Friday, October 29, 2010
I hope Ernest will get the hang of breastfeeding, and if he can't that I can pump for him for as long as possible,and stop feeling like a failure.
I dream of not much these days, and I don't really make plans more than a few days ahead.
Day 30 - a dream for the future
I dream of a long contented future with what remains of my family, and hopefully one day lots of grand children too.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Today I plan to change my handbag, to switch everything over to my winter handbag. I love bags, I have lots. For years and years I never owned a handbag,just carried everything in the pockets of my battered old biker jacket. So I'm making up for it now, much like I am with shoes after years and years of only wearing DM's or biker boots, ( yes with *everything* ! )
My winter handbag this year is very special, it's one I admired some time ago when shopping with a friend from my sewing group. This year I was gobsmacked to receive it for my birthday from my mystery "Birthday Spoiler"...a secret birthday buying buddy also from my sewing group.
I'm a pretty organised person, and because I do like to change my bags fairly often, I keep all my handbag essentials in a zippered inner bag that I can easily switch from bag to bag.
Inside that bag is:
Photos of Florence in an envelope.
My chequebook and pen
Two notebooks and two further pens
Emergency cloth mama pad
A small plastic sandwich bag
Tiny pot of hand cream
I'll add my keys, phone, purse, and away we go!
Of course other items will make their way into my bag, sweet wrappers, baby socks, odd bit of change...
And yeah, I live in Manchester a brolly is essential year round!
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
I'm not sure there are words to describe how it feels to have him here and not to have Florence.
It's either very complicated or so simple I can't get it.
I could pluck words out of the air,words like guilt, joy, fear...but they just don't work,they only describe tiny fractions.
I look deeply into his eyes, his open blue blue eyes, and I love him for him,and I miss her for her, and every day is a reminder of everything she could never be.
Sometimes it feels like I lose more of her each day I notice more of him.
Sometimes I have to conjure up even the horror of her last hours, or moments and beyond just to connect, I hope that's normal. (I'm not sure it is.)
We are going to the sea side this weekend.I hope it will give us all time to take a deep breath and just be. I wish she was coming too.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
I'm not sure about this question. I think Woody would say it's thinking too much, but I really can't help that can I? How do you stop thinking?
There have been times when I've thought it'd be nice not to overthink every little detail of my life, and I do try very very hard to stay in the moment, which is a real challenge for me.I think sometimes I do manage it.
Other than the thinking stuff,I guess my worst habit really has to be eating too much. I'm a total comfort eater, more so since Florence was born.(You know I still struggle with which word to use here, born or died? It's too harsh to write died all the time,but that would really be the right word.)
I make excuses for my greed, I'm sad,apparently eating lowers cortisol levels,I don't drink anymore (far too afraid of alcohol and it's affects since Florence..),I'm (attempting) breastfeeding...
The truth is,I'm overweight,and it doesn't feel good, and I should just get a grip.
My regular week, not half term like this week is generally not so interesting.
Mondays to Fridays I'm up at 6am,and getting the big four off to school.The girls get the school bus, and I walk the boys to school.
While the big four are all at school Ernest and I will either chill at home, or visit friends, or more often have friends visit us due to my phobia of driving.
We did have mum and baby yoga once a week, but I couldn't cope emotionally with the other mums and baby's, so we gave up.
We go to LLL meetings once a month, and I co run a babywearing group once a month too.
Otherwise our days are pretty cocooned I guess.
I have to collect the boys from school at 3pm, and the girls get home around 4pm.Woody gets home at 5pm.
Saturdays Eden generally comes bouncing into our room at 7am dressed for her gymnastics class which doesn't start until 4.30pm! I like to take Saturdays a bit slower, and usually potter about in my pj's listening to radio four, and catch up on a little housework. Saturdays used to be my work day when I was still running my business.
