Thursday, October 16, 2014

Running away - losing Riley

Today is International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support Day, last year I was challenged by friends to write about my pregnancy loss, my journey. I thought about some things which I had not written about before, I wrote a list of titles that I wanted to write about, to document for my girls what my days where like, to give justification to how life was like and how it is now. However writing does not come easy to me and writing about these days is emotional and can take me to the moment, the emptiness, simply at times I just can not write about how hard it really was.

But today as women and men around the globe light candles for their babies that have gone to soon, I feel compelled to write of the times when the struggle to move forward and create a picture of our future seemed so far out of reach.

On the 16th February 2010 I gave birth to my only son Riley. I could say this was the darkest day but in honesty it wasn't it, even the days between holding Riley and his funeral were not the darkest, we were surrounded by people, I still felt that he was with me, there was still evidence that I had been pregnant. My milk was coming in, I had the jelly belly, I could still feel his warmth as if I still held him on my neck. At least in those days it was real...

It was three weeks later, a very kind friend offered for us to use their holiday house to run away and spend some time together as a family. These were my darkest days, I could not find happiness, I couldn't look at my family, I couldn't understand how my husband could keep going when I was falling apart.
Trying to be a good mum but drowning in grief

This is when I started writing....
From my Journal

Early March 2010
Today is our wedding anniversary 6 years today. Time has no relevance at the moment. I just feel so confused at the moment. I don't know if I feel sad or just empty. I want to talk to other people that feel this way. I think how can I be sad when I don't have much to miss. Would I be more sad if I lost one of the girls as I would have more memories to miss. I feel that I miss Riley so much as I have so few memories which I don't want to loss.

We are on holiday which should be relaxing but I keep thinking we wouldn't be here if Riley was still with us. I need to be positive and think yeah we wouldn't be on holidays if Riley was still with us and I wouldn't be able to create these memories with the girls.

Late March 2010 
So confused. I'm finding it hard to sleep at night. When I do get to sleep I wake often. Last night I had a nightmare that a bomb went off and I was only able to get to Poppy. I woke screaming before I could get to Monique. I feel helpless in protecting my family. I keep thinking I should have known that something was wrong with Riley. Was I not connected to him. Was I to busy to notice.
I'm so tired but when it come time to sleep I don't want to lay there and let my mind drift away.

Mid April 2010
Today I just want to hold you in my arms. I want to be able to trace your nose, your lips, your face. I want to feel you skin and give you my love. Today my heart is heavy, I don't know why today is any different from yesterday. I don't want to be sad. I want his to have never happened. At times my mind wonders and I find myself wanting to be alone, to be by myself, to just do nothing but stare into space. I want to have happy kids but how can I when I feel so sad.

I want to run, to run and feel the beating of my heart and the only thoughts of getting one foot in front of the other.

May 2010
I went to the Bears of Hope Support Night tonight, it was so good to be with others that know what it feels like to have all these emotions. I want to have hope for the future. I want to make plans.

These are not all my entries into my journal over that period of time but these give an indication of my confusion and feeling of helplessness. Then slowly I become Ande again before I could be lost completely, I realised that inside of me was still me. Like every other experience in my life, good bad or indifferent, having Riley will always be a part of me and our family for eternity.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Survive & Thrive being 1 in 4

As this image came across my newsfeed on face book a couple of weeks ago I could completely relate. October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss awareness month with the week of the 9th of October to 17th October being Remembrance week.

I'm one in four that have experienced the loss of a child, I am one in four that has had a miscarriage actually 2. I am one in four that nearly lost hope of having another child.

More then anything I'm one in four women that survive the loss of a child and thrive to see the blessings each day. I am the women that you walk past in the street that has three beautiful girls, yeah there is an age gap between Miss P and Miss J and when you point it out to me, I will tell you of my beautiful son.

I posted this image on my facebook page and instagram to not promote what I have been through but to put it out there for other women to see they are not alone. If you have experienced miscarriage, infant loss or stillbirth then break the silence and let other women know they are never alone.

