Friday 29 January 2010

Bird brained

Many of you have written about a particular creature representing your lost little one. Butterflies, ladybirds, birds etc and I have always liked the idea of George visiting us in animal form but never really thought that much about it. Until recently.

We have a few robins living along the row of back gardens and they often sit on the fence and watch us when we are gardening Ray is gardening. Of course it's something Robins are well known for doing; they have learned to wait for you to turn the earth and expose something juicy for lunch. They had a veritable slugfest after we Ray cleared our back back garden.

Lately, it seems that nearly everywhere we go a robin or two pops up to greet us... Of course we're never carrying bird seed or slugs with us on that day but they edge ever closer in hope.

And so I have decided that George is sending these little messengers to tell us that he is around, and could we please feed the birds in the back garden.

Tomorrow I will be mixing seeds into melted lard (yuck yuck yuckity yuck) for our back garden robins... and blackbirds and thrushes and wrens and finches... and squirrels.

Wednesday 27 January 2010

Just Those Few Weeks

Just Those Few Weeks
by Susan Erlin

For those few weeks-
I had you to myself.
And that seems too short of time
To be changed so profoundly.
In those few weeks-
I came to know you...
And to love you.
You came to trust me with your life.
Oh, what a life I had planned for you!
Just those few weeks-
When I lost you,
I lost a lifetime of hopes,plans, dreams, and aspirations...
A slice of my future simply vanished overnight.
Just those few weeks-
It wasn't enough time to convince others
How special and important you were.
How odd, a truly unique person has recently died
And no one is mourning the passing.
Just a mere few weeks-
And no "normal" person would cry all night
Over a tiny, unfinished baby,
Or get depressed and withdraw day after endless day.
No one would, so why am I?
You were just those few weeks my little one
You darted in and out of my life too quickly.
But it seems that's all the time you needed
To make my life so much richer-
And give me a small glimpse of eternity.

holding you with love dear friend 


Tuesday 26 January 2010

Caption competition

No prizes, just for fun.

I'll go first shall I?

"Me and teh kitteh we has suspishuns."


Thursday 21 January 2010

Two toilet rolls

It's getting closer to OVULATION TIME now and I am wondering how we'll manage the deed with drippy noses and very little enthusiasm for anything other than non-blocked doses. "Hey Poppid, by righd dostril is clear! Woo hoo achoo!"

Ok, here's the thing.

IF I ovulate on schedule and IF we managed to get pregnant this month and IF I managed to keep the baby safe inside my belly until it was ready to be born ALIVE 
THEN our due date would be VERY close to George's day.

HMMM, and how would we feel about that then? Well, due dates are only estimations and I won't can't take the chance of missing a chance to conceive and some perverse part of me would really like to give birth to a living breathing screaming baby on that day because then it wouldn't be just a day of death and at least we wouldn't be following the same timeline. The point is, I think, that I wouldn't be 20 weeks and 5 days on that day.

Anyhow... I'll process all that if I have to and dear Universe I would very much like to have to process thoughts like that if you don't mind very much thank you.

IN THE MEANTIME If you have a moment over the next few days please  ZAP us with some super energised, clear nosed conception vibes!

Because I have to hang on to HOPE don't I?

Oh yes, two toilet rolls? One each. A whole toilet roll each for drips and blows and snuffles over the course of two colds x 2 people.

Dads enuf dow. I'b doroughly fed ub wid habing a code id by dose.


Tuesday 19 January 2010


Please go and wrap your arms and hearts around Bir at All the little ponies.

She is miscarrying her rainbow baby and could do with some support.

Thank you friends.

Sunday 17 January 2010

Just in case... think I'm melancholy all the time.

Rejoice with me dear reader for I think I've fixed the commenting problem!

Friday 15 January 2010

My day

Ray and I doze in bed and he suddenly moves his hand as if scratching, "I was dreaming of scratching your back" and I laugh.

I get up and put on my necklace and wear my son's name.

The cats follow me around our flat insisting on breakfast and then watch me shower. They watch me eat toast. They chase my shoelaces.

I walk into town watching the pavement.

My Mum bumped into a couple she hadn't seen for quite a while, "How are you getting on with your grandchild?".

