Sunday, February 26, 2012

on the topic of miscarriage....

26 February 2012

I've been meaning to blog about this for a long time now. Bear with me....

Before falling pregnant with Pretzel we lost three babies to miscarriage within 11 months.. I honestly never thought this would happen to me.... well definitely not three times. During this time, I learned a great deal about myself and others. I learned I am stronger than I thought, that I can pick myself up, dust myself off and despite everything trust that God would give us another chance for another much longed for child. I also learned a great deal about people. Some people aren't OK with others pain, some people don't know what to say, some people think they are saying the right thing but they just aren't. Other people and I'm sure it is the people who know you well, offer to bring you dinner/cookies/chocolate/flowers and just sum it up with "That really sucks, but I'm here with you."

I learned there is an element of shame in miscarriage. A lot of people don't talk about it. Why? To be honest, I felt like I had failed.... the first time, the second time AND the third time. The first and third times I had to have surgery and it felt like it was an extra reminder of what had happened: not only had our babies died inside of me, but they had to be removed and I had to recover from the surgery too. The amazing thing was that when I told women what I was going through I got an amazing amount of "I've had a miscarriage too... (insert details here)."

Some of the best advice I was given during this time was "Some days you will feel great. Some days you just won't. Some days you will feel fine, and then you'll cry for no reason." And time went on, and I found myself almost sobbing in the middle of Best n Less, whilst shopping for two beautiful newborn neices, yet feeling a great sense of injustice that "We should be shopping for OUR BABY!" 

So.... what do you say? How do you help? What do you DO? Iam terribly ashamed to admit that someone told me (pre-miscarriages for me) they had lost a baby and I made some washy comment about the baby being in heaven - WRONG! Here's what you can do. Sit with them in their pain. Listen to them. Bring over chocolate and flowers and just listen to them. Don't be weird about it, especially if you have a baby of your own, pass that baby on over for cuddles. Cook them dinner. Do they need a baby sitter while they have doctor appointments/surgery/blood tests?

 I can assure you, there is a great deal of grief associated with the loss. It is the death of a loved one whom you never got to know. For me, it was the loss of the idea of a little person whom was inside of me but ceased to grow and develop. It was the loss of the excitement and expectation of bringing a new little person into the world. Imagine the highest high (finding out you are pregnant)... followed by the lowest of lows. Not fun and very hard to deal with.

Through all of this I had to remember my amazing husband. It was his loss and his pain too. It must not have been easy for him to go through this also, to wait for me to have the surgery and recover, to take me to the appointments and hear the news that there was indeed no heartbeat and here were the options. I had to let him grieve too.

I found this link which may be helpful. It has some things on there of things not to say....

Also, if you have experienced a miscarriage I want you to know that you are brave. And strong. However you are feeling... well it is OK. Like my dear friend told me, there will be good days, there will be bad days. I pray that you have comfort during this time, and that if you really long and desire for another little blessing to join your family, that God will bless you with one.

Thanks for reading and please leave a comment.....

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Pretzel related thoughts.....

Hi all,
My thoughts are increasingly towards all things Pretzel related. We have less than eight weeks to go, before we know it she will be here. I still can't believe we are having a daughter!!
Her room is almost ready, but no photos until it is done! sorry.....
Here is a beautiful article from the Hippie Housewife - a letter to her unborn baby. I thought I'd share....

Hope you are having a great day, it's rainy and cooler here!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

new mummyhood

Hi there,

I found this and it spoke to me. If you are an experienced Mum, a mother to toddlers, or a very fresh first time mother... we all know what it's like to be a Mum. It's not easy. There is pressure (from ourselves and from everyone else so it seems) to have it all together. Well you know what? Sometimes, we just don't. Sometimes it is hard to drag yourself out of bed to feed your baby. Sometimes it is exhausting to do the school run. Wherever you are in your mummyhood journey, have a read of this and feel refreshed.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, February 10, 2012

zippedy dooo dah!

Lately I've been feeling quite a bit more confident in my sewing abilities.
I thought I'd venture out... and try something with a zip. Yes people... that's right! Not that terrifying once you do it!!

I found a tutorial online and got sewing. I had all the materials minus the zip which only cost me a couple of dollars - yay! The tutorial I used is here. I was also pretty proud of myself for sewing something which required lining. I'm glad I took the time and effort because I think it looks pretty good!!

I even added a little yo yo flower to the front, because I thought it would look good! My my... we are getting fancy now aren't we ?
I did try to sew the flower on so the stitching was hidden, but after a few failed attempts... I decided to use red thread and just make the stitching obvious. I did my best to make it as neat as I could.

(Please ignore the scabby looking edge of the table... it's a work table we moved inside, I'm quite enjoying the extra table space however it will have to go back outside soon!)

Also... I picked up the pillowcase (which the zippered pouch is sitting on) today whilst mooching around the Recycle Mart. I plan on chopping it up to make something.... knowing me it will probably be more bunting!

Things with Pretzel are going well, in my 30th week along now. I think the time goes faster when you aren't the pregnant one LOL. Also, I found out I have gestational diabetes which I'm learning to live with and have to test my blood sugar four times daily. Mr. 4 who is fascinated with all things hospital/doctor/ambulance finds it very interesting.

Thanks for stopping by!!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Thoughts on mummyhood....

When I became a Mum, I had no midwives to help me learn to breastfeed. I'd had no birthing classes, no friendly chats with helpful hospital staff. We were in China, I didn't even speak the language. I did force myself to sit through an online clip of a natural birth so I had some  idea of what the heck was going to happen. I religiously read my "What to expect" book, which we had managed to order at a bookstore in Hong Kong while on holiday from mainland China. I was clueless. I had no idea. I did however, have this grand idea in my head that I would have a natural birth  - I had hips, I could push a baby out. No worries.


I ended up having an emergency c-section. Which was scarey... I didn't speak the language and they were sticking a needle in my spine. I did have a teacher from my school (she worked in the nursing department at the college we both taught at) to interpret. She was lovely and so reassuring. Hubby couldn't come in with me... I was exhausted from 12 hours of labour already. A medical person ran a fingernail over my stomach (or something sharp, but not to cut me) and I lost it. I got hysterical... all I could think of was those articles you read "I felt my csection" etc etc... they held a mask over my face and knocked me out.

The reason for this whole spiel was that I felt a bit ripped off. What I expected and what I got were two very very different birth experiences. What followed was 6 days in a chinese hospital, with no shower... 4 days bedridden with a catheter. Once I was released I had to walk the 124 stairs up to our apartment (ouch!).....

A friend of mine found this interview and posted this link on her facebook page.
I thought I'd share because although my struggle wasn't with breastfeeding, I do understand that many women do struggle with this. My mum had to teach me, based on what she did with us girls. It took a while, it was uncomfy and sometimes yukky. I do understand that when I became a mother I had no idea how competitive it was. So.... I'm sharing this so that we can all see that there are two sides to the story. I wanted a natural birth the first time, and didn't get it. I did get it the second time though. Some women would love to breastfeed, and can't. Others feed for two years with ease. As I enter into the last ten weeks of my pregnancy with Pretzel my plan is for a natural birth, and to breastfeed.... however in the end it does come down to whatever is best for Pretzel and me. Healthy baby, healthy mummy is the end goal.

Thanks for reading!