Saturday evenings we always have homemade pizza. Woody makes the best pizza. Sometimes we have a movie night with the children, but more often than not these days I'm asleep by 8pm!
Sundays we usually go to the cemetery, and everything else fits around that. There's usually lots of laundry to sort out ready for the coming week, and we might potter around the garden or perhaps go for a walk either to Alderley Edge,Styal Mill or somewhere similar.
Hardly exciting written down like that,but it's just what it is.
Monday, October 25, 2010
Wow! This could be very dull!
I woke up this morning at 6.40am, and wondered why the alarm hadn't gone off. It's half term here so I didn't have to be up this morning, but Woody did. He works between two offices at the moment, one in Halifax, and one in Chester. Today he had to be in Halifax, so really needs to leave by 7am to miss the worst of the traffic.
Woody got up, Ernest was still sleeping. I seem to have a baby that sleeps through! He'd been sleeping since midnight,and even me getting up at 4am to pump hadn't woken him.
I wondered if I should pump again before Ernest woke, or wait. I decided to pump first.
Ernest woke shortly after, and I held him against my breast as I bottle fed him some EBM, and had a little cry.
I heard Woody coming up the stairs and wiped my tears. He'd made me toast and tea. In fact it was toasted homemade brioche...delicious!
Then Woody had to go, he kissed me goodbye.
Soon enough Eden joined Ernest and I for a morning cuddle.
I briefly checked my emails while Eden had a little play with Ernest, and after a nappy change we headed downstairs.
The children had breakfast, and Ernest watched them from his pushchair while I whizzed around sorting laundry and tidying up.
(I accidentally left the sink running hot water, and had bubbles overflowing onto the work surfaces, but that's really not unusual.)
Ernest and I then made our way back upstairs for a cuddle and another feed which sent him off to sleep, and I jumped in the shower while he napped on my bed. I even managed to pluck my eyebrows and put on some make up before he woke up!
Time again for another feed,and then Angus came up to have a play with Ernest while I took photographs of some fabrics I'd had printed over the summer.Something I've not had time to do since they arrived.
I managed to upload the photos to flickr and even write a blog post and pump again while India cuddled and played with Ernest, but then he needed another nappy change and a nap.So I cuddled him to sleep.
While Ernest napped I had a quick cuppa and a few chocolate chip biscuits. I also washed up some bottles and pump flanges,and put them in the steriliser.
I noticed the slightly sore boob I woke up with was hurting quite a bit more.
I made lunch quickly, beans on toast and soup for those not wanting beans. Ate mine super quick knowing that Ernest would need me pretty soon for a feed.
India and Eden cleaned up after lunch, and loaded the dishwasher, while I dressed Ernest.
I pumped again quickly before heading out with all the children to catch the bus to a friends house for a play date.
Catching the bus with five children is always interesting, if only to see the expressions on the other passengers faces! I can't quite believe it costs nearly £5 to travel a mile and a half.
On the bus I started to feel a little fluey, and realised the sore boob was well and truly a blocked milk duct.Luckily when we arrived at our friends house she had some ibuprofen for me to take.
The children, all eleven of them had a great time playing, my friend lives in her church which is huge with an equally huge garden, so lots of room for the children.
Woody picked us up at around 5pm,and we drove to the cemetery. Dusk is lovely there, the autumn evening light is golden,and the yellow and pink roses we bought for Florence glowed.We left after lighting her candles, knowing they'd burn for several hours.
We got caught in traffic on the way home, and I started to feel unwell again, desperate to get home and pump.
When we arrived home,I ran indoors and up the stairs,hastily washed my hands,lit Florence's candle,switched on the evening news (local) and pumped for a full twenty minutes.
Meanwhile Woody fed Ernest, and prepared dinner, pasta,vegan sausages and left over cauliflower curry.
Now I'm sat here, Ernest asleep on my shoulder as I type. I'm going to have a warm shower to ease my blocked duct,get my pj's on and sit in bed with Ernest watching tv.
