Tag Archives: Shemothers

My Goodbye Moments

Its so far out of town you think you’ve missed it. But then we get here.

Clicky clack shoes on the road as we both walk from the car, the only noise until my not so silent tears fall down my cheeks. This is when they start.

Looking down at our feet and entwined fingers, the orange catches my eye; it is so much brighter swinging over the black of the road.

Except for holding Daniel’s hand I wish no one to attempt to invade my space or heart right now. Greet me if you wish, but you can’t penetrate my shield in these moments. I am here for a reason, a purpose and this is my last chance. Like a fierce mumma bear protects her cubs, I’ll fight for these moments.

They are a precious gift. Moments to freely celebrate life and acknowledge the death of our dear precious one; others have moved on from this life altering event, simply because its not their life. Though the grief is yet to fade for us.

Grief is so isolating, in so many different ways. It is a wicked dictator. The battle for control of the mind is intense and exhausting. You so wish to not be alone through it, but you can’t invite anyone in as they have to decide to push through the darkness. It is difficult for everyone.

These moments today at the “pregnancy loss memorial service” are a chance for the final goodbye I didn’t know I’d been holding tight on my lips.

With Emmanuelle I walked into the florist knowing that a sunflower was exactly what I wanted… today I walked back into the same florist and I didn’t know. I wanted orange but I didn’t know, nothing was right… then I chose a chrysanthemum. It was perfect.

13639542_10153510871966370_3778287_o

I didn’t want to sit down. I didn’t want to meet the chaplains. I had no energy for ‘polite.’ These were my moments, to be raw. To allow my grief to be seen. To not be a tightly shut bottle, all held together. This was my space where I have all the permission I need to be a grieving mother. To sob like I have more dead babies than alive babies. To not be ok, to feel. To be so broken, but stand strong because I’m also not.

I knew what the service would be like; I knew most of what they’d say.

That God loves all he has made…. knit me together in my mothers womb…leave in your safekeeping…. joy into mourning….we ask you today for courage and strength.

 

We laid my chosen bright orange flowers.

We looked up and saw a rainbow. It hadn’t even rained.

We released our balloons.

We turned and walked away. Daniel still held my hand. Our shoes clacked, but once again my arms were empty. I can’t go to one of those services again. I don’t think I’d survive. Daniel says to me, “Last time Yvette, last time.”

This is when my tears stop. For now at least.

But my love for Steven James never will.

13662646_10153510895431370_1338106811_o

 

“How very softly you tiptoed into our world, almost silently, only a moment you stayed. But what an imprint your footsteps have left upon our hearts.” — Ferguson

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Vulnerability | What I really want to say

There have been some topics in this hashtag project where I simply have not had anything to say. There are others where I have more than enough to say, but not the guts to say it. It’s called #iwanttotalkaboutit, but truth be told, some days I don’t. And that’s the tricky thing; on the one hand I feel like there is far too much silence regarding miscarriage and pregnancy loss and it needs to become more ok to talk about it. On the other hand, it is still such a private thing… a grief that shouldn’t need to be shouted from the rooftops for it to matter.

I was challenged by one particular topic because if I wrote truthfully, I’d probably offend some people. So do I write realistically about that aspect of miscarriage? Or do I not and not hurt feelings?

It really is an underlying question when it comes to miscarriage. Whether it should be significant or not is another — how will my actions or speech affect those around me? There are varying stages of importance when asking this question.

To begin with, you aren’t considering anyone else when experiencing your grief. Those well-meaning people who tried to be kind, but said the wrong thing which meant I was rude or blunt. That was grief not me, and it was so early after our loss I didn’t even remember them to later apologise. (Here’s a list of appropriate support/what to say)

Then after a little while, you are still feeling the myriad of emotions grief brings, but you have a filter. A filter that’s probably 80% tinted from society’s perception of loss and miscarriage. Then 20% human instinct, people are getting awkward. So you don’t always talk about it, because the appropriate time has passed, but in some circles it’s still ok.

Then so much time passes (apparently for others), it’s like grief shouldn’t matter any more. The few days of Facebook comment support has long gone, you should have definitely “moved on” by now. Anything you say now is awkward and definitely not appropriate. People didn’t know how to support when it just happened, now months on they really don’t know what right thing to say.

So not wanting to hurt feelings, or to make people awkward. But because this is what I want to say, but I don’t want to say it.

