Thursday 31 December 2009

Welcome sunflower

Congratulations Sarah and David on the birth of Ezra's little brother Micah.

And Welcome Micah to the world that has been waiting to love you.


Saturday 26 December 2009

A Christmas dream

In his Grandmother's garden,
he is digging up the bones of his father,
a door opens and someone is holding George the little boy.

This is what you might have had.
This is what you have missed out on.

Not the nicest of dreams for a bereaved father, son, grandson to wake from at Christmas.

He hides his grief a little too well sometimes.

Wednesday 23 December 2009

The ghosts of Christmasses past

I remember the excitement of christmas waaaaay back when I was a child.
Willing the snow to fall.
Peeking through the curtains in the hope of seeing a quiet white blanket. Oh the proper sound of snow beneath your boots!
One of our cats pulling over the christmas tree. A 6ft white sparkly one. Crash!
Leaving a carrot for the reindeer next to the fireplace and a mince pie and a glass of milk for Father Christmas.
Trying so hard to stay awake to catch a glimpse Father Christmas.
Waking to one present at the end of the bed on Christmas morning.
Waking our Mum and Dad at 6am or earlier, bouncing on their bed shouting, "He's been!!!"
Opening more presents from under the tree.
Grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles squashed around the table.
My cousin asking someone to "pass the pee bowl" and it being a family joke for years afterwards.
Playing whist with my Nan and cousins after dinner.
Making exciting things with Leg.o.
The year I asked Father Christmas for a, "wallking tallking doll" and actually got it!

I so want to give those sorts of happy memories to a child of my own.

I wish it was George.

I wish.

I wish you all a happy holiday time, whatever your beliefs, whatever you are doing, whoever is with you or missing or far away. Breathe, love, enjoy.

I hug you all and thank you a million billion times for your presence in my life.

And our kittehs hug you too.

A breath of air

We went looking for the snow yesterday.
It's all over Britain but there isn't any near our town so we drove up on to the high moors.
Any excuse.
We love Dartmoor
in all it's moods.

Expecting peace and quiet away from the utter insanity of christmas consumerism
and grumpy traffic jams;
we found people everywhere enjoying what was left of the snow.

How nice to see families using the holiday time to do what holidays are for:
being with family.
Not for shopping, excess and extravagance.

Today it's raining in our town and snowing heavily up there but we can't get at it because the roads in between are icy.

Some roads we decided to leave alone.

We turned and found a rainbow in the road.

We are going to catch one of them one of these days.

Yesterday I felt quiet, I felt the need to lean on a strong shoulder.
Ray went in disguise.
Goodness, I do look pale and worn out.
Almost threadbare.
I look like someone else.
Maybe I am in disguise too.
Insomnia of the tossing and turning type really doesn't help.

Having love written in the snow for me helps.

Writing George's name helps.

The beauty of the landscape around us helps.

Walking to the top of a hill helps.

Breathing fresh air helps.

Breathing helps.

Monday 21 December 2009


Beautiful Madison, welcome to a world of love.

Congratulations to your family and love to your big brother Nicholas for guiding you home safely.


Wednesday 16 December 2009


Welcome to a whole world full of love sweet Ocea Marie.
You don't yet know how lucky you are to be born into a family filled with so much love.
You don't yet know of the world full of good wishes sent your way.
I wish you all good things as you begin your journey through life.


Tuesday 15 December 2009

Getting the gloomy post out of the way before trying to find some festive spirit. (It's not all gloomy, there is a vaguely cheerful bit about meteors)

Well that is almost that.

2009 was officially the year of grief. The Year of Missing George.

And for me, as of today, 2009 is also officially The Year Of Not Getting Pregnant. TYONGP even though I doubt if I will ever use that acronym again and even though we have only been trying since April/May. This has been (half) a year of pretending hoping that we won't need any help to get pregnant. I still hope we don't but I don't have too much belief in that hope.

After putting off our 2nd appointment at the fertility clinic twice. We ARE going to see the fertile nurse near the end of January. I will find out if my ladyparts are far too old and dusty for these shenanigans or just need a little kick up the proverbial. Just a little kick please, maybe only a tiny poke? Pretty please?

