Thursday, 4 November 2010

christmas

I went into Eldon Square today. The Christmas lights are up already.

I am not impressed.

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They're pretty, though. They could just be pretty in a month's time and I'd be far happier.

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I'm sorry this place is so quiet. I want to write, but I'm feeling singularly uninspired at the minute. But I was glad today when I went in Eldon Square and my second thought - after 'what the HELL, it's not christmas yet!!!' - was 'i'll have to blog about this'.

Apparently there isn't much to say about it. But at least the thought was there, eh?

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Books On Tyne

Just wanted to give any Newcastle dwellers a heads up - the weekend after next is the Newcastle Book Festival, Books on Tyne. The events are free but booking is advisable! It looks like there's some great stuff going on - for both readers and writers.

See here for more info.

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Not too much going on with me at the mo. I'm not quite sure what to write about. I guess I'm thinking about what I want to write here now I have another blog. Until I've figured that out I guess it'll be fairly quiet for a while. But this place will still keep going - unlike the writing blog, which is currently on hiatus.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

driving through town today, i remembered a post i'd mentally started drafting a few weeks ago one sunny sunday afternoon. it was a match day - the second match of the season.

i knew there was a match on, but i'd thought it was on later in the day. we queued for a few minutes to get into spiral car park near haymarket, but it was obviously going to take forever. so we decided to try fenkle street car park. it's usually quite quiet so we can get parked there no hassle.

unfortunately, the route i took was the route past the RVI and round past St James' Park.

can i give you a little piece of advice?

NEVER EVER EVER drive past st james' park on a match day just before the game is due to start.

i felt like i was driving through a pedestrianised zone. (and to be honest, i couldn't believe that the roads weren't all closed!) the roads around the football ground were a flood of black and white. we would have got down the street quicker if we were walking. it was nerve wracking. but no biggie. i saw it as my own fault for not thinking things through.

then? i did something even dafter.

i meant to turn onto st james' boulevard. but i missed my turning - obviously so relieved to be away from the sea of people - and turned down Stowell Street, through the Chinese Gate.

i'd kind of forgotten how many people walk up to St James' Park from down there. this was even worse. outside the ground, people had just been walking straight across the road, at a 90 degree angle to the direction i was travelling. on Stowell Street, they were walking in the opposite direction to the one i was trying to drive.

even in the car, we could feel the excitement in the air. we'd lost the first match; noone was hugely optimistic about our odds of winning this next one, but everyone was hopeful we would at least scrape a draw. and this good mood was palpable. noone seemed annoyed by the idiots trying to drive up their pathway. they smiled as they cut in front of the car. i smiled back.

unfortunately, the idiot driver behind wasn't quite so patient. she beeped her horn, obviously frustrated. maybe scared. i couldn't believe it. it was obvious that everyone expected us to stop for them, and i was ok with that.

on match days, the streets belong to the football fans. and i think that's how it should be.


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the match was newcastle v aston villa. as we walked round town, we could hear the regular cheers, and ended up calling one of our friends to ask the score. at that point it was 3-0. by the end of the match, they'd scored another three.

it was a pretty good day for newcastle fans.

Friday, 3 September 2010

a long time ago, when this blog was shiny and new, i blogged about one of my neighbours. as we were walking down to the shop one day he asked us to get him a lighter and a bottle of whisky.

over time, i got to know him a little better. it was a stroke that put him into the wheelchair. he used to be a runner. being in the chair drove him insane. he was often broke. sometimes i lent him a couple of quid.

(he never remembered to pay me back. i never asked.)

when he saw me out running, he used to tell me to run intervals using the lamp posts as measures. he didn't understand that by that stage i wasn't fit enough for intervals.

i think he just wanted to share his wisdom.

he did a bit better once he got an electric wheelchair. he used to roll round the estate, talking to people. assuming they'd talk back. most people did.

i only knew his name because the woman in the corner shop asked if the order was for him the first time i went in for him.

i haven't seen him in a long time. that's happened before - once i didn't see him for months, turned out he'd been in respite care - but then i noticed that his flat was being ripped apart. the front door and the windows replaced, the walls replastered. i guess i already knew what had happened. but i needed to know for sure.

tonight i asked the woman in the shop what had happened to him. she looked at me, blank, for what felt like years. 'In the wheelchair? He died weeks ago!'

apparently it was his liver. the amount he drank and smoked, i'm not surprised. but then i wouldn't have been surprised if it was another stroke, or a heart attack. he wasn't the healthiest guy around.

but there was no need for the woman in the shop to be so mean about it. if i didn't hear in the shop, how else would i know what had happened?

RIP, wheelchair guy. i'll miss you. i hope you're glad to be out of that chair.

