Thursday, September 30, 2010

Mother Heart

Naomi over at Seven Cherubs is doing her first linky today! It's one I am happy to join, for it is about mothers, mothering and thoughts, tips and ideas on same. Who doesn't know much about that when they do it day in, day out?  ;)

More's the point, I sometimes get to this end of the week and want to tear my hair out. Sometimes not. But sometimes.... I do. And I'm not ashamed to say it.

So I have joined the Linky with my post already, if you would like to go take a look or join yourself with a post (old or new), let's see if we can't celebrate or discuss motherhood for a day a week. I know I often don't, which is quite strange, given it's my chosen career. Heh.

I still can't believe I get to say that. I just finished a read-through of my book last night and vividly recall the section where Steve and I had "that discussion".... the one that went, "I think we have to just face it. We're not going to have any more children. Ella was it. And now she's gone. So we can keep trying but we have to be realistic: we'll lose more babies than we'll ever have. If we have one ever again..."

It was a sobering discussion.

Anyhow! Enough from me! Go check out the links. And here's to having a great Thursday.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Giving you the bird

What? What were you expecting but a beautiful native Australian bird??

This is just one of the locals that comes and sits outside my kitchen window regularly. I'm usually rendered frozen, not wanting to scare them away while I drink in their amazing plumage, so I never have the opportunity to grab the camera.

But on this day, the camera was in easy reach. I contorted my body - not moving my top, visible half - over to the bench where the camera was and deftly brought the lens up. Lucky the first shot was a good shot because literally at the moment of shutter-click, he flew off again.

I love where I live. This is one of the many reasons. Look at those colours! Arrgh, my eyes! And this is our 'common' bird here. I feel spoiled.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Mojo Monday

I've lost it, basically. My mojo, that is. The weather appears to have fallen flat on its own arse again today, after such a promising Sunday. Curses! *shaking fist at sky* It's chilly and overcast and dark again today. Not an entirely awful day to be indoors working on the book, though, one must concede.

So, given that I am channelling all available creativity into my writing 'offline' once again, I have decided that in lieu of an inspired post today, I am going to backtrack what I believe is a very important interpersonal exchange which I wrote about 12 months ago. It now forms a short, sharp chapter in the first half of my book. When I wrote it, and then posted it here, I had a pang of worry and guilt.... I was writing reflectively, an honest account of what I did and what I said to a complete stranger. What would others think of me for being so brazen in my youth?! Not that I blame youth alone.

I'm interested to see what you think about this one.....

The Woman In The Supermarket (originally posted here on Sunny Side Up)
This is something that has come to me time and time again, in the course of writing my book. On the first sweep through the draft, there was nowhere for it. I left it out.

This morning, I was woken at 4.45am and put to work, writing it out. Strictly unedited and still unsure where it fits (but fit, it will!) in the story, I thought it pertinent to put here too. It is bold-faced, unashamedly Tigger-esque Me. The "me" I was before Ella.

The passage below reminds me so very much of the exchanges I was then forced to endure in the years following Ella's death. Things that were said to me, even after we had brought the LGBB home safely, along the lines of "Oh cheer up, you've got what you always wanted now! Come on, chin up, pip-pip."

One night after work, I was shopping in the supermarket. A woman, not much older than me, was standing nearby. She was selecting fruit and looking rather downtrodden and sullen, as if she might burst into tears at any moment. I felt so cheerful and happy that the contrast was really evident to me. In “getting over” our missed miscarriage – surely just a mindset, one that I determined would not “bring me down” and so, therefore, I had just decided not to be glum about it anymore – I felt at the time that I had just come out of what was surely the worst my life would throw at me. And I felt able to conquer anything with my perky optimism.
In all of my youthful wisdom, I smiled as I stood alongside her and said, “Ah, come on, it can’t be that bad!” I was attempting to make her smile. I thought she just needed some “cheering up.”
“Mind your own bloody business!” she snapped, hardly able to get the words out and instantly welling up with tears.
Immediately, I wanted the floor to open up and swallow me whole. I hastily left the grocery department without further word and spent the rest of my shopping trip feeling ghastly that I had upset the woman even more. Before I had even finished and paid for my groceries, I had already scolded myself countless times and wondered about her position – did she have an ill mother or father in hospital? Did her beloved cat just get run over by a car? Had her husband just left her? Of course, as our miscarriage count rose, over the years the scenarios I pondered (while I cringed) included any number of fertility concerns, pregnancy loss and even infant death. Yes, I had been extremely short-sighted in my delivery of such a well-intended but downright out of line remark.
Many years later, I would be reminded that even these sorts of absent-minded runnings off in my mind, about matters which were of no concern or business whatsoever of mine, were not useful or respectful to do to anybody. Nowadays, I diligently practice not thinking this way about others whenever I catch myself beginning to do it because it is really incorrect of me.
In her direct delivery, the woman in the supermarket had taught me something huge. Something about a person’s personal space and permitted experiences. And something I would muse about on and off over many years, serving as a reminder to be mindful not to delve into concerns that were not mine.
Looking back on the exchange, almost ten years later, I can see how utterly incorrect it was for me to enter into anybody’s personal space in that way (let alone a stranger’s). I am not saying it was wrong to strike up a conversation, more so in the manner in which I did it. Although well intended, there is little doubt that I was not permitted to invalidate someone like that. Especially if I thought that by doing so, I would be helping her to "snap out of it." 
How did I know the extent of her troubles, the depths of her despair? How did I even assume to know her situation? If I had been apprised of it, did that give me any more right to say what I did? In retrospect, I think absolutely not.
I have thought often about this exchange as a model of my Tigger-esque character at the time. It is obvious to me now that I had so much to learn, in terms of relating to people in their time of crisis. Even when I thought all of my positive, all-knowing “twenty-somethingness” would not only see me through, it could also instantly fix the woes of anyone around me (ugh) whenever I spread my feelings of joy, the truth was that I could not truly become benevolent without first experiencing bare-faced hardships of my own. “Hardships” that would send me to the absolute brink of my own desperate despair, some through which I did not even want to live.
Somehow, even if it is as simple as deciding not to be miserable anymore (ironically, in my experience, the sentiment is usually delivered by those who have never actually been through a miscarriage themselves), I have to maintain that it is still nobody's business how someone else grieves or carries themselves while they try their damnedest to get through the toughest trial of their life. This extends to any number of personal tragedies or potholes in the road - in no way am I implying that it only fits with anything fertility- or childbirth-related. But these are just my biggest trials in life so far. Trials that have, hopefully, enabled me to extend my rules of engagement with anyone who is going through something tough - be it divorce, death of a parent or other loved one, job loss... Mine is not to measure their pain against any I've experienced and then categorise it as more or less important or worthy. Mine is to simply listen and empathise. I'm still learning this one and being very patient with myself when I trip up (for I do) whilst in the throes of supporting another.
If one thing is certain, I am actually so very grateful for my experiences. It has taught me much about humility and respect, honour and empathy for others. If my lessons had not been so overwhelming and persistent, I might not have received the message so fully. I am grateful and relieved that I do see how much I have accomplished in terms of this, particularly when I look back on the exchange I had with the woman in the supermarket.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Stream of Consciousness Saturday

Brought to you by The LGBB & Me...