Woody is going to nip out to the supermarket to fetch a few supplies...ibuprofen and chocolate if he knows what's good for him! LOL
Sunday, October 24, 2010
I live in a large town just outside Manchester in the North West of England. I moved here in 1989 to go to college, and apart from a brief period in 1998 when we lived in the Netherlands,this has been home.
I was born in Birmingham, and grew up in a stiffling new town on the outskirts of Birmingham.Moving up north felt like home, and I'm now very much a northerner...with a funny accent if you ask Woody or my children!
I'm lucky to live in a reasonably sized Edwardian house, on a pretty street, with (mostly) good neighbours.
The train station is just a couple of minutes walk away,and fifteen minutes in one direction and I'm in the hstle and bustle of Manchester, while fifteen minutes in the other direction is Buxton, and the Peak District.
Not that I visit either that often, but I like knowing that I can.
I think a good bakery,a good pub, and a bigger garden (plus if I'm being greedy, another bedroom and a studio for me)and this would be my perfect place to live.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
OK, these two sprang immediately to mind, oldies but goodies, and guaranteed to make me laugh, but if I'm feeling fragile could also make me cry, so be warned, both videos feature babies, so if you don't feel strong enough today, come back tomorrow.
Friday, October 22, 2010
We've had a whirlwind week after I managed to track down a doctor who agreed to see Ernest and look at his tongue and lip tie.
The short story is that after a conversation with a lactation consultant out of my area (herself chased up by my lovely LLL friend, Fiona), I googled this doctor and decided to take a chance and email him.
To my surprise his secretary phoned me the very next morning and we went to see him on Wednesday afternoon. Ernest was then admitted to the Royal Manchester Childrens Hospital..with a lot of tears and panicking from me, (hospitals just do that to me now.)
We were allowed home for the evening,and at that point I really wasn't sure we'd return in the morning, but after much soul searching and conversations with two other wonderful LLL friends we decided to go ahead.
Ernest had his posterior tongue tie and lip tie cut under a general anaesthetic at 9am, and we were home by 1pm.
There is a very obvious difference in his mouth, he can actually open it properly for the first time! Obviously we still have a way to go, bottle feeding has taken it's toll, and Ernest has to re learn how to use his new free tongue, but it's such a relief to know he no longer has the restrictions these ties had on him.
Fingers crossed that this is the breakthrough we needed.
Now to catch up!
Day 20 - a hobby of yours and how it changed since your loss.
It's got to be sewing. I'm passionate about sewing. I love lots of crafts, but sewing is the one that gives me the most satisfation, and the reason I started this blog in the first place.
I don't really think much has changed there, obviously my blog has changed, but my hobby hasn't.
In the first days after Florence died, I sewed. I made her a gown to be buried in. I posted about it here, and it was featured on Still Life 365.
Sewing calms me,I love the hum of my sewing machine, and the warm cotton smell from the iron.
Day 21 - a recipe.
Urmmm, well I'm not really much of a cook. I'm ok,but I don't really enjoy cooking. Woody is the cook in our house, and he's good too, so he cooks almost every day, and I just eat.
One recipe I do like though, because it's super quick and super healthy is what our family calls Green Soup.
2 large courgettes
1 medium sized bowl of frozen peas
1 medium sized bowl frozen spinach (can used fresh if you prefer or fresh watercress.)
1/2 nutmeg (grated)
salt and pepper to taste
a little oil
Chop and fry the onion in a little oil until it's soft.
Grate the courgettes and add to the onions, fry gently for a minute or two
Add the grated nutmeg and the stock.
Throw in the peas and spinach and top up with boiled water.
Simmer gently for about 20 minutes, blend and add salt and pepper to taste.
Day 22 - a website that has been meaningful since your loss.
The site that springs immediately to mind is Glow In The Woods. I remember finding it and being so relieved to be somewhere so warm and comfortable, somewhere I could safely say what was really on my mind, somewhere that didn't think I was an "angel mummy".
