Sunday, 15 May 2016

My Little Hot Air Balloon Baby

Hello again guys, I interrupt my normal schedule to share some sad news with you guys.

This is the hardest thing I have ever had to write, and that's including when I've had to get creative with job applications. I keep starting and stopping this one, and sometimes scrapping it altogether. This is about the fifth attempt I've made, so hopefully this one makes it to your screen because I'm still not sure whether or not any of these posts are going to see the light of day.

So up until two weeks ago I was pregnant. This fact alone will surprise most of you since none of you knew I was even dating, but I was. Long story short we were friends for years, we dated for a few months, we were talking about moving in together and having kids, I discovered I was already pregnant and he freaked out and admitted not only was he not ready to be a dad again, he'd been seeing someone else for three weeks. So I walked away and started planning to be a single mum again. I wasn't scared, not like I was when Miss K was coming, simply because I've now been doing this for five years and lets face it, I kick ass as a single mum.

I was looking forward to being a mum again, I knew it was going to be tough having two kids to run around after, but kids are always a beautiful blessing, so I had more to look forward to than dread. Really the only thing I was dreading was having another ex I was tied to for the rest of my life. I was really hoping I'd made better choices this time, I really thought he was decent and it took giving him something he'd previously said he wanted to find out his true colours. But I didn't have time to dwell on it this time because I had more important things to take care of right now.

In the last weekend of April I went to Inverloch with all of my sisters and my niece Eliza. We spent two nights at an amazing holiday house ten minutes from the beach and had a fabulous time. My time was made more fabulous by the fact that for the first time in two months I wasn't plagued with morning sickness and constant back pain. I didn't think too hard about how I was feeling, I decided it was just a sign I was meant to enjoy myself this weekend and so that's exactly what I did. It wasn't until I got home and went for a scheduled ultrasound on the Monday that I realised what was really going on. The poor technician spent a full ten minutes looking for a heartbeat for me with no success. He was very apologetic, as if it was all somehow his fault and I walked out of his office in a daze. The first thing I did was call mum and start crying.

The next two weeks were a blur of doctors appointments and tears. I had mum and my big sister Sam tell everyone what was going on simply because I didn't have the strength to keep saying the same thing over and over again. The only family members I had to tell were mum and Miss K. Miss K was confused of course, and has asked lots of questions, the worst of which was whether or not she was still a big sister. My heart ached for her at this point, because it showed that for her, the most important part of my pregnancy the whole time was the fact that she finally had the chance to be a big sister. For my sake as much as hers I told her she was still the best big sister in the world and I meant it.

I've clung to Miss K like a life raft these past few weeks, as if my life depends on her existence, and in a way it does. Right now she is my whole reason for waking up, she is the one who keeps me busy and sane and without her I feel lost. Every morning that I wake up and see her little head lying next to mine I know I'm going to be OK and I'm able to get out of bed and get on with life. Every night when she goes to bed again I feel the same helplessness creep over me and I sit and wonder what the hell I'm meant to do with myself until tomorrow morning.

At least now that the physical part is over I finally have my identity back. From the time the technician told me he couldn't find the heartbeat until the moment the last doctor told me everything was over and I was nearly healed all I could see myself as was a walking miscarriage. I felt like I had it tattooed on my forehead and I couldn't understand why no one else seemed to notice it. I received no weird stares from people in the streets, none of the other parents at kindergarten even realised anything was different, which of course they wouldn't, because I hadn't even gotten to the point where I was telling people I was pregnant, so there was nothing to notice, but to me it was the biggest part of me, and I couldn't understand how it could be so invisible to everyone else.

The only thing I'd bought for the baby before we got the news was a beautiful original print. It is a water colour of a zebra in a hot air balloon, and it was going to be hung on his wall near his cot. Instead I now get to turn it into a memorial picture, complete with a beautiful poem my baby sister Kim wrote for me.

Right now I'm trying to stay hopeful, and remember my blessings. I still have a wonderful family surrounding me, all of whom have been an amazing support for me right from the beginning of this saga, and all of whom have managed to forget all their own problems and lives to prop me up and keep me propelling forward. I'm on the phone all the time these days answering messages checking to make sure I'm ok, and looking at sloth and lama pictures with thanks to Nat who knows how to make me smile.

It makes me feel better knowing that for the short time that my little boy was alive he was loved totally by all who knew of him. He knew nothing of pain, heartbreak, rejection or sadness, all he ever knew was peace, and love, and that thought brings me peace.

But there is still grief to go through, and I know it isn't going to be a quick process. There are times I can get through a whole day without any tears, and then there are the days where I can't even make it through my first coffee of the day, and that's ok. I'm trying my hardest to seek out happiness, and remind myself that there is still joy in the world despite what I feel right now, and it does seem to be helping. I have a close friend who is pregnant with a rainbow baby, having gone through her own miscarriage late last year, and knowing she needs support right now keeps me from wallowing too much. I also have a whole soccer team worth of family members who managed to forget their own worries for me, so I do my best to return the favour for them whenever the need arises, which also helps me to keep my own grief in perspective.

There are times I can still feel happy, there are times I feel peaceful, there are times I feel frustrated and there are times I feel broken. I've had days where I feel like I can climb a mountain, and I've had days where all I can do is lie on the couch and stare out the window, but I know this is all just part of the process and I'm trying to be gentle with myself. About the biggest thing I've accomplished in the past two weeks is reading over 3,000 pages of customer service horror stories, but an accomplishment is still an accomplishment when your life has been ripped apart. Day by day I repair a little bit more, and one day I will hopefully feel whole again, but until then I'll just keep plodding along. Helping my family, making people laugh, being the best mum in the world. That's all any of us can do.

To my little hot air balloon baby Cooper Dean, RIP. I leave you in God's hands for now, but I will love you forever.
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