 

12064191_10152998625281370_1105168862_n

When strangers ask me at the playground how many children I have, I say two.

When I fill out a sibling form, I only have two names to write.

When we had family photos recently, I just had to match my three boys and figure out my one girl outfit later.

When a six-year-old girl I teach asks me how I know her mum in front of the class, I say we are just good friends. When the silent answer is I have a baby in heaven too, and that’s how my relationship exists with the family.

When big brother talks, he says he has just one brother, because when his sister went to heaven, he was too little to understand and to explain it now would just be too many questions. (Though we have talked about her before, he has forgotten).

See the problem with all the vulnerability and talking about it — miscarriage, grief, loss, what ifs — is the one thing you really want to say, you don’t say because of that filter I was talking about above.

My two angel babies are grandchildren no one sees… Children that I don’t have to pack for on family holidays…. Big brother never gets to play with them… And I have no smiling photos of us all for people to see when they visit our home.

What do we have to say about their lives; nothing because they only exist in death.

WaltersYvetteJayne20131009160640632
So what’s the one thing I want to say but never do?

“Can’t you remember them? Can’t you remember Emmanuelle as much as I do without me saying anything? Or having to remind you?

No, because in most cases, she’s just death to you. That or, not enough life.”

See… awkward now, isn’t it? Because anything you say will be because I’ve made you.

 

 

PS. This would be up there as one of the most honest things I’ve written and publicly shared. My intention is not to hurt feelings or cry for attention; rather I want people to understand that I can talk about how miscarriage affects different facets of my life until the cows come home, but there is one simple underlying truth; no matter how long it has been, and I’m not saying every day, but if you remember Emmanuelle without me saying something…. you would help my heart more than you could ever imagine. 

PPS. But if it’s only after I remind you that’s ok too.

12027569_10153219323952825_367440992308523994_n

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Bereaved Mother’s Day | it’s a thing

May 3rd. International Bereaved Mother’s Day. It’s a thing. Like an actual day, that’s not made up.

And you know what? That sucks. It’s sucks that the day exists. That each day more parents lose children; women continue to become mums of angels. That this day exists as an attempt to repair “mothers day” for all the mums it misses.

But you know what else…. While it sucks that today exists, sometimes I need other people to remember, to acknowledge, to use our babies name.

To call her Emmanuelle.

I’m in such a different place this year to last year. Last year I was full of equal parts grief and longing.

This year, I hold a nearly nine-week-old baby in my arms. You’d think maybe that would make things ok. But our baby boys birth actually was the most evident proof of my heart that Emmanuelle is always going to be, I want to say affecting me, but it doesn’t sound right and I don’t know how else to say it.

See losing her, going through labour for her to be born sleeping, even though we knew that would happen from her diagnosis…. It impacts my days. Her loss impacts my days.

At the ANAZAC day March last week I saw a little girl, she would’ve being just over one, with beautiful red hair learning to walk with her daddy. It ached my heart, a longing, and sadness, missing a childhood of a little girl I never knew except for in my dreams.

One part of me hates that this day exists… The other part of me is grateful for it. Grateful that today I feel like I can admit just how big an effect my angel baby continues to have on my life. I can mention Emmanuelle and people won’t think- ‘gosh just move on already!’ (Not that I know if anyone thinks that)

Grateful that today, my minute, half hour or hours of sadness are warranted and ok.

11209643_10152688812616370_437539565148821174_n

So yeah… Today’s actually a thing. A day to acknowledge some of the bravest women you’ll ever meet.

Women who keep getting out of bed. Women who still love the children they have on earth. Women who keep breathing. Women who while forever changed have to fit back in a world with people where nothing is different. Women who live with a little piece less of their heart. Women who speak loudly for change. Women who feel awkward whenever you ask how many children we have, and struggle with how to say the truth. Because we have more children than you can see in our arms.

And that’s reality for us; someone is missing from our lives. Someone isn’t here feeling all the love in our heart for them. These women are mothers, brave mothers.

Bereaved Mother’s Day. It’s a thing that needs to exist. You don’t need to say anything- though you can if you want- just give that momma you know a hug.

here– is a link that answers the question “”I’m just wondering what to SAY to a Bereaved Mother on her day? Happy Mother’s Day clearly doesn’t apply. Do I say I’m sorry or I’m thinking about you? Can I ask how she’s feeling? Does she want to talk about it?””

