August 28, 2010

Reflecting on the past six months

Today is Ianto's six-month "birthday". I've been thinking the past week or so that I would spend today beside myself and upset. Instead, I'm seeing it as a positive. As I just said on facebook:
Today's a happy day, not a sad one :) Even though the circumstances weren't ideal (obviously) I got my little guy into the world, proved to myself that I am strong enough to do it, and set out into the hardest time of my life. If ever I feel depressed, I can look back at this and remind myself just how strong I really am.
And I am. A year ago I was a few weeks out from my wedding, had just found out I was pregnant... And I was depressed. Not formally diagnosed - I'd seen a psychologist a few times but we didn't get along so I stopped going and thus wasn't diagnosed - but I knew it. I hated myself. Even at what should have been the happiest time of my life, I was sad and angry. Scott and I fought a lot, right up until Ianto died.
Of course, I won't go so far as to say Ianto's death was the best thing that could have happened. Of course not. I'd have to be a heartless bitch to think that. But I think proving to myself that I can deal with such a terrible thing and come out the other side without killing myself (which as you may remember, I had a compulsion to do early on - but do you think I can find the post again?) has partly kicked "depressed me" up the bum and put her at ease.

I also have a theory that my pregnancy/post-birth hormones overwrote my depressed self. That probably makes no sense, and maybe the truth is that I never really had depression to begin with. But what if I'm right? What if some part of my body's chemistry went "well now you know you can give birth, you've achieved your lifelong dream of being a mum..." and switched off the bad stuff for at least a while?

I can still remember so much of those three days in February (and one in March) where I was in the hospital. I remember groggily asking Scott if the baby was okay before we left mum and dad's place. I remember the feeling of the gel on my tummy before the ultrasounds. The way I resolutely wouldn't look at Scott for fear his face would tell me what I didn't want to know. I remember realising that my baby would be stillborn, and what that meant. I remember being terrified of the choice I thought I would have to make - would I push "it" out, or would I have a caesarean? I remember the doctor asking me if she'd seen me the week earlier, and wondering why she was asking. Having to tell Mum that the baby wouldn't be born alive, because she thought "it" would just be premature. Having my brothers and parents in my room, trying to keep our minds off what was happening, but trying to help them come to terms with it as well.

The pethidine injections, which I still feel sometimes. Pretending to be asleep while the midwife talked to Scott about inducing me, because I didn't feel like dealing with the world just then. Crawling into Scott's bed because I couldn't be apart from him just then and I needed someone to hug me. Waking up at 3am, 3:05am, 3:10am, 3:15am, then realising I was in real labour. Dealing with it by myself for a little while before telling Scott I couldn't get back onto the bed after a trip to the toilet. Finally catching the midwives' attention around 7:30ish to tell them what was happening and agreeing to some morphine. Having the drip put in while I was having contractions. Mum arriving to have me pitifully cry "mummy!" and insist she hold her freezing cold hands on my forehead. Having my waters broken and pushing Ianto out all in one push (both head and body came out together). The pain of the cord pulling at me, the relief when it was cut. The disgusting squishy placenta, which is now what I'm dreading most about Cookie's birth.

Holding my little one and trying not to notice "its" floppy head and neck. Looking at "its" little face in wonder. The feeling of accomplishment that I had done it. Being asked if I wanted to know the sex, and quickly cutting off whoever asked to tell Scott to tell me. Scott looking and telling me with his eyes full of tears: "boy. We have a boy." That feeling of "of course he's a boy" when all along we'd been calling him "she"...
I could go on with this forever. But if you're a regular reader of my blog, you'll know it all already. So I'll wrap up with this:

Happy "Half-Birthday", Ianto. I love you, and will do so beyond the day I die. Thank you for choosing me as your Mum. I hope you're as proud of me as I am of you, baby boy. My gorgeous sweet, soft Smudge. (See what I did there?)

August 20, 2010

By the way...

