April 30, 2010

The lead-up to Mothers Day(s)

I am not looking forward to this Sunday or the next. (wow, wasn't I writing this post two weeks ago about last Friday?)

This Sunday, dear readers, is International Babyloss Mothers Day. Yes, it's wonderful that there is such a thing specially for Empty Arms Mums, but really, I don't want to be different. It makes me feel like there's something wrong with me. I want to be given normal Mothers Day cards. Of course, if anyone says anything about it to me, I'll be ecstatic, but I just want to be a normal mum.

That brings me to the Sunday after this one. "Real" Mothers Day. The one where I should be getting cutesy "Happy First Mothers Day" cards, breakfast and breastfeeding in bed, a nice day out with my baby. But no, it'll pass similarly to most other days have lately. I'll wake up late, probably with Scott having left for work (not sure of his shifts, but knowing my luck it'll be a late-morning to late-afternoon one), nothing indicating this day is any different. I'll go on the computer, look up a million different stillbirth websites, facebook, bellybelly. Eventually I'll remember my own mum, go to wish her a happy Mothers Day. And I'll cry.

I did some stuff today, but that'll have to wait. I forgot to grab the memory card and don't have the photos to illustrate what I want to say/show.

Two "decorations" and a canvas

I've been looking for a little while for something to display Ianto's name on his grave. Since I couldn't find anything good enough (or they were too expensive for what they were) I decided to make my own. And here it is.
Okay, well, I painted the letters and glued them onto the board, but still...
Because I was buying the letters and board seperately and wasn't sure which size letters would be able to fit onto the board, I bought two different size Is and took them to the other shop to test them out. The smaller ones fit, but now I was stuck with an extra I. So I bought a little canvas to paint and glue that onto. It turned out great, and we're planning to put it in the display cabinet with some other little things we've bought or been given to remember Ianto by.

If anyone wants to buy something similar, I've decided to sell them on eBay. I'll post the link in the comments because it doesn't want to work here.

Also, unknown to me, my uncle was working on a gravestone type thing for Ianto too. This one goes flat in the dirt (like a paving stone) so my wooden one will hang above it on a couple of garden spikes.

That's all from me, sorry I haven't been too chatty lately. Not much to say, I suppose.

April 28, 2010

Smallest Wingless

I've had a couple of people message me on facebook asking for an example of the songs we played at Ianto's funeral. The other two are fairly easy to find (Baby Mine by Bette Midler & Beautiful in My Eyes by Joshua Kadison) but Smallest Wingless is quite difficult to locate. So here's the video for it:

April 26, 2010

A post NOT about babyloss! Amazing!

I'm going to do a few of these blogger game things I've seen everyone playing on their own blogs every now and then. Here's my first.

Sarah at {just me} has challenged her readers to re-post their first blog post. I reckon it would be boring if I posted "Ianto's Life Story" again, since it was only a couple of months ago, so I'm going to reach faaar back into the internet and pull out my very first blog... on MySpace. It's not so much a blog as it is a "someone said something nasty about my favourite author and I wrote them a nasty letter then posted it on my blog"... Here goes.

