the look of silence

Have you ever stood in the middle of Toys R Us surrounded by the crying, the pleading and the laughter of children? Have you ever stood in the middle of Toys R Us and all of its atmospheric madness whilst knowing that you were having a miscarriage?

I have.

Although I’ve been pretty open about things here, I’ve never gone there. Unfortunately, that is where I am right now. A zombie with a short temper, painful stomach aches and all consuming nausea.

It’s almost funny. The exact things I am feeling now that are letting me know that my body is ‘cleansing’ (as the registrar put it) itself, are the exact things I felt when I was pregnant with Noah. Only at that time, the midwife was reassuring me that the sicker I felt the better it was because it meant things were ‘working’ and that the sicker you are, the stronger the baby is.

So when we found out about this baby, all of my nausea and dizziness made sense. The inability to travel in a car without wanting to throw up and crying at everything on television. Even the commercials. And we let things sink in for a couple of weeks before we truly accepted that this was our new reality and our life would change, but we’d figure it out and although I struggle at home with Noah and Amy I’d convinced myself that I’d be better with three. It makes no sense, no, but the fact that I wasn’t scared was a relief. It wasn’t a feeling I felt through the pregnancies that resulted in Noah and Amy, or the ones that didn’t result in anyone.

Sure, I panicked at first. We didn’t believe it. We held the test under every different light source we could find, turned it sideways, shook it like it was an Etch-a-Sketch and finally gave in and went for the one that would say it in words. And it said it. We didn’t know how to tell anyone, because we knew that the excitement that most people had when we announced BoB and Cheese wouldn’t be there. That made me sad. But I got over it and had moved on mentally because something kept telling me that things were all going to be fine. Even if it meant that all of our holidays from now were going to be taken in the car .. to public parks .. or dumpster diving.

Sadly, my confidence was based on rubbish theories that mean absolutely nothing. Without crossing into the way too much information territory, I ended up at the doctor on Saturday, and from there I went to the hospital for an ultrasound. The last time I had an early scan it was not good news. I knew right away and I accepted it quickly. Helped only by the fact that my grief levels were maxed out already. At the doctor’s office they did a urine test to confirm what I knew and she said that the levels weren’t low at all so I went off looking to be told to go home and stop worrying.

When I got to the assessment unit there was a mother, a mother-in-law, mommy to be and daddy to be all looking at their scan photos and talking about how they could relax now and were so grateful to see that everything was alright. I took it as a good sign and went into the scan room confidently. They tried the normal route and we could see the baby, but the registrar said sine it was early there was too much interference and he needed to scan internally. I was already thrilled because at the last early scan we saw where the baby was supposed to be, but wasn’t. As soon as he did the internal I looked at the screen and I didn’t have to look at his face. He started to say “If you look here; there is the baby, there is the fetal pole and this…”, but I cut him off. I looked at him and said “But there’s no heartbeat”.

I should have been a doctor. When there is something wrong to be seen on an ultrasound, I can see it right away. He kept trying, and I couldn’t stop looking, but we knew. He apologised, I cracked a joke, he left the room and I broke down to the nurse while I got dressed again. It’s funny how uninhibited you are in front of someone when it comes to babies.

Due to the long weekend and the fact that I wasn’t bleeding, I was sent home to see if “this cleared naturally” though I had to book an ‘official’ ultrasound for the coming week because they were only the assessment unit. Thanks. Exactly what I needed after seeing what looked like a perfectly formed, blueberry sized, human with paddles for hands. Another chance to take a peek to see what if anything is left. Can you think of anything more exciting?

Especially as in the meantime I just get to go on cramping and feeling like I am going to throw up everywhere, without much of anything else happening .. all whilst trying to make sure everything is in order so that Amy has a super awesome 2nd birthday on Saturday like she deserves!

I think it is safe to say: Worst Long Weekend EVER.

*and once again a massive thank you to Lee who picked up ALL of the slack (and there was a lot of it) around the house and made sure that The Midgets didn’t really lose out on having fun with their parents both at home. Obviously not the easiest time for him either, but he totally stepped up while I totally turned into a giant ball of moaning grump on the sofa. You totally deserve to have a secret girlfriend, so go ahead and get Garcia’s number!


Unhappy Birthday

Today is supposed to be a happy day.  Today you are supposed to be 65.  You are supposed to be celebrating with your children and their children or at least looking forward to a visit from them.  You are supposed to be there when Amy or Noah get sick and I am in a panic because I don’t know how to fix them.  You are supposed to be here to push me when I feel like I’m stuck.   You are supposed to be here to infuriate me and make me laugh and tell me I’m wrong even when I’m not and to let me know you love me one minute and then turn around and insult me the next.

I still pretend that you are at the office or on a trip.  That I am going to get an email or a phonecall and you’ll act like nothing ever happened and I’ll be so mad but so relieved all at the same time.   Less than a month ago it was my birthday.  You were supposed to be the first person to call me and wish me happy birthday.  You always were, no matter what time zone I was in.  I woke up and I waited. And then I got in the shower and cried.  Everyone said that it would get better with time.  That it gets easier.  That you were happier.  Their lies didn’t make me feel better nearly five years ago and they all still remain untrue today.

