Tuesday, 28 February 2012


In all honesty, I probably haven't been in the best head space for the past few weeks.  I guess the emotional anaesthetic has finally worn off, and the pain of losing Poppy threatened to overwhelm me.  So I've just been going through the motions and losing it completely quite regularly. 

I think I've hit anger.  I'm just so pissed off.  I'm pissed off that we worked so hard to get pregnant with Poppy and then didn't get to keep her.  I'm pissed off that I'm currently being, at best, a mediocre mother and an even worse wife.  I'm pissed off that my life that I loved, the life I couldn't wait to include Poppy into, is now a barren wasteland of hopelessness, grief and sadness. 

On Thursday I smashed a bowl.  Well, two actually.  Because I was so angry and frustrated at everything.  I scared the bejesus out of Xav, and it was totally unfair to do that.  But I guess I realised that I am entitled to be mighty peeved at the world.  I need to accept the anger instead of trying to keep it down.  The frailness of the calm exterior is becoming evident, and it's time to release some of the pressure.  Those two bowls (annoyingly enough, I liked them a lot) are the victims of my healing.  I hope they are the only ones.

I realised today that I am a bit better than I was even last week.  I was wandering around Highpoint doing some shopping and passed a little baby in a capsule, being carried by a harried looking new mum.  The baby was about the age Poppy should be.  This vision has managed to send me into full fledged panic attacked quite regularly as recently as last Thursday at the supermarket.  But I looked at this cutie and I smiled at her.  It still hurt, but I could still breath, I was still standing.  Wow. 

On the way home, I was concentrating so hard on getting home in time for school pick up, that I accidentally look the route past Baby Buntings.  Baby Buntings used to be my most favourite store.  I could spend hours in there.  But I connect those days with being pregnant with Poppy, and I just can't look at the place anymore.  I realised about a block before the store that I couldn't avoid it.  It might seem silly to avoid even driving past a store, but we do what we do to cope.  "Oh, God..." I thought as it came into view.  A fleeting thought of popping in to have a look popped into my head.  And I didn't spontaneously burst into tears at the thought.  I thought how much I miss not buying baby things.  Wow again.  No panic.

So I guess accepting my grieving has helped me not be so afraid of it.  I am not OK, but why should I be.  My sweet baby is still in heaven.  But I am getting better, something I was sure couldn't possibly happen.  Poppy is with me in the thousand thoughts I have of her every day.  In my wishes for us all to get better at life without her.  In my dreams for the future and having a new little brother or sister for Poppy and Xavier. In being the best that I can be at any time, but not more than I can be. 

I guess in acceptance, my healing has begun.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

I just feel so alone

"Look, to be honest, I'm not ok, even when I say I am.  Please don't call me strong, and that you couldn't cope in my shoes.  It makes me feel like you think I don't love my kid as much as you love yours.  And please don't stop being there for me.  It's still really hard, and I'm struggling."

I almost posted this on my facebook page.  But I felt too guilty.  But it's all true.

This last week has been really hard.  Now that G has gone back to work, X is at school, all my friends have started their sports and hobbies for the new year, and here I am; all alone.  I know there are people around me.  And I really appreciate the people who are supporting me.  But I feel as though it's almost to the time where people are starting to think; 'When is she going to be ok again?'.  The more I get this impression, the less I talk about Poppy and my grief and the more lonely and isolated I feel.

It's not just that I am physically alone most days.  I feel isolated within myself.  Like I've got an invisable glass screen around me.  Sometimes it keeps people out (like when someone says, "You're young, you can have another one," like Poppy was some sort of a practice run), but more and more often it is keeping the real me in.  Like when someone asks how I am, and I say, "Good thanks, and you?" when what I really want to say, "I feel like shit, what do you think?".  Hardly good manners to swear in someones face though, my Dad would be mortified...

And this barrier has caused a whole new problem.  People don't speak their condolences anymore.  They just ask expected the usual answer.  So I keep saying I'm fine and people are believing it.  So I reinforce my own aloneness.  This clear case has become my protection and my prison, and I hate it.  But I can't get out, because I still need it.  Stuck between a rock and a hard place.  Or a glass box and the black hole I might sink into if I don't have my armour on when I venture out into the world.

I don't know how to fix this problem.  I like to fix things, find solutions, make things better.  I cope best when I know I am in control and can get the solution I want.  But there is no solution to this.  Poppy grew inside of my, was born and now she's gone.  And I'm broken.  But I can't be fixed.  I've patched myself up the best that I can; a bit of cellotape, rather a lot of glue and some laquer to prevent the biggest bits falling off, but it's the best I can do.  That barrier around me is holding me together.

