Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Goodbye 2008

This morning I woke up to the last day of 2008 with a wonderful man in my arms who drives me nuts most of the time and my fingertips brushing the fur of our baby who destroys the carpet I love on a regular basis and I couldn't help but think I am a little lucky. Throughout what has probably been the worst year of my life these two breathing beings have never wavered. Granted, we have had our disagreements, but we still all love each other. That is most important.

I bid this year farewell with great joy. I cannot wait to leave it behind. I had high hopes for 2008 as well:

2007 has been a really good year for me. I got married and progressed very well at work. 2007 exceeded my expectations. I hope that 2008 will do the same and more.


So much for that. So many people died this year, got sick this year and had terrible things happen to them. I am glad it's over. I could almost erase this year from my life without regret. Almost.

I have, however, made very good friends this year. People who have enriched my life and whom I would be sad to lose. These people have supported me through this year and helped Rudi carry the load, although I have a feeling he is unaware of this. We also moved into our new home which has made quite a difference in our lives. We love living there. These are the two things I will treasure from 2008.

Yesterday after work Rudi and I took a drive to The Brass Bell to meet some bloggers. I met Wenchy and Noid who are really lovely. I honestly didn't think I would get to meet them as they are from Johannesburg and I never go there. I also met Angel, her son, Glugster and Jane who I still cannot connect to a blog at the moment. We had a good time drinking cocktails and chatting about various things. It was surreal meeting these people that I share my life with and whose lives I read about. I really enjoyed it and it was totally worth the drive out. We'll be having Angel and them over for a braai on Wednesday, just before they leave. Suddenly I want to go to Johannesburg to meet all the bloggers that they already know who I am dying to meet!

I am not really looking forward to tonight or tomorrow. We didn't make any solid plans for New Years and have now been invited last-minute to people that are kind of boring. Rudi knows them from darts or something. The last time we were there I was thoroughly bored. The lady of the house is nice and everything, but she's really quiet and doesn't talk much. Unfortunately for him the man of the house reminds me of Crack Head and that doesn't bode well for our future interactions. Perhaps there will be other people there that I can interact with. New Years is the perfect excuse for a party and usually I would join in to the festivities no holds barred, but I'm working tomorrow.

Tomorrow I am working alone in my portfolio for the first time since I have been here. Many of my colleagues have done this and survived, but I have been dreading it for quite some time. I will be solely responsible for the reporting, escalation and monitoring of any network failures and since I support our largest customer base...that is a huge responsibility. Things also tend to go screwy on New Year's somehow. It's expected. Billing problems, outstanding credits, congestion on recharges, making calls...you name it...it might break. Luckily I don't see to SMS. That is almost guaranteed to break. That aside I plan to be hungover at the very least, but I'd like to get some shut eye before coming in next year.

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Winding down

Today has been a really frustrating work day. Half of our team has already left, but the system we're meant to be working on has been up and down all day leaving us with nothing to do. We have over enough work that needs to get done, but no way of doing it while the system is down. I am so frustrated that I have to sit here, willing to work, but have no way of doing it. Then why waste my time? I'll be going home in an hour and 15 minutes anyway - just let me go. I'll play catch up tomorrow.

Most of management is out of office though, so nobody to send us home early.

This year is winding down really quickly. I cannot believe tomorrow is the last day of the year. It has been a really crap year for me and I'm happy to be seeing the back end of it. I had a really awesome year in 2007, so I'm hoping that 2008 was my charma for 2007 and that I'll get good kharma next year for all the crap I had to eat up in 2008. Sjoe. That sounds bitter. Maybe I am a little bitter, but I will pull myself together and shut up for 2009.

Positive thoughts, happy times and a good year is what awaits.

No New Year's resolutions for me. Bugger that. I never stick to them anyways.

We don't really have plans for New Year's Eve. Looks like we'll be spending it alone, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. But it can be really boring if we don't plan something nice to do *sigh* We'll see how things pan out.

Monday, 29 December 2008

Christmas Photos

Just managed to upload my Christmas Eve photos to Facebook. You can find them here.

Up and down

According to Dr. Amy's ovulation calculator this is my 'fertile' week. New Year's Eve is supposed to be the day I ovulate, even thought I'm feeling a bit crampy at the moment. Baby Center's ovulation calculator seems to correspond with Dr. Amy's. I suppose they're all based on the same principle. I know I said I'm going to relax and let nature take it's course and stuff, but that is harder to do than I thought it would be. Rudi and I have been trying every 48 hours for the past week or so and will continue to do so for a while I guess. That being said, if I don't fall pregnant this month I will surely lose my mind. We can't miss the ovulation window if we're trying so often, can we?

Fertility Friend seems to have ovulation calculation down to a science, but I was never really good at science and haven't bought the thermometer I would need to monitor my BBT (Basal Body Temperature).

I really should be patient and stop worrying about it. I know this. I know it will happen 'when it's meant to' like I've been told over and over again by various people. Truth be told I don't want to wait. I'm sure I've even said it myself, but it sounds so cliched and I don't want to hear it anymore.

Just writing this post is difficult. One minute I'm all gung ho being pregnant and the next I'm thinking I should just go with the flow and let it happen whenever.

Maybe I just hate not having control over it. Even if I am pregnant this month there will be the agonizing three months to follow to see if everything is OK. I suppose that's going to come whenever it happens.

FFS. I'm so conflicted.

Saturday, 27 December 2008

In a nutshell

It's been a busy few days. Christmas Eve wasn't as eventful as I thought. Except for Coke Head (My Evil Mother's husband) nagging me at the end of the evening to drive all the way to Blouberg for a drink. I was exhausted from playing hostess, but he just wouldn't let up. Eventually My Evil Mother intervened and they left without further fuss. I wonder if he didn't take up his old hobby, because they didn't come to church on Christmas morning.

Christmas morning I had a wonderful experience in church. Again I receive two communion wafers. I was feeling sad the days leading up to Christmas, but just that little sign showed me that James was with us.

Christmas day was spent with my in laws. We didn't really do much, but had a nice lunch. Boxing day we were with my in laws again...eventually we left and went to Boy's place. I was so freaking bored and tired of drinking myself that I left without Rudi (of course he didn't want to leave...they were playing pool and darts). Rudi only found me about 2 hours later...drunk as a skunk. Apparently they had run out of mix and started drinking things without mix. Pfft. Bad idea! He's surprisingly lucid this morning and not moaning about a headache.

We're meant to spend the day with my grandparents, but I have no idea what we are going to do.

We bought the most beautiful curtains yesterday. I haven't taken pictures of them yet, but here are some pictures of the house that I haven't shared yet:



Our picture wall



Part of the lounge



The lounge



The passage



The kitchen

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

WHAT? It's almost Christmas?!

2009 is hurtling towards us at an alarming speed. It will be Christmas the day after tomorrow. I'm already celebrating Christmas with my family tomorrow. I've started making the trifle already. The ingredients cost R260.00! Oh my hat!


I'm feeling a little fragile at the moment. I find sentimental things bringing me to tears. Things that remind me of James are making me cry. I'm trying so hard to be positive and enjoy the festive season, but sometimes I am reminded of it and I feel like breaking down. Don't get me wrong, I'm not moping around or anything...and I know I'm entitled to feel sad and I'm allowed to cry, but I don't want to be unhappy this Christmas. Maybe it's because everyone else seems so happy that I feel slightly depressed. It's almost as if everyone has forgotten my pain (which I'm sure they haven't) and have carried on and are happy regardless (which they are also entitled to be). I cannot begrudge anyone their happiness at this time of year...but I hope they understand when I seem unhappy.

I've just realized that I have a huge analysis to do for work that is due the 29th...which means...today is actually my last day to do it. CRAP!

Monday, 22 December 2008

Crazy time

When I got into work this morning I was feeling really grim. I was upset and moody and depressed. Perfect week for this kind of cheer.

I usually work from 7am - 4pm. This week I was suckered into working 9am - 6pm. Any other week I would have worked around it and not complained much, but the way in which it came about made me mad. We only require one staff member to work the 9 - 6 shift. Last week two team members worked the shift (unnecessarily) so that they would be able to say they've 'had their turn' when it came to the week before Christmas and would wash their hands of the shift. They're both guys by the way. I have so much preparation to do for Christmas and family are making demands on my time as well (I'm sure other women can relate). How on earth am I supposed to get done if I only get home from work at almost 7pm?! I still have to collect gifts from family members, do My Evil Mother's hair for her and go and buy stuff for the trifle I have to make! *panics*

Finally I spoke to Jubba (he's been in a festive mood for around a week now, it's lovely) and he said it's not necessary for me to work this shift this work, so I'll be reverting back to 7 - 4 tomorrow. I'm overjoyed!(It's only 3 days anyway)

I'm feeling a bit down and frustrated today. I get frazzled like this when I'm stressed out, but things usually work out for the best.