Have I mentioned I've set up a new blog? There's a reason for that...
I'm pregnant again.
This was my first test at 11 days post-ovulation. The 12th of July. Yeah, I've been sitting on this information that long. It's been killing me! And yes, there is a line there. It's just faint.
Why today? A few reasons - 1. My "tribute" for Nan is going in the paper and we've signed it from all four of us. 2. Apparently everyone on one side of my family knows anyway (the word is I've written it on this blog - can someone show me where?) and I want the other side to know too. and 3. I'm sick of trying to hide it, I'm being really obvious with it anyway. Why keep hiding?
The baby's nickname is Cookie, and we already have some photos. He/she is so much more obedient than Ianto was, we were able to get pictures so easily!
So, I suppose I've moved out of the "blogging after stillbirth" category, and moved into "blogging a pregnancy after stillbirth".
I will admit, I am scared. There have been times when I have been convinced that this one won't be viable. But then there are times I'm strong, and visualise meeting this baby. I make cute kids, so I'm not scared about that.

August 15, 2010

How does the world keep turning when she's not in it?

My nan died today. My world feels like it's crashed down yet again, just as I was starting to build up from losing Ianto. I've been in shock all day, floating through everything. My dad told Scott at our doorstep (I'd run away to get dressed because I only had a dressing gown on) and Scott told me in the bedroom. I knew what he was about to say before he said it, and I told him not to. "Don't you dare say it"... But he had to press on.

We drove to Nan's place in shock. I cried on and off about different things. We got there before they took her away, and I don't think I left the room for very long. I had to stay with her. I sobbed, I hugged people... Laughed at stupid things, as I tend to do when I'm upset. Broke down when my mum, the youngest of six, begged her mum to "just wake up"... I think I might leave everything else for another day...

When Ianto was born, Nan was one of the only people in the world who treated him like a normal, live, baby. I don't recall if she held him - I don't think she did - but I know she at least stroked his beautiful little face and kissed his sweet cheeks. She smiled, when everyone else was crying. She spoke his name without thinking she was offending me (of course I wasn't offended!)

I really can't do Nan justice in a blog post. I lived before Ianto, I know how to live without Ianto, but I've never lived in a world without my Nan. How do I go on? How does the world turn without Nan in it?
I asked her to look after Ianto. Maybe it should be him looking after her, letting her know all the ins and outs of the afterlife.

I am so incredibly sorry to all my future children, who never got to meet Nan. She was a fantastic, amazing, unstoppable lady who would have spoiled them to no end.

I'm going tomorrow to help with the funeral arrangements. I'm the one who's had the most recent loss before this, it seems, so I'm the one who has the freshest memories of how to organise a funeral.

I'll leave you with this link to a video... I always thought I'd like this played at Nan's funeral... Now it might actually happen, if I'm allowed to suggest it... I can't work out how to insert it, even though I know I've done it before... If I work it out, I'll come back and do that...

August 11, 2010

This is what my blog is all about

I just found and made this:

It takes all my most-said words, and makes them pretty. To be honest, I think it only took what's on the first page of the blog, since I don't think I've used the word "autopsy" that often, really. And do I really say "now" more often than "Ianto"?

August 09, 2010

A little sad, missing him.

Yesterday was strange. I wasn't sad exactly, but I felt myself really missing Ianto. I wanted him there, to share everything that was going on. There wasn't even anything going on, really, I just wanted him.

Did you know there's a 3% chance of a subsequent pregnancy ending in another stillbirth? That's opposed to the usual 0.7% risk. I was looking up these kinds of statistics because I want to be well-informed if I have to fight to birth where I want to birth next time.

Fingers crossed I can turn this into a "pregnancy after stillbirth" blog very soon. I think another baby might help my heart heal a little

EDIT: I forgot to mention, Ianto's story was featured last month on a blog called "Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope" if you want to read more sad stories. Here's the link to Ianto's.