Monday, September 21, 2009

After Last Week

Last week was pretty I just felt awful and depressed for so much of it. To be fair to Michael, sometimes i can be a real B"TCH. He should be allowed to have A-H"LE days too. I just worry that we will have a family that includes living children, and I will lose myself more in holding the peace between Michael and the world. I hate that he feels the need to give out put downs all the time, and doesn't even notice. I do feel scared that he will do the same to our kids just as he does to me, my neice, our pets (and yes, I know animals aren't that intelligent, but he uses a 'tone' with them, they get confused so easily when they haven't done anything naughty).

He does love me, and I guess I do love him, although the focus these days is on the tangibles of our relationship - kids, house, budget etc.
The first months of my pregnancy, I had attachment issues myself with the baby, I didn't feel affectionate towards it, and the exhaustion, the inability to eat anything, and all the other stresses involved didn't help any. I felt awful sometimes at how badly I wan't to love my bump, but couldn't. I even bought a book called 'How to Bond with your B.ump', which only made me feel worse and cry. It was full of suggestions for doing physical activities which my doctor had banned me from.
Those first months, I was struggling to settle into a new, perfect job with the uncertainties of how child-rearing would affect that. I was struggling to make plans for my baby, when I felt so much resentment for the physical discomforts I was experiencing. Michael and I argued a lot. Being pregnant made me immediately do the best i could to look after myself, albeit with a lot of days when I just didn't have the energy to pack a healthy lunch, go for a walk and get home to do the housework after a an 11 four work day. Being aware of pregnancy makes you a parent. It's up to you how you live up to that.
Michael and I argued over the deadline to parenthood. He felt that we would only become parents AFTER she was born, I struggled to explain that actually, our lives had already changed; staying out late and going to pubs wasn't really my something I could do anymore. Nor should he. Same goes for getting smashed at home every time he had a bad day. If he wanted to, he should go out with his mate on the way home from work, disappear for hours then come home drunk in the middle of the night. According to him, we could think about all the preparations later, it wouldn't take much to get ready to live with a baby, His new life as a father didn't start until she was in our arms.
I'm sure we aren't the only couple to argue like this, but it got so bad he would pack his little bag and sit at the train station after the last train had already left, pretending he was going to visit his friend, then come home again. Sometimes he went away for a couple of days at a time, wouldn't speak to me. It was bloody awful, the more I tried to impress upon him how important it was to sort it out, the more he pulled away and acted like a complete tool. We discussed abortion. I have been cautious my entire adult life to avoid becoming pregnant before I was ready. I never wanted to be a single mother, sharing custody with a dead-beat loser Dad, but that's how life was looking. He wouldn't talk seriously to me, I couldn't get a straight answer when I wanted to know If he wanted to work out our problems, or give up on everything, including our baby. I didn't want an abortion, but no way could I have lived like that for much longer. He said he didn't see the need to even talk about it, to think about what we should do until we had passed three months without miscarrying. I'm also fairly certain our fears of another miscarriage added to the uncertainty for both of us.
We eventually managed to work it out, after a month or so of fighting. By the first trimester screen we were both very happy and excited, looking forward to the journey to come. We had even made a few trips to baby shops together, checked out all the cool stuff, the expensive stuff, the stuff we never had time to buy.

When we found out what was wrong with Olidea, he was wonderful. It feels awful to say it, but during the hardest times, the weeks before and after her birth and death, He really was amazing. We found a closeness in our grief that we struggle to feel in our everyday lives. He's not the easiest person to live with, and neither am I. We are both bull-headed, stubborn and self absorbed at the best of times, but it's good to know that when we really needed each other, when we were tested so hard, we made it. And we are a better couple because of it. I don't like to think it, but the loss of our baby has given us something I never thought we would have. A future together.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


It's late. I'm tired. I feel angry. I'm angry that i can't get pregnant. I'm angry that there are so many useless, ungrateful sh"ts around who just get pregnant every time they take off their pants, but the women I know, who all desperately want children all have their babies die or become seriously ill. Why the F%ck does it have to be this way? Surely just one loss is enough for any parent? Why is it that some people get to keep their innocence, get to plan their pregnancies and births based on 'empowering their femininity' when there are thousands of us who live in statistic land, whose every thought is weighing up the risk factor to our potential pregnancies or unborn children, scared we will lose another one?

