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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Accomplishment and Unaccomplishment

treading water 4-12c

My life has felt like a list of ‘To Do’s’ for as long as I can remember. I thought it was because I liked to be busy, but in hindsight I fear it’s because I am running. Running from confronting something I’m scared of tackling, or something I am hiding from because it’s just to painful to remember, reminisce or speak about! I wonder is this a coping mechanism I have subconsciously and unknowingly carried out.

When I do something, I do it to the very best of my ability, and I apply myself fully, going above and beyond what is often required. Before children I worked damn hard for approval and recognition in a job I loved.

I bought a flat; I worked harder, in my head… challenge accomplished!

I got a promotion; and I worked even harder…challenge accomplished!

I got pregnant, not quite challenge accomplished…but a new challenge!

Louis and Corey died, saddened to the core, I return to work and I fall pregnant again, Challenge accomplished!

Almost 1 year later our rainbow Lilly-Ella arrived into the world screaming, followed 18months later by rainbow Toby and the start of a combination of two very new challenges. Our own business and two children, 18mths old and a new-born little boy.

A thriving business 24/7 and a daily struggle of kids, paperwork, emails, stress and no life, one miscarriage later and beginning to feel like a failure.

A perfect little rainbow ‘Isla’ comes along, and we now have a struggling business with piling debt and a thirty something mother of three little children, feeling like I am on the edge and the strain is becoming visible…. Accomplishment is far from my reach.

Another pregnancy, a folded business and plans for an extension, mission accomplished until………….Elliot grew his wings on 6 December 2012 and nothing will be the same again……. Guilt, pain and failure accomplished.

I ran, I busied myself, I ran, I planned, and I ran some more and I planned even more filling voids and busying my wondering mind.

Ploughing forward with the build of an extension which was only being built because of our growing family, bittersweet was every brick cemented in place. Reminding me of who isn’t here now and in Elliot’s place there is a spare room and agony. I’m wondering if this spare room will ever fill me with comfort or whether to me it will always be Elliot’s ‘empty’ Room.

One Fundraising event after another, and still putting one step in front of other, mopping up tears, and holding my children dear. Survival accomplished.

A new job, which comes with a new focus, a strained and broken marriage and our baby girl starting preschool, a mixture of accomplishment and failure, I feel like I am treading water but my legs are tiring.

Months of planning and preparation comes to an end when I hold a party in memory of Louis, Corey and Elliot to raise money for the Neonatal Intensive care Unit and Improvement to Bereavement Facilities. Mission Accomplished.

Over £3,000 raised and a massive total of over £6,000 since I starting fundraising but I am left feeling deflated and very much underwhelmed after the huge high, and the amazing feelings of accomplishment.

But a deeper sadness taints my fundraising because the dark truth is ‘would I really be doing this if I had all three of my sons here?’ and sadly but honestly the answer is probably no… and that leaves me feeling confused?

I see my innocent children changing, they have seen, heard and witnessed so much for their young, tender age, there is sadness behind their eyes that only a mother can see, sadness similar to the sadness that mirrors in mine. I see I have changed and the life I lived is now a memory of a life I had. I wonder how much longer I can tread water for…. Feeling unaccomplished.

Lost…

lost path
I hate this path that I am walking right now…Even though I am married and have friends, I feel so isolated and its lonely path to walk, if I am searching for a confidant that has experienced what I have, then its pointless, I’m not saying for one second because I have lost my little twins boys Louis and Corey shortly after their birth and then my dear Elliot to stillbirth that my loss is any greater or any worse than anyone else’s because its not, I’m just aware that no-ones path of grief is the same and what I feel is maybe similar to another grieving parent, but its not the same and when I reflect back to my earlier blog about ‘living in the shadows of the old me”, I realise, know, and accept that I have changed and this is a scary realisation when you thought you knew who you were and what you stood for, I know my husband has changed but I’m still scratching about trying to find this new me and I’m lost in this whirlwind of emotions, opinions, anger and bitterness.