I think I might feel a bit down since Rudi and I were supposed to start trying to get pregnant already and we just haven't gotten around to it. There is probably still time, but there's such a small window you have to squeeze through to get pregnant and I don't want to accidentally 'miss it'. That being said...I said I wouldn't rush things and have no idea when I ovulate anyway. We thought we'd just try every second day and see what happens. Just got to get started!

At least I can drink to relieve my tension!

Sunday, 21 December 2008

:)



The braai last night was awesome. Beauty Queen and SLK have a beautiful home and a gorgeous view from their patio.

Everyone had a good time feeding the ducks, especially the little one that was there who kept making quacking noises. It was so cute!

There was a really cool group of people there. Everyone got along really well and had so much fun. So much fun, in fact, that we decided to have another braai at our place next Saturday. I'm already looking forward to it.

Life is slowly getting back to "normal" and I'm starting to feel OK. I even burst out into song when "Celebrate good times" started playing on the radio today. Things are looking up.


Sent from my phone using trutap



Saturday, 20 December 2008

Quiet time



I know I've been very quiet, but I haven't felt that I had anything valuable to say. Is this the calm before the storm?

Most people are already on leave and enjoying their festive season. I hope everyone can enjoy this happy time with their families in safety.

I love this time of year, despite not being able to enjoy long holidays as many do.

We're still trying again for a baby, but I have little expectations as to how long it will take. I've decided within myself not to be impatient and not to rush things. My body may very well still be healing to a certain extent, not to mention my heart.

I've managed to secure a week of leave in January and I am really looking forward to it. Rudi is nagging me to spend boxing day with Crack Head and his wife wherever it is they are on holiday and I just cannot bear the thought, although I know Rudi will not let it go.

I better get ready. We've been invited for a braai and I still need to put my face on.

Sent from my phone using trutap



Wednesday, 17 December 2008

*YAWN*

Suddenly my life has become very uninteresting again. I have nothing exciting to share. No news that anybody would want to hear. It's just the ordinary run of the mill every day boring so and so.

Christmas Eve promises to bring some drama with My Evil Mother coming over. She's already sent gifts to place under the tree. She's written the strangest things on some of the cards. I'll have to take photos and post them.

At this point I'll have to say goodbye to the readers who will no longer read because they fall asleep and drool on their keyboard when visiting my blog...I'll miss your stat on the right hand side of the page and comments if you ever left them. Pop back every now and then, you never know which way this tale is going to twist.

Monday, 15 December 2008

A list of stuff

Stolen from Jenty's blog:

Things you’ve already done: bold
Things you want to do: italicize
Things you haven’t done and don’t want to - leave in plain font

1. Started your own blog

2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band

4. Visited Hawaii

5. Watched a meteor shower

6. Given more than you can afford to charity

7. Been to Disneyland/world

8. Climbed a mountain

9. Held a praying mantis.

10. Sang a solo (in the shower)

11. Bungee jumped

12. Visited Paris

13. Watched a lightning storm at sea.

14. Taught yourself an art from scratch

15. Adopted a child

16. Had food poisoning

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty

18. Grown your own vegetables.

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France

20. Slept on an overnight train

21. Had a pillow fight.

22. Hitch hiked

23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill

24. Built a snow fort

25. Held a lamb

26. Gone skinny dipping.

27. Run a Marathon

28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice

29. Seen a total eclipse

30. Watched a sunrise or sunset.

31. Hit a home run

32. Been on a cruise

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors

35. Seen an Amish community

36. Taught yourself a new language.

37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied.

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person

39. Gone rock climbing.

40. Seen Michelangelo’s David

41. Sung karaoke

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt

43. Bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant.

44. Visited Africa

45. Walked on a beach by moonlight.

46. Been transported in an ambulance.

47. Had your portrait painted.

48. Gone deep sea fishing.

49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person

50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling

52. Kissed in the rain

53. Played in the mud.

54. Gone to a drive-in theater.

55. Been in a movie

56. Visited the Great Wall of China

57. Started a business

58. Taken a martial arts class

59. Visited Russia

60. Served at a soup kitchen

61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies

62. Gone whale watching.

63. Gotten flowers for no reason

64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma

65. Gone sky diving

66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp

67. Bounced a check

68. Flown in a helicopter

69. Saved a favorite childhood toy

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

71. Eaten Caviar

72. Pieced a quilt

73. Stood in Times Square

74. Toured the Everglades

75. Been fired from a job

76. Seen the Changing of the Guard in London

77. Broken a bone

78. Been on a speeding motorcycle

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person

80. Published a book

81. Visited the Vatican

82. Bought a brand new car.

83. Walked in Jerusalem

84. Had your picture in the newspaper.

85. Read the entire Bible.

86. Visited the White House

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating

88. Had chickenpox.

89. Saved someone’s life.

90. Sat on a jury

91. Met someone famous.

92. Joined a book club

93. Lost a loved one.

94. Had a baby.

95. Seen the Alamo in person

96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake

97. Been involved in a law suit

98. Owned a cell phone.

99. Been stung by a bee

I'm doing alright today. These cramps are killing me though and it's too hot for a hot water bottle. At least I can drink my potent pain killers. I'm in good spirits today, despite not being pregnant. I cannot focus all my energy on this. It will happen when it is meant to happen. I need to enjoy and live the life that I have now!

Take everything I say with a pinch of salt. I'm up and down like a rollercoaster. I'm seizing the day today though!

Saturday, 13 December 2008

An answer

Finally an answer from mother nature. I'm not as disappointed or shattered as I thought I'd be. Suprisingly I'm taking it in my stride. Rudi and I discussed it and decided not to rush things and let nature take it's course again, so I won't be buying the ovulation microscope.
There are positive points to not being pregnant now, especially during the festive season. I'm glad I'm ok.
Using my phone to blog for the first time. I hope it comes out alright.

Friday, 12 December 2008

*sigh*

Still nothing. Totally glad it's Friday though. Soon it will be Monday.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

2008 in a nutshell

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?
Fell pregnant, bought my own Christmas tree and decorations and celebrated a wedding anniversary

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions and will you make more for next year?
I don't believe in New Year's resolutions.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
I did.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My son died 2008-11-05.

5. What countries did you visit?
None! Who has money for travel?

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
A baby and more time with family and friends

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
2008-06-11 - The date it was confirmed I am pregnant
2008-10-20 - The date we heard that all was not well with our baby
2008-11-05 - The date we lost our baby

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Not losing my mind completely.

9. What was your biggest failure in 2008?
Not managing to pay off ALL my debt.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I had morning sickness for more than three months, not technically an illness, but I felt ill every day. Spent some time in hospital.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
My Christmas tree!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Rudi. He has been my rock. He put up with me when I was unbelievably difficult and still loves me.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
My Evil Mother, as usual. Jubba too.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Debt and doctor's appointments.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Having a baby

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
It's difficult to say, but I'm loving Rihanna's Disturbia right now. It stands out.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) Happier or sadder? Sadder.
b) Thinner or fatter? Thinner, strangely enough. Not much, just a few kilos.
c) Richer or poorer? Poorer! I have doctor's bills to pay :(

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Spend time with family, laughing, exercise.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Crying and swearing.

20. How do you plan on spending Christmas?
Christmas Eve with my family, eating and opening gifts. Christmas Day with the in laws...Don't know what we're doing?

21. Did you fall in love in 2008?
No. I stayed in love.

22. How many one-night stands?
None :)

23. What was your favorite TV program?
Survivor!

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Yes. Jubba.

25. What was the best book you read?
The Dark Tower by Stephen King. Ok, so it's 7 books, but it was AWESOME!

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
The new Alanis Morissette.

27. What did you want and get?
My favourite perfume.

28. What did you want and not get?
A healthy baby.

29. What was your favorite film of this year?
Wanted

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I did nothing on my birthday. I was too sick. I was/am 27.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Still being pregnant, earning more money and having my own house!

33. What kept you sane?
My friends and family. Bless them!

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Angelina Jolie

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
Obama's victory.

36. Who did you miss?
James.

37. Who was the best new person you met?
Sarah and the ladies from the parenting community.

38. Tell us what valuable life lessons you learned in 2008.

I've learned to appreciate your friends and family and to take nothing for granted. I've learned that God has a plan and you have to stick to it, no matter what you want. I've learned that everything really does happen for a reason, even if you don't know what the reason is immediately. I've learned that the world moves on, even though your pain and sorrow lingers. I've learned that life is valuable and you need to enjoy it. I've learned that nobody is invincible. I've learned that more people care than you realize. I've learned that you cannot trust everyone not to talk about you behind your back. I've learned that my husband really loves me deeply and I doubt it too much. I've learned than I am stronger than I thought.

I stole this from Wenchy's blog. Please feel free to steal and link back in the comments!

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

No show

My cycle is still a no show. It's officially 3 full days late. If it is late. I really don't know what to think. Leebeesa recommended that I drink water (something I loathe to do) as this could assist in kicking in my cycle if it is meant to come. I HATE drinking water, but I suppose it's worth a try and it won't kill me.