Friday, 27 August 2010

the snailr project

anna pickard of little.red.boat has the most amazing project going, all journeys and postcards and old-fashioned communication in the 21st century. i think it's a really amazing idea and have sent my address.

(i hope she's not secretly a criminal frickin' mastermind but if she is, meh. as long as i still get a postcard!)

Thursday, 26 August 2010

i have a real-life friend called... well, i don't think she shares her real name online, but her online name is jezebeldeville and she's very lovely both online and off.

anyway i just really liked her most recent post and think you should go and read it.

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i have a cold today and i feel rather sorry for myself. i'm going to stay in bed as long as i can.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

the greenmarket is going

so, the Greenmarket is going to close in january.

i've got mixed feelings about this. the current greenmarket is pretty dire - it has no heart - but i do miss the old Greenmarket. I never used to buy anything in Dances with Unicorns, but I used to pop in quite often, just to see what was there. (and they always seemed to do a brisk business, so i don't think they minded me browsing!) I did buy plants there fairly often. and it always seemed to be pretty popular.

the current stallholders will be offered pitches in the grainger market. but when the old one closed i'm sure they were offered pitches there then. noone was interested.

i'm sad that it's come to this.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Tyne and Wear Heritage Open Days

This year the TWHOD are 9-12 September. Unfortunately I won't be able to do much if anything this year :( but still wanted to tell everyone it was on!

I've blogged about it in the past here amongst other places - mainly the few days following. I would highly recommend the Civic Centre tour, the Lit and Phil, St Nicholas' cathedral, the Victoria tunnel, the catacombs and Jesmond cemetery, the swing bridge pump room, the pub walk... ah loads of stuff. you should do it all!



Let me know what you plan to do!

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

just a reminder... this blog is now returning to being a place where i talk about life in newcastle. if you're wanting the ttc/babyloss stuff, that can now be found here.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

do you think the a1 should be made into a dual carriageway all the way north to scotland?

then go fill in this survey.

also see this website and this story in today's Journal.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Does anyone know what's going on....

at the bottom of St Mary's Place?? I went past Luckies today and it's all boarded up! The picnic tables that've been outside for at least 16 years are gone. And the hairdressers next door is boarded up too, and it looked like the record shop round the back (Steel Wheels, I think?) seems to be boarded up too. Paris Texas has been gone for a while now, but it looks like all the bottom of that run of buildings are shut. What on earth is going on?????

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When I came to Newcastle for university at the end of September 1994, we were given a book with our fresher's week stuff that had details about all the stuff to do in Newcastle. I remember a few details about it, and one thing that's always stuck with me was that back then, Luckies was the only place that had outside seating. In the whole of Newcastle. And then after I left, and after I came back, it was still there.

What's going on?!?!? Enquiring minds need to know!

Thursday, 8 July 2010

he's still out there. somewhere. rothbury? somewhere else in northumberland?

back in newcastle?

i can't imagine he would have killed himself. he's not taken down enough police yet, in his twisted manner of thinking.

the longer he's out there, the more drastic i fear the climax of this situation will be.

and i'm still scared that if - as i suspect - he goes down shooting, i'll somehow get caught in the crossfire.

but i also think that the police and the media would do well to read and act on this article.

Monday, 5 July 2010

There was a double shooting in Gateshead on Saturday. A man newly released from prison allegedly shot his ex girlfriend and murdered her new partner.

He'd warned prison staff before he was released that he was going to hurt her. They passed the warning onto the police. But he still found her, and shot her and her boyfriend.

On Sunday he shot a police officer too, for good measure.

Today, I was in town at lunchtime. I was scared to look up, to catch anyone's eye. Because although the police say that he has grudges against specific people, that they have warned those the gunman might target and offered them protection where necessary, there's no guarantee. His picture is all over the news sites. I'm terrified that if our paths do happen to cross he'll see me recognise him and start shooting anyway.

This afternoon, I could hear constant sirens. The noise was terrifying. My imagination ran riot, imagining him on a shooting rampage down Northumberland Street.

Now there are pictures of officers with scary-looking guns on a roundabout in the East end.

I hope they catch him soon. I always feel safe in Newcastle, but currently, I don't. I don't like this feeling.

I feel so sorry for his ex girlfriend, and for his child. They are going to have to live with this forever. Noone should have to deal with that.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

British Pathé archive

I'm really excited about this!

British Pathé have relaunched their archives of Newcastle.

You can see some stills on the BBC website here, and see them on the website here. Well worth a look!

Thursday, 1 July 2010

thursday is chronicle jobs day

I've been meaning to post about this for a while.

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For those living in Newcastle and looking for a job, Thursday is a key day. It's the day the Chronicle - the local evening paper - comes with the job supplement. Before I moved here, D bought the job paper for me every week and passed it to me at the weekend so I could find jobs to apply for. And over the next few years, even once I'd moved here, I seemed to buy it more often than not.

