Thursday, June 23, 2011


I am seriously embarrassed that over a year has flown by. I think about Luca a lot but somehow haven't gotten pen to paper (keyboard to screen?). Tomorrow is the SIDS and Kids remembering service (and Red Nose Day) so I've taken the day off work. Talk about mixed feelings... apprehensive but somehow looking forward to some time to think about Luca and remember. During the service they have a time where parents can go on stage and speak about their child. I'm thinking of going up and saying something but somehow nothing seems good enough.

With Eliana off to school for the first time this year I've found myself telling new people about Luca for the first time in ages - mums of other children. And it's different now. I guess I'm lighter about the whole thing. But scratch a bit deeper and I'm still missing him.

Here's pictures of the two girls for Red Nose Day...

Monday, April 5, 2010

She's here!

Just a quick note to say that Arabella Gelsi was born safely on Good Friday, 2 April at 3:46am. She came on her own just hours before her scheduled induction. Her birth was a bit dramatic as the midwife in emergency didn't think I was in established labour. I had to go without pain relief until I started to yell - figured I better do something to get some attention. By the time they got me a room in the birth suite I was 9cm and finally got some gas. It was horrible - I've had an epidural on board by then for my other two births. I couldn't push her out fast enough for my liking!

We were so relieved she was alive and well. Steve was crying and I don't know what I was doing but remember telling everyone 'she's alive!'.
Even though the birth was quick and scary (just over 2 hours) I got what I wanted in that it was very different to Luca's birth. It was noisy (his birth was so quiet), dramatic (he slipped quietly and sadly into the world without really coming into the world at all), and I delivered her kneeling. She's a sweet little thing, feeding well, waking every 1-2 hours overnight and sleeping a lot of the day.

I haven't felt upset about Luca all over again, but on the other hand I've never stopped grieving him. He is always there pulling at my heart strings as I mother him in a different way to my children here.

Monday, March 29, 2010


I'm counting down til my induction day this Friday. And hoping she'll come earlier on her own. I am suddenly amazingly in touch with my body. Where is she lying? Where is she kicking? Was that a contraction? Is there pressure down low? Lots of wishful thinking.

I am strangely calm. After a couple of really panicky days early last week I have been feeling a sense that all is right and all is well.

My ob rang today to say he wont be in the clinic on Wednesday and he will see me on Thursday to assess my preparedness for induction. It will be hard waiting an extra day but the time is passing just as it has over the rest of my pregnancy - slowly but surely. I'm keeping busy clearing out the nursery and had lots of friends over today. Tomorrow I'll go for fetal monitoring which should be reassuring and will give me a chance to ask the midwives if she's engaged at all yet.

Today Steve picked up a 'new' chest of drawers I bought on ebay. They are to put Eliana's clothes in so I can put the baby's clothes in the ones she's using now. I'm looking forward to putting our baby girl's clothes away. To being ready for her. All of a sudden it's so important to show I'm ready to have her in our lives. The hospital bags are packed. Finished in the middle of the night during one of my spurts of wishful thinking making too much of some Braxton Hicks I was having. I was excited when I started having contractions and then relieved that I felt excitement, that birth could still hold excitement for me after having to deliver Luca dead just over a year ago.

I haven't spent a lot of time imagining what it will be like with a new baby and I think I'm in for a shock. But I don't know that I'll care - just give me a live baby and I will love her, cherish her, dote on her in the way that I have Eliana and Luca, and probably more.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Anxious times

On tuesday I went to the hospital for my weekly fetal monitoring. I had the CTG and everything looked fine. The midwife asked me to wait in the waiting room again for a scan to check my amniotic fluid levels. I was wondering if they had me mixed up with someone else, as I'm sure there was nothing on the request sheet my ob had given me. Eventually my turn came around and I was lying there trying not to cry. I would have asked Steve to come if I'd known I was having a scan. I really haven't been so good with ultrasounds since the one we had at 35 weeks with Luca when we found out he'd died. The lady doing the scan, who I think may have been a midwife, left the room saying she needed to get someone else to take a look. This was really not the type of de ja vu I needed. The second person confirmed that my fluid was low. They called the registrar and he said I needed a scan in the imaging centre. He asked me if there was anything other than the cholestasis that caused Luca to die. That freaked me out, especially when I read later that low fluid can be caused by chromosomal abnormality - I wondered if that's what he was checking.

