Home without my baby

The first 6 weeks – So now I have the ability to change my mind. I’m back at work. Everyone at work had been told what i went through. They were all in shock and pretty much didn’t say anything. I am sure it was out of respect so they didn’t hurt me in any way. Really – WHAT DO YOU SAY????? Gloria was a lady i worked close with and she took me under her wings, for that i will always be eternally grateful. I had access to a counsellor for at least 4 visits. I would meet her in Anzac Square in Brisbane City for lunch and chat. She then told me that she couldn’t help me anymore as she had other people she needed to help that That Was That, that was the extent of the external help i got. I wasn’t able to talk to Mum or anyone, so i learnt to just say nothing. I threw myself into work and skating. I never did skate the same after her birth. My hips had changed and my coach lost confidence in me as i had lost my peak, this was the beginning of the end for my skating carrier. I was introduced to alcohol and drugs and this is how i suppressed my feelings. At age 19 i was sacked from my Insurance Job as i was now on Senior wages. My Boss arranged for me to live on Norfolk Island to do computer Data Entry and teach Roller Skating to the locals in their local Hall. I did that for 1 year and i returned Home. Life on Norfolk Island was very interesting. I was lucky enough to have a best friend Julianne a local and Pitcan descendant, i was then able to mix with the locals and we had the time of our lives. There was no TV we had to listen to Radio Australia. Cooked in Wood Fire Ovens. There was only 1 small electric generator for all the residents on the island so power failure was often. Again Drugs were a huge part of the young people’s lives so after 1 year i flew home to detox in away. So many Parties and Fish Fries. So many memories. If only i could open my eyes and see what opportunity was in front of me. No i had to take the long road didn’t I. As far as i knew my parents had no idea. I returned home, got a job to work for a Chiropractic Clinic at Corinda. I believe that this job saved my life. For the next 2-3 years i would be introduced to self motivation and NLP seminars that helped me become the person i am today. My lowest point was being in an abusive relationship. One night i thought i was going to die. I had a carving knife held to my neck being threatened of having my throat cut open. There was no reason only to much alcohol. What the hell is life for? I talk myself in out of this situation somehow i bolt out the back door i run until i get to the main road. I have low self esteem at this stage thinking that i don’t deserve any better, i am a used women, no decent man will want me bla bla bla…. I run onto a main road, Oxley Road,  I throw myself in front of a car, lucky for me it stops in time and i look up to find its a Police Car. O Shit. The 2 coppa’s got out of the car and drilled me for being so selfish and disrespectful. They told me to think of the driver and how it would off affected him.  I then realised that I had to make some life choices. I decide to leave Brisbane and Live and work in Airlie Beach as a computer typesetter. This is where i met Peter. I have known peter since i was 10 yrs old. We went to the same high school (Inala State High School) and after school we went to the same parties.

I was in Brisbane Christmas 1985 and went to a club with my girlfriend Noela and ran into Peter’s ex girlfriend whom proceeded to tell me that Peter was up in Airlie Beach on Holidays with another Friend of ours as they had broken up.  I told her that i was living up there now and that i was heading home tomorrow and i would try and catch up with them. Lucky me. When i was a teenager at the Skating Rink Fri. Night session i would always watch Peter sitting with the naughty kids on the outside of the Rink, drinking Beer and running amuck. I would say to myself that one day i was going to marry that boy. Peter was one of those cools kids that you just didn’t speak to unless you were in the IN GROUP of kids. I used to think he wouldn’t talk to me etc. Peter had no boundries at home and therefore could do whatever he liked. He was a street kid. .  Totally different to me.  I could not believe that opportunity was knocking for me.

So off course when i arrived back in Airlie i told my girlfriends that a couple of Brissy Guys were in town and that without a doubt they would be at the Pub. Yep i was right. They were playing marbles at the Airlie Beach Pub. We got together that night and have been together ever since.

Peter was unemployed (plasterer) had no car, no money and almost no clothes. I soon talk him into staying with me in Airlie and to try and look for work. He did. I gave him my push bike and told him to ask around job sites for work. He meets Brian Claydon who becomes one of his good friends. We lost Brian to Prostate Cancer  2009.

One night we were both rolling drunk and i decide that this is the Man i love and i need to tell him about my baby. I told him and he went off his head. Not at the fact that i gave birth but at the fact that i gave her up for adoption. The next morning i thought the relationship was going to be off or he won’t remember. He never said anything, so i didn’t either. Turns out he forgot. After a year of alcohol abuse and copious amounts of partying, Dr. Hamilton phones me up and offers me my job back. I am so lucky. I decide to leave Airlie and head back. Peter was unsure what he wanted to do, so he stayed behind. 6 weeks later he walks into work and surprises me by telling me that he has come back also and that he loves me. He has lined up work with his Brother In Law and another journey begins……… Do i tell him again??????

