December 04, 2011
October 23, 2011
NOTE: Yet again, photos have been flipped sideways. Still no idea why.
Amelia's been crawling for a few weeks now, and being the energetic little girl she is, wants to be in everything. Or on everything. Or OFF everything. Like the bed. She likes crawling towards the side of the bed and grabbing things off the bedside table. Usually I'll grab her, either by the clothes or the leg, them haul her back over to me.
Last night, I wasn't as on the ball as usual. I grabbed for her as I saw her approach the side, but she was further away than I thought and tumbled off as I reached. And there was silence. That silence held a lot for me.
Jail time for negligence.
Everyone hating me for the rest of my life for killing my daughter, not protecting her.
Needless to say, she's fine. She was silent from shock, but made up for it very quickly by screaming and promptly losing her breath. I scooped her up before I even knew she was okay, held her close as she screamed and screamed. By the looks of it now, it was more shock and fear that caused the crying. She has a lovely bump on her head (on top of one she got earlier by headbutting a chair!) and a small scratch from something she must've hit on the way down, but she stopped crying rather quickly and started shooting me big grins instead. Though when I tried to take photos she shot me foul "YOU DID THIS TO ME!" looks...
..then fell asleep because she'd had a long day and should've been sleeping anyway instead of flinging herself off the bed.
September 20, 2011
I'm sure by now many of you will have heard about the death of a two-day-old boy in Adelaide while he was being carried in a baby sling (though the media hasn't said what kind of carrier it really was and tend to lump them all together, so it could have been any kind...)
A lot of you also know I'm an avid babywearer. When news broke of the little boy's death, my first reaction was the same as a lot of my fellow babywearers - "why the hell was she wearing him under a shirt and jumper?!" and "stupid media, why don't they get anything right?!"
While the second point still stands, I've revised my thoughts on the first. We don't know all the details. Some carriers can be worn under clothing - or jackets at least - and there are tonnes of DIY sites out there telling you how to modify clothes so you can babywear under them. Plus, what if the shirt/jumper (if this point is true) weren't even the cause? What if it was SIDS - remember, it doesnt always hit in bed! - or a medical condition no-one knew he had? What if this little boy was going to die anyway, and he was lucky enough to die while snuggled close to his mummy? And how terrible would she be feeling, even if she knows it's not her fault, hearing all these people blaming her for her baby's death?
I suppose my point is, don't blame the sling. Don't blame the mother. Educate yourself on how to safely use carriers if you plan to use one. This was the first known death linked to a sling in Australia. The majority of the 16 in the US were because of a certain type of sling that was found to be unsafe. More babies have died in prams and cots.
In coming days: Why I love babywearing.
September 15, 2011
So, what about me? Well, today I think I am okay. I'm pretty good at knowing when in going to have a bad day, and I try to reach out, though it's not always successful. The other day was a bad one. I felt so alone, so rejected by the people around me. It was the worst I'd felt in quite a while. Lately, a smile from Amelia is all it takes to pull me out, but this time she couldn't help. This time, I just wanted her to be able to talk to me, let me know she was listening... I needed a friend.
So, while it is important to ask the question today, don't think that means you don't have to ask it all the time. Today, I'm okay. Tomorrow I might not be.
August 18, 2011
Before Ianto was born, and then while I was pregnant with Amelia, I made a set of Internal rules.
I was going to have a completely natural, epidural-free birth, preferably in a position that allowed gravity to do a lot of the work.
I was going to do baby-led weaning with my children, no pureed food would touch their lips!
And heaven forbid I start before six months!
I would never EVER be so mean as to take a photo of them crying rather than rushing straight to them and making sure they were okay!
I'd never make fun of them by putting them in silly hats or anything else that fit on their heads!
I'd never get someone to take a photo of me making fun of them!
And no way would I get a baby bath when just a normal tub or sink would do the job just as well.
You know what? While I do feel a slight sense of letting myself down, I am damn proud I've stuck to the things that really matter the most to me.
Not one drop of formula has touched these lips.
She is a complete "booby monster".
I have learned most of her cues - hungry, tired, grumpy... Though I do admit to sometimes not having a clue.
I have a happy little girl...
...who is so clever...
...and growing up so quickly.
She knows she is loved. And not just by her reflection in the mirror.
She will know about her brother from the moment she can understand.
