I’m Still Here

I survived the flight to Perth but don’t have the patience to blog from my phone very often. We are having a great time and I am enjoying having my family around to give me a break from the kids.

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Free Photo Retouching For Those Who have Lost Children

I look at my beautiful girls photos and see the precious angel she is but I know that my friends and family may not be able to see what I do through her skin discolorations and bruising from birth.  I have retouched my photos of Katie so her skin is smoother and and softer, I haven’t changed her appearance, just made her look like the precious baby she is.

If any of you have pictures that you would like retouching by someone who understands your pain, feel free to email me at leashingthechaos@hotmail.com  Please understand that some things cannot be completely fixed, extremely dark lips are one thing that is hard to fix but I can fix skin tone, blur backgrounds, remove tubes and wires etc and give you a less confronting image.   I know this isn’t for everyone but if it helps you I am more than happy to help.

*Edited to add* I will also do any editing for people who lost loved ones, tube removing, replacing backgrounds etc

I couldn’t retouch Katie’s lips well enough so to recreate my ‘peaceful’ picture of her I used her younger sister Abigail’s lips, they were identical at birth and I am sure they would have grown up so similar.

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My Birth Story- Katie, My Sleeping Angel

On June 21st 2010 I was 40 weeks and 9 days pregnant with our little girl Katie, we were booked in to be induced later on in the week and just completed a normal CTG the day before. I’d had a wonderful easy pregnancy with no complications and after being 6 days overdue with Emily I wasn’t worried at all.  This time I had done a lot of reading and felt far more prepared for what was to come.

Around lunchtime I started to feel the signs of early labour, we did a food shop and carried on like normal. At around 5pm I started to cook a lamb roast, the contractions were still very irregular and again I wasn’t sure if I was just imagining things.  I told Dave that I wasn’t sure if they were contractions or not and that I hadn’t felt her move round much lately.  We rang the hospital and they told us to come in and check.  This wasn’t the first time I’d gone into check because I couldn’t feel her, it happened with Emily too and they both took several hours to pass a CTG several times, I had lazy babies.

As we drove to the hospital we discussed how weird it was that we would be meeting our little girl so soon. I noted that usually she started moving as soon as we got in the car but she still wasn’t, Dave asked me if I was worried and truthfully I told him I wasn’t.  As we arrived at the hospital, as we were walking up the corridor at about 6pm he asked me again if I was worried, I told him not to be silly, everything was fine.   We were put into a monitoring room and a midwife came to attach the monitor, she struggled to find her heartbeat, I laughed and said she was always cheeky to find but still the midwife couldn’t find a heartbeat.  At this point I started feeling uneasy, I looked across at my husband and could see the fear in his face, “It’s ok” I told him, “she’s probably just really low down.”

The midwife went to get the doctor on call, who again was not my doctor.  He arrived with an ultrasound machine, we kept asking what was going on and if everything was ok, our questions were re-directed and I remember this awful long silence while the ultrasound was set up.  We’d had plenty of ultrasounds, we knew what to look for, he was right over her chest, nothing, there was no movement.  Another long silence, “Is she ok?” We both knew the answer, we didn’t have to ask. “I’m sorry, there’s no heartbeat.” 

My husbands eyes welled with tears, I felt numb.  I couldn’t stop apologizing to him, I was a stay at home mum, this was my job, I was supposed to have kept her alive and I failed her, I failed him.  The loss of Katie hadn’t hit me, I was in shock. “What happens now?” I asked.  He explained that there were a few options, wait and see what happens, c-section, get transferred to a hospital an hour or so away that was specialized in this sort of thing. He told us  to go home and do what we needed to and decide what we wanted to do.

We popped in at my grandmothers who was just down the road, she asked us if there was any way they had just got it wrong, we told her that she has definitely died, an almost crushing moment where it hit me and I realized just what had happened.  I tried to stay strong, I tried so hard not to let the pain show so that it would be easier for everyone else to deal with, I probably should have just let it all out but I couldn’t.

When we came back we were put into one of the private rooms and told to wait for a midwife who was coming in soon to talk to us. We sat that for what felt like an eternity, the door closed, breathing through what were now definite contractions listening to the newborns in the ward crying.  It was then that we met Simone, one of the kindest people I have ever met, she came in and discussed our options, initially I wanted a c-section so I didn’t have to deal with what was going to happen but thankfully Simone talked me out of it. She told me she could make some calls and see if I could stay where I was, the only hospital I was comfortable with and that she would deal with us personally.

Simone was helpful and considerate,  she took us into the labour ward and brought in a mattress for Dave.  I had told her that I wanted an epidural so she organized to have the best anesthetist come in for us.  He was fantastic and with a mix of the epidural and pethidine I was thankfully unable to feel any contractions which allowed me to lay there and process what was happening.  The night was a blur of numbness, I drifted in and out of sleep in between top ups whenever I started to feel contractions again.  I remember laying there watching poor Dave sleep, he had refused to sleep while I was awake because he didn’t want me to be alone even though he was exhausted,  I left him to sleep, he really needed it.

Around 1.45am on June 22nd I felt that familiar feeling that I needed to push, I had remained quite calm throughout the whole proccess but I remember somebody telling me that it was ok and we were nearly there.  I snapped back, nearly where? I wasn’t getting to take home my baby girl after this, I was nearly at what felt like the end of my life and someone  was encouraging me? It felt like the first time I actually felt anything other than numbness and it actually made me feel better.  Ten minutes of pushing through what I could only describe as the easiest most lovely birth ever, Katie Samara Jancovich was born, with cord wrapped tightly around her neck.  I closed my eyes and cried, I was afraid of what I would see, I kept them  shut and I could hear Simone telling us she was beautiful.  I finally opened my eyes and I saw Dave drop to his knees by the side of the crib she had been placed in and cry, he looked so hurt and in so much pain that I had to look away again.