I just want someone to make it all go away.  I want to be happy again with my beautiful boy and my hubby.  Not feeling like someone is missing all the time.  But that would mean I'd never had Poppy.  To be honest, sometimes I almost wish it hadn't happened. But that is so unfair to her.  I love her.  I miss her.  I felt her living.  But I wish she were here, instead of the puzzle peice in our family that been lost.  Why did God let her grow in me only to take her away?  But that starts a whole other internal conflict, so I'll leave that one alone for now.  I can't believe that this was what her life was meant to mean.  Pain and sorrow, instead of joy eternal.

I think I need some support. I have great online support (you guys know who you are) but I think I need to talk to people face to face.  Because sadly, I'm not alone.  Too many others have suffered through what I am suffering.  Maybe I'm ready now to sit down with some and talk about how to get by.  How to keep going when you think you've reached breaking point.  I have a flyer on the fridge for one such support group, and I'll ring the number and go.

Because I can't live in this isolation booth forever.  It's getting a bit grotty in here, and I reckon the glue will dry better in the fresh air anyway.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012


Last Friday we got the call that we had been both waiting for and dreading.  Autopsy results are in.  Hopefully we can finally find out why Poppy was taken from us so soon.  I never thought I'd be in the position of making an appointment with my OB to discuss a post mortem report for my child.  It shouldn't happen.  No one should ever have to link works like post mortem to their babies.  But I do need to know why. So we booked in to see Dr W on Monday afternoon, the soonest we could get in.

All weekend different scenarios played in my head.  The doctor yelling at me, "It's YOUR fault," was the worst, closely followed by, "Well, actually there was nothing wrong with her...".  Any answer was going to be devastating.  And no answer was going to be worse.  G and I prepared ourselves for the possibility that we would not find out why she died, other than what we already know; her heart stopped beating.  By Sunday night I was beside myself with anxiety.  I'm not sure why it had hit me so hard.  Maybe I was simply nervous.  But I just couldn't take it anymore. 

When I get worried, I get snippy.  I admit it.  I can't help it.  I snip at anyone; G, Xav, the checkout chick, stray cats, whatever is near by.  By 6pm on Sunday evening, G couldn't take it anymore.  "Stop snapping at Xav, Bec, he's not doing anything.  What's your problem, anyway?"

I could have punched him in the face, to be honest.  What's my problem?  My baby died.  And I want her back.  And she isn't coming back.  And tomorrow I find out if I killed her.  But I didn't say those things (or punch him in the face...).  Instead I went to my room and threw a crying, snot dribbling down my face, kicking things, tantrum.  It's all just too much.  How am I meant to cope under this amount of pressure and grief?

G was a bit scared to come anywhere near me.  But after some time I calmed down enough and he held me together, like he always does.  Xav's little face pops up at my elbow, asking me why I'm crying.  "I'm sad, buddy, very sad," was all I could say, and then apologise for my grouchiness.  I explain my fears to G who (as usual) takes the sensible line of "We'll take it as it comes."  My problem has always been my brain racing off in advance of what is sensible.

Monday is also the day G goes back to work full time, after being at home with me for 8 weeks.  I guess part of my problem is that I feel like everyone else is moving on, getting back to reality, when I'm still sitting here in limbo.  I never imagined I'd be spending 2012 sitting at home by myself.  I thoughts I'd be exhausted, looking after my daughter all night and day, doing the school run with a capsule in hand.  What I wouldn't give to be showing her off to anyone who would look. 

So Monday was a long day.  G at work, Xav at school and me at home.  My sister brought little Hamish around and we chatted the morning away which I really appreciated.  1pm, 2pm, 3pm...almost time to go.  I finally get sick of waiting and take the long way to get to G's work.  4.20.  Our appointment time, but of course Dr W is running late so we sit with all the pregnant mums and their partners and wait.  One heavily pregnant lady waddles by and quickly glances my way with that knowing smile on her face.  She thinks I must be newly pregnant, too early to be showing yet.  "I HAVE A BABY!", I feel like shouting at her.  My beautiful girl was here and now she's gone. 

I manage to refrain from yelling obscenities at the nice pregnant ladies, and finally we get called.  We sit down and Dr W gets the report out.  "Good news!" he says.  Good news?  Sorry?  Unless you are going to tell me you have Poppy hidden under your desk, there is no good news.  He continues with, "we found out what was wrong with the babies heart.  She had endocardial fibroelastosis."  OK?  And that is?  Apparently it's quite complicated, very rare and almost always fatal in newborns.  And it's unlikely to be passed on to another baby, according to Dr W.  However, it's possibly genetic so we need to go for further testing. 

