Baby… you’re everywhere.

August 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

Baby… you’re everywhere.

I miss you. I really do. Time moves forward but my heart is scarred.

I think about you when I look in the mirror, when I wake up in the middle of the night. I cry when I drive past the cemetery – I can’t help it. I think about you when I look at Taka; we think of you when we hold each other. I think of you when I have good days, and when I have bad days – you are everywhere.

I’ve finally felt physically fit enough to get back into exercise. I started kickboxing training. I think about the anger of losing you when I smash the Thai pads. I think about you giving me strength when I’m in the burning last seconds of a 1-minute plank. Your name sticks out of my hand wraps and I channel everything you were and continue to be every time I clench my fist. You give me strength.

I started swimming again and when I’m in the water, I’m in heaven. I missed swimming when I was pregnant with you – doctors had given me mixed opinions on swimming in the first trimester, so I had opted not to swim. I’m pushing myself every time – more laps, more intensity. I’m getting stronger.

The other day I bumped into my mate at the pools. I hadn’t seen her since the funeral. We hung out in the deep end, catching up. Her sweet six year old son took the opportunity to ask me, “Aunty… your baby died, aye?”, I paused but responded “Yeah, he did…” He continued, “how come your baby died?” and I said, “I don’t know… no one knows, sometimes babies die… it’s sad.” He agreed, then continued splashing around. I couldn’t wait to put my head under the water after that confronting, honest interaction. I love the way children ask questions. But it just reminded me, baby – you’re everywhere.

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The cemetery and taking one day at a time

August 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

I got our baby’s name tattooed on my right hand – an indelible mark and a reminder that he changed my life and I will never be the same. I love seeing his name, and saying his name… remembering him, and remembering the struggle and all the love that enables me to be OK.

I’ve been to the cemetery twice since I got the tattoo. I like going there. It’s peaceful and settling. But always sad. The tears come from nowhere as I walk up the pathway towards his grave. My abdomen convulses in quiet ripples and my eyes start to sting in a mess of watery mascara and smudged eyeliner. I’m usually filled with filmic replays in my mind of the birth, the first sight of his little body, seeing my partner’s heart break before my eyes as we saw he was a boy. I remember the moments I spent sitting in my car with him in his casket, before the funeral service began. I remember the pain of his loss gushing out of me like a tsunami. Then I remember the peace… my partner and our bond. The life we have built with the pieces that were blown apart after our loss. And I think about the future. I’ve enjoyed the process of understanding death, and feel so comfortable at the cemetery now – it feels so human to experience loss and to mourn.

I went to the cemetery yesterday, by myself. I wanted to gather strength for an important presentation I had to give, and I knew being there would give me perspective and strength. I crumbled again – in tears. I spoke to Rèmy, in whispers. I sat for the first time on the concrete next to his grave and I recounted the things that had happened since my last visit. I thought I would feel more mad, but it felt right.

At the event I was presenting at, my delivery went better than I had expected – I found a new confidence in my voice and I enjoyed it. I went outside afterwards and met a woman who had enjoyed my speech. I had seen her and her children sitting in the audience wearing memorial t-shirts for a young man. I said that I felt comforted seeing them, because I had just come from the cemetery as I visit my baby on Sundays. She told me she lost her son, only last month. The family were on their way to the cemetery after the talk. We hugged and connected, in grief and confidence – to move forward, to keep building, to support and sustain those around us and the effort to take one day at a time. I was so moved.

I had my follow-up appointment with a gynecologist today to discuss the test results from the placenta and blood tests. As suspected, there was a bit of infection and blood clotting. I have more tests to do to find out more about the clotting, but the doctor seemed to encourage us to try again, in good time. Getting pregnant again scares me so much – being pregnant again scares me. Enduring another tragedy scares me. Being aware of what could happen every second of every day for nine months will be exhausting. Trying to be positive that whole time, will be hard. Really hard. Trying again, fear and intimacy are all things that we’re juggling as time moves forward.

I guess it’s just one day at a time…

Babies, Facebook and Tattoos

August 5, 2012 § Leave a comment

The fucked up thing about coming from a culture with a high birth rate is that every second day, babies are posted on your Facebook timeline. Every second day, I read the most loved up, joyous expressions of how life will never be the same, how much everyone loves this new baby, how he/she has a name so important, so loaded with love and history, responsibility and connection.