If nothing has happened by Monday I'm going to go to have a blood test done. I learnt my lesson with the urine tests, they simply don't work for me! (Well, not as soon as they're 'supposed' to work)

Every time I go to the loo I wonder if it's going to be there. I've gained a kilo, when I was previously pregnant I mysteriously lost 2 kilos...gaining is more consistent with water rentention associated with PMS, isn't it?

*sigh*

Monday is so far off. Mondays aren't generally good days for me though. Maybe I should schedule it for Tuesday...but that is a whole day longer to wait.

FFS. I hate this.

Tuesday, 09 December 2008

Waiting

So I'm still waiting for my cycle to start. I'm over my regular cycle 'due date' (it's been more than 32 days since the womb scrape) and now I'm just waiting. It's extremely frustrating not to know what's going on. The gynae's receptionist said it usually takes about 4 weeks and it's been almost 5. With that estimation I hoped it would just revert back to my normal cycle length, but it hasn't. Maybe it's just late, but it's very confusing and frustrating for me not to know what is happening.

It's just two days late and since I don't know what to expect I don't want to run to they gynae in a tizz. If I do any kind of pregnancy test I will do it next year when the medical aid has reset. Peeing on sticks has proven a useless waste of time and money...so I won't even go there this time. It will be a blood test and voila. Or if I SERIOUSLY haven't started by next year, I'll go and see the gynae.

I would consider myself the equivalent of a lotto winner if I am pregnant again so soon after losing James.

Sunday, 07 December 2008

How to get laid

You will need:

1 x man
1 x 1.5 litre of your favourite wine
2 x wine glasses
1 x movie starring Angelina Jolie
1 x movie starring Charlize Theron
1 x chocolate fondue
1 x punnet of strawberries
1 x punnet of cherries
1 x whipped cream
2 x candles
1 x sexy outfit
Various snacks to your liking



Lay out snacks on platters and set down on the carpet with candles lit. Put on one of the movies and add man. Munch on various snacks and get sozzled using wine.

Don't forget to blow out the candles before moving the party to a different location.

We had a lovely carpet picnic last night. It was really romantic and fun and I would recommend it to anyone. I bought all the snack pre-made so it did cost quite a bit, but if you have some time on your hands and a less nosy husband I'm sure you can make the snacks yourself and save some money.





Why wait for Valentine's Day?

Saturday, 06 December 2008

Romantic Evening

I think my cycle is going to start really soon. All the signs are there. I'm moody, my breasts are sore, cramps and the signature blind pimple on my chin. I haven't had a pimple like this in over 6 months. I didn't miss it. I'm trying to steel myself for the arrival of my old friend (who I expect on Monday), although I'm not sure how I will react when it arrives.

A friend on the parenting community suggested a romantic evening with Rudi...after the disaster from the other night it seems like a really good idea. Unfortunately we are both working this weekend, but I'm going to go to the shops after work to buy some goodies for my planned romantic evening.

I'm not 100% sure what kind of food I'm going to buy yet, but I'm definitely going to get red wine, strawberries, cream and chocolate. Then I'll buy some salty snacks (possibly a cheese platter) and other things I know Rudi likes.

Just spoke to him on the phone now and the bugger already suspects something...

Thursday, 04 December 2008

Some fun tests

Here are a few fun test stolen from mommanats.




Both of You Wear the Pants



You and your guy seem to have stuck the perfect power balance.

It's not that you don't disagree - it's just that you've learned how to compromise well.

You're both mature enough to know that you can't always get your way...

And usually, you're both adult enough to reach an agreement - even if that sometimes means giving in a little.






You Are 73% Sexy



Your Sex Appeal Is: Extremely High



You're very sexy. You just have that certain something that takes over a room.

You know how to attract, entice, and keep whoever you want. You are truly appealing.






You Are Sometimes Considered a Hot Chick



While you may not get the most offers in the room,

You've got a good thing going - dating wise

You could flirt more and dress up a bit to attract more guys

But in general, you are doing just fine!






You Are an Afternoon Person



You can find energy any time of the day ... or night!

You prefer to be out and about when most other people are.

Very early mornings or very late nights aren't really your thing.

You're practically solar powered, and the afternoon is when do best.






What Your Cupcake Says About You



At parties, you tend to be a social butterfly. You enjoy making conversation and making sure everyone is having fun.



You hardly have any restraint. You only hold yourself back when absolutely necessary.



The most important thing in your life is your significant other.



You are laid back, flexible, and easy to get along with. To know you is to care for you.






You Are a Loyal Shopper



You are a very picky shopper and tend to be loyal to a few brands.

You are willing to pay extra to buy from a brand you trust.



Of all the types, you're the most likely to own many designer items.

You don't seek out sales as much as most people... unless it's a sale at your favorite store!



There are only a few short questions for each test, it won't take long. Go and do it!

Trying to make babies last night turned into an absolute disaster. I think I'm premenstrual because I was quite obviously moody. Rudi and I ended up fighting from the moment we saw each other until we tired ourselves out and went to sleep. Lots of nasty things were said (mostly to me) and I became progressively more upset. After the baby subject came up I started crying. Rudi told me I'm 'becoming weaker' and 'not being strong about it'. I told him I cannot believe he is carrying on with his life like nothing happened.

I think he felt guilty at some point because he woke me up and asked me if I wanted to try, but I was exhausted after fighting with him and my mood was completely ruined so I turned him down.

Maybe we missed our chance this cycle.

I want..wait...I don't know what I want

I'm still sore today. I don't know whether to be concerned or not. I don't know if this is normal or if there is something wrong. It does feel slightly better than yesterday though, so I'm going to put it off for another day.

I feel like I might still be in a state of shock. Denial. I haven't had a proper cycle since we lost the baby. I think that it will hit me all over again when it comes. It will make everything real again. It will make me 'definitely NOT pregnant'. Sometimes I still feel movements in my lower belly (most likely just wind), but it feels like it felt when James first started moving and for a split second it's like he is not gone, then I realize he is gone and my heart breaks all over again. On the other hand if it doesn't come there might be something wrong, or I might be pregnant again (not impossible, but likely? I don't know.)

I really, really want to be pregnant again, but I am also very afraid of it. Afraid of the prospect and possibilities of complications and having to go through all of this again. I know I can't think like that. I know I need to be positive and trust in God that our baby will be healthy, but as a human being it is difficult for me to trust God unconditionally right now. Last night we heard in service that God will hold his children against his bosom through difficult circumstances and the evangelist that took the service told me he hopes the word helped a little bit last night. It is so indescribably difficult to have faith and trust after what we've been through.

Now I am afraid of what Monday will bring. Either way it's bad news for me emotionally. I tried to phone the doctor's office to find out if I should expect my cycle within the normal cycle length after the womb scrape, but there was no answer. I tried again later and the receptionist said that it should take about 4 weeks for my cycle to start after the womb scrape, but that it could take a bit longer. She said that the pain I am experiencing may be ovulation pains (Where is Rudi when I need him?! Definitely going to get busy tonight, just in case.) Tomorrow it will be exactly a month since I had the womb scrape, so hopefully my cycle will kick in when it's supposed to, unless I'm pregnant again.

I'm so confused. I wish I knew what I wanted. I can't help but think we'll be happy when we're pregnant again...worried, but happy. I could do with a little happiness right now.

Wednesday, 03 December 2008

What Makes a Mother?

I had a rough day yesterday. I spent a lot of time crying at my desk. At some point I went to the bathroom to try and cry it out, but ended up crying again when I got back to my desk anyway.

I think what made me break down was reading the poem below:

What makes a mother?

I thought of you and closed my eyes
And prayed to God today
I asked "What makes a mother"?
And I know I heard him say.

"A mother has a baby"
This we know is true
"But God can you be a mother,
When your baby is not with you"?

"Yes, you can", He replied
with confidence in his voice
"I give many woman babies,
when they leave is not their choice"

Some I send for a lifetime,
and other for the day.
And some I send to feel your womb,
but theres no need to stay.

"I just don't understand this God
I want my baby here."
He took a deep breath and cleared his throat,
and then i saw a tear.

"I wish I could show you
what your child is doing today
If you could see your childs smile,
with all the other children and say..."

"We go to earth to learn our lessons,
of love and life and fear.
My mommy loved me so much,
I got to come straight here.

I feel so lucky to have a Mom,
who had so much love for me,
I learned my lessons quickly,
My mommy set me free.

I miss my mommy oh so much,
but I visit her every day.
When she goes to sleep,
On her pillows where I lay.

I stroke her hair and kiss her cheek,
And whisper in her ear.
"Mommy don't be sad today,
I'm your baby and i'm here".

"So you see my dear sweet ones,
Your children are okay.
Your babies are born here in My home,
And this is where they'll stay.

They'll wait for you with Me,
Until your lessons through,
And on the day that you come home,
They'll be at the gate for you.

So now you see what makes a Mother,
It's the feeling in your heart.
It's the love you had so much of,
Right from the very start.