We spent saturday and sunday nights getting neck ache watching the Geminids meteor shower in various non light polluted places around and about while freezing despite, for myself, two pairs of jeans, two hats, a scarf and three jumpers. A large flask of boiling water and tea bags are vital for this kind of adventure: actually they are vital for most types of car related adventures. I have yet to find a flask that holds just enough milk for two or three cups of tea (for me, Ray prefers his tea naked) but they are all too big. These things are important. Going out in the middle of the night with the one you love to look at meteors is important too. And romantic. Do it sometime if you haven't already. And yes, had George been here we sould have bundled him up and took him along.

I tried to imagine George in those tiny far off streaks of light but it just made me sad to think of his spark burning up in the atmosphere. Sad enough that when I managed to spill hot tea over myself I burst into tears. Or maybe that was the PMS. Probably the Pre Menstrual Not Pregnant Again Oh Shit Syndrome. Ah, PMNPAOSS, of course. Or as I wailed it at Ray, "I've got hormones!"

Why are early pregnancy symptoms so much like period-about-to-start symptoms? It's unfair and it should be stopped. Yes, for the second month in a row I was almost fooled for a couple of days. However this month I did manage to restrain myself from checking out how much co-sleeper cots were going for on ebay.

Tuesday 8 December 2009


Can I ask you all to sign this Sands petition? It doesn't matter if you are in the UK or not. You can be anonymous, and/or leave a comment.

The UK gvt body NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) seems to be advocating NOT encouraging parents to see their baby after his or her death

"The current wording in the quick reference guide, which is specifically aimed at policy makers and midwifery staff states: “Do not routinely encourage mothers of infants who are stillborn or die soon after birth to see and hold the dead infant.” This is very different from the statement in the Full Clinical Guideline which reads ”women should not be encouraged to hold their dead baby if they do not wish to.”
Can I take bets that they didn't talk to any babylost Mums or Dads about this?

This was the comment I left:
My son died and was born on 20/11/08. I was 20 weeks and 5 days pregnant.

At a distressing and confusing time, I was encouraged to see and cuddle my baby, to have photos, hand and footprints taken and most importantly to say goodbye.

I am extremely grateful for this support and encouragement from the kind and compassionate medical staff at Torbay hospital.

What a cruel thing to think that taking away my only chance to see my only child would somehow be better for me.

Is it to save money?

You can read more here.

Thank you friends.

Sunday 6 December 2009

Recipe for disaster

Check freezer for something to eat for dinner.
Find freezer sadly lacking.
Check fridge.
1 small dish leftover veggie saag. (including potatoes, carrots, cauliflower and spinach in jar of saag sauce)
1 small dish leftover turmeric rice*
Less than half a can of baked beans.

Half an onion.
Half a courgette. (zuchini)
Check cupboard.
1 can chickpeas (used about a tablespoonful)
1 can chickpea dahl.** (also about a tablespoonful)

1 egg of questionable age.

Wait for Poppet to do washing up as no cutlery left, no dishes, no plates, etc.

Grate half of the half courgette, get bored and think that's enough.
Chop most of half onion smallishly.
Mix with all other ingredients into a goopy mess.
Wonder if this was a good idea.
Add drop of chilli sauce, splash of lemon juice and a sprinkle of mint.

Think twice about egg.
Test egg freshness theory by placing egg in bowl of water.
Break egg.
Beat and add to "burger" mix.

Form into six dollops humungoburgers, or several smaller ones.
Leave to stand while feeding pestering cats.
Wash hands.

Bake for 20 minutes on high heat.
Check to see if burgers are still together or have merged into one big mess.
Turn burgers over.
Bake for 20 minutes more on lower heat.

Remove from oven and admire.

Take photograph, trying to keep messy kitchen counter out of view and wish you had thought of taking photographs of each step like posh cookery how-to.

Clean up while waiting for other foodstuffs to cook.

Eat one*** with broccoli, sweetcorn, peas and a few oven French fries.
Allow others to cool and then freeze.

