Tuesday 31 March 2009

"Return to work"

We started painting late this morning because I had a scheduled home visit from my area manager to discuss my "return to work".

I told her that I had never felt so unwelcome anywhere in my life when I walked back into that workplace. I told her that my two co-workers has both left the little kitchen/office within a minute of me entering on my first day back, that there was no "Welcome back!" of any sort above a weakly smiled "morning". She asked me how they could help me "when" I return. "I don't know". I don't think there is anything that would ever make working there a comfortable experience again.

She wrote all of this down and I signed it. I cried (of course) and she said that it seemed as if I hadn't moved on from our last meeting.

I have. Indeed I have moved on a long way in my journey. But talking about my grief and talking about that place and the utter lack of compassion and for some reason, hostility from someone I once thought of as a friend brings on the tears.

But I'm ok now.

Meeting done, Ray and I trundled off to splosh some more paint about. Well, I splosh, he is definitely the professional in this situation. Although he has offered me the job of painters mate after my trial period so I can't be too bad. I'm giving the offer some considerable thought.

An overloaded veggie pizza and meat laden kebab later (we lazily ordered from the take out that Ray's brother works for so we got "extras") and the bloated poppets are off to bed.

Love to you all.

Monday 30 March 2009

The couple that work together...

... have creaking aching joints when they get home.

We have been decorating my parent's place while they take a few days break. It's been a while since I did any physical labour, so to speak, and oh my do I feel it this evening. But it felt good to be working in a non-toxic workplace even if my poppet does get to be boss!

I was on door painting duty while foreman Ray did the real work. Well, he's the professional, when I paint it tends to be a bit more haphazard and multi-coloured.

While I slopped paint on the doors I was planning how to paint the nursery that never got painted for George. Clouds, green grass, trees...

Grabbing kisses in between reloading rollers was fun, let's do it again tomorrow.

Sunday 29 March 2009

The other point of view

Ray went to see his friend last night. His friends wife and baby son have been in Russia since before Christmas entangled in Russian bureaucracy. They will be back soon. He has missed so much of his son's life and likes to show Ray the recordings from his webcam. Ray told him last night that he finds it hard to watch this son when his own is missing. His friends son is almost a year older than George would have been but they would have been brought together as friends. Ray's friend "went a bit quiet for a while".

Ray listens to me and he understands but he doesn't talk a great deal about George himself. He told me last night that none of his friends mention what happened with him and he thinks it's a sort of taboo subject with the "boys".

Saturday 28 March 2009

Open spaces

I've been grumpy and twitchy today, distracted and elsewhere, uncomfortable in my skin, lacking in concentration and clumsy. (I'm not pregnant)

Ray took me out this afternoon to find some space.

And some peace.

And we did.

Thursday 26 March 2009

Under the tree

If you don't know yet, the most wonderful Carly who gives so much of her time to write our babies names in the sand has started this wonderful idea of gathering us all together Under the tree to answer a few questions and support each other by commenting on those either new to blogging or lacking in comments.

And since Carly is my hero I'd like to play along!

Do you have a special place in your home for your baby/ies? What is it like? Do you have any rituals that you perform in memory of your baby/ies?

No, there's no one special place for George in our home. Many years ago Ray lost his father as a teenager and created a shrine to him, at some point he felt tied to it and felt that it didn't help him through his grief but rather made it much much worse. Ray struggled with his grief for many many years before finally letting go of his dad. I have resisted the urge to create a shrine and now I'm glad I did. George is everywhere.

I do love the place where we left George. Even though we've only been there twice; once to bury him and once to see if the bulbs we planted with him were blooming. It has a good feeling about it and I like to think of him running wild there. We're going back soon.

I suppose in a way my "shrine" is my necklace. George's name and date of birth. I feel as if it keeps him close. I touch it constantly through the day, I hold it between my lips or stroke the indentations of his stamped name. A touchstone.

If you believe in an afterlife, do you receive signs from your baby/ies? Have you ever felt their pressence? Do you find them in nature? Do they visit you in your dreams?