Though some on Earth may not realise,
You are a mother
Until their time is done.
They'll be up here with Me one day,
And know that you are the best one"

I found it on the Grief & Loss section of the Parenting Community. I went there to read other people's story and to share mine, but ended up so distraught I didn't post anything. I've written much about James on this blog, I'm sure he'll be remembered by many. I will post his story on the Grief & Loss section as well.

I can't wait to give him a brother or a sister! I know it won't happen immediately and that we will be blessed with another child when the time is right, but I'm impatient. Rudi was lying on my tummy last night and I couldn't help thinking that the baby would be kicking him in the face had he still been there. I'm probably also going to have a tough time dealing with the festive season coming up and other times like when I was supposed to go on maternity leave, my estimated due date (Rudi's birthday) and Mother's Day. A family member who lost her baby after carrying to term has recently given birth to another child. She tried to commit suicide twice after losing her baby and has said that conceiving again helped her with the pain. I know I cannot replace James and that I need to work through my grief, but it's hard to know where to begin, especially since I have never lost a loved one before *touch wood*

Here's to health and fertility!

Tuesday, 02 December 2008

Christmas is sneaking up on us...

A colleague of mine told me this morning her doctor told her it takes 6 weeks for your body to recover from a pregnancy. So I can only assume that my uterus is aching because it's squeezing back into my pelvis. I wish I could tell it not to bother since I'm hoping it will move back up again soon! (Sorry guy readers, if there are any of you. I'm sure you just love hearing about my uterus)

Rudi seems to be hell bent on my uterus migrating upwards as well. Either that or he is eating oysters on the sly. He has been really frisky of late...I almost want to tell him to save it for when the time is right...but I'm not even sure when that is, so I might as well enjoy indulging him.

My grandfather has decided he wants a denim shirt for Christmas. I really hope I can find one for him. It's difficult finding something that isn't exactly in fashion. I'm going to buy my grandmother the floorwiz mop. She still uses an old spaghetti mop and it's really bad for her back which she already needs further surgery on (which she refuses to go for). My grandfather promised to help her mop the floors if she has a decent mop.

My landlady has left colour samples in our post box (I only received the mail this morning, so I haven't seen them yet) and is sending someone out to do a quotation tomorrow while the housekeeper is there. I can't wait to see the colours she has chosen. I hope these quotations mean they're coming to paint soon!

I better pull finger and go and work!

Monday, 01 December 2008

A little bit of everything

Yesterday was a pretty relaxed day. I overslept so I didn't make it to church. Instead I went back to sleep and we only woke up around 11:45. For us, that's super late! Somehow we end up waking up early on weekends as well. We hate it.

We went to a Portuguese pub called Guzzlers yesterday. An old colleague and friend of my grandfather's plays in a band and they were performing. I must say, for a bunch of old guys they are really good! They play a lot of old music, mostly by a band called 'The Shadows' and some Elvis stuff. After that we went to Uncle Dan and Auntie Mona and had some tea and cake.

The weekend slipped past me. I barely noticed that I was off. I can't wait to get some time off again. I've applied for some leave in January, but it hasn't been approved yet. Hopefully I'll be able to spend those few days with Rudi while he is on leave, although by that time we'll probably be completely broke!

Rudi went to purchase my vitamins for me yesterday. He bought a pregnancy vitamin, folic acid and an omega 3 & 6 supplement. It all cost only R130.00 which is really not bad. Medicine and vitamins can be really expensive. I'm already taking the pregnancy vitamin and folic acid to build up my store for when I fall pregnant again so that the next baby will have everything it needs from conception.

I wish I knew what was going on in my body now. I have strange pains and I'm not quite sure whether my body is still recovering from the previous pregnancy, or whether it's something else. I'm sure it still is. In four days it will be a month since we lost the baby. I'm not sure how long it takes for a uterus to migrate back down into the pelvis. The pain isn't unbearable or anything, it's just there and makes me conscious of those parts of me. I don't think it's necessary to see a doctor or anything. I wonder when I can expect my next cycle to start. Perhaps I should just give my doctor a call and ask him...although I hate doing that. I also need to call my insurance because I need to claim, but I keep putting it off.

I've been thinking about it and I think I know one of the reasons I've gone through what I've gone through. I never used to like children very much. I didn't mind them, but I wasn't overly fond of them and wasn't even sure if I wanted one. Since everything that has happened I have developed an immense compassion for children and the desire for one (or two). It used to tug at my heart strings when I saw children in need or in hospital, now it affects me. The other day on the news they showed a baby who was orphaned. His mother carried him over the border to South Africa (probably in search of a better life), but shortly after that died of cholera and the government was talking about sending the baby back to where it came from. It brought me to tears that the poor child had nobody to care for it or love it and was left all alone in the world. Before that story would just have been another story, now it is heartbreaking for me. Perhaps God wanted to soften my heart towards these defenseless children and wanted me to desire one so that I could appreciate the next one he sends me to the fullest.

My grandfather told me yesterday that he is very excited that we are trying again. He said he was afraid I would be put off after everything that happened. He promised me that he would look after the baby when I had to go back to work. I told him I really hope that we have the baby before him or my grandmother lose their marbles. He thought that was very funny (he has a strange sense of humour that one). We also spoke about other things. One of our retired District Apostles died recently. Everybody was saying how sad it was and my grandfather said he was happy for him. It seems slightly shocking, but he was 96 years old and really couldn't take care of himself. My grandfather said if he ever got to a stage where he could not live a full life anymore he would rather die. He said that if he was on life support he would want us to switch the machines off. Of course the thought of this devastates me because I so dearly love him and my grandmother and I really hope that if that time comes I will have the strength to honour his wishes and not be selfish about it.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Staff Party 2008

Rudi and I went to The Company's staff party last night. It's always a big party and I really enjoyed a lot of the bands that played for us. They were all local, but some of the best local talent around, including Freshly Ground who just cleaned up at the MTV Europe music awards. I absolutely loved their performance and would definitely go and see them again. You could tell they were the most popular act because everybody sang along to their songs and were generally going crazy.

We were also treated to Watershed, Tasha Baxter, Nia Nel, Gang of Instrumentals (although I'm not mad about their music), Dr. Victor and Mango Groove. I used to listen to Mango Groove when I was a teen and I really enjoyed hearing all their old songs (they haven't made an album in a very long time, so we were treated to their original hits).

A lot of my friends from work were there and it was lovely seeing everyone again. Since we've moved to the new building I've lost touch with a lot of my colleagues that I enjoy spending time with. When you work in the same building there is always a chance of bumping into each other and catching up, now the only opportunity we get is the year end function.

It was lots of fun, but at the end of the evening Rudi and I realized we forgot to check the level we parked in when we came in. Looking for the car was such a mission. Luckily one of the gentleman working in the parking area helped us find it. We got in around 2am. I haven't been awake at 2am for a very long time (I know I'm old and wrinkly!). Somehow I can't believe there were times that I was out partying and I missed the sun coming up!

Photos of our evening and my friends and I can be found here.

Friday, 28 November 2008

Busy busy

Luckily I got a good night's sleep last night. I was so exhausted from dealing with the crisis at work and being emotionally exhausted that I hit the hay at around 20:00 and slept right through - even though Rudi said the neighbours were noisy and they woke him up. I slept through all of that.

My landlady SMS'd me last night to tell me she had left me a voucher for a back and neck massage on my kitchen counter. Sweet!

We're still super busy at work. We needed to do check all the complaints again and rectify the ones that weren't properly resolved. What a mission! We did manage to get through all of it though. We didn't think we could do it all today, but we did! My team can really pull together when they need to.

It's our staff fucntion tomorrow night. It's usually a huge jol (party) and Rudi is super excited. I feel like I'm getting old. I don't enjoy hanging around in pubs, partying and clubbing anymore. I go to bed early and get up early every day. Even on weekends. I have grown up problems now like money issues and car trouble (I don't have any car trouble right now, touch wood, but I have a car - so I could have trouble). I miss being a kid. Who doesn't? I don't necessarily miss school (I swore I would never say I wish I was in school again), but I miss not having to worry about much. School had enough worries for me too. I'm talking about before that.

*sigh*

Oops, more work coming my way. Got to fly.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Doctor's Bills...AAAAAARGH!!!!

Here's a tip. Don't ever open a doctors bill in the morning. I received the pathologist bills that I have been waiting for and hastily opened them this morning so that I could pay them as soon as possible.

Imagine those cartoon characters that have their eyes popping out of their socket. Oh. My. Fuck. The bill is almost DOUBLE what I anticipated. To be exact the bill for the pathologist is R5649.30. Can you say 'Payment Arrangement'?

I gave them a call and they agreed that I can pay them off over 12 months which is around R475.00 a month. That, at least, is manageable.

Rudi thinks I'm pregnant again because I'm irritable. Last time he identified my pregnancy by the amount I was eating. I don't feel sick or anything and I guess my next period will only come around December. I'm not sure exactly how to work it out, but my cycle is usually 32 days and if I calculate from the date of the termination then I am due 7 December. It's not impossible that I am pregnant, but I'm not going to get excited. I've been under a lot of pressure at work as we have HUGE problems and are trying to wade through PILES of complaints. Nobody is even going to the loo today (yet somehow I'm finding time to blog) because we are so swamped.

