Another Angelversary 

11 years … Angelversary, birthday, all of which are tainted with such sadness, my little soldiers living without a big brother, my army NEVER being quite complete. 

They’ve created a image of you, what they think you’d be like, what you’d like and how you’d protect them, I trust that this is true. Louis, they will live out your dreams for you so keep watching it will be hell of an adventure. 

I’ll never accept your gone, but I can say that finally, I have learned to live with it. 

It’s been a turbulent journey, ladened with pain, sadness and anger, I’ve had to learn forgiveness, I’ve had to learn to build a strong foundation only to have it destroyed again and again, I’ve had to learn resilience and determination to keep getting up when in my darkest days all I wanted was you and your brothers.

 I wish I hadn’t of had to experience the pain but I’m grateful you came into my life even if for such a small time and for that reason I wouldn’t change a thing.

 I’ll never forget you, my first born! Honestly, how can anyone ever forget their first born! 

Happy birthday up there .. they must of upgraded you to lance corporal by now xxx 

If grieving is the price I’ll pay for loving you, then I guess I’ll be grieving forever. 

Kelly Harris – Mummy to an army!


Having a baby will change your life!

how-to-be-a-parentparenting

Don’t you just love how people say having a baby will change your life!

I love that saying, and I relish in this patronising phrase even more now I have four little squidlets of my own! (She says with an evil laugh)

We all know that parenting doesn’t come with book of instructions…I mean “babies for dummies” …This certainly would be an ironically titled book and a great read for the inquisitively naive.

But when your biological clock starts ticking away it sounds like that giant crocodile from The Peter Pan movie following you everywhere, the constant tick tick and with each tick another unfertilised egg making its way down Fallopian Avenue to play a game of TAG with 1,000,000 tadpoles with the odds of winning the lottery to boot.

You become totally and utterly obsessed with sex, your husband thinks he’s some sort of Love God because you’ve gone from a casual hump in the sack once a week in the position you know works best for you both, to man-handling the poor man the minute he walks through the door because your body is at the right temperature and its precisely the right time of the month to perfect this fornication, however in your head the voice of ‘Mother Nature’ is screaming at you “screw more, screw more” so you listen to this jeering voice in your head and ignore the iPhone app and whatever other jargon you’ve been reading on Google, and embark on a daily humpathon in a vain attempt to get up the spout!

That burning desire your feel, its NOT thrush! It’s the burning desire to have  a baby, and this begins to take over your life so your no longer surveying the street looking at the latest fashions and saving for that longing pair of Louboutin’s, but its replaced with buying shares in Johnson and Johnson and stocking up on ovulations sticks.

On a positive note, you’ve mastered pissing in a shot glass whilst perched on the toilet seat without getting any pee on your fingers, and amazingly stopping mid-flow to complete this laborious task, your shot glass is full of the perfect amount of warm ‘sugar puff’ wee ready to be tested Ta Daaaaa!!….

If only you knew then, that this would become ‘a something you used to be able to do’ a bit like when you used to sit as a kid in that awkward looking bandy way without getting pins and needles and the way you used to be able to BITE ice cream…

When you are in the ‘I must have a baby’ zone you become blind, blind to the screaming toddlers in the supermarket throwing themselves on the floor because mum picked up the wrong apple, you don’t see the 8 month pregnant woman walking up the street like a beached whale, struggling to walk on her swollen feet that she’s pushed in to sandals in 4 inch snow because she’s that desperate to eat a manky kebab followed by a coffee from the man who parks his wagon outside the pub to sell junk to drunks on a Friday! ALL THIS! Is because you have suddenly developed a craving for eating polystyrene cups.

It’s like the reproduction fairy has thrown her ‘Sperm Dust’ all over you and all you can see is Husband and Wife embracing on a park bench, sharing an ice cream (licking not BITING), said wife has a perfect football sized bump and hot husband is gently caressing her beautiful swelling tummy, she is glowing, positively glowing, not like me who was sweating like a Lee Evans on Tour in the middle of winter.

Instead of screaming toddler’s, the fairies evil ‘Sperm Dust’ has replaced this image with a beautiful angelic baby being nursed by its mother, a skinny latte in one hand and a perfectly balanced bundle of porcelain skin coloured cuteness, nuzzling away from her very large, very pert breast.

