June 21, 2012

Buzz & Me

Something happened yesterday which made me reflect on my relationship with Buzz.  Buzz is my 12 year old Border Collie who we rescued over 10 years ago.  When I first met my husband and moved interstate to live with him after only knowing him a few months I demanded that having my own dog was part of the package.  I never imagined we would find Buzz.  The poor fella was only 12 months old and had already had a really hard life.  Being a working dog he had lots of energy and he caused much chaos for his family at the time.  Buzz had been beaten badly by his owner, run over by a motorbike and had his throat cut from being kept on a chain.  He was advertised through the local paper by the RSPCA and despite the problems they told me about I wanted this dog badly.  Something in my heart knew he was the dog for me and my new partner (now my husband!).  When my husband and I went to collect him we thought he looked like a wild dog with his long coat completely unkempt, and my husband gave me that look of "Are you sure?".  Buzz was named by his first owners after Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story and it does suit him.  Even though he is now 12 years old he will still take off running after anything and it feels like it will be infinity and beyond before he comes back!.  On a serious note my relationship with our special fur kid Buzz has been tested over the past year.  He looked after me and sat by my side when I had all day & night morning sickness with both of our pregnancies.  When I came home from the hospital both times after loosing our babies he sat with his head on my lap and looked at me and snuggled in.   I think of the book Marley & Me which I read many years before the Movie and recall when he talks about Marley the dog comforting his wife after the loss of a baby.  Dogs do know and if we think they don't then we are wrong.

Anyway back to what happened yesterday.  I was doing some back stretches lying flat on my back on the floor and Buzz was beside me sneaking in for a snuggle, a play and a lick on the face.  Whilst I had my legs in the air stretching he laid down beside me and did the same.  We call it "being cute" in our house as he does this thing where he lies on his back with his legs in the air and wriggles around.  We always make a fuss when he does it because its just so damn cute.  It occurred to me at that moment that Buzz & Me had found our closeness again.  Something I have been feeling quite bad about is during the grieving process especially after we lost our first baby Olly I pushed Buzz away.  I think this was because Buzz has obviously become like a child for us and the connection was just too close, I couldn't show him the love and affection I should have.  I continued to feed him, and do all those everyday care tasks but I stopped connecting with him.  It makes me so very sad that I pushed Buzz away but I know he understands.  You may think a post about my relationship with my dog is silly but for those who know the importance of the role that animals play in our lives will be able to relate.  It also highlights that in grief we sometimes do things that we wouldn't normally do, like ignore people, cut ourselves off socially and sometimes have the darkest thoughts.  

I love you Buzz, thanks for being this girls best friend.

Tammie J

June 17, 2012

Outback Heart

Quite simply the pictures below show why a piece of my heart belongs to the Australian Outback.  Well a big piece of it actually.  I love the freedom, the laid back way of life, having no mobile phone range and feeling as if time has forgotten you.  Having lived in the Outback for many years I always long to go back.  This weekend we had the best weekend ever!  Driving for a 14 hour return trip to visit some wonderful old friends in a really remote town we use to live in.  As you drive out there you feel like you are returning home.  We feel so blessed to have many places that we call home and many great people we have met on our adventures.  It was a bit sad to leave there this morning but we left with our hearts full. We released a flower for our Opal in the same spot we did for our first lost baby nearly 10 months ago now.  We felt great peace and joy that both our babies were together spiritually in the place we chose to be an Outback memorial to them.  Even though we are moving thousands of kilometres away from them soon I know a piece of my heart will always be there and I cant wait to return.  

Tammie J    

June 08, 2012

It's Time

This morning I got such an unexpected call from my Doctors office.  I had scheduled to go in for my flu vaccine this morning but as my GP had the flu she asked the receptionist to ring anyone who was pregnant or with young children so she wouldn't expose them.  The beautiful receptionist asked me if I still wanted to have it done seeing I was pregnant, wow did my heart sink.  It was one of the first times I had to say out loud I'm not pregnant anymore :-(  I felt so blessed to have her sweet voice on the other end, say I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry.  These 3 little words I haven't heard a lot since we lost our babies, most people say nothing at all.  It turn out that the receptionist had herself lost her first 2 babies and then went onto have a successfully trouble free third pregnancy.  This kind of made me sad but also gave me that little kick of hope that you sometimes get in your day.  My Doctor also apologised when I went in for my flu shot and I bravely said "its okay, I will have to answer those questions for the rest of my life its just the reality of pregnancy loss".  Just yesterday I sat down and wrote a letter to my daughter Opal, just as I did for her brother Olly.  It has been over 3 months since we lost her and only now have I felt the strength to begin grieving.  Miss you baby girl.  This is your letter xox.