‎"Let's watch a movie yeah let's watch Tinkerbell again not a Daddy boring movie that nobody else wants to watch come ON Mummy you come too let's watch a movie YEAH! let's go, girls *grabs nearest Barbies* C'mon! Let's roll!"

Must teach my daughter not to say everything she thinks. I'm breathless just listening to it.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

It's the dog who won't die

What the vet found? You may well ask....  She found:

The contents of half a 12kg bag of Pedigree dry dog food.

That's right. Yes. I shall put you out of your misery/suspense right now, unlike what has just happened to me over the past two hours of sheer agony as I waited on news.

When we arrived, they took one look at her and soberly led me to a tiny waiting room for one. The kind of waiting room that has a one-way arrow on it. Down the back. Closest to the .... well, I don't even want to imagine. And I cried. I cried and cried, as silently as I could. Then the vet came. Explained to me that they needed to listen to her heart. Each possibility was worse than the last - cancerous tumours, or heart failure, or .. oh I can't remember, something or other else. I began to accept that Pep had lived to see her last weekend. I told the vet, "Well, whatever it is, I have to take her home. I just cannot do that to my four year-old, she needs to say goodbye tomorrow." The vet gave no such reassurance that she would let me keep her to that promise. After a good 10 minutes or so, waiting on my own, the vet came back and said that there was so much body cavity noise (and breathing, oh the noisy breathing! as I type this, it is drowning out the tv) and that they needed to take an xray.

So I waited. I waited a whole hour and nobody even came to give me an update. It was good in a way. It gave me time to properly, honestly let her go. I told her that on Monday - I looked her square in the eyes and told her, through my tears, that she really could go if this was it. But I discovered tonight, waiting, that a small piece of me had been lying. So I sat there and contemplated Pepper's life and time with us. With me. All those days at home together. In the sun, at the beach, on my bed (ho, yes, the night before my wedding and I was nervous and couldn't sleep, it was Pep who consoled me as I tried to go to sleep on my own for the first time in years).

And then, out came the vet. "Her lungs are remarkably fine. Her heart, from what we can see and hear, is okay, although she is under enormous pressure right now..... She has an awful lot of food in there, what has she eaten???"

"Nothing!" I replied, shocked. I had been sitting there getting worried that my poor old girl would be getting starving by now, well after her pensioner tea-time and having had no meal for the day... But then, "Wait a minute.... I found a broken bag of dog food outside this morning...."

Turns out, my 17 year old, can't-walk-for-falling-over dog had worked on the plastic outer bag of the new dog food I bought them and apparently used it as A CHAFF BAG all night last night. Hence, she looked like Violet Beauregarde.

To say I am immensely embarrassed about racing in here in a flat panic a couple of hours ago is an understatement. And I couldn't let the night pass with any more of you incredibly kind folk out there worrying about us, or reading the previous entry and becoming sad.

She is incredibly old. She has acute deterioration going on. But she is not uncomfortable... well, save for this self-mutilating act of gluttony. She is mighty uncomfortable right about now, but that will pass. Literally. Hopefully. I mean, how can you not have some issues if you have gone from 18kg to 25.5kg in a day?  I wince at the thought. And she has to have a blood test ASAP so we can clear her for starting on medication to help with her incontinence.

My Finding Pepper In Her Forever Slumber Under The Lemon Tree hope is still alive! Thank you for your care and kindness, I really truly needed it and knew you were with me as I sat there, blubbering at the vets. I'm so emotionally drained right now.

Pepper lives to wheeze - and fart like a beauty - another day. And all I can say is, I'm glad I'm not sharing a tent with her tonight. Phewwww-eee.

But seriously.... CAN YOU BELIEVE IT WAS THAT??!! Food. Shaking my head. Laughing. Crying. Going insane.

Pepper update

Damn damn damn. I think my old dog is in renal failure. Off to vet now. I'm ready for them to tell me the worst. But shit... I'm SO not ready for her to go.

Pepper :(  My best buddy for the past 15 years. Shit. I remember telling Steve I was hopeful she would live til she was eight, because she was such a tough old dog. I thought that translated into 'hard life, short life'. But no.

This dog has taught me so much.  I told her on Monday - the crying day - that if she had to go, she should go. She has deteriorated since then and I noticed tonight big saggy fluid sections in her underbelly. Her breathing is even more laboured. She appears to have bloated hugely overnight.

I have to let her go. I know I do. I just guess I could be selfish and bargain a little more time.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The 'white knuckles' dance - by OK, Go.

The high five at 2:30 mins! TOOOOOO CUTE.

And wouldn't they just cry if one of those dogs jumped off the chair right at the end.... Apparently this was done in one take??? Apparently. Also, according to the YouTube comments, anyone who dislikes the video is a dog hater, therefore hates Americans who hates dogs and is therefore a T-rorist. I'll wait while your brains follow the trail of that logic

At any rate, it's a damn entertaining video! I thought it was awesome. Then again, I am a sucker for dogs. If you hadn't noticed.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I've got it!

The Facebook group I'd start....

Remember I asked ages back? I got distracted by something shiny and forgot to get back to it and all of you kind folk who bothered to reply. There were such good ones too! Oops, probably lost a few more readers that day for the way I snubbed the commenters, huh.

Anyway! The group. It's SO got to be

Please don't follow me into another room, I'm not going to be there long enough for you to bother.

Seriously now. What mother/father hasn't thought that of a pet or a child or some other significant other? You know you're only going in to put away folded washing or grab a hair brush or put some shoes in your cupboard or see if you can find what you're looking for in that room. But they get up and follow you. And the time and effort it takes them makes it so sad when, guaranteed, you're meeting them coming in as you're on the way out that same door.

Every time.


I'm thinking of getting a T-shirt printed with it so that the LGBB learns I'm being cruel to be kind when I say repeatedly, "Please don't follow me! It's so not going to be worth it."

It's not nice to pick on the elderly

But sometimes, it's the only way to let off steam.

