to make some great connections with some lovely people, who incidentally, also happen to have fabulous blogs! I have been thinking of the best way to celebrate these new connections, and I think a short review of each blog here within my humble space is going to be a good start. So if you are looking for some great new reads...stick around for the next week or so and follow along as I make the rounds of the wonderful #pbevent crew.

I stayed for part of the networking event after the conference, but as the day wore on and I became more and more tired, (23 weeks pregnant + long day) I also felt more and more socially anxious and awkward around so many people I didn't know.

Luckily my best Sam was on her way in to meet me and take me out to dinner, followed up by the delicious, famous Niko cheesecake in Oakleigh (<<-- not my image but the same cheesecake from Niko's). Unfortunately I had eaten so much at the ProBlogger event, that I could not eat a single bite. Never fear, I polished off the whole piece the next morning for breakfast!

A day of shopping at Chadstone later, it was Saturday night and I was on my way back home. A minor detour across the West Gate Bridge and back again, (nice driving Sam ;) and I was still early for my flight (well, there's a first time for everything).

Of course, Melbourne being Melbourne (the jokes about the weather are not undeserved) a massive hailstorm hit right as we were supposed to board our plane. Cue another half hour wait to board, and then another half hour on the plane waiting to take off! Eventually the plane took off, and within 5 minutes in the air we were into clear skies and sunshine.

Within an hour we were flying over my little town again. I knew I had to get through an 18th birthday party before I could actually go home, but I couldn't wait to land and be with my little family again.

I love landing into my hometown.

Every. Single. Time.


Niko cheesecake image from here: source

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Discriminating against toddlers??

Today I am linking up with Thankful Thursdays at Kate's blog...but I am finding it difficult to be thankful.


I have just been informed that my baby's playgroup has been banned from our community centre...because all the parents are gay.

We have been meeting in the same place, at the same time, for three years. New managers came in a few months ago and have been making things...difficult...for a while. Last week we were told that they were going to make some "business decisions" one of which was to cancel the childrens groups (because children really have no place in a COMMUNITY CENTRE, right?) We were told to find a new place, but would be welcome to continue to meet until we find a new venue.

We were upset, but I was a little glad to find somewhere new that didnt make us feel uncomfortable. I accepted it and wasn't going to make a fuss. But this morning, the group arrived to find the door to our room locked and the lights off. No staff could be found anywhere (cowards). A sign was on the door that we were suspended from the centre. Suspended. Like we are in high school being punished for talking in class.

I found out through phone calls because I am busy procrastinating organising everything ready to go to ProBlogger's event in Melbourne tomorrow so I wasn't going to go. That and I wanted to take a nap. I woke up to three missed calls and a quick succession of three more calls. Everyone is understandably upset.

They did tell us it was a business decision didn't they. Surely it's not because we are gay. They just hate children. But wait, is that a toddlers music class still going in the back rooms? YES IT IS.

How dare they take this away from our children simply because the parents are gay.

We are just like every other parent. We play with play-doh. We go for walks. We cook meals for our family and we enrol our kids in kindergarten. We spend nights awake worrying that the baby will stop breathing. We hug and kiss and love our kids. We are just like every other parent.

But I am not devoid of perspective.

I am thankful that we live in a country where this particular kind of discrimination is outrageous to us. We do not live in a country where we could be imprisoned or killed for being who we are. We do not have to hide who we are, who we love, our kids do not have to pretend they don't have two mums.

But it still stings when we hear that we are considered different, less worthy, than a straight family. It hurts me and it hurts my kids, which in turn makes me angry. More than angry. But that's an emotion for another day.




Tuesday, October 18, 2011

another young life lost

**TRIGGERS** please be aware I talk about suicide in this post. If you are struggling with depression please reach out. You can contact Lifeline 24 hours a day on 13 11 14

Once again I had a blog post ready to publish tonight, and was completely blindsided by yet another suicide. This makes five in a year among people I know. In my opinion, that is 5 too many.

The young man we all lost today was a sweet kid, just a teenager. He was the best friend of my little cuz. At every family gathering he would go out of his way to speak to us, and he was so gentle, and funny...but I knew he had a wild side!

I remember the first time he met my Little. He was so fascinated by his tiny feet and tiny shoes. I always spoke highly of him. Told the rest of the family that my cuz was lucky to have friends like him. That he would look out for him.

And today, we find that he has taken his own life. My first response is pure sadness. For him, for his family, for his hundreds of friends. My second response is anger.

Why are our kids still killing themselves? What are we doing wrong? What more can we do?

My Rocket will turn ten in January. And then it's a slippery slope into the teenage years. He is a highly emotional kid. He is easily hurt. And I am terrified that one day I will get the call that JC's parents got today. Terrified.

May you find peace, young man. You had so much to live for, I wish you might have understood that.


If you are struggling with depression or thoughts of suicide PLEASE reach out. You can contact Lifeline 24 hours a day on 13 11 1. Life is worth it. It does get better.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

the Wave of Light - Remembering our Lost Babies - October 15th

Once again we are joining the Wave of Light across the world for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness/Rememberance Day.


We remember them every single day of our lives, but today, on October 15th, we remind the world. Our babies lived. They were here. They left their tiny footprint on the world, and all over our hearts. Our lives go on, forever changed by the tiny person we held in our arms only briefly.

My tiny boy was desperately wanted. He was loved by so many people, who were all so anxious to meet him. None of them ever had the chance.

Today I remember him. I remember his little siblings, conceived last year, and lost. Our Hercules was our success on our first round of IVF. We couldn't believe our luck. On the 1st of June we lost him. Our Walnuts were with us too short a time. We lost one at 4 weeks and the other at 7 weeks. 

