I’m sorry, my poor neglected blog

Please forgive me? I HAVE PHOTOS!

I’ve not blogged for a while. I’ve been a busy little bumblebee actually.

You see, I chose to take on an internship as part of my degree. I had considered it, but the logistics of juggling work plus three kids and uni seemed too difficult. I quite lazily put it in the “too hard basket” and forgot about it for a while.

But then I saw the advertisement

It was for a very big company that handles various magazines, newspapers, online publications and websites. It seemed too good to be true. I thought to myself that the chances of me getting something that so many others would be wanting at the same time were pretty slim. So I bypassed my uni’s”how to” instructions on resume building and threw something together at the eleventh hour.

My previous job with a workplace bully

My job before was in financial services. I worked in the same office as a monster, who was related (by marriage) to the wonderful business owner that hired me four times over the years since I had finished high school. This monster brought me down so low that I left and never returned when I suffered a miscarriage. That whole pregnancy was spent crying into my pillow until the wee hours of the morning, waking up and going to work a few hours later and feeling so beat down and useless that I lost my appetite and just wanted to cry again. I was sick with the flu and various other ailments. It really took its toll on my health. So I quit work and became a full-time student. That was it. Massive life-changing decisions in an instant.

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In a study room at uni with Miss 2. She loves watching Peppa Pig on the big screen!

Everything hit me again when I got the call for an interview

So everything was going really well for me. I’d managed to heal but I vowed to never forget the life that had been delayed. I was fortunate enough to get my baby girl almost a year to the day I miscarried. I wanted to raise awareness and normalise miscarriage and infant loss to make others feel like they were less alone. To remind other women going through similar that yes, it IS a horrible thing, but they are not alone.

When I got called for an interview for the internship, it all came rushing back. I didn’t want to go back into a corporate environment. I’d always had a thick skin but just couldn’t shake those feelings of being useless and incompetent. I knew in my head that I wasn’t, but after being belittled, abused, and beaten down for so many months, it’s a hard thing to forget.

I wouldn’t get it anyway

I told myself that I wouldn’t get the internship anyway. I had applied for a casual role several months earlier and froze when the interviewer asked me a question. I knew I had no chance at getting this one, so thought I may as well use it as a practice run. I bought a new navy slip dress, dusted off my pink heels, donned a black clutch (it was that or a nappy bag!), and in I went.

I sat down, looked at the interview panel and told them I was so nervous. I pointed out that my hands were sweating, I’d been a mum and student for so many years I’d forgotten how to talk to people without stuttering. I smiled and asked them to please be nice. And from that moment, I was back. They were so lovely and encouraging that all the tension and apprehension melted away. I sat there, pitched a story, answered questions, even cracked a few jokes. When the interview was over, they mentioned that I was among the first interviewed. I asked them to please not forget me and they all chuckled. One even added “We definitely won’t forget you”. And that was it. All the anxiety and negative feelings about myself and my abilities fell from my shoulders, bounced off my awkward black clutch, and onto the floor in front of me. I even stepped on them as I walked out of the boardroom with my head held high. They were dead forever.

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Me with Mr 8 and Mr 6. Walking in the rain – one of my favourite things to do.

So here I am

Here I am now. I’ve written several blog posts over the last few months, but before I upload them, I email them to my editor. I ask her if she can use them, and she always does.

Did you catch that?

I said “my editor”. It’s really exciting. From this mum of three (plus one angel), who turned a loss into a life-changer. I no longer have to work in financial services because that is what I know like the back of my hand. I get to write. It’s only a casual job and that is completely fine with me, because I’m still studying. I’m due to graduate in January and rather than feeling sick at the thought of returning to work, and looking for reasons to continue studying, I’m looking forward to possibly working some more. I never expected those feelings.

To those who have followed along, my study load has now greatly reduced for my last semester, so I’m hoping to blog regularly again. But thank you for sticking around. And thank you for following me in the first place. I always wanted this blog to be completely anonymous, but I’m not so sure I still want that. If I want to bring awareness to those things that people don’t often talk about, then I need to have a name to my voice. So here I am, in the form of a few pictures. It’s lovely to ‘meet’ you. 😉

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On a recent road trip to Dubbo Zoo. Mr 8 got car sick, Miss 2 slept for most of it, and Mr 6 rambled the whole way there. (Note: I was obviously NOT driving when I took this pic).

Claire. x

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A heartbreaking experience changed my life – My missed miscarriage.