My dear old geriatric doggy is trying to prove she's "still got'em", I guess to allay my fears that today's the day I'm going to find her curled up for an endless sleep under the lemon tree. One day, she can't move and just sways there staring off into space like Lindsay Lohan, she gives me great pause to think whether there is another way to house her comfortably when I shove her out the door at night. The next, she's toughing it out and playing keepings-off the apples (Pepper LOOOOOVES apples and carrots) with Jazz, who can't stand apples but eats them if it means stealing something off Pepper.

So yesterday, I spent the day doting on Pep, making sure she was comfortable inside by the heater. Fluffing her doggy bed and helping her up and down - she really seemed to "feel it" yesterday - and becoming more and more convinced that she wasn't long for this world. Last night, when I put her out, I said to Steve, "Surely there's some way we can have her inside." But there really isn't. When she is left unsupervised indoors now, she wets the floor. I'd hate to think what would happen during an entire overnight stint. When she's left outside, despite it being really cold, this still doesn't seem to daunt her too much. But surely it can't be doing her any good, getting so cold. She is so arthritic she can't bend her legs very often. Still, she strangely still seems to prefer roughing it out in the wet - her entire coat was dripping and frozen yesterday morning, hence me warming her in front of the heater - despite having a whole undercover deck to sleep on with a variety of dog beds and camping spongey floor squares in sheltered corners of the verandah... she just doesn't think to sleep on these, for some primal reason.

Day or night now, the other thing she does is bark. Short, sharp, insistent and persistent barks. So perfectly timed you could play a piece of music to their metronome-style beat. It. Drives. Me. BONKERS. It's like drip torture. The only way to stop this is to get her inside. As she's deaf and really hard of seeing, it's no use even standing at the door doing angry sign language at her anymore and it's not nearly as satisfying because she doesn't respond (because she can't see me). She has gone quite mad - or is she merely very clever?? I still can't work the old girl out. I think it's a smidge of both, to be honest.

But, what I need to know is this:   Is there a solution I have been overlooking here? I want to be able to give Pepper a comfortable night indoors. But the cat sleeps in the laundry - she is a messy thing as well and I think I'd rather a dog pee accident than a cat one somewhere in the house - so Pep wouldn't have access there. There is nowhere else we can put her that doesn't have some sort of carpet and I'm not prepared to let her potentially roam inside while we sleep. Any comfy beds we give her outside get nabbed by Jazz - she doesn't understand the concept of "This is PEPPER'S, not YOURS, missy." So whenever Pep makes a midnight 12-minute dash to the lawn and back to relieve herself, her nice warm bed is in the meantime stolen by her able-bodied little backyard mate. This morning, I came out to find the princess spread-eagled across Pepper's bed and Pepper huddled in a cold ball next to her on the freezing wood. Jazz is such a spoilt poop-head.

The other thing that goes with getting old - reeeeeally old - is the loss of one's ability, apparently, to keep certain sphincters shut. So we have an audibly loud bugle-blower of the stinkiest variety now residing amongst the family indoors. The LGBB constantly seems to think it's me. It's funnier to blame "farties" (as she has always called them) on your mother, I hear.

The only thing for it these past few weeks is to let our old dog out regularly to take a pee and have a drink, then lead her back inside gently by the collar - I didn't realise until a few months ago just how frail she is, when on one of these occasions, I firmly pulled her and the poor darling actually winced. Ever since then, I have been ginger with her, even though sometimes she is so annoying with these geriatric antics that I'd like to give her a boot up the backside.

Of course I never would. Who knows what smells it might dislodge.

Blurring occurred here I don't know how, because her head moves at 2 frames a second.... 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The business of IVF

I'm writing again. Got to ride the crest of the wave when it presents itself or I'll end up strolling along the shore for another long bloody year.

Anyway, trawling through this end stage of the book (end stage, end stage!! it is nigh! oh my giddy aunt, I may just finish it yet!), I was struck by some of the things that happened to Steve and me during our IVF prep - which I had forgotten, but remembered as soon as I read what I had recorded (and thank God I was writing this stuff down to help me recall it now for the book) - that really makes me take a step back and see just how convoluted and invasive the business side of IVF can be.  The side that doesn't even take the prospect of there being a baby, a spiritual being, at the end of all this into account.

This is a real uncomfortable thing for me to uncover and confront. I guess I had a whiff of it when we did our IVF in 2005. But I held my sights on the end result as best I could. It was something my cohorts at the time were instructing me to do, and I did it willingly. These were IVF veterans, many of them, who knew far better than me how to keep their heads afloat in this strange world of medicated cycles and white theatre gowns. Funny it's only struck me now, now that I am so far removed from it, that I can properly acknowledge how difficult it really is not to get your head stuck in the processes and the intellectual, financial, nitty-gritty of it all. It's a trap. It feels like a whirlpool where all you can do is keep your head above the water, even if you're being sucked in by the current and can no longer even paddle. Just keep your head up above that water line, if nothing else. A tremendously arduous way to live, particularly if one is balancing IVF "life" with work, family, home and whatever other realities.
It's plain to see now, the geneticist we saw was against IVF. Steve and I were old hats at recurrent miscarriage, infertility, loss and the "waiting game" by this point. But I wonder just how damaging this doctor's opinions would have been to the other IVF candidates who consulted with him. He was not part of the IVF clinic (and I daresay he had a thing against "this IVF business"). Rather, he was
a senior geneticist at the Genetics clinic that became known to us once Steve's blood results showed up his carrier condition (a balanced translocation). I don't know if his gripe was a purist one, or was stemming from perhaps a personal moral issue with IVF - perhaps the advances in his chosen profession had caused a dilemma for him and the whole "playing God" aspect of not only out and out IVF but now this new technology of PGD* - but this guy was hostile as all get-out about us trying it.

At the time, Steve and I had nothing to lose. Well... except the better part of $20,000, that is. $20k that would have helped us right about now, with all our renovations and water/hail storm damage. Do I regret attempting IVF, now that I know it failed us?

Not on my life.

I was provided with an invaluable insight, undergoing IVF. My head was well and truly, firmly jerked back in. And my world was opened up even further. Where once I had a closed view of IVF and what it represented (to me), it did the exact opposite to what I thought it would.

I am beginning to weave it in to my story. Here is the opener, before we start our first cycle, where we have to go visit this Mad Hatter of a retiree aged geneticist (name has been changed, of course) and request he grant us the medical nod by way of a letter to our chosen fertility specialist to say we have ticked this particular box and dutifully done our rounds with the genetics side of things - to prove we understand why/how/what we were getting into.

As always, feedback about this (below) is welcome and invited. Much obliged to those who feel compelled to comment. The excerpt begins just after the doctor asks us how our (deceased for the past year) daughter is doing... he had gone over her post mortem with us only months before. Good start, non?