I get angry that so many ingnorant, naive people think it's ok to say to a Mother who has no living children that God is the answer. A friend of mine posted a F"book status update today about other people not living their lives by his religious standards - the Ninth Commandment to be exact. I looked it up, there's a little confusion but the first verse I came across was Deuteronomy 5:9-10.

Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me, But I show mercy to thousands of generations of those who love me and obey my commandments.

I don't hate God, and both my parents are very christian. Why did MY BABY deserve the punishment of a grotesquely malformed body? Why do my friends, who live their lives as christian and loving people, deserve to have their babies taken from them in pain and suffering?

Religion is BS.

Now I can't get pregnant again, we have an appointment to go to a fertility clinic next week, but I am thinking about cancelling, sometimes I have no confidence in our relationship, our future as a couple, our ability to raise a happy, loving family.
I asked Michael to be positive, polite and just generally pleasant to me for 7 days. No put downs, no stupid arguments for him to let off stress. I'm tired of having to put the walls up whenever he's home, just to protect my feelings. How am I supposed to feel intimate and close when he is arrogant and aggressive all the time? Anyway, his time started 9:30 Sunday night. It's Wednesday, and he came home in a really sh"tty mood, and now we're not speaking. again. The most I could get out of him was that he didn't have a bad day, and he doesn't know why he acted up, but he wasn't taking it out on me as there was no underlying feelings to release. 7 days. what a f"ing joke.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Why I sometimes hate myself. Part deux

Following on from the previous:

One woman read my last post on one of the abortion poll boards, where I ended my unheard lobbying with a few pithy, sarcastic and probably blasphemous remarks. Along the lines of being certain I am going to hell for having an abortion. Below is what this woman 'Nancy' wrote in a message to me, and how I responded.

31 July
From Nancy

Michelle, you are not evil. You simply made the decision to abort your baby. I do not personally know you *as others have also posted*, but even though I do not know the circumstances - yes, you did sin against your own body, your baby, & God. Please do not ever say again that you are "evil" & will burn in hell for all eternity. As long as you are still alive on this Earth - you can still ask God for His forgiveness *being sincere* & He will forgive you! :)
Life is not easy for anyone. This is not promised any where in the bible. The main reason He wants to have a personal relationship with you is so that you grow in "His" love & see life through His eyes - not just your own. In the process you will learn to love others & understand that we all make mistakes. And as I'm sure you've heard before - not to make the same mistakes again & learn from them. Please get involved with a church that speaks about God's truths...which has NOTHING to do with 'being religious'! Hopefully this church will teach you His truths & you will enjoy & love learning how much He loves you! Go to: - to start your journey to God's amazing love & grace to anyone who truly seeks Him! God bless you! =)

31 July
From me:

Nancy, thankyou for your encouragement, however my comments were not entirely serious. If you are interested you can read a few of my previous posts which will explain the circumstances of my 'sin' and why I don't believe personal spiritual beliefs have any standing at all in the abortion debate. Otherwise I will be happy to share my story with you as a message if you like.

05 August
From Nancy

If you want to share, yes you can share your story as a message to me. Have a great Wednesday & God bless. =)