Current mood: angry
Category: News and Politics
April 11, 2006

If I were lazy, I would simply point you in the direction of the Harry Potter site Mugglenet, and the comments posted about your article titled "If you loathe the 'skinny obsessed' world so much, JK, why did you make evil Dudley Dursley so FAT? Or even the comments posted there about JK Rowling's original article. But I am not a lazy person.
Unlike your reporter, who according to you has a "Harry Potter-mad family", I have actually read the books. In fact, I would deem myself a Potter expert. Therefore, I feel as though I am entitled to point out some glaring mistakes in the article, least of all the spelling of our hero's mother's name - Lily.
First and foremost, the subject of Dudley Dursley's weight. Dudley is a self-absorbed, mean, greedy brat. Now, have you ever known any lazy, greedy children to be skinny? I doubt it. His mother and father spoil him rotten, feeding him all the time. He is also a bully who gets his own way all the time. So it naturally follows that he is, as you put it, "Revoltingly fat, stupid and violent."
Next, Harry's weight. Harry is the opposite of Dudley. He is neglected his whole life, until he is eleven years old. His cousin hits and bullies him. He gets the smallest amount of food and is forced to live in a cupboard. I'd hardly expect him to be fat, or even a normal, average weight. If I were to close my eyes and image any child living in those conditions, I would image a person like Harry - Self reliant, and yes, unhealthily thin. Thus, Molly Weasley fusses over him when he goes to stay at the Burrow. He is even described as getting a little bit more of a healthy weight after eating at the Weasleys' house.
You also bring up the subject of that poor little Hogwarts student, Marietta. "Is that her fault?" you ask, referring to her horrible acne. Well, as a matter of fact, yes, it is. If you had read a little more on the subject, it is clearly stated that she has the pimples across her face in the formation of the word "SNEAK" for that exact reason - she is a sneak. She had given away the whereabouts of a secret group Harry headed to the enemy. Now, as this is a magical setting, she had a magical punishment.
Ah, and Hermione. Not once do I think she is referred to as pretty. In fact, her main physical features described are her bushy hair and buck teeth. She is just an ordinary girl. She is a huge bookworm. I think the only reason you may have gotten confused is that Emma Watson, a very pretty girl, was cast as Ms Granger. And for good reason - That is the way the movie industry works.
There are many villains and heroes in the Harry Potter books. But the worst villain of all is of course the evil Lord Voldemort. Is he "fat"? Is he an average weight? No. He is thin. He is the picture of evil and he is thin. He is described as looking like a skeleton with some skin on. In Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, we see a little into Voldemort's past, to when he was known as Tom Riddle. As he delves more into evil, he is described as becoming more gaunt (also his mother's surname) and with sunken cheeks. This does not suggest to me that "fat" people are evil.
The villains in the books have a range of weights. From Voldemort's "long, thin fingers" all the way down to Dudley Dursley's large, drooping bottom. The heroes have their weight differences too. As already pointed out, Harry is thin. Neville Longbottom (who by the way is not a "stammering victim") is described as having a round plump face. Mrs. Weasley is plump. Most characters' sizes are not even known. Who's to say Hermione is not a size 18?
In conclusion, I would like to say that I have never read an article written with so much blatant disregard for the facts. No, I am not so blind that I believe that the world of Harry Potter is the world we live in. I know it is fiction. But what I do know is that any reporter attempting to attack any part of the books and their message, or any message from JK Rowling, should read the books first. Otherwise they'll get fans like me, from a different country to where the article was published, writing letters like this defending their favorite author.
From (And I put my name and adress here)

...Yeah. So, I've shown myself to be a massive Harry Potter fan.

April 24, 2010

Ianto's EDD part 2

Part One...

So, I got through yesterday with minimal tears. Actually, the point at which I cried the most was when I got a bit angry at my brother and Scott (understatement of the year - I was furious) for loading the balloons into the boot of the car!

The day started okay. I went to the party shop to get the helium and balloons, and promptly panicked when I realised I couldn't afford them. Luckily my darling mum came down and paid for me (yaay!)

I got 16 white and 16 light blue balloons - in total, 32, for each week of his life inside me - and a foil one that I wanted to attach to his grave.

This is the foil one a few hours later, once I had it attached.

Once we had those home, mum and I went to the cemetery to have lunch with him and scope out where we might like to release the balloons. The wind was blowing towards the head of his grave, so we decided on this little clearing nearby that would ensure the balloons would drift over the grave before heading up into the sky. The clouds were a bit ominous:

but I wasn't too worried. So long as the rain held off until we were done, I was alright.

Once mum and I finished lunch, we went back home/to her place and I started filling the balloons. I really wish I'd gotten photos of the process, but all I have is a few after all the balloons were done and were waiting for the streamers (not ribbon, that's not good for the environment!) to be attached...
You'll notice some of them aren't floating like they should be. My fault. I didn't fill a couple of them as much as I should have (they were my first few and I didn't want them to pop)

Mum's gonna kill me if she sees this photo!

I went and had a 10-minute nap after that, and found out what happens when I sleep - people stuff up my plans. The balloons were meant to be going in the back seat of the car, to make sure we could get them out easily with minimal tangles. But while I slept, the decision was made to put them into the boot instead. Grrr... When I was woken up, I cracked it with everyone. I was grump all the way to the cemetery, which made me even more upset as I was "meant" to be sad, not angry.

Once we got to the cemetery, I stood back while the boys struggled to get the balloons out of the car. Then I realised that I hadn;t thought of how we were going to release them. What do you say? Scott made the (silly, in my opinion) suggestion that he read a bit of the funeral service out as we let go. My brothers stood there like someone had slapped them. Eventually I came up with "well, why don't we all say something we want to say to him?" - which no-one did. So then it was "Okay, count of three, we all say his name and let go." The wind was blowing in the opposite direction than it was when mum and I had been there earlier, but we stood in the clearing anyway, and prepared to let go.