My Mum holds my hand while I cry in the coffee shop and says, "It will happen if it's meant to" and I feel like screaming. I drink my decaf vanilla latte instead.

We bumped into a couple my Mum knows, she introduced me, "So, any grandchildren?"

My friend K, whose sister is dying too quickly of bowel cancer, smiles, makes jokes, hugs and makes everything just that little bit better.

My Dad forgets the word for "lift" (elevator) and I wish I could make him better. I make him smile instead.

Ray sends me sweet texts and comes to collect me from my parents place and my Dad shakes his hand.

I wash the dishes and Ray hugs me tight from behind, because it's his turn and I'm doing it because he feels ill (definitely not man-flu).

I sit down with a purring kitteh cuddling and find some peace.

Wednesday 13 January 2010

Coming apart at the seams

Well dear reader, I am feeling a little less hormonally challenged today, you'll be pleased to hear. I have had my monthly moan and groan and now I'm mustering the strength for another cycle of hope.

However, to add insult to injury... or maybe injury to insult... although I'm not sure where the insult lies... unless the insult is to my psyche...

Anyway, having seen Dr Compassion today and doing my customary burst of tears as soon as I sit down, "No we're not pregnant yet. Yes, I feel like crap about it". I mentioned that my shoulder had been hurting. Quite a lot actually but only when I try to put my arm up in the air or my hand behind my back or lie on my left side or...

Well the upshot is I've damaged the ligaments in my shoulder and I need a cortisone injection or physiotherapy. Hmmm.... physio please! I have no idea how this happened, my shoulder just started hurting one day and didn't stop.

So next week I am seeing an orthopaedic surgeon to discus my crunchy arthritic toes and now a physio to discuss my shoulder. The following month I'm seeing a fertility nurse to discus my ladyparts and at some point I'm seeing the mental nurse to discus my mental state.

I think that's enough now oh magnificent and marvellous universe. Enough balls in the air. Enough appointments to remember. Enough parts misbehaving. Enough. Mmmkay?

The good news is that my plantar fasciitis is more or less healed. Whoop.

You may have noticed that I have changed my blog about a bit yet again, it isn't finished yet but do let me know if there's something not working.

If by any chance the comments aren't working please email me and let me know.

I would be particularly interested in your opinions of my new, "about me" link, oh
go on, have a read.

Monday 11 January 2010

Today I have nothing left

Tomorrow I'll get over it, again and start the plod through yet another month with no baby outside and no baby intside.

But just for a couple of days, at the end of a cycle, I'm a whole mess of jibbering blubbering hope. Of course on the surface I am the picture of calm (ahem) but inside my head... peee-ow... stand back.

These are the in between days when there is a tiny possibility of sunshine even though the general forecast is for rain.

I never realised just how much I wanted to be a mother until I finally met the man I wanted to father my children and heard him say, "I think we'd make good parents". I never realised how much I really wanted to be a mother until our baby died and we met our son. I didn't know how much I wanted that life until the point when I was just 7 weeks pregnant with George and dreamed of bleeding and then woke to bleeding.

At 39 I had pushed the thought of mummyhood to the very dusty corners of my mind and covered it over with an old threadbare rug. Mother, baby, parent, father, child, mummy, daddy. And then I met Ray.

At 42, at 13dpo I feel it slipping away. How long do we carry on trying for? Or, how much longer can I cope with trying? Could I cope with not trying? We have another appointment with the fertile nurse in February. I wonder if they can or will help us. We can't afford private treatment so this is it.

I think I'm going to rearrange my blog again. I might change it's title. I'm going to wash the kitchen floor. I should be changing nappies not cleaning out a litter box. Must finish some jewellery. I miss the life we don't have. Rice and veg for dinner. Need to change the bed. Distractions.

These are the ramblings of a premenstrual, hormonally challenged mind and in no way represent said mind's normal state of being. (Well, maybe a teeny tiny bit.) The author is in no way seeking pity but simply spewing said ramblings into space to remove them from the space between her ears. However the odd "Awww" or "Hug" is most welcome.

Friday 8 January 2010

Cooking with Barb

Spicy lentil and tomato soupstew, stoup or perhaps stewp.

