Saturday, March 16, 2013

and yet again life has taught me I know nothing

waves crashing through at the crazy windy west end nothing screams awesome holiday more than loads and loads of snorkellingsunset over lakes and hillsfortyexploring

Right. Well clearly blogging has fallen a bit by the way side this year.  Reading this blog of late you might very well get the impression that I’m a lady of leisure, enjoying one long holiday. I can assure you it’s not true. February saw my darling Ms. M start kindy at the local primary school and in turn I increased my hours at work. There has been a new routine to get used too, new hours at day care, homework for E., and answering the eternally painful question “what’s for dinner?” … but nothing too strenuous really. Ultimately I’m blaming two pink lines for my lack lustre creative and bloggy mojo. 

shells yellow beaked gulls
pelicans sting rays

This past week we took a break from it all and headed over to Rottnest for five nights. Awesome. We celebrated my darling darling Dave’s 40th birthday, swam, snorkelled, meandered along the beaches, climbed rocky shore lines, built amazing sandcastles, observed loads of animals (not just quokkas), ate delicious yet simple food, rode bikes along the sunny wind swept coast line and through a wet and cold electrical storm. Most amazingly wonderful holiday ever…. except for being way too short and ending with a bit of unexpected drama.

fur sealsgetting up close and personal with lizards on the beachfinding shellsspotting crabs

Our last full day on the island was stormy. Literally and figuratively. Our family got caught in the middle of the island riding the bikes we’d hired in an impressive storm. The thunder was loud and the lightning was shockingly bright. Pure awesome. Our smallest two were dry and content in the bike trailer and Dave, E. and I were all happily soaked through enjoying our adventure… until E. had his first ever real McCoy stack. Super impressive. Wish I’d been videoing it for him because he really did fly though the air in what I’m pretty certain was a kind of legs out straight summersault motion. Unfortunately, and understandably, E. didn’t really appreciate the impressiveness of his stack there and then… it was what could be described as a mood changer. In the middle of the island, really really cold and wet, in the midst of thunder, lightning and harsh winds, with about seven kilometres to cycle to get back to our accommodation, E. decided that he didn’t want to ride his bike anymore.

riding in the rain

His father, who is much more sympathetic than me, humoured him for a while and we all walked our bikes. Drenched and cold. Eventually he was persuaded to get back on and ride… but he sobbed the entire journey home declaring that he would never cycle again. It was tough riding, especially into the wind along the causeway between the two salt lakes. The wind was driving the rain into our eyes and we could barely see. We made it home though. Both Dave and I were super proud of him, and by the time he’d made it into the hot shower he was proud of himself too looking forward to his next cycling adventure…

Ms. M and the quokkaO. just loving it all E. climbing rocks

… and this is where  I found myself, relaxed and relieved under the hot water with my three children, enjoying a good giggle about our crazy day out when at eight weeks and five days pregnant heavy clotty blood started streaming down my legs. There was red everywhere. I called for Dave and he ushered the children away to get dressed and eat the hot pasties he’d bought from the bakery on his way back. I stood, like a statue in the shower willing it to stop – if only I could stand still enough. It didn’t stop. After settling and distracting the children Dave came back for me, and clearly shaken himself, helped me across to the toilet. There I passed three large masses of bloody material, we could hear them “kerplonk” in the toilet’s water, I could feel them pass, I was cramping and shaking all over. I was in shock. I’d miscarried. Looking in the toilet I could see nothing but a mass of blood. Eventually I got myself together but then was faced with the idea of what to do next. I didn’t really want to flush my baby away but not knowing what else to do together Dave and I pressed the button. Still in shock I managed to hold it together for the remainder of the afternoon and we decided to catch the earlier ferry home the next morning.

a snorkling self portrair

I didn’t sleep at all that last night on the island. I thought about my lost baby, about all the planning and day dreaming that would no longer come true, I fretted that at my age I wouldn’t be able to get pregnant again, that this was by body’s way of telling me it was time to shut up shop. I convinced myself that I was being silly and that I would be able to have a baby again at sometime down the track, and that really it was better this way because if I got pregnant in a couple of months that would be a much better age gap between O. and the new baby. I was pissed off too because I’d missed out on having wine when we went out to dinner on Dave’s 40th birthday.  By morning time I really had sold it to myself that it was all for the best and having a baby in 2013 was one of my worst ideas ever. It was a lucky escape.

The tears started as we left the island. I wasn’t ready to abandon my baby, but I did. I hid behind dark glasses and kept a strong focus on breathing, the moment and the three gorgeous and wonderful children that I did have.

Still cramping and bleeding when we got home Dave drove me straight down to the hospital. I sat alone (because who wants to wait with three overtired children?) for the next four hours, initially waiting to see the administration clerk, then the triage midwife, then the  phlebotomist and then I was finally seen my the midwife. There was a lot of waiting. A little bit of knitting. Quite a few quiet tears. Lots of thinking.

Behind the drawn green curtain the midwife explained to me that my pregnancy hormone and gone down from the last test I’d had a couple of weeks ago and confirmed for me that I’d miscarried. And then the flood gates were opened and the tears gushed out. “I knew, I knew” I said. I’d always felt this pregnancy was ill fated. So much spot bleeding from the word go. “I knew!”.  The kind and caring midwife gave me loss pack and a brochure on miscarriage and loss and we started to arrange for me to come back on Monday morning for a scan to check that I’d fully miscarried. It was early Friday evening my this time. Unexpectedly a doctor came by and offered to do a scan to check the baby. I explained that I’d lost it, and the midwife explained that at eight weeks my pregnancy hormone was on the way down.

Nonetheless he seemed to think that it wasn’t completely a waste of time to have a quick scan. I lay on the bed and braced myself for an empty womb as he got the equipment ready. I turned away from the monitor… until he said in a loud voice “Look at that!”. That… a moving baby, a big moving baby. What the fuck? Well if I had cried hard when the midwife confirmed for me that I had miscarried I was bawling three times harder at the sight of that squirming baby. The most surreal moment of my life. I truly felt like I had gone insane. The doctor kept giving me information, “you’re not eight weeks pregnant – you’re more like thirteen”… not possible I explained, in January I’d had an epic two week period, one of the heaviest and scariest in my life. I’m almost thirty-eight years old, I’ve been menstruating since I was in primary school – you’d think by now I know what a period was!?!? Apparently not.

I know nothing.

Strangest thirty hours of my life.