One of my colleagues was admitted to hospital yesterday. She's been coughing a lot for a long time and we kept on telling her to go to the doctor, but she kept putting it off. Yesterday Jubba told her to leave work and go to the hospital. The latest news is that she has blood clots on her lungs and that she is diabetic. I remember how devastated I was at the possibility of being diabetic, I hope she is OK.

I have stopped writing this post for about 4 hours because we're so freaking busy. I have to get my work up to date...no time to dawdle on blogger!

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

The Landlady

I was going to do a list of things I'm grateful for - like I found at Wenchy's blog, but I'm in a super bad mood so I'm not sure it's the right time for sunshine and rainbows. Although on the other hand some might say that this is the best time to sit down and think about the things you appreciate.

On a good note our landlady and her husband came around yesterday and they have agreed to do various things for us around our new place. The have agreed to paint the whole place out as I complained that the walls are very difficult to clean. We offered to do the paint work if they supplied the paint, but when they came around her husband said they would get someone to do it. The landlady also agreed that we can paint something other than white. YAY! We also mentioned the crack in the glass shower panel which they want to get fixed, the toilet that doesn't seem to flush properly and the fact that we needed one set of burglar bars in a specific window in order to be insured. They made a list of everything and said they would get back to us. She also brought us flowers again, but I think this time they were brought because they only recently learned that we lost our baby.

While we were corresponding yesterday my landlady sent me the following e-mail:

From: Your Landlady
Sent: 25 November 2008 09:04 AM
To: My Tenant
Subject: Don't think ... just answer

If you could go for

a) a back + Neck massage close to tygervalley

or b)

a classical musical- performance in town with Rudi

which one would you choose?
(ps I only want an a or b )

Of course I chose a. Neither Rudi or I like classical music...she didn't say why she asked, but obviously I'm going to make assumptions. I really should learn to keep my expectations low though. Maybe it was a "personality type" test. They are such nice people though. I feel like getting them a box of chocolates for Christmas...Maybe some Lindor balls (Leebeesa's suggestion).

Nothing else to report at the moment.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

If I were an onion...(meme)

If I were an onion, these would be my layers. I first saw this on mommanat's blog and then stole it from Exmi since everybody was doing it:

LAYER ONE:

Name: acidicice
Birthdate: August 4, 1981
Birthplace: Cape Town, South Africa
Current location: Cape Town, South Africa
Eye color: Green
Hair color: Blonde
Height: 1.70cm.
Righty or lefty: Left!
Zodiac sign: Leo

LAYER TWO:

Your heritage: South African, derived from Irish people and probably some British
The shoes you wore today: Nike flip flops
Your weakness: Anything I shouldn't have, really.
Your fears: Darkness, death and the death of a close friend or family member.
Your perfect pizza: Bacon, feta and avo (after) with garlic. You can't go wrong!
Goal you’d like to achieve: Losing enough weight to feel comfortable in my skin

LAYER THREE:

Your most overused phrase on AIM: LOL (boring, I know)
Your first waking thoughts: 9 more minutes, really (my phone snoozes for 9 minutes at a time)
Your best physical feature: My eyes and perhaps my hair
Your most missed memory: Being carefree and happy like when I was a kid

LAYER FOUR:

Pepsi or Coke: Coke
McDonald’s or Burger King: We don't get Burger King here, so McDonalds by default
Single or group dates: Group - we're past the "alone time" thing
Adidas or Nike: Both
Lipton Ice Tea or Nestea: I don't like ice tea
Chocolate or vanilla: Chocolate
Cappuccino or coffee: Coffee

LAYER FIVE:

Smoke: Used to, no more.
Cuss: Like a sailor. I shock people
Sing: I can
Take a shower everyday: Yes
Do you think you’ve been in love: Yes
Want to go to college: I'm torn. Seems like a lot of work. I already work.
Liked high school: Not too bad.
Want to get married: I already am
Believe in yourself: No
Get motion sickness: Sometimes in the back of the car
Think you’re attractive: Sometimes
Think you’re a health freak: Definitely not
Get along with your parent(s): No
Like thunderstorms: I'm scared of thunder
Play an instrument: Chopsticks count?

LAYER SIX: In the past month…

Drank alcohol: Yes.
Smoked: No
Done a drug: Yes
Made out: When last?!
Gone on a date: Yes
Gone to the mall: Yesterday after work.
Eaten an entire box of Oreos: Not a fan
Eaten sushi: Don't do that often
Been on stage: No
Been dumped: No
Gone skating: I can't.
Made homemade cookies: No.
Gone skinny dipping: No
Dyed your hair: No, I'm so overdue
Stolen Anything: No

LAYER SEVEN: Ever…

Played a game that required removal of clothing: Yes
Been trashed or extremely intoxicated: Yes
Been caught “doing something": Yeah
Been called a tease: Yes
Gotten beaten up: No
Shoplifted: Yes
Changed who you were to fit in: Yes

LAYER EIGHT:

Age you hope to be married: I already am
Numbers and names of children: 1, James (deceased)
Describe your dream wedding: It's too late for that now!
How do you want to die: In my sleep
Where you want to go to college: Somewhere I don't have to show up
What do you want to be when you grow up: I have no idea. Am I not grown up already?
What country would you most like to visit: France

LAYER NINE:

Number of drugs taken illegally: 5
Number of people I could trust with my life: 3
Number of CDs that I own: I have no idea. About 40?
Number of piercings: 2 right now
Number of tattoos: 1
Number of times my name has appeared in the newspaper: none
Number of scars on my body: 2
Number of things in my past that I regret: Too many

Monday, 24 November 2008

The other episode

I had another episode on Saturday night that I forgot to blog about. I was watching TV and the Clicks (a chain store here in South Africa) played their Christmas advertisement. Clicks always have huge Mother's Day and Father's Day campaigns and advertisements and I was suddenly reminded of how much I was looking forward to celebrating my first Mother's Day. Rudi and I were sitting on the couch and I just suddenly started bawling. The poor man couldn't understand what on earth was wrong and I can understand his confusion. I <3 Christmas and I had just seen a very Christmassy advertisement.

I explained to him why I was upset and he said that there is no reason why she shouldn't still celebrate Mother's Day and Father's Day. He said that there is no reason for us to forget. I know that many, if not all of the mommies on My Parenting Community will agree with him, although somehow it still feels weird.

I still don't consider myself a mother, even though I acknowledge, miss and love the baby that I had. I suppose my definition of a 'mother' is different from other people's. I suppose my definition of a 'parent' is someone with a living child. That is not necessarily correct. The dictionary says:

mother [muhth-er]

–noun 1. a female parent.
2. (often initial capital letter) one's female parent.
3. a mother-in-law, stepmother, or adoptive mother.
4. a term of address for a female parent or a woman having or regarded as having the status, function, or authority of a female parent.

and the dictionary definition of parent:

parent [pair-uhnt, par-]

–noun 1. a father or a mother.
2. an ancestor, precursor, or progenitor.
3. a source, origin, or cause.
4. a protector or guardian.
5. Biology. any organism that produces or generates another.

That doesn't really clear it up. Mother's Day comes before Father's Day usually. Can't wait to see what Rudi will do. I hope it won't be like my birthday...perhaps breakfast in bed and a last minute present after asking me what I want on the day. Pffft.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Weekend

So I had a rough day on Friday. After receiving the photos at work I broke down and asked my supervisor if I could leave early. At the beginning of the week both he and my manager said it was OK if I needed time off and I really did on Friday, although it always seems dodgy on a Friday doesn't it?

I went to my grandfather's house and went to view the photos there. I agree with My Evil Mother and grandmother that it looks like it would have been a boy. I feel a certain peace about that, because I was unsure. My family and the doctors were giving me conflicting information and this confused me even more. For all I know girls look like that at some stage too (hence the doctor's hesitance to say), but to all of us it seems that the baby was a boy. He definitely had my nose and my mouth. He would have been a handsome fellow. I was very torn up after viewing the photos and had the support of my family.

Friday evening we picked up my cousin (she's visiting from London) and we had a very chilled out evening together. Yesterday when we took her back we ended up spending a lot of time with the family which was nice. We bought two pedestals from my cousin for our bedroom and her mother gave us a really nice painting which fits in perfectly with my bedroom's colour scheme. When we got home I was inspired to move the entire room around and once I've sanded down my dressing table and white washed it to match the pedestals our room is going to look really nice. I hope we get this done...you know how a person ends up procrastinating and never completing something like this. Our room looks much less empty and bare now. It kind of looked like any other room with a bed, but there was no character. It's developing that now and that makes me happy.

Today we have a family braai (BBQ). It's become tradition since my cousin has left for overseas for us to have one big get together while she is here so that the entire family gets to see her. I'm going to leave work now and we'll head over that way. I'm quite looking forward to it.