Live to tell the tale.****

More exciting recipes in easy to follow steps coming soon. Maybe.

* Did you know that turmeric is very good for you? Not too much for pregnant women though.
** I like chickpeas. I love this canned stuff.
***Poppet prefers animal based foodstuffs.
****Not in fact a disaster and really rather tasty!

Saturday 5 December 2009

I did it... sort of

Well, I draped the tree with two sets of lights and it wasn't enough. So I dug out another set... that's six sets of fairy lights in our living room now, I think I 'm bordering on obsession... added some gold beads, all without crying and then I went for the tinsel...

... which is now decorating our living room floor, in bits, along with many other "adopted" cat toys that are dragged around and then ignored... meh, we'll hoover in the morning...

I think it looks just fine without tinsel don't you?

And still pretty with tears in your eyes.

Friday 4 December 2009

I couldn't do it

I tried to put out my old 2ft christmas tree and got as far as securing it on the table from inquisitive kittehs and that was it. Tears. This should have been George's first christmas, not our second christmas without him. Bah bloody humbug.

I'll try to put lights on it tomorrow. I'm not sure how far I will get.

If we ever get another chance I'm going to get a whopping great 6ft needle dropping, marvellously scented real tree and cover it with lights, tinsel and the gaudiest, most colourful decorations I can find.

But not yet.

Monday 30 November 2009

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water

Before us in the supermarket queue were an older couple stocking up on booze for Christmas. They spent over £100 on wine and spirits. Our chatty cheery checkout lady then chatted to us about writing her christmas cards with half a bottle of red wine while her baby was asleep upstairs. Had we done all our christmas shopping? Last year she gave birth prematurely the day before christmas and so they didn't get to celebrate it properly.

It's good job we still have a bit of empathy hanging around and a modicum of self control because we could have easily ruined her cheery mood.

No we don't drink because Ray's father was an alcoholic and Ray hasn't had a drink for many years and he doesn't really see the lighter side of it.* No we didn't celebrate Christmas last year either but that was because our baby died and to be honest we're not that bothered about celebrating it this year because our baby isn't here...

And yes of course, it did run through my mind that I don't know her story. She might have been a member of the "club" once or many times and of course I know of the worry and the long road through prematurity through my friends in this place. But still. You know.

On the way home a couple were trying to cross quite a dangerously busy road on a bend only a few metres away from the safe crossing with traffic lights by pushing their baby in it's pram ahead of them into the road and I almost opened the window and screamed at them for their stupidity. Don't you know how lucky you are!?

And breathe.

I think perhaps I shouldn't go out. It's not doing my stress-free attempt at calm baby-making zen-ness any good at all.

And has my mum started with the I'm-not-going-to-ask-you-what-you're-doing-for-christmas-lunch guilt trip yet? Of course not, the very idea, as if. I haven't told her yet that we are inviting ourselves over...

Aaaaaaaaaaaand breathe

*I get no kick from champagne. Mere alcohol doesn't thrill me at all..."
I do like a glass of ba'il.eys, or oooooh a bai.l'ey.s latte... or maybe a nice single malt whiskey, but very rarely. Alcohol was one thing I didn't need to give up when I was pregnant.

Friday 27 November 2009

A life well lived

My friend Susi died in her 80's after a long and well lived life. I went to her funeral this morning with my Mum. I count myself lucky to have known her smile for the short ten or so years that I did. I didn't see much of her this grieving year of mine and that I regret. I will miss her.

You might know that I have no religious beliefs, but my friend Susi did. So I went along with her many friends and large family to say goodbye at her church. I found myself shedding a tear for Susi's granddaughters who wrote a poem to their Oma* and cried through it's reading and the shy one who sang a song, and after, hugging her twin sister Hanna. But not for that long life filled with love and well lived. This is how it should be; the correct order of things: the old die and the young grieve. At the end the vicar said something that struck a chord in my battered heart.

She said that you should never try to fill the hole left by someone who has died. You should leave that space inside you just for them. Trying to fill that void will make grieving harder.

And don't we know it; grieving is hard enough as it is.