I haven't bought it in years now. I bought one back in March 2007 that had the advert in for the place I currently work at (I'm in a slightly different job but still based at the same place), but by the time I had the interview for the job I've got now, I'd actually given up on the job hunt (it's a long, not terribly interesting story). Back then, the boards of the Chronicle sellers on the street boasted of 700, 800, sometimes even over 1,000 jobs.

Today's edition had somewhere round 300 jobs.

It was competitive enough back when I was looking for new jobs. But now, when there are so many more people out of work, it must be nigh on impossible for anyone to actually find a job round here.

It made me wonder. Does the same hold true round the rest of England? About a third of the jobs that were up for grabs three or four years back? Or has the north east been hit harder than other places? What about other countries?

I'm really interested in what you think.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

The Hoppings

The Hoppings is (are?) back soon.

I'd never been before last year. I really enjoyed it.

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The second night I was there, I went to a fortune teller.

She was crap.

You know how they're supposed to be able to tell tiny details like if you wear a wedding ring from such tiny details as the line on your finger? Well this woman put my hand on her crystal ball (no euphemism!) and put her hand on top, and she asked if I was married - and I had my wedding ring on.

She told me to go for a career that I'd love to do in some ways but would hate in many more, and generally got everything wrong.

But as I was leaving, she said...

'come back and see me next year, and you'll have a baby'.

And I leapt on that. As proof that it would happen.

I thought that was the one thing she'd got right.

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I guess she really didn't know shit.

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We knew we should have gone for one of the ones with big queues instead of the one we didn't have to wait for. Ah well.

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Anyway, the point is, the Hoppings are back soon, and I can't wait to go on the dodgems and the big wheel.

I didn't mean to write about babyloss here any more. Ah well.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

bloody hell.

my opticians have gone bankrupt!

dammit!

i'd paid for my next three months' worth of lenses too.

they were always really good. i could get appointments when i needed them and they were cheap and convenient.

.... i guess i know why they've gone bankrupt.

i'll miss you, rowe eyecare.

but i'm really p1ssed off that you've run off with my £38.

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updated to add that their lists have transferred to Toni and Guy opticians and that i got the lenses i was owed - thank goodness!

Sunday, 6 June 2010

City Retreat

One of the most prestigious addresses in Newcastle is 55 Degrees North. It's what used to be known as Swan House, which I've featured before on Newcastle Daily Photo. These days the complex has two radio stations - Metro Radio and Magic 1152 - private apartments and penthouses with rich and famous residents, and City Retreat, a luxury beauty salon and day spa.

The thing that confuses me about this address is that it is as prestigious as it is. It's well placed in some ways; it's immediately north of the Tyne Bridge and near the main shopping area of Northumberland Street. It's not far from the station or the beautiful Grey Street.

But it's also in the middle of a roundabout, and the central motorway goes under one corner of the building. And it's next to Pilgrim Street which currently is one of the most run-down places in Newcastle (rumours of its redevelopment notwithstanding - there doesn't seem to have been any progress in almost a year).

Anyway.

A while ago, my sister wanted to give me a present to help me relax, and she settled on City Retreat on the basis that it had won an award - '"The Best British Beauty Salon (with 4 rooms or more) 2008"'

So I had a deep tissue massage there. And it was really good.

For Christmas last year, my sis gave me another City Retreat present, this time a voucher so that I could decide what treatment to have for myself. I was really pleased to get another chance to go there, but I kept putting it off, as I wasn't sure whether I would be pregnant at any given point.

But the voucher expired at the end of June, so I managed to find a date when I knew I wouldn't be pregnant (... hoo-bloody-rar) and book myself an appointment, and I trundled along on Wednesday last week. I went for the Real Aroma Experience - a full body massage lasting a full 90 minutes. Elyse was my therapist and my appointment was at 1pm.

It Was Amazing!

It took me a little while to switch off; it had been a very busy morning in work and I knew the rest of the week would be busy too, and I was coming down with a cold (bleurgh). For the first twenty minutes or so, I couldn't switch my brain off. But after a while, I relaxed, and switched off to enjoy my massage. By the end I wasn't asleep, exactly, but I was completely chilled out and more relaxed than I've been in a long long time. The place itself is tranquil and quiet; you'd never believe you're so close to a motorway. I didn't really hear any traffic.

The massaged seemed to last for hours on end. I was convinced by the end that Elyse had gone over the time allocated. I was amazed when I left (after being left to wake myself up slowly and then given plenty of time to drink more water, get dressed again and collect my wits again) that it was only 2.45pm.

I was so relaxed when I came out that I walked across the road without a) looking to see if there was any traffic or b) looking to see whether the green man was showing. Luckily there was nothing coming. I would recommend that you actually check before you cross the road after you leave.......