But my boy. My tiny boy. My full term, 3lb 7oz baby boy. Most days I just can't believe he was here, and now he's gone. I felt him grow within me and we talked every day. He made me eat fresh oranges by the kilo and do a little dance every time we had peaches. He made me want Frosties desperately and his Mim would go out at all hours to fetch them for us. He had a room waiting for him, filled with tiny leather jackets to match his Aunty's, and tiny Everlast sneakers to wear out to Gaelic footy. He was named, and loved, and loved.

He was here.
He existed.
I love him so much I think my heart might burst wide open.
His life has changed my life permanently.
And today I am joining the rest of the world as we share in the memories of our little ones.

Olive Lucy 27th August 2007
McKenna Rae 27th May 2007
Eli 20th February 2008 and Collin 1st January 2009
Jack Joseph Lee 3rd November 2007
Scarlett Casey 17th February 2009
Ella Jane 11th November 2010
Tristan Alexander 21st January 2008
Cooper Riley 2007 and Brayden Miller 2008
Gabriel, Brennan and Parker 24th January 2007
if you would like to add your beloved baby to my Love List, please leave a comment below...






Friday, October 14, 2011

Things I Know





I know that an innocent comment made recently by a friend made me Laugh Out Loud, but now creeps me out (stalk much?)

I know that I have not kept up with the commitments I made to my parenting and while I feel guilty about it, I still struggle to find the motivation to get going

I know that I have so much to do around here but I am just. so. tired. that all I want to do is lie around and eat!

I know that I have little to no patience with my Big Kid and I feel really bad about it, but he just bugs me SO MUCH sometimes!

I know that freh fruit and vegies are good for me, but killer pythons >> taste so much better! (starting to think my baby may come out with multicoloured stripes and a forked tongue...)

I know that we still have so much to organise and move before we can start the renovations on this house...but it's all so overwhelming - how on earth did we end up with so. much. STUFF???

I know that it's definitely time to get up off the couch and actually do something....

Apparently this episode of things I know was brought to you by the letter G for Guilty and L for Lazy!

Monday, October 10, 2011

the dreaded announcements

It has now reached that point in my pregnancy where it is unavoidable. My belly has taken on gargantuan proportions. Waddling is imminent. People started asking weeks ago. It was time. To start telling people.

At 11 weeks we told our parents because I was already showing. When I say 'we' I of course mean Lou. Because I have always found it incredibly difficult to mutter those infamous words "I'm pregnant" - even before all of our losses. Lou thinks it may harken back to me having to 'fess up to my mother at 17 years old that I had gone and got myself up the duff. Who knows? All I know is that I find it possibly the most awkward statement to make in the entire English language.

***

This past week I knew I had to tell the HR at my work before she heard it somewhere else, and of course, couldn't rely on using Lou to make the announcement! I did it though, and cringed at the "oh how wonderful you must be so EXCITED!!!!" comments.

I couldn't help myself, I explained to her about my high risk status. Mentioned the unmentionable words that have always come so easy to me, that my son died a few years ago and my pregnancies are always watched closely as a result. She was shocked to say the least. I enjoyed the shock infinitely more than the excitement (this is the HR that has been making my working life very difficult for the last few months, I wouldnt normally take delight in seeing someone squirm...)

Of course this means that in the next email newsletter sent out to the whole firm (sent out the next day) my little piece of news was included. Joy *twirls finger*. This, of course, means that all I've had all day is people coming up and gushing over how excited I must be. This, of course, makes me uncomfortable AND terrified again.

***

When it came to announcing to our friends, I chickened out and did the facebook thing by just posting an ultrasound photo.I did make sure that I sent a private message beforehand to each of my friends who I knew would be sensitive to the news, it was the least I could do after being knocked on my ass by so many pregnancy announcements myself.

It seemed like as soon as I did, there was a flurry of more announcements by my friends, some as early as 4 weeks! Honestly that just makes me cringe. I can't even imagine announcing it to the world at that point!

I know that there are some people who still don't know about the Bumblebee (lou's nickname for this newest baby). Luckily I am now at the point where they can tell 100% that I'm not just putting on weight, so I leave it up to them to comment! So this time round I've only had to officially say the words once.


How do you feel about pregnancy announcements? Are you excited and want to tell everyone straight away or are you like me and wish you could just announce the birth 9 months later??

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The easiest thing to do on earth is not write...


I have hit total bloggers block. I think of things randomly that I could post, but then I open up the window and it sits there blankly, mocking me with it's blankety blankness.
 

So I procrastinate and read a few other blogs, then I come back, stare at the blankness some more.
Log into Twitter, get overwhelmed, close Twitter.
Open my Emails, see there is nothing interesting, close Emails.
Come back and stare at the blankness some more.
Log into Facebook, decide all my friends are boring, close Facebook.

This pretty much repeats itself for a few hours and then I sigh, close the computer down and go downstairs to watch Family Guy instead. I can literally feel my brain cells screaming and dying as we speak.

I always worried about having a blog that was so specifically based around ALI (adoption, loss and infertility). That was why I wanted to have this blog be something more. But I had so many friends in the ALI community that followed me from previous blogs, and fertility treatments took up ALL of my time for a good year and a half, it just turned into that. I have seen so many times, when the blogger finally gets pregnant, its like they run out of things to say and all of a sudden, they are gone.

That isn't the reason for my absence. It's pure laziness. I am so exhausted that my brain just shuts down the minute I get home! I am hoping that with a bit of planning I can at least get something interesting on the page (screen?) to maybe kickstart me back on the blogging track.

