November 21, 2014

Pilbara Sunset

There is nothing quite like a Pilbara sunset in Australia.  If you never ever seen one, you should!   During our recent time in outback WA we were super happy to be able to have a chance to visit the Pilbara region, and to see the changes in the mining towns of Karratha and Port Headland.  We also had a special mission.  That mission was to collect a small piece of the earth from Port Headland for our special dog Buzz.

Buzz the border collie, now 14 years old and going strong was born in Port Headland, Western Australia.  His mum was a red border collie and that is all we really know.  Buzz came to be with us 1 year after he was born, through the RSPCA.  When I first met my husband and moved over 3000km to live with him after only knowing him a few short weeks, I demanded that we have a dog as part of the deal!  That is where Buzz comes in.  I saw an add in the local paper advertising a border collie who had some issues but needed a home.  I picked up the phone and rang the number, only to hear of the awful treatment Buzz had experienced as an unruly bored working dog.   We decided we wanted him and I am so glad we did.   Despite being told he was afraid of men, due to having been beaten he was never ever afraid of my kind husband.  Buzz the superdog as we call him has been on all our adventures over the past 13 years and has gotten into lots of trouble along the way but we feel so blessed he found us.     Anyway back to visiting Port Headland for a piece of earth... we had wanted to grab a little bit of sand and red Pilbara dirt to take home with us so we could bury it with Buzz one day.  The Pilbara is a really long way from anywhere, so we weren't being morbid but rather ceasing the opportunity!  On our return home I let Buzz sniff the sand from his original home, and you know what the clever dog did as I put some on my fingers, yep in his true form he ate it just like he does everything else that is in reach of his mouth.  On ya Buzz, that's why we love you mate.

We also took a picture of Buzz with the famous statue of Red Dog located in the Pilbara.  For more information on Red Dog, click on the below link:

October 28, 2014

Dolphin Healing

Once again we find ourselves living in a temporary situation in the middle of nowhere!  It feels quite unsettling to have no fix abode and to be away from our animals but with the sacrifice comes some reward.  Part of that reward has been exploring a new part of Australia that is astonishingly beautiful.  Over the past two weeks we have visited the gorgeous dolphins of Monkey Mia a couple of times.  Located on the spectacular west cost of outback Australia, Monkey Mia is truly one of the most beautiful places in the world and it is a must do adventure.

Last time I visited Monkey Mia I was 13 years old, and life was very different.  I have held that adventure I had as at teenager close to my heart.  The experience of interacting with wild dolphins is just so beautiful and hard to forget.

At a time in my life when I felt I needed that healing touch I was blessed to be chosen during our recent visit to feed Puck one of the long term dolphins of Monkey Mia.  These dolphins despite being wild are very familiar with people and they are very gentle at their daily feeds.  They are fed minimally and the quantity of fish is monitored to make sure they still live as naturally as possible.  When you interact with the dolphins you feel an instant healing connection with them, it feels like they know you.   Reading up on some information on Puck the dolphin I learnt she had 8 calves but only 4 of them survived.  This got me thinking that perhaps dolphins understand the loss of a baby/calf all to well.   I had wanted to feed the dolphins in memory of our two babies who couldn't be here to experience this with us.  Such an intimate memory to carry forward on my own healing journey.

Thank you Puck.

June 28, 2014

Long Distance Love

I miss him

The man who has been by my side for the past 14 years.

We have always had times apart during our life shared together but I still always feel like part of me is missing every time he travels away for work.

This entry is for him.

Thank you mate for seeing in me things I could never see in myself.

Thank you for understanding my unusual ways.

Thank you for working so hard so we can be a little closer to our dreams.

Thank you for travelling so many thousands of miles with me.

Thank you for taking the risks with me that have seen us have some great adventures.

Thank you for learning life's lessons with me.

Thank you for waiting for me in the hospital both times our two babies were born too early.

Thank you for holding me accountable.

Thank you for those big bear hugs whilst I was in the middle of deep dark grief.

Thank you for the past, present and the future.

Thank you for always believing in me.

Thank you for being strong enough for both of us.

April 05, 2014

April Fools Day "Fake Pregnancy Joke"

The older I get the less I find April Fools Day "Jokes" to be funny.  I don't think its because I'm loosing my sense of humour but rather because I'm increasing my sense of empathy for others.  We never know the path that others have walked or what challenges they maybe facing in life right now.  Luckily since loosing our two babies I had not encountered any of those silly "I'm pregnant jokes!" on any form of social media but that all changed this April 1st, 2014.  An old acquaintance, decided it would be hilarious to announce a "fake pregnancy" by posting an ultrasound picture of a baby at 12 weeks.  I did not find this funny.  