I'm not perfect, not even by my own standards. But I am the very best mother I can be to Amelia and Ianto, and never will I apologise for that. That's all anyone should aspire to.
Disclaimer: no, I'm not saying formula feeders or those who don't know their baby's cues are bad parents - they're just two things that I hold important in my own parenting. The love part, on the other hand, should be universal.
This is a Flog Yo Blog post.
August 15, 2011
My Nan taught me this recipe when I was about 21. I used to forget how to make it and would call her asking for it over and over. It's quick and easy and fills us up nicely. The ingredients don't need much measuring, and you can add anything to it for a different taste. I haven't tried it with chicken, but that could easily be used instead of tuna.
1 Egg (2 if you don't think one will suffice)
1-2 large cans tuna
Pinch of flour
Pinch of salt
2-4 large potatoes, mashed
- Mix all ingredients by hand (or in a food processor on low if you want a smother texture)
- Scoop about three tablespoons of mixture out and coat lightly with flour. Press into a patty shape. You can also spread the mixture out a little to make a pancake-like patty.
- Fry in frying pan until outside is brown. Serve with extra mashed potato or by itself. Add salt to taste.
August 11, 2011
The last of my grandparents died on Saturday. My Pa. He had a stroke about a month ago, and had been deteriorating since. I still can't believe it - how can he be gone? He's... He's Pa! He was meant to live forever! I've scheduled this to post while I'm at his funeral.
He was a hell of a man - always with a story to tell. He lived the first few years of his schooling life in a boy's home, and told us so many stories about that. He'd love to tell the story of how when he left, he got home and no-one knew who he was - and he had a sister he didn't know about!
He used to take me fishing. He'd tell all and sundry that I'd caught every kind of fish there is to catch in Australia - except a gummy shark. Completely not true, of course, but he loved to boast about his "Chickenbum" being a great fisher.
He also taught me how to read, or helped at least. I'd sit in his lap as he ate his WeetBix and read the Herald Sun to him, even the big words I didn't know! When he would take me places, he'd get me to read all the road signs as we came to them - I feel this helped me learn to read quickly, because usually we'd be traveling so quickly...
Even though he drove my Nan crazy, I think deep down they really loved each other. He fell apart after she died last year, and died clutching a photo of her.
I love you Pa, and I'm sorry I can't say more. The youngest of your eighteen great-grandchildren is calling for me. Thanks for being the best Pa you could be. One day we'll fish again*. Say hello to Ianto and Nan for me. Here's a song for you.
*...once I find my rod. He's the only one who knew where it was!
July 16, 2011
Meet Smidge. He's a bit sideways at the moment, but that's Blogger's fault, not mine ;)
He's looking forward to meeting some new friends. I'm planning to send him to a family somewhere in Australia, where he's going to spend a week with them before being sent on to another family, and so on and so forth.
What I want these families to do is, at the end of their week with Smidge, send me an email with some photos of him having fun along with a letter about his travels to put on the blog.
If you want to be one of the families Smidge visits, send me an email with your address at firstname.lastname@example.org - it can be a PO Box if you like, and only I and the family who will be sending Smidge to you will have it.
July 12, 2011
I often play out little scenes in my head - how things were, how I hope they will be, how I wish they had been...
I long for the day there are no "we can't find a cause" stillbirths. There will always be stillbirth, I know that, because there will always be accidents or illnesses that cause it. But I dream of the day where there's no-one being told their baby died when they were expecting a normal result.
I hope one day I see Ianto again. I've said it many times, that I don't hold belief in any religion, but I hold out hope there's something afterwards so I can see my beautiful boy again. Hug him, tell him I love him.
I look forward to Amelia talking with pride about her brother who she will never meet but she will always know. I look forward to her getting up to speak in the church on Red Nose Day and blowing everyone away with how articulate she is (a mother can dream!), how unafraid to speak of such things.
I dream of Amelia as an adult, holding her firstborn and crying as she asks how I got through the death of her brother. I will tell her she was my saviour. I had four months without either child, and they were the toughest four months of my life. But on July 12th, 2010, two little lines appeared... And I started to hope again.
July 11, 2011
BIG WARNING: This is long. Seriously long. Remember how long Ianto's story was? This is longer. It also has the same level of detail.
Let’s go right back to before any of this began. A year and twelve days in fact. The day her brother died while inside me. The moment we found out, I had what I now know to be an uncommon reaction – “let’s try again straight away.”