Until then, any suggestions for breaking bloggers block are extremely welcome!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I don't celebrate anymore

I don't celebrate any more.
Birthdays are truly just another day. I try to make Lou's day bright on her birthday, but I think we both feel like it's another day.
The year after my Star died, I celebrated every month. It was an important thing for me to do, and I know that now. But after that first year,

Every day is just another day. I don't celebrate the seasons as I once did. I don't plan for Christmas, and Easter the way I once did. I don't carefully plan and execute a beautiful altar for Dia de los Angelitos.
The days, and months, and years simply pass me by.

Perhaps this is just another extension of the depression I have been battling most of my life. Perhaps that is where I am again, now. It all just seems so overwhelming.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Absence makes the heart grow fonder...right?

Forgive me Reader for I have sinned. It's been two weeks since my last confession post.

Oh and it has been quite the week (or two). I think I have felt every range of emotion possible to a human, and I am spent. Normally when we have a run of luck like this, I blog constantly and escape to the internet...this time I couldn't bring myself to even log in, let alone post or read anything.

We had R U OK day here the week before last, which brought up a lot of feelings about the people we have lost. FIL came home from the US and MIL was finally discharged from hospital. It was MIL's birthday and we had some more bad family news. I've had to deal with more and more drama at work, and I had to help my somewhat high maintenance mother move house.

We had our anatomy scan and were told there was possibly a problem. We spent a week trying not to think about said problem. Yesterday another scan showed some improvement and that surgery was not necessary. We all breathed a sigh of relief (never had so many 'likes' on a facebook post).

I completely ignored my email account, my facebook account (other than my personal page), my twitter feed. I logged on multiple times but just couldn't post anything and every single day would just close the browser untouched.

I feel as though I have had somewhat of an emotional crisis and now I have to start building myself back up again. Which is made doubly hard by the fact that I've been sick every day for the past few weeks, and feel as though my pelvis has completely split apart (already! wtf pelvis could you not wait?). It hurts to sit at my desk - not fun when you work in an office. It hurts to move, and walking? Forgeddaboudit!

So here I go, I guess now I tackle my emails (eep) and the thousands and thousands of unread posts in my Google Reader (yikes).

Wish me luck :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Reflecting on 9/11 - Ten Years Later

Ten years ago, in early 2001, my mother's company put her forward for two different overseas positions. One of them was in New York. I was so excited at the thought that I could possibly move with her and live in such an amazing city. She told me all about the position, how she would be working in the World Trade Center. I had no idea what that was, but it sounded impressive. She didn't get the position, and we kept living our little Australian suburban lives.

Ten years ago I was eighteen years old. I was 20 weeks pregnant with my first child and living on my own for the first time. I woke up on that fateful day around 10am (oh those were the days) after staying up all night reading Tomorrow When the War Began.

I stumbled out to the lounge room, snuggled myself into my sloppy second hand couch and turned on the TV. And wondered what the heck kind of movie they were showing. It looked awfully realistic. I switched channels. There it was again. I flicked over and over listening to the commentary with my mouth hanging open. I thought for a moment that I might still be asleep, dreaming of war playing out the way it had in my books.

I sat there aghast at the sights unfolding before my eyes on the small television screen. I called my mother, who was distraught. A hundred and seventy six employees of her company lost their lives that day. I haven't stopped to think about the alternative. That we may have lost her that day.

Helicopters, army planes and commercial flights often passed over my apartment block. That day every time one flew overhead I was convinced it was the beginning of World War III. I held my stomach, thinking of the world my son would be born into. I was terrified, thinking that there was no way such an event could do anything but herald the beginning of a war.

I was right, partly.

It started a war. Hundreds of thousands of people have died. But the war did not come to my country. I was lucky. So many civilians and soldiers fighting for their country have lost their lives on a continent thousands of miles away.

Today, in New York City, thousands will gather for the tenth anniversary memorial 'celebrations'. I have deliberately left the television off all day, and will continue to do so. We do not need to relive the horror of that day. For anyone who lost anyone that day in September, every image of the twin towers falling is like watching their loved one die before their eyes, over and over. I wish the media would leave it alone.

Today, I am halfway through another pregnancy. So many things have changed. My life has changed. The world has changed.

Today I am thinking of the people who were told not to evacuate the building after the plane hit. The people who died saving those left behind, and the heroes who may die in the future from illnesses that began to ravage their bodies that day, and the days that followed. I am thinking of a New York friend of mine as she remembers what she viewed that day. As she stood and watched the plane fly into the North tower as she stepped out of the subway. I am thinking of every family living without their loved ones. If you have plenty of tissues ready, head over to Nikki's blog and listen to a story that is just one of so many.

Today, my beloved father in law is there, in NYC. I am praying that the day is peaceful and without incident. Just sitting here counting down the hours until he steps off the plane safely in our hometown in a few days time.

Friday, September 2, 2011

a not-so memorable life

I have been asked a few times why I started blogging. I started my first blog nearly ten years ago, when I was pregnant with my first son. I wanted to be able to remember how it felt, and to remember his first years.

Because the truth is, I am unable to hold onto memories. They just seem to fade.

People are so often saying to me "Do you remember that time we [insert something I should remember]?"
My answer is almost always "Um...the time we did what?"

The only 'memories' that I have are the ones I have been told about multiple times, or the ones that are captured in photographs. I have no idea why. I'm sure there's some very interesting science behind it, (if you know of any research let me know) (unless it means there is something really wrong with my brain...then maybe I don't want to know).