Whilst I can appreciate to innocent people this is a very funny joke, it isn't to me nor I presume the thousands of women who can not have children or have lost pregnancies and babies.  I like to think I am a really tolerant person but I could not help but unfriend the person who found it humorous. 

On the upside I did notice her closest friend re-post Carly Marie from Project heals picture from last April Fools Day as a reminder that it isn't a funny joke.  Out of respect I will not post that photo here as I know it caused much hurt to Carly Marie by peoples comments in response to the photo.  Everyday I am always surprised by how hurtful people can be, especially on social media.  I think if you wouldn't be brave enough to say something to someone in person then you certainly shouldn't write it on the anonymity that social media allows.

I also found another link on April Fool's Pregnancy jokes that you may find interesting to read:

I'd like to think that grief doesn't take away your sense of humour but it can alter it.  Your filter on humour may forever change, but it will be changed for the better. Whenever in life you can become more aware of what is going on around us in the world and how it impacts on others that has to be a positive thing.

March 18, 2014

'Mother Heart Acceptance'

I have been following the beautiful affirmations created by CarlyMarie at Project Heal and I have been blown away with how amazing they have been.   The 'Mother Heart Acceptance' she has created recently is astoundingly healing and I will include a link below this entry.  When I first stumbled upon Carly Marie's work over 3 years ago I was in such a  dark and sad place.  I felt so alone, I didn't understand this pregnancy loss experience.  Stumbling across her blog, which led to discovering the online baby loss community I began to not feel so overwhelmed.  I currently work in Health promotion and there is nothing in any brochures that talks about baby loss.  There are lots of 'becoming a mother' type literature but little on pregnancy loss.  I still can not believe that I walked out of my Obstetrician office not once but twice without anything.  I can not imagine that you can send someone away after two second trimester miscarriages without considering perhaps having an inhouse small brochure which could say "Where to find help when pregnancy doesn't go as planned".  All I had to refer to prior to discovering this wonderful online community, was a heap of hospital brochures talking about the wonders of pregnancy etc which I had been given at my first appointment.

The contrast between congratulations and commiserations in regard to pregnancy is a massive one, and one that I find so difficult to comprehend.  I watched a movie on my day off today where the announcement of a pregnancy was celebrated, with comments like: "You'll be a wonderful mummy", "How exciting to be a parent", "You will love being a mummy".  It seems in the media too, as soon as a pregnancy is announced you are a Mummy/Mum/Mother.  But in contrast when you lose a baby, especially before 20 weeks you very quickly become NOT a Mummy/Mum/Mother.   I know people don't know what to say when you lose a baby but I do wish that they would value you more as a mother or try to understand that even though you do not hold a baby in your arms you grieve as a mother.

Having recently started a new job where everyone else there is female, I have lost count of the  "Do you have kids?" question.  By the second week it was beginning to wear very thin.  I had a good cry one night when I got home from work and talked it over with my husband.  I decided to not hide in our default of shame but rather be proud and happy to speak up about my babies.  The responses of others to talking about baby loss are usually like you have asked someone to eat something poisonous, which I guess to a lot of people it is.  They could never imagine going through such a thing and they certainly struggle to value you or even see you as a mother.  I said to a colleague that in my heart I know I'm a mother and that is all that matters, to which she went very quiet.  It's okay though I have never wanted children to display as an accomplishment or owned possession.  I have only every wanted a child to express my deep love I have for my husband and for us to be able to share our skills, knowledge and love whilst raising another human being.  I would be more than happy to adopt a child of any age into our home, I have no dreams of holding a baby or having to raise a child from birth.  I would feel blessed if my husband and I are able to share our lives with our child of any description.

So back to a Mother Heart Acceptance affirmation, I feel this is so crucial to use in the healing process of infertility and not being able to have a baby.  I hope if you come across this it speaks to you also.

Image Source:Carly Marie, Project Heal

Carly Marie Affirmations

February 28, 2014

In memory of our baby girl

It's been a big day today.  It was two years ago today we said goodbye to our second baby, our little girl Opal.  Even all this time later I still feel I have not sufficiently honoured you in our lives.  Being within 6 months of loosing our first baby our second loss was just overwhelming and it has taken a long time to process.  We have never loved either of our babies more than the other.  With our second loss we were so sadly more mentally prepared for loss rather than the shock of when we lost Olly.  

