It's my life, but not as I knew it!

Posts tagged ‘loss’

Skydiving for Charity: a Jump for Love!

Happy 2014 everyone! This is the year that I turn 30. It is also the year that I am doing a skydive for Saying Goodbye: the babyloss charity. I am sure these two things are entirely unrelated….!

When I first came across this charity on twitter (follow @SayingGoodbyeUK) I could barely believe the statistics regarding rates of miscarriage and stillbirth in the UK, yet it remains a subject that people don’t talk about. Approximately 250,000 babies are lost through miscarriage every year- that is about two every single minute. There are also approximately 4,000 stillbirths, that’s nearly 11 babies every day. This doesn’t include all the babies who pass away in infancy. Saying Goodbye offers support to all these parents and others affected by baby and infant loss through national remembrance services as a division of The Mariposa Trust .

I started my training as a children’s nurse 11 years ago and for the past 5 1/2 years I have specialised in neonatal (babies less than 28 days old) intensive care. The nurses and doctors (and physios, vent tech, dietitians, lab workers and all other members of the multiple-disciplinary team) work tirelessly to help get these babies better. I have, unfortunately, witnessed tragedy and loss during my time and seen parents going through the utterly worst time of their lives. Saying Goodbye offers these families somewhere to grieve with others who understand the pain and who won’t judge. I knew I wanted to do something to support them.

I, as my friends know, am terrified of flying, so the idea of Skydiving seems absolutely crazy to me. But as no-one would sponsor me for eating chocolate or having a nap I needed to “go big or go home”. The idea is that on 15th February 2014, 254 people will undertake the “Jump for Love”- one for every 1000 babies lost through miscarriage or stillbirth. We need to raise at least £395 to undertake the jump at all but we would like to aim for £1000 (£1 for each of those babies). As I only have 40-odd days I think this may be a pipe-dream but it is an aim and I would love to get as much as I can.

If you are feeling generous after the over-indulgence of Christmas and New Year and if you can see what a worthwhile cause is is, then please join me to help break the taboo of loss and donate now. My fundraising page is here, every donation matters.

Thank you.

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O’hana means family…

…and family means no one gets left behind. Or forgotten.

I apologise in advance for the self-indulgent nature of this post. When I decided to blog I knew I wanted to open myself up to you and what I am writing about is a huge thing to me and mine.

We may not have a big house or the latest fancy gadgets but Rob and I have always known how rich we are in love and family. We have each other. Rob is my best friend and soul mate. We have the amazing, gorgeous and fantastic twins. And to complete our little family perfectly, we had two beautiful kitty cats, I and D. They were our first babies! Rob had never had pets before and took them into his heart as much as into our house.

I know people who have never had pets may not understand that special place they hold in your heart and how much of an integral part of the family they become. I and D were house cats so they were always here, always around and were as much a part of our home as anyone else.

When we found out that I was pregnant we were asked when we would get rid of the cats, this was something we hadn’t even thought about and didn’t contemplate. As it happened, we were right and had nothing to worry about. Biscuit and Cracker’s arrival brought out the maternal side of I and D, they were never bothered about crying or screaming or projectile toys. The twins adored them; both of their first words were D’s name and whenever they saw or (less frequently) got to stroke them they were so happy and so excited.

I is a Maine Coon cross. A gorgeous big, furry girl who Rob and I got not long after moving in together. She is a little moody at times and is very select with when she gives love but we wouldn’t change her for anything! D was a Norwegian Forest. She was a beautiful, fluffy baby who Rob and I got from a breeder a year after we got I. We immediately fell in love with D. She was sweet and loving and purred so loudly whenever anyone went near here. They completed our little family. We couldn’t have asked for more.

Then the worse night happened on Thursday. D had been quieter and less playful all day and hadn’t eaten anything. She looked worn out and was cold with pale gums. Rob rushed her to the emergency vets in the evening after she missed her dinner. They discovered she had lots of fluid on her lungs. She deteriorated very rapidly over night and was found to have an undiagnosed heart condition just before she had a massive cat heart attack and they contacted us as they stopped trying to resuscitate her. She was only three. We had lost our fur-baby. Our family had lost it’s smallest and sweetest member. We were broken.

It has been a hard, heartbroken and horrible few days since D passed away. Rob and I feel like a bit of a mess inside. It is particularly hard at certain times of the day- in the morning when she’d be meowing and jumping on the surface while you were doing her breakfast and in the evening once the twins were asleep and she would want to sit on Rob and ‘paddy paw’ him followed by demanding to play with the laser key. If we went to bed without playing she would scratch and scratch at the living room door. She knew how to get what she wanted!

The twins are too young to understand what’s been going on. They have asked for D and, obviously, felt the sorrow in the house. We will tell them about her when they’re bigger and explain why their first word was such an important one. And our little I? What do we do about her? She is a lot more cuddly, doesn’t leave our sides when we’re around without the twins and looks for D in her usual spots. I hope she’s coping ok and knows she’s loved beyond measure. We’re taking her to the vets next week to have a full check-up (paranoid Mama alert) and we’ll see how she’s doing then.

Taking a pet into your home, family and hearts seems like an easy decision. They provide never-ending love, devotion and companionship. But we know that in the majority of cases that we shall outlive them. All we can do is make sure that their lives are filled with love, cuddles, good food, warmth and safety. From the moment I and D entered our family we have tried to give them the best possible lives, we just didn’t realise that the time we had with D would be so short.

Rob, Biscuit, Cracker, I and I still make a brilliant little family. We know we are still so lucky with all the love that is in our flat and we are thankful for our blessings. But there will always be a little part missing; a collar with no owner and an empty blanket. We shall remember her. Forever.

To quote Lilo and Stitch, again:

This is my family. Is little, and broken, but still good. Yeah, still good.

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