I know what I am NOT any more, I am not tolerant, I am not as forgiving and I am not as optimistically bright and hopeful that life is full of happily ever afters. But knowing what I’m NOT is very different to knowing who I am?

Guiltily, I want to inflict hurt on to people that have hurt me to ease what I am feeling. I know this is not an uncommon thought in times of hardship and grief, to want to do hurtful things, even to those you love. But I know it’s unkind and it’s unfair. I’m also aware that in those times when you feel empty and with NO love to spare, you can be pretty ugly and unbearable to live with. I want to scream out loud GIVE ME A BREAK! I know people grieve at different times and their paths are so very individual. Some accept things far easier, some dwell, and some hold on to the emptiness in their heart where their lost child should be because that’s all you have left.

I feel I need of distance and space. But with distance and space comes a lot of time to reflect and I’m scared of what that will bring.

When you can’t talk to your partner because the pain is too great and anger is the seething emotion that’s taking over all rational thinking it leaves little room for empathy for either party involved.

Dealing with the grief factor in a relationship is both physically and emotionally exhausting, sometimes I think I just don’t have the energy to care enough, because being emotionally exhausted is so draining on all you have to give, when your giving all you got and that’s not enough, when your trying but failing, when you screaming and no-ones listening, when your reality becomes a nightmare you want to escape from. It doesn’t mean the love is gone, just the energy to care. I feel harder than before my tough exterior hardened beyond penetration because if you saw the world through my eyes….. when people get struck blow after blow after blow and keep on getting up, when you give birth to, hold, caress and love three of your children only to bury them all too soon the pain that comes with that is so great and cuts so deep that nothing is comparable. So when your ranting with your mother, father, sister, husband, brother or friend and your called emotionless and hard faced, believe me when I tell you this is not the case it only looks like this because when you have already experienced the worst pain of all nothing else in life can equate to that. The worst has already happened.

I am a survivor of grief and I’m still standing …. JUST!

My New Found Escape

Jogging

When times are hard and life gets you down it’s all to easy to become disheartened at the smallest of obstacles. Life becomes an everyday battle. An uphill struggle and you begin soul searching in attempt to remedy the hazy horizons before you.

People have often spoke about exercise to me and if I am honest I thought they were insane, what good can possibly come out of me exerting myself to within an inch of my life, breathing so hard I think I might die, getting so hot I might combust, working so hard every muscle feels its been pulled around the earths equator and released like a bungee rope….How in the hell can that make me feel good?

It was nearing the time of New Years resolutions and a good friend said to me, “Kelly, please join this ‘Couch to 5K’ http://cnycap.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Couch-to-5k.pdf programme and I will run it too to show you some support and we will get you running 5k in 9 weeks.” my initial reaction “I cant bloody walk 5k let alone run the damn thing, are you trying to kill me” and then she said something that totally struck a chord with me and found myself enrolling immediately… she simply said “I think it will be good for you mind, body and soul” so I approached the idea of running in new way and thought if this running could be my outlet for ‘headspace’ and freedom from my thoughts, then I’m in and so the 9 week programme began.

Spurred on with this thought of escapism from reality I found myself running in minus weather conditions, snow, sleet, rain and wind. No-one was more surprised than I!!! Initially it was very easy to follow the programme as it had been designed as a platform for people that have barely lifted a cheek from their sofas since the first airing of Eastenders. Week one involved literally running for 1 minute and then walking for 90 seconds…. Totally elated, with red cheeks and a sweaty forehead half an hour later, on my new found high “Yay I can run” and I began to believe I could actually achieve this and running, 1 minute isn’t a lot of running UNTIL YOU actually RUN IT…

Gradually week by week the programme increased by small increments steadily building on your stamina, I will never be a marathon runner nor will I be giving Usain Bolt a run for his money anytime soon, nevertheless I try and when I try to do something I will apply 100% of what ever it is I have got to give …. “All or Nothing” a motto I stand firm to.

