May 31, 2010

Oh Happy Day!

I've received another blog award! This is the "Happy 101" award...


1.) When you have received this award you must thank the person that awarded you in a new post.

Thank you very very much, Sarah at {Just Me}, I love reading your blog - I feel humbled by the fact that you read mine! And I looove that you've made my blog look so nice, even though I keep fiddling with it (I'm just a fiddler)

2.) Name the 10 things that make you happy.
  1. Thinking about my wedding (It makes me giggle - we had so much fun!)
  2. Thinking about Ianto (yes, sometimes it makes me sad, but mostly happy)
  3. The fact that Ianto's photos are going to be used in the Heartfelt Exhibition (More information and linkage in my next post)
  4. Thinking about my future and having more kids.
  5. My gorgeous husband and the great memories we share.
  6. My mum, dad, brothers and grandparents (even though they annoy me at times)
  7. My few real-life friends (the ones I consider friends, not the ones that think they are)
  8. The fact that, even though I don't have many real-life friends, I can always turn to my online friends when I need some kind words.
  9. (Stealing one of Sarah's here) Blogging and reading other blogs.
  10. Acting onstage - though I haven't done that in a while.

3.) Pass this award onto 10 other bloggers and inform the winners. (Sarah and I read a lot of the same blogs, and most of the ones she tagged are who I would tag, so I've only tagged four. Please forgive me, oh blogging goddesses!)
  1. Antoinette at Butterfly Kisses to my angel Alyssa Marie
  2. Megan at Writing out loud
  3. Vicki at Ignore Reality
  4. Ally at It's my birthday today!
In the next blog: I plug the ACOCP's Heartfelt Exhibition again (with updated information)

May 29, 2010

"Hello gorgeous!" and "Shutupshutupshutup!"

Bit of an up-and-down post, this one. Both of these events happened yesterday:

Up(ish): Had a massively embarrassing moment on the phone. We got a new phone line connected, and I'd only given our new number to Scott. So when the phone rang, I immediately assumed it was him and answered the phone with a bright "Hello gorgeous!"... There was a moments pause in which the world was okay... And then I hear my father-in-law pissing himself laughing down the phone. *headdesk* He and Scott had just been talking, and when Scott's mobile cut out due to low reception, his genius father called our home number thinking they'd been talking from the home phone. He proceeded to laugh at me the next few minutes - eventually I joined in, because let's face it - it was funny!

Down (way, way down): After a fairly good day at home, I tagged along with Scott to return some DVDs. On the drive there, we listened to the radio (as you do) and got stuck in traffic (as you do.) There was a psychic on the radio show we were tuned in to, and that got me thinking - if I completely believed in that sort of stuff (I'm a bit half-half about it) would I want to contact Ianto on the other side? Well, it seemed someone else had had that idea as well, because next thing I know, a woman has called up asking "do babies grow up in the afterlife?"

That had me angry/sad/mixed up halfway through the question - I drew my foot back ready to kick the radio but stopped myself just in time and kicked the glovebox instead, and yelled at the stupid woman that it wasn't what I needed to hear right now. Then proceeded to bawl my eyes out and lose my breath crying as the psychic guy told her all about how her stillborn son (yes, he picked that up, too) was growing perfectly happily on the other side, and was surrounded by love and light and all the people the mother loved who have "crossed" are taking care of him. I continued crying for a solid ten minutes, while poor Scott had to navigate the traffic (so glad I wasn't driving!) and try to console me.

It made me think - I only really know a few people who have died, and I wasn't exceptionally close to any of them. So if this guy was right, Ianto's possibly being taken care of by people I wouldn't have wanted him being near too often and he needs his mummy! I felt like such a failure, even though I hardly believe in what was being said. He must be so scared, without his mummy to take care of him... And then I started thinking - He's going to be grown up when I see him next? What if I live to 100? He'll be 77 by then, how will we know each other?

I think I'll make up my own beliefs. While he's there without me, he's free to grow up - but only a little bit. Once I get there, he'll revert back to being a baby and I'll be 23 again, and we'll grow together like we should have. Or something long those lines. Maybe everyone goes to whatever age they'd be at their best?

The afterlife is so confusing! And that's if there even is one!

Testing, testing....

Just a quick note: I've been playing around with my blog a bit lately (you may have noticed things appearing or disappearing) but I'm still not 100% sure it looks good. Maybe it's just my perfectionist side coming out, but there are some things that don't look right to me...

Like the search bar thingie I've just installed. I want it kept near the top of the page, but it doesn't look good there! (On a similar note, do you like my new search bar?)

I've found a way to put a PayPal button on, should I put one on my other blog (where I'm trying to sell my canvases)? Hell, should I put one here so people can give me money for Ianto's headstone? (Joking! Tempting as it is to get others to pay, I'd never guilt people like that.)

Have I overloaded my page with too much stuff, dear reader? What should stay, what should go, and what should be added next?

PS - We need to get Scott to do more posts, don't we?

May 28, 2010

My birthday list

Completely self-indulgent post, feel free to skip this one!

What Tenielle would like for her birthday in 13 days (not that she's counting or anything) but doesn't really expect anyone to get her so she's making a list of things she's gonna buy herself when she gets money:
  • A positive pregnancy test (one with my own pee on it, thanks, I don't want someone else's peestick)
  • A nice big bottle of Blackmores Conceive Well Gold (tm) or Elevit (or similar)
  • A proper thermometer to take my temps every morning - I'm currently using a baby thermometer which is bloody difficult to read.
  • A nice big bag of ovulation tests and/or one of those Maybe Baby thingies I've heard so much about
  • Glee, Castle, and/or Big Bang Theory DVDs (hey, not everything I want is to do with conception!)
  • A print-out of Ianto's Name in The Sand picture
  • Some nice picture frames
  • Lots and lots of money so we can afford to put a headstone on Ianto's grave. 
  • A bumper sticker/t-shirt/anything that tells the world I'm an angel's mummy
  • A foot spa
  • A Poffertjes maker (I've seen these in the shops, I WANT ONE! Love the little bastards...)
Hmm... might come back to this later as more ideas hit me...

