Rest in Peace GG

After 94 years (a month shy of 95) my husbands Grandma passed away this afternoon.

We all called her GG (Great-Grandma). GG had two daughters and when her youngest daughter was only nine years old her husband died suddenly. At a young age she became a widow in a world where most women stayed at home to take care of their family. GG got herself a mortgage, purchased a house, took in boarders, went to work as a signwriter and raised her girls lovingly.

I knew GG for fifteen years. The thing I remember most was the amazing caramel slice she would make. She was able to get the base just that little bit crunchy and the chocolate and caramel was perfect, it truly was an experience every time you ate some of GG’s caramel slice.

Both of GG’s daughters married and had four children each, giving her eight grandchildren whom she adored to the end. Those eight grandchildren gave her over 20 great-grandchildren.

She was a woman surrounded by love and she gave love so naturally. She gave the best advice. She was once talking about sex and relationships and told my husband “why buy the book, when you can borrow it from the library”. She was full of fun and good humour. She travelled the world, she was at the opening of the Harbour Bridge, she loved to paint, to do ceramics, she loved bowls, she loved bingo, she socialised often, she was independent, she was amazing.

Rather than being sad that GG has gone we are celebrating the life of an amazing woman. Without her strength and determination the family would not be what it is today.

You will be truly missed GG. Rest in peace xxxxxx


The Immunisation Debate

I thought a long time about this before writing it, so I thought I’d be clear from the outset. This is my opinion only based on my personal situation. I do not judge others for their choices but this is mine and why I have taken this path.

There is currently a lot of controversy about immunisations and the parents who have decided not to immunise their children.

When Orlando was born over six years ago I did a lot of my own ‘research’ about immunisations. Lets be honest I googled it! A lot!

At the time I had a friend who had an autistic child and flatly believed it was because of the MMR immunisation that this happened to her child. The dr that started that theory was officially struck from the medical profession many years ago.

I remember being told by our dr that immunisations are based on a herd theory. If you have 100 people and one or two are not immunised they are generally protected.

The problem we have today is so many of ‘the herd’ are choosing not to immunise and this is putting infants that are too young to be immunised at risk.

Today, a baby is aged between six and eight weeks when they have their first immunisation – that is a long time for exposure. Whooping cough is running rampant and many people don’t realise they need a booster shot when adults to protect them and their children.

When I was pregnant with our second child I received a booster shot, as did my husband, parents and siblings – to protect our children.

After losing Charlize I became neurotic about germ control. We were bringing Lucia home, our miracle, after 84 days in hospital and exposing our tiny baby with a suppressed immune system for the first two years of her life to society, full of germs, but worse, full of children who are not immunised.

I’ll be honest, we lost friends over our germ rules and we upset even people in the family. We didn’t allow anyone to hold Lucia and you were not able to visit our home if you were bringing small children with you or you had a cold or had been in contact with anyone with a cold. Why did we do this? To protect our baby.

We know the unbearable pain of losing our child and we were not going to let it happen again. If our friends and family couldn’t understand that, then tough.

I am all for freedom of choice and making informed decisions but drs and scientists have researched these things for decades. They have irridacated some hideous diseases and tried relentlessly to keep others at bay. The problem is that I don’t think the anti-vaccination people realise they are putting a great many lives at risk. I personally couldn’t live with the fact of taking my non-immunised child to the park who happens to have a cough, which turns out to be whooping cough and passes it to an immunised immune suppressed child who ends up dying. Could you?

So yes, I am all for immunisations and I’m all for exclusion from preschool or daycare for non-immunised children. I am just not comfortable with having to put my children at that much risk.

I’d love to hear your views on it ………. Until tomorrow x

The way to a mans heart – with a Thermomix!!

Sundays have always been my favourite day of the week. We sleep in, we go out for breakfast, we do things as a family and then I like to spend the afternoon preparing a yummy meal and baking.

In February I very courageously purchased a Thermomix. I say courageously because I told my husband the biggest lie ever … I told him it only cost me $600 because I hosted a Thermomix party. He thought $600 was too much to pay.