Make Quinovegbean burgers:
1 of each grated; onion, carrot, courgette. 4 sundried tomatoes rehydrated in boiling water for 20 mins. 1 can of mixed beans. 1/2 can chick peas, 1 cup quinoa (uncooked volume then cook it as per instructions and don't use all of it because you made too much) cook grated stuff in pan for 5 mins or so, add beans, chick peas & quinoa. Mash up roughly in pan then let cool. Shape into burgers (10 or 12). Cook in oven on low for 40 minutes. Cool. Freeze. Congratulate yourself on saving heaps of money by not buying expensive veggie burgers.

(That's my Mum's brown crock pot under the quinovegbean burgers that I have been baking my bread in)

Decide to carry on cooking.

Don't think of it as a recipe but more of a guideline...
  • 2 medium or 3 small onions (I used organic red onions because they were on sale at the supermarket)
  • 2 medium carrots (organic of course)
  • 2 small potatoes (not organic, boo)
  • 1tbspn chopped/minced/grated garlic or as much as you like
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups red lentils (12 - 16oz in volume no idea in metric) I used 2 cups for a thick soup
  • Small amount of cooked quinoa left over from making quinobeanveg burgers this morning (you may omit this if you like)
  • 1/2 can chickpeas (other half being quinobeanveg burger ingredients add a whole can if you didn't use half earlier)
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes or 1 can tomatoes chopped with any yukky stalky hard bits removed
  • About a tbsp of tomato puree/tomato concentrate
  • About 2 1/2 pints (1 1/2 litres?) veg stock/liquid remembering that stock cubes/instant stock is salty and not adding any extra salt as Poppet is not supposed to eat too much salt because of his Meniere's disorder. In this 2 pints of liquid I included the leftover sauce from a can of mixed beans in chilli sauce (quinobeanveg burger ingredient) and the water from soaking some sun dried tomato (also quinovegburger ingredient) Improvise people, come on!
  • Spices*
  • Big pot
  • Some time

1. Chop onions into a small dice with lightening speed like a pro

2. Wash blood from onions and cook in about a tablespoon of olive oil in your big pot until soft.

3. Very slowly and carefully chop carrot and potato into small pieces and add to pot.

4.*Add spices, whatever you like/have. I added turmeric, chilli powder and flakes, ground black pepper, garam masala, ginger, jerk seasoning, piri piri seasoning and a little dollop of red hot chilli sauce.

5. Add tomatoes and liquids, turn heat up and give it a stir.

6. Add 1 1/2 - 2 cups red lentils and 1/2 can chickpeas

7. Turn up heat and simmer for a few minutes.

8. Stir.

9. And keep stirring whilst trying to stop girl kitteh from clawing your leg for attenshun.

10. Lower heat quite a lot, stir until soupstew has stopped trying to escape, put the lid on and simmer for anything between 40mins and an hour stirring occasionally, tasting and adding a bit more spice, a splosh of pasta sauce from the fridge and perhaps a bit more water.

11. Wonder if stewp is your forte? Soupew?

12. Wait.....

13. While waiting make warming ginger tea to help chase away the snotty, sneezy, grotty cold that is absolutely not making Poppet accuse me of having man-flu. I am ill dammit!

14. Preserved ginger cut into bits (or fresh ginger or ground ginger) + honey + lemon + boiling water + "brewing" for 5 mins = nice spicy warm drink ( I take the ginger out before drinking) Wrap self in blanky, add 2 cats for warmth and wait a bit more.

15. Stop waiting.

16. Decide whether you want a chunky soupstew or a smooth thickstewpoup.

17. Whizz it in a blender for a smooth consistency, or set about it with a potato masher it and serve less chunky but not really smooth if you can't face having to wash your blender.

18. Congratulate yourself on making healthy food, remembering to take a few photos and showing off on blog.

19. Eat.

Wednesday 6 January 2010

Day 443

George would have been bundled up in his cosy snowsuit and probably tottering between us, Mummy and Daddy with a hand each. We would have let him touch and taste the snow, lie down in it if he wanted. We would have made him a snowman to trample. He would have been rosy cheeked and happy. Definitely happy. It's my fantasy after all, we are always happy.
As it is we made a snowman for ourselves. You can see Ray to the right of this photo and the tracks are his rolling tracks.