My partner keeps trying to tell me to just be happy for the friends and family who are blessed with new babies and successful pregnancies. Clearly, so much easier said than done. I tell him that its hard to put someone else’s happiness ahead of my sadness and that I can’t help how I feel. It’s not the pictures, the pictures are undeniably delicious, it’s the written expression that hurts the most. Because I know that what we went through was the exact polar opposite of that joy.

It has been a month since we buried our son. I’m getting a tattoo next week with his name. I feel bad sometimes when I catch myself remembering what we went through, losing Rèmy and then I realise that I’ve moved on, time has moved forward. I haven’t forgotten him, but you just build on the grief and life goes on. I haven’t had a tattoo in the past year because I’ve been pregnant for over six months of that time. I felt the other day that the time was right to get a new one.

Family

July 19, 2012 § Leave a comment

Saying good-bye to my partner’s younger sister today has made me really sad. Sad because she is my partner’s closest family member, and they have never lived on opposite sides of the world before. Amazed and in absolute respect for her as a young mum with a one, two and three year old. Sad because it makes me think about how close and reliable she has been in our times of need. Inspired by the courage her and her husband Tevita exude taking such a huge step by relocating the family from South Auckland to the South of France. But overall sad for how much my partner will miss his little sister.

The tears flowed today as we all stood around the departures area, in the moment when they absolutely had to go. The men being strong, the women wiping tears and mascara, the children largely oblivious. I miss them already.

Triggers

July 14, 2012 § Leave a comment

Seeing a friend’s pictures of her beautiful new born baby on Instagram was a trigger.

That sadness which is negative and inconsolable washed over me like a king tide.

Like a bad score, moments like this bring down the average and saying “I’m OK, I’m doing well” becomes only a partially true statement.

This was mostly a good week. As my health started to improve, my head started to come together. The reality of having no job was a chilling reminder that life must go on.

I’m just identifying the triggers…

#np These Arms of Mine ~ Otis Redding

It happens slowly but surely

July 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

New day, fresh start. Feeling good. Blue skies.

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Tuesday

July 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

Today was a good day.

Although it started with tears (I watched the Huggies ‘It Must Be Love’ commercial about six times and cried quietly in bed for about 3 minutes), I felt more alive health-wise and set about getting out of the house. Today was the first time I left the house by myself since before the miscarriage. It has been slowly occurring to me that if my pregnant stay-at-home girlfriend plans have failed, then I should probably think about getting another job. This hit home when I rang the bank to discuss restructuring my loan repayments – they were somewhat confused at my situation – no income, no job, no real plans. I would need to produce a medical certificate to prove that my work related stress was affecting my health. I’ve thought a lot about stress and my miscarriages.

I always seem to get distracted with online trawling for information about miscarriages. Today I read about the statistics on healthy pregnancies after one, two and three miscarriages. My partner and I will try again and sooner rather than later. I have the strength to endure another miscarriage – it just gets harder and harder to be positive. This time we’ll be going even more to the book – preparing ourselves pre-pregnancy, getting as healthy as possible, ensuring we’ve got shit a little bit more sorted. And we’ll go down this path once again.

I finally left the house to run errands – bank, post office, Council offices, Inland Revenue – I was shattered after just an hour of driving around, parking, walking, waiting, talking. I realised that I didn’t want to see anyone I knew, and I walked with my eyes down. I started getting hot flashes by the time I got to my last stop and I needed to get home.

I didn’t do my hair when I left the house, and I couldn’t be bothered with make-up. I caught a glimpse of myself around lunchtime… it was a bit scary. I had a lovely pregnancy glow two weeks ago – my skin looked so healthy and light. My nails were strong and for the first time in my life I was growing them and painting them and loving it. Two days after leaving hospital last week, my nails started to crack and become brittle. Being some of the coldest days of the year, my lips have become chapped and sore. With the sleeplessness and flu, cold sweats and tears, the bags under my eyes have become pretty serious. I looked old and run down. It was quite a depressing sight.

I looked through job advertisements in the afternoon – wondering what it is that I want to do. I think losing Rèmy has made me re-evaluate my life with a perspective I had never considered before. For this I’m grateful.

I ran out to get a few things for dinner and drove home in the direction of a beautiful orange sunset. I cried. Again. But I was OK. Just ‘process tears’… they aren’t weakness, or falling apart, they’re just the residual pain, hurt and grief which sit around the edge of my life – every breath, every minute, every day.

Today was a good day.