At £75 (!!!) it's not something that I'll be doing every week, or even every month (more's the pity). But if you want to treat yourself, or if you know someone who's had a difficult time recently for some reason and deserves to be pampered? I would highly recommend this place. All the staff seem very nice; the treatment rooms are lovely; the massage was out of this world; and I came out walking on air.

Thanks Elyse, and thanks to N my sister!

Saturday, 5 June 2010

So I've finally started my new blog. I've spent time last night and today moving the posts I wrote while pregnant and writing the story of my pregnancy. It was strange to write, and there are still parts to add, but I'm glad I have a record, now. I will have to print it one day to add to my memory box.

In the future, all posts relating to babyloss - and, pleasepleaseplease, one day posts relating to another pregnancy and to a child who lives - will be at my other blog, non-geordie mum.

Anyone who wants to is still welcome to read. I'll be going back to posting about Newcastle here. I don't think that it will be the same as it was before - I'm not the same lighthearted person I used to be - but there will be a Newcastle flavour to most posts here now.

I will leave all the posts I've written about the miscarriage and my baby here. Too complicated to move them.

Thank you all so much for reading. I hope you continue to read, either here or there, or even at my writing blog, or even all three.

Friday, 4 June 2010

finally, a post about newcastle?

I know that I don't have so many readers left who want to know about Newcastle and the North East, but I just had to post this link here.

Today the last two cranes at Swan Hunters were blown up with dynamite.

I winced when I watched them fall on that video.

I wish they could have been left there forever.

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more blog admin - and more newcastle posts! - coming soon.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

unfair

people who get to have living kids:

  • my friend's girlfriend who drank and smoked heavily all the way through her pregnancy (and, i believe, her previous pregnancies too).
  • the girl who used to be a friend of mine, who posted on a facebook event we were both invited to that she and her husband 'aren't planning on bringing the bairns instead plan is to dump them to dance the night (sic) in some dodgy nightclub'.
her baby is six. weeks. old. she was only three weeks or so ahead of me.
  • some random woman in the supermarket who had two girls with her, maybe 7 and 8 years old. one was wearing red knee high boots with kitten heels; the other was wearing silver glitter court stiletto shoes that must have been at least three sizes too big.
my mum would only let me wear Clarks shoes when i was growing up. even startrite were considered too risky. couldn't risk damaging my feet when i was so young.


people who don't get to have living kids:


well. me. and many of those lovely people over there (points to the right). lis. illanare. sarah. loads of other people. i can't link everyone or i'll be here all night.

i've said it before and i'll say it again for the record: i don't begrudge anyone their living children and i would never, never wish this pain on anyone else.

but jesus.

it still feels like a punch right in the gut.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

click at your own risk

i do love jezebel. but it kind of tortured me tonight.

because antidepressants might raise miscarriage risk. (but apparently so could being depressed.)

i'm staying on them. but it really stings to think that they could make this happen again.

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i'm really tired.

i'm trying to look after myself more. but it's hard.

it shouldn't be this hard, i'm sure.

Monday, 31 May 2010

i just discovered that Keanu Reeves and his then girlfriend (who died 18 months later) had a baby who was stillborn in 1999.

shit.

how is it that people believe this doesn't happen?

how is it that people believe that anything you can do can ever make a difference?

if someone as big as Keanu Reeves circa the Matrix can lose a baby, then fucking hell. it really can happen to anyone.

pure, shitty dumb luck.

nothing we can do can ever make any difference either way.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Oh My Lordie.

I just read this.

Interesting, I thought.

So I clicked through, and read this.

I don't eat dairy products.

I've never drank much soya milk. I didn't ever have milk much before I stopped having dairy, so I didn't feel the need to substitute.

But since the miscarriage, I've been living on Starbucks soya lattes.

And then I read this...

If for any reason you are experiencing fertility problems, it certainly is a good idea to limit soy in your diet to rule out any possibilities of its effect on your fertility. Since it’s the protein portion of soy that contains the phytoestrogens, you should try to avoid tofu, soy milk, tempeh, TVP and soy nuts.


Jesus.

Time to have a cycle without any soya stuff, and see what happens.

If it turns out to be that simple, I will fucking scream.

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please do pop into my last post. i still want to say hi to my lovely readers.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

readers and commenters

i seem to have quite a lot of readers who never comment.

i'm not complaining, but i am curious. so for those who are reading this post, i'd like you to say hi. even if you've never commented before and never plan to again. even if you've just passing through, if you've never visited here before and never plan to again! i'm curious. do i know you - either online or in the 'real' world?

if i know you in the real world, i'd particularly like to know that you're reading. i don't mind real life friends reading as long as i know they're there.

if you want to get a little deep, and you've never commented here before (or only done so rarely), then i'd love to know why! i know that for whatever reason, some blogs seem to get loads of comments and some don't, and this is one of the ones that doesn't get many. i'd love to know why that is. do i not seem to need comments? (believe me, i do. i'm as needy as the next person.)

i know i haven't been the best at replying to comments recently, but i'd still like this to be a conversation.

