Sunday, November 10, 2013
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
He was so content. I was so happy. I've remembered and cherished these moments from when Hannah was a baby and had been looking forward to the feeling of a baby sleeping on my chest again for so long.
How can he be gone? I don't understand. I don't understand. I don't understand. I miss him so much.
his precious precious hair
look at how perfect his little head is
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
I'm feeling such disbelief over what has happened that everything now seems like a dream, or a movie that I'm watching. I don't even think things sound right to me, like everything around me is being filtered through something. I'm a part of it but not at the same time. Every now and then reality hits and the pain washes over and through me just like it did when I was told he was going to die, that he was already gone. It's like somebody dumps a bucket of ice water over me but it washes over me internally, a hot/cold sensation. It hurts.
He was only six pounds two ounces at his first, and last, doctor visit when he was a week old. He was so little but I was still trying to memorize the so many little bits of him - I worry now that I won't remember, that I didn't have enough time, there aren't enough photos.
I can't believe he's gone. Sometimes I can't believe he was ever even real. Was the time with him all just a dream?
I'm so outside of myself right now. This can't be my life, this couldn't have happened.
We met with Hugh Walker yesterday - grief counselling. (I can't believe I'm going to grief counselling for my baby.) He talked about the absurd, and the impossibility of accepting the absurd as truth (I should go over the notes he sent us home with) and that things like this aren't meant to make sense so trying to understand it is pointless. I think I knew as soon as it happened that I would never reconcile this.
It was helpful yesterday, the session with Hugh. I have pretty much no recollection of what was said right now (helping me understand why he gave us the notes) but do know that what was said made sense - at a time when nothing is making sense to me.
The days and weeks following Finn's death are all a blur to me. I remember every second of his final hours, but after that it's all just jumbled. Now fuzzy.
It was the morning of his last day with us that I took the photos of his feet. It was more challenging than I expected to take photos of baby feet with an awake baby - he was kicking and stretching and I marveled at how familiar his movements were. I could remember him moving like that inside me. After having imagined those feet for so long, there they were kicking before my eyes. They were perfect.
I knew I would miss being pregnant before he was even born. I loved being pregnant - ailments and all discomfort aside, I loved it. I knew I would. I loved the feeling of a baby - a new little person with so many possibilities growing inside me, watching my belly grow, and documenting it all with almost daily belly shots.
I've been feeling really homesick for Pearl Street. I haven't been there since the early morning of September 18th, leaving in labour and thinking nothing of it - just of a new baby and a new house - a new life. Now I really miss the old everything. We have had some good times there - lots of them. Lots of difficult times too, but when I think of the house I think of over crowded tables with too much food (and wine?), lots of noise, lots of silence, beautiful evenings on the balcony, beautiful mornings on the balcony. I miss watching and waving to my neighbours - having Heather at arms reach, T and T's boys paying on the street, the playful sounds of the back lane ...my garden.
This house sort of lacks the neighbourhood feeling that Pearl Street had. My view now is great - can't beat it, right(?), ..but I find myself longing for the familiar view of the street, the trees, the people nearby. I feel like everyone is so far away now with no sidewalk directly outside my door even though we purposely moved away from that, thinking the distance was better. It's really hard to say what's "better" sometimes.
I think I'm equating a lot of my homesickness with missing being pregnant. The memories that flash most through my head right now all have to do with being pregnant - everything from morning sickness and days on the couch with headaches to trying to induce labour by bouncing on the ball in the living room, decorating that incredible nursery, waddling out to the balcony (I can still smell the air from that balcony, feel it... that balcony was some kind of magical), bellyshots around the house and garden... .
Sometimes, now, I wonder if she had to die so that she could be there (wherever there is) for Finn. I like to imagine them together - with my father too. Sometimes I picture Finn as a little boy between them holding their hands. I like to imagine him safe with her, learning from her. Were their lives and deaths somehow connected?
How completely unfair. My heart is so broken.
When I go out now I find myself remembering
"I was here with Finn"
"I walked this path with Finn"
and to Duluth, twice, to get the car we needed for our expanding family.
I think about all the places Finn and I went on my scooter (breaking my promise to my mother that I wouldn't ride while pregnant).
Our first skin to skin time.
Forty weeks plus five days of being together with him growing inside me,
It had felt like it was the longest wait. We've been waiting to see this face for four years.
After having miscarried twice, I worried the whole pregnancy that I would lose the baby; but he was here now - he was laying on my chest and he was healthy and beautiful.