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Miracle Diary | Part Three

a journal of our miracle journey…
an insight into how the pregnancy miracle is different after you’ve sailed through storms.

(if you missed it, you can read part one and part two)

 

Ten weeks | If I thought I’d popped last week, I was wrong. I don’t look like I ate too much; to those that know me- I’m pregnant. Thankfully no one that really knows me lives near me. Thankfully I also am someone who normally wears baggy clothes. So its not a giant fashion change to conceal. I’m still trying to exercise. It feels good when I do. I can’t do things as much or as fast, partly because I’m trying to keep my heart rate down and not get too overheated. My brain uses that excuse to not push as hard- even though I probably could. Don’t tell my trainers.

 

Eleven weeks | I had two terrible dreams last night. In both we went in for our 12 week scan, and in both something was wrong with the baby/pregnancy. I don’t think what my brain imagined are even real things. But my silly brain made them sound enough like medical words that I woke with a start and took a long time to fall back asleep. Just to have the first terrible dream followed by a second terrible dream. Up till now I’d done no worrying. If there is a neural tube defect its already happened and I cant change it… but those stupid dreams messing with my mind!

 

Twelve weeks | I felt physically sick for most of the day. I’ve been ok until this day, the worry and dread came only for today. All I wanted was to walk in and see a beating heart and solid white bone that would form the skull. It’s the day of our scan.

I know that ultrasound people know so much more than they let on… apparently the one today however was not very confident in her skills because she refused to say anything at all. However the report is that all looks normal but the later scan will give a more definitive answer. Not willing to commit to anything because of our “history.” Sometimes I wish all the medical people I had to see knew us and would say her name rather than just ‘history.’

Trying to accept this is them saying that everything is ok, but it would be so much easier if they just said that rather than all their non-committal medical jargon.

 

Fourteen weeks | We had no plans for an “announcement.” But hiding my growing tummy was getting harder and harder and it didn’t feel real yet. This pregnancy was lacking the excitement it should hold.

The only people who knew we were pregnant with Emmanuelle were our immediate family and some of our closest friends, everyone else found out when we had her. It was too tough to say- we’re pregnant- because no matter how quickly you talked you couldn’t finish the sentence that the baby wasn’t going to live before people would get excited.

I asked Daniel if we could announce Baby Rufio- do the whole social media thing- why? Because I wanted people to be excited with us. People, who have journeyed, prayed and cried with us to enter into this season of expected joy with us. We did- and people responded perfectly. Thank you.

I don’t look just kind of fat anymore- you can feel its like the uterus has popped out now, which is nice. Plus we’re no longer saying to our big boy to be gentle because mummy’s tummy is sick. He knows exactly where the baby is and that is nice. In fact, he thinks it’s a girl baby but says it’s a brother. We’ve got a few months to work on that.

10620635_10152239571336370_2674411818443948660_n


Sixteen weeks
| Wishing I could say I’m starting to feel better, but I felt terrible all yesterday and was sick from a hot chocolate last night.
Though I am finding exercise a whole lot easier probably for the past week or so.

Pretty sure I was feeling the baby move yesterday. It’s not all the time, and I was sitting very still.
Emmanuelle was born just after 15 weeks, so perfectly formed including her fingers and toes and little nose. Such a blessing to have a perfectly accurate image of what this child looks like at the moment within me. Knowing that they would nearly take up my hand, with legs and arms capable of moving about. Passing the gestation week when Emmanuelle went to heaven was a big deal.

I said I desperately want this baby- I do. I feel joy at the coming arrival, but I’m waiting for real happiness to come. I am happy, but it feels different. The comparisons of emotions between this pregnancy after Emmanuelle and our pregnancy with big brother is difficult, I can’t believe I was once so relaxed and happy. I experienced emotions without complications. But without complications I wouldn’t be the me I am today…without complications I wouldn’t have this child growing within. Years down the track I won’t ever remember what life was like without baby Rufio – exactly as they are. Baby Rufio only exists as who they are because Emmanuelle is no longer with us. I don’t like the comparisons, and its not really comparisons, just emotional complexities that won’t always be at the forefront of my mind. But today, they are.

10348761_10152260715996370_2487727536727695482_o

 

 

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

miracle diary | part two

a journal of our miracle journey…
an insight into how the pregnancy miracle is different after you’ve sailed through storms.