Friday, 28 May 2010

temp dropped again today.*
f-u-c-k.

i can't help but feel that i've been here before. i feel like i'm reliving the same thing again and again and expecting different outcomes.

isn't that the definition of insanity?

(didn't i mention that before, too?)

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all i want to do tonight is get horribly drunk.

i know it's not the brightest idea ever to drink on antidepressants. but hey ho.

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to be honest, i'm more frustrated than upset. i feel that i went through the 'upset' (well, more like 'devastated') phase at the beginning of the week. today, all that's left is frustration, and fear. fear that i will never know what it feels like to carry a child, to feel it moving around inside me. to breastfeed. to look at a child and know that its genetic heritage comes from me and from my beloved D.

to look at a child and know that if it wasn't for D and me, that it wouldn't exist.

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i walked into town at lunchtime. on the way back, i remembered.

i remembered not so much the day that i lost the baby, but the evening that followed.

i don't really remember the phone call to my mum. i don't really remember telling her.

(i think it's too painful to let myself think about.)

but i remembered phoning my youngest sister.

her voice.

she didn't hear what i said at first.

(or maybe she didn't want to believe what she was hearing.)

but when she realised what i was telling her, what had happened... her voice.

she sounded like a little child again.

i wanted desperately to tell her it wasn't real.

i think that was when the horror really started to hit me.

that this was really happening.

i wasn't in some awful movie.

i wish i could forget that phone call too. it obliterated the tiny piece of my heart that was left whole.

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(i'm just glad that my other sister was out and my mum ended up getting hold of her before i did.

i wanted to tell her myself - i tried to - but she was out, and i couldn't bring myself to tell her fiance.

it might have left me broken forever, to have had to repeat it again that night.)

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i was about half way back to work. there was a low wall next to the path. i sat down on it and let myself remember, just for a minute.

and then i pulled myself together and went back to work.

what else could i do?

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the only way to make myself whole again, to be truly happy again right now, would be to erase this last year.

to go back in time, to stop us from trying to conceive in august.

and i want to be whole again.

i want to be happy.

i want to be cheerful.

i want my innocence back.

but -

i wouldn't.

i wouldn't do it.

i want my baby back.

it's not that i want to be me again, at the expense of my baby.

... i just want my baby with me, alive and well.

and i guess that's not possible.

so i guess i'll have to piece myself back together.

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i don't want to forget.

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i focus on trying to conceive. because i want to be mother to a living child.

because it's the only thing i can do.

because i don't want to sit around and remember how much it hurts that i lost my baby.

but it does.

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six months on, and some days it hurts as much as it ever did.

and i think i lied, at the beginning of this post, when i said i wasn't upset.

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* for those who don't have encyclopaedic knowledge of Taking Control of Your Fertility - honestly if i could clear out the metallica lyrics and the fertility knowledge and all the other junk that i don't actually need to store in my brain from my brain, i'd be able to take over the entire universe with the amount of brainpower that was suddenly freed up - your Basal Body Temperature [effectively your temperature when you wake up] is lower the first half of your menstrual cycle and higher the second half, post ovulation. if you are pregnant it remains high (and often gets even higher); if it drops that's a sign that your period will be making an appearance imminently.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

i keep seeing pairs of magpies and crows.

and i asked my husband's yoda-figurine-magic8ball-type thing if this was the month and it said yes (for the first time EVER).

and i am currently 11 days past ovulation without my temp dropping back under the baseline. (i know that's not really anything, but i usually only ever got ten days past without my temp dropping.) (well, it's dropped, but not that far, and it's stayed constant the last two days (usually if it drops it keeps dropping consistently). it's nowhere near as high as it was at the weekend - but then it's 10 degrees colder at the mo than it was at the weekend.)

BUT.

i have done two super-sensitive pregnancy tests (the first response 'i can tell you six whole days before your period is due!!!!!' tests), and they both said no. not pregnant.

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i might be pregnant!

but i did two tests and they were both negative.

but the magpies! and the crows!

but i did two tests. and they were both negative.

but... *yoda*! he knows these things, right?

but i did two tests....

and 11dpo! that never happens! how exciting!!!

and they were both negative! why are you not listening???

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this is playing on a constant loop in my brain.

it's exhausting.