When I was a teenager and this lovely little quirk became apparent, my mother became convinced that something traumatic must have happened to me and went on a crusade to get me to a hypnotherapist to find out what it was. I refused, over and over, claiming that if there was something so terrible that happened to me, and my defence mechanism was to block it from my mind, I'd like it to stay blocked thankyouverymuch.

As I got older, and I continued to be unable to remember things that happened to me, I realised it was just the way I am. I'd blame it on my drug use or the hundreds of litres of Jack Daniels I ingested over my dark years, but alas, the lack of memories started before then.

It means that I cannot remember how I felt when I was going through my worst periods of my life, which could be a blessing. Unfortunately it also means I can't remember my happiest times either. Meaning that when I am depressed, I often cannot remember how it feels to be happy and it can make it really damn hard to find my way back. On the upside, it also means that when I am really happy, I cannot remember how it felt to be depressed!

I do, however, have an uncanny knack of being able to recall stupid, meaningless trivia on any given subject. Makes me useless at remembering my own life...but awesome at quiz nights!

Do you have trouble making memories? More importantly, do you know why I do?!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sixteen Weeks!

Sixteen weeks. Six. Teen. Weeks. It's hard to believe that we have made it this far.

Today you lucky lovelies get to read yet another thrilling appointment post.

I made my appointment for first thing in the morning to ensure that I wouldn't be left in the waiting room for over an hour again.

Fail.

At least this time I brought a book with me. Unfortunately, unlike last time, the Little was awake the entire time. Bouncing on the chairs, climbing under the chairs, playing peekaboo with each other child that came in (why were their parents constantly called back straight away while I sat still waiting??).

Eventually I was called back, and by my own Doctor (wonders will never cease!) I had decided last night that if a Registrar called me back this time, I was going to refuse, and ask to book another appointment where I could actually see my Doctor. I had a whole speech prepared, it was almost a shame not to use it ;)

This time he had a Registrar with him, to do the teaching. Much prefer it that way. I have no problem with being a teaching case but I only feel comfortable being around my Doctor - for very good reasons. He introduced me to his Registrar and looked through my notes. He looked up surprised and said "have I notLink seen you yet this pregnancy?"

Quick answer? No.

He started explaining my case to the Registrar, and went over the nuchal results again. Then, as he does, he went off on a tangent and we ended up talking about same sex rights to access infertility treatments.
He started off by asking "Now, am I right in remembering you are in a same sex relationship?"
As soon as I said "Yes" his whole face lit up and he eagerly asked "So what do you think of the whole Penny Wong situation?"
"Well, I have my own issues with Penny Wong" I answered.
This of course led to an interesting discussion about accessing fertility treatments in SA. Pleased to say I did a bit of educating there, as he was under the impression that it was a simple case of having to be infertile to access IVF. He didn't realise it was a statewide ban on lesbians and single women accessing any type of reproductive services.

He is a very amusing old fella to talk to. I can't decide whether my favourite part of the appointment was him talking about "boy germs" or when he noted my name change (again - it's amazing. He can remember every detail of my medical history dating back 4 years, but cannot remember conversations he had with me three weeks ago!) and asked me whether I got married. I laughed at him and asked him what country he thought we lived in?

I laughed a lot today.

I was so anxious going into the appointment, but just being in the same room as him puts me completely at ease. I don't know what it is about him, he is a strange old fella, but he calms my every nerve and I end up laughing the whole time.

I got to have a little peek at the wee 'un too which was nice. He (or she) was laying back and chilling in there, it was such a hoot. All curled up with legs crossed having a kick. This one is just adorable in utero!

I can't get over it.

16 weeks.





^^ Not my baby. But this is just what he (she) looked like all curled up :)
Image from so+gi



Saturday, August 27, 2011

How to: Bake Rainbow Cakes and Cupcakes

The first time I saw a rainbow layer cake online, I was in love.

I decided I simply had to try it out for myself, and I was thrilled with the results. They are really quite easy. You can also adapt the recipe to suit cupcakes (see additional notes at the end).


First, make a basic buttercake mixture.
My favourite is the 2-4-6-8-Buttercake that my wonderful Nanna Betty taught me.

2 eggs
4oz butter
6oz white sugar
8oz self raising flour
and a healthy dash of vanilla extract
(to convert ounces to grams, multiply by 28. I generalise and multiply by 30 - e.g 4oz = 120g, 6oz = 180g)

To make the Buttercake mixture, cream together the butter and sugar, and slowly add the eggs and flour. Beat until smooth.

TALL RAINBOW LAYER CAKE
(1) To make the tall layer cake, I make a double mixture, and divide into 6 small bowls. Add enough food colouring to each bowl to get a strong colour. I start with a teaspoon of colour and add a drop at a time until I reach the brightness I like {I use the affordable "Queen" food colours readily available in the supermarket}


(2) Make 6 layers by baking each colour individually in an 8" pan. Each cake will be quite thin, don't panic! Bake at 180C for 10-15 minutes {check regularly with a skewer and take out as soon as cooked}.

(3) Sandwich the layers together - either with a basic buttercream, or simply by layering them while hot out of the oven so that they stick together:


(4) Frost the outside with buttercream and decorate as you wish! In the past I have surrounded it with white chocolate shards or rolled out fondant icing to cover.

To make buttercream simply beat together margarine, a teaspoon or two of vanilla extract and icing sugar until it is a lovely pale colour and tastes fantastic :)

Et Voila!


RAINBOW 'DROP' CAKE

I make my Rainbow "Drop" cake for smaller crowds. Using a single batch of buttercake, mixed up with the same colours as in Step (1) above, I drop spoonfuls of batter into an 8" pan in concentric circles. Bake at 180C for 25-30mins.


