Sad anniversary + update

Ten years is a long time.

And yet, sometimes, it feels like it was just yesterday that I lost my baby girl.

While she was actually born on 17th August, the 16th is often the worst day for me.

It happened that way this year. The sun shining helped with my atrocious mood, as did having lunch with my wife.❤

A very dear friend came over this afternoon and gave me this wonderful, beautiful, thoughtful present she made.

dragonfly flower

I am working on the last chapter of Selina and Donovan’s story, slowly, as the last few chapters were rather draining. I’m also 4500 words into something new, a collaboration of sorts with my wife on a thing she’s writing (she’s writing about one character and I’ve started writing about another one from the same story). It’s very exciting.

The tying of loose ends (Selina & Donovan part 14)

Here is the long awaited part 14! No, the story did not end after the declaration of love and subsequent grieving at the hospital. And it is not ending with this chapter either. There is  little more that I will share with you as soon as it is done.

The whole pregnancy loss storyline really took it out of me and I felt drained for a couple of weeks. I’m ok now, just preparing myself for Chloé’s anniversary in a couple of weeks.


 

I wait until I’m home, sitting on my couch in my comfy PJs, snuggled up to Donovan with his arm around me, to ring my boss. I already know it’s not going to go well.

It never does when I ask her for a day off so a whole week? I sigh and dial her number. She picks up on the third ring.

“Hello?”

“Hi, it’s Selina. I’m sorry for the late notice but I won’t be able to come in this week.”

“What do you mean? We have a huge week ahead, you can’t just take a holiday on a whim. You already had Saturday off!”

“I am not taking a freaking holiday, I need time off, doctor’s orders.” I really don’t want to get into details with her.

“You went to the effort to see a doctor on the weekend so you can have a week off? You really must be desperate. Who’s the guy?”

“What? I’m not taking a week off work because I have a new boyfriend!” Unlike some people… “I have a letter from the doctor at the hospital saying I need to have at least a week off for medical reasons.” Continue reading

Some things are not best left unsaid (Selina & Donovan part 13)

** TRIGGER WARNING **

Yes, another one… (I think it’s the last one though)

Since in this chapter the surgeon who saved Selina’s life talks to her about what happened, it requires a trigger warning.

Things are going to get better from now on for Selina and Donovan, I promise, but they won’t forget.


The nurse checks my stats and tops up my painkillers. She also tells me the doctor should be over soon to check on me and talk to me about how the operation went and when I can go home.

My dad and Donovan come back shortly after she leaves, with a bag full of delicious looking sandwiches and I wish I had any sort of appetite.

Instead I nibble on bits of bread and some chicken while the others eat their dinner. I sneak a mouthful of Donovan’s Coke and do my best to ignore the elephant in the room, but at the same time wondering how long until the stick insect rings Donovan demanding he comes home.

Donovan is sitting on the end of my bed and my parents on the chairs by the window. I am loving the view, after a week of not seeing him.

“I know it’s probably not the best time to ask,” Dad says from his seat next to Mum and I get a bad feeling in my stomach. “But what’s that I hear about a fight you girls got into with that girl Donovan was seeing?” Continue reading

Mending some fences (Selina & Donovan part 12)

**TRIGGER WARNING**

Dear readers, like the one before it, this chapter deals with the sensitive issue of baby loss.

It’s a topic I have personal painful experience with (if you feel up to it, here is my post from last year about it, keep tissues handy) and when I realised this was where Selina and Donovan’s story was headed, I didn’t shy away from it.

Pregnancy and baby loss happen, and they happen a lot more often than people think. Once you start talking about it, people will tell you that it’s either happened to them or to someone close to them.

In this chapter, Selina wakes up after surgery following her ectopic pregnancy.


I wake up to the delicious familiar smell of the man I love, his hand gently stroking my arm. I keep my eyes closed because I can’t conceive of a reason why he’d be here. I must be dreaming and I don’t want the dream to end.

I hear the door open and footsteps approach the bed.

“Is she awake yet?” Mum’s voice. She sounds worried still and like she’s been crying. Her voice is all hushed in the quiet room.

