"Edited to Add"....

This started as a pregnancy blog when I fell pregnant in May 2009 after four years of finding a donor, doing all the counselling / paperwork / tests and trying.

And now, thanks to a 4WD which skidded onto our side of the road, killing our baby daughter at 34w and injuring me, my partner and two of my stepdaughters on 27 December 2009, it has turned into something else. We didn't want this something else, but apparently it is all we've got to go on with.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Inside-out Day

Friday was the 27th - eight months since our accident. I was trying to figure out why it felt so much harder than seven months. We were in Singapore at the seven month mark, and somehow felt like we were "on holiday" from the grief. I'd just given my conference paper and we had a little holiday ahead of us. I felt close to Z, but the grief felt distant, smoother. Eight months isn't half a year, it didn't make sense for it to be any harder than seven months. The answer was so obvious it took me a while to realise. She lived eight months in my belly, and from now on she would have been dead longer than she existed. I spent eight months gearing up to be a mother, and then the pendulum swung back, and I feared that my whole pregnancy has now unwound - that I'm back to where I started. I know that doesn't really make sense, but it feels like some strange marker. It wasn't such a desperate sadness as the six month anniversary - I feel like I've built her memory into our lives more now.

I dreamt last night that someone was giving away a baby car seat and pram for free - and El Prima and I were discussing - is it too soon to start buying baby things again? I woke, and she'd had a very similar dream - that we'd won baby things in a competition, and were toying with the idea of bringing them home.

Maybe this means we are ready to start again, to push the pendulum back in the direction of hope.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


(Photo by Rober McKechnie)

This Bookbook owl in our local paper made my morning. Look at those eyes!

It feels like spring is coming, like something is lifting. I love Anne's phrase that she is "ready to bloom again". Me too, soon, I hope.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Day one - nearly!

I was so ready to step from the grief rollercoaster onto the TTC (trying to conceive) rollercoaster, or, more realistically, to try some Evil-Kenevil feat of riding both rollercoasters at once. And we'd been working with our clinic since march to try to make sure that could happen in August. August is the month which has been dragging me through, pulling me forward through the treacle.

So when I hit day one of my cycle last weekend, I thought, woo hoo. I woke up with that birthday feeling, this is the month that something might happen. Well, lots of things will happen in August, but trying to get pregnant won't be one of them. Our frozen "samples" (I love that euphemism - samples of what?) have arrived from the Sydney clinic, but the doctors won't let us use them just yet because they arrived without all the paperwork, and because in any case, the Sydney clinic hasn't done all the barrage of tests which the Melbourne clinic requires, and which will take another week to do. Thus taking us out of our window of opportunity for this month. Bureaucracy 1, babymaking 0. Grrr.

I did have a post half-written about all the good things that have happened in the gap between posts, about the amazing feeling of getting a glimpse of pre-accident me, feeling (even temporarily) well, whole, able to plot out an idea, an argument. All that is still a big step, it was lovely while it lasted. And I'm sure that in September, when we really truly will hit "day one", this sadness will feel like a blip. I'll know that it may have had just as much to do with the nasty headcold, the rain. But today, it feels like a continuation of all the waiting, and I'm getting petulant. I'm trying to bandaid together these little bits of hope. Here is my one certainty, this situation will pass.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Haloumi Star Sign

I've been on a hiatus, but it has been a good one. When I started work in April, I made a ridiculous commitment to give a paper at a conference at the end of july. I'd drafted the proposal for the paper back in November, in that other life I had, pre-accident, thinking, perhaps Haloumi would be ready to travel overseas at 6 months so that she could accompany El Prima and I to the conference. It would be in Singapore - some welcome heat in the middle of our winter, and we'd have a fat, sturdy baby who could hopefully adapt well to travel. Or maybe she wouldn't, and we could cancel the trip - I was happy to put it at the mercy of our imagined baby-parenting lives.

By the time I found out that my proposal had been accepted, my life was almost unrecognisable: no baby or pregnant belly, broken knee, scarred body, new city, no busy working life, and a strange weepier, more fragile version of myself. The way I walked, the clothes I wore, the things I needed to do to get myself out the door, the small things I needed to have close to me - it was as though I'd developed this new invalid personality. But I knew that I would need some kind of deadline if I hoped to get any research done in this new job, and there was nothing like a conference paper to spur me into action.

I couldn't get funding for it, I had to pay for it myself, but I needed a date to work forward towards. As the date got closer, as June and July dissolved into more grief and sadness, I thought, "I've made a terrible mistake - I won't be able to do this. The bit of me that could draw research together and write is gone." But I had to come up with something.

And somehow, I did. It was only after I became too tired to be tired, and too panicked by the deadline to panic, that from weariness came something that was there all along. For a little while, I had my concentration back, and I could look at all my work and pull the threads together, say what I needed to say.

It was such a relief, to get a taste of that pre-accident me, to remember that I'm still there, that the sadness hasn't wiped away everything.

El Prima came with me, and after the conference, we took a bus, then a boat out to a little malaysian island - adrift not only in the South China Sea, but when nighttime came - also in the middle of the Milky Way. I've never seen so many stars.

One of the lovely things some friends did for us after Z died was to band together and to name a star after her. We have a chart, a certificate and everything. After a few unsuccessful attempts at finding her particular star with zero astronomical knowledge (and without a telescope), we've taken to appropriating whichever star we liked as 'her' star. Usually, for me, it is the first star I see in the west as I'm walking home from the tramstop. Given its brightness, I think it may actually be a planet (maybe Venus?). But that night on the island, our heads together and our toes in the sand, El Prima and I saw a shooting star, and felt like she'd sent it for us - a tiny solitary haloumi firework.