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Pregnant for 9 months & nobody knew.

Ok now I’ve missed my 1st period. I didn’t think too much of it until i missed my next one. Well i was convinced that I’m not pregnant as i didn’t have sex… I always read Dolly Magazines as a young teenager, in my era our mothers didn’t talk to you about sex, periods or anything of that nature it was hush hush. Most of it you learnt in the school grounds talking with friends. Well Dolly mentioned in one of their issues that sometimes FIT girls/women might not have regular periods but may experience spotting. OK so I thought that was me. Another month went buy and still no period. Now I’m getting scared. I haven’t told anyone and I’m still training a lot. So now i think if i train harder I will fall and miscarry. Well another month went past and still no period. Now you’re thinking I must of had morning sickness. Well yes I did. Our toilet, shower and bath were all in the one room so i used to lock the door, turn on the shower and vomit in the toilet. Sometimes i would just vomit having a shower. Mum was a nurse and dad left for work early so 9 times out of 10 we were home alone to get ourselves to work and school. The worst thing i remember about being morning sick was I had to catch a bus and train to work every day. The bus was fine. Back in the late 70’s our trains were still the old red cattle trains i called them, the ones with the doors you had to open from the outside, the seats were bench seats, hard red/brown leather with everyone sitting knee to knee. I would get sick every train ride. I prayed so hard and so many times that I would not vomit on anyone. I never did. I would find a cabin that i could sit near a window for fresh air as this would help. The windows if they worked used to be wooden shutters that slide up and down. For those of you that remember them the carriages used to rock side to side as they rolled over the train tracks. So this motion used to make it worse. I travelled from Oxley to Brisbane Central. This took aprox. 45min or longer in those days as Electric Trains didn’t exist yet. When I got off at Central station i would bee hive to the corner Newsagents next to the Post Office and buy a Health Bar and this would settle my tummy. I can still smell that shop and hear the paper boys on every corner selling the latest addition of the Telegraph.

I would attend work without saying a word. I remember running to the toilets there to be sick as well, wondering when this is all going to stop. I used to fall asleep at my desk in my lunch hour as i couldn’t help but be so tied all the time. I used to say that i was tied from training so much. Well no one questioned me. OK so now my tummy is slightly showing. It was to my advantage that the Terry Toweling Track Suites were in fashion. The tops usually had elastic in the bottom and sat down over your thighs. You could even buy dressy ones to wear to work. YUK, the fashion in the late 70’s early 80’s were shocking, but to my favour. I wore jeans right to the end of my pregnancy, so they weren’t done up all the way but who would know, all my other pants and skirts had elastic waists. Maternity clothes were rare and obvious and disgustingly ugly I WAS NOT WEARING THEM. I just continued life completely ignoring my situation. I carried Natasha mostly through winter so was easy to hide. I was 3-4 months pregnant when i won the Queensland Championships. It was from then until August 1980 I found it the most difficult. I used to wear a half cut off leotard with a baggy shirt over the top to training. I guess I looked like a frumpy teenager going through a body change. Training was hard. My centre of gravity had changed, it was harder to spin and I was scared to jump. I had to work hard to rotate 203 times in the air and land on one foot. My bladder was being challenged as i was getting further into my pregnancy. I would we my pants all the time. I resorted to wearing pads as this would absorb any little accidents i would have when I was spinning but mainly when i was doing my jumps. When i landed i would wet every time. I even had a change of underwear to help go on as normal. No one ever said anything, I just continued like everyone else. The toilets used to be a hang out for us girls as we had a change room we used to talk to each other or we could talk to kids through the glass louvers connected to the swimming pool. So frequent visits were normal. In fact we used to hide from our coach in there to have a break from him ha ha.