Or you can make lovely little CUPCAKES like these:

Image from Baking Bites - unfortunately I don't have a photo of my own cupcakes to share.

(1) To make cupcakes, I thin down the buttercake mixture slightly by adding some milk (about half a cup, but I add it slowly and stop if the batter starts becoming too runny).

(2) Mix up the colours in the same way as for a full cake.

(3) Add one teaspoonful of the purple mixture into each cupcake case/patty pan. Tap the tray on the bench to distribute the batter evenly.
Add one teaspoonful of the blue mixture to each pan, and gently tap the tray (do not try to spread the mixture out as it will mix with the colour underneath).

(4) Continue with each colour. Depending on the size of your cupcake cases, you may need to use less colours so as to not overfill each case.

(5) Bake at 180C. Allow to cool, and frost with a generous serve of frosting :)

***

You could make these in any colours you like. Pastels, blue & pink for a baby shower, company colours, favourite football team colours - the sky's the limit!

I'd love to see your variations - please do email them to me at nosuzyhomemaker at gmail dot com if you give it a go!


Friday, August 26, 2011

Cancer Sucks

I have been trying to write this all week. It seems fitting that I finally managed today, on Daffodil Day. If you think 1 in 2 who gets cancer is one too many - please donate.



Some of my regular readers might remember that my Mother-out-of-law fought, and won the battle against lymphoma a couple of years ago. And that a few months ago, she told us that the cancer was back, and had spread. She has been going through chemo for the past few months, and did her usual job of staying cheerful and pretending everything is fine.

Until a few days ago when her acupuncturist had to call an ambulance to send her straight to hospital. Turns out she has an infection and needs to be monitored. Nothing too life threatening, but she got very, very sick for awhile there.

Lou came home from the hospital that night shocked by her condition. Vulnerable was the word she used. We are used to seeing her strong, and cheerful. ALL THE TIME (I used to think no one could be that cheerful all the time but she really is). She couldn't speak, couldn't move, it took ten minutes to transfer her from one bed to another.

And once again I felt entirely helpless. But I had to do something, so the next morning I gathered up some Better Homes and Gardens magazines (she loves them - bought me a subscription for my birthday and comes around to read them!), a box of her peppermint tea, and a bunch of lavender from our garden (there is nothing worse than the smell of a hospital room).

I rushed to get there before work, carrying my sleeping Little in over one shoulder (as I get bigger and he gets bigger this is getting increasingly difficult) and my bounty under my other arm. I walked in those doors and it just hits you.

There was a man, no older than forty, standing facing the doors, in his hospital gown, just staring. Waiting.
Every room I passed contained another person's love, lying in a bed, staring at nothing.
Utter desolation. I tell you Eden, this ward could use some of your Guerilla Art Attacks.
I found my Mother in Law's room, looked in, and kept walking. Until she called me back.

I could not believe that the old woman in the recliner was the woman I was looking for. And I understood why Lou came home so quiet. She looked sick. Old. And sick. It was the only time I have seen her without her wig. The first time she went through chemo, I was the one who cut off all her long curly hair and Lou shaved it down to fuzz. She still looked like her, only a funky Sinead O'Connor version of herself. This time, she let her hair fall out, so she just looks like a chemo patient, mostly bald, with a few long wispy bits. It makes her look old. And sick.

She smiled at me and called me in, and then I knew it was her. The smile was still her.

She lost her train of thought a few times as she spoke to me, but she could talk normally without gasping. Improvement. She had a bit of colour in her cheeks, and I knew she would be okay. You cannot keep this strong woman down for long. She has things to do.

It was only as I left and got back in the car that I remembered it was Book Week and my Big Kid wanted to dress up today. Poor kid was rushed out the door and dropped at the school gates in such a hurry I didn't even remember. We were so focussed on what was going on with MIL the night before that he barely got to speak to us. I was so focussed on getting her what I felt she needed that morning that I barely spoke to him. And bless his heart, he knew that what we were talking about was more important than his costume. I wish he didnt know of Cancer. I wish he hadn't seen death so close up that he understands it. I feel I failed him.

It turns out that I can be great at many things. At being a good mother, a good daughter, a good wife, or a good daughter in law. But only ever one at a time.


Daffodil Image from Daily Gloss - http://www.dailygloss.com/2011/08/designers-for-daffodil-day/



Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sleeping babies are the sweetest - why won't mine sleep?


This morning started out relatively well, after dropping the Big Kid off at school, the Little and I came home and had a nap together. The only problem was he was awake and ready to play after an hour and I could have slept for another 2 hours easily!

We have finally had a turn around in the weather lately, with some beautiful warm days - but mostly they've been days I had to work. Luckily today we were blessed with a whole heap of sunshine and warm breezes so it was off across the road to the beach for us after lunch.


He had an absolute ball, trying to catch butterflies, chasing magpies and looking for sheep (don't ask, I don't get it either). It reminded me again why I chose to do this mostly-stay-at-home-parenting-thing.

Unfortunately though, as the day wore on...it became not quite as lovely. We are in the middle of trying to turn around the wee Beastie's sleep patterns, and I tell you what...it ain't easy.

For the last few months, we've been woken by the delicate kicking and bashing of the boys' bedroom door at about midnight-1am, followed by a small but very wiggly 2 year old joining us in bed. Which wouldn't be so much of a problem if he went to sleep and/or lay still.

But noooo, little guy likes to kick off the covers (from all of us), turn himself upside down, sideways, any which way really. He wiggles and squirms, and then demands cereal at about 4am. Enough was enough.

The only thing we could think of was to drop from two naps a day (or one loooong nap) to one nap lasting no more than 90 minutes.