I am the Face of Stillbirth & Early Miscarriage

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Portraits of Three Princesses

I love this image of Poppy's she is just luminescent, such a wonderful reflection of her personality.

If only they loved each other like this all the time

Monique and all her sweetness

Josephine her eye's look like pools that you could just dive into.
Our crazy Princess filled life....

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Bears of Hope Ball - What a Fantastic Night

A couple of weekends ago I was very lucky to be able to attend the Bears of Hope Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support Ball. It is an awesome night and I'm so grateful that I can be part of such a wonderful charity that supports families.

I have written about Bears of Hope before, I have mentioned the Bear of Hope Ball and being involved in the Ball Committee. What I haven't written about before is the over whelming feelings you have attending the ball. During the night there is a candle lighting, it is a time to light your candle for your baby, to watch a beautiful slide show of all the babies names of the people that are in attendance.

This year I sat with Jen, my partner in Bears of Hope crime, we became friends 4 yrs ago, not long after I had Riley and just 12 months after Jen lost her first son Bailey. In the first year of our work with Bears of Hope we both very much needed a purpose. There may have even been some competition on who go the most amount of sponsors and donations.

Now four years on it was lovely to sit next to Jen during the candle lighting ceremony and watch the slideshow of names and see Bailey & Riley's names. To know that our two very special boys have played a part in our friendship and supporting the parents that need Bears of Hope as much as we needed it 4 years ago.

Jen wrote me a message on facebook:
My beautiful friend Ande. (Pictured here with the equally wonderful Abby) It was the absolute best sharing Saturday night with you and celebrating the two little boys who brought us together.

In the last 8 months, between us we have sent a...
t least 1800 emails, countless phone calls resulting in 120 businesses/individuals on board as sponsors for the ball and over 260 prizes that were used on the night. And that's just a small portion on what we have achieved.

I love that on the way home from the ball we were already discussing what to do next year. You are awesome.
To you Jen, you are AWESOME because I know that what I do is so small compared to what You do and I want to say a massive congratulations to Jen and her hubby Nick to being awarded the Bears of Hope 2014 founders award..

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Book Week

The award for Best Mum Ever goes to Monique's Mum, that would be me!

According to Monique.

After a late night making Book Week costumes, because I take Book Week a little seriously. I had two children that loved what had been made for them.

Poppy got up at 5.30am and woke the rest of the house up telling us we had to get to school really early to get her face painted. Needless to say, although she was up early we were still not at school early.

This year Poppy was the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland & Monique was a Wonka Bar with Golden Ticket from Charlie & the Chocolate Factory.

The smiles say it all...

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Girls weekend

I love it when David goes away for work over a weekend. It gives me time with my girls to do girly things. We hit a theme park, go shopping to buy chick flicks, home for homemade pizzas. Singing songs inbetween.

I love that Poppy looks after Josephine and knows her role of being a big sister is so important. 

This all paints such a happy picture you can forgive me if there is no images because you might just have caught the tantrums, the messy house and the unbrushed hair. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Family Photos

For a long time I have wanted to have beautiful family photo's taken to show the personalities of each of my children. Images that I can put on my wall to look at when the screaming starts and I can remember that we are all uniquely part of this family, no matter what.

I asked my friend and super fantastic photographer Melissa Pratt Photography to take some photos. We sat down and discussed what I really wanted and where. Over the last 4 years each time I have begun the process to get family photos, it brings up a well of emotions as although these images are lovely, my heart knew that Riley would always be missing. Melissa was fantastic and very caringly worked with me to find a way that we could include Riley in some images.

The blue balloons - are my boy, my prince that I held so briefly. My Riley. On the day of Riley's funeral we released 31 blue balloon.  Life after a loss means that the smallest of things like having a family photo can bring up memories, hopes and dreams lost and the realisation that our family has survived a loss of a loved one.