I used to follow my mum’s health encyclopaedia so I knew where i was at with my pregnancy. The day i felt the flutters for the 1st time I will never forget. This made it all real. The book said that this was normal as i had no idea what was happening. I did look into an abortion but i had no way of getting to Sydney, paying for it and getting home. Besides it was easier to ignore it and hope it would go away. How immature was I? OK so i thought if i was to have this baby then i would adopt it out. How i made such an important decision ONLY GOD KNOWS. Mum and Dad still had no idea as through my whole pregnancy I would lay on my tummy. We had a big ‘Ol comfy lounge with cushions I could separate, put my tummy in there and rest. I thought pregnant people can’t lay on their tummy so mum wouldn’t ask questions. That’s exactly what happened. Well times ticking it’s August 1980 & I’ve got the Australian Rollerskating Championships to compete in. I usually had my costumes custom made but for the Queensland’s my dressmaker made comments about my body shape so I wasn’t going there. I settled for a second hand costume which i never had before from one of the larger girls that always had beautiful costumes. In those days our skirts on our leotard were not short but hung from your waist down over your bum (lucky me). I went on to win that year. I didn’t skate my best but still managed to pull it off. At the end of September I read that i was close to the end. I just had an innate feeling.  A couple of months earlier my coach said to mum that he thought i might be pregnant, so she makes and appointment with Dr. McCarthy to have a virginity test. He asked me if i was a virgin, I said yes, he gave me a sex talk and the visit was over. PHEWWW.  How lucky was i again. But NOW IT’S TIME to say something to Mum. I don’t remember her response only that she made an appointment for me to see Dr. Loth. We did. He palpated me, asked me questions and proceeded to tell mum that i was pregnant. She then asked how far did he think i was? His response was over 8 months. I can still see mums mouth wide open and the look of shock. I kept saying I can’t be, I can’t be i didn’t have sex. I explained to Dr. Loth what happened and he explained how it did unfortunately did happen. I told him then and there that I wanted to adopt this baby. Mum still motionless and in shock, not to mention that a couple of months earlier Dr. McCarthy told mum that i was still a virgin. Mum is standing in shock that her only daughter is pregnant, due in less than 4 weeks but also wants to give up her baby for adoption. What are we going to do. Mum said to me that she would race out and buy a cote etc whatever we needed. I said no, that i wanted to adopt the baby out. I can’t even remember the drive home. Mum did ask me who the father was, I just said you don’t know him and she still doesn’t.

Mum told dad later on and she told me that he was devastated and disappointed. Both that i was pregnant and that i wanted to adopt. That was to be the only Dr’s apt. I had in the whole 9 months. Imagine doing that today, no scans, no pokes, no prods, no student Dr’s having a look either. Looking back its a bloody miracle really. Well one morning I woke up and i knew it was time. I knew i was in Labour (the book told me so). I went into mums’ room and said i think it’s time. She just looked at me and said it’s only been 2 weeks do you think maybe it’s a false alarm. She rushed me into the car anyway. On our way to the Royal Brisbane Hospital which was on the other side of town for us my waters broke. What the hell was that all about? I started to cry and was in so much pain. Mum assured me it was OK i was so upset about doing this in the car how would we clean it up. Mum told me it was totally natural because i was with her i knew not to panic. Having her there was a huge comfort. When we arrived at the hospitals front door mum was yelling i was in labour and my waters had broke. I was rushed into a wheelchair and i could hear the nurse saying boy she must be premmy as she is so tiny. Little did she know. I was put into a birthing room and my legs were tied into stirrups. Wonderful invention – NOT. Man that was the worst experience, imagine having your legs spread up in the air for hours. They started to shake from the stress of everything and i couldn’t stop them. Thank god they don’t do that now. The Dr’s and nurses all knew ahead of time that this was a baby to be adopted. I was treated with Royalty really. To this day i appreciate that they put me into my own private room in the private ward to help me make my decisions. I was given an epidural to numb me from my waist down. I also had gas. I was so stoned and numb the birth wasn’t painful at all. Even when the Dr. Stitched me up he was impressed that i had no tearing and he only had to do a figure 8 stitch. So i was up walking around quite quickly.

After she was born all i remember was wanting  them to  slap her bum and to hear her cry from her first breath, just like in the movies. That is exacty what happened. I remember smiling to myself knowing that she was healthy and going to be alright. I remember feeling totally exhausted. They took my little 6 pound baby and put her in a humidicrib as they thought she was premmy. There was no patient history for them when i came in so not sure on timings.

Back in those days i could only see her but not touch her while she was in the humidicrib. Mum could only look through the glass window like the dads used to do. The next 7 days in hospital were the longest in my whole life. As i wasn’t breast feeding i had to try and dry up my milk naturally. To stop my milk coming in i had to have my breast bound with bandages. There were no drugs to take just a lot of those brown stretchy bandages wrapped around my breast so tight i could hardly breath. We would have to change them regularly because i would leak milk on them and they needed to be washed. They called this binding. I was bound for at least 1 month or 2. Yes I had to walk around and sleep with these bloody bandages on. Imagine having that. Well i did. I know it was for the best. It was.