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work is ok. the one thing i'm really relieved about is that i actually a) quite enjoy my job, and b) work with people i like and respect. it's terrifying enough going back to work. i remember how horrendous one or two of my jobs have been, how unhappy i was there. it would have been unbearable to go back if i was still in one of those jobs.

none of the managers were around yesterday when i went back, they were all off at a meeting. i was quite relieved; it gave me space to get used to being back again, but then today i was really scared of seeing them. today the people i work for were both caught up in another meeting; i was actually quite scared of seeing them. they have never been anything other than supportive, but i'm still scared that one day they will run out of sympathy.

i made myself go and see both my managers once they were out of their meeting, before i left for the day. they both smiled to see me, looked genuinely happy that i was back and had a smile on my face. both told me they were glad to see me.

it was quite a relief.

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my line manager is away for a fortnight from tomorrow, but at least her manager is around. i know she'll look after me if i need it. but hopefully i won't need it.

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i'm trying to look after myself at the mo. trying to lie on the sofa and watch TV or faff on my laptop (... i've been here since 5.10pm today and it's currently 9pm; i only got up to make tea. that NEVER happens) rather than be doing something every minute of the day.

trying to eat better. that one's hard at the minute, but i'm getting there.

trying to get to sleep earlier. i'm a night owl, i'm really bad at that, but i'm trying.

i don't think that not looking after myself has stopped me from conceiving, but looking after myself isn't going to do me any harm. errm, obviously.

my sister gave me a gift voucher for a health and beauty place. for christmas.

i haven't used it yet. should i book? i might be pregnant. should i book one of the pregnancy packages so they don't use anything that's dangerous in pregnancy? should i wait?

i've been waiting so long. i finally booked it for next week. aromatherapy full body massage.

if i get a +ve? well, i guess i'll cross that bridge if i come to it.

but it's time to look after myself.

i'm going to email the acupuncturist again, too.

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anything else you can suggest for me to take care of myself?

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

looking in a drawer for some wrapping paper for a birthday present just before, i found an envelope that i recognised as one of my credit card statements.

it shouldn't have been in that drawer. i pulled it out, wondering how on earth it had got there. i assumed D had stuck it in there when tidying up before our living room was replastered back in november.

there was another envelope, too. i picked it up.

and underneath?

the original recipe 'welcome to Tesco Baby & Toddler Club' letter and magazine.

i guess that (kind of) explains this.

i opened it, and found the number. called and got myself taken off the list. i was really short with the poor guy, but he was really nice. i didn't even tell him what list i wanted to be removed from.

i wonder if he saw the only list i was on and immediately worked out some version of the truth.

i feel bad for being short with him. it wasn't his fault.

it wasn't anyone's fault.

---

for no particular reason, i looked at pregnancy books today, in WH Smiths and Boots.

i opened the indices and looked for what they contained on miscarriage and stillbirth.

none of them had anything worth talking about.

one of them had two pages on miscarriage - containing such gems as 'most take place really early so by the time you're reading this your risk is smaller' and 'it might comfort you to know that most miscarriages occur because something is wrong with the baby' - and didn't mention stillbirth at all.

another had a few entries for miscarriage but under stillbirth just had the address for SANDS.

i don't think i need to tell anyone here how screwed up that is.

---

part of me wants to write a pregnancy book for mothers post-loss.

part of me wants to write a more realistic pregnancy book, full stop.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

there is so much going on - and so little going on - that i can't get my mind straight.

it's sixth months today since we found out the baby had died.

a neighbour who uses a wheelchair told me to cheer up, after telling me yesterday that i'm lucky that i can walk. i kind of grinned inwardly at that - i guess i can relate to thinking people don't appreciate what they have - but being told to cheer up today made me want to scream. or cry. or both.

my cycle this month is completely screwed up and i have no idea what's going on.

i'm going back to work tomorrow after nearly a month off. i think it might be a really bad idea but i kind of bullied my doctor into letting me try.

my doctor was mostly lovely and supportive today as usual, but i mentioned getting referred on for fertility testing again and she said something about in a few months, if nothing had happened, she'd refer us on for some 'advice' about 'what to do'. and not in a 'testing' way, in a 'check your cervical mucous and BBT and everything!' how condescending. i know what to do. i know we're doing it right, at the right time. proper fertility testing is the next step. and if nothing has happened by the end of next month i want a referral. and that's what she's agreed before.

i'm not young enough to have any patience in that regard.

i am self aware enough to know that we have a potential problem. i've discussed this with her in the past and she was understanding.

i didn't challenge her. hopefully she was just having a bad day.

anyway.

i was fine thursday - sunday. absolutely fine. myself again. it felt really good. it felt like such a relief.

then yesterday i woke up horribly depressed again and had to force myself out of bed to get to the dental hospital and my counselling appointment.

i don't feel much better today.

i feel... damaged again. not broken - not like before - but like someone is hammering away at the cracks that have only just healed.

and this is going to sound frivolous in comparison to all the above, but i'm gutted that Lost is finally over. i've been using the finale to distract myself from my misery today. it's kind of worked at times, but it's still there.

i should just go to bed and let myself cry for a bit, but we're going to D's grandparents' tonight and i need to be ready to leave soon.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

i need to spend tomorrow catching up with life. emails, fb messages, texts, blog comments. i plan to have a nice empty google reader by the end of the day.

i'm sick of having millions of things hanging over my head. i want to be able to relax and not have chores nagging at the back of my head.