Go! Uh... Ianto!!!
The streamers didn't want to let go just yet.

The balloons were heading towards the tearooms, where a heap of people were having lunch after a funeral of their own. I hope they saw the balloons and liked them.
I was sad to see the balloons go, but they just looked so beautiful, I had to smile.

Not all the balloons wanted to head into the sky. Some skimmed the ground for a little while...
Others went to visit other graves...

And this little one skirted around the clearing a bit.

But after tearing the streamers off them (they were a little wet and weighing the balloons down) we got them flying again. The wind was starting to pick up again, so the balloons we could still see were swirling around. It looked amazing. I attached the foil balloon to the rainbow flag we have on his grave, took a few more photos of the area...

...and we set off. Just as we all got into the car, the heavens opened and it started bucketing down with rain.

All in all, yesterday was an okay day. Sure, last night I almost burned down our new place while cooking, but aside from that, it was okay!

April 23, 2010

Ianto's EDD part 1

It's Ianto's "due date" today. By now, if we hadn't lost him, I would be holding a new pink wiggling bubba. (Before anyone suggests he could have gone post-dates, I don't think so. I have a family history of pre-date babies) But no. Instead I'll be releasing a bunch of balloons at the cemetery and trying not to interfere with another baby's funeral.

I love my son with every part of myself. This is one of many anniversaries I'll have to struggle through, but feeling this love so strongly will keep me going. Sure, it's painful knowing it's not going into taking care of him, but it's there holding me up through each day. Hopefully, this philosophy will resonate with other mums (and dads, can't forget them!) that have lost bubbas. I've been getting so many fb messages from people who read my blog, telling me that it's happened to them or someone they know, and that they're drawing strength from me. I don't know how, I'm just being me. I kick, I scream, I cry. I just happen to vent online most of the time, because it's where I feel most like myself. For all the crap I say here, I am actually painfully shy and would hardly have the guts to say all this out loud without having to read it out.

I do feel stronger, going through this. Not all the time, of course I have my weak moments/days, but I feel that Ianto's death will help me be a better mum to any future kids I have. Who knows, I might even think of a way to help other mums. Maybe as a counsellor, a photographer... Or something no-one's thought of yet? I'm open for any ideas. If you're a "still-parent" and reading my blog, maybe you could help me with ideas! What have you found there is a distinct lack of in terms of support?

Part Two...

Edit: It's two minutes after I posted this blog. I'd been listening to music in the background. I usually have it on shuffle, but I didn't this time and didn't realise. What was the first song it shuffled to after I realised and set it straight? "Smallest Wingless." The song we played in the middle of Ianto's funeral.

April 21, 2010

No apologies for language

Fuck you, eBay.

I admit it. I'm scared.

I'm scared of Friday. I'm scared that no-one will remember that Friday was supposed to be Ianto's "due date" and it will pass with me in silent anguish. Yeah, I know some of my online friends will say something, especially if I remind them. But I'm not entirely sure anyone in "real" life will remember. And if they do, what could they say to me anyway? "Sorry your son's still dead and nothing's changed"?

Who would say something, in any case? Mum might give me one of her sympathetic looks, but that's it. Dad probably won't be home. Scott's working most of the day. My brothers probably won't remember what's so special about the 23rd. Aunties, Uncles, and cousins... Most wouldn't have known to begin with the exact date I was due. I wish I'd organised some sort of get-together to do that balloon release.

Hoping to get to Ianto's grave today to start making it look nicer. I seriously hate how awful it looks.

Oh, yeah, we saw yet another rainbow day before yesterday on the way back from the cemetery - it was beautiful, so big...

April 19, 2010

Tiny things, vent included

I never saw his bottom. My own son, and I never saw his bottom. I hardly saw anything that was covered by his nappy, but I still saw all that. I love babies' bottoms, why didn't I sneak a look? It's such a small thing, but I really wish I'd looked at every part of him. I half wish I could have seen his eyes, but at the same time I'm glad I didn't. How much harder would it have been? No, I'm glad I didn't. I can imagine what they'd have looked like anyway.