After a day or 2 from giving birth i was asked to name my baby and I was told there was no guarantee the adopted parents would keep that name. After much thought and looking in magazines I found the name Sheree. My baby looked so pretty and petite; she looked like Sheree to me.

When I was little mum bought me a blue bird necklace, bracelet and ring. I thought i was a princess with my special jewellery and i wanted Sheree to have the same. So I asked mum to buy her a bluebird bracelet with her name engraved on it. We prayed that she would be given it by her adopted parents. Natasha still has it to this very day. I still have my Bluebird ring. I bought Ayrlie a Bluebird ring when she was little as well to carry on tradition for me.

As i was in a private ward we asked that all phone calls be barred to my room as no one was to know that I was there. Not even family members. I heard a rumour years later that some Skating mums did phone around to hospitals to find out if i had had a baby. To this very day NOBODY has said anything to me. 10 years later Mrs Ferris once asked if i had had a baby and I told her NO that must have been a rumour, she was the only one. Its day 7 and the nurse comes into my room to tell me that it’s time to go home and if i still wanted to go ahead with the adoption. I said yes. Then she asks me if i want to hold my baby as she is out of the humidicrib. Of course i wanted to hold her. Man that walk to the baby ward took hours. I was so nervous, I had never held a baby before, I didn’t want to drop her. I didn’t know what to do. I was just mesmerized by her beauty and her size. I ran my finger over her forehead and over her little cheeks. She opened her little eyes and i could see they were dark blue – Thanks god she has blue eyes (Just like me). I put my pinky finger into her tiny hands and looked at her beautiful  little fingers and hands. I then took off her booties and checked out her toes. She is just so small. I can’t believe she was in my tummy. I remember the tears rolling down my face as i looked up at my Mother watching me from the other side of the glass. Both of us hurting but had a respect for each other buy not saying a word. I kissed her and then the nurse told me that time was up and it was time to go. I handed her back to the nurse sobbing, saying my goodbyes i was escorted out and back to my room. I can’t even remember the trip home.

On my return to home skating friends were told that i had gone to a health camp for a couple fo weeks. My mum did tell my coach the truth so he could help me with my journey back into competition. Mum took my brother, foster sister and myself to the coast for a holiday to the beach for which i will always remember and appreciate as we didn’t have a lot of money back then even though I used to consider us the rich Inala Family. Which we were. What I remember most is the binding but when i was on the beach i was allowed to be free but come to the hotel the bandages were back on. 

I had a 6 week cooling off period. That meant that i could change my mind to keep baby Sheree during next 6 weeks. I would receive a phone call at home to tell them on my decision. That day the phone rang i just sat on mum’s bed and i didn’t answer the phone. All i could think of was giving this baby to  a couple and taking her off of them. How could i do that. It wasn’t until i met Sandra and she showed me photos of Sheree in a Foster home. What the Hell. They didn’t tell me she would be in a foster home. To this very day i wonder if i knew that, would i have changed my mind. I feel liked i was tricked in a way.

Well now i have to return to work and get on with life. In my lunch breaks i would walk around Brisbane City looking into peoples prams wondering if that baby was mine…..

I fell pregnant without having sex!!!!!! Just call me Mary

OK so you all want to know how i fell pregnant without having sex…. grab a coffee or a Vodka and read on.

I’m 16 years old just left year 11 as a got accepted to attend the Albion Tafe Secretary  College, only a small number of girls were accepted to attend this college so i was very happy. I was only there for a couple of months as i got a job in Brisbane City working as a junior for an Insurance Broker – MCN Insurance. For me this is the dream job i always wanted. I wanted to be a secretary and this was my foot in the door. Mostly everyone in Inala worked for Huttons Meat Works or Woolworths. I wanted a better job than that. Well i was attending Tafe when i first fell pregnant, so when i started working in the city i was already pregnant but really in denial.

OK OK so you want to know the nitty gritty. Well like i mentioned before i was an Australian Figure Roller Skating champion for the Inala Roller Skating Rink and we were always raising money for the competitors to travel to championships. We held many a car wash, all night skates and the occasional  Car Rally.

It was a Car Rally this week end, destination Car Brook swimming hole at Mt. Cotton. Anyone could participate in the rally of course the more people the more money we raised. Well there was this boy who was not a competitor but very popular at regular session skates at Mount Gravatt Roller Skating Rink. (By the way when i was 13years old i was the first to skate on this rink and was featured in the Courier Mail. Who would believe 3 years later i would be pregnant). When ever i was aloud to go to Mt. Gravatt sessions i would watch him as he was Mr. Popular and i thought he was so cool. He wasn’t even good looking but was a real charmer. Well i was told this particular day at Car Brook that he had his eyes on me and wanted to be with me. I couldn’t believe it. This was totally out of the blue.