“Um… I don’t know…” I feel my heart skip a beat when I realise that Donovan really is here. His voice sounds as rough as Mum’s. “I thought she was before, when she rolled over.” He sighs. “I should go. She’ll get upset if she finds me here when she wakes up and that’s the last thing I want .” Continue reading

This hole in my heart (Selina & Donovan part 11)

**TRIGGER WARNING**

Dear readers, this particular chapter deals with the sensitive issue of baby loss.

It’s a topic I have personal painful experience with (if you feel up to it, here is my post from last year about it, keep tissues handy) and when I realised this was where Selina and Donovan’s story was headed, I didn’t shy away from it.

Pregnancy and baby loss happen, and they happen a lot more often than people think. Once you start talking about it, people will tell you that it’s either happened to them or to someone close to them.

Last week our children asked about rainbow babies and I did a post about it on Facebook. Two friends left comments saying they’d lost a child many years ago. It’s ten years for me next month.

Losing a child is not something you ever forget. You just learn to live with the grief.

Just like Selina and Donovan are going to learn to do (and yes, you can count on the happy ending!)


I wash my hands and my face and rinse my mouth for the third time and take a deep breath before I open the door. My friend looks very worried about me and I can’t blame her. I’m worried about me.

“You ok?” she asks again and I shrug. I don’t know if I am but I know that eventually, I will be.

She puts her arm around my waist and we walk back into the restaurant. There is no sign of the bitchy blondes, some good looking bald guy is standing next to London by our table and I feel like everyone in the restaurant is looking at me. I turn to Lace.

“Where’s Chris?”

“Oh,” she says as we reached our table. “He is making sure Naomi is really gone.”

“Thank god. What happened out here? I heard a lot of screaming.”

“Don’t worry about that,” London tells me with a smile. “How are you feeling?”

“Like I could sleep for a week and still be tired. I’m sorry for ruining lunch. I think I’m just going to go see Mum now.”
Continue reading

Catching up & getting caught (Selina and Donovan part 10)

I hope you enjoyed the little Christmas flashback sex because things are going to get worse from here on… But there will be a happy ending, I promise!


A fierce urge to vomit interrupts my brain’s trip down memory lane and I make it to the kitchen with seconds to spare. I hear my phone ring, it’ll be Mum no doubt, but I’m too busy emptying the meagre contents of my stomach onto the small pile of dirty dishes in the sink to consider answering.

Later, after a shower and what feels like my five hundredth cup of peppermint tea that week, I ring Mum back. I promise her that I will go see the doctor on Monday and that I will come see her after lunch with the girls tomorrow. I also tell her I’m off to bed shortly to get a good night sleep

It’s a lie, of course, because while I am going to bed soon I know sleep will be elusive. I’ve had cramps all day, expecting that time of the month to arrive with a bang, and the constant nausea and vomiting aren’t helping. I don’t tell Mum of course, she’s worried enough as it is.

I wake up late the next morning, surprised that somehow I managed some decent sleep even though I’m still feeling sick and crampy. I consider texting London to tell her I can’t make it but she’s been so looking forward to introduce her guy to us, I can’t do that to her.

I manage to keep down a smoothie and some painkillers. An extra long hot shower seems to work at making me feel almost human again…

I know it’s the first time I’m gonna meet London’s not-boyfriend but I don’t have the energy to get all dolled up, I hope London can forgive me.

My favourite jeans, a top and Donovan’s hoodie and I’m ready to go. I give a fleeting thought to leaving my handbag at home and just taking my driver’s licence, bank card and phone, but I’m increasingly aware of the fact that I’ll need supplies in hand should my period decide to show up.

Ugh.

Lacey is the only one there when I get to the restaurant, I guess I’m a bit early, even though I slept in. She’s at the bar chatting with Chris, which doesn’t surprise me. I smile at the both of them as I walk over to them.

“Hi guys.”

“Hi sweetie.” Lacey hops off her barstool to give me a hug.

“What can I get you?” Chris asks me with a smile.

“Just icy water, thanks, I’m sick of peppermint tea.” And oh my God that is the truth.

He’s just poured my super fancy drink when London rushes in, looking like a million bucks as usual.

“Ladies, Chris,” she says, plonking herself in the barstool next to me with a sigh. “Can I get a whisky and dry, please? Make it a double.”

Uh oh. That’s her ‘I’m pissed off’ drink of choice.

“Men are jerks,” London starts, looking at Chris as he puts her drink order in front of her. “Present company excepted.”