I also had a job interview today and it was awful.  It was one of those interviews that from the moment you walk in you feel that you are not what they are looking for.  I have no doubt of my skills or ability to do the job, but I know I just was not the right organisational fit.  I had already been offered another position in the health field and as life plays out I start in that position on Monday so I didn't really need to attend the interview for the other position anyway!  All these changes on such an overwhelming day have helped me to keep in focus the preciousness of your life and the gift you were to us.  Ive had a few tears today but they have been both sad and happy tears.  I know Opal you are with us every step of our days, thank you for being our baby xox Miss you

Image:  CarlyMarie Project Heal

February 23, 2014

Rest peacefully Charlotte xox

On February 22nd, 2014  a vibrant Australian TV personality took her own life at age 47 after a long battle with depression.  I personally was quite devastated. Despite obviously not knowing Ms Charlotte Dawson I admired her strength and passion that seemed to shine through in all her work.  She seemed a fighter and a woman who could really make things happen.  I guess we can all see in her something of ourselves.  Another reason I connected to this sad news story is that I know the place she was in.  I am in that place now, and have been on and off for the past few years.  Prior to our pregnancy losses I had always been susceptible to periods of depression but nothing like the darkness and hopelessness I have experienced over the past few years.  I often think about the easiest way to end this ongoing pain.  People who have not suffered from depression will never truly understand how hopeless you can feel, or how dark the world becomes.  There is no "just snapping" out of it.  I know I have done all the right things in managing my grief and sadness.  I have take time out, seen a professional, talked to friends but I still cannot get through that tough layer of depression.    We all have our problems and I know mine are no less or greater than anyone elses.   I wish Charlotte Dawson much peace, she will be greatly missed.

Charlotte Dawson
Photo source:

January 25, 2014

Happy 2nd birthday lil man

Our little man Olly would have been two years old today.  Amazing how fast time can move but how it can also feel like forever.  Some days I just feel like I will still never breath again. My mind goes right back to that moment when the Dr said,  "I'm sorry I'm not seeing what I should, your baby has no heartbeat".  The memory of the shock and distress of that moment has not diminished, nor should it.  You do not experience those moments in life to forget.  They are experienced to make you grow and develop as a human being.  Of course no one would choose to experience loosing a baby or child but it does make us who we currently are.

I was lucky to have my sister staying with us for a week during our summer holidays and she was able to be here on Olly's birthday which was a welcome distraction. I do want to remember him with all my heart but I want to celebrate not commemorate his life.  I want to show joy not lay around and think about what could have been.  On reflection I have no doubt that Olly saved my life, he saved me from myself, what a gift.  Now the countdown begins to the day I lost his sister which is only 4 weeks away. December to February are a full on time with a lot of special dates but really every day is special.  I remember you everyday Olly, you are part of me, part of my DNA and I feel you in every heartbeat.  I would give anything to have you here, to feel your heart beat and movement again but I cant.  Have a Happy Birthday buddy xox 

January 16, 2014

A Bushfire close to home

Hello & welcome to 2014!

We have only been settled into our new abode for a bit over a month now, and a few days ago it was threatened by an out of control bushfire.  We have had a week of extreme heat with temperatures over 40 degrees plus, that combined with dry storms and lightning our state has had hundreds of bushfires.   Our small coastal community of 8 houses was evacuated early.  My husband was at work so I knew he was safe.  As luck had it I was 650 kms away in our nearest capital city packing up our old house ready for removalists.  It nearly was a case of the removalist truck would be arriving at a house that could have been burnt down.  By the grace of God and the hard work of our emergency services our little community was saved from the fire.

It was a day where my heart was in my throat as we waited to hear if the fire that had burned out of control for 4 hours had been contained.  I feel very very thankful.  As I write this there are still many fires out of control and with extreme heat and wind today it's an anxious time.  Tomorrow I have to do the drive back home, through some areas of bushfires so that may even hinder our travel.  Growing up alongside a volunteer firefighter (my dad) I guess it is all very real to me.

All this has reminded my how quickly things can change in our lives that are completely out of our control.  It has re-inspired me to live for the things that I really want in my heart.  This year I want to give myself permission to thrive and to feel freedom.  These are my two goals for the year.

Photo source: Port Lincoln Times