Sunrise Welcome

My timing may have been a little off, but I did make it to sunrise this morning. I was so keen to press snooze on the alarm – it was the best sleep I’d had in a week. But this was too important; I couldn’t miss it. I pushed myself through and made the short walk alone to the beach.

It was really quite peaceful. The locals were slowly opening their shops and restaurants ready for the day’s trade, tuk tuk drivers were having a quiet break and workers were collecting rubbish. Early morning really is a different time in the city, country – anywhere really.

I walked along the beach for a bit and found a somewhat secluded spot to sit – with beach side bars and restaurants, there isn’t really a lot of seclusion. I settled myself down, removed my thongs and placed my tissues within easy reach. This wasn’t going to be an easy time.

I got out my phone and found my words; I’m glad I’d written them earlier, otherwise it may have been much harder and certainly less coherent. I read each word out loud and thought of the baby. I allowed the love to flow through me and the peacefulness of the water splashing on the shore to take me away. I didn’t notice the workers behind me or the fisherman getting their boats prepared. I let the colours and clouds in the sky wash over me and allow me to read what I so needed to read.

I captured an image of some clouds facing the sun. The sun rise wasn’t remarkable, it was slightly off to the side and behind me, but these clouds spoke to me. I like to think of this image as the sun welcoming my baby in; shining a bright light on the way, holding them in love and light. The baby is being released by my open hands, both of us embracing the love and light and moving on to the next chapter.

I waited for the clouds to fully dissipate, however a young local girl came and approached me. I was a little nervous, unsure if she wanted to chat, to pick-pocket or just to sit. I also wanted this time for me and me alone. She pointed to my tissues and asked for one. I pulled one out and she pulled the layers apart, counting. One, two, three, four. She then bunched them all back up, wiped her nose and threw it away.

She pointed at my phone a couple of times, but I held fast, again not sure. Two other boys came over, one older and younger. The older asked for money, and I said I didn’t have any. They soon left, leaving the girl and I. I asked her name, and she replied ‘Hoy’. She again pointed to my phone and pressed the lock button, revealing the camera shortcut. She wanted a picture. So I took a couple of selfies, pulling silly faces. It was quite sweet, until she then asked ‘miss, one dollar?’ I said I had no money, and she moved on.

I looked back at the sky and the clouds had gone – the representation I’d made and had hoped to see further develop had disappeared. But I felt at peace. Hoy had come along and pulled me back into the real world. While her world is very different to mine, she helped me. I remained grounded and thankful for what I have. She proved to be the perfect distraction.

As I glanced further around I found the sun. It had risen as an amazing orange orb, appearing between the trees to brighten and day and paths ahead. I went through one tissue today and that was used by a young Cambodian girl. I didn’t fill my own with tears again –  I have worked through this. I was filled with reflection and limited sadness today, but I was giving myself permission to move on.

I can now look at the sun and the clouds and know that my baby is up there and looking down on me. As time passes, the physical distance grows, yet there will always be small fluffs of cloud and love to see us never full parted.My path ahead is bright and filled with light.

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Release

Due to my travelling, I chose sunrise at the beach to speak out loud the below words:

This period marks an important milestone for me and you. Had another path been chosen I wouldn’t be here where I am and instead, you would be in my arms or soon to be.

I will always wonder, hope and dream for you, but for now, I have come to accept that this wasn’t meant for us.

For the short period you were with me, you had an incredible influence. You certainly left your mark and I know that I have grown and learnt from you. Today I will release you at the time you were meant to enter this physical world. I am not surrounded by close friends or family, but I am surrounded by love; love for you and love from within.

I tell you again that you were absolutely created and made with love. You were absolutely wanted and you were absolutely loved.

I can no longer think about what could or should have been, but can only thank you for your time with me and how you’ve helped me grow and further shape the mother I will be one day.

Gone but not forgotten, today I reach full acceptance and I release you.

Due Date

So I’m a week into my trip and I have started to feel again. I have a way to go, but I now know more than ever that I was meant to be here, to be doing something and experiencing more of this world.

What this does mean is that the time has now arrived for my due date. I had my calendar out a little, and I had thought that I’d be in Sihanoukville for the due date. This worked out perfectly as it’s a beachside town and would have made the perfect setting for a small ritual for me and the baby. However, I will actually be on my way into Vietnam – not a beachside town perfect for reflection, but a hectic border crossing and a homestay where we’ll apparently be playing games.

What I have decided is that the exact date isn’t exact anyway. Based on my last period before falling pregnant, my GP had 22-23 February listed on initial paperwork. As we know, this date was never confirmed so it may have been out. And as happens with babies, they can also choose to come out earlier or later. So, I’m deciding that tomorrow – 21 February – will be my ‘release’ date. I am getting up in time to see the sunrise on the beach and will have my time there.

On the bus today I started writing some words down and will take the time to tweak them as needed while writing them again at the beach; I may even possibly burn the paper. Fiona seemed to think that I needed to do an actual ritual, write something down, release something and really mark the moment when the baby is moved on. I don’t have anything like that planned and from my writing this afternoon, that won’t work for me.

As much as this will be about the baby and me letting go – as much as I possibly can – on their due date, this is about me finally fully accepting it. I’ve written something else that I’ll tweak before posting, which has been titled ‘Acceptance’; that word has been flowing consistently – doggedly – through my mind for the past week. I will never let go of my baby and the pain will always be there, but I’m accepting that this wasn’t right. But tomorrow is about releasing.