(if you missed it, you can read part one here)

Seven weeks | I had to go back to the doctors “because of my history.” It was kind of pointless. I had to get a new ultrasound form because they are worried the baby’s heartbeat is a little slow. Which could just be because the ultrasound was so early. I asked the doctor for another form for the twelve-week ultrasound. She got confused and gave me this big lecture about Down syndrome and what testing will do and the stress it can cause. It took ten minutes, but we crossed the communication barrier and she understood I just want a “check for skull ultrasound.” I say that and sometimes Daniel tells me not to because its inappropriate- especially to people who don’t really know me. But I’m specific like that now- I want a healthy baby with a beating heart and skull.

We had the ultrasound. All is ok- heartbeat perfect. Looking perfect. Its all looking as good as it can at this stage. Side note, we had a MUCH better ultrasound person this time. Someone who was still nearly finished training- but she listened and actually read our form which said past history.

 

Eight weeks | Daniel finally chose an “in the womb” name. He hadn’t until now… I understand that. It’s a bizarre place being happy and excited but trying hard to reserve all feelings because what happens if something is wrong again. So… Baby Rufio is coming- EDD 12 march, our wedding anniversary.

Daniel’s parents arrived from Moscow Russia, we told them and Grammy cried with joy. She commented that many people had asked her when we were going to have another baby, if I was pregnant yet. I didn’t realize so many people talked to her about us (until she told me that day). Obviously people talk to everyone but us about us. I didn’t realize that people talked to her about us, which means they probably talk to my family too. Oh well.
Because honestly, even now the list of people that have returned to the normal friendship before Emmanuelle is well…none (ok that’s an exaggeration, but the number isn’t high.) All who stopped have not picked up where they left off. Some have… though Emmanuelle happened nearly a year after we’d left our home, so it could be a mix of the long distance and Emmanuelle, but we’ll never know.

Anyways- eight weeks and the sickness and tiredness has totally picked up to a whole new level. But… I’m still exercising. It makes me feel so much better about myself if I do. I worked so hard before… in fact, before we went away to Sydney I had just reached my first weight goal (meaning I’d lost 5kgs), and those I exercised with were telling me they could see shoulder muscles and a real difference! Woo! But you know what, I’ll take healthy baby coming over developing muscles any day. At least I know if I work hard I have the body type where you will see some muscles I work so hard for.

 

Nine weeks | I haven’t put on weight… but my tummy has popped! Obviously not massively… but I can tell, people who really know me could probably tell too.

This is my fourth pregnancy and my body definitely knows what its doing.

Fourth pregnancy. I thought this would be us done. Four pregnancy’s, four babies I’m definitely done. I have one living baby. And I don’t know if we’re going to have a second this time. It’s just a waiting game now, waiting for that next scan. Sickness is terrible. And fourth pregnancy…. I’m struggling to wrap my head around how different my motherhood journey is. I never ever imagined this would be me. But it is. I can’t change it; I can’t go back and pick something else out of the lucky dip, for this is my story.

Fourth pregnancy…. I desperately want this baby. But then if I want another, how many pregnancies will it take to get another healthy baby. It’s too much to wrap my head around. Because all of this really involves Daniel too, I got him to read it before I posted, he told me the above sentence was really too raw and vulnerable. Did I really want to say I desperately want this baby, because what if something happens? People will know the depth of my longing…. There is so much other stuff happening in our minds and hearts than simple joy. I don’t quite know how to un-muddle it….

Tagged , , ,

Miracle Diary | Part One

a journal of our miracle journey…
an insight into how the pregnancy miracle is different after you’ve sailed through storms

 

Four weeks | I did a test not because I thought it would show anything; in some ways its just become habit;  a habit fueled by  hope. A habit of hoping always with disappointment. And then, before the time was even finished there were two lines. “Daniel” I screamed! Ran out to him… there was a hug, and instant prayer. Thanking God for this precious gift, prayers for a healthy baby, and prayers for peace.

10704006_10152257460126370_2168900079612600590_n

 

Most people are incredibly awkward when they inform me of their pregnancy. They either avoid it and don’t, or they stumble through a jumble of words. A few days earlier I’d made my sister in law promise that she’d tell me, just tell me when she was pregnant. She made me return the promise. I didn’t think anything of it, because it wasn’t going to happen for me. Then it did. I told her that day. She squealed, jumped up and down and hugged me. Without any concern or reservation she was happy for us. I owe her one for that.