I'm having an OK day today. We'll take the baby pictures with as the family are curious to see. My Evil Mother has also requested to see them and I am torn. I want her to see them, he was after all her grandchild too, but I don't want her to have a copy of them. I'm afraid she might show them to other people - perhaps even claiming the baby was hers to get sympathy and attention. I know it's a horrible thought, but I would put nothing past her. Perhaps I should go and visit and take my laptop with to show her, then I wouldn't need to print them out or save them on an external device. I feel sorry for her in some capacity at the moment. She feels extremely left out of this huge event that has happened in my life, because I left her out. She was emotionally and financially unavailable to me when she was putting me through hell - now I'm going through hell again without her, because I have learnt I do not need her. I have enough other family to love and support me, although I don't know what I would have done without my grandparents. I want to buy them big Christmas presents this year, because they deserve it. Even if that means I'm broke until the end of January.

My grandfather popped on yesterday morning and saw my cousin for the first time. He told her that I've been so brave and that he is very proud of me. I wanted to cry. I am so proud of him for what he is going through with his treatment at the moment. Why do we not tell the people we love how we feel? Why didn't he say this to me? Why haven't I told him that I am proud of him? We tend to tell other people the good things about the people in our lives, despite them needing to hear it most.

I think everyone should make a concerted effort to tell their loved ones, friends and colleagues about the things they do right. I'm going to do try and do this while I am counting my blessings and not taking things for granted.

Friday, 21 November 2008

I take for granted...

Just like people who have suffered from terminal illness realize their mortality, I have realized the fragility of the things I take for granted.

I take my relationship for granted. I know I shouldn't, I really do. One minute my husband thinks I'm the sexiest girl alive, carrying his baby. Something he has always wanted. Every time I tell him I feel fat or ugly, he tells me that I'm pregnant and beautiful.

I took for granted that I would have a normal pregnancy and a healthy baby. I didn't want to be pregnant, but I was getting used to the idea and even getting a little excited (although for some reason I was reserved about that). People are buying you so many gifts you feel blessed and you start to eye and coo over the baby things in the shops. You start seriously considering working all the expenses into your budget and marvel at the way your entire life is about to change.

Then the carpet is pulled from beneath you. Everything is not OK. Your husband thinks you should do one thing and you feel you should do another. Now your marriage is on the line and you realize you could lose this person you love so much yet take for granted almost on a daily basis.

A few tense weeks pass and finally you and your husband agree on what the right thing to do is, but then your child is gone. Then all the plans you made fall apart and all the gifts lay there and won't fulfill the purpose they were intended for as soon as you had anticipated.

Your husband is still there, but he is hurting too and dealing with it in his own way. You are eternally grateful that you did not lose him as well, but with the emotional roller coaster you are on you want to kill him sometimes and smother him at others. Your husband loves you, but he cannot fill the void that has been created. He cannot undo the past any more than you can. So you love each other the best you can and hurt together, yet separately in most ways. I suppose as long as you are not hurting each other everything will be OK.

I try my best to acknowledge him now and make sure he knows how much I appreciate him. I'm not sure if he takes me seriously though, just like I might not believe him because of my own self worth issues. Sometimes when I say goodbye to him I want to kiss him again, just in case. You never know when it is the last time you will see someone. He is on the road all day and something could so easily happen to him and he could slip away from me as well.

Sometimes I wonder if I knew somewhere in the back of my mind that this child was not going to come into this world. I never bought a single thing for the baby. I bought a packet of wet wipes, reluctantly. I wonder this, but at the same time I know I had no possible way of knowing that this would happen, especially so far into my pregnancy. I took for granted that after my first three months were over everything would be OK and the symptoms would be the most of my worries.

Cook your husband a special meal.

Go and give your kid/s a hug and a kiss.

Cook your dog a steak, or your cat a fish.

Count your blessings.

Don't take anything for granted.

I'm not going to anymore...

UPDATE: The geneticist from Tygerberg mailed me the photos of our baby today. I completely broke down at work and had to leave. I came to my grandparents house to come and see the photos. I knew I couldn't open them at work, perhaps that is why I was so devastated. I also agree that I think it was a boy. It certainly seems that way on the photo. He definitely had my nose and my mouth. He was beautiful. I'm am so sad that he is gone and I really wish he wasn't.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

The Cycle

*sigh*

Yesterday was a hard day. I was OK at work, I only cried once, but after I got home I couldn't stop crying. I went to church and continued to cry there and went home and cried some more. At least I know what set me off yesterday. A lady at work lent me the "What to expect when you're expecting" book. I had it returned to her while I was off. She knows full well what happened, I even know who told her, but she still came up to me yesterday to ask me why I had returned the book. It's like she wanted ME to say it. I wanted to kick her ass. That is what set me off crying at work.

Rudi was late to pick me up yesterday and I was extremely irritated and he wasn't very pleasant when I got in the car. I tried my best in a calm manner to ask him to let me know when he is going to be late so that I don't wait outside on the street for him (it's not safe). He immediately jumped on his high horse and went off at me which just made me feel more annoyed and irritated...

I touched on the anger phase of me grief cycle yesterday. I went on a course that defined the stages of grief and taught us that it is important to know what stage you are in so that you can address your emotions and deal with them accordingly.

The stages are (comments below made by me mostly while in these stages):

Denial

I went through this stage for a little while. "This can't be happening, I'm healthy, we have no birth defects in our families". The gynae/specialist or being overly cautious, it's all a mistake.

Anger

Touched on this one last night. Why us? Why do other people have healthy babies? People that don't even WANT babies have babies and give them away. Why couldn't I have my baby?

Bargaining

If it's just the baby's feet we can handle that. We can fix that. Let the other things on the scan be a non-issue. Please God let the doctor be exaggerating or mistaken and let everything be OK (this before the specialist scan in the half an hour or so while I was waiting for her)

Depression

I don't think I've had this to the extent that I'm going to get it yet.

Acceptance

Getting there...I can't NOT accept what has happened, just as I cannot change it. It's a fact and it's not disputable. How to deal with it...that's a different issue.

You can go through these stages for years. You can be stuck on one stage for the rest of your life. A lot of people get stuck on anger or depression which is completely normal. You can go through these phases in any order and even after the 'acceptance' stage you can go back into depression or denial. I've got a feeling I'm a in the denial stage right now because I'm trying to put it out of my mind while I'm at work and I feel that I'm going to slip back into the bargaining stage soon ("God, just please bless us with a healthy baby quickly, then I'll feel better and go to church every service, etc.")

Life has carried on and I'm going through the motions. The following Alanis* song describes it perfectly:

Reborn and shivering
Spat out on new terrain

Unsure unconvincing
This faint and shaky hour

Day one day one start over again
Step one step one
I'm barely making sense for now
I'm faking it 'til I'm pseudo making it
From scratch begin again but this time I as I
And not as we

Gun shy and quivering
Timid without a hand

Feign brave with steel intent
little and hardly here

Day one day one start over again
Step one step one
with not much making sense just yet
I'm faking it 'til I'm pseudo making it
From scratch begin again but this time I as I
And not as we

Eyes wet toward
Wide open frayed
If God's taking bets
I pray He wants to lose

Day one day one start over again
Step one step one
I'm barely making sense just yet
I'm faking it til I'm pseudo making it
From scratch begin again but this time I as I
And not as we


Try to listen to the song on her site. It's beautiful and really sad. There isn't actually more I could say...

*lyrics courtesy of alanis.com

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

The Difference

My second day at work definitely went better than the first day. For one thing I forgot to bring a new box of tissues, but I managed not to cry. All this despite the fact that someone came to me and spoke to me about the whole thing directly. His wife found out she was pregnant shortly after I did, so we were comparing milestones and such. I've always like him...I think I even might have had a crush on him at some point. He's a really nice guy, but I managed not to cry in front of him, even though I wanted to. He had his own theory about the soul of the baby and why it left us. It's nice to hear other points of view.

This is such a weird place to be in. I was going to be a parent...and now I'm not. I was going to be a mother...and now I'm not. My entire life was going to change...and now it hasn't. There was all this expectation and build up...and now...nothing. Just sadness and heartache.

The only thing that has really changed is my focus and how other people are towards me. People treat me like I am a fragile now, which I suppose I am at the moment and I don't mind it. Rather that than someone (like Jubba) saying the wrong thing to me and me being fired for stabbing him with the scissors on my desk.

I never wanted a baby before. Now I'm thinking perhaps I'll have two. I've also learned to be VERY careful what you wish for. It haunts me that I used to say 'I've always wanted to be pregnant, I've just never wanted a baby', because that's exactly what I got. Pregnancy without a baby. This is of course before I knew what hell pregnancy would be for me, during the time I was still buying into the smiling faces on the pregnancy magazines. I have been very careful not to say "I want a baby, but I don't want to be pregnant", because I would love to have my own healthy baby.

I've become slightly more tolerant of seeing pictures of babies and seeing baby things, but not comfortable as yet.