(Obviously a whole new kind of worry sets in after a baby is born, but you don't usually let your wildest nightmare think those thoughts.)
I remember squealing and crying, saying over and over again that I couldn't believe he was mine, ...he was so, so cute. His resemblance to his father is so present in this moment - he looks like a Millar boy - I had a little mini Rohan resting on me in this moment.
It was a long labour he and I had just gone through together. He didn't like it much (neither did I); so after just a few attempts at pushing and watching his heart rate drop on the monitor it was decided a cesarean would be best. I just wanted my baby in my arms alive.
He had swallowed meconium and was wrapped in his cord and was not permitted to cry when he was born - and act that undoubtedly saved his life. The only part I saw of him was his feet while Rohan was given the chance to announce our baby's gender, which he did by saying, "We have a Finn!"
I couldn't hear him or see him after that, it was just a blur of doctors after that hovering around Finn to the right of me, with Rohan still behind me by my head holding my hand, and a lot of disorientation (and the shakes) from the surgery I was still undergoing. I kept asking if he was okay, but even then I didn't think anything would go wrong. He was born.
The time spent in recovery is now a blur, and now seems like it was just a short time (I don't think it was). I remember Rohan and Hannah coming in, showing me photos of Finn, telling me how cute he was. Even Dr. G. took photos with her phone and showed me.
Friday, June 28, 2013
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
The garden this morning: it looked good, everybody's growing, not over planted like in other years. I left the urge to go overboard for the baby's nursery.
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Friday, May 24, 2013
why are there so many fences around me?
|our vegetable garden|
24 May 2013
Thursday, May 23, 2013
at Bill Martin's Nurseryland
|my watermelon baby|
|garlic chives, osteopermum, Munstead Lavender|
in the small vegetable bed
at Bill Martin's Nurseryland
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
|my pregnant belly|
where do I begin?
|Patricia Vervoort (nee Mulcahy)|
As inevitable this day was, predicted three years ago when she was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer, I still couldn't believe it happened - I couldn't believe I was there to witness it happen. I don't want to believe she's gone.
She was still living on her own at home (with a lot of help and a lot of difficulty) at the beginning of March. Her turn for the worse seems so fast now, in retrospect ... six long weeks in the hospice, two previous weeks at the regional hospital - those days felt so long, now seem so few. I was with her every day and am so thankful for that. Those days are precious.
|9 April 2013|
|10 April 2013|
During her final days I sat beside her writing her obituary. I kept thinking about how it was the first major work of writing that I would do without her advice. She's been my best editor, my best source for information and direction. She had wanted to proof read her obituary... I'm sure she would have thought what I wrote was too much, not modest as she was, and too expensive to print; although I think if she could read it now she would humbly approve.
Today I'm sitting writing this at out dining room table which is nearly buried under flowers from her
service. Flowers from friends, relatives, former students of my mother - all with sympathy cards attached. They're all beautiful, all so depressing.
Beautifully depressing sums up the last two months perfectly. During a recent prenatal appointment my doctor kept referring to my mother's death as a beautiful thing; at the time I did not agree, did not understand..., now I suppose I can say that it was. It was a beautiful moment, surreal, an incredible event to be so entwined in. I watched her, felt her, take her last breath. I'll never forget the light.
|16 April 2013|
I don't think it has all sunk it yet - we've been so busy making arrangements, settling her estate, visiting with lawyers, accountants, preparing her service. Today, this afternoon to be exact, is my first alone time in weeks, and the first time I've had to start begin absorbing how much life has changed in such a short time.
I had decided I wasn't going to anything this afternoon. 'Put my feet up and get lost in my thoughts' was my plan. Instead I got lost in one of my mother's travel journals - found this morning among her belongings. It's documents her trips to Bhutan in 2008 and to the Mediterranean in 2009. She wrote as she explored - sometimes in the air, sometimes on buses... scribbling notes on everything from her step count to descriptions of people she met, sights she saw, architecture, landscape, food... - everything. Her handwriting has always been so impeccable, but in moments throughout this journal, as in her final months, it becomes scribble as she travels along the bumpy road.
She lived a full life. She learned as much as she could, travelled as far as she could, loved passionately, fought for what she believed in, and challenged herself every step of the way. She has left me with so much. I know Hannah has a memory full of her Nana, her lessons, mannerisms, what it was like to travel with her. She's lucky, and grateful. Now I'm daunted by the task of ensuring the baby inside me knows the woman who raised me.
...and on that note, more flowers just arrived...