I wanted to share something which is a little negative, but it’s something I need to get out there. It’s not often spoken about, but why not? Miscarriage is more common than many people realise. Once you’ve suffered through one, stories from friends and loved ones come out and you wonder why they chose to suffer in silence. There is nothing shameful or awkward about it. It happens and doesn’t discriminate. I need to share that one pivotal moment which changed everything for me. That one moment which put everything into perspective and showed me that we should never take anything for granted, we should be so grateful for what we have, and life is too short to waste it doing something you don’t enjoy. That was a massive long sentence of cliches, but they are cliches which I now live by. The changes took a while, and there were some hurdles along the way, but right now I can tell you it’s been worth it. I have my rainbow baby to thank for a refreshed outlook.

Stepping out of the car at the hospital that Wednesday morning, we joked about what the scan would reveal. I explained to hubby that we were going for our Nuchal Translucency (“NT”) scan at twelve weeks plus six days gestation as the further along you are, the better your chances are of finding out the gender. We had two boys but I had always wanted a little girl to dress up in bows and tutus. If it was another boy, that would make me the queen of the family hands down so that would have been OK too… Having already had two successful pregnancies, I never even considered that this could be the moment that changes everything.

11th September, 2013

The memory is so vivid that I can still feel the pressure of a full bladder as we sit in the waiting room eagerly waiting to find out if we’re playing on team blue or team pink. My knees nervously twitch, the plastic chair squeaks against the wall behind me and the parenting magazine jerks on my lap, but it doesn’t matter; I’m not reading anyway.

Another couple leave the radiologist’s room, all smiles while they finalise payment and wait for their DVD. My name is called and I eagerly bounce my way in after the perfectly pressed radiologist. She’s wearing beige slacks and a white shirt with her hair in a neat ponytail. I ponder how she looks like she’s just stepped off the page of a Review catalog. She greets me with a warmth I remember from my son’s morphology scan. I introduce hubby then loosen my maternity jeans and fold them down at the waist. I lie back in the recliner and lift my shirt, all smiles, knees bouncing with anticipation. The excitement is radiating from the both of us. The radiologist applies the warm gel and puts the wand to my stomach. On the big flat screen fixed to the opposite wall, we immediately see a perfect little baby, complete with arms and legs, fingers and toes. I look over at hubby and squeeze his hand, saying with a tear in my eye, “Awww we made another one!” The joy at seeing that beautiful little baby is short lived. The screen goes black. The radiologist quietly says “I’m sorry” with a look of sympathy. For a moment I think she’s apologising for turning the screen off, but then I see the look of sadness on her face. I realise my perfect baby was perfectly still and a sob escapes my mouth. My stomach drops and I feel like I could vomit. There’s a ringing in my ears and I feel like I’m looking down on myself. I squeeze hubby’s hand and the room suddenly feels suffocating.

I’m finally able to empty my bladder while my obstetrician is called. I wonder why there is no blood, and how this is even possible. I squeeze my nipple and feel nothing. No tenderness or tingling. Pulling up my jeans in between sobs, I realise why they were a little loose on me this morning. How long has my baby been sleeping in my stomach with no heartbeat? How could I have been going on about my usual life without knowing that my baby had died? When exactly did the tiny little heart stop beating?I’m twelve weeks and six days today, but baby measures about ten weeks and five days. The radiologist explains to me that I have an appointment tomorrow morning with my obstetrician, which I am to keep, and he will speak to me then. She puts a gentle hand on my shoulder and guides me out of the room into the one next door while the next expectant couple are ushered through and the door is quickly closed. I can only assume this was to protect us both: me from her large protruding belly, and them from my tear-stained cheeks and red raw eyes. They give me a brochure and suggest I read through it, paying particular attention to the section titled “Missed Miscarriage” and “Talking To Your Child About Miscarriage”. My heart sinks at the prospect of explaining it all to our four and six year old boys.

As we’re walking back to the car, hubby pulls me into him and I let it all out. I wail, stomp my feet, snot drips from my nose. Thirteen weeks I carried my baby, and I loved it so much already. The pain is going to take some time to heal, but we’ll get there.

I can tell you now this DOES have a happy ending. This was just over a year ago, and I now have the most beautiful ten week old baby girl. She keeps me awake at night and prefers to sleep in my arms during the day … and I love every second of it. Just moments after signing the hospital paperwork promising not to sign any important documents or make any major decisions within 24 hours of the D&C, I broke the rule. I asked my husband to phone work and tell them I won’t be returning. It was the best decision I had ever made. I’d remained in my position too long, in a workplace where I was bullied on a daily basis, and had decided enough was enough. Two weeks later I was at the beginning of a university degree which I wish I’d had the opportunity to do when I first finished high school. I won’t tell you how long ago that was!

So here I am, mother of three, life complete, full time student and loving it. And I want to share it with anyone who may be interested. Thank you for reading. x