Monday, June 23, 2008


Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Caught in a landslide. No escape from reality

Is this really me?
Is this really my life now?
Did my child really die?
At times I find myself going about my daily business and I the thought hits me that "holy shit. My baby died."
Having been one of those overly dramatic girls who in the past caused many a scene in a high school drama queen fashion, it feels at times as though this is some story I have concocted. As though it couldn't possibly have happened to me because things like this DO. NOT. REALLY. HAPPEN. And I always considered that if anyone in my close family died, I would just not be able to cope. I would just fall apart and cry all day every day and just be entirely unable to function.

But look at me.

My baby is dead. The child I planned, desperately wanted, wished and prayed for, carried for nine loving months, dreamed of, and loved...well he died. Inside me. And I gave birth to him. Dead (that word still brings automatic tears). And yet my life goes on.

I have to visit my child at his grave.

Can you imagine that?

Can you imagine going along and taking toys, rearranging windmills and flowers at your child's grave?

How horrific. Who could ever imagine such a thing?

And yet...a quote I heard on tv the other day stands out to me. To paraphrase Nigella Lawson...the human ability to normalise the abnormal, the tragic, is astounding.

It has become quite normal to me to visit my son's grave. To take him little token gifts. To water the flowers other parents leave their babies who are also buried there. To read stories of other deadbabymamas. To look lovingly at momento mori photos of the loved little precious babies who were born too early, born still.

Hmm. Isn't is strange how we are able to adapt.

where to start...what to do

I have let my griefwork go.
I have been ignoring my writing, I have been wrapping myself up in daily life because I felt it was necessary. I have been obsessing. Again.
My eating got out of control. I was eating a few bites of something once a day. I have not eaten more than once a day in months. I started eating again, bits and pieces, and every time I ate, I was in massive amounts of pain. I was sick. Eating actually made me sick. I am working on it. No eating disorder here btw. I want to eat, I just have NO appetite. It is my usual reaction to life events.

I dont know where to start with my writing.

Do I write about going in for an ultrasound - fertility investigation.
About how it felt being in that room, having that u/s, where my last experience involved being told my baby was, in fact, dead.
About how they sent me back out to the waiting room to drink more.
About how there was a mother in there cooing and babbling to her three month old baby...the same age as Caden.
About how she was incessant...about how much pain I was in...about how I wanted to scream.

Do I write about thinking we were going to ttc again...but now we aren't?

Do I write about crying again?
Do I write about how for some reason I have stopped caring so much?
Do I write about how many things I want to do, and how I have no drive to do them?

Do I write about how last night we found out we are going to face a serious, serious financial problem in the next year?
About how I have no idea how we will manage?
About how I feel like I have no options?

I guess I just did...
I feel useless. I feel...I don't even know how I feel.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Okay here it is.

I am facing a sort of writers block, in the sense that I just dont know how to get my thoughts onto the screen. There is so much racing around in my head...most of it bad. Most of it I wil not type out here for fear that someone I know will read it. Most of it makes me feel quite guilty.

But here's the long and short of it.

I'm angry.
I'm bitter.
I'm resentful.
I'm tired.

Really. Fucking. Tired.

I think I need about a week to sleep and think. I have found over the years that I need time to myself to work through my thoughts (I have a lot of them).

But what I can get out basically goes like this, I apologise if it makes no sense.

I am still angry that we cannot do the IVF right now. I feel like everything we have been through, we deserve it. Also, I recently realised what may seem blatantly obvious to everyone but may not work. IVF is not a magic bullet, and there are no guarantees. While on an intellectual level I realise this, I think that emotionally I just think we'll do it and get pregnant straight away. I would like to hope that I would handle a disappointment on our first cycle, or our second cycle, etc. but I'm just not sure, after the way I handled (or didnt handle) the IVF appointments over the weekend.

Anyway. I think I am coming to terms with the wait. Up until the trip, I was just hating the idea of waiting for 6 months more than anything I have ever experienced. On the trip I sulked my way through 4 days of appointments. Walking through the clinic doors pretty much put me in a sour mood automatically. I am ashamed to say I acted like a petulant child the entire time. I had no idea that it was going to affect me so greatly.

I have been avoiding most thoughts of Caden lately.