Without Glow, my pregnancy after loss would have been even harder, going there and talking to other babylost,but pregnant again Mamas was so important to me. There are things you just can't say on regular pregnancy forums, or to regular pregnant Mamas.
Glow is a sanctuary.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Hmmm, well if you'd asked me 15 months ago, I might have said birhing my babies....
As it is,I think maybe I have a talent for appearing calm and collected,when actually beneath the surface I'm treading water frantically. Then again, maybe those reading who know me well would say differently.
Monday, October 18, 2010
Recently I've been reading and re reading every book I can get my hands on about breastfeeding, anything to give me a clue how to help Ernest latch. One of those books was Ina May's Guide To Breastfeeding loaned to me by a friend particularly because of a mention of a baby finally latching at four months old. That story did give me hope,but reading on, I found myself in tears reading about Ina May's community (The Farm) and how mothers support one another in a practical way to breastfeed.
I longed for that closeness, for that level of support.
Well, today I finally realised, I may not live in a community like The Farm, but I do have the next best thing, tremendous support. I have friends locally chasing up anyone they think might be able to help me, I have online friends just a click away,kind people I've only met once sending me information, and even lovely people sending me chocolate to get me through the pumping sessions. (thank you, you know who you are!)
To all of you, thank you. x
Woody and I first met in 1991, he was going out with a friend of mine from college. I think about a year after our first meeting we finally got together after a false start where I stood him up. (And the friend from college gave him my number, and a warning to treat me nicely!)
Twelve ish years, three children and a bump later we decided to get married.
I love other peoples weddings, but I've never been one of those women who dreamed of the big white dress, so we decided to keep it very low key. We told a few people (that might've been hurt otherwise) that we planned to get married quietly. We didn't even tell the children until the night before, when I produced two pretty dresses and a little velvet suit and told them about the wedding...to which Eden replied "Who are you marrying Mummy?" !!!
My best friend, Heather and her (now) husband were our witnesses.
I made my own dress, which I only finished hemming the morning of the wedding, a maternity wrap dress.
The wedding took place at the Town Hall, and afterwards we went to a little local pub and had cheese pie and chips.
Then we went home, got changed and had a walk to the park.
The perfect wedding for us.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
This little cardy has been very almost finished for a while, last night I finally stitched on the collar and buttons.
Pattern from Baby Bloom, by Erika Knight, yarn Rowan Cashsoft 4ply.
Trying to get a good photo was tricky!
I've enough yarn left for a matching hat, just haven't found the right pattern yet.
So so many, it's hard to choose, but sticking with the theme of babyloss,(which I kinda avoided yesterday.) and the images that spring immediately to mind, I've narrowed it down to these four pieces.
The first is a Rothko, now seeing a small reproduction of his work in a book or on a computer screen is never going to give an idea of the impact his work has in reality.
I was lucky enough to see a retrospective of his work when I was only eighteen, and was totally blown away, especially by the darker pieces, the deep purples and the black on blacks. I remember feeling that if I just stepped forward I would simply be able to step into the colour. Amazing!
Stepping into this piece, I think would be a good place to go and just be.
Secondly is a Klimt, this painting makes me laugh and cry. I'm reminded of the day I spent at the Liverpool Tate with two of my best friends, of thinking myself out of wanting any more children (or trying to),and of my best friend Heather looking thoughtfully at this painting, then saying it reminded her of a Billy Connolly joke, and that the baby looked like it was buried under a pile of coats at a party!
Then, there is this painting. I saw this on Anna Maria Horner's blog when I was pregnant with Florence, and fell in love with it, just as she had. (Lucky lady was bought this as a gift for Mother's day from her husband)I've looked for a print many times, but never found one for sale. It's an image that has stayed with me.
Woman With Infant Flying, Brian Kershisnik
(I can't put the image here due to copywrite.)