01 September
From me:

I am sorry to have taken so long to reply Nancy, I have been having a difficult time again for the last few weeks.
"you did sin against your own body, your baby, & God." This was something that you wrote to me. This is typical of the opinions that people such as yourself feel free to post publicly. People who belief so strongly in their own religious doctrine, that they believe all persons should be governed by it, regardless of the effect on the lives of others, regardless of each individual circumstance.
I wake each morning, every morning, afflicted with guilt that I do not have to care for my child again today. I am frequently overcome with guilt that I chose the end of my daughter's life, at 24 weeks and 3 days gestation. I have felt alienated, at times unworthy of real grief. All of these feelings are re-asserted by the plentiful material in media relating a pro-life standpoint to the public in general. I am hurt each day anew by my unwilling exposure to this. It rubs salt into the wound of my grief.
I fail to understand how a young girl who is sexually abused, a woman who is mentally unwell, or whose life situation rapidly changes can be expected to provide a safe and nurturing environment for her embryo to become a person. I fail to understand how the beginnings of life can be regarded as precious, if we do not believe that it is a child's right to be provided with safety and nourishment both before and after birth. I fail to see how acknowledging your inability to provide the very best for your child is a sin.
As for my sinning against my body, my baby and God, I would have it the other way. It is God who has sinned against my body, my baby, and placed me in a position where I had to consider ending my pregnancy.
I am married, we have been trying to conceive a healthy child for over three years, and I had a miscarriage in March last year. Four months later, I fell pregnant again.
I have followed all of the guidlines for nutritional supplements, healthy eating and lifestyle. During pregnancy, I followed my doctors orders implicitly, had scans and blood test and did everything as a woman who wants the very best for her child should do.
We waited impaitiently and fearfully to pass the 8 week mark - the stage at which I miscarried my first baby. We waited impatiently to receive the results of the first trimester screening - we passed with no problems. We waited impatiently for the halfway scan, at which we would find out the gender of our baby. I watched my belly grow, I vomited night and day, I dragged myself to work, to save money to buy the best of everything for our baby. I slept at my desk during my lunchbreaks, I walked when I had the energy.
I had my 28th birthday When I was five months pregnant, but we were too busy spending our weekends labouring on my dad's farm for me to have a birthday. My husband hadn't even had time to shop for a present, but all I wanted was gifts for our baby anyway. My birthday was on Monday the 10th of November. I planned to meet up with my friends the following weekend, and perhaps tell them the sex of the baby.
The scan was on Friday the 14th of November. When we left the clinic, there was no report from the sonographer. There was however, a message from my doctor telling me that he had delayed his three month overseas holiday, in order to see my on the following Tuesday the 18th of November. No-one would tell us why, they just told us the printer was jammed, and the report would be at my doctor's next week.
I went back to work.We spent that weekend too scared to celebrate anything. I had been looking forward to being pampered. After all, it was supposed to be the last time I had a celebration of my own life, before my child's needs became foremost.
I returned to my doctor's surgery on Tuesday. The man has known me since I was a child, and delivered my neice 5 years ago. He had spent many hours contacting other doctors regarding my results. He was almost crying when he told me his recommendation to terminate my pregnancy. My husband was several hour's flight away with work, it was arranged that he could return that night rather than at the end of the week.
We went to the women's hospital in my city the following day, and began five long weeks of traipsing in and out of appointments with ultrasound technicians, obstetricians, neo-natal surgeons, midwives, psychologists, genetic counsellors and paediatric cardiac surgeons. Their diagnoses were all the same - she was not a viable candidate for the heart/lung transplant she could not live without, could not survive long enough for surgery even if she were a viable candidate. She would never walk, and would have required frequent surgery to allow her body to grow. She had malformed and missing vertebrae, half her diaphragm missing, her organs had moved into her chest cavity, several vital parts of her heart were missing or malformed and her left luung was completey undeveloped.
We spent hours holding each other, talking to our baby, crying, choosing cremation urns. We dragged ourselves through baby stores, looking for something that we could give to our tiny, half-size baby. We delayed making a decision, we wanted a miracle to save her. I sat cherishing her every movement within me, as I watched the tears flow down the cheeks of my parents, my husband's family, my friends, and my neice.
She had told me earlier, that she didn't mind whether the baby was a girl or a boy, she just wanted it to be healthy. Secretly, she was hoping for a girl. When I told her my baby was the girl she had looked forward to, her faced cracked with an enormous grin. She shrieked loudly 'I'm going to have a sister-cousin!' before I had to remind her that no, she wasn't going to be able to teach my baby how to play with her.
For the sake of my baby's pain, the high chance that I would suffer further complications and possibly require a caesar and my husband's ability to support me emotionally we chose to terminate the pregnancy. In other words: abort my baby.
On the 19th of December last year, when I was 24 weeks and 2 days pregnant, we entered the doors of the hospital together as a complete living family for the last time. I last felt her move at around 10:30 that morning, by 11am, the drugs I was administered with were taking effect, my abdomen was fully clenched, I could not feel her movements anymore. I did not know whether she was alive or dead. It was expected that she would pass away during the early stages of labour. As I experienced my artificial labour, we spoke to the pathologist who would perform the autopsy, and with the hospital chaplain to organise the service we would hold for her, to meet her extended family. We made calls to organise a woman prepared to come to the hospital on the weekend to take castings of her hands and feet. I had wanted to have very little drugs during my labour, however, I was kept dosed up on morphine, as much for the pain in my heart as the labour.