I also have a lot of anger towards my mum, and everyone who would have helped her take away all the baby things from her house. I'm grateful that they thought they were doing the right thing, but my heart just screams "how dare she?" How dare she presume I wanted all those things gone? It just made it harder for me, coming home, because it was another loss. Having an ultrasound and expecting a heartbeat, then being surprised by there being none. Walking into a house where there was baby stuff everywhere, then seeing everything's been hidden away. It's the same. There's something just off about it all.

Another thing. I know we're trying again, but it doesn't help being told that we can do it. I don't want to hear empty words about how we should stay positive, or how someone you know was able to conceive after their stillbirth. It might work for some people, but I don't want to be told everything will be okay. It doesn't sit right with me. On the other hand, I don't want people to be silent around me. Ohh this is just too hard to deal with. I just want everything to actually be okay. Not to be told it's okay.

I contemplated ending everything the other day. I'm having similar days every now and then, but Friday was the worst since the day I wanted to dig Ianto's grave up. I was just irritable all day, and it just kept getting worse. Tiny things were annoying me, and it built to a head until I was in a ball sobbing in the bathroom, wondering how I would do myself in. I'll be honest, the only thing that stopped me was that I couldn't figure out how I would do it without leaving a damaged corpse. I wanted to close my eyes and just have my heart stop, like Ianto.

But don't worry. Seriously, the rest of the weekend I've been fine (aside from being angry that everyone lets me sleep in, making me miss things I planned to do.) We held a dinner party on Friday night, it was great being able to have friends over. Sure, I crumbled into my depression again once we got back home after dropping people off at home, but the actual dinner party was fantastic. Must do that again sometime soon. We also met Adam Hills again on Saturday, and saw another Melbourne Comedy Festival show - Scott ended up going home with a balloon hat on! Fun times.

April 15, 2010

Got the test results today

I had my follow-up appointment at the hospital today, to get the results of the blood tests from when Ianto was born, and to see if there was a set reason that he died. They were, for the most part, normal. There were two things that were borderline abnormal, but could have been caused by the fact I was still pregnant when the blood was taken, so he sent me off for more tests. If one of those comes back with the same result, that "might" have been the reason Ianto died.

Might. I just want to scream - is there a reason or not? I don't want to hear "there might have been a reason, there might not" - I want to hear "Yes, Tenielle, your son died for XYZ reason, and here's what we're going to do about it when you're pregnant again. We won't let it happen again." or "No, there was no reason, it was just one of those things. It won't happen again."

He told me that we "have to" wait until I get my period back to start trying again - but I get the feeling that's only because he wants to see how long it takes for it to come back (he said it right after I told him my periods are massively irregular.) So, no, Mr doctor man who can't speak a coherent sentence, I'm not waiting.

I'm really surprised they didn't have the social worker talk to me again. They didn't seem to care about my emotional health, for the first time since I got pregnant. I find that both funny and sad. I really need to talk to someone, and I was relying on them to tell me who, or at least give me some options. I'm not the kind of person who can call someone up and say "I need help." I have to have people offer it to me, otherwise I languish alone.

April 14, 2010

Still moving...

We're almost nearly halfway through moving things from our storage locker to our new home. It's been a nightmare - we don't have any display cabinets or anything to put ornaments, we have piles of clothes that need to be washed before being put away (but a washing machine filled with dog hair), no bench space left to put bits and pieces... Ohh what a nightmare. Can't someone else do it? Look at this mess!
Isn't it terrible?

Moving on to other news, we've had some bad news in our little friend circle. I won't go into too much detail, but a friend is separating from his wife. He's probably moving out of their shiny new house to go live with his parents again (I reckon she should get chucked out, not him, but that's a whole new story) - so Scott and I are considering letting him stay with us for a little bit while things get sorted. HOWEVER, we're not sure where he would fit. Although there's three bedrooms in our new place, one is the "entertainment room" (where Scott can play Xbox and I can read/blog)... And the other is where all the baby stuff is going in preparation for another baby.

Before the questions start, no, I'm not pregnant again (to my knowledge) but getting this room set up is still something I want to do. I was planning to have it started by the time I get pregnant again, then just keep adding to it throughout my pregnancy until finally we bring a baby home. I want it to be perfect. I want it to be a celebration of the life coming into it, as well as the life that will never get to see it.

Oh, back to our friend for a moment. To cheer him up, we went to play lasertag, two days in a row. My legs are killing me, by the way. On the way there, I saw a little peek of a rainbow before it faded away. It was lovely. And then I realised... I had hardly thought of Ianto all day. He was at the back of my mind, but it was the first time since everything happened that the thoughts of him weren't choking me. I think he knew, and wanted to remind me of him. Like I could forget!