And finally, this sculpture floored me on my birthday trip to Yorkshire Sculpture Park. (I wrote about it at the time.)
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Ok, this might be an odd one, but our in car fave music is Tom Paxton. We've listened over and over and over again to the one and only cd of his we own, and all the children love singing along.
My favourite tracks are Jennifer's Rabbit,(reminds me of Eden and her snuggle,Sarah Rabbit)but the track that always makes me cry (or nearly) is My Lady's a Wild Flying Dove.
I couldn't find this track on You Tube, but found a link here.
Friday, October 15, 2010
I will be lighting my candles at 7pm this evening, take a look at the candles Sally lit , and listen to Jess's beautiful voice reading the names of so many loved and missed babies.And if you can, light a candle tonight at 7pm for all the babies so loved.
Also check out Faces Of Loss
I've been following this site for a while now, but only recently submitted my story. I was worried about submitting a photo of myself. Initially I didn't want a photo of me pre loss, but all the photos after I just look too lost, so I just picked the photo Woody has of me on his phone. Not the most flattering,but I am at least smiling.
Day 15 - what you like about your house.
We've lived in this house for almost eleven years now. I remember when we were house hunting and this house just felt right even before we'd come through the front door.It may not be the smartest house on the street, or have the neatest, most fashionable interior, but it's home, and we love it here.
I guess the most important thing about this house is that three of our babies have been born here, Angus, Sid and Florence. And even though there has been so much sorrow in our lives recently, this house is still a happy home.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
This is tough, I have a pretty large collection of books on knitting,sewing,printing,design etc, but I don't think I can really say any one of them is meanigful to me.
I guess the book that has meant so much to me recently is "Making More Milk" Reading this book helped me to understand why Ernest is finding breastfeeding so difficult (excellent explanation of posterior tongue tie and bubble palate), and also made me realise it's not my fault he struggles with breastfeeding.
And I guess that's pretty much it for today. x
Water Babies by Charles Kingsley
I read this book as a child, but it wasn't until Florence was born that I really thought of it again.We received a card from a friend with the following quote on it from the book:
And... one moonlight night, the fairies came flying in at the window and brought her such a pretty pair of wings that she could not help putting them on; and she flew with them out of the window, and over the land, and over the sea, and up through the clouds
That reminded me of the book, and last year I read the book again, with an adults view. The book will always be associated with Florence for me now.
On another note,thank you so much to everyone who left comments or emailed me after my last post about our breastfeeding woes. I was so surprised by the response.
I'm very lucky in many ways, I have great support from my local LLL friends, and from my family, and if it's possible to get Ernest breastfeeding then I'm certain I will, if it's not then we'll carry on as we are for as long as we can.I'm sure I'll keep you all posted. x
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Lists! I have lists for everything, and more notebooks than any sensible person ever needs. I love a fresh page, and a nice new pen...has to be a black fine liner.
I have daily lists for daily chores, lists of sewing projects,lists for shopping,long term lists detailing projects I'd like to do when I have the time.
I love crossing things off my lists too,I have to scribble each item out, I tried experimenting once with a neat little tick, but it wasn't nearly as satisfying as big black scribble obliterating the words.(Sometimes I keep a big fat black marker for crossing out)
I've inherited this habit from my Dad. After he died we found a whole stash of his lists and sketches in his sock drawer.My Mum must've known they were there, but she seemed as surprised as the rest of us by the quantity.
Despite all my lists though, I'm not a terribly organised person, I forget birthdays , and this term I've lost count of the letters I've signed for school too late for my boys to take part in a particular activity...yes I know, I'm a bad mother.
Monday, October 11, 2010
I took this photo especially for this post. Ernest had been crying and had fallen asleep on my shoulder.
I hate having my photo taken, I always feel so gawky and self conscious, and the resulting photographs show someone I just don't recognise.
