Sunday, February 12, 2017

February 2017 - Part 1 Food

February 2017 - Part 1 - Food


As mentioned in the last blog,  Ananda and I recently went through a really sad and testing time. In the spirit of the openness and honesty that I try to write these blogs with, here’s what happened.

Sometime in October 2016 we became pregnant again. Not an IVF pregnancy but a natural one. We were both a bit astonished since Ananda had only just started her periods again. We were both also, VERY, VERY happy. In fact I was elated and so excited that we were going to have a sibling for Francis and that they would be pretty close in age too. Awesome! Ananda’s blood tests showed her hCG were more than doubling every couple of days and she was feeling tired and a bit nauseous. All good signs.

We went for the first dating scan and the dates on that scan did not quite add up to what Ananda thought they should be, and the heart beat was slower than expected at 94 bpm. However, I read that they increase 3 beats per day so that by the time we would go for our next scan a week later it would be much closer to the 120bpm that was expected.

On the third scan, in the second week in December, which should have been week 10, we took Francis with us, and I sat with him on my knee as the scanning started. I was so ready to see a healthy fast heartbeat.

However, after a minute or so it became obvious to me that the technician could not find a heart beat anymore and with that my hopes, dreams and excitement were scuttled. Francis started to act up so I left the room and didn’t hear the rest of the conversation between Ananda and the technician. I just sat on the chairs outside the room, tears running down my face, trying to keep Francis happy and amused, but not really having the heart, or the will to do it.

Ananda came out of the room a few minutes later, upset as I was, and we stood and wept for a while in each other’s arms before we went home. I’m not sure what Francis made of all of this.

I went and sat in the chair in his room and just broke down. I felt hollowed out, as if I was only just a shell.  The first two miscarriages were difficult enough, but this time I really knew what we were missing out on. All the joy and love that Francis had brought us and I was looking forward to doing it all over again with this new baby, was gone now. Later I even told Ananda that I really did not want to go on living anymore.

A couple of days later Ananda started to bleed, and as it was coming up to the time for us to fly to the USA for Christmas we were really unsure as to what to do about our flight. We were going for dinner at our friend’s house in Auckland before the late evening flight, and just as we were about to go to the airport from their house, our wee little embryo came out. It was such another sad moment, but I was glad it happened before we left, or were even on the plane.  We were able to say a little prayer before putting it in our friend’s freezer so that we could collect it and have a proper burial service once we got back to NZ.  The picture at the top of the blog is the hibiscus plant we bought to place in the pot where we buried our wee embryo.

The flight was very uncomfortable for Ananda with lots of heavy bleeding, and really sad for both of us too. As were the following days, weeks and months. I guess that’s why I worked on the lath house with such gusto.

It was also a real testing time for our relationship as well, as we both coped with our grief and trying to look after Francis and make the most of Christmas in the US. Definitely the hardest time of our ten year relationship. I was very depressed for about two months and was not pleasant to be around. I think Ananda was a bit more prepared for the possibility of a miscarriage than I was. As I’ve said before sometimes I’m a headstrong, hopeless optimist in the face of adversity, who refuses to give up. That makes for some hard falls.

Why is this section called “Hope?” ? Well, we did get pregnant naturally which is a real silver lining and this time we go to 10 weeks. I guess we have to hope for a successful pregnancy in the near future again.  In my mind I also named the embryo Hope too, because that's what they brought us. However,  I’m not sure I could make it through another miscarriage.

Food Delivery Systems

Getting food inside Francis at times is a real struggle. It’s quite easy to get food on him, or all around him, so getting him to fully ingest has meant we’ve had to use our imaginations, and patience. Often it’s not the food that needs changed, more the delivery vehicle. During most meals we use the following methods…

By Hand

Pretty obvious really. Pop the food on his tray and he pops it into his mouth with his hand.

Dumpster method

He likes to play with containers and lids, so I take advantage of that fact.  Place the food on the tray with the container. Francis places food in container and then tips it up into his gob. Doesn't work so well for sticky foods!
Lid method

A slight variation on the dumpster method. This lid is great as it has an indentation in the middle. A bit better for sticky food as he can get his tongue into the indentation.


He’s becoming quite good at spiking things with his fork and scooping things with his spoon as the video shows. Some foods he will only eat if he scoops them with something. The stand out peculiarity is eating scrambled eggs with a tortilla chip!!! He still tries to eat soup or drink water with his fork, but he really likes to be able to do as the adults do. Speaking of which….

The Ananda Method.

Not the most elegant and it is our means of last resort. Francis finds it super fun though!

 Food as an Accessory.

Francis like to place food, quite deliberately,  in his hair.....

A question mark of spaghetti as he ponders life.

Grated beets to feed his roots!

Random things said in our House.

“If Francis can’t pick rice out of your chest hair, then maybe it’s a bit too long”

I wonder if that phrase has ever been uttered before, anywhere in the world?

Weighs and Means:

10.0kg – Francis finally made it to this weight


  1. Thanks for sharing Graeme, such a hard thing to go through, I can't even imagine. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you in the future :)