My Monday evening jogging with my friends became a necessary outlet for me, daily my mind was a wash with a mushy mish mash of everything, a constant image reel of Elliot’s, Louis and Corey’s faces in my mind, flashing round and round like they are on a repetitive slideshow. Ill never forget them but I need space from them and space from this life without them in it. I found running gave me this. From the minute I began the steady ‘plod’ …… I smile from ear to ear when typing the word ‘plod’ as this was a term used to describe our running in the early weeks, described by my faithful friend Lisa… anyway back to the plodding… From the minute I began the steady plod around the jolly heights of Leighton Buzzard I found my mind was clear, clear from almost everything, another huge benefit of jogging. Allowing you the time to think about life’s problems or time to escape them for awhile, tension easily flies by the wayside. Speed runs are great for tearing through aggression and anger. Focus all that emotion into a few sprints and you’ll feel better in no time. I say the word ‘Speed’ loosely for many could briskly walk quicker than my sprint but in my head I was at least levelling and on par with our great Dame Kelly Holmes…. Weren’t I?

Week 9 came very quickly and I was nervous anxious and excited to participate my first ever 5K run…. I ‘plodded’ around the 5K route and completed my circuit in 36 minutes. Mission Accomplished.

So from being a couch potato I now run 5k 2-3 times a week and I am proud to say I DON’T ENJOY IT… If I’m honest while I’m running I don’t particularly enjoy it but at the end of the run or ‘plod’, that’s when I am awash with a great sense of achievement and that buzz people have hyped on at me about for years and years, and I have to agree with them it feels SHAMAZING! On these days accomplishment reins over sorrow and grief is placed to a compartment at the back of my mind because when I run, I run for peace, I run to escape the self persecution and self blame I have become all too familiar with, I run to numb my reality and be ‘Kelly’ NOT Lilly-Ella Toby and Isla’s mummy, NOT Robs Wife or the Bereaved Mother of Three…. I run for ME!

So I am eternally thankful to Lisa for offering me a direction and an outlet for soul searching and a shoulder to snuffle on (On THAT day) and I thank her whole heartedly for her continual support along the way and through her I am pleased to of met Laura a likeminded female with an amazing ‘minimum effort – maximum output’ type of run that I am yet to master and without forgetting the one and only Jayne, my fellow ‘stealthy remedial runner’ whom I have ran alongside and together we joked, laughed and breathed heavier than prank caller but together the team of us amazingly great women have jogged villages and countryside far and wide as a quartet of insignificant hobbits….

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.

Fate….

Fate….

Fate is a definition that poses much questioning in our modern day lives, fate; the power that predetermines the course of events that will inevitably happen.

Do I believe fate was to blame for taking my precious and so wanted babies away?

If I believe this, then on the flip side equally I should believe fate was to thank for granting me the chance to be mother?

So let’s say fate is behind all evil but then if that resonates true surely that means fate is equally behind all good?

Such power that tiny word contains, the power to even allow us to consider this could be true. I guess when faced with tragedy, loss, pain or a series of bad luck it’s only obvious to search for answer. To search to point blame and relieve our selves from self persecution.

I’ve been reading a lot of inspiring quotes since the passing of my sons and many of them spur on this belief of fate but equally do help to restore some faith in life and humanity, for life does feel empty, useless and often pointless after loss. Here are just a few that I have come across and there are so so many more – share them with me if you wish.

“Just because fate doesn’t deal you the right cards, it doesn’t mean you should give up. It just means you have to play the cards you get to their maximum potential.”

“It’s in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.”

“What’s meant to be will always find a way”

“Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all your heart.”

“Fate is never fair. You are caught in a current much stronger than you are; struggle against it and you’ll drown not just yourself but those who try to save you. Swim with it, and you’ll survive”

“Surely if we knew what bitterness fate held in store, we would shrink back in fear and let the cup of life pass us by un-tasted.”