He rolled his snowball around and around watched and emulated by several children. I rolled my snowball around a bit less and made the head. We laughed. We gave him a punk hairdo and a winking eye just to be "funky". And left him with the hope that we will see him again at the weekend when we take Ray's sister and niece to play.

After the snowman challenge we warmed ourselves in the car with hot tea and watched a young couple pull up in their car and unload their two young daughters, one just walking. They were all woefully under-dressed for snow. Mum had on her leggings and a "fashion" coat, and Dad's jeans barely covered his bum. I had on four top layers under my coat and two pairs of jeans and I was still chilly (yea I know, wimp). They spent less than 10 minutes in the snow before bundling their girls back into the car and driving off. I hadn't even begun my tea. We chuckled at their un-preparedness and tears quietly pricked my eyes. We could do better. Why not us? It's not bloody fair.

Reading blogs this morning I was struck by a few sentences in Leila's mommy's blog.
"sure, from their standpoint i am free now. i can do all the things that i would have had to give up had Leila not died."
There's no freedom in being parent to a dead baby. Whatever we do he is there, just out of sight, just out of reach. When we are adventuring I sometimes forget to stop myself before I mentally list the things we would need and the things we would do with our boy. Even now after 443 days without him. Maybe it's just the ex-nanny in me but it is exhausting at times and I would dearly like to. let. it. go. I'm trying.

I have spent this last year doing many things with the ghost of my son in my head and the back seat of our car.

I am frightened by the thought that we might not be able to have another child, that I am too old, and that I will only ever get to parent George's ghost. That can't be right.

I try to keep all of those thoughts at bay and live in the moment but I don't always succeed.

I am trying.

Always trying.

Saturday 2 January 2010

Two year bread

On new years eve we decided to stay in, or rather we decided not to go out and find some fireworks to watch from a distance; staying in is the cosy norm.

At 10.30pm I decided to make some bread. Yes, what an exciting life we lead. Ah but not just any bread; bread that would travel from one year to the next. No knead bread that rises over 18 hours. Have you ever tried it? Slopped the ingredients around in a bowl and left them in a warmish place away from inquisitive kittehs.

On new years day we drove into Cornwall to Looe. (about an hour and a half away) And so, apparently, did everyone else. It was as crowded as a summers day but not quite as warm.

Fortunately Unfortunately, as we got to the beach the people were starting to leave with the sun.

About 5pm and it was time to hit the road before the frost did.

Almost home and we had to stop and take some photos of the orange moon.

It really was this colour.

While we defrosted back at home, I let the bread have it's second proving and then baked it whilst...

Puurrrr! I needs some fussin, not that silly laptop.

Hmmmm... I say wasn't that the oven timer?

No? Oh well, now that you're distracted... just around the neck please...

A little later...
It smelled lovely.
It looked good.

Cor. I think this might be the best bread I have ever baked.

And I gave up any pretence (in my head) that this bread was a deep symbolic connection between the year gone and the one to come and simply enjoyed saying, "Would you like some bread? I made it last year but it tastes fine"

And it does. Taste fine. Indeed.

Friday 1 January 2010

Wishes and hopes for a new decade

I hope that 2010 will be fruitful for you in all your endeavours and
especially if you are trying to conceive.

I wish a year filled with love for you.

I wish that all your troubles are little ones.

I wish that all your obstacles are surmountable.

I know that the turn of a calendar page doesn't necessarily change things but;
In 2010 I hope that your grief weighs a little lighter and peace spreads a little deeper,
or perhaps begins to take hold.

I wish everything for you that I wish for myself.

I wish that your 2010 will be filled with happiness and joy.
Even if it's just a glimmer.
Hang on to that glimmer.

And if ever you feel that dark and heavy sadness enveloping you
and your heart starts cracking open all over again,
please remember that you are not alone.
You are not alone.

Thank you for sticking with me during this long, troubled year without George.

I hope that you will stay with me for the next year, whatever it holds.

And if you have a moment, please send a few heavy duty baby vibes our way.
No, really. Seriously heavy duty, industrial scale baby vibes needed over here.
*waves arms in air frantically*


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