Sunday, February 22, 2009

Day 75 of the crash

Some hours of the day I feel like I am getting back to some kind of normality but it never lasts. I have not made it to a day full day yet without the clouds engulfing me at some stage. I am angry and so upset at WHY?!

Last night I was doing some embroidery for my God Daughter who I get to see next week and I got so upset. It's not that I don't want to see her I do, I miss not having her and her brothers around. I just wish with every breath that I was taking Sophie to see her. I SHOULD be taking Sophie to meet her lifelong friends. I wish the 3 kids would look over her with amazement and Abbey would finally have another girl to play with. I thought going to sleep would help my mood but it was still there when I woke up. Today is yet another crying day for the should have beens.

It is 75 days since our world came crashing down and it feels like forever. Life all around us is moving like it always has and I am beginning to become envious of it. I am envious of people in the street not hurting like me. These people laugh, they have children and are oblivious to how horrible life can be. I have noticed though people around us are beginning to not even ask how we are now. How easily they all move about with such unawareness. In their minds it was last year but it is only 75 DAYS!! Life is just so empty now.

Sometimes I wish I could go back to the naive happy person I once was. But then I realise I would never have known Sophie and that would be horrible cause she was amazing. She was so special to us and had such personality I can't imagine never knowing her. The months we spent knowing her was worth more than most things in this world. We travelled, we laughed, we sang, we danced and she loved it all... she showed us in so many ways.

A few busy weeks coming up to keep me occupied but it's almost like I don't want to face them. Everything I do now I do with the knowledge that I am creating memories without Sophie and that is excruciating and so unfair. We will have our first holiday without her, without her, without her... those words still don't seem real. The last time we were on a plane we laughed at how different it was going to be next time with her. I would not care if she screamed the whole way!

I miss you so much Sophie Bear.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Red with Racing Stripes

Yet another message from the universe! As I walked into my parents house yesterday I was faced with a big red toy with racing stipes. Ordinarily this would mean nothing, a child’s bike.. who really cares, red goes faster. This matched the coloured pram we had chosen for Sophie so to me it was another painful reminder. We chose the pram 'cause red went faster'...was our joke. Something so small made me lose it. No one else knew why... Adrian would have known had he been here.

Today I spent time playing with my 15 month old nephew who is growing up so fast. He's running around and talking to me in some gibberish language of course I should understand. He is so innocent and sweet and often just smiles flashing his new found teeth. Watching him is painful but he knows nothing of our pain. I didn't think I would be as affected by him as I was. How cruel that something so wonderful could be such a horrible reminder. When he smiled I wanted to know what Sophie's smile would be like at 15 months! Without even thinking everything I was doing today was wishing I could have this chance with Sophie. We would have just stared at her for days on end and when she was bigger played with her till she was too tired to play anymore. WHY DIDN'T WE GET A CHANCE?? I wonder if this will ever go away. Will we be forever comparing kids to our gorgeous baby? Will our lives never stop hurting?

So the red racing stripes brought me down and I cried in my mothers arms again. She doesn't know what to say to take away my pain. She doesn't need to say anything... she's my mum.

Monday, February 16, 2009

PS: I love you

The first time I watched this movie was on a plane to NY and I absolutely loved it. It touched me in so many ways. I remember thinking this would be something I would do if I ever had to say goodbye to Adrian. Watching it this morning made me think a little differently. I almost died 2 months ago giving birth to my beautiful girl...I would never have had the chance to set up letters and loving moments to help Adrian move on.

So now I now sit here but I often wonder why. If I was facing the pearly gates on 14th December I would have told God to let Sophie go back to be with her daddy and to take me. A mother’s instinct? Every mum wants to keep their children safe. I would not have thought twice about that moment. But I never got the chance. I woke up into this nightmare I now call my life, but I still have my wonderful Adrian, my tower of strength and reason.

He has a very different view. Adrian almost lost me. In 2008 with all the medical advances he was almost a widow. He sat with his warm newborn baby girl and wondered if he would lose us both. How hard it must have been for him to not know what was happening? How cold would his world have been losing his daughter and the girl of his dreams all in one moment? I only went to sleep and woke up childless.

This is the reason we will be crying, talking and crying some more about the future. We want a family so very much and having Sophie only instilled that need more in both of us. The risk so we are told could be fatal to me and any future baby... 'could be'.. I want a definite YES or NO! Statics’ mean nothing.. we have kicked statics’ butts lately, I don't need anymore numbers.

