Saturday, July 31, 2010

Funny how my mind still thinks in weeks...

Monday 31st July 2000

Tomorrow it's back to see Pam, I've come a long way, yet also stayed still. It surprises me how much time has passed since Aaron died, it still feels so new, to others it seems like "get over it". I still feel an overwhelming need to talk about what happened to us, nobody wants to listen, the subject is changed as soon as it's bought up. Often it just isn't bought up at all, even with close friends. It doesn't make any sense to me, I can't speak aloud about the pain, the unbearable pain of holding our baby in my arms for such a brief time before they took him away to all that pain, to tubes and drugs, and specialists. Holding him afterwards was a joy I would never change. All those women whose babies were whisked away for their own good, it's the one thing that keeps me sane, to be able to hold him, feel his tiny fingers curled around mine, marvel at just how perfect, how beautiful, how much like Sam, my crooked nose.

If I could write in code, and then decode my words, I would feel secure with emotions that otherwise would just drift away each day. I have to keep record, feelings change so dramatically day to day.

It’s been a dramatic weekend, I took Thursday of work because the cars clutch started to go. Had a long weekend which was so nice, Thursday we thought I might be pregnant again, I can't tell you how excited I was, already planning who to tell, should we wait for the twelve weeks to go by, no way, I want to tell everyone now. Stopped at the supermarket to get the test kit. Thought I had a big secret. Busting for a wee, hold on till I read the instructions, just waiting for those double pink lines that say you're pregnant, sat in the car waiting to ring Sam with the news, talking to Aaron about a new brother or sister, rubbing my stomach with such joy, hey baby.

One pink line not two, where is the other one? Crying, disappointment, didn't realize how much I wanted this, it is meant to be two pink lines. Trying to get control, it would be mad to be pregnant again so soon after Aaron’s birth. My cycle is not in sync yet, and I'm way of my long service, I wouldn't qualify for health care. God I wanted it to be true, and hang the problems.

Last day of the month, only one more month of winter to go, I thought winter would be hard, all the leaves fallen, cold and death, but it is not like that at all. Even on the Grey days, and there are plenty of those, the earth is still alive and growing, bulbs are coming through, snow on our mountain that I thought Aaron would get to see. Deciding where to go this Christmas, it doesn't matter, no need to argue over where Aaron spends his first Christmas. No first Christmas, no joy, no presents for him, no wrapping paper to play with, no photos, he would be eight months, I thought how great it would be at Christmas for him, he'd be old enough to enjoy it. I love Christmas, I wanted to share that love with my family, Sam and Aaron.

Funny how my mind still thinks in weeks, 12 weeks since his death, the magical 12 weeks where no more worries are necessary, then waiting for the amnio, longest time I thought, time dragged, way past the danger time, no worries, fine, fine, fine, every time at Dr Baileys, no problems, listen to his heart beating, strong, good, relief every time, what a breeze this pregnancy thing is, heartburn about the worst thing to deal with, how I would whinge about the heartburn. Not being able to sleep. Now I still can't sleep, still drinking Milo before bed in the hope that I won't stay awake thinking.

So many things that I must not forget.

This third period lost so much blood. Scared, blood just everywhere.

Thinking I was pregnant again, taking the test and how it felt when it came up negative.

Watching Sam walk up the hill with David by his side in the snow, watching him play with any child.

Crying at work when a lady came in holding her baby the same way Robyn did when she bought him in to us still warm and soft, seeing his feet hanging.

Nearly every song on the radio

Hearing Andrea Botcelli at Knox, not being able to move, then it kept playing over and over.

The first time to a shopping centre, walking through Myers all the baby things, at Medicare when that baby started to cry and then I couldn’t stop. Looking anywhere else, trying not to cry.

Seeing Lisa the first time since

Laminating his photo and it buckling up, crying in the street couldn't speak for lunch.

Wanting to warn every pregnant woman I came into contact with, don't trust them.

Picking up our records from the Angliss, baby burns, his heartbeat reading, parents came to visit, held baby’s hand.

Driving home the same way that we'd practiced and timed so often.

Buying mum his little bear, picking his funeral flowers, trying to explain what they were for and snapping at that poor woman.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Could I be pregnant?