So we blissfully enter upon pregnancy, you’ll glow, people will tell you! You will feel amazing! People will tell you! You will love every second, people will tell you!

LIARS…. Here is my little “Mummy thesaurus” for you …..

YOU’RE GLOWING: Means the hot sweat from your swelling body has created a glowing orb around your body like the man off the ready brek advert years ago.

YOUR SKIN AND HAIR LOOK AMAZING: They have to say that because your hormones are exploding, one wrong word from anyone and you could drown in your own tears, so to tell you that you resemble a teenager with acne, that your lips are chapped, and that your hair has developed a personality all of its own would send you in to a sobbing and blithering wreck.

YOU’RE ALL BABY: Again a positive spin on telling you that you have your own orbit…

I LIKE YOUR SANDALS!:  People are instantly drawn to your fluid retained elephant feet and stare with amazement wondering how on earth you have managed to walk, let alone drive a car with these monstrous feet, so instead of mention THE FEET, which is the elephant in the room (no pun intended) they complement your footwear, even if they are Crocs….

YOU HAVE GREAT BOOBS: This is one that is quite correct, so take this compliment and own it, as by the time your belly is a 4 month neat bump (which by the way is when you probably do look at your best) your tits are F**king amazing, they are firm, they are perfectly rounded, they are pert (again) and all of a sudden you have a nipple without have to tempt it out of hiding by flicking the end like a tortoise in its shell. So in the words of Tony the Tiger (and my husband), they are GGgrrrrrreeeeeatttt … he simply couldn’t keep his hands off them, well at least until my belly got so big he needed a passport to get anywhere close to me.

DON’T WORRY, YOU’RE EATING FOR TWO LOVE, FILL YOUR BOOTS?  Fill my boots, and your boots and any other persons boots, get passed 6 months, all you’ll want to do is EAT, and you rationalise this with the fact you are growing another human and never in your life is there any other time to acceptably eat 2 starters, 2 mains and 2 puddings, with a sneaky drive through cheeseburger and milkshake on the way home.

So next time someone says to you in the middle of the café when you’re taking a well-earned rest drinking a caffeine free latte ….

Hi Darlinggggg, my oh my I haven’t seen you in ages, I didn’t realise you were expecting, wow your all baby aren’t you? But you’re positively glowing darlingggggg, and your hair, boobs and skin look amazeballs! Do you come to this café often darlinggg? What do you order? After all you’re eating for two?? Oh and by the way your sandals are FAB, are they designer?

SIMPLY … nod, smile, and spit in their tea.

Bringing me nicely on to LABOUR. Be warned and be prepared ‘Labour’ is called this for a reason, do NOT be disillusioned, its rarely serene with lavender oils and whale music in the background (for the few that achieve this mother earth way of birthing I wholeheartedly commend you and I offer you a virtual pat on the back to rejoice in the fact your vagina is probably made from bungee elastic), in my opinion there is honestly nothing harder than birth…….. apart from giving up chocolate and wine!?

You begin this process all woman, a shaved, preened and vagazzled lady, still with the smudging of a natural hint of blush on the cheekbones, glossy lips and a hint of mascara so in all your hospital ‘labour’ selfies you can pretend your still rocking a gorgeous look.

Whilst in labour, you prudishly cover your modesty with every inch available of the poxy tea towel sized cloth you’ve been given to place over your lap, during every vaginal examination. You squeeze your eyes together and look the opposite direction because making eye contact with someone who has their four fingers shoved up your foof almost feels like your flirting, which is F**king wrong!!

With each centimetre of dilation, the pain increases so much you think you might actually die! The ‘make up’ that you had spent hours putting on to make yourself look like your not wearing any make up, is now looking at you in a face shaped indent from the pillow in front of you because your on all fours screaming and making noises that only come from farmyard animals, your husband is patting your brow and stroking your hand like your some sort of pet, whilst intermittently staring at the television in the corner of the prison-like room he’s cleverly applied the subtitles to this shite film so he could still read the plot while your panting out of your arse and screaming like a chimp on fire ….

It suddenly dawns on you that you are going to leave this process A MUM! A mum who doesn’t give a toss who has seen her foof, who has had a hand up her foof, and the tea towel sized blanket used to cover your foof is now damp with cold water and is on your head, your so hot you’ve stripped off all clothing and your now farting with each push and beginning to wonder if you actually might poo yourself before this baby decides to enter the earth screaming….