The meeting went from bad to worse after that. Dr Greenwood all but tried to talk us out of PGD*. For every point he made against the procedure, we had a positive response. We had the financial means, we understood it was very expensive. Yes, we understood the success-failure rates. We were by now very well-versed on our conditions, both Steve’s chromosomal factors and my anti-phospholipid syndrome, which was under control.
“Once you see an IVF doctor, they'll be all positive about it and, well, IVF just isn't all that good," Dr Greenwood concluded about the procedure. I exchanged a wide-eyed look with Steve. We would hope our IVF doctor would be bloody positive about it, because we were!
“Well, we’re willing to discover that for ourselves,” I retorted. “If you could please do whatever it is you need to from this end, to begin the ball rolling, we’d appreciate it, thank you.”
Steve and I returned home, dumbfounded.
“I don’t understand, why would he doggedly push us to reconsider doing IVF?” I asked Steve, quite dismayed that our trip to the geneticist had not gone more positively. “He said it wasn't "that good" and, okay, we more often hear of IVF successes in the media - but why couldn't he focus on SOME positives too? I get that he wants us to be well-informed about the expense involved and that it might not even work, despite how much money we lay down. But, really, did he not see our history?”
“I think he’s just old-school,” Steve offered, shaking his head. “We know what we’re getting into, but perhaps some people he sees are clueless and just starting out when they go for these IVF prep appointments. We’ve gone past that now. He was just spinning the company line. This is business for them. I’d say they have some duty to inject a bit of reality about the success rates of IVF. That’s all.”
Regardless, we now had to rethink our plans that afternoon, yet again. If Dr Greenwood was not forthcoming with a recommendation to the specialist that we were viable candidates for PGD, our hopes would be stalled. I was so fed up with miscarriages and not knowing which pregnancy might be our next normal one, like Ella. I dreaded the wait to find out if we would ever have another viable pregnancy ever again, before time – and my natural fertility – ran out. It was obvious, with the miscarriages since Ellanor had died, that the universe was not going to dish out an “easy ride” to success for us simply because of our trials so far. It was almost as though it was taunting us, daring us to try IVF now.
The knowledge that there was some way of testing the embryos before transferring them in the hopes of one implanting had become a viable option. I had no more strength to continue, blindly losing these beginnings of life before they had even properly begun. And while Ellanor had become our guiding light, the very reason Steve and I continued to remain hopeful of becoming parents again, her death had also left us in a state of flux. We agreed we could no longer go on treading water for an indefinite length of time.
“Well, what do we do?” I asked, hoping Steve knew.
“I think we keep working towards doing IVF,” Steve replied with certainty. “If this guy doesn’t agree, we’ll go to someone else. All we need is the letter.”
“And what about contraception?”

Since Christmas, we had decided to avoid any more natural pregnancies. The sobering shock of having to terminate the most recent pregnancy while there was still a slow, but abnormal, heartbeat really had changed the way we wanted to work with our fertility issues. Contraceptive measures had been the wisest and kindest thing to do these past weeks, despite how very counter-productive it seemed.
“I’m game if you are,” Steve said, staring at his shifting feet.
I looked at him. The Geneticist had warned we could be waiting up to six months for a test to be made up from Steve’s sperm, before we even went on the waiting list for the actual commencement of our first IVF cycle. I couldn’t wait that long without trying to conceive a baby with him, I knew it. And I was so relieved that it was Steve’s suggestion to forge ahead. Who knew, perhaps we would be ever so lucky to become pregnant with a healthy baby before even starting IVF.
“Okay, so we try to conceive again naturally, for at least half of these months we’re being forced to wait,” I suggested. Steve nodded decidedly, holding his hand out for me to shake on the deal. We shook on it and laughed, happy to have reached a decision.
It was no longer strange for us to consider this baby-making business a job, a contractual agreement. It had become something of a life within itself, the third wheel to our relationship. We had acknowledged its presence for so many years now and included it in all our holiday-making and workload decisions, just like we would a member of the family. It was one of our team, although I know we both secretly hoped it would meet its contract so we could make it redundant, already.
“So if we do have another miscarriage, we still have time to recover before I have to start stimming,” I said, taking some of my newfound IVF terminology for a spin.
“What’s stimming?”
“It’s what the girls on the forum call it when you start the follicle stimulating hormones part of the cycle,” I replied, feeling a bit excited for the first time about the prospect of going into a medically controlled state where, if the result was a pregnancy, we would be assured of an embryo that would result in a baby who was free of our genetic fucked up-ness.

*Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis:  basically, a very invasive procedure on the fertilised eggs - embryos - whereby several cells are biopsied from an 8-cell blastocyst and analysed for genetic markers. The embryos go through an incredible amount of, well, 'invasion'... After the cells are extracted, miraculously the embryos continue to divide, replenishing the lost cells. If they continue (and are normal, according to the results of the analysis), they are either frozen for a thaw cycle or transferred to the female, where hopefully they implant. From then on, it's pregnancy as usual. In an ideal world.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Sprung bad

Steve jumped into a taxi today (inside our newly completed garage ohmygodIknowcanyoubelieveit'sfinally FINISHED??) and the driver asked him where he wanted her to take him.

"To the city, please," he replied.

The car didn't move. The driver didn't acknowledge she'd heard. A few moments later, I heard Steve say (for I was sweeping leaves nearby), "Umm, driver? Can we go to the city now?"

"Inna minute...." came the authoritative reply. "I'm just reading the paper."

"Oh. Ok." Steve sat glumly with hands folded in his lap, looking at me through the side window. I crumpled with silent laughter as the driver continued to fold over the pages of her imaginary newspaper in the front seat.

"Just checking my lipssssssstick....." she then said absent-mindedly, as if stalling but not exactly knowing what she was stalling for, checking her reflection in the visor mirror before busily flipping it back into its horizontal position.

The car then went through a series of gear crunches and there were copious amounts of corners being turned from what I could see.

I left them to it, coming inside to grab a cup of tea. And realised that now, my husband thinks I bundle our child in the car and torment her by strapping her in so I can gallavant about town, reading the paper idly and checking my lippy whilst airily dismissing her requests from the backseat.

Friday, September 17, 2010

My girl

Pepper, in 2000

We're at the pointy end of the stick, folks. Surely there are not any more winters left in our dear old girl. Mind you, once again (and if you've been reading this blog since 2005, I'll be sounding like a broken record by now), I have stated this since oh about 2007.

Pepper is becoming somewhat disoriented now. She is comfortable, but oh so slow. She slips when her back legs buckle under her. The arthritis more than anything has slowed her to a stumbling dodder. There will be some, undoubtedly, who say I am cruel for not "being kind" and getting her euthanased.  I put it to those people that so was my grandmother (slow and doddery, with a dodgy hip and even broke her ankle in what turned out to be the final months of her long life, from having a very simple slip in the shower) but we didn't give her the Big Needle.