My day at the cemetery - Part Two

Eek, I've really gotta stop doing two-parters because I write the first one and forget to do the second! Whoops...

Anyway, here's part two of my tale of wandering around the cemetery...

After the batteries in my camera ran out, I continued walking around (and seeing heaps more headstones I wanted photos of!) until my legs started hurting. I started to walk back towards my car, but I got a little lost on the way and ended up in this little grove, with a stream running through it - this was all still in the middle of the cemetery, by the way - and benches to sit down on. It was a new part that I've never seen before. It was so beautiful and peaceful. If that bit's still around when I "kick the bucket" I think I'd like to be buried there, or somewhere similar.

Eventually I ended up back at Ianto's grave. I didn't feel like getting out of the car just yet, so I sat in there and played with my laptop (it had been in my bag all day). I eventually heard some men talking behind my car, and when I looked I realised they were installing a couple of headstones in "our" bit - one for the little boy next to Ianto, and one for the seven-year-old I've mentioned before. After the men left, I had to go have a look at them. They both made me tear up a little.

After that, I was fussing over Ianto's grave, making sure things looked nice and tidy for him, chattering away to myself for about ten minutes. I looked up when I noticed a heap of people around where I was, and realised there was a funeral going on about 100m away. An adult funeral. I couldn't help but watch as the coffin was taken out of the hearse and placed in the ground.

Then it hit me - Ianto was supposed to be putting me in the ground one day, not the other way around. It didn't help that at that point I was in the exact same kneeling position I was during his funeral, either. It hurt like hell. So I cried, hard sobs that just ripped through me. I tried to keep my voice down (there was a funeral going on!) but everything I wanted to say just poured out. I told Ianto how much I missed him, that I wanted to kiss his precious little face again, how I was trying so hard for a brother or sister for him, but what I really wanted was to hold him again... It just all tumbled out, things I didn't realise I've been thinking...

I'd seen an older woman (late 30's-40s?) a few minutes earlier placing flowers on one of the other babies' graves, but I thought she'd left - until she came up behind me and gave me a massive hug and a handful of tissues. She said told me that she knew what I was going through, she'd lost a son of her own (the one she'd been visiting) and that I wasn't alone, "please don't forget that"... Then she left.

I stayed a little longer at his graveside and waited for the other funeral to leave. I stopped crying quite quickly, thinking about how wonderful the babyloss community is. Here she was, grieving her own son, and she took the time to come over and comfort me. I can't imagine that happening if it were daughters grieving thier parents, or brothers grieving siblings...

I want to leave a card or something for that woman, she was so nice to me in those few minutes. I really needed that hug.

Might as well stick it here, too... The SIDS & Kids counsellor got back to me. She's coming out to talk to me on the 9th of June, the day before my birthday.

PS - It has been brought to my attention that this is my 50th blog. I only just looked at the date, too, and it's been three months since Ianto was born. I could have sworn today was only the 25th! I really need to sleep properly... Wow. Three months ago I was in labour (I'm typing this at 8:39am) and had no idea how I was going to continue with my life... Wow.

May 26, 2010

My day at the cemetery - Part One

A story in pictures (lots of pictures!)
Warning, this post contains a LOT of photos of people's graves - the majority around 50-150 years old. I took photos of headstones that caught my eye, and I'm sharing only a select few.

Guess what time these first photos were taken? Mid-afternoon?

Twilight? Nope. 8:50am this morning.
I visited my great-grandfather...

...met a butterfly...
...and of course, visited Ianto.

Click to read on...

"Rainbow babies"

My heart leaps up when I behold
A Rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die!

It's fairly obvious that when I see a rainbow, I think of Ianto. One (two?) appeared the day of his funeral, and I took it as a sign from him.

The term "rainbow baby" means something for different people. To most babylost mums, it is what they call their next babies, the ones born after loss. The beauty after the storm. Completely understandable, and of course I wouldn't dream of telling them they're wrong - they're not! It's a very beautiful way of seeing it. I just see it differently, and that's okay.

I think of Ianto as my rainbow baby for a few reasons:
  • He was beautiful, but faded much too quickly.
  • Not everyone saw him, or knew about him, but those who did were touched by him.
  • The colours in a rainbow encompass every colour that can be seen by the human eye - this to me signifies the possibility of all he could have been. He could have been an angry red. A firey vivacious orange. A chilled-out, calm yellow. A down-to-earth green. A strong, proud blue. And I'm not going to go into indigo and violet, there's so much debate as to whether they should be included! But we'll never know what he might have been, so he's all of these, and none of these.

This is the original gay pride rainbow flag.
It was designed in 1978 for a gay pride march,
and each of the colours represents something.
Another group of children that get called "rainbow children" are those born to or adopted by homosexual parents. Again, completely understandable - the rainbow flag has been a symbol for gay pride since 1978 (I just looked that up - I thought it would be a bit more recent!) so of course any offspring would have some connection to rainbows.

Angelina Jolie, a few years ago, expressed her wish for a "rainbow family" - adopting children from different countries/nationalities. She's certainly gotten her wish, with six children - three adopted and three biological - all born in different countries (well, the twins were born in the same country, I'm fairly certain!)