To be honest, I think it might actually be worse.  Watching these two children grow up is both amazing and painful.  You would love them.  Even Amy and her stinkin’ tantrums.  She is a true Gemini, just like you.  She is the happiest princess in the world one moment and the unhappiest monster in the world the next.  She is so strong and yet so fragile.  So funny and yet so straight.  And Noah.  Oh Noah.  He is polite, sweet, silly, funny, shy and smart.  He’s a thinker before he becomes a doer.  But when he does, he does it right.  He loves fully and really only dislikes mushrooms and shrimp.  He’s scared of the silliest things and hides behind his little sister a lot.    He sings and cannot dance worth a damn, but he loves to.   Whenever I look at them, I see you or I see the faces you’d make watching them do whatever it is they are doing.  I hate that you have missed ever single day of their lives.  It is so unfair; for you, for me and mostly for them.

If I could make a wish today, for you, I would wish that you could spend a day … even an hour … with all four of your grandchildren that have never had the chance to spend time with a grandfather that would have loved them more than anything in this world (other than smoking and coffee and a Big Mac).

I miss you every minute of every day and though I’ve managed to keep the tears in more than I used to, days like today knock me back to square one.  I so wish I was able to call you today and wish you a Happy Birthday.  I so wish I could just hear your voice.

I miss you.

And I love you more than you ever knew.


Papercuts on my brain

I currently live in a state of unrest.  A war is raging in this house between The Boxed and The Un-Boxed items.  And now that we are going with these shippers who do the boxing for you, we are in a dangerous state of limbo.   All not helped massively by the horrid real estate processed of England.

Our house is ‘sold’.  For the 3rd time now.  Same buyer, but still no completion date.  How do people ever successfully move like this?  Do you live with all of your possession in boxes until someone says “GO!” and then you find a truck, pack it and get out by noon?!   Are we the only people to have sold their house who have two children?  Who need to cancel pre-scool places with 2 weeks notice, cancel utilities for the right date, or sell a car without leaving us transportationless?!

And how about when you say you are going to buy a house, know beforehand whether you can afford to progress with that sale.  Don’t just say it because it seemed like a good idea that day, but 3 weeks later you wake up and say “nah, forget it”.  I don’t know who you are, but I hope karma does.  Asshole.  Or in this case, plural.

In the meantime we are still wrestling with the Travel Insurance people over our cancelled flight LAST AUGUST.  We are still waiting on an appointment with the Infectious Disease Pediatric Specialist to figure out when she is going to see Amy and wondering when we are supposed to book flights.  The day before we leave?!

As though this has not made me emotionally volatile as it is, I’m sick AGAIN.  Since Noah’s birth I have rarely developed a full on cold and now two in the space of a month.  My finger tips look like I have been wrestling with a shark and my brain feels like it has.  And I found another grey eyebrow.

Not all is bad though.  Just when I am feeling my lowest, I can whisper in Noah’s ear and then turn my from upside down when he looks at Lee and says “Daddy smells like stinky socks”.

They went to the chapel Abbey and they… got married…

And I was there. Not as an official guest or even outside the Abbey, but as one of the million people along the Mall. Though we like to describe it more as The Inner Circle since access to our area was closed off at around 7am. That also meant our access to the toilets was cut off. FINALLY! My super talent of holding in my pee all day paid off!!!

X Marks The Spot

This ‘We’ I refer to is not in fact the Royal WE, though it would be appropriate for the occasion. We actually refers to Stacy and … well.. me. We left the husbands with the midgets, slung our bags on our shoulders and hopped a train to London. Then we checked into the hotel, threw our bags down (gently) and headed off to check out the scene around Buckingham Palace. We scoped out the spots with the best views, the most available space and access to toilets.

After thinking we’d got it all covered, we stopped and watched Lainey Lui do her thing from the Duke of York Steps for CTV, and then headed off to Covent Garden for pasta and wine before a stop at Marks and Sparks to get our Wedding Day food and drink supplies.

We returned to the hotel to rest our sore feet and set the alarm for 4am. It was a great plan that originally had us going to bed by 8.30. Only we did the lights out thing and couldn’t stop talking. Eventually though we realised that we had an important task ahead of us and 4am is never pretty, no matter how much sleep you get.

The alarm went off, we got ourselves clean and dressed and headed off to catch a bus. All of our fellow passengers were on the same mission as us. Except the one dude that was sitting up top who I think may have been riding the bus as an alternative to sleeping on the street. After all, it was cold the night before.

Anyway, we headed down the road toward the Canada Gates and aside from flashbacks from Backpack-Gate, I could see that there were definitely more people than we’d left behind the night before. The line up for the port-a-potties was not a joke. It looked like people lining up for the hottest nightclub in town. Luckily I peed 3 times in the hour before we left the hotel.