I have always maintained that I won't follow any grieving schedule. Those who think I should be "over it by now" are simply wrong. My journey is mine. If in a month or five, ten, fifteen years time I find myself stepping into that gloomy place again I know there is light on the other side and avoiding it will only make it loom larger and darker another day. I have to feel what needs to be felt.

There is a George shaped hole. The edges aren't so sharp after a year but the hole is still there and always will be.

It is how it is.

I miss my boy.

And I'm stepping back into the light.


PS. Sling some baby making vibes our way wilya please?

*Grandmother in German. Susi and Hanna escaped from East Germany after ww2 and eventually found themselves in England, Susi married a Polish man and had three sons and many grandchildren. Susi was variously a bookkeeper, a masseuse and beauty therapist, an administrator, stay at home mother and a home wine-maker. She took to computers in her 70's and often called on me to help solve a pc problem or go swimming with her. She always had a smile and a giggle.

Tuesday 24 November 2009

Chasing rainbows

Searching for light.

And trying to find the end of the rainbow.

Thursday 19 November 2009

Christmas is coming, oh shit.

We went christmas shopping today and managed to do most of it in one shop using their buy 2 get 1 free offer three times. It was Ray's idea to go shopping. *gasp*. I know, it made me *gasp* too.

We managed about 5 shops and one St,a,rb u.cks before we needed to escape. The coffee came before the shopping and yeees I'm still doing decaf. I'm also doing sleeping pills, but only when I have my period. I thought I might be pregnant this month, spotting on 11/12dpo and then nothing, period a day late: but it's here now so I'm not. Pffft. For one day I was almost convinced and bloody hell how my mind flew off into all sorts of directions. I'd like a co-sleeper cot, the cvs test was incredibly painful, I'll be pregnant in July, I hope it's not too hot, I'll get a baby sling, we'll find out the sex this time... and so on. Again. Pfffftt.

I dragged Ray into the @p.p.le store and drooled for a few minutes over the ma, c b.o0k p,r0 I'm planning on upgrading to at some point this century before remembering that I desperately needed the toilet and that I would rather be spending money-we-don't-have on a baby.

There were far too many babies being hauled around shops they were dressed far too warmly for. We should be preparing for 10 month old George's first Christmas.

We spent our first Christmas together alone with our landlord who came out Christmas afternoon to fix our burned out fuse box. Dinner was half cooked and then finished a few hours later. It was great.

We spent our second Christmas together mourning our son and listening to the friend we had invited round to take our minds off being alone talking about his sad life. It wasn't great.

This Christmas we will probably eat with my parents because quite honestly I don't know how many more Christmases there will be where my Dad remembers who we are. And my Mum is a better cook than both of us put together.

Next Christmas, despite the fact that I have no religious beliefs any more (not for many many years) I want to celebrate with my husband* and our baby**. Dammit.

The fairy lights I put up around our fireplace last year are still there. Last year I said I was going to leave them up for a new baby.*** Maybe I should dust the fireplace and rearrange them.

It's not even December yet but really, Bah humbug!

*no we're not married yet, despite the fact that Ray refers to me as his "missis", but we will be. Eventually.

**for goodness sake is it really too much to ask?

*** I know I said I'd be back with some light, do fairy lights count?

Wednesday 18 November 2009


Sometime around dark o'clock this morning I woke up. Snap. Wide awake. I awoke crying. I've no idea if I had a sad dream or it was triggered by those oh-so-unwanted premenstrual cramps.

I tried to keep it down but still managed to wake Ray who wrapped himself around me and kissed my neck.

"What's wrong poppet?"

"I miss our son and I want to be pregnant."

Yup, that's just about it.

I haven't had much to say lately (bloggers block?) but what more can I say at the moment when those ten words sum up everything in one dark little nutshell.

Notes to self:
Mustn't wipe nose on duvet.
Must find other thoughts to think.
Must cheer up.

Be back soon.


With some light.


Tuesday 17 November 2009

Angus Leo

If you haven't already, please go and congratulate our lovely Sally on the safe arrival of Hope Angel's little brother.

Welcome to the world Angus.

There's been so much love waiting for you.


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