Rainbows hold significance in many cultures around the world. Not all of them are good, but most are:
  • Norse mythology says that to get to their version of heaven (Asgard), you travel up a rainbow bridge called Bifröst.
  • Christians are told that their god sent a rainbow to prove there would be no more floods after Noah.
  • Most Australian aboriginal tribes celebrate the Rainbow Serpent as the creator of the world and all beings. It is also a sign of fertility.
  • Chinese folklore tells of two star-crossed lovers who can only meet when rainbows are in the sky - Hsienpo is the red of a rainbow, Yingt’ai is the blue.
  • Karens of Burma believe that rainbows are dangerous demons that eat children (lovely...)
  • Bulgarian legend says that if you walk under a rainbow you change genders (though Wikipedia tells me that most Bulgarians don't actually believe it)
  • And of course, the most well-known, the Irish legend of a leprechaun waiting with a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.
End of lesson, grab your books and I'll see you next class...

Insensitivity sucks

Note: If you are the writer of any of these blogs, and would like me to remove the references to your posts, leave a comment for me and I'll do so ASAP.

I just wanted to apologise (only a little) for being so mad at a friend the other day for comments left on another post here. I'm still angry, but I've been reading a few other babyloss blogs and I'm definitely* not worst-off for unsupportive people.

Take for example, the email Rachel at Three Butterflies and a Monkey got. Someone told her she needs to stop grieving for the triplets that she lost three years ago. They attacked her for giving her husband a clock from the babies with an inscription along the lines of "counting the minutes until we meet again" - and then told her they were only trying to help!

Or the facebook comment Michelle at Missing Juanito suffered when she bemoaned the fact that a lot of her other facebook friends were announcing pregnancies, new babies, etc. She was looking for a little bit of sympathy, maybe some virtual hugs. I do this myself sometimes. But what she got was an attack, saying that they're not out to intentionally hurt someone's feelings, and does she just want people to stop posting their happy news because a few people might be hurt? Of course she didn't. She was having a "poor me" moment, like everyone does - not just babylost mums, but we certainly are entitled to them a little more.

One of the worst, one that makes me sick, happened in February last year to Carly, who does the names in the sand (I posted Ianto's the other day.) She does these in memory of her son Christian. She keeps a personal blog, too, called Love Reign Over Me. Well, as happens, she got a request for a few names from a babylost mother, and she went out, took photos of her kids' names in the sand, and put them on the blog.

I'm not sure how much longer afterwards, but she ended up getting an email from someone else who informed her that this woman (if you can call her that) had duped her. The three children whose names she requested be written in the sand were her living children. This woman had lied about her children being dead just to get a pretty photo, then bragged about it on a parenting forum. Sickening.

Really, there are too many stories I could tell here. One is bad enough, but there seems to be a point where we all come across insensitivity - an attack because someone feels you've grieved too long, an attack because you wanted a little sympathy, someone taking advantage of your kind nature, an old friend saying they don't agree with something that's entirely your own personal choice to make. No matter the severity, it hurts like hell. But not everyone can understand that, and so I apologise for flying off the handle at something that could have been a whole lot worse and less thought out. But I don't apologise for being angry at the "sentiment."

Sorry, and "bounce, schlag, studiver"

* I can't remember who it was recently that pointed out that definitely is easy to spell if you remember that it has the word "finite" in it, but THANK YOU SO MUCH! I've never been able to spell that word properly til now!

EDIT, 16th JUNE 2010: It happened to me! Read what the shitstain said to me, and my response, by clicking here

May 25, 2010

Tenielle's gone crazy!

As you should know, I am a part of a fantastic parenting/pregnancy/anything forum (Bellybelly), and as such I tend to vent there a lot. You may also know, if you are a member of said forum and also a regular reader of my blog, that I tend to repost some of what I've said on the forum here on my blog. This is another one, so feel free to tune out if you've read it before... Also, if you disagree with my decision to try to conceive so soon after Ianto's death, please feel free to skip this one.

Although I know that I'm trying to conceive, and it might take a while, I keep catching myself acting as though I'm already pregnant. I'm planning how I would like my next birth to go, I'm stroking my belly in the shower and wondering about what the next baby will look like... and then I'm catching it and have to remind myself that I'm not pregnant yet. I feel like I'm crazy.

Pregnancy is all I think about - I don't even think about Ianto that often anymore! Okay, that's an exaggeration, but a lot of how I think of him has to do with how much I want to give him a little brother or sister. I'm terrified about next time my period comes. I know in my head that it could take a long time, especially with my sporadic periods, but I am going to be devastated when it rears its ugly head. I just know that I'm going to beat myself up and feel like a failure.

I was supposed to be arranging a meeting with a SIDS & Kids counseller sometime last week, but no-one has gotten back to me about that. I know I need help, and I thought I would be getting it. I'm crossing my fingers they'll get back to me soon...

I want something, someone, to distract me from this obsession. No-one in my real life would understand, so I can't quit Bellybelly for a while like a part of me tells me I should. You ladies are my rocks, my support system.
Thoughts, observations? Spelling corrections?

In other news, Ianto has another neighbour, another stillborn little boy. That fills up the outer bit of the part he's in, next the inner ring will be done. I feel so guilty for not visiting him since Mothers Day, but my sleeping patterns have been really messed up lately and I never get the time... But he knows he's in my thoughts one way or another. We've printed some of the photos and stuck them around the lounge room. It's beginning to feel more like home now. I even found his 12 week ultrasound photos!

This one's what I call the "alien" photo. I swear, he looks like an alien here, it scares me a little. It's actually his face!