25th July 2000

Could I be pregnant? I'm over by two days, probably unlikely. Sam says take the test, I'm buying one on the way to work, so excited, who to tell first, rubbing my tummy and talking to Aaron, maybe a brother or sister.
Can't believe how disappointed I am at "not pregnant" result. Crying, upset, I thought I was, even though it's impractical, this intense emotion tells how much I long to be carrying another baby.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Peter rabbit still looks down the hallway...

Monday 24th July 2000

Mum and Tony came in to work yesterday, I gave Mum a little bear the same as Aaron’s. No angel dust though, so sweet, soft. I wanted to give her something special, and that is the most precious thing to me. Every night I pick this little brown bear up, kiss it, feel its softness and talk to Aaron. I thought it was his room that was where I could talk with him, but I have his bear and his photo by my bed and I hardly go into his room, especially since Sam put all his computer stuff in there.
Peter rabbit still looks down the hallway, I remember when I put them up, they looked so cute, thought about our baby, everything looked perfect, we were just waiting.

Every song on the radio seems to be speaking to me, all those sad songs, Sounds of silence, thinking of Aaron safe inside his silent world, inside me. Hello darkness my old friend, I know darkness. Made an appointment to see Pam Wade again, I felt like a different person when I came back from the last visit. I just have to say hang the money, I need to talk about Aaron in every little detail to someone or I think I’ll go crazy. She asked me what do I do with my anger? It's all inside me, I want to smash into every oncoming car, jump off a cliff, scream and scream till no sound comes out. I want to argue, I want to force a reaction from strangers, make people see, make them see Aaron, he lived.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

He would be three months old now...

Friday 21st July 2000

Annette at the video shop has given our number to Kylie, the girl in Warburton whose baby died. She works in Yarra Junction. I had been wondering how they were getting on. Annette says that she looks all right, I wonder how many people say that about us? There is a need for a group in this area, who knows how many others there are.

Reading back on those early days after Aaron’s death, I realise how confused I was, how traumatised, it’s been twelve weeks and I don’t remember where the days went. I know the time has passed, thinking of the autumn leaves makes me see just how much time has slowed since 23rd of April. Now the trees are bare, daffodils are in the shops, spring bulbs are coming up. He would be three months old now.
My strongest desire at the moment is to hold a newborn, has to be a boy, a dark haired boy, about 9lbs, and has to be as close to Aaron as possible. Sometimes I see people in the street with newborn babies that I imagine Aaron looking like, I long to have a hold, to feel the weight, the softness. I think of the strange looks I might get if I asked a stranger in the street if I could hold their baby. Blonde babies don’t worry me, they don’t have the same effect as the dark haired ones, my eyes always follow the dark ones.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Mother and Father held babys hand

Thursday 20th July 2000

Yesterday I went back to the hospital to get Aarons records. Had to psyche myself up walking up the hill and into emergency, through the foyer, walked down to the place we had our antenatal classes, it was raining. Hard to get my breath, tears, trying to avoid people, turning in any direction to keep them from seeing how distressed I was. Didn't think I'd be able to ever go back there, convinced myself that it was all their fault, that it was the midwife, or the doctor, somebody. Everyone was giving us confusing information about the hospital, and about "what they should have done" and what they would have done if they had been there. So many people asked us about the monitor that I thought if only the midwife had used one then Aaron would have come home with us.

The hospital was very hard, a hurdle that I felt I had to be able to get over. Wanted to go into the rooms where he was born, where he struggled to live, to walk it through in the hospital instead of just going over and over it in my mind. Can't remember details, and I have to have every detail straight in my mind before I can get any sense of peace. I need to see it all again, I need to talk with the people that were there, I need to have every memory for myself. I was going to walk through the wards, but it was too difficult, people everywhere and I don't think I could have explained if anyone stopped me. I just choke up, I physically cannot talk, I panic at the thought of trying to talk to anyone, to try to explain what happened.