“…sometimes our fate is different from the one we imagined for ourselves.”

I believe there are things beyond our control, but; do I believe that our lives are pathed out before us and we merely walk this path unknowingly of what happiness or what pain lies before us?

There will be times that you will be faced with decisions and the answers to these will allow you to walk the path of life, the answers may be a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’, some decisions may involve a far more in-depth answer but the question is, was that decision already fated or was the journey that followed your answer predestined by the power of fate?

I guess this question will remain one of life’s unanswered and I don’t think we will ever be able to answer this conclusively while we live this life. But if belief is what we need in these times of hardship and if you take comfort from believing this could be a true force of nature than I guess that’s the only answer you need….

Fifty Shades of Grief

50 Shades of Grief ….

Excuse the title but humour is a huge part of how I get through my life on a day to day basis. Although the title may be a little humorous; beneath the humour there is a serious point I want to make about grief…

Am I jealous? Because I feel resentful of someone’s joy!

Am I bitter? Because I hold negative emotion, resulting from severe grief, anguish, and disappointment

I am neither of the above, I am a grieving mother.

Elliot was the perfect addition to our family, he was the icing on the cake, he was wanted and needed so so much, not just by me but by his brother and sisters, his daddy and aunties and uncles.

I would not wish the losses I have endured upon my worst enemy and I am not wishful of pain, loss and grief upon other people but I fail to relish in their up and coming happiness.

Smiling so soon after burying a child is like being unfaithful to their memory the guilt is another shade of pain that lies heavy on your heart, so to joke and share laughter with friends and family seems like ‘moving on’. I’m in a monochrome world of grief where right now for the first time in my life everything is ‘black and white’

After the loss of Louis back on 5th September 2005 I felt bitterly sad, my first born son, as soon as he was given life something far stronger than me took that gift away, I was bereft, lonely, abandoned by my child. Rob and I are very intune with each other but equally on this day I remember feeling so alone.

I felt after his passing a sudden strength to battle on for my little Corey, so much smaller but such a fighter, I desperately needed him to survive for my survival, metaphorically speaking of course. This term of ‘survival’ I use because at the beginning of my journey to motherhood my heart was full to the brim with love, and with life, my heart skipped a beat when I was elated, and I lived my life with the ruling of my heart. Louis died, and he took some of my heart with him, he took some of the existence of my being.

I continue to live or exist in spite of this ordeal but with a little less ‘heart’, so survival of the rest of what made me, ‘me’ was imperative. Corey died on the 7th September 2005 and my heart did break in two, I’m not taking Louis loss lightly but the prognosis was never a positive one where my first born was concerned, so ‘dare I say it’ I was slightly prepared to an extent when Louis passed.

When Corey died, initially I felt anger more than sadness I felt a strong hatred to the world we live in, HOW? WHY? IF THERE IS A GOD, WHY? A thousand questions and no answers infuriated me; I remember stomping out the hospital minutes after Corey’s passing and there I sat, tears rolling down my cheeks but with no sound, my body wanted to cry but I was so angry I would not allow the convulsions of sadness out, I wasn’t ready to address that. I sat out side the Hospitals maternity unit emotionless tears streaming, alone in the brisk cold early hours of the morning. The hot air from my breath leaving a cloudy trail in the dim early morning light and there next to me was a girl, a stranger, she was young, late teens I guess? But I instantly noticed she was heavily pregnant and holding on to a drip feeding her some obvious required medicine intravenously and there it was, her baby bump blooming. Whilst she caresses her tummy with one hand she smokes a cigarette with the other, and the cloudy trail leaving her mouth was one that made me wince, I was thinking of what I had lost in the last couple of days and looking at her growing what I need and what I would care for with every part of my being. I was angered and felt immediately sorry for the baby within her body breathing in the contamination.