Why is that though? Before I had a hole that didn't heal, now I have a few stitches and 2 scars which would surely be stronger than the hole which stretched and took Sophie. Surely monitoring the areas and testing while a baby grows would help predict any problems and we could deliver early. Sophie was 4 weeks bigger in size and health when she was born! We could have taken her early and she would be here right now. Right now nothing makes sense and I am angry at why this happened and saddened by the future.

I do know that I want to make Adrian a daddy which he so deserves and right now I want to ignore the risk and try again. I don't mean ignore but we would work with the Doctors and make this risk as low as possible. In my heart I want to do it now but I know it is going to take time to heal before we even consider this as an option. I also know that I am missing and grieving for my Sophie so much and maybe this makes me want it so much more. I also want to be here to be a mum, we both agree there is no point doing this journey if I am not in the equation. So we have another 15 months of whatifs and a million conversations before any decisions are made... complete torture!

Other options? Absolutely! Adoption in Australia, overseas adoption, surrogacy in Australia and overseas are all possible. Right now I remember the joy we both had watching Sophie grow, feeling her move, loving her completely and that is that is hard to compete with. It's whether we are willing to risk our lives that is the question.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Sophie in the Sand...

Thank you Carly for writing Sophie's name on Christian's beach... it is beautiful! Taking your lead we will be writing her name everywhere we go.

She is in heaven with her 'Tiger'.. we love them both so much!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Bereavement means, literally, to be deprived by death

We saw a counsellor last night, not that we don't talk to each other but I think it helped just having open discussions with another person. It changes nothing though, Sophie is still not here and we are still heartbroken but to know that you are not going insane is a good thing. We are passing through the steps of grief which is apparently the physical sign of a loss. After we go through the motions of Denial (is seeing flashes of us doing things with Sophie denial...yep), Anger (oh we are soooo angry... why were we chosen to walk this path), Bargaining (I wished it was me and not her), Depression (not being able to speak and hiding away from the world) and Acceptance (not in this lifetime), there is yet another acronym TEAR.

T = To accept the reality of the loss (not sure we will for a while yet)
E = Experience the pain of the loss (constantly)
A = Adjust to the new environment without the lost object (trying to)
R = Reinvest in the new reality (beginning to build this but how hard it is!)

Still today seems to be a good day. If there is a 'normal' at this time I guess I feel it a little. We had some hand and feet casts made of Sophie and today I dropped off the photo of her we chose for the frame. I cannot wait to bring it home. It's like there is a piece of her with us. I am so glad we made that decision... no regrets was all we were thinking while she was with us.

My favourite thing to do at the moment is go with Adrian and my girls for a walk each night after the heat has settled. Adrian picks me Frangipani's as we walk and we often come home and lay on the grass looking at the stars with the puppies. We always talk to Soph! Sammy J 11 and Emma 1o are both getting on and it's good to check so we are going to the vet today for a check up. Sam had cancer last year and we fought with her through it.. 13 months on she is doing well but for old bones which is expected.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The real world

When I cam home from hospital I was unable to do anything psychically and emotionally I was a complete mess. As much as I wanted to go out there was no way I was able. At times it drove me nuts but then slowly my home became my hideaway and eventually my sanctuary. I was allowed to cry, watch bad movies, cry some more and sleep in the hope that I would wake up from the nightmare. I found such comfort in these walls. I don't have to see the neighbours, don't have to answer the phone, I don't have to tell my story again to someone new...I can get comfortable and wait for the day to finish and see Adrian again.

Today was the first day I stepped out into the real world without Adrian. I figured a Wednesday morning would be pleasant enough to throw myself into it. To be honest I had never taken much notice of what happens in a shopping centre but I quickly learned that although there are less people mid week the people shopping are all happy mothers with their babies!! Oh give me a break! The universe was sending me yet another crappy reminder message... AS IF I DON'T KNOW!!

There I was standing at the checkout at Ikea minding my own business. Bored I stupidly looked around only to see 3 women behind me with their items and their babies! I stood there and fought back the tears. Why can't I try some innocent shopping without wanting to run home and cry my eyes out? I take one big step and then end up being pushed back 10. When will simple tasks not hurt?