This is tough to explain. I don't believe in heaven or an afterlife but I do believe that when we die we don't just cease to exist. Our energy is transmuted into the essence of the earth. We become once again the stuff of stars of which we are made. Therefore George's energy is in and a part of every atom around us. He is with us. He is everywhere.

Do you have a special poem, song, prayer or quote in memory of your baby/ies?

No, there isn't one special song or poem. Different songs and different poems at different times speak to me, spark a thought or a tear or a memory and for a while they are George's.

The song you hear on this page was one that Ray transferred to an mp3 player which plugs into our car. The first time I heard it I said, "Oh". It's the beginning of our relationship all rolled into one song. It's not even particularly of a style that I like! It's all in the words. Ray's song for us is Elton John's "Your song." And he really isn't an Elton John fan even one little bit! But the words speak to him, and now they speak to me about my fiancé and my son.

"How wonderful life is while you're in the world."

It's a conspiracy

Thank you sweet ladies for your support yesterday it was much needed and so very gratefully received.

Love to you all.

Today I went swimming with my Mum. I thought it would be nice; we'd relax, exercise a little, and spend some time together.

This was another first. I haven't been swimming since I was pregnant and I only went once because my belly under the water just felt so wrong. I was so disappointed that day because I've always loved the water and I'd imagined myself floating around in maternal bliss. Maybe it was a sign that something wasn't right? Who knows, but it felt weird and I had a bit of a bleed after swimming that day so I didn't go again.

This day the pool started out with just a few retirees, my Mum and me. Then it started to fill up with Mums and babies and by the time we left I was on the brink of... something. I stood in my little shower booth listening to mums soothing their babies as they showered them and tried not to cry and failed. My Mum didn't notice though since my eyes are always a bit puffy after wearing goggles and I don't like her to worry about my mental state so I didn't tell her.

A bit later I went for a coffee with my friend. Guess what? Yes, a happy smiling Mum with a brand new baby.


I was thinking of writing off this week as the universe seems to want me full of tears.

On the other hand, my Mum really enjoyed her swim and it was good to chat with my friend.

And Ray and I have just been to an out of town shop and bought a new car stereo for even more booming bass (Ray swapped the heavy bass bin that took up all of our boot/trunk for a much smaller one that still rattles my spleen but doesn't threaten to turn it to mush). We got some potting soil and pots and I bought a blow torch. Ahhh good old retail therapy.

So maybe I will give this week one more chance.

Wednesday 25 March 2009

Every so often...

...grief grabs me by the throat and squeezes so very hard.

I was just looking through my photos to see what needed backing up and clicked on George's ultrasound at 16 weeks 5 days and almost howled with sadness.

It's not bloody fair.

Tuesday 24 March 2009


Ray tells everyone that I'm making jewellery. His Mum, his brothers and sisters, all of his friends. It's lovely to know that my poppet is proud of what I'm doing. It makes me stand just a little bit taller.

He has even procured a commission for me too! One of his friends wants me to turn his tattoo into a piece of silver jewellery. I think I can, I think I can...

And then I have a moment when I remember that in a very different reality I have no time for this. I was searching ebay for supplies when I cam across a listing for various pieces of sheet silver and the reason for sale? "I don't have time to continue making jewellery now that I have a new baby"

Monday 23 March 2009

Blank blog.

I'm feeling a bit blank in the blogging department today. Sometimes I have so many thoughts whizzing about my head that I can't type fast enough and others I just think... meh.

It's been an odd day. I woke up at my usual 7.30 and promptly fell asleep until 9.45. Ray of course didn't wake up until I exclaimed at the clock, *&%£$@*. Not that we had anywhere to be. No work for Ray today, my work is on the kitchen table.

A cup of tea in bed later and we got up, brunched, and set about a busy day doing very little.

I did finish three jewellery orders so perhaps I did a bit more than very little. Yay, posting tomorrow or wednesday. And I started on a new "battered heart".

I watered my seeds and whispered encouraging words, "grow dammit!" (nothing to do with babymaking, this isn't a new technique).

I put a load of washing out, again forgotten this evening. Oh-well-never-mind-eh.