Screaming … by god there is no scream like it… piercing, menacing scream that is the sound of joy to every new parent, you could listen to it all day, looking at your bundle of gorgeousness, thinking WOW… just super WOW…

Two weeks later that scream you used to be able to listen to all day…. NOT SO CUTE! #justsaying, in fact, you walk the long way around a room to miss out all the creaky bits because IT WILL WAKE THE BABY, you put your finger to your lips and SSSHHHHHHHHHHH so loudly at your husband because the sound of his loose change in his pocket WILL WAKE THE BABY, but it was actually your loud SSSHHHHHHHHH that woke the baby in the first place and sent it into a high pitched lethal ear deafening scream that cant even be settled with milky nipple….

Sleep deprivation is truly and honestly torturous, THE BABY is relentless, and you will wonder how the hell something so small can create this amount of chaos, and you will doubt your own mind, and you will leave your car keys in the fridge and start mistakenly using your hairspray as antiperspirant, you will wash your face with hand soap, and probably won’t shower for a week and more than likely won’t leave the house for 10 days for fear of THE BABY being over exposed to THE OUTSIDE, you will not be able to wear a top without sick on the shoulder for at least 6 months, and it will take you 3x that to get back into your pre-pregnancy jeans (if you are lucky!)

There will be many moments of new parenting that you will endure and enjoy, cry with tears and laughter, shout with happiness and anger, smile with love and through gritted teeth………

So having a baby will change your life, HELL YES, it most certainly will, but the bigger question is “would you change this?”

ANSWER: NOT IN A MILLION LOTTERY WINS! SO WELCOME TO PARENTHOOD, WHEN CAN WE DO IT AGAIN….

mum and baby

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

….I wish I could say all of that and more…..

happy birthday 3rd

To My Dearest Elliot

It’s the 6th December 2015 so what would I say if I could say anything …

‘I love you to infinity and beyond’, is what I would say…. Because all little boys love Toy Story…

‘Happy Birthday’ is what I would say….

…..And God only knows how much I wish I could say all of that and more…..

I wish I could lie with you and stroke your chubby cheeks while you sleep, I wish I could hold you tightly in my arms when you were tired, sad or ill, I wish I could be annoyed with you for drawing on my walls and frustrated with you for peeing in your pants for the 100th time that day.

I wish all of those things and more….

So today your 3 and if you were here it would be your special day, you would wake up so early that the sun would not of even begun to peep over the horizon. We would all be greeted by your chubby face and rosey red pouty grin, and through our gritty eyes still filled with sleepy dust we would all clumber together in one room and sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to you.  You would clap and jump on the spot like a springy toy, and filled with childish excitement you would then turn to Daddy and say “where are my pwezents?, and Daddy would smile and pick you up and spin you around, you would squawk with joy as daddy holds you tightly and lets you walk on the walls whilst you pretend to be Spider-Man, just like your older brother Toby used to when he was 3, you would be yelling and whooping with happiness….

Lilly-Ella would get your presents carefully wrapped for you, you’d bundle over boisterously and without a second thought you begin tearing strips off the presents before Lilly-Ella has managed to even put them on the ground…she would smirk as if knowing that this is what you would do.

Cheering and throwing the paper in the air like confetti, screaming out the name of each toy and immediately starting on the next gift as if taking part in some sort of speed challenge…

A woody………….. some lego………… a hammer………….some more lego…….A teddy ….. a fireman helmint!

People would come and go all day long visiting you on your special day and bringing you more gifts, we would all sing ‘Happy Birthday’ grouped about the birthday cake, a big cake shaped like a digger with 3 large musical candles on… you would blow and blow and blow and the candles just won’t go out so Isla takes over and does it for you.

You eat so much cake, I’ve never seen anyone polish off so much chocolate and keep it down…

After all the cake, you pop all the balloons with your brothers and sisters, jumping out of your skin every time one pops, as if it’s a new sensation. We all look on and laugh, belly like howls of laughter, and as the day draws to an end and you are beginning to get a little fractious for you are so tired and full of cake!