 

Five weeks | First trimester tiredness is made so much worse when you have a sick toddler who refuses to sleep anywhere but laying directly on top of you, day or night.

 

10668998_10152255063876370_1474161643058427696_o

Told one friend today, she was thankful because on her way to our breakfast date she’d told God that in her bargain it was only fair that as she would tell me she was pregnant I had to say it back to her. I’m glad God’s timing is perfect.
Told another person today, because I couldn’t dodge any more of their super direct questions about another baby…their concern for us that maybe something was wrong. They never said congratulations. We wont have that anymore, instant excitement without caution. Sharing the news of pregnancy without people having other thoughts, unspoken concern for us. That’s ok, we don’t either.

Three other children had womb names by now… Daniel is struggling to think of one. I told him it’s his choice and when he’s ready he’ll decide.

 

Six weeks | I had an ultrasound on the day of six weeks. The girl took all the pictures then stood up and said, “I just have to get my supervisor.” Why do they do this, they have no idea who it is laying on the bed in front of them, give some context. Oh, she’s a trainee and all she does has to be checked. Would have been nice to know that before she left the room to a five-minute silence. The heartbeats a little slow but that could just be the early stage. This scan matches our dates; baby is due on our wedding anniversary.

Getting to this day was the big deal. If the baby has any kind of defect it most likely happened before I even knew I was pregnant, before I felt any joy or glimmer of hope. So I can’t stress or worry about it. There isn’t a tablet I can now take that will guarantee health, so why worry about it. I can’t do that. I have to believe God wouldn’t allow it twice. I have to.

But this day, six weeks, I didn’t wake up with bleeding. I didn’t wake up with pain. Our first miscarriage was at six weeks, and it was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day (anyone else read that book?). I don’t know why, but I feel like if I can get past this day, we wont lose the baby without reason. And… I made it through the whole day feeling no different to the days before. Except drinking the excessive amount of water for the ultrasound did increase my needing to vomit feeling. Hope increases that we might meet this healthy baby a few months down the track, just before 40 weeks preferably.

 

Tagged , , , , , ,

Getting There | Part One

Getting there… I think that there must be some sort of metaphorical figment of our imagination? Because I don’t know that I know anyone who has actually got there yet.

 

When I was in Bible College there looked like this: full time paid ministry, married, children, and happy. A place I just longed to get to. It was a there that symbolized the end of essays and sleeping on theology books hoping they would absorb into my brain. Just kidding, I never did that… I don’t think- who honestly knows what happens in the 4am study “I’ll just shut my eyes for sixty seconds” delirium. Bible College is a few years behind me now, but I don’t find myself here, or there.

 

I’m somewhere, but its not the there I thought. Especially personally, I never thought that this would be me- I never thought I’d lose a baby. I never that I’d lose a second baby at all, let alone the way we did. I never thought I’d have the complications I did after Emmanuelle. I never thought…

 

So maybe when I actually think about it- I never thought my mothering journey would be like this. And somehow, well, mostly because it warrants it – my motherhood affects everything else. It affects my self, my marriage and my ministry. It greatly affects me that I’m a mother of three yet only have one to hold; though its different now to how it used to, it still does. It affects my marriage that we have experienced greater sorrow than joy in the past year. It affects my ministry that I feel like I’m leading from a barren valley as a broken old woman at times. It affects my ministry that I have now felt that pain, the pain of a select club no one wants to join.

 

This is not the there I imagined. This is not the there I dreamed of. This is not the there Daniel and I talked about on late night drives over Mt Nebo while we dated. This is not the there I thought God had in store for me.

 

Why am I disappointed? – Because I had a thought and expectation of my own and its not that. It’s a lot less joyful, a lot more painful and a lot more pressing. It’s exactly what God knew it would be, but not what I expected.

So do I still trust Him? Still believe that His way is best? Do I still praise Him because He is good and worthy of all glory?

 

If life is not what you expect… relationships, family, parenting, illness, death, circumstances…. Do you still trust Him? Still believe that His way is best? Do you still praise Him because He is good and worthy of all glory?

 

Do we trust that His version of there that is not yet seen, or what we expect will be better and filled with more joy than we could’ve ever imagined for ourselves? Do we trust that the way he gets us there is best?

 

This picture sums up exactly what I’m saying…. more tomorrow.

 

image-4

Tagged , , , , ,