That time of year…

I wrote the piece below a couple of days ago. I always feel this sense of guilt that I am grieving whilst I should be celebrating.

October is the month I lost my son. It is also Pregnancy and Infancy Loss Awareness month with the Wave of Light taking place on October 15th. My wedding anniversary date.

Yesterday my Facebook and Instagram feeds were alive with beautiful posts honouring sweet angels. My heart continually goes out to those who have loved and lost… and those who are still struggling. A friend of mine so eloquently wrote on her wall yesterday: “We never move on, but we do move forward.”

This time of year is hard for me. Around mid-September I find myself suddenly falling into a depression. What on earth? And then it hits me all over again. Henry’s anniversary is coming up. It’s funny how your subconscious can take over without you really knowing it. You would think that it would get easier over time, but it really doesn’t. Grief is a funny thing and you just have to roll with it.

This year has felt even harder than ever. Is it because I am getting older? I know that my time for having the opportunity to have another child is soon over, if it isn’t already. (Who am I kidding? It’s done.)

Since I lost Henry, I haven’t been able to get pregnant again.

Interestingly enough I read an article only just recently that talked about secondary infertility. It helped me a lot. I have been having these huge feelings of guilt… why should I feel hard done by when I already have a perfect, beautiful child? But it’s okay to want more children. And it hurts when you seem to be unable to fulfill that desire.

I became pregnant so easily with Gwennie. We decided to start trying and see what happened and ‘boom!’ I was pregnant right away. Getting pregnant with Henry took a little longer. And after that… nothing.

Zip, nada.

I can’t explain to you the heartache. Every month I would sit in the bathroom and cry my heart out. For months and months… and years. I don’t think Bill ever knew just how hard it hurt. It wasn’t his fault. I didn’t share it with him. I somehow felt it was my punishment…. my fault, my cross to bear.

I know that I must drive some people nuts with my posts about Henry… about baby-loss. It’s okay… I get it. If you have never lost a baby or a child then you can’t truly be expected to understand. I know that I didn’t before my loss.

I spent a lot of time being angry with “friends” who told me to just get over it and move on, but I forgive them now. What could they know? They didn’t experience joy and hope for a child that was not meant to be. They didn’t labour for 3 days before delivering their dead baby. They didn’t hold their lifeless child in their arms and have to say goodbye. How could they understand?

You NEVER get over something like that.

Honestly, I wanted to die when I lost my son. It hurt so bad.

I am so grateful for the amazing women that I have met along the way since I lost Henry. And I am grateful for the friends and family who stood by me and understood my pain and still honour Henry’s existence. Thank you, kind souls. You know who you are. You are the ones that are not afraid to speak his name or still talk to me about him. I appreciate you more than you could ever know.

I have become so close to many women who have lost babies… it is a common bond that we unwillingly share, but I am so appreciative of them and their understanding and I hope that I can be of some comfort to them too. That is the one thing to come from all of this… I feel like I have been able to reach out and care for those who have experienced similar things and be a shoulder in times of need. And I am so grateful that I can lean on those same people in return when I am feeling weak.

I’m also really grateful for my wonderful daughter. She not only is a ray of light and the sweetest child I could ever wish for, but she also acknowledges and remembers Henry with me. Whenever anyone asks her if she has brothers or sisters, she always replies that she had a brother and his name was Henry. She honours and cherishes my grief with her kind and precious soul and holds the brother she almost had close to her heart. She is a very special girl and I am so lucky and blessed to have her in my life.

Please don’t think that I am not grateful. I am more grateful than you can imagine. In my mind, I have the best daughter in the world. And that is why I throw my heart and soul and every fiber into her every breath and move… but I also miss my son. I miss what should have been.

So forgive me if I irritate you with my posts about pregnancy and infancy loss. But that is my right of passage, just as those who support breast cancer or autism or Alzheimer’s.

We all have our crosses to bear.

And everyone has a story.

I will see my boy again one day.

I can’t wait!

Until then… please bear with me.

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness and Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness and Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Henry James Porter ~ Always in our hearts

Henry James Porter ~ Always in our hearts

My favourite picture of me, Gwennie, and Henry (in my tummy!)

My favourite picture of me, Gwennie, and Henry (in my tummy!)

New Bar Method Winter Park Studio Photos

Taken by the amazing Brittany Hodgins.

Here are some of the fabulous shots she took at our studio recently. I am so honoured to work with such beautiful, strong, and amazing women that I am lucky enough to call friends!

You can click on them to see them bigger!

Trish

Trish

Mimi and Carrie

Mimi and Carrie

Laura

Laura

Sarah and Dolly

Sarah and Dolly

Laura

Laura

98

Sarah

Sarah

Mimi

Mimi

Amy and Karen

Amy and Karen

79

Ellen, Sarah, and Carrie

Ellen, Sarah, and Carrie

Laura and Trish

Laura and Trish

Annette, Ellen, Dolly, and Karen

Annette, Ellen, Dolly, and Karen

61

Mimi

Mimi

Sarah

Sarah

Laura and Trish

Laura and Trish

Carrie, Laura, Ellen, Mimi, and Amy

Carrie, Laura, Ellen, Mimi, and Amy

181916141361

Ellen

Ellen

Carrie

Carrie

Amy

Amy

Annette

Annette

Karen

Karen

135

Karen

Karen

Dolly

Dolly

Mimi

Mimi

Amy

Amy

Carrie

Carrie

Ellen

Ellen

Sarah

Sarah

Annette

Annette

Trish

Trish

My favourite!!! I love these girls!

My favourite!!! I love these girls!

NEW E-BOOK FOR ALL AGES – A TRUE STORY OF A CESAR MILLAN REHABILITATION

My amazing Dad has written yet another wonderful book. Check it out!