So we did. For three and a half months, we tried. It doesn’t sound like long, and I’m so grateful it wasn’t, but it felt like forever. I was just so impatient! (That continued throughout, as you’ll see…) While it felt like we were speeding away from Ianto having died and been born, it felt like forever in terms of trying to conceive a sibling for him!
June 30, 2011
I've dreamt a few times about Ianto lately. In them, we're doing things that we would do if he was alive, but he's still not. I don't dream about him often, I never have, so it's been nice "seeing" him again.
The first, we were at the hospital where he was born. And his eyes were open. Simple as that. His eyes were open and looking at his mummy, but he was still dead. In the dream it was like it was the best thing in the world, that he'd opened his eyes. Amelia's eyes. My eyes. The whole dream was just that, him looking at me and actually seeing me. If only...
In the most recent one it was like he'd been in storage or something. Again, he was still dead, but we were able to carry him around - just not too much. He was still very fragile, and I got the feeling in the dream that we didn't do it often. I laid him in his pram (the one we now use for Amelia) and pushed him around before picking him up and giving him a cuddle. His skin was warm - not the same as Amelia's living warmth, but the warmth he had when he was just born. I tried to keep him that temperature but failed. Dream-me finished cuddling him, and started heading back to... Wherever it was we kept him. Then I woke up.
I'm sad to say that's the happiest I've woken up from a dream in a while. I got to cuddle him again, Amelia got to meet him, he wasn't stuck in the cold ground. I could smell his skin again - I'd almost forgotten his scent.
June 29, 2011
This originally started as a Facebook status, but got far too long.
I was just thinking about how this is probably the longest I've ever been completely alone with Amelia since she was born. Scott's been at work all day, and for once I haven't gone out anywhere, just stayed home. I even managed to do a little housework - a major task for me! I've even cooked dinner for just me. Yes, shocking, I know.
Ahem. Back to my point...
Then I started thinking about Ianto and realized Scott probably had more one-on-one time with him than I did. Aside from when he was alive inside me, I mean. And time spent at the cemetery. I find that odd. Not upsetting, just... Odd. Scott went home when Ianto was a few hours old, but came back fairly quickly. But in that time I had midwives and counselors come in to talk to me, and the food lady give me some more disgusting food. But when I left them for a little while when my brothers came to visit (they couldn't bring themselves to come into the room, so I went with them to the kiosk for lunch), they were alone. Every other moment was spent with just all three of us, and whoever else was there.
June 27, 2011
Remember at the end of last year/start of this one, I was trying to win an iPad? All year I've been trying to win one, or convince Scott to get me one. Well...
I'm typing this in the backseat of my car, on my brand new iPad 2! Woohoo! I ordered it the day after my birthday (after finally resigning myself to the fact I wasn't going to be getting one for said birthday) and it just arrived today. I'm quite chuffed, to say the least. I never used to be an Apple geek, but somewhere along the line I was corrupted and I love 'em. Now I have three iPods, and iPhone, and the iPad. I need a name for her... Help me out?
I'm off to do some more iPadding ;)
June 25, 2011
Again, I got up to speak. I had no idea what to say, so I read out the poem I read at Ianto's funeral. I started tearing up as I read it, which made me stuff up some of the words. I also messed up while telling everyone about him (this is why I need to go off a script, people!) and I think I overstated his age. Oops.
Amelia was mostly quiet and content throughout, though she did have her moments. She startled awake when people clapped after songs/speeches, and cried a little when she got hungry. Apparently she was laughing at the woman who spoke before me. This kid has no sense of what's appropriate, tsk tsk... She ended up drifting back to sleep near the end.
The balloon release was fantastic, again. This time we had three - one from each of us.
I tied the three together so they would stay near each other, and watched them drift off.
June 20, 2011
Sometimes I make deals with the Universe that I know wont happen - "please make him come back into my arms, even if he's still dead I just want his body here" or "one day, just give me one day with him alive". I want him here, dammit! I wish sometimes that I'd run away with him, not let them bury my baby boy. If he was going to waste away and become nothing, I wish it could have been in his mummy's arms. Morbid, sickening, disgusting - yes. But my mind throws these thoughts at me and I do all I can to contain them.
I miss the concept of him. I miss how soft his skin was when I held his little body in my arms and kissed his cheeks. I miss his smell, that beautiful sweet smell that inspired the name of this blog.
