I previously blogged about my goal of 30 goals before 30, in order to enhance life and enjoy the last year of my 20’s! Well here I am hrs away from being 30 and nothing really went to plan how I had hoped! I am beginning to think that perhaps goals and planning ahead isn’t how I am supposed to live my life. If theres one thing I am learning from loosing Poppy it is to live more in the moment and enjoy what life gives us that day, each day will then mold me and take me where I am destined…happiness (eventually)!

I started this week off feeling pretty naff, the car was broken (again), I was overwhelmed with life and I felt far from excited about my birthday approaching. Not because of turning 30, I have accepted that, but rather because I wanted to have fun in my last week of my 20’s and didn’t know how I would accomplish that with so much grief I was carrying. As I looked over the sea at Brid it came to me – do as many joyful things as you can and go out with a bang!!! The more I thought about it the more excited I became, I can do all of the things I love and though life is far from joyful I can have some joyful moments, my sister instantly helped me put it into action and off we went for an afternoon of fun!

I aimed for 30 joyful things this week before I turned 30 and here is what I did –

  1.  Played arcade games – from as long as I can remember I loved going to Bridlington and playing in the arcades and going on the rides, it was the highlight of our holiday with the cousins! As I grew up it was fun to have dates racing and now taking the kids too for some cheap competitive fun and laughs.. who doesn’t like pretending they’re driving an F50!?
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  2. The dance machine – WHAT A LAUGH we used to spend hrs on this as teenagers; one of my school friends was the bomb.com at it and I couldn’t believe the speed he would conquer it at. My cousins always loved it too when they visited and for 50p you can’t go wrong! 12yrs away from it though certainly showed with an “E” average and panting for breath!
  3. dance machineWent out for breakfast – Im not really a breakfast person, and Macd’s wouldn’t be my first option, but Megs and I enjoyed a bagel each and hot choc and I loved I didn’t have to make it
  4. WP_20141104_09_51_09_ProTook flowers to Poppy – it might not sound very joyful but it was nice to go visit her and lay some fresh flowers, the sun was shining like the day of her funeral and I felt the warmth of love in my heart. Yes its sad, but it brought me some joy as her mother to be able to do something for. I chose the winter bouquet because it had a pine cone and I know how kids love to collect them at this time of year.
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  5. A trip to the Museum – I took Megan and one of my nieces, with my mum to the maratime museum in Hull. I love museums and love to see and learn of the past! I would have liked to have read more but Megs and her cousin seemed to think it was a playground and legged it all over!!!
  6. Left the kids at my sisters – no not on purpose but I knew I needed a rest and family were willing. I felt some guilt but overall it brought me joy to lie in, only think of me for a bit and not to worry about trying to fill the day.
  7. A walk round Oakwell hall – The sun was shining and I had a wonderful morning walking around, chatting to a friend, definitely a place to take the kids for muddy walks and exploring!
  8. Lunch at Bella Italia – after our walk we enjoyed a delic meal and more chats, it was just what I needed.
  9. Supped a can of cold root beer – I lived in America for a while and this is one of my fave drinks…not widely available here but my lovely husband bought me a can of “A&W” and I sat in bed, in peace and savoured every mouthful
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  10. Box Fit – always a laugh with one of my friends, burnt some calories and got rid of some anger – JOYF!
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  12. Massage – these were a gift from my sister in laws for my birthday! It was SO nice to take time for me and be pampered and relieve some stress, perfect pre birthday treat
  13. Had my eyebrows shaped – it really is the small things, ive not had them done since the summer and boy did they need it! I feel happy now that when I look in the mirror I’m a little more feminine!
  14. Dyed my hair – needed doing for ages but not had the time or energy – feeling so much happier now that its done – TADA instant joy!
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  15. Watched Les Mis – haven’t seen it for ages and loved sat uninterrupted watch a musical..and yes I sang along and best of all it was a joyful couple of hours
  16. Pizza hut buffet – one of my faves, carb overload and comfort food – LOVE IT!
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  17. A trip to the temple – Im a Mormon and this is my sanctuary, it reminds me ill always be Poppys mummy and it was nice to visit with friends
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  18. Starbucks for a hot choc – what a treat!
  19. Viewed a house  – not because we are moving but just because it looked nice and wanted to see what was on the market! It was fun
  20. Spa with Nath
  21. Dinner out with Nath – mmmmm Nandos! Its so joyful to go for dinner and talk without kids throwing food, tugging on you and nicking ya drink!
  22. Check into a lush hotel – A night away in luxury – it doesn’t get more joyful than that?!Ok so not quite 30 (no surprise there) but I have accomplished more this week than I originally thought and best of all I have actually had a wonderful week and lots of fun, made possible by the wonderful friends and family I am blessed to have!
    I haven’t accomplished everything I set out to do before turning 30 but I have done a lot and I have enjoyed my life so far; I have a brilliant husband of 5 years, mother to 3 children, I have traveled a bit, lived in another country, being on all sorts of adventures and met lots of amazing people, learnt a lot and taken a bunch of random courses, some complete some not, but life is for living and though things don’t go to plan we can still find joy in it. The path we set out on may not be the one we end up on but thats not always a bad thing, it can be sad and it can knock us for a long time but as I approach the next chapter I choose to not focus on what I didn’t do or mistakes I made and not feel like a failure for not reaching goals I set out to do. How can I be disappointed with where I am at when I have had so many great times, have so many wonderful blessings and learnt so much over the last 30 years? Yes my baby died and turned my life upside down, I dont know when I will feel a relief from this grief, its certainly not where I imagined I would be at 30, but this week has shown me the sunshine through the clouds and that the only goal I want have for now is to do things that bring or will lead to JOY , with this I am attracted to the idea of being a little more spontaneous, enjoying today and making the most of it… as I turn 30 tomorrow I am looking forward to what adventures are created in my future.