---

edited Sunday: i have now replied to all my messages in facebook and cleared out out google reader - 104 posts down to 2. i still need to clear out my ridiculous email inbox (currently i have 526 emails in my inbox which is just insane. unfortunately there is stuff in there i need to actually deal with so unfortunately i can't just delete the lot). but if i can reply to everything in facebook and clear out google reader, then it's possible, isn't it?

isn't it???!??

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Shit. I just read this. And David Cameron is now in charge.

Leaving aside anything else, if you move the limit for abor.tion to 20 weeks, and someone has a 20 week scan and discovers that their baby has a condition that means that it will never survive - does that mean that it's just tough, they will have to go through with their entire pregnancy - knowing that their child will never live - because whoops! we've passed the deadline! ah well, nevermind....

I feel sick.

It's one of the things that terrifies me, that I'll get pregnant and that this one sticks, but that something will turn out to be wrong at 20 weeks. And that we will have to term.inate the pregnancy, even though we want a child of our own more than anything in the universe.

And knowing that the man in charge wants to shorten the already-short amount of time I would have to make that decision?

.... Like I said, I feel sick.

---

I feel unable to talk at the minute.

I leave posts unread in google reader, because I want to comment, but I can't think of anything to say.

I read the comments people leave for me on this blog, and I appreciate them more than I can say. But I can't make myself reply.

I receive emails and messages on facebook. But I can't make myself write back.

I don't know what's wrong with me.

---

Having said that - I haven't seen any of my friends (except for one) for what seems like a very long time.

I've just stayed home. and hidden from the world.

But today? I'm meeting a friend for lunch.

It's weird. I think the antidepressants are starting to work, and I'm feeling better. But I still don't really want to interact with people.

But hopefully after meeting vix today, I'll feel more inclined to talk again.

I hope so. I find it a bit scary, being so insular.

It's not like me at all.

---

edited to add that i'm also calling into work before i meet vix. i'm a bit scared.

i'm sure they'll all be ok - everyone has been amazingly supportive - but...

i'm still a bit scared.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

sorry for going a bit silent there. i have loads to say, but i need to get my thoughts together first.

in the meantime i wanted to share these links.

i wanted to link this article as ammunition for any who's ever been told that they should 'just adopt'. i mean, it's a ridiculous thing to suggest anyway, but people who don't understand might find this article more of an explanation. for the days when the truth just doesn't cut it!

and a pair of articles from the Times....

this article is about what the best time is to have a baby. it's surprisingly well balanced and takes more into consideration than just fertility - who knew that being ready was so important??? *rolls eyes*

don't read the comments though, you'll want to shoot yourself.

and this one is about the possibility (or probability?) that people will begin to go to IVF as a first resort, rather than a last one. i'm not sure what i think of it, but it's definitely an interesting idea.

Friday, 14 May 2010

you want to know something really sad? pathetic-sad, not miserable sad.

i think that part of the reason i realised i really needed some medication to help me get through this was a quote from one of my very favourite characters on Scrubs. it's about post-natal depression, but i think it applies to me too.

Listen, you can't get rid this by sheer force of will or positive thinking or taking advice from a big hollywood movie star and the dead science fiction writer he worships. You need to get some help.


not so much the movie star bit obviously. but the rest of it? spot on.

---

i wrote a comment here that i thought might be helpful to share here too in case other people reading in the future are considering whether they need to start taking antidepressants or similar drugs.

"if i had broken my leg, and it was in plaster, and i couldn't walk unaided, i wouldn't sit still for the next six weeks and wait for it to heal. i'd use crutches to move around as best i could. to me, this is the equivalent of that."

---

my friend whose friend lost a baby at 5 months recognised herself in my previous blog post and contacted me to say that she had been wondering whether she should ask me to get in touch with the friend in question. that she didn't want to put me under any more stress and pressure.

for the record, if that happens to a friend or relative or colleague of anyone else, please feel free to tell me and ask if i feel up to it. if it don't, i'll say, but i think mostly i'll want to offer to be there for people. if people hadn't reached out to me then this would have been so much harder. i would like to be able to do that for other people.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

thanks for your thoughts on my last post. i think i'll start posting on the non geordie mum site soon, but leave everything here as suggested. i'll post here when i do so people can start reading there.