A nice side profile, contentedly sucking his thumb. It took us forever at every ultrasound to get him into the right position that we needed for what was being checked, this and the next one were complete flukes. We have this one framed on the wall between the photos of his hands and feet.

Another side profile shot (obviously!)
Ianto measured exactly on dates right up until he died. Even though his head was "large for dates" in the 18 week one, his body was shorter and evened out the average to exactly the date he was meant to be at. Even the final ultrasound, the one that told us he was going to be stillborn, said that he was exactly 32 weeks.

Well, that's it from me for now. And no, I have no idea why the last part of the photo caption is darker than the rest, I've tried changing it but it keeps reverting back to that colour...

May 24, 2010

Listen to that song again

I started noticing something in songs when I was pregnant with Ianto. Many romantic love songs can be taken in a different light – as if they're about parental love. My favourite from all the millions that can be taken this way would have to be Don't wanna miss a thing by Aerosmith. Yeah, it somewhat already has these undertones, given that it was used in the movie Armageddon, and Steve Tyler originally agreed to do the song because his daughter was the female lead of said film, but almost every line in that song can be interpreted as a parent talking to his or her child. Anyone who's a parent, especially those with toddlers, think about your child while listening to that song next time you hear it. The second verse is perfect I you co-sleep – "…lying close to you, feeling your heart beating…" – it just fits!

When I was pregnant, I continually listened to Michael Buble's Just haven't met you yet. I found this song before it hit us here in Australia – downloaded it and stuck it on my iPod playlist that I would play to my tummy. Not all of the song is appropriate for pregnancy. In fact, I've since realized that most of it is more appropriate for those who have had multiple miscarriages – "…broken my heart so many times I've stopped keeping track…" "…I might have to wait, I'll never give up, I guess it's half timing and the other half's luck…"

Don't cry like this. It's depressing. And makes you ugly.
And for stillbirth, or postnatal death, there's sad break-up songs. It's harder to come across these, a lot of breakup songs are angry. But boy bands are a fount of knowledge in this regard. From 5ive's Invincible to the Backstreet Boys' Show me the meaning of being lonely, if you listen to the lyrics of a lot of songs, you'll find your mind shapes them to fit your own situation.

Now for the funny side. Surely you've heard the song Oh what a night. You know, "Oh what a night, late December back in '63…"? Weeeell… I listen to that song, and I've never seen it as about sex (which is what it's supposedly about!) It's obviously about a pregnant woman giving birth, from the perspective of the baby being born. Think about it. "You know I didn't even know her name, but I was never gonna be the same…" "Spinning my head around and taking my body under" "Why'd it take so long to see the light?" Obviously about pregnancy and childbirth!

PS - Just discovered I can write my blogs and publish them from Microsoft Word - so if ever inspiration strikes and I don't have internet connection, I can still write, format, etc! Woo hoo!

May 23, 2010

Ianto's name in the sand

If anyone hasn't heard of the wonderful "To write their names in the sand" I suggest you run over there now and check the site out. Don't worry, I'll wait. Are you back yet? Hurry up... Okay.

Depending on how much you read when you left me just then (boo hoo), you may have seen that one has been done for Ianto. If not, here's the photo:

If you click the photo, it links to the direct page of Ianto's name in the sand.

May 22, 2010

My first proper night out since I first got pregnant

I went out last night with a lovely group of ladies, all dolled up (I say dolled up, I mean I lost track of time and showered/dressed/put on mascara and lipstick within ten minutes) and ready to go.

It was nice to be out with people. Sure, everyone there knew my situation, and I had a few moments of "poor me syndrome" when I was looking at the few babies there, but it was better than sitting around doing nothing like usual. I actually smiled a lot, which is rare for me lately. I wore my rainbow dress, the one I got for Ianto's funeral and which kicked off this rainbow connection to everything.

I couldn't help but think a few times that I shouldn't have been out like I was. I should have had my baby in my arms like a few of the others there. Hopefully I will this time next year, and I'll be able to take him or her along to these meet-ups.

I'm sorry for having so many posts that aren't about Ianto at all, or even the topic of babyloss. Yes, the topic consumes my life right now, but what I'm trying to get across is that life goes on. It's sad that it does, but it happens. We go out, we see other children and think "why not us?"... It's difficult to get out how I'm feeling at times, because it always comes out wrong, or like I'm trying to garner sympathy. It's also difficult being upset about other things and expressing that. People tend to think I'm really getting sad about all this, when really I'm just sooking some of the time about completely unimportant things. Which puts me in the awkward position of "do I pretend that they're right, or do I tell them I'm cranky because I [wanted sauce on my hotdog/didn't want to go out bowling/whatever]?"

Yeah, this is a nonsensical post. Don't mind me...

May 20, 2010

Insert Interesting Title Here

I know it sounds weird, but last night I got the overwhelming feeling that I was pregnant again. Don't as why, it came out of nowhere. It entered my head and I just felt so calm, like everything was okay. It was so strange!

I really don't have anything else to report, sorry for the short post. I hope I'm right about what I felt last night!

May 17, 2010

Had to laugh at iTunes

Following on from my "f**k you eBay"post a little while ago, I give you...

F**k you iTunes.

Does every program/website have it in for me? (I'm not horribly upset by this, I actually found it kinda funny)

If you want to know why I was searching iTunes for "stillbirth" - I was trying to find a podcast. I know there's a band named Stillbirth.

Getting old info back

This is another long one, beware!

My darling husband has bought me a new charger for my own laptop (I've been using his computer since mine carked it) and I'm rediscovering all the Word documents, PDF files, internet history... The last time I used this computer was when I was 17 weeks pregnant.