I change you in to a new pair of birthday fleecy pyjamas and we sit together and snuggle, I sing a quiet hum in your ear, a final rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ and your asleep before I finish the first verse, a soft and comforting snuffle of pleasure comes from you as you visit your dreams, I stroke your head and kiss your cheek and whisper in your ear…. I LOVE YOU TO INFINITY AND BEYOND MY SWEET ELLIOT, SLEEP TIGHT! X.

I wish I could do all of that and more……..

RIP My Sweet Child of 3!

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The Result…

Did having a Post Mortem help me with my grief, help me deal with the loss of my 3rd child, absolutely not, is the answer? The results of Elliot’s Post Mortem will torment me until the day I die. I guess in hindsight when I actioned the go ahead for this Post Mortem I think I was looking for definite proof that his life was not worthy, like he was terminally ill or something, that maybe his stillbirth was in some cruel twisted path of fate saving me from more pain in latter years.

All we now know is that Elliot’s results in black and white describe it as follows:

Unexplained intrauterine death of patients baby 3 months ago. Post Mortem suggest high feto-placetal ratio.

This was basically explained to me that the placenta size was small and it was not big enough to keep Elliot alive once he got bigger and began to draw more from it, which in turn meant his health / life was compromised. You all probably read this and think what my husband thinks “It’s an answer, it’s not a chromosome defect, and it’s something rather than an abyss of nothingness and un-answered questions”.

Sadly for me this result is like receiving a life sentence of imprisonment within my own mindful thoughts. A life sentence of self blame. Rob has found comfort from the result but as I write this I wish I never had them.

Elliot was confirmed dead on the Wednesday 5th December although he was born on the 6th. On the Monday prior to the nightmare unfurling I had a midwife appointment and I now believe that the motherly instinct I had on that day, that intuitive feeling that something was wrong was now absolutely and 100% correct.

The midwife completed all her normal checks, urine, blood pressure, then proceeded to palpate my belly to determine Elliot’s position to help with listening in to Elliot’s heartbeat with the Sonicaid Heart Doppler. I was always anxious at this point, this anxiety I carried with me throughout every one of my pregnancies since loosing the twins, and it was no different this time. I don’t think I have actually ever been able to sit back, relax and actually enjoy being pregnant like other mothers. With tragedy striking me upon my first pregnancy with a double neonatal death this did set presidency for all other pregnancies. Most mothers sit anxious, quietly keeping their news a secret from all until the 12 week dating scan believing this to be the safe point from then on but I remained fearful because of the loss I endured at 25weeks. For me there was no safe point, pregnancy meant 9 months of anxiety, becoming a nervous wreck and worrying about every peculiarity.

Elliot was always hard to trace he had a tendency to be lying in the transverse position making it hard to detect his heartbeat.

I reflect back and on one occasion I remember leaving the clinic in floods of tears after I had laid on the examination bed for over 35 minutes while the midwife manipulated my tummy from one position to another trying to move Elliot into a better position, she was perspiring with nervous anticipation trying to keep me calm, nervously over talking random oddities and useless information to try and ease the tense atmosphere, finally detecting his heartbeat tears rolled down my cheek in elation as I heard the familiar horse trotting sound that all expectant mothers well up at hearing, that sound I was waiting on tenterhooks to hear.

It was not my regular Scottish midwife with her caring nature at this Monday afternoon appointment and I was disappointed to see her stand in, mostly because of the heavy feeling I held in my heart. Some people you know are always meant for midwifery and other caring professions it’s just what they do so easily, and others you think ‘Jesus you’d get more bedside manner from a bulldog’ and wonder why they entered the vocation in the first place. This lady was tall, lanky with teeth like tombstones, and the compassion of Hitler.

To my surprise ‘Hitler’ detected Elliot’s heartbeat immediately but I still had that sinking feeling and I spoke out and said “that doesn’t sound like normal to me, does it to you?” she dismissed me and said all was fine not even attempting to listen in for longer to rest my worry and doubt. In hindsight I should have made her, I should have said listen again, or said send me for a scan but I didn’t. I accepted what she said with no further argument from me. I accepted her word as correct when my gut was telling me something different. If I had listened to my inner self and persisted with my train of thought, there’s a possibility that they may have picked up signs of distress and delivered Elliot there and then albeit 2 weeks early. If that had happened HE WOULD BE HERE NOW, the thought I could have saved his life will haunt me for eternity.