I really should be getting to bed. Hope everyone's well!

April 11, 2010

Oooh look at the new layout

This is more a "test blog" than anything else, to check if there's any problems or glitches in the new layout... So what does everyone think? Massive thanks to Sarah, who offered to design this for me without me even thinking of asking anyone else! And look, a signature and everything!

You'll notice the font is even the same as the font on my tattoo... How great is that? Yeah, I'm even excited about that.

April 07, 2010

Very very short blog

WE GOT THE HOUSE! I've been in shock all day. We got the house we applied for yesterday, right next door to my mum and dad... Ohhh this is fantastic...

I was quite upset, however, that most of the bond money and all of the first month's rent had to come out of the baby bonus money. I've been spending it solely on things to do with Ianto - my tattoo, things to go on his grave, etc. - and what I had left was supposed to be helping pay for his headstone. Now that'll have to wait until we save it all back up again. It didn't help that I somehow had even less than I thought I did in there. So that was a massive downer.

Still excited though.

April 06, 2010

Plodding along

No real point to today's blog. There's not actually much on my mind, I just felt like writing. But what? I could say how much I've been thinking about Ianto, but if I did that every time I blogged, it'd get boring. I think it's a given that I think about him constantly.

At the moment, Scott and I are in a caravan out the back of my parents' place. It's nice, being so close to my family. Actually, tomorrow we're handing in an application to move in to the house next door, so it might be more permanent than we originally thought! According to Scott, the landlord was excited about having us apply, so we may be shoo-ins. Hooray!

My tattoo's healing nicely. It's starting to peel a little, but that's normal - or so I'm told. On Sunday night, Scott and I went to go see Adam Hills (more on that soon) and when we were heading home, a couple behind us started discussing how "obviously fake" my tattoo looked because it was starting to peel a little around the edges and it was shiny. It had had a recent application of cream on it. I was chuckling to myself and wondering if I should say something. I considered "Do you want me to pick at it to make it bleed?" but that may have backfired on me.

Ohhhh Adam Hills was awesome. Such a nice guy too. Click here if you'd like a rundown of the show we saw. At one point, he was telling us about how he met the Queen last year, and he stood next to Lady Gaga - then got three audience members to stand up and help him demonstrate how that went. Guess who got to be Gaga? Me! Aside from my "largeness", I think I made a great Gaga look-alike! I have blue hair at the moment, and I was wearing a bright rainbow dress, showing off my massive rainbow tattoo, so I reckon I was the closest he could get.

Okay, getting on a little bit of a soapbox now...

Also to do with Adam, he's raising money for the Simon Rhoden foundation at the moment. To do this, he's trying to make a member of his first-night audience a celebrity. I've donated a little bit of money, and I urge you to as well. It's a fantastic cause (as most "causes" are!) so please give a little, or join the facebook fan page for more information.

Off soapbox.

I'm starting to think - and I better do it quickly - that we should have some sort of party/celebration for what would be Ianto's due date on the 23rd. But I'm still not sure what. I know I'd like to do the balloon release, but what else? And how do I invite people? Would a lot of people come? Would it be too similar to a funeral and thus pointless? I need to think about it more.

That's all from me right now. Thanks for reading.

April 02, 2010

My new tattoo

Yesterday Scott and I went out to start getting our memorial tattoos organised. When we got there and started talking to the tattooist, he mentioned he'd had a cancellation that day and could do one of them then and there. After a few moments of "oh, no, I can't do it now!" I decided that I could do it. I sat in the chair, and... Ohhhhhh it hurt when the needles hit my skin.
I've got two other tattoos, but this one is my biggest - and my first coloured one. The pain wasn't too bad after a while. I got used to it, sort of. All up, it took four hours, with five minute breaks every now and then. It actually hurt more the first ten minutes after coming off a break. At one point, I realised how bored I was - I'd gotten used to the pain so much I could hardly feel it anymore.

At around the three-hour mark, it started getting really painful again, and it wasn't easing up. Shane (the tattoo artist) got up for another break, so I got up and looked around. There were some tattoo magazines nearby, so I started reading one. Turns out I should have done that to begin with - the last hour flew by. The only times I could properly feel it was when I was between magazines!

So, finally... The finished product.

It's still a bit red and swollen, and the colours still need to settle, but there it is. I think it's fantastic.