When getting Aarons records, I had to go to the cashier and pay, I guess I thought that the Freedom of Information officer would have looked at the files, would have known what an ordeal it was just to be there. I asked if they did Psychology there, and then couldn’t speak it overwhelmed me like a huge wave. She kept saying "Just go outside and I'll bring these to you" I felt like I was being an embarrassment, that she just wanted to get rid of me as fast as possible, she didn't know what to do. The psychologist bought out the records, said I could make an appointment to talk with her. I really shouldn't have been allowed to leave like that, distressed, crying, and clutching those records as if they held all the answers. I felt like everyone was staring at me, just wanted to get away as quickly as possible. Sitting in the car crying, deep crying, "Baby Burns" his heartbeats on a piece of paper, Sam and I spoken of as Mother and Father.

Mother and father held babys hand

All in black and white, his short life, every drug, every bit of pain written down in black and white. Facts.

I'll never be the same again. I'm not the same person that I was, everything about me has changed. Physically, emotionally, spiritually, older and wiser, I've joined the club. That's just how it feels, like I've joined some kind of secret horrible club. Only other members really see me now, everyone else sees the mask, the shell of Lisa that was. I talk, I function, but all the time I am somewhere else, thinking other thoughts, operating on auto pilot, not interested, couldn't care less, waiting for others to recognise the pain, friends, work mates, even family, don't see. Maybe they see and avoid my eyes at any cost. The cost is our friendship. Everyone gets judged on the pain scale. I can't help it. I feel such disappointment, that close friends and relatives find it easier to act like nothing has changed, to not even acknowledge Aaron living and dying. If they can't relate to him then surely they can relate to me, it's such a cop out to say, "I didn't call cause I didn't want to upset you".

I'm not supposed to get mad, it seems like I'm not meant to get angry with anyone or anything. I have to think about how they feel, they don't mean to hurt me, well they do! They do hurt me. Maybe they don't mean to but that doesn't mean I'm not feeling it. Sure it's hard to pick up that phone, but it was a hell of a lot harder for me to make those calls. To ring my mum in the middle of the night, after just giving birth, to tell her that our baby is going to die, my little boy, my sweetheart, to have to say that crossing my fingers is not going to make any difference, he is going to die. Trying to call Sams mum and then not being able to talk. Sam taking the phone to try to explain to his mum that our little boy is dying. I remember calling mum from a little office at the Childrens to tell her that Aaron had died, thank God she came, that she held him.

I left the news on Mums answering machine, and she had to go home and hear those words after leaving us at the hospital. Mum told me later that she couldn't erase that message. She listened over and over to my voice, to her daughter telling her the worst possible news, the most unexpected shocking news, not what she had been waiting to hear, not what I'd been dying to tell her right from my first contraction. From that first contraction I couldn't wait to ring everyone, to say we've had the baby. A BOY. We've called him Aaron Joseph, 9 pounds, he was born at 10.25pm, and on Easter Sunday as well. All the exciting things I thought I'd get to tell, all the calls, and visits, everyone having a hold, and saying how like Sam he is, staying in hospital, learning how to change nappies, holding his soft little body close, kisses and tickles, and Sam with the camera.
Tony got rid of the message when Mum was out in the back yard, and she told me that she was glad he'd done it because she couldn't.

All our plans, dreams, hopes wiped out in one cruel moment.

Monday, July 19, 2010

the worst pain is in the details

Wednesday 19th July 2000

It’s 7.10am and 10 degrees outside, raining and windy. Today I am going back to the Angliss for the first time since Aaron’s death. Although we did go there on the Monday morning after he died, this is the first voluntary time I will set foot in that hospital. Don’t know how I’ll be, I see it so clearly in my mind, all those little booties and bears in the entrance, those stairs. Up for the baby, down for the classes. I never dreamt during all those visits for our antenatal classes that something like this could happen.

We have not been back to the hospital, and that is a big thing for me to do today. Sam and I went to Dr Bailey’s rooms to pick up my records, and that was hard. I don’t think Sam can realise just how awful it is to walk back into those green rooms, see all the info that I was consuming when I was pregnant, the video with the baby picture on it, and I used to think that will be us soon. I could see into his office and I was just wanting to go in there like before, to have my check up, to turn back time and have Aaron live, and come home with us, to be like the picture on the video. How on earth did everything go so wrong? I just cannot get my head around it all. I don’t let my mind dwell on the details, the worst pain is in the details, the feel of his skin, the way Aaron looked in the video, limp and sick. And Sam saying, “you’re a mummy.”