When I first found out I was pregnant, I started a diary in which I planned to write a daily letter to "Nugget" - Ianto's original in utero nickname. The diary didn't last long. I'd like to share it, if I may? The formatting's a bit screwed up, but it's readable...

    Friday, August 21, 2009

    Dear Nugget,

    Welcome to the world – or, the world of my womb, anyway. We just found out about you on Wednesday, the 19th of August. Exactly one month before your dad and I are getting married. For the past few months until now, my thoughts have been purely about the wedding, but for two days I’ve had nothing on my mind but you.

    Your dad is so happy, as am I. We were actually just starting to actively try for a baby, and it turns out you were already there! I’m not enjoying that you’re making my body ache – it doesn’t help that I’ve been walking a lot today with no car to drive. I’m a little worried about the slight pains in my belly where you are – but all my books and websites say that’s most likely to be “implantation pain” – you’re hooking yourself into me, keeping yourself safe and setting up a home for the next 8 months or so.

    Tomorrow I’ll be making my first few appointments – an ultrasound to see how old you are, and a blood test to check if I’m healthy enough to have you without complications. The doctor who saw me today says I’m probably about six weeks.

    I’m getting tired now, so I’m going to sleep.

    Love always, your mummy Tenielle

Saturday, August 22, 2009

    Hello again, my beautiful Nugget!

    I’m writing this at 3am – yesterday’s entry was around the same time, but I hope I’ll break this habit soon.

    I’m having a lot of the opposite of what I’m supposed to be at the moment – I don’t have a trace of morning sickness; apart from Wednesday I haven’t been fatigued at all… I’m quite liking this so far!

    Your name, until yesterday, had been chosen as either Paige or Michael. But yesterday I told your dad that I’d kinda gone off both names. I don’t really like the name Michael, we had only decided on that (about two years ago) to fit our nickname “Mikey” – Like Michelangelo of the Ninja Turtles. But I’m not a fan anymore. Paige, on the other hand, it killed me to turn down. But Paige Reid? You’d be laughed at at school, and it really wouldn’t suit an adult. I started a list today of names I like, and when I showed you daddy, he said he liked most of them. So today your name’s either Ryan or Baylee( maybe we should spell it Bailey?)

    Your middle name has already been chosen, no matter what gender you are. If you’re a girl, you’ll have my name as a middle name. That’s because my nan and my mum both named their daughters with their own names for middles. If you’re a boy, you’ll have a “J” name as your middle name, carrying on your daddy’s tradition – he, his father, and his grandfather all had middle names starting with “J.” We decided a while ago on Julian, but I’ve gone off that – there was a mass murderer named Julian something a few years ago and I still connect it to that. Jules? Joshua? Ah, I don’t know!

    Made my first proper appointment today – our ultrasound to see how big you are. It was complete coincidence, but I scheduled it for a day your daddy has off work! So we both get to see you, baby. I have to drink something like two litres of water beforehand, and I’m not allowed to use the toilet, so it’ll take all my strength not to pee myself when they smear that cold gel all over my belly. Give us a good picture quickly so I can get some relief, okay?

    Right now, I don’t know why, but I’m getting the feeling you’re a boy. I keep accidently referring to you as “he” when your daddy and I are talking about you. I hope you’re a girl, actually. It was always my plan to have a girl, then a boy. Like me and your Uncles Gavin and Brent. But really, as long as you’re healthy, I’m happy. If you’re not healthy… well, we’ll deal with it, won’t we?

    We’re having a hard time finding a house to live in at the moment, unfortunately it may come down to selling our dog, Angel. But then again it might be us. Either people don’t like dogs, or they think that two 23 year olds are too immature to rent a house. They just don’t know us. We’re different to those other idiots out there. Yes, we’re immature at times in our humour or whatever, but we’re very serious about each other and you. We want you to have the best we can give you, and where we live right now is far from acceptable. It’s a dilapidated garage, converted into a granny flat. We have to keep Angel insode with us because the landlady doesn’t let us take her outside. I hate it with a passion.

    Friday, August 28, 2009

    Hello my gorgeous little person,

    We’ve had a very eventful week! On Tuesday night, your daddy and I were sitting at the hospital hoping against hope that you were okay. I’ve been having pains in my lower stomach, where you are, and it got so bad I felt I needed to get you checked out. I had a few blood tests, and we waited (and waited, and waited…) until I was finally checked a bit more. The doctor pressed very hard on my belly, and told me I’d have to go in the next day for an ultrasound to check that you weren’t ectopic (an ectopic pregnancy is one in which the baby implants in the tubes rather than the womb – there’s no way to save the baby in that case)

    Your dad and I spent the night worrying and crying a bit – we watched about a million DVDs to take our minds off it. But, we went in Wednesday morning for an ultrasound and… We saw you! We saw your heartbeat, we saw how big you are, we saw that you were in the right place! You were 5 weeks and 5 days old – which puts you at 6 weeks today! Your dad cried.

    Yesterday I still went in for my ultrasound appointment that I made before all this trouble – The doctor said I was “almost five weeks” and that it was “impossible to find a heartbeat this early” – I almost cracked up laughing!

    Wednesday I also told your Nan (my mum) about you. She wasn’t happy at all. I can understand that, we’re not in a great financial position for a baby. But she’ll come around. She’s like me, she loves babies too much. I know she’s just worried about me and how I can look after you. I didn’t appreciate her calling me stupid for it though. I’m not stupid.

    Saturday, August 29, 2009

    Nugget/Smudge –

    For god’s sake, you’re only 2mm long! How much room do you need in there that you’re stretching my muscles already?!? It hurts!

