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Hamish

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Our gorgeous little boy with so much potential.

 
It was only 7 days ago I woke up feeling a little bit funny. Something was just not quite right. I couldn’t feel my baby moving in my stomach. I was 1 day off 39 weeks pregnant and eagerly anticipating the arrival of our little man. I spent the morning eating and drinking trying to get him to move. Rolling side to side and hoping that he would give me an almighty kick. I looked up blogs and saw that your baby moves less in the last few weeks of pregnancy but I just couldn’t shake off that weird feeling something wasn’t right.

It’s 4pm and we are sitting in the birthing suite of the hospital. Jacinta the lovely midwife comes into the room to check on the baby. Then those 5 words that will forever change my life, ‘I can’t find a heartbeat’. Within 20 minutes there is a radiographer called in to do a full ultrasound. After 30 seconds which seemed like an eternity she looks at me and my husband Greg and says ‘I’m sorry guys’. I wail and cry out and just fall into a deep pit of despair. How can this be true? How can my little boy be gone? We had an ultrasound only 4 days earlier and his heart was beating strong? Why us? Why me? How could this even happen?

Another 30 minutes go by and there is a social worker standing next to us, then my doctor and they look at me and say the best thing for you darling is to have the baby naturally. WTF?? Are you F**king kidding me?? I am supposed to give birth to my baby naturally? I can’t even fathom this. They leave us for a while to talk through what is about to happen. My doctor assures me that this is the best thing for my body and future pregnancies. I am completely shattered, heartbroken and I need to make a decision about what we plan to do. They said I could go home for a night or two to think it over. I was already in the hospital, the thought of getting up and going home after being told this news was unthinkable.

Induction begins at 9pm. The midwife comes in and starts the process. It is uncomfortable for a few hours then when I get the second dose of drugs at midnight and the pain becomes more intense. Then finally at about 2am they give me some morphine so I can get about 2 hours sleep. The pains are constant as I am dilating. By 9am the next day they decide another dose is needed. At around 2pm my doctor comes in and breaks my waters. It doesn’t hurt too much but what follows in less than 5 minutes is full on active labour contractions. I am up running around, moving about in anyway I can to deal with the pain. I am feeling every bit of every contraction through my being. I feel out of control but I am trying to breathe and keep it together. My doula and husband are holding my hand, rubbing my back and helping me through each one.

For what feels like an eternity I go through contractions and then the anesthesiologist arrives. He asks if I want to be told the risks of a epidural. My answer ‘Just give me the epidural, I know the risks, I didn’t plan on having one, calm birth is now out the window, just put the needle in’. He looks at me intently as I go into another painful contraction. I sit up on the bed while I am having contractions 30 seconds on 30 seconds off. I take a few deep breathes and roll my shoulders over. It doesn’t matter what pain I am in I am not going to move a mm, cm or an inch while that needle goes into my spine. 3 minutes later the epidural is administered and it is almost an instant relief.

The next hour is a lot more peaceful. I sit and talk with my lovely Doula and loving husband. I laugh, cry and just try and come to terms with what is about to happen. I can feel the baby getting close to coming out. I know it won’t be long before I am pushing my little angel out. The midwife comes in and checks and she says its time to start pushing. By this time its 4pm and I didn’t know how long the next stage of labour would take. In my head I thought maybe in around 30 minutes I would be meeting my little one.

2 full hours of pushing later and so much pain later I am welcoming my little buddy into the world. The last hour of labour the epidural wore off. It was exactly as it was meant to be. The physical pain was nothing compared to the emotional and mental trauma I was going through. I roared the loudest I have ever in my life and screamed my little one out. He was placed on my chest straight away. I couldn’t help but be overcome by so much love and joy but at the same time there was a deep pit in my gut of sadness. Our little Hamish is absolutely beautiful. He was perfect. The doctor, social worker and midwife look at my husband and I and say it looks like it was the cord. It was wrapped several times tight around his little body and neck. It must of stretched out over time and slowly cut off his nutrients. Other than that our little man was the most healthiest little thing. I looked down at his eyes closed shut just hoping that he would flutter them open. I looked down at my little angel and wept for his life. I am one proud mum and while I don’t know now why little Hamish decided to leave us so soon. I am trying my best to honour him, feel his presence and know he is still here with us in spirit always.

I love you always Hamish Joseph Matthews and I am proud to be your mum. xxx

 

Nine Months

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Lucy is nine months old today. It is hard to believe she has spent the past nine months outside of my womb. Nine months of breastfeeding, Nine months of waking up several times a night, Nine months of cuddles and kisses, Nine months of big smiles and giggles, Nine months of trying to figure out parenthood to an earth side child. I have transformed in this time. My heart it lighter. It beams with love for both of my children. I sit in gratitude for all that I have today in my life. I am conscious of soaking up each moment. I am also starting to find my groove again. I am finding myself back on the yoga mat more often, I even went back to aerial yoga this week. I am starting to write again and spend time on my creative pursuits.