I'm writing today in honour of all those gorgeous, dear dogs who don't find a home as good as this one. See, Steve and I rescued Pepper from certain death in 1995. She was already out of her puppy stage (the vets' best estimate over the years is that she was already at least 18 months-2 years old, which makes her 17 now) and had been cooped up at this shelter for over a month already. Everybody who came to take a dog home had overlooked her. Heck, even I went past her without a second glance the first time.

There were 35 cages.  And thirty-five cages had an occupant - some of them had two. The reality was, most of these dogs were not going to go to a home. They were going to be put to sleep. I knew it and the decision weighed on me so heavily I could hardly stand upright. But we could only take one dog. We were renting at the time and  had managed to convince our landlady to let us have a dog as it was.

This was the section of the shelter that housed the most difficult/unfortunate animals: dogs that had surpassed their cute-puppy factor period. These were the dogs most likely to reach a quick end on a vet table. I cannot even bear to think about the mass production of this killing operation. I suppose it's a must. After all, there are only so many dogs that even concerned and considerate animal shelter workers and volunteers can take home.

To think that our Pepper was so close to being one of those faceless, nameless numbers just makes me catch my breath. To think that other, so grateful, keen, loyal and beautiful dogs are overlooked - the reasons are probably many and varied - is a crying tragedy. I am a devout believer that you most certainly CAN teach an old dog new tricks. And if the occasion arose, I would rescue an adult dog in a heartbeat.

We bought a puppy ten years after we got Pepper. The difference in our two fluffy children has been evident. Where one is extremely grateful, eager to please, almost apologetic for getting in the way and asks only for love and nothing else in return, the other (the pup, who is now about to turn six) has been quite clueless to hardship - she has known nothing but food, shelter, warmth, companionship and care.

Pepper was brought to the shelter as a stray. She was undernourished, obviously abused/had been through some torment (which has permanently altered her), and she had a gaping wound on her foreleg. Over the fifteen years we have had her, we have discovered this wound is a vice - a psychological self-soothing vice that flares up when she is highly distressed (there have been a couple of points even with us that she has begun licking her leg so repetitively that she actually literally licks it almost to the bone, pulling at her flesh with her teeth during the worst episodes). And this, we have been told, is due to her scarring from what has happened to her.

Despite all this, if I had to choose just one of our dogs again..... I would have to say, our shelter dog is the one I would pick, time and time again. I cannot underestimate the deep loyalty to be found in these particular animals, so much more enduring and endearing than a puppy who has always been raised in a nurturing environment.

If you are considering getting a dog/puppy, please don't overlook or underestimate an adult dog from your local shelter. I don't know where I would have been through the biggest trials of my life without my old girl. She has been my mother, my friend, my midwife.... my hanky.... and I believe a very important factor in her ability to be such a great comfort is the very fact that she was a shelter dog.

Her life revolved around being thrown a Kong. For hours.

Me and my pal, 1998

Thursday, September 16, 2010

On the timing of eating


I went to a Wellbeing conference last Saturday. Like some things, the structure was a little cumbersome and some of the speakers were not a good fit for the overall intention of the event. But one speaker was captivating. I took pages of notes. You know those people who have scads of great one liners and hints and tips and reel them off as if they're nothing and you're struggling to keep up with writing it all down? I could feel myself getting motivated just sitting there, before I had even had the chance to put anything he was saying into practice.

I wanted to share a few things that I learned. Some of it I know already, but like any good procrastinator knows (and I should have made a career of it, surely there are several where procrastination is an excellent prerequisite) I always forget that I know. Crazy.

With regards to the old fable, "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day so eat a big one":  We were advised that first thing in the morning is really not ideal (in terms of digestive 'fire', or ability) to take in a big meal. Or any food, really. If hungry, of course, the best thing is to eat something. But some people, like me, are simply not hungry in the morning. Not for several hours. I can understand why we're told to eat breakfast - it is, also for people like me, so that we don't go the entire day without eating a thing..... something that has caused my metabolism to keel over and go the way of a fish out of water. Incredibly detrimental to someone trying to lose weight!

So, instead, this week I committed myself to trying this - a freshly juiced vege and/or fruit juice (spruced up with a bit of stimulating fresh ginger root and turmeric, the all-round antibiotic, anti-histamine, toxin-absorbing wonder spice). It has been satisfying enough for my belly to have just juice in it, a very tasty brew, until around 9.30-10am.

This is convenient. Why? Because the optimal time during daylight hours for our bodies to digest - when they are at their optimal digestive peaks (and when they will break down and distribute food most effectively) is between 10am-2pm. During this four-ish hour stretch, I have been eating one or two (if I feel like it, or if I've eaten for the first time earlier than 10am) meals like scrambled eggs on toast, salmon sandwiches and salad, tuna salad and so forth, all of which have been satisfying me right through to late afternoon snack time (3pm-4pm). This time, incidentally, is also the best time for our bodies to ingest fruit. So I've been slicing up strawberries, apples and pear, amongst other things, and having a plate. It's been more than enough to get me through to supper. And we have been having 'proper suppers' here - literally, only anything you can 'sup' (sip). I made a green soup out of fried up garlic, white beans and zucchini (soooo delicious even Steve the anti-soup man ate it) with avocado on toast. So, we cheated with the toast bit. Mind you, 'light' eating can also involve fish or chicken, with pastas, couscous, potatoes... - just not your heavier meats, and not huge servings of anything.

They were really the key things the speaker specified. And it's so true - we just need to keep things simple. We live in an age where scientific facts are taken out of context from a healthy, balanced (key point!) lifestyle and are told to eat less/no carb's because they are 'bad for you' if you want to lose weight. Or graze throughout the day - small meals, often - which is (also surprising to learn) counter-productive to maintaining good digestive health. And so forth. I could go on, just with the stuff I've retained off the top of my head, without even going to my notes.

Having invariably followed the basic points of the conference speaker for five days now, I have to say I feel far lighter and more buoyant heading into the latter part of the week. This is including (or in spite of) the weird tummy bug I had at the beginning of the week that rendered me useless on Tuesday all day.

While I'm not exercising yet enough in my routine to be losing weight (not that I'd know for certain, I haven't weighed myself in months as our scales don't work), certainly not toning up anyway, I just feel so much more able to move around. I don't feel sluggish, I'm not waking up feeling like I have half a brick in my stomach. So the bounce and ability to get out of bed with a bit of a spring has been a welcome surprise. My body feels vital, in a word. Something I had been lacking, even with wheelbarrows full of vegies in my diet. I think I have just been eating at the wrong times (for my body).

I'm going to stick at this eating light at night thing, along with the biggest meal between 10am-2pm and a light if not liquid breakie (which suits me because of my slow-to-start appetite but may not be ideal for some who wake up ravenous) to see the long-term effect.