    Your dad and I are going out tonight with a friend of ours. He’s going to be our Best man when we get married in three weeks. This’ll be my first night out knowing about you – I hope you don’t mind loud music and being wiggled around, because I love dancing! You should be used to it by now, dad and I had a wedding dance lesson on Thursday. I have to do a million spins, and of course that’s making me feel sicker than usual, having you in me…

    Speaking of being sick, I’m starting to get some morning sickness! I can not stand the smell of onions all of a sudden, which is really gonna suck when I come back to work after the wedding. Your dad and I both work at McDonald’s, though I haven’t worked since May (I fell over and hurt my back, then just plain didn’t want to come back at all.) We agreed I’d come back to work after the wedding, and here we are three weeks off.

    Your name has changed a few times again. Your dad likes Ethan if you’re a boy, which I really like too, but my mum doesn’t like it… We’ve stopped trying to think of girls’ names, we have a huuuuge list to choose from – It’s so much easier naming a girl for us!

...And then I stopped writing to him and started just talking.

I'd share my list of names, but a few of them may be used for future children. I will tell you this, though. Ianto wasn't on it. We hadn't thought of it yet.

May 15, 2010

Be not afraid of gentle words, but don't forget the hard ones

Finally, a "Blog This" challenge I can properly participate in! This week's challenge is to

"...shout out your cause, your gripe, your mission. Get on your soapbox and talk about something that really matters to you. Something you think about but perhaps don't talk about. Start a conversation, be heard!"

And that's what I intend to do. Guess what my chosen theme is?

  • Something that's important to me? Check.
  • Something I think about but don't often talk about (in real life)? Check.
  • Something that should be talked about? Check, check, checkity check check!
I know many followers of my blog are babylost mummas too, so I'm preaching to the converted (love that phrase, don't get to say it often enough...) but stillbirth is not talked about as often as it should be. Of course not, no-one wants to consider that babies die. People grow old, and then they die! Don't they?

...but no. Babies do die. My baby died. Maybe yours did too. Maybe someone close to you had a baby die. Maybe you don't even know about it. Ask your mother, maybe she had a miscarriage before you were conceived. (well, no, probably not a good idea to actually do that, but you see my point.)

How many people out there are afraid of the word "cancer"?

Before I was roughly shoved into the darkness of baby loss, "stillbirth" was almost a dirty word to me. I couldn't hear it without feeling sick. Yeah, I knew some women online who had had "one of them" but I couldn't stand the word. It's still hard for me to say now, because it sounds so... yucky. There's a line the movie Jawbreaker - "eww, you got a stillborn..." by this weirdo goth chick (I'm using words to describe how she was meant to come across) about one of the characters breaking an egg into a bowl and seeing that it was full of blood. I could never listen to that line. Stillborn? Yuck. What a disgusting word. But now, one that fills my entire life. Stillborn. Stillbirth. Life for me.

Last night I had a very awkward phone conversation. In January I won a free PIXI photo session for when my baby arrived. I told them I was due at the end of April, and to give me a call back around then. And I promptly forgot about it. Well, last night they called. Young girl, maybe around my age, probably a little younger. When she said where she was calling from, I let out one of those "Ah."s. The "Ah." meaning "please don't continue talking, the situation's different now and you're making it worse for yourself."

But she kept talking. She didn't hear my "Ah." so she continued with asking me when I wanted to schedule my baby in to have professional photos taken. So I had to tell her. I tried to use "gentle" words, I didn't use the words "stillbirth" or "dead," I merely said that he wasn't born alive. She pretty much broke down crying right there on the phone. I was comforting her, saying that it was okay, I've kinda gotten used to it now, etc. I even told her that I felt horrible for having to tell her. She cleared her throat a few times and told me that she'd never told anyone else this, but her mum actually had a stillbirth when she was a little girl. My heart went out to this poor girl, thinking she was just going to be booking a photo session with another cute little baby, but ending up spilling one of her greatest secrets.

I suppose that's what I'm getting at. It shouldn't be a secret. We should be talking about stillbirth, but no-one wants to hear the words "dead baby" or even "stillbirth" or "stillborn." But "not born alive," that's something we can all say. "Died before birth" is another we could use. Then maybe we can build up to those heavier words. I'm slowly making it there myself, I can now only imagine what it's like for someone who hasn't been through this. I'll make a promise to you today, readers. Next time I introduce myself to someone new, it will be like this:

"Hello, my name is Tenielle, and my son was stillborn. I have a dead baby."

"Would you like to see a photo of him?"
I might get some strange looks, but I'm going to do it. Because the fact of the matter is, stillbirth does happen. And we should all be talking about it.

ETA: I did it! Someone asked me if I was trying for a baby, and I said "yes, I had a stillborn boy in February, and we're trying for another." I'm so proud of myself.

May 13, 2010

Signs, and birth/death notices.

I feel as though there were many signs during my pregnancy pointing towards Ianto's death. Of course, in retrospect, everything becomes a sign, an omen, but what the hell, I'll list some of them here...

  • I never got a "Bounty Bag" from the hospital. They'd run out the day of my very first midwife appointment, and although I meant to ask at the next one (and the next, and the next...) I never got around to it.
  • I kept looking up, and telling everyone around me, what would happen "if the baby's born this week"... when I was at week 20, I even said "If the baby were to be born from this week on, and it was dead at birth, it would officially be a stillbirth rather than a miscarriage now."
  • About a week before he died, I got it in my head that I should go and insist on them inducing my labour. I pushed the urge away thinking I was just anxious and impatient to meet him, but what if that was intuition, or something telling me that he was going to die if I stayed pregnant?
I can't think of any more right now (blame the computer for not starting fast enough, I had a huge list earlier!) so I'll move onto my next topic.