I really hope I fall pregnant before the other people at work that are currently pregnant have their babies. I think I would feel better if it happened that way, but I shouldn't set my heart on anything either. I can just hope and pray that we conceive again quickly and that the next baby is meant to stay with us.

Oh dear. So much for not crying at work.

I'm helping out in another department since they have a bit of a backlog. A change is as good as a holiday they say. Better get back to work before they think I think I am on holiday!

Monday, 17 November 2008

Back at Work

I'm officially back at work today. Rudi and I hardly slept a wink last night, so I'm exhausted (Note to self: Take prescribed sleeping tablet tonight). I've been crying at least half the time I've been here. Everyone has been so sweet. I told my manager I would be OK if everyone just stopped asking me if I'm OK. I know they mean well, I really do, but I'm not OK and I'm just being reminded of it.

I cried in my manager's office. He was really supportive and said he will arrange more time off if I need it and that he wishes everything of the best for me for the future, etc. My supervisor also called me in and reiterated what my manager had said.

Offering me additional time off is great and everything, but what do I do at home? I have to carry on with my life and come back to my work some time. It might as well be now. Honestly, I would much rather sit in a corner and cry or curl up under a duvet and hibernate. I cannot lie it has been really hard and I want to run, but I've glued myself on this seat till four and I will remain here all day. Tomorrow I will come back and the day after that and the day after that.

Tonight I can collapse into my husband's arms and feel loved (if he's in the mood *wink* to make me feel loved...man...you know what I mean). It could have been worse. I must remember that too. What about that accident that happened where a mother and her pregnant daughter were killed because a truck fell off a bridge on top of their car? Imagine being that baby's father. To lose the woman you love and your baby. If I had lost Rudi through this process I would not have survived it. Whether or not he's been a model husband, he's been there. He only went fishing (at the worst possible time) that one time and afterwards we had a good talk about it and I realized he needed a little space and a little time alone to deal with the loss he felt. Sometimes I wish he would tell me how he is feeling so that I know I'm not going nuts, but I need to understand that he has his own way of dealing with this and doesn't need me pushing him right now.

Two quotes from the song 'Torch' from the latest Alanis Morissette album are so true for me now, of course for her the song is about a lover:

These are things that I miss
These are not times for the weak of heart
These are the days of raw despondence
I never dreamed I would have to lay down my torch for you like this


One step one prayer I soldier on, simulating moving on


I am sure I could find a million lyrics from her songs that will help me grieve. I had almost forgotten how she allows me to go inside myself and scratch around in the dark places I dare not dwell. It's officially on my 'to do' list.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Healing and Fun


So my bruises are healing and so is my heart. My bruises are healing at an alarming rate, whereas my heart is taking a little longer, but that is to be expected.

Rudi and I have decided to start trying again as soon as possible. Most likely late December/early January.

I hope it doesn't take too long. I can't wait!

Rudi and I went to Ratanga for the church's Family Day yesterday. It was tons of fun. The photos can be found here. We had fun and we went on the Monkey Falls twice (it's my favourite ride and totally worth the wait!). I can't remember The Cobra being frightening from when I was previously there, but it was! (The queue took forever) I must be getting old! We also went on The Diamond Devil and The Stargazer. The Stargazer was like a 'super tube' that you went on a little inflatable boat. I was scared that I was going to get stuck as a another large lady got stuck not too long before me, but I ended up shooting out at the bottom and my cap flying off! It was nice to have a day of fun in the wake of all the misery.

I'm also really chuffed that I remembered my sunblock and didn't get burnt! We also had a HUGE ice cream called 'The Ratanga Stroller', it must be the biggest ice cream I have ever seen in my life. It was delicious.

It's back to work tomorrow. I'm so not in the mood and it seems I'm working the weekend as well :(

My cousin has arrived from London and she's coming over next Friday for a catch up. I can't wait.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Getting better

So I finally stopped being stubborn and went to the doctor yesterday. Today I am R600 poorer. I do feel like I'm starting to get better though. My throat is slightly less sore and my sinus' seem to be clearing themselves out. Yummy.

The weather is starting to clear up which is great news for us as we're going to Ratanga tomorrow. If the weather is good Rudi will be able to go on any ride he wants. My favourite has always been the Monkey Falls. I'm sure Rudi will want to go on the Cobra first. The only ride I don't think I'll go on is the swinging ship. That thing scares the hell out of me. I was terrified the last time I went on it.

Monday it's back to work. No maternity leave to look forward to. Only hard work and Jubba breathing down my neck. Fun. Ugh. Maybe I should become a stay at home stay at home. A home executive (honestly I'd probably suck at that). We couldn't afford to live in our lovely home if I did that...Ah fuck it. I'll just sell my soul to The Company for the comfort I live in.

Golly...look at the time. The days are just slipping away from me. I hope I'm MUCH better by tomorrow. I would love to take photos, but I wouldn't want my camera to get wet on the Monkey Falls! Maybe I should buy some Ziploc bags...

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Doctors...GRRR

Physically I still feel like crap today. I'm going to the doctor later this afternoon since I'm convinced I need antibiotics and the only way to get my hands on them is to pay my doctor over R200.00 to write the name of the medication down on a piece of paper. Then we'll see how much the medicine costs. Last time I needed antibiotics the medication alone was R250.00. Ugh. Too many doctors bills.

I checked online and it seems that my medical aid covered most of the expenses in the hospital save around R200.00 which I can cope with. They paid out around R9000.00. It's about time they coughed, instead of me.

Emotionally I've been numbed today. No crying. Sadness...and anxious to see the photos that the geneticist will send (I really hope she doesn't forget), but otherwise numb. I am really not looking forward to going back to work on Monday, despite the fact that I'm not doing anything constructive at home. Other than cleaning. Cleaning helps distract me, although I don't have to think very hard while doing it.

I hope I feel better by Saturday, antibiotics usually take a day or two to kick in, so if the weather clears up Rudi and I can have a fun relaxing day together. Hopefully we can forget the sadness for a little while.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Grief

I wonder when it will stop hurting. I'm at a point now where I cannot look at baby things or toys or babies. On Saturday (when everything sunk in) Rudi took me to a 'fun day' type thing that they were having near where we live. I was already upset and then I saw a tiny pair of pink baby shoes with a butterfly embroidered on them in white. I just couldn't handle it. Suddenly everywhere I looked there were babies and toys and nappies...

I just opened the parenting community site and the first thing that came up was picture of one of my pregnant friend's belly and I had to click away. I had to close it. I couldn't look anymore...I couldn't go and look at the forums (which was my original intention), I had to close it immediately.

This has got to go away. I have more than one pregnant friend at the moment (3 that I see regularly - two of these at work) and I cannot be weird with them. I cannot be angry with them...I cannot resent them. I am endlessly envious of them and their healthy babies...but none of this is their fault. I might need to see someone or speak to someone. There is enormous online support (the parenting community were extremely supportive and warm)...perhaps I should find an online community that deals exclusively with grief so that I do not stumble upon the other things that I cannot face right now.

I have to head back to work on Monday. I'm not looking forward to facing the world. I've kind of holed myself up and surrounded myself with family and close friends. I've got to be OK. I can't break. I need to be OK.

Dark clouds and illness

I spent the entire day alone yesterday for the first time since we found out that there was something wrong with our baby. It wasn't easy. I broke down at some point and felt like the walls were closing in. I wanted to run. Instead I took a shower, washed and dried my hair. I still didn't feel better, but fell asleep. Sleep is a wonderful escape. Now that my hormones are not going crazy I'm not dreaming so much anymore. I'm sure the sleeping pills the doctor gave me aren't hurting either.

I think I have a cold or the flu or something. My throat has been extremely sore since Sunday, I've been coughing, my ears are blocked and sore and my nose is blocked. Luckily I am already booked off work, but I wish that could focus this time on mourning and grieving instead of focusing on all these physical issues. Maybe my emotions are manifesting themselves physically, since the gravity of everything hit me on Saturday for the first time. I know that happens with Rudi.

Our church is having a family day at Ratanga Junction on Saturday. Rudi has never been and begged me to get tickets. He wanted to go while he was on leave at the end of the year and I would have had to stay home. I'm pretty sure pregnant ladies aren't allowed to go on all those rides...but now I can go with him. I'm just hoping that I feel better by that time and that I'm not still sick.

My cousin, Carmie arrives from London on Saturday for her yearly visit home. I'm excited to see her. While she was in South Africa we didn't see much of each other, but somehow since she's left to live and work overseas I want to see more of her. Always wanting what I can't have I guess. My goodness I'm dying for something sweet to eat...