“I guess it’s just us for lunch then?” I say, hoping she’ll feel like sharing a bit more than a broad statement with which I agree.

“Yes… somebody decided to take an out of town assignment because, after all, we’re just two adults having a bit of fun.” She punctuates that statement by slamming her empty glass on the bar and signalling to Chris to make her another one.

“Ah, the whole I’m an artist, I won’t be tied down routine… I’ve heard that one before,” Chris says, surprising the three of us and we stare at him.

He shrugs. “I used to date this chick who was in a band. I thought we were exclusive and could build a future together. She felt differently. No big deal.”

“Aww, bub.” Lacey gives him a smile so full of love and promises that it makes even my broken shrivelled heart swell with hope.

“No risk of that happening with Lace, the way you two have been carrying on,” London says with a grin and I snort.

“Yes, I’ll need at least three months notice if you want me to make your wedding dress, Lace,” I say innocently.

Lacey chokes on her whisky and dry while Chris moves away to serve other customers and London nearly falls off her stool laughing.

I sip my water, enjoying my friends’ company and trying to ignore the pain crippling me, both emotional and physical. I check the time on my phone. Another two hours at least until I can take more painkillers.

“Any more gross texts?” Chris asks when he comes back and I shake my head, because no, strangely, I haven’t. I’m not exactly surprised that Lacey told him about it though.

“Did you find out how they got your number?” Lacey this time.

“Yes.” I take a sip, wishing the usually delicious smells coming from the kitchen didn’t make me want to throw up. “Someone left my number on the wall in the men’s toilet at Devil’s Den, because apparently I’m a cock hungry slut who wants to see dicks.”

“OH MY GOD!!” Lacey exclaims next to me. That’s when I realise I forgot to tell her about finding out but then she was busy last night.

“Yeah, I ended up texting one of them back last night asking where he’d found my number and he sent me pics of the wall.”

“I am sure we all know who is behind this, even if we have no way of proving it, right?” London pipes up over her third whisky and we all agree. Not a doubt in my mind, though I wonder why it suddenly stopped.

“Right,” Lacey and I say at the same time.

“I have better things to spend my energy on than trying to prove it was her,” I add.

My phone starts ringing and it’s my bitchy boss. She gave me the day off and I feel like death, no way am I picking up. I stare down at my phone until it goes to voicemail. “One of those things is avoiding my boss apparently!”

“Talking about bosses, mine is giving me that look. Would you ladies like to pick a table and order some lunch?” Chris announces with a smile that seems a bit on edge.

“Sure thing, bub,” Lacey replies and we hop off the bar stools with our drinks to go get a table. I manage to get the seat furthest away from the kitchen.

A waitress we haven’t seen before comes to take our orders, steak sandwich for London, steamed mussels and fries for Lacey, a bowl of fries for me. I don’t think I can stomach anything more substantial and I’m hoping the nausea finally stops.

Our food arrives and as much as I know that Lacey’s lunch must smell and taste delicious, because I adore mussels, I find myself closing my eyes and having to breathe through the sleeve of my hoodie to stop myself from being sick.

“Ok, lady, what the fuck is wrong with you?” London asks, putting down her knife and fork with a clang. “I love you, but you look like shit and you just turned white as a sheet when the food arrived. Have you eaten anything this week?”

I shake my head and manage to let out a word before concentrating on my breathing again. “Smoothie.”

“London is right,” Lacey says. “You’ve been complaining about feeling sick for nearly a week. I know you hate it but don’t you think it’s time you went to see a doctor?”

“I promised Mum I’d go on Monday.” I sip some water, hoping it will help, but it doesn’t.

“Is there any chance you might be pregnant?” Lacey asks out of the blue, a concerned look on her face, and I nearly choke on my water.

“What? No! Don’t even go there!” What if? says the little voice in my head but I shut it down. “I have a IUD in, have had for years, surely if I was going to get pregnant, it would have happened in the past three years.” Not after losing the man I didn’t know I was in love with to a nasty blonde bitch…

Lacey shrugs, looking down at her meal. “It happens. Maybe ask the doctor when you go in on Monday.”
I look over at London, who seems to find her meal reeeeaaaally interesting all of a sudden and that leads me to think she agrees with Lacey. Great.