I phoned Steve and asked him to come in and sat in the waiting room trying not to cry. I must have freaked him out, as I was a bit hysterical and the mobile reception in the hospital is terrible. He arrived and waited for the scan with me. An obstetrician did the scan and confirmed again than my fluid was low. They decided I needed a swab to check if my fluid was leaking. Then it got worse emotionally. Emergency asked that I be sent to the birth centre so I had to have the swab in the birth centre. I hadn't gone back there since Luca was born still there; since we said goodbye and left him in a room, walking down the hallway empty handed. And I wasn't ready to go back - I hadn't prepared at all.

Anyway my fluid wasn't leaking so that's good. I worry so much about our baby girl though. I wish she was out. I'm glad I haven't got the cholestasis yet but I really didn't need anything else to worry about. I spoke to the consultant the next day to make sure he agreed with the follow up plan. I just have no trust in the parade of strangers I saw on tuesday. Not after what happened with Luca. He did agree and he told me that the obstetrician doing the scan had looked at the kidneys and bladder and hadn't found any abnormalities. He said it was probably just one of those things.

So I'm getting checked again on Wednesday. This time I'll ask Steve if he can come for the monitoring as well as my ob visit. I think that having 35 weeks coming up, which is when Luca died, is not helping with my anxiety.

We went to a first birthday party today. The first we've been to for the babies born around the same time as Luca. It wasn't too bad, though stupidly I hadn't realised that all the other babies around that age would also be there. I was pretty much surrounded by one year olds. Luca should have been there too.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Time creeping by

I'm now 32 weeks pregnant and the time is slowly creeping by. I've been telling everyone we're taking it week by week, but I think I'm just about at the taking it day by day point. I'm still healthy - no cholestasis. My ob says keep doing what you've been doing. So I am. Eating well, taking my herbs/vitamins/minerals, acupuncture, dandelion tea, exercising. If nothing else it gives me an illusion of control. And it's reassuring to know I'm doing what I can.

I'm dreading 35 weeks. That's when Luca died. I guess I assumed I wouldn't make it to 35 weeks this time - that I'd get the cholestasis early on again and need to have the baby out at 33 weeks like my ob said. I'm glad she's still on board and that she's safe but it will be hard having to go past 35 weeks. I really can't imagine going full term. Even if the cholestasis stays away I can't imagine going past 37 weeks. Actually I do imagine it but with some horror. Longing and horror. What a combination.

And then that brings me to realise that 37 weeks is only five weeks away. Only five weeks and I might be at the end of this nightmarish pregnancy. Holding my baby girl. It's hard to imagine a live baby. Sometimes I think about what it would be like but it doesn't feel like a reality, like a given, they way it did during my other pregnancies. I was looking through Eliana's new born photos yesterday remembering what it was like. There are several of Steve holding Eliana with a beautiful smile on his face. I want to see that proud dad smile on his face again soon.

Another first birthday invitation came my way this week. Reminding me that my friend and I were pregnant together. That she had a beautiful healthy baby girl and I had a dead son (though also beautiful).

Another friend who I was pregnant with came up to me at church on Wednesday night to show me her daughter's first tooth. I smiled politely but inside I was shriveling. I really struggle with the milestones of the babies born around Luca. I want to say 'go away and tell someone else'. But I don't of course. It's too hard and too painful to explain. And futile.

It seems like I haven't had an outlet for my sadness for ages. I think when it's not as raw I can keep a lid on it but it's still there, and perhaps threatening to boil over. I wonder if I could do some more scrapbooking. I kind of ran out of ideas for Luca's scrapbook and put it to the side.

