Thursday, September 30, 2010
Today should be yoga day, but I changed my plans at the last minute and had lunch with Woody's Mum instead.
Life around here is a hard slog most days. The entire family's routine revolves around my pumping schedule. I long for Ernest to be breastfeeding properly, and haven't given up all hope yet. Although I'm all too well aware that we may never have the breastfeeding relationship I enjoyed with the older children. Something I'm probably going to take a very long time to truly accept.
Maybe it's the tiredness, or maybe the hormones, but mostly lately I'm pretty sick of myself.I'm sick of being sad,of the constant drone in my head of how "it's just not fair".
I'm surprised I have any friends left. I'm not a good friend to anyone anymore.
India took a photo of me at the weekend, and I look tired, sad, maybe even defeated. I know there's not much fight left in me, maybe just enough, I hope so, what other choice is there?
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Twenty one years ago almost to the day I moved up north and started college in a town I'd only heard of a week earlier. I thought Stockport might be by the sea, but checking on the map told me otherwise.
My first day at college and the first person I met was Jo. I'd started the course later than everyone else, friendships had already been formed, and everyone was already working on their first project.
Jo nervously showed me her sketchbook and talked me through the brief to design blown vinyl wallpaper. I think at that point we both wondered what the hell we were doing at art college designing something so bloody awful.
I knew immediately that Jo and I were going to be friends forever.
Jo, now lives far far away, I only see her, her hubby and her gorgeous little girl once a year, and this year she got to meet Ernest. This music box was a gift from Jo, and Ernest loves it.
Ernest and I are very popular lately. We have visitors most days. I think everyone is just so relieved he's here safe. I guess things will settle down soon. At least having lots of visitors stops me just sitting and thinking...not that Ernest gives me huge amounts of thinking time. Sometimes, even the "dead baby dead baby dead baby" monologue stops for a while when I'm having tea with friends, sometimes the "failed breastfeeding" monolgue briefly pushes out the "dead baby " one.
I'm running out of words lately. I have so much to say,but I can't form any of my thoughts into anything coherant. No words I can conjure up seem to do Florence or Ernest, or my parenting of them both alongside the big ones any justice.
There is a lady who lives on my road , we would say good morning when she walked her dog and I walked the children to school. Last year shortly after Florence was born, I was leaving the house and she shouted over to ask about the baby. I had to tell her Florence had died.She went quiet and said "it happened to me". I could see she was very upset.
Later that day she brought me a huge bunch of sunflowers and told me I could talk to her any time. Her first daughter died 22 years ago.
I saw her the other day, and she admired Ernest. She said "it does make it easier doesn't it?" and I thought for a moment. It does, of course it does. It would be so much worse without him,but I miss her, I ache for her.
And really, that might be all there is to be said.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
I've commented before how it's bittersweet to pull out clothes made for Florence and dress Ernest in them. This outfit was made while pregnant with Florence, for her to wear to my best friends wedding.I've kept the outfit wrapped carefully along with the matching bootees and bonnet, not quite sure what to do with them.
Yesterday's funeral seemed to be the appropriate time to dress Ernest in them. The bootess didn't fit, and the bonnet was a bit much, so they are both tucked away in Florence's memory box, while this outfit will eventually go into Ernest's. (All my children have memory boxes) It seems appropriate that they get to share.
This pair of Saartje bootees went well instead.
Oh, and we wore this sling.
Friday, September 24, 2010
Attempting to double pump in a busy Little Chef car park is never going to be very conducive to milk collection, but pumping with a view like this one is much nicer.
Today has been very tiring. A three hour journey to Wales, a crying baby in a packed church,rocking baby outside in the wind (after falling down the church step), being accosted (hugged and kissed) by some random elderly welsh guy with dubious personal hygeine, then taking grumpy baby to a crowded hotel bar, till he cries and once again we find ourselves outside in the cold.Then another long drive home.
I'm in my jammies now, too tired to eat, I just need another big cup of tea and a snuggle with my family.
I think the funeral went well, I pretty much missed it. I know I've never seen so many catholic priests in one place all at once.x
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
I've been thinking. Woody always says I think too much, he's probably right. This week I've thought about some things so much my brain hurts.
We have a funeral to go to on Friday, and even with all this thinking I still don't know how I feel about that. I can't say much more on the subject either for fear of hurting people I really do care for.
Ernest and I had another pyjama day yesterday, all in the hope of teaching him to nurse from the breast, it's a slow slow process, but I think we might be getting somewhere....
And even if we are not, a day in bed with my little guy, some choccy biscuits, lots of tea and some knitting, what better way is there to spend a Saturday?
Saturday, September 11, 2010
This one was made when I was pregnant with Florence.
Ernest is snoozing in it right now, and I know sensibly I should join him for forty winks, especially since I've been awake since 4am.
I've lost count of the people this week who have asked me if he's a "good baby" or if he's "sleeping through". I never know quite what to say.I usually just mutter something about not expecting an eight week old baby to be sleeping much at all at night.
I don't say what I'm thinking, which is that a years worth of insomnia and nights filled with terrifying flashbacks have prepared me pretty well for sleepless nights with a baby.
Actually, the exhaustion of looking after baby, and of course having him living breathing in my arms have stopped a lot of the middle of the night flashbacks.
These days, I get unexpected little snapshots instead. Sometimes it's his feet, I'm instantly transported back, unwrapping Florence's legs, desperate to see all of her. Or a glint of blue eyes, and there she is on the table, a hint of blue peeking out before the morphine shut them tight again.
Ernest is so very definitely not Florence. He doesn't look like her, not really, he looks like her brother.
I think I find myself wondering how much longer everyone will tolerate my constant referrals to Florence. I've noticed others who have trodden this path with their rainbow babies wondering the same. A year and a new baby, maybe I should just shut up, be more discreet with my grief, just stop going on, keep it in?
Friday, September 10, 2010
We've had an exhausting week, back to school for the big ones, and the beginning of our new routine including visits to the cranial osteopath and to mum and baby yoga. Lots of bus journeys and lots of walking, all fitted in around the call of the breastpump.
We are now drowning in lovely breastmilk, no more formula! The next task is persuading Ernest to drink from the source, that's hopefully where the cranial osteopath can help out.
Meanwhile, Ernest grows, and has to put up with his Mummy taking photos of almost every outfit he wears. Here he is in his Blue Dahlia Stripe (organic cotton) sleepsuit.
Tuesday, September 07, 2010
Monday, September 06, 2010
I looked up to them, wanting to fast forward my life, to see that I would be ok, that we would all be ok.
A year on, and I am surviving, it is possible, but it never stops hurting for any of us no matter how much time elapses, we just find a home for the pain, we co exist.
Something that I realised early on, but that becomes more and more clear is that forever is forever, and ever, and always.
I'm broken hearted each time I read another new blog, another broken hearted parent, floundering just as I did, another baby cold in their grave, another forever.
I wish I could make it better for all of us...my feeble wish against the might of the universe.