“I will mention your theory to the doctor, but I think you’re wrong. The universe can’t hate me that much.” Please, no. As much as I refuse to give it thought, the idea takes root in my mind and I feel the tears threatening once more.

“Aww hun.” London notices and reaches across the table to squeeze my hand. “You know we’re there for you, right? No matter what.”

I nod, blinking away the damn tears and it’s mostly working. I can’t be pregnant. I can’t. But what if you are? that little voice in my head says again, providing me with images of the happy ending I’m craving. Donovan finding out I’m having his baby and realising it’s me he wants, not her; Donovan telling me he loves me; Donovan holding our tiny little baby that looks so much like him in his arms…

Fuck.

I push away my untouched bowl of fries and rest my head on my hands on the table. This was a bad idea. I should have stayed home, or gone straight to Mum’s. As much as the physical pain is bordering on too much, it’s the pain in my heart that is the worst. And if Lacey is right and I am pregnant with Donovan’s baby, it’s about to get even worse.

“Oh my god, it is her!”

My brain recognises the woman’s voice and when I look up in the direction it came from I make eye contact with the stick insect herself. She’s with an equally blonde and skinny friend and they’re both staring at me.

“That’s the bitch who stole your boyfriend?” Stink Insect #2 exclaims and I sit up in my chair while London and Lacey turn around to face the intruders. “Are you sure it’s her? She doesn’t look like much.”

“Didn’t your mother teach you that if you have nothing nice to say, you should just shut the fuck up?” London asks the judgy bitch and the woman stares at her with a shocked look on her face.

“There’s no need to be so rude!” she says and if I didn’t feel so sick I’d laugh at the irony.

“I think there was, actually,” Lacey pipes up. “First you call her a bitch and then you accuse her of being a boyfriend stealer. That’s pretty nasty stuff to say about a person you don’t even know.”

“She is a boyfriend stealer,” the stick insects replies with a glare in my direction. “But then, what else would you expect from a cock-hungry slut like her.”

Woah. Shots fired. Theory confirmed.

I stand up and have to grab the back of my chair for support because my head is spinning. I guess the week of barely eating is catching up with me. I have to get out of here before I pass out, or throw up on someone.

Her eyes narrow and she takes a step towards me, pointing at my chest. “That fucking hoodie again! I knew it, you bitch!” Her screeching is so loud she catches the attention of Chris at the bar and I see him make his way towards us, to check on what is going on.

“I have to go,” I tell the girls, picking up my handbag before letting go of the chair. Big mistake. The room starts spinning again and I feel my stomach clawing its way up my throat.

Oh God.

Knowing I don’t have long, I drop my bag on the floor and run past the stick insect and her friend, pushing them out of the way in my rush to get to the bathroom before I embarrass myself in front of this woman who hates me.

I make it in time and while I let my body do what it needs to do, I hear screaming from back in the restaurant, a lot of screaming and yelling.

What the fuck is going on out there?

I wonder how big of a scene the stick insect is causing as she was clearly spoiling for a fight.

The commotion stops and I hear footsteps on the other side of the door.

“Selina? Sweetie? Are you ok?”

It’s Lacey.

(onto Part 11 we go and it comes with a **TRIGGER WARNING**)

The Price of Skin – a personal essay on the ownership of women’s bodies

Great essay. Wow is right.
You know, I’m still confused with how the world at large sees women as the ‘weaker sex’ yet women are the ones told to cover up so men aren’t tempted…
I grew up in France, I’ve been topless on a beach, I live in NZ now where girls at the swimming pool or the beach hide in their towels.

My kids know there is nothing wrong with nudity or sexuality. It’s important to me that they know that.

Thank you for this post!!

The Likkleone

I just got my grades back for my final assignment for my last unit and I’m so happy. I got 87% which is a High Distinction and my tutor started her comments with “Wow”. Maybe I’m bragging a little bit but I’m SO STOKED. It took a lot of work and there were elements I was concerned about but turns out I needn’t have worried. She made two comments total for the whole thing and they were both compliments on how it was going. I’ve posted my essay below – it’s a bit longer than anything I’d usually post but hopefully you don’t mind.

Aaargh! That’s such a relief. I definitely deserve a glass of champagne tonight. And it just so happens I’m going to a champagne degustation in 1.5 hours – how handy is that?

***

I’m standing on the front steps of our house. Naked. It’s summer and a breeze ruffles…

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