Bad Mood

Apparently I am in a bad mood today. I wonder why!!!??? I am not meant to be living this life! I am meant to be at home having sleepless nights and baby brain. I am meant to be staring at her in awe at how something so amazing can come from us. Instead I am living a nightmare I cannot wake up from. I am confused, upset, and unable to focus on anything for longer than what seems like a few minutes. Not only have we lost out child but with it my confidence and self esteem has been smashed, the happy go lucky person I was before all this seems so far away. I want to go back to the innocent days when we were married and all life had to offer was possibility.

Why do bad things, I mean terrible things happen to GOOD PEOPLE! There are so many horrible people out there who have kids and treat them like dirt, yet we now have to find other ways to have a family.

I wasn't being greedy...all I wanted was SOPHIE!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Sophie Cleo's Story

We found out we were having a girl on the day we were to fly out to Egypt. For whatever reason I was convinced we were having a boy and was genuinely shocked when the 19 week ultrasound showed we were having a girl. I instantly became completely besotted with the fact that I would have a little girl to show the ropes of life. We travelled so excited about the possibilities and had decided on the name Sophie while floating on the river Nile near Luxor. Sophie was a Queens name and as a second name as we were among the Pharaohs what better name than Cleo! So from then it was Sophie Cleo. Adrian (hubby) even crumbled and bought us both a 'Cleopatra' cartouche we could both wear.

Life was fantastic and Sophie kept growing and growing.

By the 28the week as I had had previous issues and the fact that I was small for my due date my doctor wanted to send me for a growth scan. Instead of being underweight Sophie was in the 95th percentile. Two weeks later she had reached the 97th! I fronted to the OB the following day feeling so happy and healthy and so excited. We had the discussion around dates around 19th Jan for a caesarean and agreed this was the safest way to deliver.

I had however been feeling pain for the last few months in the lower left part of my stomach and feeling like I needed to support Sophie. I had even looked at buying a support of some kind but these were usually used for women having multiple births and I was small for the size of her. It was assumed these were normal growing pains of pregnancy. I found getting up and down from a sitting position was always painful for the first few steps and as time went on Adrian commented a few times at how other pregnant women we knew glided along and I looked like I was constantly struggling. I am certain these early signs.

It was a Friday morning and I was 32 weeks and I woke up in a fair amount of pain. Never having been in labour before called the birthing clinic to find out what I needed to do. They suggested the normal have a shower, food, panadol and try and rest. After 3 1/2 hours of nothing working we went to the hospital.

Sophie was monitored with 150bpm, the pain was still there and there was a suggestion of a urinary tract infection. I had had them before and this was nothing like what I had experienced but I was told it could be more painful in pregnancy. We waited... After almost 3 hours the doc arrived and admitted me for monitoring. My OB was away that day but was coming back that night to see me. The pains were still there but were less frequent and there was no sign of labour. Getting out of bed and walking was painful and I felt the need to hold my stomach as a support when I walked.

The following day the pain was less severe and I was able to move about more. Getting out of bed was easier and I was more relaxed. Sophie was still sitting around 150bpm and was kicking as normal. I remember the monitoring hurt that afternoon and continued for about an hour after the monitor was taken off. Still not knowing what was wrong and trying to eliminate things I was kept in overnight again. So Sat night around midnight Adrian went home and I went off to sleep.

Just after 1am I was woken up with severe pains in my upper abdomen. It felt like I was being cut with a knife across my whole stomach.. I was in agony. I called for the nurse, the scale of pain was at a 10. Both our heartbeats were normal at this point, Sophie seemed to not be stressing. They called my OB and a midwife came in to ask me some questions and I was rushed to the birthing suite.

There were so many people around me, monitors, and midwives. My doctor was trying to find her heartbeat but it was very faint. We saw Sophie on the ultrasound; her heart beat was about 90bpm. She was still kicking, but the kicks were painful. All I could do was look at Adrian and get strength from him. Then I felt another kick which was like a knife had stabbed me. At that moment I was I was rushed into theatre like a scene out of ER. I remember looking at my doctors face and seeing such fear in his eyes. I thought and prayed.. worst case would be that if I woke up with a hysterectomy but I had my baby girl life was perfect.