We have talked about wanting to do permanent foster care for awhile now. Living in Australia, we can't adopt a child, but I have worked with kids in foster care before, and permanent care is about as close as we can get to adoption. Last night I was reading a newsletter from another state that listed the special needs babies and kids who are looking for families. Two of them jumped out at me. I so wish that we lived in that state. These two babies, aged 3 and 4 months, with medical conditions, may never get a permanent home. I haven't been able to get them out of my head since then. I just can't stop thinking about them.

I feel angry at someone I was close to. Well thats not right. I am angry at things that have happened, not at the person per se. But I am saddened at this, another loss in my life.

Ugh. I can't focus on one thought for long enough to even make sense.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Four days that felt like a lifetime...

I am back from our four day trek to New South and back again.

I am physically and emotionally EXHAUSTED.
It was a lot harder than I expected.
More dreams shattered, I have very little left.

Will write more tomorrow, I need sleep now...

Friday, June 13, 2008

avoidance tactics

I have realised I have written very little about my emotional state lately. On purpose. Im a big mess. No one really cares anymore. I am expected to be "over this" now.
And I am bitter, and angry, and feel very abandoned.
There are a few things I need to get out on 'paper' and need to write a long, real entry.

But not tonight.

I was tagged by K@laky, giving me the perfect excuse to avoid facing my emotions yet again :)

1. What were you doing 10 years ago?
I was 14, grade 9, hating life, thinking it couldn't get any worse (ha!). Decided to move to Italy. No really, I did.

2. What 5 things are on your to do list today?
as its after midnight I guess it qualifies - 1) ring up all the companies I owe money to and tell them my details have changed AGAIN because I lost my credit card AGAIN
2) get through the day at work without bursting into tears at my desk AGAIN
3) eat. habit of not eating is impacting negatively on my health (who would have thought?)
4) actually do some work at work
5) pack for the trip to Sydney that I should be excited about but i am the opposite.

3.List snacks you enjoy.
Nothing at the present time. But I used to like food. I vaguely remember it.

4. What would you do with a billion dollars?
Buy my family members decent homes.
Use my wealth to shoot me to the top of adoption lists
Fund massive amounts of Stillbirth research
oh so many things but I get depressed thinking about money because we are so. broke.

5. List places you have lived.
Treviso, Italy
Modena, Italy
Granada, Spain
South Australia

6. List jobs you have had.
Legal secretary, waitress, international spy, bestselling author, childcare worker.
(okay only 3 of those are true. You work out which ones ;)

7. List names of people you want to know more about.
I'm fairly sure everyone has done this already...but if you havent... tag! you're it...

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Since I posted about R's fundraising efforts, so many people have stepped up to tell me about their experiences with MS. It is much like after Caden's death, where people came forward about their own losses.

So this is for Pam's best friend.
This is for Tracie's mum, aunt and uncle who all have MS.
This is for Sean's Grandmother.
This is for Laura's friend's son.
This is for SBB's partner.

Makes me more determined than ever to raise as much money as we can for this good cause.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Multiple Sclerosis

Every year R enters a fundraising event we have here in Australia called the MS Readathon. It is to raise money to support people living in our community with Multiple Sclerosis. It is a cause close to our hearts as through my life I have had more than one friend lose their mother to MS. Recently another friend lost her mother to MS as well.

What is it?
MS stands for Multiple Sclerosis an unpredictable and mysterious disease of the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord). Our central nervous system contains nerve fibres that help send information to and from different parts of our body. A substance called myelin coats the nerve fibres, like insulation around an electric cable.
The healthy body's immune system normally defends the body from attack by viruses or bacteria. However, in the case of MS, the body's immune system attacks its own myelin, causing disruption to messages being sent to and from the brain.
The myelin becomes scarred and the damaged areas are called "sclerosis". As they appear in "multiple" places within the central nervous system, the disease is called Multiple Sclerosis.

Some facts about MS:
- It affects over 16,000 Australians and more than 2,500,000 people around the world.
- Most common in young adults.
- Usually diagnosed between 20 and 50 years of age.
- Almost three times as many women as men have MS.
- It is more common in cooler climates.
- MS is not contagious.
- Symptoms can be mild or severe and come and go unpredictably.
- It affects each person differently.
- The cause and cure of MS is unknown.

