Hurrah, we have almost made it to the first holiday, for some reason this term felt nackering for all involved, despite being only 9 weeks. We filled it the brim. The kids are back swimming, Zachary has begrudgingly agreed to take part in swimming lessons but only when he is older. He, as of yet, has not expressed what older actually means, probably a cunning plan to avoid doing swimming lessons. Abi is back at ballet, and gymnastics 6 hours a week. I was a bit worried about whether she would burn out but so far she has more energy than me and always finishes the week with 3 hours of gym and comes bouncing out with springs in her legs.
The kids completed their school sports day – complete with fantastic facial expressions from Jack. It was a bit of a miserable day but the kids had a ball. Abi decided to do the 800m, and pretty much ran the whole thing. I think at her age I probably would have run about a quarter and then given up and gossiped the rest of the way around! Instead she slowed to a walk at the last bend and walked beside another girl. When she finished I asked her why she slowed down, and she told me her friend was crying and walked with her to keep her company. Jamie called me an over emotional mother, and I punched him. I have never been more proud of her!
Dad is still hanging around and putting up the kids demands for usual reading places, and my requests for taking the kids to their million and one extra activities. So nice to not be running back and forth to Warrnambool every two seconds. He had a small trip to Sydney for a school reunion and to see some friends and now is back with us till after the holidays.
Big exciting news is I have gone back to school – well kind of. I decided it was time to put my money where my mouth was and take a photography course so I could use my SLR better. Now more than ever since next year we will be heading out on our trip and it would be nice to have good photos to remember it by! So every tuesday I spend 3 hours at the local tafe learning the awesome power of my camera. Well, so far just aperture and shutter speed but since this is the first time since I got it I have finally got my head around f stops I am pretty happy about that! See – famous photographer in the making (mostly in my head!)
We have welcomed another little girl into the family. Emma had her third at the beginning of the year and better yet moved to 1 minute up the road. So the kids and I get to go and bother her whenever we like. Plenty more time for snuggles with a new squishy! Little Lucy is gorgeous, can’t believe how small she is. Now I am lugging a giant 3 year old around I wonder if he was ever that small and portable!
Folkie fever hit the town again. It was the 40th anniversary so extra excitement. Emma and Liam’s eldest Rosie celebrated her 4th birthday so we had a lovely family evening. Then on the Sunday the kids and I wandered the shops, and went back to potter about the house and enjoy the long weekend. Jamie has taken over the garden patches in an attempt to prove to me how amazing it could be. I remain skeptical although no doubt he will add gardening to the long list of talents he has and I will secretly curse him while enjoying the bounty he creates!
Then just as things were zooming along happily life loves to throw you a curve ball. Just before Christmas Jamie and I found out we were pregnant. Actually I say we but I am pretty sure he didn’t feel constantly nauseous or exhausted. After last time we decided only to tell family and a few close friends. We made it to the 12 week scan and they told us they were cautiously optimistic. The heart looked symmetrical, our little girl was full of beans and bouncing about happily on screen. The next day we got another call saying I had ranked high for downs syndrome but probably just down to my age – 36 and I am already on my way out to pasture apparently. We had another test and it all came back clean so we both started to relax and maybe think everything was ok.
On Tuesday we headed to our 16 week scan and it didn’t take long to realise she no longer had a heartbeat. Apparently a few days after our 12 week scan her heart had stopped. It was like a flashback to Archie. Sitting on the floor of the ultrasound room trying to work out what I had done this time. I booked in to Warrnambool base, took a selection of pills and waited for my operation. They will run tests and see if anything is wrong with her chromosomes but most likely they will find nothing. That we will never know why it happened.
The worst part of that day was going home and telling Abi that the little sister she was longing for was no more. I would do anything to have kept this a secret so that I didn’t have to sit and hold her as she cried. It feels completely unfair to have to go through it all again. But it isn’t, sometime shitty things happen and that’s just the way life plays out. I am still lucky to go home to 3 beautiful kids who cover me in cuddles and kisses, and distract me with movie star cards and arguments about who gets the last cuddle and kiss of the day.
So now we sit and wait, not sure whether to hope they find something or hope that they don’t. But for the next 6 weeks of waiting I will fill my days with chauffeuring children, settling arguments, hanging with Jamie, learning about shutter speed and spending time with lovely friends and family who make life infinitely better just by being themselves.