I feel this more keenly since Florence, much like I now find it difficult to look in the mirror. I obviously have to look in the mirror to put on my make up and dry my hair, but I've perfected looking just enough, not too much.
I think my eyes look too sad, too lined and tired. I'm certain those lines were not there before Florence, maybe they were I just didn't see them.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
A while ago, one of the parenting forums I read had a post from a new Mum detailing their day. Just a regular day in the life of a baby. An interesting post, but ( and I hesitate to say this, but it's meant in a non judgemental way )it was a pretty darn perfect day. The baby was breastfeeding beautifully,and didn't cry at all.
That, of course hit a nerve with me.So, here is a day in our life, maybe not a totally typical day because it's the weekend, and we were trying a new tactic, but it might be interesting to someone other than just me...maybe? If not just indulge me.( or hit that little "X" )
A bit of background in brief. ( In case you've missed my whinging posts about our failure to breastfeed. )
Ernest was born with a posterior tongue tie, a high bubble palate and a tight maxillary labial frenum, a combination not conducive to a happy breastfeeding experience.
His tongue tie was cut on day 16, and his palate is starting to smooth out after several treatments from a cranial osteopath.
I have been told his tight lip ( maxillary labial frenum ) is not a problem, something I'm not convinced of.
A combination of jaundice,and consistent weight loss led us to supplement his feeding with bottles from day 10,after cup feeding failed.So now we are also struggling with nipple preference.
We have tried using a Supplemental Nursing System at the breast, nipple shields,biological nursing, and various ways of latching Ernest onto my breasts, all with limited success.
This weekend after a week of chasing my tail with the NHS looking for a second opinion, I decided to try finger feeding for 24 hours in the hope of training Ernest's suck and enticing him back to the breast. This was our day:
1am, Woody feeds Ernest 100mls EBM by bottle while I pump for 10 mins,150mls
5am, Woody feeds Ernest 90mls EBM by bottle while I pump for 10 mins 150mls
6am, Ernest wakes briefly for a cuddle, and I give him 20mls EBM by bottle.
8am, Ernest starts to stir, I offer my breast with nipple shield, Ernest briefly latches,but gets frustrated quickly.I offer my naked breast, Ernest cries and refuses.I give 60mls EBM by bottle.
Woody changes and dresses Ernest while I pump for 10 mins, 120mls.
Ernest kicks about on our bed listening to his music box, while I fold nappies next to him.
Woody has meanwhile made breakfast, I eat breakfast at the PC,while Woody cuddles Ernest.
Ernest shows signs of being ready for a nap, I cuddle him to sleep.
9am, I have a shower while Ernest sleeps. I was planning a pyjama day,but we are expecting guests so I compromise and dress in yoga pants and a comfy t shirt instead.Have time to quickly brush my hair before Ernest wakes.
10am,I try our first Finger Feed 60mls EBM
It's tricky, and I need help from Woody, but it's a success, I think.
I then offer my breast (without the nipple shield). Ernest is happy, all smiles. He licks milk drips and nuzzles but does not latch on. I figure he at least is happy at the breast and not crying.
Time for some chores. I wear Ernest on my back while I wash and sterilise the bottles ,pump flanges and SNS. And while I sort laundry, and peg out the wet washing.
11am Ernest is now tired. I offer my naked (no nipple shield) breast again,but he pulls away crying.
Woody cuddles Ernest while I pump, 10 mins 140mls
India plays with Ernest, all smiles, but after a few minutes starts to fuss. I try finger feeding again, but Ernest cries. I cuddle him to sleep. (This is something I hate about not being able to nurse Ernest to sleep, it often means he cries to sleep, albeit in my arms.)
12 noon, Ernest sleeps lightly on our bed, while I fold laundry nearby.
India comes stomping and shouting up the stairs and wakes Ernest.
I give Ernest 50mls EBM via finger feeding.