And that's about it. Exciting huh? Today felt very normal. After the last couple of heightened emotion days it was a bit of a come down, albeit a welcome reprieve. Ah that rollercoaster.

Aww, I just saw Natalie's comment on yesterday's blog about getting her necklace. YAY!

Any one else got any mail?

Sunday 22 March 2009

Mothers day

I feel ok on this mothers day. I know you know what I mean by ok. I'm functioning well in this reality. I'm cheery because that's my natural state. I'm not plunging into the depths of despair and there were no tears this morning. Well, maybe a couple when I read your comments on yesterday's blog, but more smiles than tears! (Thank you once again for your understanding) I'm plodding on because there are people who need me to plod on but hey, plodding is fine for now, I don't want to curl up in a ball, I want to plod.

About 10 minutes drive from our home is a beautiful view. Behind us here is a large grassy area that in the summer is filled with deckchairs and beyond that is a road filled with hotels and pub/restaurants and cafes. Tourist town.

We went to see Ray's Mum last night and spent a lovely evening with Mum, the best Step-Dad in the world and hero worshipping younger brother.

My Mum was going out for lunch with my Dad today, she had assumed that we wouldn't want to celebrate mothers day but there was ABSOLUTELY NO WAY she was cooking her OWN lunch on mothers day! So we told her we wanted to pop in and give her a card and some flowers. When we got there we surprised her by saying we would take them out to lunch. We had a lovely lunch in a cliff cafe looking at that lovely view. Not the special double-the-price mothers day meals in most over-crowded places, just a sandwich, salad and french fries. But it was lovely.

Mum was happy, Dad was happy.
Our work here is done.

My Mum is as happy as me when having her photo taken
and I have many many photos of her much the same as this.

Saturday 21 March 2009

Another ticket for the roller coaster?

This morning we talked about how scared we are. How simply utterly terrified. How Ray sometimes feels that we're setting ourselves up for more pain and even wonders if it's all worth it. How sex is different now, how we need it to be about making love as well as, and possibly even more than about making a baby.

I finally admitted to Ray and to myself that in the back of my mind I wonder what I did wrong. Why didn't I know that George had died inside me? Sometimes I feel that I failed to keep my son safe. I failed as a mother before I got a chance to be a mother.

I've skirted around these thoughts since we lost him and even more so since the scan that told us that the evilfibroids might not have been the cause. I know it wasn't my fault. I know I couldn't have done anything to save him, I know I shouldn't torture myself. But the thoughts still creep in, blocking out the light every so often.

And there is a lot of light these days.

I ended up sobbing, almost hyperventilating. "I can't turn the bloody tap off". It frustrates me that I can't talk about it all without crying. It feels like a barrier that can and does stop me from expressing myself clearly. I don't mind crying one little bit, it's a normal natural part of grieving. I would just like to be able to talk about things without the tears getting in the way. I don't want to upset Ray with my tears so I'll just keep quiet and what? Stew? Hmmm, probably not the best idea. This is the main reason for me deciding to try counselling again. I need strategies.

I failed.

All through my life I've wrestled with feelings of inadequacy. I was the chubby child who entered puberty just a little too early, who became a little too self-conscious, who didn't get the great boyfriend. The comfort eater who grew a layer of fat to protect herself from the world. The overweight adult who would rather let herself be treated badly so as not to be alone. The adult paralysed by fear of what others might think.

I am not that person any more.

I haven't been that person for a long time. And it wasn't Ray that saved me, although he has made my life wonderful. I saved myself. I sorted my head out myself. I no longer care what people think of me. Like me or don't, either is fine. I accepted who I am, the positive and the negative. The easy going relaxed me and the uptight self-conscious scared me. I like me. And the me that I like is loved. Genuinely, positively, unconditionally loved. By Ray and by me.

You might want to call me a late bloomer!

But every so often, at vulnerable moments, (and they don't come much more vulnerable than losing a baby) the old me pops up. Here have another biscuit, it'll make you feel better. Bury your feelings, don't tell anyone. You're not good enough, don't even try. Fortunately the old me doesn't really fit any more and doesn't get to hang around too long.