Tammie J

To my Darling girl

It has been just a little over 3 months since you peacefully slipped away and left this world.  We were so excited to find out you were conceived the day after Christmas 2011 and we were so happy to pregnant again after we lost your big brother Olly.   I felt such joy to know you were going to be a part of our lives.

At 6 weeks of pregnancy we had a few little problems but you were still strong and your little heart was beating and that was all the mattered.  We went on a family holiday in January and of course you were there with us, such a special time.

We had to go for a check up around 12 weeks to see how your little life was going.  Walking into the same Doctors office where we were told, “I’m sorry there was no heartbeat” for Olly your dad and I were very anxious.  As they did the scan my head starting spinning when they couldn’t find your heartbeat.  The Dr just wasn’t sure so he sent us off for a more detailed ultrasound at another clinic.  What we had expected or at least hoped would be a happy day turned out to be a whirlwind day of crazy emotions.  Waiting at the ultrasound place with lots of happy pregnant people around us was so hard.  The lady who did your scan was so kind and respectful.  The moment we saw you on that scan I just wanted to hold every memory of seeing your tiny body before we heard the news.  I’m sorry the lady said, “there is no heartbeat”.  We just didn’t know what to do.  The lady left the room and I said to your dad, "did you see her, did you see our little one?".  So still, so peaceful , but in pure form.  So hard to believe you too had left us early.  Mummy had the surgery for you to be born 4 days later and I loved that for a few days you were still in my tummy sleeping peacefully   You were born in the same hospital Olly was.

I’m sorry Opal it has taken me a while to write this letter.  I wrote one for your brother too but loosing you both so close together has been so very difficult.  I didn’t know what to say to you.  I never expected you would leave us, I was so positive, felt so positive and like it was all meant to be.  My dearest hope and consolation for you not being here with us is that you are in heaven running and playing with Olly.  Growing together as a sister and brother without having to endure this world.

I will never forget you and the way you made me feel.  Your dad was so very sad to see you go and I know it has impacted on him in a very deep way.  I see you and Olly in everything.  Each beautiful flower that blooms and each bird that flies by.   Thank you my angel for choosing me as you mum.

Love you
Your Mummy

June 01, 2012

On the road again

On the road again, I just can't wait to get on the road again ....... These words and the sound of Willie Nelson singing them are ringing in my ears at the moment.  My Husband & I and our faithful dog Buzz are on the road again.  I'm madly trying to complete some study I'm doing as well as pack up our house once again.  Last time we were packing up our house I was pregnant with Olly.  We have lived in 12 houses in the 11 years we have been together, lived in 4 different states and travelled many thousands of kilometres together.  We love travel and seeing the amazing country side of Australia but this time it all feels different.  We feel like this is a fresh beginning for us.  Going to somewhere where  not everyone looks at us in pity and says things like "we feel sorry for you" after the loss of our two babies.  We still don't know if we will ever be able to have children and are still waiting for the results of more of those tests to try and find out if there was a medical problem or if statistically we just had really bad luck.  Before we leave our current state we will be making the pilgrimage to the Outback remote mining town where we use to live, to lay some dried flowers in Opal Creek.  We are doing this for our daughter Opal so she can spiritually be with her brother, as we floated a dried flower for him also nearly 9 months ago now.  I picture them both running through the eery but beautiful landscape of outback Australia skipping and having so much fun (picture below).

We are very excited about moving across Australia again and cant wait to return to one of our favourite states.  We will be living in a lovely rural and peaceful setting.  Most of all after all the busyness of the move we are looking forward to spending time reflecting and healing as husband and wife.  Oh and buzz of course is really looking forward to chasing some of those country birds out the gum trees!

Tammie J