Just as an aside, interesting point to note and wondering if anyone else had ever noticed this, on that "waking up starving" thing.... I do get that too, but have noticed that it happens largely when I have over-eaten close to bedtime the night before.

And now, I don't have to do one of those medical disclaimer thingies do I? When I tell you all I'm not a doctor and advice in this post should not be substituted for the professional opinions of your health care provider? (Although, just quietly, that "eat a big breakfast" baloney which had me fooled really is something not to pass up without consideration or trial........ I'm just sayin'..... it may also work for you, if you're looking to change up your eating habits a bit. And while I had to pay $85 for the privilege of this information, and more, I'll give you that tip for free ;)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

While you wait

Please excuse me from truly getting back into blogging (our internet went down over the weekend..... did you notice? I DID!!!!) while I kick a sudden lurgy to the curb - it rendered me useless/listless sharply at 4.30 this morning and I surprised myself by managing to hold off puking til after 6am, before falling into an unconscious stupor til after 9am. Thank heavens Steve has proven himself a worthy addition to the new team at work so he wasn't incredibly impatient while I gathered my senses (now sans stomach contents) and he hung around til 9.30 and took Lolly to kinder for me. I'm still feeling VERY very average *grimace*

Now, in brief Proud Mummy Moment news, please allow me some space to uncharacteristically beat my chest about my young charge....


We have a little dancing starlet in the house!

Little Miss Bliss-Bomb finished her dance term yesterday and before the concert/class began, her teacher (her name is Eleanor, wouldn't you know it...) approached me and said how well Lolly had been doing and how much she had improved this term. We had snuck the LGBB up to the 4 year-old class when Lolly was only three - something that this nationally run programme doesn't allow and which the teacher and I agreed was a "dumb rule anyway" and didn't cater for children who were ready for more of a challenge and ready to advance before they got bored and hated coming. She has now spent just two terms in this older class and takes them very earnestly. But, it seems, she has already outgrown that programme as well.

The teacher and the venue's principal asked us to stay behind at the end of yesterday's concert so we could discuss how I felt about letting Lolly slip through to the "big kids'" class. I have some reservations, of course... she is, after all, only just four and some of these kids are about to turn six. I'm also wary of the "growing up too quickly" and *perish the thought* precociousness factors - although, I know this is a controlled environment and I trust her teacher here implicitly. She is a gorgeous and delightful young woman who is highly professional and very skilled at meeting young children on their level. So the opportunity for Lol to nurture her fast-blossoming expression through dance and drama can't be sneezed at, in this nurturing environment. Her teacher wants her to do well and to, mostly, enjoy it. The possibility of the LGBB getting bored with the programme next term by doing another stint with the un-choreographed four year-old class is more of a likelihood than the former.

All we can do is give it a shot, we can always come back to the four year-olds again.

Something tells me Lolly is going to just revel and blossom in this move. The classes in this age group involve choreographed dance/movement, drama and singing components. She is a budding comedienne/entertainer extraordinnaire - which we knew, from watching her around the house in her comfort zone - but when it is recognised by a teacher who is encouraging Lolly to develop her natural talents, I feel very blessed, proud and so happy for our girl.

Way to go, Miss LGBB!  You've come a long way since "Oh, Micky" a year ago, kiddo!  xxxx

Hey Lolly! from Lolly Lovers on Vimeo.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Joy, bliss and dog's piss

My internet is going to be going down possibly today, for up to 10 days.....
Firstly, OHMYFREAKINGGODWHATWILLIDO if it takes that long?? Secondly, that will explain my absence if I just disappear and stop visiting your blogs/replying to emails. Cheers.

Welcome, FYBFers!

Yesterday, Melbourne threw out an uncharacteristically sunny, dare I say warm, day. So Lolly and I seized the moment and the good weather and hopped on a train to go to old bookstores. We're on an old children's book hunt at present and have found some fabulous old Ladybird series simple readers that she is loving - the illustrations are so much better in some of these older books, I really can't stand how smooth-lined and uniform all these remakes are becoming, like The Magic Roundabout and Winnie The Pooh to name just two.

In the late afternoon light, I captured these photos on our walk home.

Standing outside the house of a dear friend from kindergarten.
This is the pose Lolly takes when something so blisses her out that the only thing for it is to hug herself. I've never been able to capture it on camera and I'm so glad I have it.
I wonder sometimes if she'll still do this when she's 18.

Then she picked me a flower. I almost swooned from the cuteness. She handed it to me. And, as if in slow motion, I thanked her and brought the delicate daisy up to my nostrils, smiling at my sweet child. We locked eyes as I breathed the flower in deeply........

And recoiled as my brain made the connection that what I was smelling was, undeniably, Neighbourhood Dog Piss. I hurried Lolly along home, discreetly discarding the wee flower on the way, where I promptly washed my hands.


p.s. There's a new post over at The Long Tweet... *taps nose*

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Smells, sights and sounds of today

Oranges off the tree - tangy scent with the LGBB's little tooth marks scraped through every fleshy quarter

The laundry, begging for attention - the cat's tray taunting me in the corner. Cat piss tang really hits the back of your throat before it burns holes in your lungs doesn't it?

The sky - it's a volatile blue, there's an unsettled sense of calm in the air today. Thunderstorms are forecast but for now, the fast-rolling white clouds across the new sky and wind gusts are adding interest to an otherwise mild morning.

Pepper - jeebus, dog, remind me to get you a cork. What are we feeding you?? Her breathing is so laboured all the time now, even at rest. She sounds as if she is in deep sleep, the way she snores, but her doleful eyes are still fixed on me as I move around the kitchen. She misses more than she catches these days. I can't let her go.

The cat's bell on her collar - didn't I just let you out? Why can I hear tinkling inside? I swear, she is Hudini.

A 4' high rudie-nudie doing a streak across the living room - if I've asked her once, I've asked her 20 times. In the past five minutes. Put some clothes on, miss!  *the sound of giggling as she scarpers back to her warm bedroom and continues her birthday suit dance*

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Here we go: Family Lore/Law and healing patterns

Hello! So huge is this that I have to divvy it up to try and make it palatable, not only for you lot reading but for me as I catalogue it all in my time - this blog is a time-stamp for me as much as it is an outlet.
 This post is just part of a thread of thought/learning pertinent to cross-generational childbirth/loss and patterns of behaviour that I am going to have to split across all three of my blogs. There is a lot of personal family information - but incredibly pertinent to my discovery (which relates directly to my own healing and understanding of the burdens of my journey) - which I want to discuss on the private blog in due course. 
There are also a number of different realms and realities associated with what I am uncovering, which are probably best suited to the Earth Healing blog (where I am, after all, trying to collaborate and consolidate what I come across, like an index of sorts). 
And, of course, there is the continuing story of me, the person, which you have come to know through this blog - and this is where I want to begin to unravel not only so I can share, but also so I can understand and get my head around this most amazing story that has been unfolding. I would be delighted if you visit all three places, to gain a more rounded insight, if you feel moved to do so! Otherwise, I'll be sharing public thoughts here. As always.