The previous evening we had decided to head up The Mall. There was plenty of room up front when we’d last seen it and if we were going to get a good view of something… anything.. then we were going to head up there. Only, as we ducked and weaved through the crowds outside of the palace and in front of the media buildings we stopped and looked at each other. Although it was packed almost everywhere, there was this one patch of grass that was open and available. Not only that, but it had a clear view of The Balcony. We were not sure that what we were seeing was to be believed. I mean this was PRIME real estate. Where were the rightful spotters?! Why were there people stacked like sardines to the left and right of where we were standing and yet here we stood .. with breathing space.

Quickly we went over the pros and cons of where we were versus where we had planned on going. There really were no positives to moving. Okay, so the procession was going to come back and go around the opposite side of the fountain, but from where we were we could see them come into The Inner Circle and we had a clear view of the the main gates where they’d enter. And again The Balcony. So we stayed.

And then they cut off access. No more interlopers in the Inner Circle (aside from Freddie and Conor who sweet talked security). And no more opportunity to pee. Awesome. Sort of.

There was a lot of time to kill, but it actually passed quickly. We could see the various morning programs doing their things. Adrian and Christine, Eamon, Piers and Anderson with Cat, GMA, etc. Between playing Guess The Guest and watching the buzzing inside the palace gates, we always had something to look at.

And then the guests started leaving for the wedding. First the big coaches filled with … who knows. Followed by the minivans with the likes of Chelsy Davy. And then the Rolls Royces started rolling. We missed Wills and Hot Harry since they left from Clarence House, but we saw the rest of the family from Prince Andrew and the girls underneath those hats to The Queen. Or as she is referred to in the Official Program: THE QUEEN. (Kanye would be proud. Speaking of.. I thought he was supposed to be invited to the wedding?!)

On the Way to the Wedding

Whilst people around the world got to watch the ceremony on television screens in homes, bars, hotels and even on beaches, those of us who sat there for hours only got the pleasure of listening to it on tannoys. It was surreal. The whole day was, but listening to the ceremony with a million others to that whole echo effect audio of the ceremony was by far the most surreal. It sounded like we were waiting for the announcement that the war was over. I am talking WWII here.

After the ceremony the buzz started to spread across the crowd because it meant they were on their way back. We all stood up and waiting to hear the cheers down The Mall get closer and closer. Finally we saw the horses start to round the corner and then the 1902 State Landau holding the new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge appeared. Followed by Harry and the kids and then Pippa and the kids, The Parents (and Camilla) and of course Lizzie and Phil.

Return to the Palace

The Queen Returneth

The crowd was electrified and once they were all safely inside Buckingham Palace, the sea of people who had been lining The Mall started to fill the road in front of us. Some people hopped the barrier to get closer, but we knew that we still had it good. We still had a clear view (aside from those 2 Australian douchenozzles that decided to stand on the chair in front of us) of The Balcony. And as excited as people were, they were quiet. It was almost like you could hear the handle turn on the balcony doors and when we saw the glass on the doors vibrate a bit the crowed roared for the married couple.

Oh, Hi. Didn't See You There

Soon the whole family came out (or at least the wedding party, The Parents (and Camilla) and THE QUEEN and Philly Phil) and we had the kisses and the fly overs and the wave goodbye.

Are We All Here?

And then it was over.

We battled the crowds and the miscommunication between groups of police officers on where we were allowed to exit, headed off to Westminster Abbey and heard the end of the bells peeling, saw the Houses of Parliament, watched Big Ben ring in 3 O’Clock and then sat our worn and weary bums on the tube back to the hotel.

For the next 3ish hours we sat and hoped our bodies would repair themselves in the comfort of the room with the nice mattresses (though Stacy was too sore and apparently scared of ladders to climb up to her bed) and clean and accessible toilet! We looked through the Evening Standard at all of the photos that they had already printed and watched tv so we could see everything that we had heard.

Three days later, I can honestly say that I have not recovered. It still feels surreal and I still feel exhausted. Kudos to Stacy for flying back to the States on Sunday and being able to go to work tomorrow. You are a champion. A champion that got to see little Wills marry his Princess. How crazy is that?!

The only downside to the trip, was that Hot Harry obviously got confused and didn’t have us on the guest list for the night time celebrations. Next time, right? When Harry gets married, I’ll totally be down for staying at Base2Stay again. Just send the invite there for me. Thanks!

And Thank You Stacy, Jennie, Freddie and Conor, Benni and Timo and the amazingly behaved public (aside from those two assclown Aussies and then early morning drunk) for a great experience. And to Wills and No More Waity Katie for the occasion.


Royal Revellers


In Need of a Super Power

I have so much to share. So many photos are waiting to be uploaded to various sites. Unfortunately, I have no energy. Seriously. Like none. As in my eyes are tearing up with The Tired as I type this and there is a good possibility that I will fall asleep before I finish the entry.

THAT is how great the past week has been.

These over-sized Louis Vuitton steamer trunks I am carrying beneath my eyes have been so worth it. Either that or they were a non-returnable birthday present from Mother Nature. If the latter is the case, there’s going to be a fight. Once I get a little more energy.