Our beautiful 2.5 kilo girl had kicked through the upper part of my uterus and ruptured it completely, I was bleeding internally. Her oxygen was cut off instantly; there is less than a 4 minute time frame as once the uterus is broken. They tried for over half and hour to revive her while my doctor saved my life, I had a 50:50 chance of survival.

Sophie was brought out to Adrian after 1/2 and hour and he spent the next few hours talking and cuddling our little miracle. How I wish I was able to feel her warmth as he did.

Almost 5 hours later I woke up in intensive care and saw Adrian at the end of the bed, I was still surrounded by theatre staff and tried to focus on his face. He came up to me and held my hand. I heard him ask if anyone had spoken to me and the doctor was about to. I focused again and looked for a sign but saw tears in his eyes. I raised my eyebrows in anticipation and he shook his head. At the same time my doctor held my other hand and they were both in tears. His words were not real, "I'm so sorry". The pains were my uterus stretching dangerously thin then rupturing but I was not bleeding, her heart rate was perfect until the final few minutes.. no normal sign of rupture. How could they have known?

The next few days were a blur. We both were living a complete nightmare and wanted to wake up... but never did. Visitors came and went, family and friends trying to console us. But no one could. The life we had planned was over and we had no say in it!

We were able to spend as much time with Sophie as we wanted. Once I was out of intensive care and in a ward they brought Sophie to us. The midwife was so loving talking to her as she handed her to me. I remember being completely paralysed and not wanting to look at her... seeing is believing. I felt her weight as she was placed into my arms and I looked at our beautiful girl for the first time. Such intense joy and sadness in the same moment. She was perfect in every way. I stared at her beautiful face and stroked her head, her hands and feet. Everything was as if she were just sleeping. She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. We did not want to let her go.

The following few days we spent some time with Sophie and each time it became harder. We marvelled more and more at her perfection, we sang to her, we danced with her, we told her stories and kissed and cuddled her. We would have loved to take her out into the sun to let the heat warm her face but I was unable to go out. We also arranged to have her Christened and had a private ceremony in the hospital room.

On Friday 19th December we got the chance to say one last goodbye to her in her pretty pink dress. We gave her a picture of all 3 of us a few weeks before, a teddy to cuddle (daddy named her Penelope) and daddy's business card in case she ever wanted to call! I took some glitter and gold love hearts and covered her in sparkles... every little girls needs sparkles. We laid her to rest in a beautiful baby area at Rookwood so she can play with the other children there. I don’t remember much of what was said that day but I remember the day was warm and there was a breeze that saved me from passing out. It was as if the breeze was her kissing us and letting us know she was with us.

Psychically I am healing but emotionally neither of us can see light at the end of this tunnel. I now have 2 scars on my uterus which was saved thanks to my OB but I have been advised not to try naturally again as my life is at risk. We are looking into other ways to become parents.

Adrian now wears my cartouche and I wear Sophie's. We will always have a peace of her with us.

Sophie Bear, our darling girl, mummy & daddy love you so very much. We hope that you enjoy playing with the puppies and other little children in heaven. We miss you more than we could ever say.

I want to dream of Sophie

I always wondered what was going through her mind. What is it babies dream or think about? Did she feel the same happiness when I laughed? Did she see my thoughts of her at 4 years old picking flowers in a field or taking a photo of her for her first day of school? We are told that babies have REM in the womb but what does the brain show them when they have never seen anything?

I so hope that Sophie played with puppies in her dreams! When she was awake I hope she heard us talking to her everyday. I know she felt her daddy blowing raspberries on my tummy cause she would punch him when he did it. I hope she saw the different lights, heat and sounds in the different parts of the world we travelled with her. I hope she smiled when she felt the love and joy we had in knowing we were bringing a beautiful girl into the world. I hope our complete happiness gave her the sweetest of dreams.

Sophie Cleo never got the chance to see a puppy. She was born sleeping on 14th December 2008 at 1.59am at 32 weeks. She never took her first breath; she never cried her first cry and never saw our mouths whisper "I love you".

Losing Sophie is so raw for both of us. It is absolutely THE WORST feeling in the world to lose a child. We have dark days and then darker ones. The world keeps turning and the waves keep smashing us. I hope writing about my thoughts and feelings helps us get through this grief but I am not counting on it. For now I remember my beautiful angel and all that she gave us in her very short time on earth.

I just wish I could see you in my dreams gorgeous girl...