I know smoking is an addiction like any other drug, I appreciate its very hard to give up and I say this knowingly, for I am an ex-smoker, but at that moment, at that moment after my little boys had died I wasn’t rationalising and I wasn’t seeing reason, I was seeing hate, and I could of quite easily took that cigarette and stubbed it out on her immature head.

The weeks passed by and being surrounded by babies was a comfort to me, I longed to feel the happiness what being ‘real’ mother meant. I was not afraid to approach a random stranger and look and touch there newborn. I would ask questions and show interest in their bundle as if I were their friend or a family member.

What I didn’t find comforting was the sight of twins. For some reason there did seem to be everywhere it was an unwelcomed memory which evoked thoughts of a path that was not meant to be and this deeply saddened me. Grocery shopping one day at my local store and I walked straight into a trolley with twin baby boys strapped into the reclined baby carriers in matching baby blue fluffy winter suits, hoods with ears, and they looked every bit how I imagined my little boys to look and I found myself running in the opposite direction, convulsing sobs that failed to surface on THAT DREADED DAY!

With time and with the addition of my other children things got easier, Instead of these emotions being in the forefront of my thinking and encasing my every thought. The overwhelming need to be near a newborn and the fear of twins only surfaced from time to time but I had a certain amount of control over my emotions, and began to reason things out in a rational manner, or so I thought; until the death of Elliot in December 2012.

After many years of attempting to repair my broken heart I realise now it was never repaired, I just masked this gaping hole with the new love I have for my other children, this hole has been re-opened and the hole is deeper and darker than before. Elliot took not only a part of my heart but a part of me, I fear that I will never be the same person again because of loosing Elliot but I live in hope that having lost Elliot it will make me a stronger and wiser person because I have loved. I have loved my babies all so much, and equally and obviously the opposite side of this is when you allow this love into your hearts, you have to prepare yourself for some pain when what you have loved is stolen from your grasp.

Elliot’s passing, was followed by new additions to our family on every side. I felt like I was being tortured and began to question my beliefs all over again. Whilst I was expecting, so were members of my family, a brother and a sister in a law and my own sister too, we had giggled, laughed and chuckled about pregnancy and the ailments it brings from constipation and sickness, to varicose veins and a bladder the size of a pea but none of that deterred from the fact we were all happy to be experiencing this together. My story didn’t have a happily ever after and I had to prepare myself for the pending arrivals of these three bundles of joy.

Two out of three babies that were due, are now here. Healthy and most importantly alive and kicking.

So my message to my family if they happen to be reading my blogs in between nappy changes and sleepless nights, I want to take this moment to let you know that from the bottom of my heart I am elated that my brother in law has another daughter he has longed for ever since my first rainbow daughter was born 6 years ago, and I am so pleased that my sister in law has a son, a brother for her daughter/my niece. I am only sorry that Elliot will not be a cousin to them here on earth and I am sorry that I have yet not found the strength within me to send a card or meet my niece and nephew. I am not bitter nor jealous but quite simply I’m a grieving mother. I don’t want what you have, I want Elliot back!

And to my sister whose bump is still growing, I know you know how I feel, no words required. I have distanced myself so as not to fill you with guilt. I don’t want you to feel guilty for being pregnant but I am not as strong as I wish I was, and watching you with your bump again just reminds me of what I have lost. I am just as exited for you to be given the gift of motherhood for the second time and I wish you get everything you should out of being a mother, empower this, only women can give birth and its amazing, hold your children close and love every second because life is short and all too soon we are faced with questions about our own mortality and this can be terrifying. So relish every cry and nurture every tear for these will create memories which you will hold dear.

So this brings me to the end of this blog about some of the 50 shades of grief I have felt.

So in my opinion there is no right or wrong way to feel after loss and every time you experience grief it will manifest itself in a different way, rearing its ugly head when you least expect it. You will feel, angry, sad, bitter, resentful, hate, love, laughter and pain but guess what THATS ALL OK!!