Fun and games....until the evening. By about 6pm he is vile. The high pitched squeals over nothing, the tantrums, the tears...it's all just too much for this mama. I was beside myself, he was beside himself, we were all cranky and we decided we just couldn't do it.

Until...that first trial night...he slept through. Until SEVEN FIFTEEN AM. Which has never happened. Ever. He is a 5:30am boy (as is my big boy - lord knows where they got that charming trait - certainly not from me, I am so not a morning person).

Which of course means the whole house had a good night's sleep and we had to at least trial it another day to see whether it was a fluke or not. Unfortunately (or fortunately, whichever way you want to look at it) he slept through. Again.

So now we just have to ride it out as he progressively becomes the devil as the day wears on...and hope like mad that he eventually transitions away from needing those two naps, to being totally ok with just the one (oh please oh please oh please)...


Monday, August 22, 2011

honey, I won a CAR!

Today was simply unbelievable.

My last week or so has seen a lot of sadness mixed with a lot of happiness. I am joyful every day that I wake up still pregnant (heart rate 167bpm as of this morning!), but it has also brought up a lot of thoughts and feelings of my little man. I have written and discarded a dozen posts over the past few days in particular, but nothing seemed right to post.

Until today, because this has to be documented...I would never have believed it could happen to me.

I spent the morning working on my financial spreadsheets. I realised how far we are from being able to finish the renovations and manage the mortgage for the months until the house sells. I applied for yet another credit card and sent an urgent message to Lou at work to cease using our other credit card immediately!

I realised that we would have to borrow money from our parents to meet the mortgage repayments for the next few months.

I hoped knew it would work out, it usually does.

But I was slightly concerned.

And then, my phone rang.

And I was informed that the caller was from a promotional company. And she was calling to talk to me about some competition or other. (sidenote: I had just last night entered my phone number on a website that I became suspicious of, and was convinced this was the result - a scammer).

I was half listening to her when she informed me that I had won the competition I entered. "What competition?" I asked. She told me, but I wasn't really listening, until she mentioned the prize.
"...so we drew the second chance draw for the car and you won."
"Won what?"
(yeah I was not exactly on the ball this morning)
"The car. A 2011 model Suzuki Swift"
"Okaaay"
(definitely not believing her now)
It was probably not the reaction she was expecting, I'm sure she was expecting screaming or something! She went on to talk about sending me an email, and picking the car up from the dealership, at which point I started to wonder whether perhaps she was for real (especially when there was no mention of giving her any bank details!)

An hour, some investigations and a lot of "holy effing crap I won a CAR" conversations later, I realised it was for real. For REALZ I won a car, yo.


Even better than that? We don't need another car. What we need is money. My mother on the other hand, has the money and needs to buy a new car. And she loves the Swift. She gets the car, I get the money.

I still can't believe it, and I don't think I will for awhile...probably not until I drive it off the lot (I think I'm still skeptical that it really happened!).



I feel like the LUCKIEST girl on the planet right now. I just can't even believe it.


Friday, August 19, 2011

thinking and wallowing


I have been thinking a lot lately. By thinking I mean just diving into my deepest thoughts and wallowing there for hours at a time. I've been staying up stupidly late to avoid those moments when I get into bed and lie there for hours just thinking. Wallowing. Crying. All the sadness inside me thrives on the silence and the darkness, and just bursts out of me as soon as I lie down for the night.

My thoughts of G, of the awful way his life ended, have been haunting me lately. Obviously judging from other mutual friends on FB, the feeling is going around. That suicide is ever the option just breaks my heart, and we lost two of our small community of friends within four months of each other. I can't even fathom the depths of despair they each found themselves in. I thought I had been to those depths, but I don't think I truly have, and that thought scares the absolute shit out of me. Because where I have been? Is pretty fucking dark. I dread to think of how their final days must have been. And I know it isn't healthy to think about such things, especially for someone with a somewhat precarious mental health stability myself. And yet...I do.



I only realised the other day, that this baby is due on the first anniversary of the death of our G. Life is such a funny beast.




If you are in this dark place, or need help, please reach out. For immediate help call LifeLine on 13 11 14 or the Suicide CallBack Service on 1300 659 467.



Tuesday, August 16, 2011

did you reach your potential today?

This is a question I find myself asking of my son a lot lately.
"Is that the best you can do?"
"Is that reaching your full potential?"
"Can you do better?"

And like so many other times, asking him these questions leads me to question myself.

Did I reach my potential today? Did I achieve what I should have in the fullness of an entire day?


Sadly the answer is normally no. Today I did NOT fulfil my potential. I did tidy the house. I did have dinner at least partially started when my partner came home from work. I did have the television off and Rocket at the table doing his homework.

But.

I had a full day at home today, and aside from the two hours I was pinned under a teething sleeping 2 year old (in fear that if I moved he would wake and commence screaming again) I had a full day that I could have used to actually get some of the things on my "to do" list done!

I have all these grand plans but don't seem to have the motivation to carry them out...I definitely need one of these
<-----------


Friday, August 12, 2011

..and the not so pancake days...

Remember my lovely "pancake day"? Full of tasty treats and lovely moments with my lovely children?

...on the other end of the Mama/Housewife spectrum, you have the days where nothing goes right and the pancakes are more likely to bite your face off.

Today was one of those days. One of those days where you drive all the way to the shopping mall to buy your father in law's birthday present, accidentally shoplift candles from Go-Lo because you have completely lost the ability to remember anything for more than 35 seconds, deny the whining kids the yogurt they want, the buns they want, the cookies they want etc etc...finally locate the CD your father in law wants, and then realise you have left your purse at home, in your son's basketball bag.