Red Nose Day is next week. I haven't raised even five cents, online or otherwise. I feel guilty that I haven't done more about it. I think I might give all my profits from selling those wraps to SIDS & Kids. So far I've sold one (and I'm yet to make it), but I'm hopeful.
June 09, 2011
It's odd. I measured Amelia's head circumference the other day, and it's only 1.5cm shorter than Ianto's whole body was. I just find that so weird, that her HEAD is just a touch smaller than her brother.
It's sad. Amelia was only six days old when we took her on her first real outing - to go look at photos of her dead brother. It felt a bit wrong having her there, like it was supposed to be his night and she was invading his space.
Taking her to the cemetery is awful, too. It's a nice feeling, being with both my babies, but taking a baby to a cemetery? It's just not right, especially given we're visiting another baby. I've gotten into the habit of buying him flowers from her, letting her "decide" which ones to buy.
It's scary. I wasn't that scared, being pregnant with Amelia, that I would lose her. Part of that was confidence it wouldn't happen to me again; part of it was knowing that if I did lose another baby, I knew the process and could deal with it. But it's so different now she's born. Now I know her properly like I never knew Ianto. I'm always wanting to check on her when she sleeps, making sure she's still breathing. I know it's normal to do that, but is it normal to break down crying in the car because I can't hear her breathing and can't pull over to check on her? I don't think so.
It's a relief. I can make babies that live. I can watch my kids grow up, play and smile. Not all of them, obviously, but I can look at Amelia and know I'm not a failure.
It's maddening. I've had far too many people act as though now Amelia is here, I should forget about Ianto. From a tactless family member ("oh sweetheart, you shouldn't have those photos up any more, you have a real baby now") to a woman at Spotlight who didn't like my answer when she asked how many kids I have ("so just the one then?"), it hurts. My son matters. He was as real as his sister is. She will always know about her big brother, how he watches over her everyday.
It's a lot to deal with.
June 04, 2011
EDIT: I just popped the same listing on Etsy - Check it out here. If you want to buy from here, I'll give you a 10% discount. Just enter the code SwSoSmReaderJune and you'll be all set!
Milly "enjoying" her new carrier. Ignore the dirty mirror, please :)
June 03, 2011
And got this reply:
You didn't think I'd actually do it, did you Emily? Well, this is me proving you wrong. Kinda. I'm not really going to talk much about you, just how we met...
Em and I "met" on a lovely chat site called UKChat. I'd been sent there one night from another chatroom, and boy am I glad I was. Everyone knows how rare it is to find normal people in an Internet chatroom - it seemed they'd all flocked to this site! It was a UK chat site (duh) but I felt right at home as an Aussie. My regular name was AussieActress[whatever age I was] but occasionally to trip up newcomers I'd go by AntipodeanThesbian.
Eventually I became a moderator, or Host, and the fun really began. My Host name was UKCAmbrosia - unbeknownst to me, Ambrosia is a brand of rice pudding over there, so some people called me UKCPudding - and I loved it. I loved sitting up at all hours interacting with so many people, even though they were on the other side of the world. If it weren't for UKC, I doubt I would have gone on to join the few forums I've been on to talk about my life. My wedding wouldn't have been so good (thanks, bridesdiary!) and I wouldn't have known anything about birth, breastfeeding, how to cope with stillbirth (thanks Bellybelly!)...
So thanks a bunch, UKChat, I owe you a lot.
(Em's my birthday buddy because we share a birthday. Kinda. We were both born June 10, but with the time difference there's only a little window where we're celebrating together...)
May 31, 2011
I'm getting very into Red Nose Day this year - you may have noticed to the left that I've set up a fundraising page in Ianto's name, and I bought a Red Nose Day iPhone cover. I also bought a giant red nose which I plan to wear on the day itself, and hopefully I'll be able to convince Amelia to put the smaller one on for some photos as well.
|This is what my phone now looks like, only more awesome in real life.|
You can find most of the Red Nose Day products at Target or the official site. If you don't know much about Red Nose Day or SIDS and Kids, go here to learn more.
Completely unrelated to Red Nose Day, look at what I bought at the street market:
A bookmark, handpainted just for me...
And two little angel bells - one for my angel boy who watches over us, and one for my angel on earth. Milly helped me choose them - she was asleep while I was looking, but when I asked myself out loud if I should buy them she grinned. I'd say that's a yes. I think I'll figure out a way to hang them over the changetable.