The Englishman's Blog

LeoCover2a

A TRUE STORY AS TOLD BY THE DOG THAT IS CENTERPIECE OF IT – LEO. A STORY OF HIS LIFE IN BRIEF AND ESPECIALLY HOW HE THOUGHT, DEVELOPED AND LEARNED.  AND THEN HOW HE AND HIS OTHER DOG FRIENDS CHANGED THEIR BEHAVIOR FROM UNACCEPTABLE TO GOOD, AND BECOME PART OF A LOVEABLE FAMILY PACK. ALL DONE THROUGH THE GUIDANCE OF WORLD FAMOUS TRAINER AND BEHAVIORIST CESAR MILLAN, TRUE LIFE, EDUCATIONAL, THOUGHT PROVOKING, ENDEARING, FASCINATING, MIND OPENING, CHARMING AND ONE WHERE MANY DOG OWNERS CAN RELATE TO THE BEHAVIORS AND HOW THEY WERE CREATED.

I was very excited writing this book as I had to put myself into the mind of Leo. How did he view the world, how did he view the humans in his world. Did he really understand what they were communicating and wishing to do or was he interpreting it differently as a dog. Did he view…

View original post 306 more words

A tribute to El Macho…

Laid back Max!

Laid back Max!

Today is a sad day. Today we woke up to find our darling little Maximus had passed away. And while he was just a little guinea pig (with a very large bum!) he managed to make a huge impact on our lives!

Snuggly piggy!

Snuggly piggy!

Maximus arrived at the Porter household on Christmas Day 2012. Dad found him at a local shelter, where he was getting beaten up by several other guinea pigs. He was just a tiny little chap but Dad couldn’t have picked a better piggy. From the get-go Max was kind, patient, sweet and very social. He was so laid-back to the point he was horizontal!

<3

We called him El Macho or El Chucho because he grew and grew and grew into a very hunky piggy… and guinea pigs hail from South America, so of course he spoke Spanish (yes we are totally nuts!)… and he was full of passion!!! He ADORED Kate. Kate is our 14-year old yellow Lab.

Macho and Poopy

Kate and Max come in every night to watch TV with Bill and I. Yes, they come on the bed. This is normal, or?
Max would take every opportunity to get close to his beloved Katherine….

Sweethearts!

Sweethearts!

When Gwennie was sick, Maximus played nurse…

Nurse Maximus

Nurse Maximus

Maximus loved to watch The Walking Dead with Mummy (me!)…

The Walking Piggy

The Walking Piggy


Daryl Dixon and Max

Daryl Dixon and Max

Max liked to help me prepare my classes for work…

The Bar Maximus

The Bar Maximus

And he loved hanging out with friends…

Iron Man and Max putting the world to rights.

Iron Man and Max putting the world to rights.


Best friends!

Best friends!

When we went on holiday to the beach, Max came with us.

Beach Piggy!

Beach Piggy!

He was part of the family… loved, played with, and cuddled every day.

Last night, Max didn’t seem himself. He was wheezing a little and didn’t want to eat or drink. He just looked very peeky and lethargic.
I called Bob, (one of Bill’s brothers, who is a vet) and he said to keep him hydrated and bring him in the morning.
We couldn’t get Max to eat or drink anything. I loved on him all night until it was time for bed.
Bill checked on him in the middle of the night and he was still doing okay, but this morning we awoke to find he had passed away.
We were all heartbroken. It was awful to have to wake up Gwennie and give her the sad news. Of course, she was devastated.
Bill was absolutely amazing. I feel so very grateful that he was home and not traveling. He took charge of the situation and handled everything perfectly.
I was a blubbering mess. I still am!
Bill talked to Gwennie and he let her hug Max and say goodbye so that she could have closure.
He talked to her about his cat that he had had he was a little boy and how he felt when Frisky died.
He was just wonderful. Thank God for strong, compassionate hubbies!

I took Max to Bob this morning, who was also wonderful and so caring.
He said that there was probably nothing that we could have done to help Max.
When piggies get dramatically sick like that so quickly, there is usually no comeback.

We are really going to miss that little guy. He was just very special and very loved.
RIP Max. We’ll see you over the Rainbow Bridge!

My little mate!

My little mate!

Words from my heart…

To me, one of the worst things in life is knowing you have hurt a friend’s feelings. It appears that I have done just that recently.
I felt the need to share this in case anyone else was feeling upset by my actions.

A dear friend wrote to me and shared that she was hurt because she and her husband were not invited to Bill’s birthday dinner.
Maybe there are others of you out there who feel the same way?
Luckily for me, this friend came to me and spoke her mind so I could clarify things.

Let me start by saying that Bill did NOT want a party. And he hates surprises! However, I wanted to do something special for him as it was his 50th.
I took him away for the weekend and hired a private room so we could have a surprise birthday dinner for him.
I had to make an executive decision on numbers guest-wise as the location was expensive and we were limited for space.
I was absolutely delighted when all of Bill’s brothers and their spouses wrote to me and said they wished to attend the event.
Bill’s Mum also flew in from NC to be there.

There were a lot of people I would have liked to have invited. We know a lot of amazing and special people, and Bill is much-loved by many.
And in return, we love a lot of wonderful people.
However, I was limited to a certain number of guests.

Please know it was not my intention to leave anyone out. There was no hidden agenda or bad feelings.
I would never want to hurt anyone’s heart.
I only wanted to do something good for Bill… a small celebration of his turning 50.

There are many of you out there that I would have loved to have come to this event, but please know it wasn’t a big party and I wanted to keep it as intimate as possible, because I know that is what Bill likes.

I hope you all understand my predicament and where my heart is.
Please reach out to me if I have offended any of you at all. I will listen with an open mind and heart.