I have been tuning into my heart over the past month and I have a yearning to do more in the world. I know we both have our soul missions here on this earth. I know that if don’t listen to the nudges of my heart I won’t feel complete. While lying in the cocoon of my sling at aerial yoga in shavasana a little voice whispered in. You have to write your book. There are a few books swimming around me and I know I really want to birth them into the world. I am going to use the time I have over the next few months to honour this and write. I will need to sit and write through nap times and evenings. I know that it is worth it. Expressing myself creatively is what fuels my soul. I also know I am a better mother when I am looking after myself.

I have been torn over the past few weeks thinking about the future. Thinking about what I will do moving forward for work. None of this needs to be figured out right now. Before I gave birth to Hamish I had so much certainty in my life. I worked for the same company for twelve years. I lived in the same suburb for around eight years. I had financial security. I didn’t worry about much. Now I have less certainty. I don’t know what I will be doing next. We have our precious Lucy now which also makes life less predictable. I know that life doesn’t have to be all figured out. We don’t have to have all our ducks in a row. If we don’t know where we are heading next that is ok. I know in my heart I have to trust that the right opportunities will come my way. I know I can trust that everything will work out.

Hamish thank you for always guiding me back to my heart. Over the past few weeks you have visited us regularly through our friendly kookaburra on our balcony. I have felt your presence around me. I know you are walking life besides us in the spirit world at times. You check in to make sure we are ok. Kindness surrounds us and I feel your love does too. 

Thank you for being here and holding space on this journey with me. Every person that has read my blog and connected with my heart over the past two years has made my grief journey that much easier. I feel blessed that I have been able to share and connect with so many. I have started a new blog over at http://www.jodiematthews.com if you would like to continue reading my words. 

Lucy is here!

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Our precious baby girl Lucy Jessie Matthews was born at 1:42pm on the 6th of February 2019. We are over the moon and are so excited to now be a family of four. It feels like another part of my heart is now living outside of itself! The last five weeks we have been in the love bubble. The labour was so quick and straightforward which is just what we needed. I was induced at 38 weeks plus 2 days. After pushing for ten minutes our Lucy was born. There was a few hours of intense contractions before that but I couldn’t have asked for a better labour. Lucy came into the world screaming loudly. Welcoming her into my arms onto my chest was one of the most precious moments of my life so far. I cried with Greg as we cuddled our little bundle of joy. It was a collective sigh of relief. It was if we held our breath for nine months and waited for this moment before we could feel this joy. Before we could actually allow ourselves to feel the happiness that Lucy was bringing into our lives. Hamish was there in the labour room. I could feel his presence and every time it got hard during the pregnancy or labour I would call on him to support us from above. My intuition told me we would be taking Lucy home and she would be healthy. There were still some days though when the fear would creep in. I feel so blessed and I am soaking up every moment.

Hamish, our love for you grows stronger each day. You would be 18 months old now. Instead you live in our hearts and there isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t think of you. Thank you for always protecting us. Your sister is going to grow up knowing she has a special guardian angel. 

Halfway to meeting our rainbow

We are officially over halfway there. I have felt a lot more calmer in the past two weeks since our last scan. I am now trusting that all is well. I am doing a little bit of meditation. I also attended a powerful sacred women’s circle last weekend. It was very transformative. We released the fear and pain that we were holding on to in our womb area. We brought love and light in and allowed the worry to wash away. I believe we are placed each day where we are meant to be in life. What was also so special about this women’s circle is that I have been given a special gift that I can pass on to other women. I have also been inspired to create my own workshop before I go on maternity leave incorporating all that I have learned on this path. I want to help other women connect into their womb space whether that is for their own creativity or fertility.

As women our womb space is powerful beyond measure. It still blows my mind that I have been gifted the opportunity to birth another spiritual being into the world. Today I have been contemplating what Hamish’s purpose was. How his life was short, but so meaningful. His soul purpose is still being fulfilled through me. I do still wonder why I had to lose him so soon. When people say “it wasn’t the right time for him”. I actually disagree, I believe it was the perfect time for him to grace this earth. He was meant to be my son. His life was just shorter than many. He came to show me what true love is. He came to pick me up out of the life I was living. He came to shake things up and to let me know what was truly important. He has changed my life path. He has redirected my soul and got me to tune with myself. I am so grateful for this and very proud of him.

While some days my heart is full of sadness when I think of Hamish. Most of the time when I think of him my heart is bursting with love and joy. I think of the all the gifts he gave me. I think of the amazing son he is. I am so excited to meet his little sibling. I don’t want to ever forget him or stop talking about him. I also want this precious little one inside of me to feel the same love. To be fully encased in love. To know that we will do everything to make sure they have a fulfilled life. I am doing my best this pregnancy to go with the flow each day. I am conscious of taking on other peoples stories and fear around pregnancy after loss. I am protecting myself though and remaining positive. I can see our little family expanding and it brings me so much joy.

Hamish I feel your presence and I know you are still around. I have been lighting your candle and know you are protecting us with your love. 

