Benedict is 2 in January, if you can believe it! He’s chatting up a storm and we’ve had so many new words recently, it’s astounding. He is also really into writing, he will tell me he’s going to write dada or mama, or nana etc and then make a little mark on the paper to represent the first letter. He can recognize most of the alphabet now, and has little foam letters which he uses with one of his animal books to match the letters with the animal.

If we are out and about he will stop and point out letters – such as the h in the sign for cash machine and sign horse at me, because he knows horse starts with h (but can’t quite say it yet).

It all began with an alphabet puzzle. I casually told him the letter names and a corresponding word and he just loved it. Then he invented the animal book game and he asks for it all time. This is why I’m actually considering home education for Benedict. It’s something I’ve been thinking about since I was pregnant with Gideon. I’ve gone back and forth over it, and done a lot of reading about home education and I think I’d like to try it. Seeing him learn is so exciting, he picks up things so fast and I love the idea of being his teacher and helping to develop that love of learning and interest in the world around him.

I’m initally just trying it until he’s 7 or so, and see how we feel about it then, since most studies shows no benefit from starting school at 4/5 like we do in the UK. There is a local home education group, actually a couple, so the whole ‘socialization’ issue is not something I need to worry about. Anway, I hope to write a whole post about my reasons for considering home education. I’m sure I’ll get it written before he turns 18!


Anyway, we went on holiday a couple of weeks ago. Just a cheap caravan holiday, but I’m apparently not used to holiday parks and wasn’t best impressed, but Benedict had a wonderful time, there was trains, buses, a sea life centre and a LOT of muddy puddles to jump in. My husband did manage to lose his brand new Bobux boots. They were so lovely. He is so forgetful – he left them on top of the car – again. He left his wallet there not long ago. Makes me mad.

We’ve also been ill with some virus or another, pretty much constantly for the last 6-8 weeks. And just started with another virus. Yuck. I hate being ill.


Here are a couple of pictures of Benedict on holiday. IMG_20141009_142647




I will blog SOON. Honestly.


Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness

I know it’s been so very long since I’ve blogged. I’ve got plenty of half written blog posts and not managed to finish them or publish them. Sigh, busy busy life. Anyway, today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness today, I lit a candle for my Gideon, and for all the babies gone too soon.


I can’t believe it’s been three waves of light. Three years since my baby boy left this earth. I know I need to blog more, so I am really going to try. I’ll write a different post for updates on us, this post is about Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness day.


18 months

My tiny little boy turned 18 months yesterday! What? How is this possible? Very odd. I’ve been so busy that I barely noticed it happening.

We went on holiday last week to Hay on Wye. Just for the week in a rented cottage. But we had a lovely time. Benedict was happy because he had his nana with him all day every day. This boy does loves his nana!

Also the house overlooked farm land. And every morning we saw a friendly cockerel outside the kitchen window, which was pretty much the most exciting thing in the world to Benedict. There was also sheep. He spent most of the days baaing and cock-a-doodle dooing.

He had a great time exploring, running around, and the house had a lovely garden – which we don’t have, and he spent every possible moment there.

Here are some pics

10489642_10152112855387610_6315428416975984460_n 10525365_10152112855012610_6278971047212431677_n

he loves to carry the umbrella. That was at Llanthony Priory. It was just breathtaking.



and he met dinosaurs


and here’s a picture of him the other day, sitting on his new scuttle bug



of course, being Benedict, he doesn’t just sit on scuttle bug


haha! He’s so adventurous. And always friendly



he can be a little grumpy determined. Especially if he doesn’t get enough sleep, or he gets up too early. Or he’s teething of course. He has acquired about 6 teeth in the last 6 weeks, so the poor boy has hardly been happy.

Anyway, I’ve weaned him down to only 3 feeds a day, and research suggests that hydroxy is actually safe for nursing, especially as he hardly feeds much now, so I’ll start it when I see my doc next month and wean Benedict with no huge rush.

I must go to bed. It’s 11pm, and I’m sure Benedict will have me up at 6am tomorrow.