I am going to a series of art therapy classes which I'm really looking forward to. It will be great to spend time again 'with' Luca and with other mothers who've lost babies and children. And support during pregnancy meetings start again this month too. It's been three months since we've been to one as they have a two month break over Christmas. It's been hard having no one to talk to who understands.

I'm getting to the point where I'm tired and emotional much of the time. I'm craving love and attention. Eliana is really quite lovely but I'm finding it hard to be around her all day. I really need time for myself. Or perhaps just less demands on me. I spent three hours in the kitchen on Friday doing the dishes and cooking a meal for our friends who were coming over. Eliana needed entertaining at the same time. I was almost in tears by the time they got here, I was so exhausted. Sometimes I just want to turn off and lie down. I want to curl up in the fetal position and go to sleep.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Meet you at the sunset - January meeting

Better late than never!

The Secret Garden has changed persona to Meet you at the sunset. January's topic for blogging is:
For the first meeting of the month we thought we would speak about the holiday season and how you coped. What was it like for you? Did you do anything special in your child's memory?

I've already written a little about the holiday season here. Looking back it was a time of mixed feelings. Wanting to get caught up in the Christmas spirit but really not able to carry it off. Enjoying Eliana's excitement but with an undercurrent of sadness that I could not shake - nor did I expect to. I found it challenging to acknowledge Luca in public. I just couldn't risk it emotionally. Although I would have loved some support from others it seemed better to keep my thoughts to myself. Safer. We had some memorial candles from the Christmas service at Mercy Grief Services. I took one of them with us on Christmas day but only lit it at the first out of the three places we went that day. We did hang special ornaments on our Christmas tree. Some we'd made at a SANDS Christmas meeting and some we'd made at the Christmas service. That was nice because Eliana, Steve and I all had a chance to make something. Mum gave us a silver heart too. I can't say I was thinking about Luca's first Christmas while I was pregnant with him. He was due in February. But as with all special occasions since he died it seems that the happier I am meant to be, the more I feel his loss.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Struggling along

I'm struggling these days. Tired all the time. Dispirited. I'm 28 weeks pregnant now. I was 29 weeks when the itching started with Luca. The beginning of the end. I'm trying to see this as a good thing - I haven't gotten the cholestasis any earlier. My baby girl is still safe. But really I'm anxious. And drowning in the memories. If we make it to 35 weeks, which is when Luca died, I'm going to be a basket case.

I've started having weekly liver function and bile acid tests. I realised after the first two that they weren't going to be reassuring if I didn't know the results. I don't trust the hospital to tell me, after what happened with Luca. So I text messaged my ob to ask. Bile acids were only 2.4 on Wednesday which is ridiculously normal. My baby girl is safe. She's safe. That's what I keep telling myself.

My ob said I could go in for weekly monitoring on the CTG and I said no. Now I'm worried that if something goes wrong I'll regret that decision. There is no benefit to the monitoring but still I worry. Every decision or lack of decision could mean something. I know this too well from Luca's pregnancy. How many times have I gone over every little thing that I did or didn't do that could have made a difference? I never want to do that again.

Most of the time I can tell myself that everything will be ok this time. Our baby will be born alive; will cry; will have her first feed. But deeper down lurk the doubts. It happened once, it can happen again. I never know what to say when people say 'you'll be right this time'. At first I told people that actually the condition I had with Luca recurs and I had it will Eliana and I'll probably get it again. But I just can't be bothered anymore. Even if it turns out alright this time, if we get our baby out alive, will it ever be alright? We'll never have our son with us. A lifetime of missing stretches ahead of me.

Today Eliana went to a new class at church. The teachers got each child to stand up and tell their name, their brothers and sisters, their parent's names and what they've done on the holidays. My friend who takes the class said that Eliana got up and said her name and then said she has a brother Luca who's dead; her mummy's name is Rebecca, her daddy's name is Steve, and mummy is having a baby girl; and she spent the holidays hanging out with mummy and daddy. I got all teary hearing that she talked about Luca. She should be saying that she has a brother named Luca. Full stop. He should be here. Her little brother.