Over the past few months I’ve gradually increased the price at the same as showing him how much he actually loves Ernie (we started calling it Thermie and now the whole family calls him Ernie).

I’ve made bread, gelato, apricot chicken, risottos, the best mash potato you’ll ever eat, the best home-made dips you’ll ever eat, fresh lemonade and the list goes on and on.

Last month our neighbours finished building their pizza oven so I offered to make the pizza dough in Ernie. We had the most amazing pizzas followed by chocolate mousse and passion fruit gelato – all made by Ernie.

Today, for the first time I made real fresh butter. My husband was in awe and immediately buttered some bread to try it. He loved it. I used our fresh butter and made a lemon and coconut cake. The smell lured him from our office to enquire what I was making. The smile on his face was like that of a small child’s when I told him, his favourite.

We finished our dinner (also made by Ernie), put the kids to bed and sat down to enjoy our cake. Ernie had even made a lemon butter for the cake.

My husband smiled through every single crumb of his cake, then he stood up and said “$2000 might be a lot of money but Ernie is totally worth it”

I just had to laugh.

I LOVE Sundays xx

Forty before Forty

I was reading a blog recently by a lady who was nearing the age of thirty and she had a bucket list of all those things she wanted to do before she turned thirty.

It kind of got me thinking, I’d never had a bucket list. Every year in January I write our list of goals for the year and I’m amazed how much we get through in a year. But it’s more like; Put in the front deck, get a new letterbox, put in the downlights … all really boring stuff but it’s how we get it done.

So, why don’t I write a list of all those things I’d really like to do? I guess I always have an excuse …. I don’t want to leave the kids, we can’t take the kids, I’m too tired, it’s too expensive, we can’t get time off, etc, etc, etc.

Here goes, I’ve decided to write part of my list.The only problem is I can’t believe it but I’m already past thirty so I guess the list will have to be before I turn forty.

The start of my list of I wants ……

1. I want to go hang-gliding at Lennox Head

2. I want to learn to surf

3. I want to get fit and stay fit (not just get excited for a few months and falter again)

4. I want to visit Pompei

5. I want to work and live overseas

6. I want to do my cake decorating course

7. I want to stay up all night and watch the sunrise on the beach with my hubby

8. I want to go on a weekend away with my closest girlfriends

9. I want to learn how to make an awesome Paela

10. I want to write a book…….

That’s my start. Feel free to comment with your top three. I’d love some more inspiration.

Until tomorrow xx

Torture or Treasure?

Because I haven’t yet updated our full story I thought I’d give a brief run down on my twins. Charlize and Lucia were whisked into the world at 27 weeks and 1 day due to Stage 3 Twin to Twin Transfusion (TTTS). This is a condition that only affects identical twins. In laymens terms the babies share one food source and unfortunately for some reason the blood vessels get a bit confused and one baby gets too much and the other baby doesn’t get enough. It’s usually the baby that gets too much that loses its battle because the excessive blood puts pressure on the heart.

on the 14th November 2011, Lucia was getting too much. She was in heart failure. Another couple of hours in my belly and we would’ve lost her. Thankfully our specialists noticed and pulled both my tiny babies from that dangerous situation into an even bigger situation…..the big wide world of germs.

Our situation was different to most, Charlize was supposed to be our healthy twin and Lucia was supposed to be our sick twin but somewhere along the line that changed and Charlize’s tiny body could not fight the germs that attacked her body. After 32 hours our sweet little girl closed her eyes for eternity in my heartbroken arms.

Since losing Charlize I have joined many support groups which brings me to today … I specifically joined a group on Facebook called Twin to Twin Transfusion. It is a beautiful group with stories similar to ours but so many stories started out worse and ended up with two healthy, happy identical little people.

Today I have seen photos of 25 week twins who were very sick but have just celebrated their first birthday. The group has educated me too much I think on the variations of medical intervention of Twin to Twin Transfusion. Different specialists intervene or don’t intervene at varying stages.

My girls were were 26 weeks and 4 days when we arrived at hospital with Stage one TTTS and we were advised that it was too dangerous for laser surgery to try and stop the progress of this cruel disease.

