Thursday, February 27, 2014
Monday, February 24, 2014
Friday, February 14, 2014
I posted it on A Separate Life, but then realised that many of the people I think about and talk about and have met or want to meet are over here on this blog.
So I'm celebrating you, too - here's the link.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
“There are times in life when you are justified in punching someone in the face. But I didn’t react. I knew it was for the doctor to direct the blow, and me to absorb it. Sometimes one takes a little pride in endurance of this kind. At this stage it was all that was left.”
"(Children’s) … lives start long before birth, long before conception, and if they are aborted or miscarried or simply fail to materialise at all, they become ghosts within our lives. …Women who have miscarried know this, of course, but so does any woman who has ever suspected herself to be pregnant when he wasn’t. It’s impossible not to calculate, if I had been, it would have been born, let’s see, in November …
... No doubt there are ghosts within the lives of men; a man with daughters brings his son into being through wishing him, as a man somehow better than himself, and a father of sons wraps his unborn daughter in swaddling bands and guards her virginity, like an unspoiled realm of himself. … The country of the unborn is criss-crossed by roads not taken …"
"No advance in medical technology was going to produce Catriona; she was lost. But when biological destiny veers from the norm, there are parts of the psyche that take time to catch up. You understand what has happened ... But there are layers of realisation, and a feeling of loss takes time to sink through those layers. … Mourning is not quick; when there is no body to bury, mourning is not final.”
Thursday, February 6, 2014
Friday, January 31, 2014
- Those who have suffered loss mark the birthdays or due dates or EDDs of the children they lost, marking their lives that never were. My first child, lost to ectopic pregnancy, would have been 11 by now. My second pregnancy would have seen a 10 year old. They would have played with their cousins this Christmas, the ones of a similar age.
- Every Christmas, I decorate my tree on my own. I buy a Christmas cake rather than make mine to give to the kids to decorate. I gave away the knitted Christmas stockings I had bought in anticipation at a market in Thailand many years ago. Every Christmas, even if for just a minute or two, often when I put the special "ectopic" decorations on the tree, I miss my never-born children.
- Whenever there is a fireworks display, I feel silly going on our own.
- I know I'll never go back to Disneyland. I would, if I had children.
- I'll never teach a child how to bake, to knit or crochet or make their own clothes, how to high jump or long jump or play netball or tennis, or how to play the piano or flute, or to tap dance, or introduce them to the joys of lbooks and language and languages - Thai, French, Spanish, Italian, Chinese - or show them the world.
- I wrote here about some things I'd never do. Still, every time I bake a cake, I think about how much I enjoy baking, and how I would be baking more if I had children.
- My husband and I are about to celebrate a major wedding anniversary. We will celebrate it alone, rather than with children and grandchildren around us.
- It's harder to make friends, new friends, without children, a connection to school or to sports teams or dance classes etc. And often we lose our friends when they have children.
- We see our partners interact with other children, and wonder what they would have been like as parents.
- The house can be deathly quiet. And some times of the day, or week, or year, we can almost hear the sounds of the children we never had.
Monday, January 27, 2014
Saturday, January 25, 2014
Mel also used the comparison of discussion in the media about weddings vs marriage. I can see her point - there are more magazines, features, etc about weddings than marriage. Weddings are big money. But how often do we hear about brides who are obsessed with their weddings, thinking more about them than about the marriage? How often do we see people marry in a big, fancy wedding that they spent a year planning, then a year or two or three later quietly dissolve the marriage? The obsession is with the wedding. How many people put the same effort into preparing for and planning their marriage, as they do the wedding. Rational people put their energies and desires into the marriage long term. But we're not obsessed with the marriage. It's an ongoing state (we hope) for starters. But we are obsessed with the wedding.
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
I've written about this before, in a slightly different context. I wish that everyone had a place where they felt they belonged, whether it is a family friendly cafe, a fine dining restaurant for adults only, a gay bay, a geeky store, or a shop for people with long feet! When I was grieving my ectopic losses, I found it hard to find a cafe where I felt I belonged. I had recently left my full-time job, so didn't feel comfortable in the CBD cafes full of people in suits having business meetings, but equally I felt miserable at the cafes clogged with mums, babies, strollers and toddlers, along with the brightly coloured playgrounds and heightened decibel levels and children who would come up to me at my table when I was trying to blank out the environment to take in some caffeine and a magazine.
But I am pleased to report that my husband and I have been lucky to find a place where we feel comfortable. Our favourite brunch place is run by two guys, and it has a pleasant, relaxed, but sophisticated ambience, great food and an excellent wine list. Clientele includes young adults through to 90 year olds from the old people's home down the road. And Saturdays, around 1 pm when we go, is the day and time for regulars. There's the multi-racial gay couple, the middle-aged couple who always have a bottle of wine, the grandson with his grandparents doing a good turn, a few families with older children, two elderly women enjoying a special lunch out (I love that), and usually two or three younger women enjoying a Sunday catch up. And, of course, us.
Gary and David who run the restaurant are consummate professionals, chatting to all the regulars, and making everyone feel comfortable. Children and babies are welcome, but rarely seen. Gary and David have just made a business decision not to make their restaurant specifically "family friendly." There's no playground, and the menu doesn't cater to children either. Two cafes just fifty metres down the road fill this gap, as does another one about a mile away. Everyone is catered for. And so they fill a niche - suburban dining in a calm and elegant environment, one that is blissfully child free.
This place has been our saviour over the last ten years or so. It has been somewhere we could go and feel normal, accepted, and happy. We're not deafened by children or babies at the table next door. We don't have to smile and be polite if a child decides to run around or come and play on the back of our chair. That doesn't happen here. Parents either don't bring their children, or keep them well-behaved while they're there. In those days when we were raw and in pain after loss, we knew we wouldn't have awkward encounters or painful reminders there. Even now, if we're having a bad day, it's generally a safe place. Here, we're accepted for who we are.
It's a place where we can relax and have a nice lunch, a good glass of wine, and a good conversation. It's somewhere where we make decisions, discuss family troubles or travel plans, where we sum up the week, and make plans for the future. It's somewhere where we can linger if we want, or dash off if we're in a hurry. Where there's always extra bacon, where summer salads are delicious, and where the winter mushrooms are to die for. And where the lemon tart "sweet treats" are so delicious, that I begged Gary for the recipe (and he gave it to me). When we go, regardless of what we order, it is always a treat. It cheers me up for the day.
I'm so glad we can go there (though we're having to cut back till we get more regular income). And I would be devastated if they closed. Do you have a special place like this?