    Try it, live a little more for today and making the best of it!

 

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I recently had my first sess of bereavement counselling at the hospice..whilst difficult to talk about everything it was also great to understand a few things, know I’m not a nutter and of course be at a place that makes me feel closer to poppy. Every time I step foot there, there is such peace and a lovely feeling and the staff are always so happy and welcoming, in some ways its like going home!

Whilst Nath and I sat talking with the lovely Lisa, Ethan and Megs were busy playing and making Spiders:
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I’ve always found counselling helpful whenever iv’e had a rough spot in my life, I like to talk and make sense of things and whilst not for everyone I know, for me I always learn things about myself and the situation , I think that’s why I enjoy having good long chats with family and friends too, I can organize everything going on in my mind by expressing it and learn and understand things better…so what did I learn from this session?

Firtly that I am in a World of my own; a world where there are lots of women that have experienced infant loss and understand it, where we talk about our babies and troubles and where its not awkward but everyone gets it..this world is built on a foundation of facebook groups, people on twitter and Sands help group. I have created this by seeking and connecting with those in the same boat as I have longed to make sense of everything…But sadly in reality and out in the real world what I’m experiencing isn’t as common as my world would suggest. The things I talk about to online friends are like a foreign language to many in real life and this is where I struggle. I talk as if many know when really they dont, they try to but I know from experience, as much as you imagine the pain of infant loss, the feeling when it happens is far more cutting, far deeper and heartbreaking, more empty than one could have ever imagined. I often expect people to get it and they dont, it is a language you can’t truely master unless you’ve been unlucky enough to speak it firsthand. So here I am, 2 worlds crossing over and creating confusion, I walk around in the real world like a robot wondering why everyone seems to be getting on – the truth is infant loss is rare, it isn’t common to have a baby with CHD, CDH, Trisomy 18 and then be born still at term and how can anyone possibly get that?

The second thing I learnt is that I need to be kinder to myself! Its quite natural for women to be hard on themselves, we can be strong for so long that when a crisis hits, strong is the only option, how can I be “weak” when people depend on me? how can I not make dinner when I’ve 2 kids and a husband at work that needs to eat? we all need a clean home? clean clothes? kids need to get out..right?
Of course all of these things need to happen for a family to run but grief is not a weakness, its not weak to mourn the loss of our daughter and be sad about all of the things we lost with her passing. It isn’t weak to not be able to cope with “normal” things and nor is it strong to try to do everything “normal” when life is far from that.. Is it ok that we order in because I can’t cook something that day? that I don’t get dressed because its too much effort? of course it is, because how can I possibly manage to do normal things in an abnormal situation without the frustration that I can’t cope, its too much or I am literally too sad to function?