If it is at all possible, please consider sponsoring R in his efforts to raise money. Every single dollar counts towards helping people with MS live their lives with the support they need.

Click on his banner to go to his homepage to sponsor him or to read more about what it is, any donation over $2 is tax deductible. Please feel free to pass on the link to anyone you think might like to help out.


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

thoughts as i think them...

I was driving home last night and caught sight of something that made me smile.
A teenage kid, waiting at a bus stop, dancing.
Like no-one was watching, to music only he could hear.
On the side of a main road - 6 lanes of traffic, without a trace of self-consciousness.

It was just one of those moments where you realise that life can be beautiful. I don't know why it touched me so deeply...but it did. I wanted to yell out the window "You are Awesome!" but I was driving too fast.

Life did not end for me when it ended for Caden.

A dear friend once said that her son "is not his death"
And it's true. Caden is not his death.
And I am not just the mother of the dead baby.
I am the mother of the crazy 6 yr old.
I am the partner of the loving, positive, often clumsy lover of mine.

In hiding from my grief I am not helping myself.
In wallowing in my grief I am not helping myself.

It is all about finding that happy medium.

And dancing as though no-ones watching...

Happiness is your dentist telling you it won't hurt and then having him catch his hand in the drill -Johnny Carson

So aside from stupid grief and whatnot, the other main issue I'm dealing with is my teeth. And the issue is a doozy.

Went to Dentist #1 about a month ago. We'll call him Little-Money-Grubbing-Asshole shall we? He takes 3 x-rays and tells me that I need 5 fillings. I think "dammit" now I have to come up with hundreds of dollars. I think this is terrible. Cut to a week ago where I go in for the first 2 fillings. I tell LMGA that one of my other teeth hurts a little, and has started wobbling. I am worried. He takes another x-ray (on the same spot he took one 3 weeks ago) and tells me "You have a big periodontal abscess. You need a root canal or extraction. That will cost $700-$800."

I am p.i.s.s.e.d off. I think "Holy crap this is awful". Then I think "Wait a did you NOT pick this up 3 weeks ago?" I decide to go through public health and get an emergency appointment. They give me a referral to go to another private dentist for treatment. Yay for a second opinion.

I go to Dentist #2 on friday - aka Geez-How-Old-Are-You-Nineteen?
GHOAY19 is lovely. I feel very at ease with her. She takes another x-ray. Does a cold test. Tells me that my nerve is fine, no need for a root canal. (at this point I'm thinking of how much I would like to punch LMGA - imagine a root canal on a healthy nerve...not pretty)
She tells me that I have a large abscess which is actually a gum problem not a tooth problem. She says when it advances more it may kill the nerve and I'll need a root canal, but for now I am ok. GHOAY19 is going to write a referral to the public dental hospital for me to get specialist treatment on the gum. She explains the procedure, that they will make little incisions in the gum, clean out the crap, and put in some kind of aritifical bone thingy. I blank out a little. I understand little of what shes babbling about. She tells me to ring the Dental Hospital to ask what the waiting list is like.

On Monday I ring the Dental Hospital and talk to Miss SB (snobby bitch) she is rude and persistently tells me that they don't accept referrals from private dentsts, and that I need to go on the waiting list at my local clinic for general check and THEN I can be referred. It doesnt matter how many times I tell her that I was at the private dentist on an emergency form, she repeats - you need to be on the waiting list. I tell SB that she is making NO SENSE and hang up.

I call the clinic. I speak to Miss Annoyed. MA repeats what SB said. I say to her "so what exactly is the point of an emergency appointment? Im still in pain, the tooth is still moving." Miss Annoyed sighs and tells me that I have to go on their waiting list which is currently 18 months long. I exclaim "So I'm supposed to just wait for all my teeth to fall out!?!"
Miss Annoyed sighs again and says sarcastically "I think thats a bit dramatic"
I say "damn right its dramatic - so is losing your freaking TEETH. It is already loose and it WILL FALL OUT"
I think I piss her off so much that she gives me an appointment with their dentist for the very next day for an assessment.