Of course there is the all-new new me now. The mother to a dead child who will go to lunch with her own mother tomorrow and celebrate the mothers day she should have been celebrating with George and Ray. And who will genuinely smile and laugh whilst keeping a small tight heavy grieflet of pain tucked out of view, because my mother deserves to be put first for the day.

Who has no answers and is ok with that.

Ray says that love is like a stone that you have to keep polishing. We did some serious heavy duty polishing today.

Friday 20 March 2009

The hookey we played.

All rested now, a days jewellery making done and dusted, or filed and polished and settling down with a cup of tea after dinner (pasta in spinach sauce, gotta get that iron!). Ray is happily killing and maiming with Gra.nd Th.eft Au.to 4 and I'm ready to tell you about our escape on thursday.

Ray came running back into the house after checking the wallpaper he'd put up the day before. Still damp? Can't paint? Let's go!

So we did. And drove 80 miles to Portland. Home of Portland Bill, Portland stone, and inspiration for Portland Bill.

Not my photo!

We started with the medieval castle...But I got distracted by a jetty...

...to nowhere.

And the water...

...not that I'm easily distracted.

Then we drove further around the island that isn't.

And I spotted this. It was right at the edge of the cliff and looked abandoned. I'm still trying to figure out what it is but I think I want one.

We drove on to Portland bill lighthouse. Note the blue sky Sally, the sun does shine in England! (it was bloody windy though!)

My favourite subject for a Ray photo... Ray taking photos and unaware of the camera. When he's aware of the camera pointing at him I usually get obscene gestures to stop me clicking. Bad boy.

A rugged and wild place.

Back on the other side of the island that wasn't we drove up up up to get good view. You can see the isthmus that joins it to mainland Britain.

And the coast in the distance.

We tried to drive higher, but we were stopped.

And we decided that we weren't really that bothered about getting a higher view. (click to read)

On the way down we stopped for a cup of tea and noticed a bird sitting on a pony, something in it's beak.

The crow was pulling hair from the pony's back and flying off to build it's nest and then returning to pull some more. The pony didn't seem to mind in the least. Maybe it was glad of a little spring grooming.

The light fading we made one last stop at a pebbly beach.

Where I had a little dream.
Of things that might have been and still might be...

Thursday 19 March 2009

Playing hookey

Ray couldn't do his painting today due to still-damp wallpaper so came home and said "let's go".

So we went.

Photos tomorrow.

Too tired to do anything other than leave a few comments.

Brain shutting down.

Tired poppets off to bed.

Love to you all.


Wednesday 18 March 2009

Mish mash*

*Or, I can't think of anything even vaguely profound to write today so here, have some silly photos and a button.

I worked on some jewellery this morning, made some tea, made lunch for my poppet who is once again working across the road, made a cuppa because birni said we should, read some blog posts and cried and laughed and grieved along with you, made tea, thought of George, put some washing out (oops forgot it, it's still outside in the dark, oh-well-never-mind-ay) checked to see if the seeds I planted yesterday had germinated (no) made more tea, peed on a get-ready-for-emergency-sex stick** (no)... you see, not a terribly exciting day. What to blog about?

So Ray shared I stole two of Ray's photos today from our trip to Glastonbury. I do so love having my photo taken***.

Look at me look at me look at me!
Getting in the way of Ray trying to take photos of old buildings,
sheesh, I need your attention more than a pile of old bricks.

And, almost preternatural in it's accuracy before-the-fact,
this is the face you will see when when when we get those two lines.
Imagine a hand holding up a peed-on-stick and you just about have it.

And no that's not a bad 80's Human League stylee lopsided haircut, I have one side tucked behind my ear. And it was very windy at the top of that hill. And it was a bit frizzy that day.****

And finally, if anyone would like to put my brand-new-made-today shop button on their blog just copy the code here and stick it somewhere in your sidebar and there you are. And if you don't want to I won't be at all offended. Not a bit. Nope*****. (first batch posted yesterday morning!) And I revamped my shop's banner so you might want to scoot on over for a look!

**I seem to have developed an-uncontrollable-urge to hyphenate-every-word-I-can.
***blatant lie
****excellent bad hair day excuses
*****not a blatant lie


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