Ernest falls asleep in my arms, and I make a cup of tea, wash and sterilise the SNS all while cuddling him to my chest.
Ernest wakes, and I change his nappy.
1pm, I finger feed Ernest, 20 mls EBM. Ernest poops, so I change his nappy.
I offer him the breast with nipple shield. He refuses, but falls asleep on my chest, so I sit and read. (latest edition of "The Womanly Art Of Breastfeeding", which makes me cry.)
2pm Ernest wakes, and I offer first a naked breast and then with a nipple shield, both are refused.
Aware that our guests are due any moment, I panic slightly and Woody gives Ernest a bottle feed 60mls EBM while I pump, 10 mins 120mls.
Then, aware I've not eaten since breakfast I eat a bowl of soup quickly while Woody cuddles Ernest, and our guests arrive.
Ernest is unsettled while our guests are here, (and is probably also picking up on my unease, even though I'm happy to see our guests.)He fusses and dozes on me.
I offer to finger feed several times, but each time he refuses.
I change his nappy, and give in offering him a bottle of EBM which he drinks greedily. 70mls.
5pm, Our guests have left, and I pump for 10 mins, 140 mls, while Woody cuddles Ernest.Ernest is fussy.
6pm Ernest falls asleep, and I put him in his pram in the kitchen. Ernest wakes just as my dinner is put on the table.
I finger feed Ernest, 60mls EBM. Then I eat dinner with one hand (Woody cuts it up for me) while I hold Ernest on my knee. (my dinner is cold by now.)
Woody cuddles Ernest while I tidy up, wash and sterilise bottles, SNS, and pump flanges ready for the night.
I top and tail Ernest (he hates baths) and dress him ready for bed.
7pm Ernest and I cuddle on our bed, I sing to him and he coos and smiles back at me.
I offer naked breast (no nipple shield) and he cries and refuses.
I'm tired, emotional, and wondering how I'm going to get through the night finger feeding, so give in and offer a bottle. He drinks 80mls EBM
8pm I pump for 10 mins, 140mls.
Ernest poops, so I change his nappy. He then falls asleep on my chest.
9pm Ernest wakes, he's fussy. Woody and I take turns to cuddle him. I give a bottle of EBM 60mls, he then sleeps and doesn't wake again until 1am.
That was yesterday. This morning I spent 45 mins trying to get him to take the breast as he stirred from his sleep, to no avail. Once he awoke properly at 8am, I offered the breast and he refused it. He then took a finger feed of 50mls, not too happily, taking a 140ml bottle feed just an hour later.
I haven't tried finger feeding again today.
I'm not sure what my next step is.
This photo was taken sixteen years ago at my friends wedding.I think Woody and I were "on a break" at that time, though we were still living together...oh the chaos of younth eh? I know he wasn't invited to the wedding.
I remember holding a work colleague's baby at the reception, and vaguely wondering how it would feel to be a Mummy.
This photo is in a double frame with this photo of Woody from around the same time.
Mostly looking at these photos I just feel old and fat. They are both old enough photos that I don't really feel sad looking at them like I do photos from maybe two years ago, where I can see someone I just don't recognise.
I do recognise myself and Woody in these older photos, especially Woody. I think this is the way I'll always see him, the way we were when we met. x
Saturday, October 09, 2010
Last October, with our grief still raw we booked a cheap and cheerful caravan holiday in Cornwall, and took along India's best friend. She's a lovely girl. I met her Mum when she and India were babies, we became friends and so did our girls. They even used to hold hands in their buggies, and force us to take up the whole pavement walking alongside each other!
I was glad to have J along on the holiday, she kept India company, and she made up the numbers. Of course Florence was still missing, but each seat in the car was full, and when buying entrance tickets to Tintagel Castle, we could say out loud "Two adults and five children please"
I remember how much I was aching for Florence on the day this photo was taken, but at the same time being able to count the children up to five gave me some comfort.
