Today I went to the ABA NSW Branch conference, and attended a small group session on stillbirth and neonatal loss for health professionals.
I met friends I hadn’t seen in ages, met their babies for the first time, or learned of new pregnancies. I told people what I had been through in general terms, and with others I was more specific.
I was told that I looked well, that I am coping well, that I seem to be coping better, that they are sorry for my loss, that they can’t imagine what it has been like for me, and I was hugged. A lot.
And I was told that I am brave. I replied that I had a child to care for, that being brave wasn’t a choice, that Inigo deserves to have a functioning mama.
And she said, “it’s a choice. Some people make the other choice, but you didn’t. And that is the definition of bravery”.
So I am going to give myself a little bit of credit for that. I am still alive. My standards are pretty low, but I have met at least one of them.
A long time ago, I had a little fantasy about meeting other cool people in Granville.
Since then, I have met lots of cool people, and I am loving living here. We’ve been worrying about where Inigo is going to go to school in 2013, and considered moving, but really, we love it here and don’t want to move. Plus, our house has increased in value by about $80,000 while we have lived here.
But today, I met some babywearing, vegetarian mums! I am so happy I could just fall over.
Except that now I have a lunch menu to plan, I have to cook something impressive when they come over 😉
Well, it might be a little cold for that at the moment, but the anti discrimination laws have just been amended to specifically protect breastfeeding.
And remember, every time you breastfeed in public, you are sending the message that breastfeeding is normal, and you might just be part of the change that will make breastfeeding easier for the next generation of mothers.
I am slowly easing my way back into ABA volunteering, and yesterday I did a few hours at the expo. It was fine, but one conversation made me want to scream.
Very obviously pregnant lady approaches…
Lara – Hi, do you need some information?
VOPL – I’m having twins.
Lara – (Grits teeth) Congratulations.
VOPL – yeah, right. Do you want one?
Lara – (In my own head, I say, “yes, desperately. I want both of them). Outwardly, I just smile. If only she knew what I had been through, she would never think those things, let alone say them to a perfect stranger.
But I understand. After the shock, and the pain, I understand.
Friend A had a relationship that turned sour. She was pregnant with his child, so stuck it out, and things got worse and worse. When she began to fear for her baby’s life, she left.
Two years down the track, he has served legal papers on her, asking for a court to decide custody arrangements. Previously she was forced into mediation (which is not appropriate for abuse cases, but it keeps things out of court). While the mediation was being arranged, the court papers arrived. To her home address. A day of frantic calls later, and she finds out that the lawyer for the ex partner has released A’s address to the abuser.
So now she has to move, with two children under 3. No refuge was available, so she has had to leave all her animals in her old place (the ex who has the address has also got a history of threatening harm to the animals), and stay in a motel for the night.
Now, she has to move interstate so that he doesn’t know where she is.
All this after another disgruntled father kills his ex and their child, and himself.
No wonder she is frightened.
I am no longer 40 years old, I am now “over 40”. And I got 75/100 for my psych essay.
Mark and I did heaps of snorkelling in Fiji, as well as snorkeling from the island, we did a one day tour with the promise of a glass bottomed boat, but most of the coral around the island we visited was dead, so we were pretty dissapointed. The one highlight was feeding the fish, which I felt terribly guilty about – but it was very fun. The fish were all around me, and a few missed the bread and tried to get bits of finger. The good news is that they cleaned up my burn wound nicely…
“I don’t know baby, is it five o’clock?” – looks at clock. It’s 5.05pm.
“How did you know it was five o’clock?
Inigo points at the clock.
That kid just amazes me and amazes me. He’ll be three and a half at the end of this month, and is just going leaps and bounds with his learning. This morning (after multiple free trials), we bought a reading eggs subscription for him, and he is starting to read words of up to three letters. Everywhere we go, I have to read sign to him, and if I happen to get one wrong (or read the wrong sign), he often corrects me. For a while, he’s been able to read the names of all his nearest and dearest, and now he is also starting to spell them too. And for mothers day, I got a card that said “Inigo (heart) Mama”. He wrote all the letters himself – but daddy drew the heart for him to trace over.
I certainly don’t think he is the most brilliant child that ever lived, but watching him learn is so much fun, and every day is a new surprise.
And the emotional stuff is amazing too. This morning we were looking at a picture of Archie, and he said, “that’s Archie. He is my brother, but he died. I loved Archie”.
Inigo on the bus to the marina from the airport.