At our request Simone took Katie to weigh her, clean her and dress her for us.  Despite all attempts to convince us to hold her we had decided that we didn’t want to hold her, we didn’t want to feel her all cold or limp, we wanted our memory of her to be just as she appeared, fast asleep.  People often tell us that it helped them to hold their baby but for us, this was easier, we weren’t ready for that.  I rested overnight and went home as soon as they would let me in the morning.

Two days later we went back in to spend time with her, take some photos and say our goodbyes.   We had imprints of her hands and feet made, a lock of her hair taken and then organised to have her cremated.  Although the memories are still painful and we will never be ok with the death of our beautiful girl, we are learning to cope with the pain easier and come to terms with what happened.  Over two years later and still not a day goes by that we don’t think about her, she will always be in our hearts and we will never forget our little sleeping angel.

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Abigail Took Her First Steps!

At 11 months old our darling Abigail has taken her first steps, luckily, both her Daddy and I were there to see it. I was taking some photos of her downstairs, I asked Dave to stand her up, a skill she had learnt in the last few weeks and to our absolute shock, she took a  couple of steps forward.  We shrieked and clapped and made a huge fuss and the smile that came across her face spoke more than any words could.  We tried her again a few times, this time she managed to walk about a meter and a half before falling.  I was taking photo after photo but silly me didn’t think to turn my camera to HD video and now she won’t let us get any videos without screaming and throwing a tantrum because she want’s to grab our phones or the video camera.  I think I’ll have to do a hidden camera set up!

 

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Abigail’s Sleep Progress- Day 5

Success! We can finally put Abigail down in her cot and let her take herself to sleep without needing us to go back in! Five times in a row I have put her down and she has done a bit of grizzling but gone to sleep herself, I am so proud of her!  Obviously, she is still not sleeping through the night but I know now we can work on that, I am just so happy to have arrived at this stage.  I am saving at least 2 hours a day that I can now spend quality time with Em and Abigail is much happier as she is now more rested.  I am sure there will be hiccups along the way, after all I am heading to Perth for a week in 3 days and then when we come home we will be in a  totally different house. Though now we know we can do this and she is better off it won’t be as difficult.

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My Birth Story: Emily and the midwife who passed out

My memory of Emily’s birth is quite hazy, I was young and naive, the thought never occurred to me to write it down, I didn’t know about our minds magical ability to make us completely forget how horrible it is so we will have another child.

For some strange reason I was never worried about giving birth, I didn’t do birthing classes, I didn’t read books, I decided not to scare myself with others horrifying recollections of emergency c-sections and 2 hours of pushing.   In hindsight, I should have done the reading, the birthing classes not so much but at 1am on the 22nd of March 2008 ans went into the early stages of labour without even knowing it.

I had suffered from terrible insomnia throughout the later stages of my pregnancy so it wasn’t unusual for me to be awake at that sort of time.  I was feeling slight cramping feelings in my stomach, I remember asking someone a few days earlier how I would know I was in labour, they had told me I would definitely know so I wasn’t concerned about the cramping and put it down to braxton hicks.  However, after a few hours of them not subsiding I rang the labour ward and asked for some advice, they told me it was probably early labour and I should just come in if it gets too uncomfortable or they are 5 minutes apart.

At 7am, I went into the hospital with a bag full of things I would never use or wear and no idea what was going on.  My doctor wasn’t on call and I was given midwife after midwife to check on me.  I was frightened and in a lot of pain, nothing had prepared me for this.  I decided to have a shot of pethadine which reacted very badly to me and left me feeling very confused and dissociated.  By late afternoon I had barely progressed and was still in a lot of pain so I opted for an epidural.  For some reason, I was asked to lay on my side while the epidural was administered and started shivering uncontrollably afterwards.

At 7.30 I was ready to start pushing, by this time I had been assigned a male midwife and instructed to lay on my back  and start to push, I had no idea how to push, I think I just pushed the whole time.  After 50 minutes of painful pushing, her head had just come out and all of a sudden my midwife went all pale, told me to stop pushing and hit the emergency button, then promptly passed out on the floor.  A rush of midwives came in, some helped me with a blurry 5 minutes of getting the rest of Emily out and the others helped get the midwife up.

My beautiful baby girl was born at 8.35pm March 23rd weighing 7.14lbs.  My midwife came back in later and apologized, he explained that he was recovering from the flu and the heat in the room had made him feel dizzy and just he realized he was going to faint he had seen the cord wrapped around Ems neck and that was why I had to stop pushing.   I didn’t care, I had a healthy baby girl.  Four days later I was out of hospital (only after discovering they couldn’t hold me there against my will) I wish I had gone home sooner because my dislike of hospitals interfered greatly with learning to breastfeed in comfort, but that’s a whole other story.

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Not Much From Me Today

Dave got involved with Abigail’s new sleep routine so let’s just say it hasn’t gone too well today.  I am stressing out about leaving Dave to move house while I’m in Perth for the week and just feel like crawling into bed and ignoring the world and my worries for a few days.  Managed to squeeze in some time alone with Em and I, got a few cute pics of her. Hopefully tomorrow goes better.

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