So I ask you like I ask myself every single day, are these support groups torture or are they something that we should see as a treasure, a miracle that is life that comes from a high stress situation? I’m still not sure if I should hit the ‘unlike’ button or keep reading these beautiful stories that often break my heart.

Why couldn’t both my little girls be saved? 


When sometimes it just hits – 26th April 2013

When sometimes it just hits…. (First of many blogs – here’s todays)

I awoke this morning to two beautiful little faces peering at me and the sound of babble from our littlest person in her cot. The sun was shining and it beckoned a beautiful day. I dressed for work and as I was about to leave, Indiana attached herself to my leg and said “mummy don’t go please stay with us, I miss you so much when you go to work”

If that doesn’t pull at your heart strings I don’t know what does. Of course I replied with “I love you all baby girl and I miss you all so much but Mummy has to go to work and soon it will be your birthday party and we’ll have a fabulous day together”

Off I went to work with my heart in my throat and a day of emails awaiting me. Mid morning I decided to make a phone call I’ve been putting off for months. I called to make an appointment with the beautiful obstetrician who looked after me with the twins for a check up. The last time I saw her was two days after we lost Charlize. I left a message on the voicemail and asked someone to call me back to arrange an appointment.

Only half an hour later I received a call from the head sonographer who did all of my ultrasounds when I was pregnant with the twins. She did the final ultrasound the day we realised we had Stage Three Twin-to-Twin Transfusion and that Lucia was in heart failure. She told me she recognised my voice on the message and called to see how I was going. We exchanged pleasantries and I was genuinely thrilled to hear from her.

What came afterwards was not what I was expecting. I sat at my desk at work and my eyes filled with tears and my heart broke all over again. I could feel the fear that was in me that day when it all began. I could see all their faces trying to tell Saxon and I that it was going to be fine when we really knew they didn’t know if it was going to be fine. The memories flooded me at work and the loss and heartache of losing my baby girl was so overwhelming.

Why does it always happen at a time that you can’t let the outpouring of grief over come you?  Why does it happen when there is no one close by who will understand how you’re feeling?

Instead I texted two of my girlfriends and told them what happened. Moments later I receive a voicemail from one of my friends who told me to smile and that she was here when I needed her and she could feel my pain.

It’s days like today when you wake up feeling fine and it ends up progressing into a downhill slide that I have to remember all those special moments of my pregnancy with my baby girls and holding my precious Charlize in her last moments.

I am blessed that she gave me 32 hours with her outside my belly.  I am blessed that she felt the love that I have for her and will always have for her. I am blessed that I can whisper sweet I love you’s to her and know she hears me from Heaven.  I am blessed she knows that she will never be forgotten.

I am blessed.

Why I’m Here

After the year that we’ve had and all that we’ve gone through it was suggested many times by my psychologist to write things down.  She always seems to be right but it usually takes me a while before I agree or listen to her.

I resisted constantly, I think for fear of really having an outpouring of emotion that would be too much to handle.

A few times I wrote down snippets of our story on Facebook on the special page created for Lucia and I received many comments and messages encouraging me to write our story.

In November 2012 we went on our first holiday as a family of five. We travelled up the East Coast of Australia for a little over a month.

During our holiday I felt as if the clouds were parting and I could see the sunshine again.

We got home in a few days before Christmas and on our first day back home one of our neighbours came to say hello. I knew her daughter was having her third baby and asked if the baby had been born. She told me he was nine months old.

I couldn’t believe it, had I really not paid attention to anything that happened in the world since the 14th November 2011 when my twins were born?

A few days later I went out with a few friends for a paddle board on the lake. It was quite an enlightening time for me, I couldn’t stop looking around me at the sun shining, the water glistening, smiling faces, hearing my friends talk to me. I realised that after a year of experiencing every stage of grief I had come out the other side.

Because of Charlize my life was fuller, more meaningful and I was appreciative off everything around me. It was then that I wanted to write the story of our family and share it with our friends.

Thank you to everyone new and old who have helped me travel this journey that I wish no parent has to endure.

I hope you enjoy my blog “Orluchiana”.

Sending love, strength and happiness to those that have lost a child. I hope that this in someway helps you in your journey of grief.

With much love
Christine xx