Our little holiday

We spent the last eight days travelling up the east coast from Sydney to Brisbane with lots of beach stops along the way. We went to Brisbane for my nephews 4th birthday and my brother in laws 40th. It was fun being up there and having this time out. It was strange not writing every day but I also needed the break. I made a commitment to myself that I would write every day for a year after Hamish was born. I am very proud that I achieved a whole year of writing through my grief. I want to try and keep up weekly blogging and I’ll see how I go. The past week has had many ups and downs. We spent many of our days at the beach or hiking through nature. We even climbed a mountain near North Haven, it was tough but I felt so good when we got to the top.

My anxiety has reached a peak in the last week. Before It felt like I have been cruising along in this pregnancy. I was tired but I have felt good most of the time and also very positive. For some reason I started to think a lot more negatively this past week. I started to worry so much about our baby. I haven’t felt any real movement yet except for some slight wiggles. I am nineteen weeks pregnant but my placenta is sitting at the front of my uterus. This means the movement from bub is cushioned. I know I need to be patient but my mind has been driving me a bit insane. When the placenta is at the front it can take up to 24 weeks to start feeling kicks. It doesn’t make it any easier for me though knowing this. I worry about losing this baby. I don’t know what I would do. I know we didn’t lose Hamish until 38+ weeks but I am still worried.

Today we have our 19 week scan. This one is a biggie. It will be 30 mins of checking everything is ok with bub. I cannot wait to walk through those doors and have the scan. I want to hear the heartbeat so I can be reassured everything is ok. I have even thought about buying a doppler so I can monitor the heartbeat daily. For now though I have decided against this as it may end up causing more anxiety. I am going to continue to manage my anxiety through speaking to friends, meditation and also leaning on my support group. I hope that this feeling doesn’t last and I start to feel more at peace over the coming weeks.

Hamish I have been asking you to watch over us daily. I know you are there for us and you will keep us safe. I miss you buddy and I am sending all my love to you up above. 

Update! We had the scan and baby is doing great! So much relief! Bub moved around lots and was kicking and stretching.

Day 365

We made it! One year since you were born still. One year since we got to hold you just after you were birthed into the world. We couldn’t wait for that moment. Even though we knew you would never get to take a breath of air, we knew how much we wanted to meet our son. You have continued to shine your light through both of us. I am inspired daily by your love. I am feeling like I have pieced most of the broken pieces of my heart back together. I cry in love for you more than sadness now. I have so much more deeper connections, not only with your Dad but also with my family and friends. I speak to friends and strangers on a much deeper level now too. I don’t hide from sharing our story as I believe when we open up to others that is where the magic happens. Being vulnerable is a strength that I learned from you Hamish. The moment you were born I had two choices. I could retreat inwards and run away from my reality. The other option was to feel my emotions loud and proud. To share my grief and joy with others. To allow those around me to understand better what I was going through. We all have challenges in our lives that we face at different times. We learn so much from the ones that push us to our limits. I didn’t ask for these lessons. To be honest I thought I had ‘learned’ enough in this lifetime. That attitude has completely been turned upside down. You taught me that we never ever stop learning. We can never hide from pain and suffering it is part of the human experience. What we can do though is embrace it with all that we have. Feel it. Be with it in each moment. Once it passes know that you are stronger for going through it. I surrender to what is now. I am present in my days. I am waiting to feel kicks from our precious rainbow baby. I know how lucky we are to be on this journey again. Now it is with you as a special little angel watching over us.

Day 364

I wake up filled with love after spending yesterday celebrating our special Hamish’s first birthday. It was a beautiful day. It was a little bit cold and grey but that didn’t stop us from having a great time. My lovely friends opened their home so we could have a bit of shelter and hold the party there. We were supposed to be in the park but it all worked out perfectly. My sis in law flew in from Brisbane and I had another couple of soul sisters fly in from interstate. One whom had to fly 2 extra flights as they closed Sydney Airport on Friday night because of storms. I was thinking how lucky is our little bub to know that they have all this love surrounding them. We sung Hamish Happy Birthday at the top of our lungs so he could hear us from above. We blew out the candle on his Whale cake that I had made. We then listened to the most soulful music from my gorgeous friend Lauren Napier and ate way too much party food. It was perfect and just how Hamish wanted it. I took his ashes with us and lit the tea light candle on top.

I love you Hamish and it’s my honour to be your mummy. I hope you liked the party.

Day 363

I woke up feeling peaceful. It’s Hamish’s Birthday party today and I can’t wait to celebrate with our loved ones. I am excited for his party. A part of me is sad but I know he is watching down on us. We have Jill my sis in law and my friend Lauren and her little son Liji staying with us. It’s nice to have our home full of love. We had a nice breakfast at home and then got the platters ready. I iced the whale cake that I made Hamish. It felt good to be able to throw him a party to celebrate all the love he has brought into our lives. While today may have some sadness, it is still so full of joy. We have our precious little bub on the way. We have our angel son looking down on us. Greg and I are closer than ever and I really thank Hamish for that. I have more meaningful relationships with my friends and family. We are all a little bit closer. I wish it didn’t take Hamish for this to happen, at the same time I am so grateful for him. So grateful for the nine months he was here. So grateful for how the last year has unfolded. There have been dark days and hard times. Overall though he has made our lives richer and more love filled.

I love you