So you return home, and proceed to sulk on the couch eating chocolate while your two adorable children beat each other and pull each others hair.

In other words, it was an average Friday in our house.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Nuchal Screening Results...

...and a very long winded description of yet another appointment with yet another dr who is not my OB...

The results are in:
1:6000ish for Trisomy 21
1:1200ish for Trisomy 18

Nuchal fold 1.5mm
Beta-HCG 1.56 MoM
PAPP-A 1.04 MoM

I went in for my appointment believing that I would see the OB I was booked in to see - how naive of me! I was actually rather mean to the very nice resident who had to deal with me for the first part of the appointment - she kept asking why I felt that I had to see Dr P, and went a little quieter when I said quite bluntly that he was the only one I trusted after all the other Drs at this hospital treated me like an idiot when I thought there was something wrong with my Starbaby, right up until he died. Then of course they were all very very sorry for the tragic "incident" as the resident called it.

She asked whether I had done the Nuchal yet. I stared her down and said "yes, that would be why I am here". So she looked them up on her computer and says "Oh yes it looks like everything's good".

And looks at me. I stared at her "yes well I will need the actual results please. Print me a copy". She looks at me again "Is there something worrying you?"

Are you FUCKING SERIOUS?

Yes dear, there is something worrying me. The fact that I might have another terminally ill baby. The fact that I was told on the Nuchal with my full Trisomy 18 baby that the odds of him having Trisomy 18 were "very low". Had I known what to look for back then, he was classic T18. Had ANY Dr bothered to double check the results, they would have seen that he was classic T18.

For the record, for anyone who is interested:
  • A recent retrospective study revealed reduced levels of pregnancy-associated plasma protein A (PAPP-A) and free beta–human chorionic gonadotropin (beta-hCG) at 8-13 weeks' gestation
  • The multiples of the mean (MoM) in affected pregnancies was 0.25 for PAPP-A and 0.34 for free beta-hCG.
  • Screening for trisomy 18 using a combination of maternal age, PAPP-A, and beta-hCG has a detection rate of 76.6% with a false-positive rate of 0.5%.
Interestingly, our readings with our Star who died from full T18 were PAPP-A of 0.27 and 0.33 free beta hcg. Which is pretty much spot on with their average in affected T18 pregnancies. I think it was the fact the nuchal reading was good that threw it off - I think if they took that out then the biochemical reading alone would have told them it was T18.


As the appointment wore on and I let my guard down a little, she was very nice and didn't mind all my questions, where a lot of other doctors sort of roll their eyes at me now or brush me off. I informed her of the above information and taught her how to interpret the results "Don't ever rely on their little summary at the bottom of the page that just says "low risk" or "high risk".

I was starting to feel ok about not seeing Dr P but then I heard his voice in the hallway outside the room and she rushed out to get him. I'm assuming it went something like this "There is this very pushy crazy lady in there DEMANDING to see you. Help me? Help me help me"

He came in and looked at me "Ohh yes I remember you very well. You have more names than you used to" (true I did hyphenate it with Lou's when Manny was born). He turns to the resident and proceeds to tell her about my "complicated case" and basically rehash everything I have said, verbatim, which pleased me because it showed her that I wasn't being a drama queen, the Drs I saw in the past really were incompetent, and my case really is that dramatic.

He turns to me and starts telling me how I won't be able to see him at every appointment, and that sometimes I will see a resident or another Dr, so that "everyone can learn".

It was at this point that I realised I have become the teaching case.

"What not to do with your patients."

Now most of the time, I have no issue educating people. Especially people who think they know more than me*, but honestly? It is damn tiring having to constantly rehash my entire history. Go through in detail how my son died and why the Drs should have seen it. To talk about how I was humiliated by the OB I saw at 36 weeks, days before he died, and then was born. To hear them refer to him as a "tragic incident" a "terrible thing that happened" a "sad time". To have to go through all of that, every time I have an appointment with this pregnancy, is just fucking inconsiderate.

And I think I shan't do it any more.


*(most doctors I have encountered have fit this description when it comes to my actual situation, I'm sure they have more general medical knowlege than me!!)



Friday, August 5, 2011

pancake days


We started the morning with pancakes.


Then a bit of spinning "watch me, mum...watch me!"

Then some giraffe hunting "here g'ruff...heeeeeeere g'ruff!"

Sometimes this stay-at-home-parenting gig feels pretty damn awesome.

It gets better.

He grabs his plate and marches into the kitchen.
"Where are you going?"
He looks at me like I am daft and says "sink".
And yet his almost 10 year old brother simply cannot master the act of taking his plates to the sink!

I think my Bunny might well be a genius...




Tuesday, August 2, 2011

short and sweet

Meet my little thumbsucker <3



Actual Gestational Age = 12+0

CRL = (12+2) (12+4)
BPD = (12+0)
Head Circ = (12+1)
Heart rate 169 bpm

The most emotional ultrasound experience of my life. When I went in, I was almost hyperventilating. Lying on the table, I felt like my heart might beat straight out of my chest. The whole way there I was thinking about what we would do if there was bad news. The past few days have been awful. I was convinced that there would be no heartbeat.

I lay on the table. Terrified. Then I see a little person. Then I see a heartbeat, and all of a sudden, I can breathe.

I nearly cried. I was on the verge of some serious tears. I have never even come close to crying at an ultrasound before today.

Then he started jumping around. Rolling and waving and flipping like a crazy thing. It was beautiful. The most amazing ultrasound I have ever seen! Such an active little thing.