Rheumy progress

I had my follow up rheumatology appointment last week and I’m happy to say that he is actually willing to do something for me. Not all my bloods came back, apparently they had some trouble with some of them, so I had more taken. But he said despite everything looking OK, my ANA is now extremely high and he doesn’t like to leave it like that. More than likely it will become clear later what they are dealing with, but until then he is starting me on hydroxychloroquine. It’s a lupus/rheumatoid arthritis med, but he said since it’s fairly benign, it’s safe enough to do a trial and see if it helps some of the symptoms.

He can’t promise anything, but he doesn’t think he would do any harm. I’m kind of excited to actually try something that may help. I’m happy that he is listening and willing to accept the fact that something is wrong. So YAY! However, he wants me to stop breastfeeding before we start, I’ve been cutting down a feed or two for Benedict, but i contacted a breastfeeding drugs person and they said that research shows no ill effect from taking hydroxy for the baby, so I could continue it. Plus my rheumy says he would even let me stay on it during pregnancy, should I get pregnant, he just doesn’t like to start these things in the middle of pregnancy, or while breastfeeding. So I’m half and half about whether I rush into weaning, or just keep as is now (3 times a day) and slowly wean him while taking hydroxy.

Either way, I’m very relieved after all this to have a plan. It’s been 7 years. This is the first step in any positive direction I have taken. Whether it works or not, I don’t know.

It’s weird, a couple of days before the appointment we were in the shopping centre, when two women approached us and said they had a list of people that God had told them they needed to pray for. On the list was “turquoise beads” and my mother was wearing a turquoise beaded necklace. My mother told them I needed prayer for my illness. Tae into account that I’m not exactly religious, so it was a bit weird. They proceeded to pray over me, while staring into my eyes and I felt embarrassed. I couldn’t help but wonder what they wanted, did they want money? Did they want to “recruit” us? But they didn’t seem to want anything, they simply prayed, wished me well and left. What did they get out of it? Even though I am not a practising Catholic, I was happy for any help I could get. And then I saw the rheumy and he had completely changed his tune, from “oh you’re fine, lots of people have a positive ANA” to “we need to do something about this and watch you closely,” I was in shock to say the least. He is, however, leaving in 8 weeks, so he wants me on the hydroxy before then.

Aside from that, Benedict is fine. 17 months old and still super spirited. We are currently on holiday. Our first in a while, so I’m trying to relax. Except for the fact that I left behind my entire rucksack with all my meds, my eye drops (for my very dry painful eyes) my steroid nasal spray etc…but worse of all…Giddy bear was in that rucksack. I take him with me if I ever go overnight, and I’m so sad I left him behind. What if something happens to him? It makes me obsess thinking about it. So I try not to.

Relaxing. I’m relaxing. Who knows, maybe I’ll have a new lease of life with hydroxy. Could happen!

International Bereaved Mother’s Day


Today, is international bereaved mother’s day. It is a day to remember all those mothers who have a little someone in heaven, an empty chair at the table – those who have to love their child from afar. But I also see it as a day for those suffering from infertility, those who are mothers in their heart and in their dreams, but have a long (perhaps impossible) road to make it a reality.

Mother’s day when you’re only baby has died is torture, you feel lost, you feel alone, you feel empty. Your arms ache to hold your baby just one more time. And that sadness is still there on Mother’s day now, I have my Benedict, but I miss my Gideon. I remember the only mother’s day when he was alive, and the first time I held him and looked down at his face, peacefully sleeping. I was filled with more love than I ever thought possible.


Today, is a day I can think about how to be a mother to Gideon, when he is not physically here. Sometimes I even feel as if he is somehow the “parent,” the wiser one. He is in heaven, he knows everything, and he is with me throughout my life – my little angel. It’s a strange feeling of protectiveness and love, while knowing he, no doubt, knows more than I. He knows heaven, he knows my heart, my soul.

He is a child, but more than a child.

He is a bright star in the heavens, and while I feel like I know him well – he knows galaxies, heaven and earth, the universe and all that it means.

Today, is a day of complexities.

I am mother to the universe.


Crazy Dreams

I’ve been a bit of a flare since I’ve started this autoimmune diet. I’ve no idea if the diet is causing the flare, but I feel rough! I’m hoping that it’s some sort of detox…or a “get worse before you get better” thing, because I can’t keep doing this for much longer feeling this way. I’ve got a permanent headache, constantly bloated (I even wake up bloated in the morning) nasal and mouth ulcers constantly, joint pain constantly, exhaustion, confusion, tinnitus, and my face rash has been so bad it’s been a little embarrassing even going out. I’ve also been having very very vivid nightmares, lots of dreams about babies dying, miscarriage and baby loss. It’s bizarre. It’s the kind of dreams I would expect while pregnant, and nope, I’m definitely not pregnant.