I was reading some babylost blogs last night, and came across one called "Tuesday's Hope" - about a stillborn little bubba girl named Hope, written by her mummy Sally. On March 4th, two days before Ianto's funeral, and the day his birth notices went in, Sally wrote about a birth notice she'd seen in the paper. Guess whose it was?


As well as making me shake all over and cry for a solid five minutes (they're getting shorter, these cries...), it made me realise that there's something else I never shared with you. Ianto's birth, death, and funeral notices. There were only four. Here are the other three:

From my parents and brothers.

From Scott's dad and stepmum (the ones who penned the bit I hated in his funeral service)

The funeral notice.

I had another hospital appointment today, to get the results of the bloods and pap smear they did last time. Bloods were all okay. She even went through every single result from Ianto's pathology again with me, because the idiot doctor didn't do it last time, instead choosing to talk to himself. Everything was fine, perfect. By the looks of it, his death was truly "one of those things."

It was the pap smear that was the problem. Apparently there were "low grade changes" - I knew this already from the letter they sent a week or so ago. But yeah, that means that I *probably* have HPV, which if you don't keep an eye on it, can lead to cancer ten or so years down the track. Again, I knew this already (thank you Mr Google!) but I was more concerned about what this meant for my chances of having another baby. It's no problem! I have to have another pap smear done in a year, but I've been given the big "okay" to get pregnant again. Woo hoo!

Another thing that this doctor (really, I think I'm in love with her) was concerned about was the fact that my periods are very irregular. I've brought this up time and time again with all my other doctors, right from the very beginning when they asked me when my last period was so they could work out my due date. They all ignored it. Until today. Finally, someone sat up and paid attention. I'm having an ultrasound a week after my birthday to see if I have polycystic ovaries. Yeah, I kinda guided her to that conclusion because a dear online friend put the idea in my head, but she still said it ws possible! Polcystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) can really cause havoc on my chances of conceiving again, but at least by checking for it, I'll be able to either rule it out or be treated for it.

Although I've cried a lot over the past twenty-four hours, it feels good to be me right now.

May 10, 2010

A Happy belated Mothers Day to all!

Whether you're a babylost mum, or the usual type of mum, an adoptive mum, a mum-to-be, an auntie-acting-as-a-mum, whatever, a huge Happy Mothers Day to you (for yesterday)!

My day? You want to hear about my day? Are you sure? *sigh* okay...

It was bad. I woke up to the sultry sounds of... Scott playing his Xbox. Sigh. So no breakfast in bed for me. No card waiting by my pillow... After a little bit of me sooking, we went next door to visit my mum (I've mentioned our new home is next door to my parents', haven't I?) and gave her her card and presents. I waited. No-one wished me a happy mothers day. Oh well. A lot of people on facebook had said it, a few had sent me text messages. That could tide me over until someone said in in real life.

After that, we went to visit my nan. Gave her her card. Waited. Nothing.

Nan mentioned my pa and uncle were at the cemetery fixing up her dad's grave. So Scott and I set off for there to say hi, and to visit Ianto. I bought some flowers (white for once, instead of my usual blue). I had a little cry at his grave, a bit of a grump when some people nearby were talking really loudly... and still nothing.

All this time, my favourite forum was down all day, so I couldn't even vent there. It built up and up and up... I started crying in little bursts, hiding it quickly. There was no reason to be upset... right? Scott was waiting to surprise me... right?

Nope. He wasn't. He went up to Coles to get some milk and maybe something for dinner, at which point I commented on my facebook status from a few days ago that he had remembered Mothers Day, but I still didn't have anything to show for it. He sent me an angry reply, something about us not having enough money for a proper celebration, what did I want from him? I exploded. What did I want? I wanted him to acknowledge me as a mum. I wanted him to say Happy Mothers Day. I wanted him to think about how he hurts my feelings all the time when I'm expecting something from him and he doesn't deliver.

He came back. We didn't speak to each other for a few minutes. I was still angry at him for being so insensitive. He set a block of chocolate down next to me (my favourite kind, and too expensive for us to get too often these days) and roughly said "there's your mothers day present."

I, of course, promptly broke down into tears again and ran off to the toilet (it's the only door in this place that locks) to cry in solitude. Came out, he was cleaning up. I started helping, was told not to because "it's not your job today"... Sigh. It's supposed to be my job every day!

After that, we didn't really talk about anything. As always, we ignored the problem and it went away. Bellybelly came back up, we had dinner at mum's place, everything was okay again.

So, that was my Mothers Day. How was yours?

May 05, 2010

The funeral service

I've decided to share Ianto's funeral service with you all. It's taken me close to two hours to type this up, so I hope you enjoy. I'll be marking spots where I want to comment with red numbers, then add my comments as footnotes.

I know there's bound to be a few spelling mistakes, so if anyone picks one up, let me know in the comments and I'll fix it.

Because it's so long, I'm going to break it up here, and make it so you can only read it by going to the post's page (click on the title of the post to continue reading)

May 04, 2010

Ooh I've been tagged! "Life is Good"

The lovely Sarah at {just me} has given me a "Life is Good" award - This means I answer some questions, and then "tag" three other bloggers and they continue the chain. Here goes...

It even has a rainbow in it, how beautiful!

What do you do when you’re bored?
Hang around online, googling anything that comes into my head if I grow bored of my favourite sites.

Are you an autumn, or a spring?
I used to be an autumn, but since I got married last spring, I think that's changed.

Quick! You’re stuck at an airport for hours, and the only options are crossword puzzle, or an old novel nobody’s ever heard of. Which would you pick?
The novel, I suppose, because if I finish it I can start over again. I couldn't do that with a crossword.

Jane Austen or Emily Bronte?