I’m nervous about tomorrow, about the next couple of days, but I’ll get through it. These past 7 plus months have been about me working through it, and that’s what I’ve done. I’ve worked, cried, written and figured my way through it. Tomorrow is simply another step to help me continue to work through it. I will be fine and the moment will be perfect.

Tomorrow I will release my acceptance into the world, at sunrise on a beach in Cambodia and I will be okay.

It’s time

The time has come. I am currently 40,000 feet in the air, about 2,100kms from Melbourne, a further 5,200kms to Bangkok.

I had so many grand plans and ideas go through my mind to fill in my spare time over the last couple of weeks, yet nothing came to fruition. I was going to do a bit of sightseeing, I was going to finish setting up a new blog for my travels, and I was going to set up a new Facebook page and Instagram account to go with the new blog. I was going to spend time with everyone who mattered. I was going to get super excited about my trip. I was going to get myself sorted.

I managed to get myself sorted. I managed to spend time with many who mattered, but not all. I managed to start feeling a bit better about myself and almost started to feel excited about the trip.

There are moments when I’m looking forward to what I’m about to do, what I’m about to see and whom I’m about to meet. But they are still few and far between. The most emotion I experienced was yesterday afternoon saying bye to Emma and the kids. Jordan (now 8) was very emotional. He didn’t want me to go as he wouldn’t see me for a long time and got a bit teary. I was doing well until seeing his little face, his cheeks and eyes red. I did get through without shedding a tear, but it got close. (I’ve been assured that he was back to his usual happy self this morning – how quickly he forgets!)

The airport drop-off this morning was quick and un-emotional. Mum asked me this morning if I was excited, and I responded that I was a bit numb to be honest. I still am. There isn’t a big burst of emotion going through me. I’m not sure what I am feeling or even what I should be feeling. Nervous is probably the closest and most frequent of my emotions and I really don’t have any reason to be.

I boarded my flight no problems, I sorted the last minute issues with access to my savings, I have my Vietnamese visa and I’m a responsible, mature person. I’ve travelled before and know the main gist of how things go. I’m not as shy as I was ten years ago when I last did independent travel so I should be able to make friends easier and faster. I’ve got nothing to be nervous about.

I guess I’m worried about how I’ll be in two weeks time. Numbness may have set in for self-preservation and may stick around for a while yet. I had my last appointment with Fiona nearly two weeks ago and she signed me off. Told me to have fun and lots of sex. Easier said than done! I’ll try my best but have no promises.

She did ask me again what I had planned for the due date and asked a few questions, prompted me to work on a ritual. Write down some words and release them, along with the life that could have been. All I know is that I’ll be in Sihanoukville in Cambodia, a beachside town and I just want to sit and contemplate. If possible, I’d like to release a lily into the ocean. I hadn’t thought more about the ritual. So now I feel like I should be planning more, or at least feeling more.

I told Emma about releasing a lily, and also mentioned that I might get myself a tattoo. I don’t have any and had never been serious about getting one. But as I still have ‘Lily’ on my mind, I thought it might be nice to get a lily somewhere. I then feel doubtful, apart from now no longer having the option to use Lily for kids I will – will – have in the future, do I want to put a permanent mark on my body for this one loss? What if I have another miscarriage? Will I have to get another flower? Why do I need to put so much emphasis on this baby?

The loss of the baby and the loss of my relationship have been hugely significant for me. Why not mark this with a visual reminder? I won’t have to look back sadly on this, but rather reflect on how I managed to survive and will continue to survive. If I do have another miscarriage, I’ll survive that and can mark that as well.

I am about over my grief. I have somewhat accepted the miscarriage. Of course I still wonder about what may have been. No longer about what should have been. Rather what could have been. The lily can be for survival and hope.

I caught up with Manda a few times – she makes me happy. We just get each other and I was telling her about the afternoon I’d spent with my niece and nephew. Logan asked me if I had a baby in my belly. It came from nowhere – Emma said it was likely due to her sister-in-law being pregnant and her telling them about it. Logan then wanted to give me a bunch of marbles for my kids. I said that I didn’t have any and wouldn’t for a little while yet. He still insisted – we finally managed to convince him to look after them for me until my kids would be old enough.

I didn’t feel sad when Logan talked about my kids. It knocked me a bit, but I coped. Manda reassured me that I will have kids. The day will come and I’ll get those moments. She said it’s bloody hard, but then there are the moments when you wouldn’t have it any other way.

I spent a day with Jodie, Tanya and their daughters. Jodie was about ready to pop with her second baby and I didn’t feel any sadness. I did however sit there and watch the girls, their interactions with each other and their mothers and I just knew deep inside me that I do want that. I will have that. I want and deserve to be a mother and there is a perfect baby out there waiting for me just as I’m waiting for them.

I briefly saw Jodie again last night – she was off to the hospital for final preparations; she was so excited for me and my trip. I was excited for her and her next journey. I did feel myself starting to get emotional, thinking about her going into labour at any moment and bringing a new life into the world. I didn’t experience jealousy, but I did reflect and momentarily wanted that for me in the next two weeks.

As I was leaving, Tanya again asked me how I was, if I was okay. I honestly don’t know. The numbness is getting rather odd. I want to feel, I want to experience big, deep feelings again. I’m glad the deep, gut-wrenching sadness has gone. But I’d like something other than slight anxiety and numbness to replace it.

The time is here. I have left my friends, family and home behind. I have adventure, excitement and travel ahead of me. Perhaps a tattoo, perhaps some love affairs. But definitely some truly me time. I hope I find what I’m looking for. I hope I start to feel again.