I know and understand ‘hindsight’, understanding of a situation only after it has happened or developed. But I am a person that rules my head even my life to a certain degree by following my gut instinct, I believe people are intuitive and they should follow that feeling and believe it to be true even with out conscious reasoning, and on that day, I didn’t and until I die the consequence of that was my baby boys death. I will never actually know if me acting on instinct would have changed the outcome, but the fact I never tried leaves me with a feeling I wish I didn’t have and a agonizing unanswered question of “If I did act, could things be different?”…

So from one mother to another – if for any reason no matter how small, you have a gut feeling that lies heavy within… follow that intuitive maternal instinct and act on it, it may change your life, and it may not, I often refer to quotes I have read in my blogs and this one I read today… “One thing you have to realize from now on is that it doesn’t matter if this is a dream or not. Survival depends on what you do, not what you think.”

Time is the Ultimate Healer….or not?

There’s an age old saying that tells us: “Time is the Ultimate Healer.” I have stayed true to this phrase and believed it although lately, I find myself questioning it. What is so magically powerful about “time” that it can heal us? Do seconds, minutes and hours contain a remedy that can be harvested and administered to broken hearts all over the world?

I’ve deliberated and contemplated and my belief is time heals nothing; you just learn to live with the anguish and torment. As the minutes and hours turn into days and the days turn into weeks they then flow into months and add up to years, putting time between the devastation and the future life.

When you reflect the pain is still is real as it was then, only what happens after time is acceptance, and acceptance is key to the word ‘time’ within the phrase “Time is the Ultimate Healer”

What I think happens in the time that passes prior to ‘acceptance’ is sadness, depression, anxiety, shame, hopelessness, anger, bitterness, confusion, jealousy, relief, fear, regret, guilt, abandonment, to name but a few of the rollercoaster of emotions. Grief evokes many thoughts like, “I should have done more,” “I should have known,” “I’m a failure,” “I can’t survive this,” “I’ll never be the same” and so on.

So use your time wisely and spend it healing yourself. Get to know the new YOU the person you become after tragedy and loss and with that acceptance will evolve.

Out Of The Mouths Of Babes

My greatest achievement in my life is my children they are my everything, there are many things I have done in my life that I am not proud of but my children are not one of them.

Some days they test the patience of a saint other days they are total angels but every day I love them and every day I think myself the luckiest person on earth to have them.

Children are so innocent and they say such ‘corkers’ I feel I need to document just a few of these quotes so upon my days of reflection I can look back and smile with fondness only a mother can have for her child.

It was when Lilly-Ella my first rainbow daughter is six years old, she had a friend round for tea and a conversation between them spurred me on to write this post.

When they had finished their meals I offered them ice-cream and to my astonishment the little girl said very politely..
“No thank you I can’t eat ice-cream I have given it up for lent”
Lilly-Ella replied with her index finger in her nostril up to the knuckle
“I have given up picking my nose for lent”
To which I just began to chuckle and then Toby my four year old said
“And I have given up football”
I’m howling with laughter as I say…
“But you don’t play football”
He says confidently
“EXACTLY”

I collected my son from preschool and tenderly kissed him on his cheek and asked
“Have you had a nice day darling?”
“No mummy I was raped”
To my horror my mouth dropped and I questioned him some more…
“Raped …. What do you mean raped?”
Toby lifted his sticky little fingers and pointed to his cheek where there was a little SCRAPE and he said again
“Here mummy, I was raped here”
Jubilation and adoration for my son in that instant!

He has often had me in stitches with his ‘lazy’ speech and often the words come out not quite how they should which has often left me howling with laughter another example of this was on our morning school run Toby often collected sticks for my friend Sarah’s, dog. Well on this morning her dog wasn’t at the normal tree where she left her while dropping her children into the school grounds. Toby had this stick and no where to leave it. I said to him …
“Come along Toby we will just give the stick to Sarah who can give it to Alaska when she gets home”
He says innocently
“Yes mummy I will because Sarah likes dicks…”
I’m already chuckling and tried to correct his mispronunciation but before I could he had already spotted Sarah whom at this time was heavily pregnant with her fourth child and he ran across the playground shouting at the top of his voice …
“Sarah… Do you like my dick…. I got a dick for youuuuuuuu”
She turns and blushes and we both curl in two laughing as the playground comes to a standstill.