I have seen this at my wedding, my siblings weddings and the one family photo that was taken after the loss of my brother. Its like there should be an space, so they can just slot back into the family.

Now not all of our family photo's include the Blue Balloons because we all carry him in our hearts every single day. The balloons are there for the kids to see that we can include Riley. To show others we will always be watched over.

There are lots more images and will share them soon.
If you live on the Gold Coast or are coming for a holidays I highly recommend Melissa, and I have not been paid to say that.
I must say we do make beautiful children!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Grateful day 2

Like my blog posts I'm not able to keep up with things that have to be done on a daily basis.   

Here's my day 2 which is actually day 3. If figure if I spread them out I can be more grateful for longer. 
1. I'm grateful for friends that come to my rescue when my car breaks down, laugh with me and at me, call me when times are tough for advice and give advice right back, make my day a little brighter each day. Being in another state to some of my closest friends It's so good to know that all I have to do is pick up the phone. 

My crazy walking buddy, yesterday we made it all the way to the coffee shop in the rain for hot chocolate. We even ran!

2. I'm grateful for hairdye which I'm so desperate to buy more of.  Without it I would look so much older. 

3. I'm grateful that we have the opportunity as a family to have warmth, shelter and a cupboard full of food because I know some people don't have the same privilege as us. 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Day 1 grateful

I've been challenged to write three things I'm greatful for, for the next five days. Here I go Day 1
1. I'm grateful for the mess I can make in my own kitchen, after renting for three years I'm glad I can say this place is mine   

2. I'm grateful for the three booty shaking girls in the back ground. They are fiesty, they love to dance and they love to cook, hence the mess. 

3. Now I've seen a lot of these grateful posts over the last few weeks and I know all the standard things but I'm not a standard kind of girl. So my last thing today is I'm grateful for my taste buds. I'm so glad that I can cook and taste food. I love it so much. After two weeks without chocolate I missed it so much. I fell off the wagon and fell face first into a double family size block. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Stay awake

Miss Josephine has decided that she is to big for a day sleep now, that is until she gets to 3pm and wants to fall asleep doing the school run.
Now we have to drive around with the windows down to keep her awake until we get home. Even then I can't let my guard down as she can fall asleep on the couch. 

If she gets the better of me and falls asleep after the school run, then this is where you will find me. Late at night trying to keep the door shut until she crashes. Feel free to send Chocolate!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

I haven't written in a while

I haven't written in a while. Life has taken over and I have not given myself time to reflect on each day. After a realisation that I need some time for me, and a outlet to make all of this mortherhood, womenhood, wifey business make sense. I'm back online.

I'm a person that likes to have something to show for my achievement's, I like to have a lovely home that I can invite people over to, I like to have children that are happy and of course I like to have a husband that looks lovingly at me from across a crowded room. All the things that Hollywood Movies are made of. Now lets keep it real. Life is not always like this.

Sometimes it is enough to be able to get through the day and get the kids to bed. But when they are sleeping and you can look into their little faces and see them as babies and dream of what they are going to be as they grow, that is bliss.

On a Tuesday I have seven children in my house after school. It is fun and mad at the same time. I take my hat off to parents with lost of kids. Last Tuesday the kids ran in and out of the house in dress up. They were having so much fun, I had to call them all in when it got dark. This is the childhood that I remember, being free and adventurous.

My darling husband walked into the house late, and the first thing that came out of his mouth was 'Wow what happened here'. The floors were so dirty that today two days latter after a good mop you can still see the dirt.

It was brought to my attention this morning by a friend that we can bust our guts to have the clean house but sometimes the only one that cares about this is you. You need to make the most of each day. Set yourself limits and know what can't be done just can't be done. Rather then longing for a simpler life we can have it if we just are a little easier on ourselves.

Remind me to read this again on a daily basis to remind myself!

About Me

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I'm a stay at home mum to three beautiful girls and one angel boy which inspire me to be a better person every day. My Blog is about our life and suviving the up and downs of raising a family and the love and loss that come along for the journey.