I’m in the middle of trying to pass exams to work for an internet rating company. It’s hard work, there is lots of stuff to learn, and I had my first conference call today. I can’t say much about the work due to confidentiality, but it isn’t easy at all, especially when you feel as spacey and sick as I’m feeling right now. I have a deep fear that one day all days will be like this, right now this is my worst, or almost my worst, but even the good days aren’t that good anymore, and the bad days are just increasing. By the time they figure this out, it could be a permanent state of confusion and pain.

So, hoping that this is just detox. I’ve been on the diet now for 5 days. That is all. I’m giving it a little longer before doing the dreaded thing…going to the doctors again. It feels me with fear and loathing to even think of it.

Benedict is good. He’s been a bit strange recently, acting incredibly hyped up (even more so than usual) and then crying uncontrollably for no apparent reason. He loves spinning in circles, even while eating, pouncing on me and biting me and diving head first off the chair! His feet caught on the chair and he did a flip in the air landing on his head. Ouch! He’s brilliant though, always making me laugh and if I could just borrow a little of his boundless energy I would be one happy mummy!

We had a lovely bbq yesterday as the weather was so nice, I gave Benedict a bucket of water and some toys and he had a great time splashing it everywhere, pouring it on himself and me.

ben walk bendrink

It was fun. And I’m tired, so good night (I hope).

Visited His Grave

I still need to make a video for Gideon’s third birthday, as always, but I can’t find a song that speaks to me. Maybe I need to listen to the radio more to find that song. But I don’t know. Usually, I just hear something, and I know it’s right.

I had a nice Easter, of course Benedict was ill with something, he had a high fever and a nice rash all over his body. With scarlet fever going round we were worried, but the doctor decided it was likely viral and it went away pretty fast.

I tried not to eat too many Easter eggs, for waistline reasons. And Benedict enjoyed helping me out I’m sure.

Easter is always bitter sweet for me, it was Easter time that we lost Gideon of course. We had to delay the funeral as it was Holy Week. When I think back, I remember very little of the week or so leading up to the funeral, or even the funeral itself, I navigated it in a sort of trance like dream. But I know it was tomorrow, the 26th.

I remember trying to choose flowers. Asking if they could make anything small enough to fit on a tiny white coffin. Things like that stick in your mind. I remember visiting him for the last time in the funeral home. And he looked so small, but so peaceful. I remember thinking I wanted to pick him up and run away with him. As absurd as that sounds. I just couldn’t imagine never seeing him again.

And I never imagined making it here. Three years down the line. Somehow, still going. Despite the pain. And, yes, chasing around a different little boy, a laughing, funny little boy. It was the dream. I got the dream because of Gideon, but I never got to have it with Gideon.

We finally got the chance to go and visit his grave, this year everything has seemed to go wrong, there has been so much stuff happening, so it’s been impossible to go visit. Once I arrived I felt so guilty we hadn’t visited sooner. His grave was beautiful of course – we had planted flowers, and they were in bloom, but still, I felt we should go more often. A couple of things were missing from the grave, I’m hoping just from the bad weather…

Benedict helped by handing us flowers and walking around holding the gardening fork, looking purposeful. He also took a flower, and walked with determination over to another grave. The grave of a little boy who died aged just 6. He just toddled over and smiled, and then put the flower on the boy’s grave. You could hear him muttering to himself, about dis and dat.

It was very sweet to watch him, I don’t know why he chose that grave, he just did. And we left the flower there of course. He seemed so determined about it, I couldn’t take it away.

You can see how Gideon’s grave is a little wild, but that’s because we planted so many flowers there. I might need to trim them back a bit so they don’t overwhelm the little stone.

IMG_20140423_113106_2382 IMG_20140423_1140302

Benedict likes the cemetery, he waves at things we can’t see. And because we talk about Gideon a lot, he likes the association that these flowers are for Gideon.

Anyway, it’s late again, and I must go to bed.