A little preface:
I am writing about this in the spirit of sharing, in case this little snippet of my ongoing discovery might cause a spark of recognition for someone reading. This is a story/awareness not unique to me. And the experience that has journeyed me through this awakening is the vehicle by which I can explain how, by healing the family patterns from generations dead and gone, a remarkable and unmistakable healing - a pardon of the past - can take place.

My story is a rather extreme version of this occurrence/possibility. I am getting used to the fact that it is this way because it serves to highlight to me, personally, where I have had opportunities to discover, uncover and learn more. Constantly shifting and lifting all the drift wood. If I did not have this hugely impacting succession of the same lessons, I would not have persevered to learning the truth about my generational patterns of abuse, neglect and loss. It has been an enormous package, so huge in fact that I am struggling to fit it all into words. I possibly never will. But I am trying to describe it because I also realise that this is not something for me, alone, to simply discover, heal and move on with. That has never been part of my social cause. I get that now.

Getting to the crux of it:
All of us have the same opportunities to heal our family patterning - after all, we are all borne of families generations in the making somehow (even when we are adopted in to families, although this creates a really intriguing sidetrack). Whether this is through dissolving redundant but, regardless, still prevalent family lore (the family stories, traditions, anecdotes, "just the way it is in our family") or discovering ways of life that have amazing similarities to those of your ancestors, even when carried out 50, 70, 100 years apart.

When I had my first pregnancy, I did not even contemplate its connection to any sort of "bigger picture". When I lost my second, third, fourth and then fifth, I didn't think I was incredibly unique. I still did not really think about my place "in all of this", my humility didn't allow it.

My sixth pregnancy produced Ellanor. With her - and this is putting it very briefly!! - I was delivered a gift of glimpsing life beyond life after she died. If you doubt, I don't blame you. And if you doubt, all I can say is..... trust and faith and a healthily skeptic open mind is what saw me through the next six years (and counting). Trust me ;) Heh. So, I spent this pregnancy devoting much time to contemplating my grandmother and her own losses - of which I believe there were at least two, possibly three or even more - in her second trimester of pregnancy. BUT this is as far as I thought my connection to her went. I thought, at this point, and for all these years since, that I truly understood the kinship I felt to her the instant she died (my grandmother and not Ella). And that this posthumous kindred spirit, for want of a better explanation of it, was what I bonded with during the months of not only conceiving but then carrying Ellanor (for Ellanor came in to my awareness some seven months before I fell pregnant with her). Little did I know that this was just an introduction to really getting to know what my Grandmother had been all about, and her mother before her. AND, the most mind-blowing part of all, that the multiple pregnancy connection that I thought was the thing we shared (and her mother before her as well, who had a total of twelve live births before dying aged 38 when 7 months pregnant) was actually a ruse. That this female energenetic connection I have with them was merely the hook, ensuring I really understand them on this level in order to get to the real crux of all the scandalous running around that really went on, starting at least as far back as turn of the last century London?

My seventh, eighth and ninth pregnancies netted no result, or so I thought, but a dashing of hopes and now numbed and incomprehensible grief and pain. Sorrow and sadness were dancing within me beside my belief, belonging and will to strive/survive. But....

At this point, I also began to develop a real sense of belonging to a greater, much larger tapestry. Me and my failed pregnancies - and, indeed, the dear soul Ella - were but a miniscule part of it. However, without us, there would have been an undeniable hole in the overall picture. So the picture not only required me and my journey with these babes, I relied on it (completely unknowingly, unconsciously until only last week) to seek my Comeback, my homecoming and my calling.

I am floored to discover, only after pregnancy 10 (which gave us our blessed relief in the form of our second girl, Lolly), and then pregnancies 11 through to 14, which I of course lost last week, that there is NOT a curse on me but a course. Through me. And through me, my paternal female genetic line has been patiently, fervently holding. Waiting for this moment in time to be discovered by me. The pregnancy last week reminded me to keep seeking answers - I had stopped, foregone that duty, as getting pregnant is not on my radar anymore and the game of chance and two lines on a wee-stick is not one I am actively playing anymore - and I received them.

Like a bolt out of the blue. Or, hey, a burst blood vessel in the leg. Whichever ;)

So now, I am going to throw it over to the Earth Healing blog where, if you are so inclined, you can go catch up with the workings/"mechanics" of healing a family pattern. Or, indeed, how to discern whether you have one to heal. Give me a few days (maybe even a week or two) for this one, as it is huge and I need to get it as 'right' as I can in my head and heart before I can post it. As well, I need to get some of the more personal jot-points down and out quickly, before I forget and lose the essence of my great-grandmother (in particular), and I want to do that behind the veil of my private blog, for the protection of my family still living more than anything.

Phew. Well, I feel a tad lighter, getting that out of my head. Thank you for lending me your eyes, if you went with me on that. I hope it wasn't too hard to follow? If anyone has any questions they'd like to ask for the sake of clarifying in their own field of awareness, please ask. It may help immensely in shaping future posts on this subject of energenetic (family pattern) healing and for that, I would be ever so grateful for the cerebral stimulation from those interested in learning more. If you catch my drift...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Cruisin' for a bruisin' and other mundane stuff

1. The bruise is looking better, day 4. No really. It is! I'm not compressing it anymore, the swelling's gone down heaps. Still getting weird stabbing pains and changed nerve sensations (feels like someone tickling me with a piece of string) all down my leg, particularly in the ankle and backside of my knee.

2. Nobody told me that once they learn how to swing, a young independent child is not going to swing out there on their own. They're going to screech for you every 30 seconds to "watch me!", "watch how high I'm going!", "look at my skirt flying!", "I'm holding onnnn!"  Dear lord, have mercy. Please. It's almost 6 o'clock. Twelve hours IS my limit, we've discussed this.

3. Just when I was standing peeling macadamia choc chip cookies off the cookie sheet, thinking about those mothers of more than one child who would no doubt look at me and secretly want to stab me for being such a wet blanket on matters of "I can't DOOOO THISSSS anymore today", I heard Lolly singing heartily....

Mama Mia
Have a go again
My, my
I don't want a sister

Oh, yeah? Well, story of my life. We did have a go again (albeit by big scary accident) and look what happened. Again. Soooo... Sing your story walking, baby. Sing it walking. Or swinging. Whatever. Just get outside and give Mummy some space (and here take a handful of biscuits with you so I don't eat them all because I love you, my sweetest most preciousest angel-features babydoll sweetheart).