God, God, God, even the word looks stupid, how could there be a God that would take newborns? Don’t talk to me about God, about him wanting our son for an angel, what a load of crap. Pick someone else, why take our little boy? I waited so long for him, I felt him move inside my body, would put my hand on him to calm him when he kicked, joked about his hiking boots, and couldn’t wait to see what he looked like. Would he be like me? Would we have a boy or a girl, couldn’t wait to hold our baby, to breast feed, to change nappies, to have all those sleepless nights that other parents take for granted and complain about. How can they complain, especially to me, even when they know about Aaron they still go on about how sick their kids are, at least they’re alive, how can they be so insensitive? I don’t understand.

I can’t make small talk anymore. I can’t make it home in the car without crying. It’s such a despairing kind of crying, even writing about it brings that feeling, back of the throat hurts, and I feel like I can’t get my breath, then I wonder if that’s what it was like for him. Did he feel that awful can’t get enough air feeling, did he suffer, did he know what was happening in his short life? Did he know I loved him so much? Tears. Did it hurt? Did he know we were there, we were with him in the ambulance, hoping and praying, and making wild promises to God to never make another bad move in my life if my baby could just live. Please. Tapping on the door handle of the ambulance like that would keep him going long enough to get help. The cars in front of us on the way in to the Children's, thinking GET OUT OF THE WAY! Up Lygon Street, and one car not moving, all the time thinking my baby is dying. MOVE. Trying not to cry, stay calm, he’ll be alright, looking back at Sam sitting in the back, wishing that we could be together, it’s cruel seating, when I wanted to be with him, hold him tight, he looked stunned, just stunned.

I have to go back to the hospital today.

Monday, July 12, 2010

"What's motherhood like?"

Wednesday 12th July 2000

Just when I think I'm doing okay, everything hits again. I just went next door to laminate my photo of Aaron and I put Connie's poem on the back, and the girl buckled the whole thing. I should trust my own instincts more often, I even asked her if she'd done it before. I can't even have a picture without something going wrong. I couldn't speak, I can't get people to understand how important even the smallest thing is now. Tears in the street, stood in the bus shelter to hide, shaking hands, couldn't speak.
Scott came in to work today, and the first thing he asked me was "What's motherhood like?" I wish I knew, yet I do know.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Talking about Aaron

Friday 7th July

I seem to be more positive at the moment as opposed to the last few days of misery and despair. Talking about Aaron to the councilor has helped, maybe as she says it's the first time I've sat and talked in any detail. She was much younger than I expected, only a trainee. Also talking with Sam always helps. I have to try to keep talking, and not hold everything inside.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Want to just smash everything, and scream, scream, scream

Monday 3rd July 2000

Down, down, down, in a hole. Counseling costs $100, well that's me out. Mum rang around and found something cheaper. Rang Childrens hospital for Aaron's records. Little girl from up the street asked if I'd had the baby and I just said, "The baby died". I'm just so suprised that people just act like nothing has happened. They do this to my face, no shame. Crying in the car, hard to cry and drive and see all at the same time.

Feel sometimes like I'm going mad. Want to just smash everything, and scream, scream, scream. Can't see new doctor until September. I tell myself to snap out of this and I just fall further in. Everything piles up and it's hard to be positive. Customers drive me mad, I couldn't care less what colour they paint the walls. I feel fat, and ugly, and when I sneeze I pee myself.

I'm disappearing a bit at a time

Sunday 2nd July

10 p.m. and can't sleep, my mind goes round in circles. I'm disappearing a bit at a time. Nothing seems real anymore. Don't give a dam about anything, act happy, feel miserable. When is this going to get better? Everything hurts! Nobody says anything anymore and that hurts the most. Am I just meant to be over it?

Hold your dead baby in your arms, feel his fingers curl around yours, his weight, his warmth, his soft skin on the top of his head when he had a bath, and say to me "Get over it". Tell me that if you've been there or else shut up and fuck off!