"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.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Being here

Little girl

Four years strong.

Tree-climbing, conversation making
Child.  Putter-on of your own
Shoes and socks
(I'll help you with the laces,
my love)
Four years of ghost memories and
I'm still no more certain of
your hypothetical self
Had you lived to four.

But still, I feel I know
More of you
From the tiny glimpses I get
(I'll take any that come my way).

Kids tell serious stories
Using your eyebrows.
Your colours - that orangey-pink-red and the
Grassy pale green, retro light blue
Are apparently fashionable this year.
Every rose and its scent
Is yours by right.
The crush of petal to lip.
Your sleeping brother's eyelashes.
His insistence.
The new warble of young magpies.
The whole moon and your star's
Side of the darkening sky.

I piece you together from
These clues.
I want to find you nearby
To make these circles overlap:
Knowing my child is okay
and Being here.

Yes, it has been yonks.  So many yonks that here we are again, back at Z's time of year.  Divorce, selling the house, working again, being mama have all kept me in a constant path of motion, so it is good and also scary to have a little pause.  I am thankful.  It all could have been so much worse.  The break-up nastiness was shortlived and we're both so delighted to be out of the relationship (and to have sold the house for more than expected) that there is actually goodwill between us, as well as huge love and concern for Ali and Snazzy.  It's hard to know what I feel, though, while everything is still in boxes, awaiting removal from the old house, storage, and unpacking in my new space.  We've been in some state of renovation or divorce induced transit since february.  Why do I need physical possessions in order to feel my feelings?  I don't know.  That's not quite it - it's more the energy that managing possessions across three places and in various states of packed / unpacked requires.  I aspire to own less

I had decided back in July that I wanted to start marking the 28th as Z's birthday, which it actually is - but our accident was on the evening of the 27th, and because there was no sleep that night, and because of that confusing death and birth in the wrong order thing, I had always marked it as the 27th.  A big mashed-up birthday, deathday, accident anniversary sadfest.  This year is the first time I have actually been able to start distinguishing between the grief and the trauma, and I think I optimistically thought I was 'over' the trauma.  But these last few weeks it has come back to bite me with nightmares and feeling triggered and hypervigilant while driving.  So I think I need to mark the 27th as well - even if just to keep it firmly in my gaze because I don't trust it enough to be an ordinary day. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


I am redirecting my mail online.  The mouse hovers between "temporary" and "permanent".  The Australia Post site tells me,  "For a permanent move, you are not planning to return to your old address".  The truth is, I don't know, but at the moment I have no plans to ever return, except to pack up more fully and prepare the house and garden for sale. 

El Prima and I are separating.  It is sad, but my heart is lighter than it has been in years.  I know this is the right thing.  I spent so long closing off this possibility from myself, telling myself I couldn't follow in my parents' footsteps and have a marriage fail, subject my children to divorce.  But fear of the messiness of separation can't in itself hold a relationship together - not without centring our whole lives on fear, resignation, bitterness.  We tried really hard.  We cleaned the slate again and again but each time my heart was less willing to trust, it had to be cajoled, it grew weary and more skeptical.  And despite all the things I love about El Prima, I was not willing to live like that.  I didn't want Z's legacy in our lives to be relationship breakdown.  But I know now that none of this was her fault, and that she sings in our hearts when we are happy - she deserves more of that.  We deserve more of that. 

It feels appropriate that this is happening in winter.  I'm not sleeping very well at the moment and have been waking up early, doing quiet yoga in the dark on our friend's carpet where Ali and I are staying.  In those quiet dark hours, I meditate.  I make lists.  I remember what it is like to be myself.

We will make it amicable.  We will put the kids first.  We'll have to figure out what to do with Z's little pomegranite tree in our front yard. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Three years

Oh, I feel so sheepish to have been so quiet on here.  I have all kinds of good excuses - Christmas, my brother's wedding, a dose of gastro, and most of all, a hilarious baby boy whose laugh makes a room full of strangers smile. 
He is lovely.  We feel impossibly blessed.  He really is a cheery little soul and it blows my mind how much I love him.  I have to pinch myself on a regular basis to remind myself this is actually happening.  The blocks of time for writing are much harder to find, but it's not just that.  So many of the things which I relied on post-accident to make sense of our loss and to keep myself on an even keel have fallen by the way side - yoga, writing, meditation etc.  Somehow it seems so hard to keep up with all the baby / house / renovation / christmas stuff while also wanting to enjoy my time with Ali.  I'd really like to find ways to claw back a bit of time for restorative practices.  In a way I don't need them as desperately as I once did, but I really could do with a little more of the calmness and reflection they gave me.  Am I kidding myself to think that these things are compatible with caring for a small child?  Or do I just need to organise myself better?  It doesn't help that we're also renovating at the moment, so that there is a constant list of decisions to be made, bricks to be cleaned, bills to be paid, calls to be made etc. 

It feels like Z is with us enjoying Ali's babyhood.  She's here in her pomegranate tree in the front yard, in the roses I inhale as I walk up our street, in the few items of her baby clothes that Ali still sometimes wears, in her blanket I use for Ali when we travel, in the stars when I hang the washing in the summer night, in the extra tight cuddles I give Ali when I soothe him to sleep.  The grief still hits me now and then, but it is like a sneeze - I sense it coming, it shakes me, and then it moves on.  I look at Ali's face and wonder what she would have looked like at his age, or as a three-year-old. 

We spent her day and a few days either side of it down the coast, near the bush chapel where her ashes are buried.  We played her some music, we sang her a lullaby, my mum sat next to me and squeezed my hand.  A part of me feels guilty that our grief has mellowed - in some strange way I miss the clean intensity of the early days.  But this is now a grief that is woven in with our lives.