Sunday, September 5, 2010

Once.... upon a time. On Fathers Day.

A little bear came running in to her parents' room, all wide-eyed and slam-door-open-y and shouty. Luckily for her the parents, it was a smidge after 7am. And there was much rejoicing that a "sleep-in" had occurred (regardless of the fact that Mama Bear had again been awoken at ungodly hour of the wee morning and had only just fallen asleep and ended up getting a mere four hours yet again, for about the fifth time this past week..... but I digress...)

Papa Bear, after the same amount of severely sleep deprived nights, was a tad like this. And he remained that way all sodden day. And Baby Bear was a little like this. Of course, Mama Bear played peacemaker and her role was repetitively like this.

In all, a good day was had. No, really. Papa Bear received a hand painted mug and he was touchingly delighted by it. It is going to work with him as a water mug (for Papa Bear doesn't have hot drinks.... negating the need for a mug, but Baby Bear was sooooo beside herself to paint it and bake it for him that Mama Bear could not distract her from the idea).

And Papa Bear was also dutifully pleased with his family pass to a session at the MSO Kids Classical concert series. Always a fabulous day out, as The Three Bears can attest, having gone to one of the "Jay Laga'aia presents" sessions this past August (and Mama Bear heartily recommends it to any parent bears reading who happen to live in Melbourne).

Most of all, Papa Bear now cherishes a beautiful card by Baby Bear that was lovingly toiled over last night, which reads (and Mama Bear took the dictation verbatim)...

"I love you because....

I like your smell
I like your tickly beard.
I like playing golf with you.
That's it."

Mama and Papa Bear feel full tonight. And it's not just because of the lemon slices that Nanna Bear made and brought to the family gathering this afternoon, either.

Here's to all the Aussie Papa Bears. Wishing you and your cubs a happy father's day.

I can't sleep

Thar she blows! Doppler at 3:15am, Melbourne time

I am surely the only person in Melbourne who left their child's entire wardrobe "drying" on the line. When 90km/h+ winds were forecast. And no let-up until at least daylight.

The wind is so strong it has woken me at 2am. I didn't peg anything that well that it will survive a night on the sodden, gust-blown line out there.

Someone in Gippsland sure is going to love Lolly's clothes tomorrow.

Nice one, Einstein.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

New posts

I have had a very intriguing and enlightened 48 hours. I am needing a lot of time and space to properly write about it, but I certainly will. Hold me to it. (No, seriously... this time, I promise I will...) This is a biggy, though, I'm talking the discovery of the need to heal and pardon past family patterns (so far, I have been presented with the connections to look at the past three generations prior to mine - and when I say "given", I mean, they've bloody well shown up and indicated exactly what I need to do! I even got smacked in the back of the head yesterday).

SO. As I said. Big, enlightening stuff. If you count being clocked over the noggin "enlightening", that is.

In the meantime, there are new posts at both my other blogs. For those interested, we are currently under the influence of ROSE energy. The information about this is on the Earth Healing blog.

I also burst a vein (am assuming it's a small, trivial thing...) last night and had to keep it iced and compressed for several hours. I think I did well to only have it swell as big/small as it did and this morning it looks like a casual minor bruise. Last night, the swelling was over an area the size of my hand and it hurt to blazers. I would like to credit not only my very limited first aid skills, but also the homoeopathic remedy I took (it was a shaky start, largely due to my fluctuating emotions I see clearly now - a wondrous thing, that hindsight - but God, how I very much humbly appreciate my homoeopath being on call, even at 8pm on a Friday night).

It actually looks quite pissy in this photo. Oh, look, and there's Bloody Cat! Right there. All the time. Just try getting a snap without her smooching like a slippery eel between my legs. After all, my legs are now her legs.


Thursday, September 2, 2010


That's what she's known as in this house anyway. Or Wagger-D.

Well, that and The Little Shit, Shit-Head, Retardo Montalban, Drongo, Jazzmat (because they are the two most often-uttered words we have to yell at her - Jazz! MAT!), and just plain old uninspiring Stinky.

Waggedy-Ann. That fucking wagging tail. It's as strong as a kangaroo's with just as much kick in it *pun intended*  Poor Pep has taken to bracing and closing her eyes just in case when she's behind Jazz because, guaranteed, the old girl will get socked in the face by that menacing, unstoppable wagging lethal weapon. I have even heard Peppy wince.... before she tries to maul Jazz's ears off. She might be old but don't go mistaking old for slow.

But god, she's a gorgeous sight to behold. If, you know, you like dogs that is. I still get stopped by at least one person every single time I take her out (which is roughly two-three times a week these days).

Getting a bit tired

Look, I don't mean to harp. And I promise I'm not moping about this. But I just want to say.... nay, let me SCREAM it....

I don't care so much that I "still have plenty of time" and that, apparently, at 35 now, I am "still young". What the HELL!?!?  I have heard these same two sentiments since I was 24 and was scraping myself back together after our first miscarriage. Twenty-four! Now thirty-five. Thirteen babies conceived within that time. Still hearing it. Still hearing that I am still young!! Perhaps it's meant as a compliment, after all, I do still look like I'm a twelve year-old....

Do people honestly think these platitudes bear any weight with a woman who's just lost a baby?? If you have ever said these words, ever intend on saying these words, ever overhear these words and think it's a nice thing to say...... please have a good, hard think again.

I don't appreciate the inference. That I am somehow still good and should still be up for another 5, 7, maybe if I'm "lucky" 10, more years of this pain and torment. I never have liked it and never found comfort in knowing I still have all this time in the world to accept, graciously, more and ever more pain and sadness. This is my 11th year in this "game". It goes far beyond what I'm experiencing physically and I know it. I've stared that realisation in the face for a good seven years now. Ella taught me that.

This trite spouting of words is not helpful. The best thing that a few people have said this week to me is, "God.... that is just awful. I don't know what to say, except that I'm sorry."

The rest? All bullshit. Especially, and not only, the neighbour who replied (when seeing me hobbling around after Lolly in the front yard and learning what was happening), "Oh, geez.... well, you don't want to hear that I'm pregnant with number two, then, do you ha ha ha?"  No. No I probably didn't. But what choice do I have? You've blurted. I've heard. Ya think you could've maybe told me some other way, some other time perhaps? Considering we don't move in the same circles, it could have waited. Anyhow, congratulations.

That is all. As you were. I'm off to the chocolate shop to drown in a mug of mocha with Lolly and my dear friend and (another) neighbour. Still nursing these crippling cramps, four days post-bomb-drop.

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