I am working on understanding grief and being assured I am not depressed; its a scary thing and can grab hold at any time and control you and Im not yet okay with crying in such a heart wrenching way that I have no control so instead I keep busy at the fear of its dominating power  all whilst attempting to make sense of everything thats happened, trying to live in our normal routine and wondering “where do I go from here”? as I remember it’s never going to be normal – Is it any wonder I’m exhausted?
But as hard as it is not to try to plan too far ahead, I am working on taking it a day at a time, taking it a bit more easy and  knowing that I don’t need to put on a “brave face”! Whilst not everyone in my world can understand fully, they can lift the burden and to be kind to myself I need to seek that help and respite when I need it…

When did you last take time for you and how has it helped your life?

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Since when did I become the bright red, unfit, wobbly mother I used to laugh at as a Teenager? Karma is bad!!!

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Last Wednesday I dusted off my trainers (literally they’ve been under the bed for a yr) and hit a ‘Box fit’ class with my friend! OH.MY.GOODNESS I thought I might ACTUALLY collapse! I am embarrassed to say I haven’t properly exercised in well over a year and it definitely showed. I couldn’t even do a flipping sit up! I just kept laughing my head off whilst having a sweat fest – who knows what the instructor was thinking! I ached for days after but it was totally worth it and I am feeling motivated with my new “fitness and swim” membership, and so I should with less treats this week and upping the work out I am pleased to announce I have lost 1.5lbs hahaha well its still a loss isn’t it so can’t complain!

My plan is box fit, pilates and a swim once a week MINIMUM! Skinny jeans here I come…although Saturday I turn 30 so who knows how many treats i’ll be chowing down on!

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More awkward than when people don’t know your baby died and ask you about it is when your GP doesn’t know and asks at your 6week check ..are you breastfeeding??? ERRRRMMMM Is this some kind of sick joke? First she asked why I was there, something I asked myself – the obvious answer: “My 6 week check” and now this???

I went to this appointment reluctantly, to me I feel its another cruelty of loosing your baby; going through all of the motions and appointments of a new mother without your baby. Its like a big slap in the face and pretty naff; answering questions about the birth, about if we are wanting to try again? Its all just another reminder of what you don’t have. Why when your heart is so broken do they then drag you through all of that? in answer to her question I just responded (surprisingly calm) “no my baby was still born” –  of course she was horrified, more so because she too had experienced such loss and knew straight away how I felt and that that was probs the last place I wanted to be on a wednesday morning…anyway after much apologizing and talking normally about the situation..one mother to another the awkwardness left.

I answered all of the usual questions and as I thought I’m fit and well and recovered from the birth..HA if only it took 6 weeks to recover from such a birth…so YES physically I am well recovered, mentally and emotionally this birth will always affect me and I doubt I will ever be fully healed from it.
I learnt during the appointment that because Poppy had Edwards apparently the hospital feel “no further appointments are necessary” – Oh right were here again are we? discriminating in life AND death – PFFFFTTTT! No follow up because she had Trisomy 18? No opportunity for us to talk about what happened? ask unanswered questions? I cannot believe after all we have been through we still have to fight for a certain level of care. Every parent I met at SANDS said they had had a follow up consultation to discuss it , yet apparently thats not necessary in this case?!Thankfully my GP was on it and said she will help me with this one as every parent that has had infant loss should be entitled to meet with Drs and talk about it all…Edwards or not! What a difference a DR with similar experiences makes.

After such a rubbish start to the day all I wanted to do was hide away again and have a good cry, but as in life it must go on and we had a couple of other things to do. We were however able to enjoy a lovely afternoon at Farmer Copley’s in Ponte! Im glad we made the effort to go and make the most of the the Autumn season, the kids enjoyed being with one of their cousins and had fun scrambling over hey bails, seeing all of the pumpkins, animals and a little tractor ride. But throughout it all my heart ached for my own little Pumpkin that isn’t here to do these things. How different this is from what 6 weeks postnatal was meant to be…

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