Another moment of pure hysteria was during my weekly mundane shop for groceries Lilly-Ella who was then about 2 and half, I’m pushing her in the trolley and walking around the supermarket as quick as my feet will go trying not to burn a hole in my sole as I pick up speed, I’m sweating profusely and could do without the trolley frenzy so I am feeding my daughter with whatever sweet treats and pieces of fruit I can grab on my way around to limit the tantrums to a minimum whilst she’s strapped in the trolley and then at the top of her voice she squeals ..
“Mummy I need a man”
“Pardon?” I reply….
“I need a mannnnnnnnn” She says again at the same amplified volume
“No you don’t, stop being silly” people are looking as I queue to pay for my groceries… I’m not in the mood so I am anxiously waiting for a comment so I can take the bait as she’s wailing and repeating the same sentence over and over….
“I need a man, I need a man, I need a man, I want a man I want a man nowwwwww”
I look at her and she’s innocently pointing to the GINGERBREAD MEN in the trolley full of food.

One day Lilly-Ella was looking through the digital photo frame she’s about 4 years old and the pictures were on a slide show and they flicked through baby pictures of her and her brother and I am pointing out who is who…. Lilly-Ella whom is very observant quickly picks out she was “chunkier” than her brother at the same age…. So we sit together and there is a picture of Toby on a tractor, and then her in the bath, then it quickly changed to a picture of Lilly-Ella about 10 months old chubby as a Buddha sat in her chair with a WestHam Football kit on and she shrieks in horror…… “Mummy, Oh no you didnt tell me that I used to be a BOYYY…”

I have loved writing this and could go on and on having you in fits of laughter explaining how my children sum up things with their word imperfections on a daily basis. Many have me laughing out loud from ‘China Fighting’ to ‘Dicks’ and Toby’s explanation of him being hot is by telling me he’s ‘melting’ its all so perfectly innocent and other times their words and questions cut deep into my soul when they ask me things like “when they die will they be put into a CRATE and shoved in the ground” ….

Basically through this blog, I say let kids be kids, enjoy them while they are young and relish in every single waking moment, even when your sleep deprived and ripping your hair out from the roots in frustration just take a moment and reflect and think how lucky you are to HAVE your children and remember “its only a phase”… all too soon they will be young adults with their childhood a mixture of digital pictures on a frame.

The Up and Coming Post Mortem of Elliot

Will it change things? Will it help me grieve? Will it give me answers? And will those answers help me in anyway?

I went to the cemetry tohis morning and I rested a posy on the cross where Elliot lays, I  took some plastic weather battered cars from the grave of Louis and Corey who rest beside him and again I think this place is bleak and whenever I visit, I feel cold, so cold, shivery cold, no matter what the weather is I guess Im just feeling empty which manifests itself into this coldness I’m feeling. I’m staring at the bleak graves of three little boys and I wonder if actually the post mortem I am so desperatley waiting for will actually do me any good, or help me in anyway?

We often need to identify a ‘scapegoat’ to enable us to fix blame on that in order to relieve tension stress and grief within ourselves . So I wonder if I manage to recieve such answers do I want them for me or for my children, because for me nothing will change, I will still have aching arms, I will still have a broken heart, and it certainly wont bring Elliot back but the answers I get may provide me with a new outlet of ‘blame’ rather than blaming myself.

I think honestly and most importantly I want answers for my children because this tragedy is hard enough for me to understand and I am struggling to find the words to explain my living children why this has happened, I dont know myself, so how do I even start to try and find the words to try and comfort them with their loss. 

How do I answer questions like..

‘Mummy, am I going to die?’

‘Mummy, why did you put my brothers in the ground?’,

‘Mummy, when are you and Daddy going to die?’

‘Mummy, is father christmas going to bring Elliot back?’

When a child’s loved one dies, their lives change forever.  As well as the sadness they feel, they are often left confused and full of fear and anxiety. Maybe answers to this Post Mortem will help to make sense of the hurt and confusion. Above all, help them find ways out of the abyss of grief…

So for me no amount of answers will make me feel better but for three innocent children having ‘facts’ can be easier to explain…