Do you feel prepared for the five other questions coming your way?
Oooh, I don't know! Let's find out together, shall we?

Who’s your hero?
I'm not sure... May have to come back to this one another day...

Favorite word?
Love. Cheesy, yes, but that's it.

Are you one of those “checklist” people, or are you a “wing it and hope everything goes well” sort of person?
I write checklists, then wing it after I lose the paper I've written the checklist on.

What phrase has stuck with you in your life?
It was quite recent, but I think the phrase someone's said to me that will stick with me forever started with "I'm sorry..." - I think you can guess the rest.
Okay, I know what the question's really about. What has inspired me in my life? I don't have one particular phrase, to be honest.

If you were to choose between coffee and tea. . . which would you go with?
Tea. Tea every time - I hate coffee with a passion! Love the smell of it, strangely, but I cannot stand that horrible muck.

Okay, now for the part where I tag others... Hopefully I'll tag at least one person who hasn't already done this ;)

Kirsty @ Baby De Roach
Caz @ The truth about mummy
Ms. G @ Broken Heart Diaries

Have fun!

May 03, 2010

I'm sorry I'm late with this post

I know, I know, I said a few days ago that I had photos to share. I kinda lied a little - I was stalling because I'd forgotten to take photos. Please forgive me, O wise readers of my blog!

Aaaaanyway, I took photos today (Not even an hour ago! Hot off the presses!) of the wooden plaque and the tile thingie on Ianto's grave. And once again, I have lost some colour! Shock horror!

Yes. The windmill was gone. After I took this photo, I looked around and thought I found it. Either that or I nicked it from someone else's grave by accident thinking it was ours.

The tile - I got dirt all over it when I was placing it, so please forgive the filth.

I really love the plaque, if I can say so myself. Even if the letters are slightly askew.
Something silly I've done in the past few hours is look up every single child who is buried in the little garden bit Ianto's in. 33 in total now. Of those:

  • Twenty were stillborn.
  • Nine breathed less than a year - six less than a day, and one less than a month. The oldest of this group was five months.
  • Four made it past their first birthday. A two-year-old, a one-year-old, a four-year-old and a seven-year-old.
  • Fifteen were female, eighteen were male.
  • Twenty died in 2009, 13 so far in 2010.
Don't ask why I collected all that information. I was bored and curious about the other kids there. I may leave flowers on their birthdays/angelversaries, but I'm not sure I should...

May 01, 2010

Utterly and completely bored... let's see where it takes me!

Okay, I know I posted a few hours ago, but I'm bored. I'm sitting at Scott's work, using the free internet, and I'm bored out of my mind. So I'm going to keep this tab open on the computer and just type whatever comes into my head (within reason, I'm not sure any of my readers are interested in the goings-on of McDonalds in the very early hours of the morning)

First, I'd like to promote the Heartfelt exhibition. I think I've mentioned before that one of Ianto's photos might be displayed. That would be fantastic, of course, but I'm planning to go even if they're not.

Next, it was another sad day. I went to Ianto's grave to place the wooden plaque on it, as well as the tile thingie my uncle made (more on that in the next post - I need photos.) When I got there I was a little confused - there was no colour waving above my darling boy. Yes, my gorgeous rainbow flag is gone. The wooden bit that gave it its shape was still standing, looking bare and impotent (yes, I use big words like "impotent" when it's 20 to 4 in the morning.) I took that out - what a hard job! I ended up snapping it near the bottom because it was absolutely stuck.

Goodbye, rainbow flag. I'll miss you and your... droopiness...
I think it may have come from me tying a helium balloon to it last week in windy weather. My guess is that it wiggled loose and flew away. How great would that have looked, though?!? Just this rainbow flag, floating away against a dark sky, carried by a balloon... Wish I could've seen it and take photos for you!

I left there, and decided to bum around at Scott's work (which was pointless, unknown to me he'd been sent home and his shift changed!) When I was done being grumpy at him for not coming out and saying hello to me, I went to Kmart. Bad idea. This is the Kmart I did quite a lot of my pregnancy shopping. The one where I picked up a Bonnie Babes book at 27 weeks (linkie to it) and almost bought it before realising it was a babyloss support book and not just stories like I originally though ("I won't need this" I said...) Aside: I actually did end up with a book the week after Ianto's birth, and it's fantastic. If anyone ever has someone they know lose a baby, or have a very premmie baby, I recommend giving them this book. Even very early loss.

Then I did a stupider thing. I looked at the Mothers Day cards. And promptly went into breakdown mode. I had my headphones on, so no-one comforted me or asked what was wrong. Fair enough though, I'm not sure I'd approach someone who was crying but couldn't hear me either...

I know I said I wasn't going to tell you about what's happening around me at the moment, but gee it's funny watching some people. This store is part of a shopping centre. As such, it doesn't have its own toilets aside from the staff ones. If you're a customer and want to use the toilet when the rest of the shopping centre is closed, tough. Not our problem. Our fault though, if you listen to most customers. 

Retail has to be the only profession where everything is your fault. A customer leaves a mess on a table/in an aisle and you can't clean it up without ignoring the long line of other customers? It's your fault if another customer wants to sit/shop there. Builders didn't put toilets in the store and a customer wants to use the ones that are closed? Your fault. A child runs around, falls over nothing and bruises his knee? Your fault for not telling him off and preventing the fall (though god forbid you do! It's your fault he's uncontrollable, of course!) You're out of Happy Meal toys/Justin Beiber CDs/Avatar DVDs the day before the new batch are set to arrive? Of course it's your fault that every other customer on the planet wanted the exact same thing your current customer does. How dare you not pre-empt them walking into your store on a whim!