The news sinks in.  I didn't kill her.  She was never meant to live.  God gave her to us for such a short time only to take her away.  Why?  Now we know why, but why?  What did she do to deserve such a fate?  What did we do to deserve such heart ache after everything we've been through.  Dr W is positively beaming.  I guess he's so glad it wasn't his fault, almost as glad as I am, I suppose.  "It's positive news," G whispers.  I wish I agreed.  I do, I guess.  I just wish it wasn't so.  We leave, clutching the report, and referrals to Genetic counselling, Immunology and blood tests for a small number of viruses which might have caused the EFE to develop.

I guess we got our why.  I just can't help but think that it raises a whole lot more questions that it answers.  We need more information.  But maybe, just maybe, we are now a tiny step closer to Baby number three.  With a little bit of luck, anyway.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Just love those kicks in the guts...

A 'Big W' catalogue.  That was what set me off.  The bumper baby edition which I used to look forward to.  I LOVE buying baby clothes, you see, it's my thing.  I adore those tiny little dresses and cute jumpsuits and tiny hats and socks.  So when I got the mag in the mailbox I initially thought, 'Great!' and then (in the few steps back to the door) realised that the last thing I really wanted to look at was baby clothes.  Kick in the guts number 9057...

I'm getting a bit sick of these kicks, I'll tell you that now.  It's bad enough that we have to live without our daughter, why can't the rest of the our lives continue?  Every time I look at a mum with a baby in a pram; pow!  A pregnant lady; pow!  Nappies in a trolley at the supermarket; pow!  Forget walking into Target or Big W or Pumpkin Patch, all my old haunts, it's just too much.  I can't even drive past a baby shop any more without that familiar ache redoubling it's efforts to puree my insides.  Puree; yet another thing I can't walk past in a supermarket...

I've had a few kicks in the guts recently.  My big little man Xav started school last week, and we had been looking forward to this for months.  I wasn't sad about it.  It was exciting, and he was so looking forward to it.  We rock up and stand out the front of the classroom with all the other nervous mums and excited kids.  A couple of the kinder mums from last year avoid talking to me.  Pow.  One of the other mums is pregnant. Pow.  Three have little ones in prams. Pow, pow, pow.  G and I walk Xav in to the room, the classroom I taught in for my whole pregnancy with Poppy.  Pow.  We settle Xavi in and say goodbye and head for the door.  I get halfway across the oval before the biggest kick.  We should have Poppy with us.  She should have been one of the babies in the line of prams heading into the classroom, and Xav should have kissed her goodbye. 

The paper thin resolve I have left crumbles and I burst into tears as we leave the school.  I'm sure other parents just thought I was one of those mums who was shattered to be leaving her little boy at big school.  But I was shattered because I never imagined I would leave my only child at school.  I imagined I'd be busy with a newborn, chatting to other mums and asking after the kids I'd taught in previous years.  But instead I am walking away empty handed.  Again.

When you lose a child, something inside of you breaks.  But what I am finding the most difficult to deal with is the ripple effect of that break.  It's like when a window shatters and the spiderweb of cracks spreads in so many directions.  You can't predict which way those cracks will go.  I never expected to not be able to face supermarket shopping, or junk mail.  That I would live in constant fear that I might run into someone I haven't seen for ages and they ask me how I am and I might tell the truth instead of putting on the facade of ok-ness, or I'll meet someone new and they'll ask how many children I have.  These are the unexpected effects of the shattering of my heart.

There are some positive things that were unexpected.  I wasn't expecting that my husband and I would become closer than we have ever been, and become better at understanding one another.  I wasn't expecting to meet some amazing women online who know what I'm on about when I lament the arrival of the newest Big W catalogue.  Or that I would find out that my boss appreciates me at work and that many of the families of kids I've taught over the past few years thought highly enough of me to send cards and flowers and attend Poppy's funeral.  I am more thankful now for my family and my son, and the friends who make the effort to dig me out of the big black hole I often live in and ask me out to things.  But I knew I had great friends and family, I just appreciate them more now.

I guess I just wish life was normal again.  I wish I was happy, and that G and Xav were happy.  I wish we had Poppy with us.  I don't wish she wasn't born, because I value what she taught me.  But I wish we had never had to experience such a traumatic event in our lives.  I wish buying bread and milk wasn't an event I need to prepare for emotionally.  I'd like to be able to walk to the mailbox without worrying what I might find in the junk mail.  It would be great to feel happy for people having babies instead of jealous of them. 

I can't change what's happened but I can refuse to accept that my whole life has gone to the dogs.  And I can make sure one of the kicks the guts doesn't happen.  I might just stick a 'No Junk Mail' sticker on my letter box...