OK so we get together kissing, hugging, pashing. I can still feel those tingles through my body. I was shaking from nerves. Soon i find myself with his hands down my pants and mine down his. As i 16 years  old i’m feeling pretty good right now. (Remember those days). Alot of feelings running through my body. I remember thinking, What am i doing?, I don’t really know this guy – but i’m having fun right. What is going to happen? Are we now boyfriend or girlfriend? We didn’t even really talk to each other. Just straight into muckn around.

Well the next thing i know he has pushed my pants to the side and has his penis was up against my vagina. What the hell – I’m not ready for this – I kept saying no and he kept saying yes. I was happy with the foreplay for now, god i just met him today. He tried and tried to stick his penis up me but i just couldn’t do it. I remember feeling the head of his penis right there and i pushed him away.

Well he wasn’t happy with that result. Got the shits  and he just left me there. He never talked to me for the rest of that day or from then on.

So where exactly were we? We were in the lake with everyone else. MY GOD you would think the water would have washed it away. O NO – It stuck that bloody sticky stuff to my skin didn’t it. I tried to wash myself clean but to no avail.

I was not on the Pill and of course a condom wasn’t even an option.

The next thing i know i have missed my first period.

Well i never saw a doctor and my mother didn’t know i was pregnant until i was 8 months pregnant. I went on to win the Queensland and Australian Roller Skating Championships within the 9 months of being pregnant. How you might ask did i do that. Well you will have to wait for my next blog.

Until Then – IF ITS NOT ON – ITS NOT ON.

Vivienne

My Oprah Winfrey moment

One afternoon i happen to turn the TV on and Oprah Winfrey is talking to 3 girls sitting on stools. It so happens that these girls had been adopted at birth and they were trying to find their birth mothers. It seemed that they were wanting answers to some personal questions.

I watched and listened to them with intent and one girl really touched me as she was sobbing her eyes out as her birth mother had a veto on her – Meaning that she could not contact her birth mother. All she wanted was to ask her mother some personal questions relating to health issues etc. She claimed to not want to be a big part in her birthmother’s life but just wanted to know a little about her history.

Well you guessed it, I to had a veto on my child contacting me. MMMM i thought. Doing some maths in my head i thought well Sheree would be turning 18 and should be past the horrible 16-17 year old stage. If that was me i would want to know. You see, i would have never tried to look for Sheree as it was one thing giving her up for adoption and i couldn’t stand another negative if she had a veto on me so it was best for me not to know. So i go down to my local post office in Corinda and fill out the forms to lift the veto. 6 weeks later i get THAT PHONE CALL.

A decision to be made

At aged 17 my waters broke in the car as my mother was rushing me to the Royal Brisbane Hospital in Brisbane October 11, 1980. I had made the decision to adopt my baby as i was only 17, a single mother, and had dreams of representing Australia as a champion Figure Roller Skater. I would have had to raise my baby at home with my parents and brother and foster sister this was not the life i had pictured for myself. I had watched many of the girls in my school become single parents and life was not easy for them. I was not going to become another statistic. In 1980 we did not have a baby bonus, no help with housing just embarassement and shame to your immediate family as for the PILL i needed to have had a letter of concent from my parents so i could protect myself from falling pregnant, Can you believe that?. Abortions were done legally in Sydney,  NSW, I couldn’t get there so i looked at back yard options in Brisbane. The thought of not surviving or having permanent future problems scared me to death so the only option left for me was to adopt. I believed that my baby needed a mother and father to have a better life. At least that was what we were lead to believe – RIGHT. Well in my case this is what she got. A wonderful mother and father that raised her in DUBBO NSW and renamed her Natasha Rose. I share this with you with no regret, I believe i made the right decision.

Let the story begin.

My Birth Mother Journey

Birth Mother – someone who has given birth to a baby and given that baby up for adoption.

I invite you to follow my journey as I share my life experience as a “Birth Mother”. At the age of 17, I was an Australian Champion Figure Roller Skater, raised in Inala, in a housing commission, low socio-economic area in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. I was young, ambitious and had plans for my life. My parents did not make me adopt out my baby girl, it was entirely MY DECISION.

As days, weeks, months and years went on it was ‘taboo’ to speak about her birth and my mother encouraged me never to talk about her for 18 years. Until that bright, sunny day when I received a phone call asking if I was her mother. As I had never told anyone about her before, I knew it couldn’t be a prank so I asked, “What did I name you?” Her response was, “You named me Sheree”.