The best news was the measurements. Above average on all counts, nuchal fold within normal range. Our little T18 boy was already nearly a week small at this stage. The measurements, and the activity...was the most reassuring thing you can imagine.

I finally feel like I can breathe again.

12 weeks. Wow.

Monday, August 1, 2011

panic

The panic has set in, well and truly, over the past weekend.

My nuchal screening scan is tomorrow at 2pm. It dawned on me over the weekend that there was a chance that we would go into this scan thinking we are 12 weeks pregnant, just looking for signs of another Trisomy, but we may leave brokenhearted and empty once again. Just because I feel like crap does not mean I am still growing a little bun.

With each hour that passes I find myself doubting things more and more.


My stomach seems smaller today. It is, isn't it.


I don't feel sick today yet. Not at all. That's bad, isn't it.

I went 4 hours without eating. That means my previously ravenous appetite is gone. I'm not pregnant any more.

Does it seem a little over the top to you? Most people are just counting down the hours until they get another peek at their baby. I wish so badly I could go back to being one of those people.

We both started to worry a little on Saturday, and got the doppler out. No surprise when we could not find a heartbeat. I know (logically) that it was too early. But hearing that sound would have eased so many fears.

But just because I have historically only miscarried at 7 weeks, I can list off (too) many friends who have had losses and missed miscarriages at 12, 13, 16 weeks and so on and so on. I should be excited. But I find myself terrified. I have almost convinced myself that we are going to get bad news tomorrow.

Friday was Lou's birthday. Saturday night at the family dinner, we announced our news. We were scared and wanted to wait but knew they had all guessed anyway. It all seems awfully premature now, and I think I am catching Lou's superstition. I feel like we have gone and jinxed it now.

I think I am slowly losing my mind.

I thought this one would be less panic inducing than my last pregnancy, given we are not 3 months out from the death of our child as we were last time.

How is it worse this time around?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

(almost) wordless wednesday






and I am only 11 weeks. Oh my.
Apparently I may have to come out about this publicly a lot sooner than I planned to...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

blergh.


Ugh, I am sick. Not pregnancy-sick, but cold-sick. My very inconsiderate workmate dragged her sorry ass into work almost two weeks ago, sick as a dog. Coughed and spluttered everywhere. I was livid. Last time she did this, I ended up sick for two weeks. Manny ended up sick for two weeks.

Surely enough, within a few days, BAM. Sickness hits. I swear this is the worst cold ever. My mother insists very dramatically that I have The Flu but I'm pretty sure it's just my pregnancy making the cold ten times as miserable for me (this always seems to happen). I have been pretty much a sick, useless blob on the couch for a week and a half now! I think I am finally on the mend - I am starting to be able to taste food again (yay!) and almost have my sense of smell back. Lucky me though, the pregnancy nausea hasn't let up any. Seriously hoping for an end to that in the next few weeks (please?).

Because we are moderately insane, we are also trying to co-ordinate an extension to our house at the moment. I should have started it at least 6 months ago but it just all seemed too hard. To be honest, it still all feels too hard but we can no longer afford the payments on this house so we have to sell it. Before we can sell it though, we have to do a full reno (it was always our intention). I feel like once again we are going to end up with this spectacular house...and won't get to enjoy it at all! Oh well. I am seriously looking forward to being debt free (with a healthy bank balance) for a while when we sell :)

So there are lots of exciting developments coming up - luckily I am busy enough to keep my mind off the upcoming u/s next tuesday....most of the time....

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

Hello again,
You may notice some changes going on around here in the days and weeks to come. I have wanted to change the direction this blog was going for quite a while, but as anyone who has gone through infertility treatments will attest - it tends to somewhat dominate your life!

This was supposed to be a family blog, and a place to help motivate me to become a better housewife. Then the IVF crazies took hold and everything else sort of faded into the background while my brain screamed "BABYBABYBABYBABY" on repeat for a year and a half. I am hoping, with all I have in me, that that particular insanity is over for us, at least for now.

To celebrate this, I have moved the majority of the entries dealing with IVF over to a new blog, Suzy Does IVF. I'm hoping that I can write the closing chapter of that blog in a week and a half after our Nuchal Screening, and hibernate that part of my life, (at least for a year or so!)

This blog will (hopefully) now be able to turn back to what I had originally envisioned. I have a very talented friend working on a new blog design (yay!) and I look forward to filling this space with all kinds of goodies in the months to come.

I feel like I have really let myself down by failing to mention my crazy kids who actually walk this earth with me, focussing so hard on documenting all my little lost loves. I have a hysterically funny, emotional and intelligent 2 year old and an extremely challenging 9 year old, who amazingly have escaped almost completely from being immortalised in this Mama's blog. For shame.

I am still terrified every day that something will go wrong here. That just because we are past the point that *I* miscarry, does not mean I am home free. The possibility of stillbirth is never far from my mind. Nor is the fact that we have gambled with my genetics again, and we may face another terminal diagnosis. I am choosing to hope at this point.

For those of you following along at home:

Hurdle #1 - BFP (10dpo extremely faint - 12dpo strong line)
Hurdle #2 - Beta (16dpo - Beta HCG 330)
Hurdle #3 - Ultrasound (6+2 weeks) - measured 5w5d
Hurdle #4 - Usual miscarriage point (7 weeks) - passed!
First Appointment (8 weeks) - u/s with hb and CRL of 7+6

Hurdle #5 - Nuchal screening to check if baby has trisomies (12 weeks) - 2nd August
Hurdle #6 - Anomaly scan - check for trisomy markers (18 weeks)
Hurdle #7 - Viability! (24 weeks)
Hurdle #8 - Make it to 36 weeks without losing my mind/the baby.

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