Friday, October 08, 2010
Thursday, October 07, 2010
It's really hard to pick a photo that makes me happy. These days I look at photos before Florence and barely know who I am in them,but photos afterwards she's missing and always will be.
This photo was taken on a weekend away in Whitby, Yorkshire. I had no idea,but I was already pregnant with Florence. She was just a bunch of cells in this picture.
Of course I have lots and lots of photos taken later when I have a bump but I prefer this one. I look happy and she's there, just a twinkle, but still.
I know Woody isn't in the photo, but when I look at it, he's there too, taking the photo.
Yep this photo makes me happy. (I have posted it here before.)
Wednesday, October 06, 2010
I often find comfort in repetitive rituals, and also in creating, so in no particular order;
1, Lighting candles
2, Visiting Florence
5, Working on my sketchbooks
6, Clearing out a cupboard,drawer or wardrobe
7, EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique.
8, Rescue Remedy
8, Hanging laundry out on a sunny day,especially nappies.
9, Folding terry squares
13,Wearing Ernest against my chest in the sling.
15,Dying my hair
16,Putting on make up
17,A good dinner with Woody and the children
18,Walking in the fresh air with woody and the children.
19,A good cup of tea
20, Shopping for yarn, fabric or art supplies.( without the children! )
Tuesday, October 05, 2010
I think this would have to be the lines from Requiescat by Oscar Wilde.
Speak gently, she can hear
The daisies grow.
This is what we have on Florence's grave stone.
Not strictly a quote, but a poem that was spinning around in my head after Florence died. Oscar Wilde wrote the poem for his younger sister who died when she was only twelve years old.
Monday, October 04, 2010
Firstly, lets play catch up:
Day 1 - a song that reminds you of your child, or one that you can't listen to anymore and why.
OK, so my friends who are into music think I'm hilariously out of touch, and I am. I really prefer silence most of the time. That's not to say I don't like music, I do,but I guess I have pretty eclectic taste.
One song though that I listened to over and over again after Florence died was Evanescence - Bring Me To Life I'd put it on loud and sob.I wrote about it here.
Day 2 - a movie that helped you get through the hard times, or one that jumps out at you after your loss.
Hmmm, ok, I'm not much of a movie watcher either, but after florence died we did snuggle up together as a family and watch kids movies with the children quite regularly. We all needed the distraction and the comfort of being together. One of those movies was Stardust, a quite lovely fantasy.And of course the theme tune is one of those songs I can't hear without tearing up. I know it's a love song, but as we babylost know love songs are often so approriate for our babies too.
Day 3 - a television program that helped you either get through hard times or that moves you.
I do watch television, but I'm a channel hopper, so rarely watch anything for more than a few minutes.
I have watched a recent series Roger And Val Have Just Got In. I started watching because it stars Dawn French, and I thought it was going to be funny, but quickly realised there was an underlying theme...though thought I was imagining what it was initially.I was right though, and it becomes clear that this slightly eccentric couple had suffered baby loss 18 years previously.
The series didn't get great reviews,but I loved it, some of the lines are amazing.Roger and Val get carried away with their thoughts and imaginings sometimes, and in the final episode Roger tells Val she's braver than a mountaineer, because her baby died and she survived.
Day 4 - your favorite book. has it changed since your loss?
My favourite book is Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and I'm not trying to be cute. That truly is my fave all time book. I adore the illustrations, and have done since the very first time I was read the book in a school assembly when I was about four years old.
I can't not mention Elizabeth McCrackens, An Exact Replica of a Figment of my Imagination, though. I read that book soon after Florence died, I devoured it in a day and a half, it so perfectly described so much about baby loss, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who has had the misfortune to lose a baby, and also to anyone who wants to understand more.I wanted to buy copies for everyone I knew when they wanted to know how I was, and just say "that".
Phew, so there you go, all caught up, and possibly exposed now as quite a poorly read, uncultured nitwit!