Cut to today.
I pick up the x-ray and referral letter from GHOAY19 and head to Dentist #3 - Government-Budget-Cuts-Mean-No-Care-For-You. She is nice too, but I dont care for what she has to say. She says my teeth are all in bad shape (no shit) due to poor dental care as a teenager (guilty as charged). There are a few problems that will need to be fixed (fillings) Again, no surprise there.
GBCMNCFY looks at the damn wobbly tooth. Tells me it is rubbing on the top tooth. Files it down so it no longer does. Says this is probably what made it wobbly and because of the plaque on my teeth it caused the periopocket. Says the govt will not fund any kind of gum surgery and it wont help anyway. There is no way to regenerate the lost bone in the tooth (duh). Apparently people pay thousands of dollars for surgery that wont really help. Tells me to take better care of my teeth. (Im trying!!! Really I am) Tells me Listerine is the devil. Uh ok, thought I was doing the right thing there.
She tells me that the tooth will always be wobbly. Bloody hell. Avoid crusty breads etc. Geez thanks. Nothing I can do about it but keep it clean. And when it gets infected, go on antibiotics (yup, well I'm allergic to ALL antibiotics bar one...makes it hard) Says the tooth won't fall out. Hmm

So. We have 3 dentists, and 3 completely different diagnoses.
#1 - LMGA who just wants the quick bucks from a root canal.
#2 - GHOAY19 who despite looking like she's just graduated high school, seemed to know what she was talking about; and
#3 - GBCMNCFY who can't refer me to a specialist because their funding doesn't cover it so is possibly telling me there is nothing that can be done just to make me go away.

Ah what to's all nonsense really.
Makes me want to keep going to different dentists and see how many different diagnoses they can come up with...

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Life is just too hard at the moment.
I don't like feeling this way, I hate crying every night - even without being 'sad'.
Some nights I cry without even knowing why. I'm not consciously feeling 'sad', I'm not thinking consciously about Caden, but my subconscious clearly is and the tears fall without me even meaning them too.
Everything is just a struggle.
I wish people understood that getting out of bed is a struggle for me, let alone all the crap they keep heaping on top of me. I can't handle having to co-ordinate builders, and deal with flight itineraries, and doctors, and work, and everything.

On the overwhelmed note, Kim's mum is sick. She's coming down for a few months for chemo. While I am glad we will all get to spend time together (they live on the other side of the country and we normally see them once a year) I hate that they are coming down for this reason. I am scared, Kim is scared.

Is 2008 over yet?

Monday, June 2, 2008

not enough hours in the day

I find myself with no time to myself at the moment.
Highly amusing given I only "work" 3 days a week.
Honestly between Rory's soccer practice, the phone calls to and from work on my days off with people frantically searching for files that I have never actually been in charge of...wait I digress...yes. Doctors appointments (mine and R's), dentist appointments (mine and R's), shopping, arguing with banks and electricity/gas/phone/internet suppliers, cleaning, cooking, running errands for Kim, proof-reading tenders (again - on my day off!)...well I'm left with no time to just be me.

I spent the first few months after Caden's death online. Reading blogs, finding new communities. I miss that. I found such lovely people in my travels and I miss them. I miss knowing that I am not the only one feeling this way.

As for feelings, well I have a lot of them. Want to borrow some?

I have found that "f--- you" is my most common thought. I think it every 5 minutes or so at the moment.

I walk into the pharmacy. Am assaulted by walls of H.uggies, bottles and smiling babies.
"F--- You" I think

I pick R up from school and the mothers next to me start. "Oh, did you hear? Ethan's mum had her baby!!! A little girl!!! Oh we all knew it was a girl!!! Yes she brought her in this morning!!!"
"F--- You" I think, and I glare at them with menace.

I go to the dentist. Have a cute toddler thrust in my face. Mother is yelling at baby. Seriously? The kid's like a year old. Stop shoving it and telling it to hurry up.
"F--- You" I think.

I drive down the street. Babies in strollers. Babies in slings. Babies. Babies. Babies.
"F--- You", "F--- You", "F--- You" I think.

I log on to (masochistically) read the bulletin boards I used to post on. New babies.
"F--- You" I think (for the first time I feel guilty...I genuinely love these women)

I turn on the TV. Babies. Pregnant Women. "I'm having a baby!!!"
"F--- You" I think. "that's what you think. Just getting pregnant does not mean you will have a baby".

I read that another good friend has lost another baby.
"F--- You Universe"

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