Every day, I am reminded by my silent house, her empty cot, the chores I do not have to do.

I have let myself down, I cannot perform the basic functions of a woman. I have let my child down, I could not provide even a body for her to use, and when I was all that she had between life and death, I chose to speed her to her death.

If I have sinned against her, against myself, against God, I do not have to wait for Hell, I already live here. What good is God's forgiveness, when all I want is my child?
If your God is one of compassion and mercy, and if God will help those who also seek to help themselves, then surely the gift of our human intellect is best used when showing compassion to our companions on this earth? If we have been given the power to understand pain, to see into the lives of the unborn and perceive their suffering, either mental or physical, surely it is not wrong to allow them to be free of earthly pain?

We would have loved to have held her here with us for a longer time, but there were no guarantees, other than the end. How could we put our desire to feel like loving parents, to feed our egos, before our daughter's right to be free from pain and suffering?My story is one of the extreme ones, I know. But I'm not the only one with an extreme story. Please remember how much words can hurt before declaring your own beliefs and values as the only 'right' way.

Thankyou for reading my story,


Oddly enough, she never got back to me after that........

Why I sometimes hate myself

One of the reasons I stopped writing publicly was the internal struggle I have been through over the way I ended my pregnancy. I have felt at times ashamed of our decision and unworthy of allowing myself the status of a'grieving mother', as I had a large part in choosing Olidea's death day. I know she was going to die, whatever we chose. I know we had very, very, good reasons, but there is a very strong cultural judgement on women who abort their pregnancies.
We are lucky here in Australia to have far fewer extremists, women can still 'hide' their pregnancy terminations without being barracked by pro-lifers all the way to the doors of the clinics, but the judgement is still there regardless. The word 'abortion' is thrown about publically, generally taken to mean the elective termination of a healthy pregnancy by a single, healthy woman who became pregnant through irresponsible sexual activity.

But it's not always like that. I know that many times it is, and I do feel sad for those women, who should 'know better'. But I ask myself, why are they in that situation? There are many girls who are brought up without the level of education I have been priveledged to receive. There are many girls brought up without a caring, supportive family to develop their self-esteem. Some women are not mentally capable of being held responsible for their actions. Sometimes a relationship may change between the time of conception and an awareness of pregnancy, or shortly thereafter. There are many, many reasons why a woman may seek an abortion. I cannot stand by and join the crowd of condemnation. I'm one of the judged.

I found that through June/ July, on that other 'social networking' site that I frequent, I was often noticing polls being posted about abotions. Sometimes it was asking for a personal answer to whether you yourself wouold ever consider having one, sometimes it was asking whether women should be allowed access to them, with no regard for personal choice. I found myself becoming more and more affected by this external echoing of the struggle I was mentally tormented by.
I went to the message boards of these polls, and began to engage in pointless arguments with people who couldn't see past the 'killing babies' headline tags. In the end, I gave up. I couldn't win. People told me that women who have abortions for reasons other thatn irresponsiblity and inconvenience are so few, that they should not be allowed to be considered in the debate. Thanks. That's my life you just discarded. When I explained that I am, indeed, one of these 'rare and extreme' cases, I was told that the way my pregnancy was ended didn't count, because I was chemically induced well before term with the intention of ending the baby's life, that's not a termination. Apparently you have to have the foetus or embry removed in pieces, injected with poison and the procedure must be performed at a dedicated abortion clinic for it to count.