I better start getting ready. My grandfather has gone for his chemo drip again today and he's picking me up on his way home. He's been dreading it for days. I wish there was something I could do to help him feel better. I suppose I can only spend time with him and let him know I'm there if he needs me <3

Speaking of love, I love my husband now more than I ever have. This whole thing has brought us closer together and opened up a new level of communication for us. I suppose every cloud has a silver lining.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Spiritual Experiences

The memorial service was held on Sunday after our church service. My mother in law, sister in law, aunt, uncle, grandmother, grandfather, My Evil Mother, Rudi and I were all there. My mother in law brought flowers and a slab of chocolate. My aunt and My Evil Mother cried more than I did. It was short and dignified. Since the beginning of all of this I’ve had a few significant spiritual experiences. Some of them are difficult to explain to someone who is not New Apostolic, but I’ll try.

On the day that I was admitted to hospital I received many phone calls from family and friends with words of encouragement and assurances of prayers. My grandfather’s family specifically came through which is strange because they are not particularly close to us. They all told me that they are praying for our protection and Lynne who had to go through the same experience as me told me I will not be alone in the hospital room and that I need to remember that.

As the general wards were full I ended up in a private room and had a small TV in front of my bed. While I was watching TV I saw a reflection which looked exactly like our church’s symbol. Looking behind me I only saw a chain with a triangular shaped handle hanging from it (used by ladies who have had epidurals to assist in turning themselves). This of course does not resemble our church symbol at all, but when reflected in the TV it looked that way, making me feel like I was not alone in the room.

In our faith we take communion at each service (twice a week if you attend both services) and we eat a small wafer while partaking in the sacrament. The communion is served by priests who take the wafers out of silver cups and put the wafer into your hands. As the priests do this they attempt to separate any wafers they feel might be stuck together, so if you receive two wafers it almost always has a significant meaning. For instance, the first time I partook of communion after I found out I was pregnant I received two wafers instead of one, which indicated God’s acknowledgement of my baby to me. On Sunday our rector (who had been specifically moved back to our congregation even though he was booked somewhere else so that he could perform the memorial) served communion. It is the first time I have ever seen him do so. He happened to be placed in front of the block where I was sitting. Someone happened to skip him while going up for communion which resulted in him serving me with communion. He said he picked up the wafer and tried to separate them as they normally would and couldn’t. When he looked up I was standing in front of him. After I received the wafer I also looked down at it as I noticed it was much thicker than usual and the two wafers were stuck together as if glued that way. Both the rector and I felt that the chain of events leading up to this was a sign that our baby was also now partaking of Holy Communion in his place of rest, may he rest in peace.

I have been spending a lot of time with my grandparents while I have been off. Before I went to hospital I could not be alone with all the uncertainty and questions floating about in my head I was in a permanent state and needed to be around my loved ones to keep me calm and sane. I would sit howling on my own driving myself crazy. My grandfather being on chemo also appreciated the company. On a number of occasions my grandfather asked me if I had seen the movie ‘Evan Almighty’ and I kept telling him that I hadn’t. Yesterday I was there for the first time since we lost James and he asked me the question again. For some reason I asked him if he would put it on for me. I had what Oprah might call an ‘Aha’ moment while watching it yesterday and felt like it contained something that I desperately needed to hear. At some point Samuel L. Jackson (who portrays God in the movie) says ‘When someone prays for patience, God gives them an opportunity to be patient. If someone prays for courage, God gives them an opportunity to be courageous’, this telling me that God does not put circumstances in our way to break our spirit, but to strengthen us in ways we never thought possible. I have an opportunity, I just need to figure out what the opportunity is.

I really needed to start interpreting the situation a little differently and turning all the negativity that had been in my head into something positive. I thought it so strange that I have never lost a friend or family member close to me to death. Now I have lost a child, much closer than anyone else could have been. Perhaps this will prepare me for circumstances I will face in the future which I could not have faced before. Perhaps God wants me to appreciate and shower with love and care the healthy baby I will be provided. Honestly before I fell pregnant I did not want a baby. Now I want nothing more. I will take no chances next time. I will not look at any medication. I will lie over the toilet for months, suffer through infection, and do what I need to do, but take no chances with our next child.

I do not know how long we will wait before we try again. We may just wait out the year and start trying again next year. The gynae wanted to see me again in February. Perhaps we will wait for that check up.

I realize that this has been quite a religious entry, but I needed to express my spiritual experiences. I needed to record them because I do not want to forget exactly how I felt when these things happened to me. It is so easy to lose perspective which is why I blog. Reading back on past experiences sometimes just gives you the perspective you need to be in a better emotional place in your life when you forget how blessed you are.

Saturday, 08 November 2008

James: Part II

***WARNING***
Some readers may find content graphic or upsetting


It hit me this morning for the first time. Yesterday I was feeling guilty for not feeling worse. For not having cried yet. I know I'm supposed to, but it hadn't happened. This morning it happened. I cried. Not a snivelling, silent cry either. A full blown snot and howling cry. I know I'm allowed to. I've given myself permission to feel however I want to and not to hide my emotions and bottle them up. Unfortunately Rudi was at work and wasn't here to comfort me, so I hauled out my laptop.

Let's first cover what My Evil Mother did that upset me. Just after I had come out of theater her and my grandmother went to look at the baby. Rudi and I were alone and he shared with me that he keeps having this vision that there is nothing wrong with the baby. That we had made a mistake and we couldn't fix it now. I tried to re-assure him that the scans were clear enough even for a layman to see that there was something wrong.

When My Evil Mother re-entered the room she kept saying 'He's perfect. He's so beautiful'. I kept asking her what she meant that he was perfect and she said 'He had 10 fingers and 10 toes, etc'. This confused the hell out of me, considering that Rudi had voiced this fear not minutes earlier. I asked her if she looked at his hands and she said yes and that he had 10 fingers...eventually she said you could see that the hands were frozen in a claw like position. We had asked My Evil Mother to take a few photos with my phone in case I changed my mind about seeing the baby later on. Eventually Rudi couldn't take it anymore and asked to see the photos. After seeing the photos (video clips actually, My Evil Mother has no idea how to operate a phone) Rudi seemed more calm though. My Evil Mother said the same thing she said to me to my uncle and aunt who immediately started saying things like 'They should sue the doctors for giving them the wrong information'.

After finally mustering the courage to look at the pictures myself I had no doubt that we had made the right decision. In hindsight My Evil Mother was possibly trying to be positive and not to upset me. I did phone her and told her that she is no longer to discuss it with anybody as she seems to be giving people the impression that we terminated a healthy baby. She said that she didn't know how to handle the situation and that she didn't know what else to say. I believe her. It is a difficult thing to go through and there isn't a manual telling you what the 'right' thing is to say.

We had agreed to let the geneticist have a look at the baby, even though we decided not to have a post mortem done. She called me yesterday and asked if I wanted to know about her findings. I agreed as I wanted re-assurance from a medical professional as well. She found that the baby had no anus which was causing the obstruction in the bowel. The baby had no way of disposing of waste. She had an x-ray taken and was able to see that the bottom of the spine did not close as it should and the nerve endings seemed to be problematic as well. She could not ascertain at first why the hands were a problem, but on closer inspection of the x-ray she was able to see that the skull and spine were not properly connected causing the brain to have problems sending messages to the hands. The geneticist asked if we had determined the sex of the baby from the amniocentesis (which we did not) as she could not ascertain the sex upon examining the foetus. Sexual organs should have been well developed at this stage of the pregnancy. We have decided to stick to it being a boy. She asked permission to keep the photos she had taken, I granted her permission and requested her to e-mail some to me as the video clips My Evil Mother took were of very poor quality. She agreed to do so. I will not post the photos of the baby on my blog as I feel that they may be quite disturbing. From the photos the club feet are evident, but it is also clear that one leg is much longer than the other and seems to be facing the wrong way. It almost looks like the leg is broken, which is what they most likely would have had to do to correct that.

I cannot imagine the amount of surgeries and pain this baby would have had to have if the baby had managed to survive. I don't think the baby would have survived considering it was unable to rid it's body of waste. Rudi and I are completely at peace with our decision though and we know that we did the right thing.

A part of me wants to start trying to fall pregnant again immediately. Another part of me is too afraid to. I don't know what we're going to do, but I do know that I do not want to go back onto the pill again. Maybe that was one of the reasons this happened. I fell pregnant really quickly after going off the pill and who knows if that interfered with the development of our baby. I know women fall pregnant on the pill or shortly after going off of it all the time, but you never know what caused the problems with my pregnancy and I'd rather not take the chance. How we are going to prevent pregnancy will have to be a done on a trial and error basis with available contraceptives.

Rudi just got back from work and wants to go fishing. I feel like chopping his head off with a bread knife. He could clearly see that I am upset and need support, but he chooses not to be with me. I told him that I don't want to be alone and that I need him, but he wants to go fishing. I'm seriously fucked off with him right now.



A cactus that I have which is flowering now. Ironic, yet it gives me hope somehow.



The beautiful flowers I received from my colleagues at work.



Where they attempted to administer a drip (and failed).



This is where they eventually managed to put the drip in nicely, it's a bit swollen, but not nearly as bad as my arm!



Where they attempted to administer the epidural.


And so my battle scars will heal...now I just have to figure out what will heal my heart. A memorial service will be held for our baby tomorrow after church. That will be the last goodbye.