The thing that really gets to me is the throwawy line used so indiscriminately by the pro-life brigade. All life is precious. Sorry, but no it bloody isn't. Some babies are condemned at conception to lead a life of suffering, either physical or mental. How dare you say that you stand upon the moral high ground, because you believe all children deserve to be brought into this world, regardless of their preparedness for 'LIFE"?

Olidea is the most precious part of my life. She is the centre of my world, but if I had a crystal ball that said I would grow a chld with such gross abnormalities within my womb, I would never have tried to conceive her at all. We are trying again, hopefully our next child will be free of these grotesque malformations, but if we lose another child like this, I will be first in line for a hysterectomy.

I have since discussed this with some women at Sids and Kids. I have become much more at peace with my decision. I have allowed myself to accept that we made this decision with love for our daughter foremost in our minds and our hearts, and there it will remain. I am no longer ashamed of ending her life, and I am glad that she didn't have to suffer any further pain or discomfort. I have also become interested in the development of pain receptors in the foetal brain, but that is a separate issue.

Parenthood does not begin with the birth of your healthy child with a bright future. Parenthood begins when you take responsibility for the life within, whether that is when you are planning to conceive, or have just become aware of your pregnancy. All children have the right to a safe, nurturing and loving environment. That is what they need to grow and reach their own potential. An unborn baby needs this too. If a woman physically or mentally cannot supply this for 40 weeks of pregnancy, what right does anybody else have to force that on her children?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I'm Shouting

I haven't posted on here for a long time. In fact, I had only written a few times before I stopped. It was Mothers' Day, then I went back to work, my routine changed, I didn't have time to ponder and recount my thoughts and feelings throughout my days. I've been thinking lately that I should come back here, should try to calm the whirling maelstrom that is my mind. I haven't known where to start again, how to find the place to begin, but something terrible has happened that I can't not write about. I'm sitting at home alone this week, Michael is away again. I need to talk to someone about this, it is just too terrible for words. I don't think I can properly convey myself with words anymore, but I need to let it out to someone.

Jethro Craig Wilhelm has died.

I don't know Mirne and Craig well, have only made her acquaintance through an internet forum for mothers whose children have left this earth, but she has been an inspiration to me in my journey, since I came to know that there is a community of loving parents out there, in the wide world, who understand how it feels to nurture and love a child whose needs cannot physically be met.

Mirne and her husband Craig have travelled this path before. They are now the proud and loving parents of three beautiful children, a sister and her two younger brothers.

There are many who know the pain of losing a baby. There are some who know the pain of losing more than one child. I simply cannot comprehend how two people with so much love to give, can have their three children all taken from them. Mirne and Craig were so brave to bring Kees Henry into this world, after the tragedy of losing Freyja Ione. This alone would have been an inspiration to me. Michael and I have been ttc for 6 months now, and every month is torture, unknowing not only whether this is the month for us, but whether or not we will be faced with the loss of another baby, beyond our control, or worse yet, to be forced to make a decision again, to decide when our child should die. For Mirne and Craig, they have twice braved their fears since Freyja's death, and twice Mirne has carried a perfect healthy boy safely into this world, only to have him torn away.
I am awe inspired by the courage this couple have shown, after enduring the loss of Freyja. Mirne and Craig took the love they shared for her, and created her brother Kees. For them to walk the path of uncertainty a third time for Jet is quite possibly one of the bravest things anyone has ever done in my knowledge.
Since I heard the news yesterday afternoon, I have felt shock, disbelief and overwhelming sadness. I cried for hours yesterday, and I have cried again today. It is not fair, It can't be real, whoever is in charge of the universe surely cannot expect these two ordinary people to survive this.
Mirne wrote that she wants to shout out her son, Jet's name in the streets of Amsterdam. I can't do anything for Jet, I can't do anything for Craig, and I can't do anything for Mirne, Freyja or Kees, to make it all stop, to make this awful dream become the truth that should have been.
I can speak their names. I can remember them. I can tell the world, or a very small part of it, that Freya Ione, Kees Henry and Jethro Craig Wilhelm are all very much loved, wanted and needed by their families left behind.

Freyja Ione 25 July 2006
Kees Henry 1 February - 21 March 2008
Jethro Craig Wilhelm 29 August - 1 September 2009