---

so. i'm now on a low dose antidepressant. something that should hopefully ease both my anxiety and my depression.

(apparently i have relatively high levels of anxiety. i shudder to think how bad it must have been a few months ago.)

i've fought so long to get through on willpower alone. but i hope it's a good sign that i can recognise when that's no longer realistic.

thank you to those who shared your experiences and views. they helped me feel more peaceful and less nervous about this decision.

let's hope that they take effect soon.

---

i slept last night. thank goodness. i felt pretty groggy today - i presume it was the tablets - but i'm ok with that. hopefully it will wear off soon enough.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

back in october, i started a new blog.

i didn't start it on blogger. oh, no. people might have been able to see it linked from my profile, and that would have been giving things away before i was ready to! the blog's name, you see, was 'non geordie mum'. and it was somewhere i planned to write about my pregnancy and, in time, about raising my children. (yes, i was that optimistic. i wish i still was.)

but i didn't want people to find out before i was ready. that would have been crazy. what if something went wrong? what if i had to tell the whole internet that i'd (*whispers*) had a miscarriage?

(yeah. insert hollow laugh here. wouldn't that have been awful?)

so, anyway. i started a shiny new blog on wordpress.

i only posted three times. password protected the whole thing - tried to make it invite only, but i never managed to let anyone else log in. so there are just those three posts. one of which is about my fear of missed miscarriage, written the night before i went for my 12 week scan.

(insert hollow laugh once more.)

so, yeah. i've created a blog through blogger now. called it non geordie mum still, in a fit of overwhelming optimism. in my own mind, and - i hope - the minds of others who have lost children, i am a mother. but only a mother to a baby who died in pregnancy without me even realising.

i've been trying to import my three posts over, although blogger's 'import blog' link is pretty much entirely useless. (i should just give up and move them over manually. three posts, no comments; it wouldn't exactly take long.)

but i don't know what to do. this place used to be my place to talk about newcastle. that's why it's called 'watching geordie life', after all! i used to post observations about life here, and the city in general.

i never intended for it to turn into a memorial to my lost child. to my own mind, that doesn't belong here.

but now, a fair few people follow this site. people know where i am. they come here and offer me support, and hold me up when i can barely keep going. some of these are people who, like me, are lost in grief and pain and who are barely functioning.

i don't particularly want to move. even though i do, too.

what should i do? i suppose these are my options. if you have any thoughts or suggestions please do feel free to share.

1) start posting at non geordie mum and leave all my previous posts on babyloss here. this wouldn't be any work, but does mean that people might get confused. i might lose both my geordie-type readers (and those who read the geordie site just because they know me or enjoy it - all two of them! hi!) and the babyloss ones. people who find me at non geordie mum might miss out on five or six months of backstory.

2) start posting at non geordie mum and move my old posts on babyloss over. i'm not sure if that's actually possible. like i say blogger's 'import blog' thing isn't working. and if i did it manually i guess i would lose all my comments, and that would break my heart. unless of course i left the originals where they are. but the duplication would make my brain ache.

3) give up on non geordie mum (at least for the minute) and just keep posting here. risk losing my geordie-reading-readers. confuse babyloss readers with a jaunty blogname that doesn't fit what i write here at all.

any other options i've missed?

any votes as to which option is best?

i just don't know what to do.

---

i moved things round a bit in the meantime. removed some links, added some others. i did it
a couple of nights when i couldn't sleep and went off my followed/subscribed to blogs in google reader. so if i've missed you off, it's due to lack of sleep and stupidity, and not at all deliberate. please shout if so.

also shout if you can't find anything or if anything is broken. (the tag list is now right at the bottom of the page if you need it.)
i cannot frickin' sleep. AGAIN.

i should say that i did stay up until approximately 2am reading. i knew i shouldn't, but i couldn't put the book down. and i genuinely thought that i had tired myself out this time. that i wouldn't have any trouble.

problem is, the revelation near the end of the book (Remember Me?
 - not at all my usual fare, but I read it in one sitting, in case you were interested) triggered off a thought process in me (entirely unrelated to babyloss, for once). it made me realise that the fact i completely screwed up university and ended up dropping out is not entirely unrelated to something that happened at the very beginning of my university career.

but i kind of knew that already. but this time my brain went a bit further.

the problem wasn't what happened. the problem was not realising that there was a problem.

---

sometimes i think putting an 18 year old in charge of the rest of your life is a crazy, crazy plan. who on earth is responsible enough to make those kind of decisions?

but what else can we do?

i'm sorry to be so cryptic. but it feels like i've just found the missing link. it feels like i've just made sense of a part of my universe.

it feels like i could finally explain to my parents why i went so badly off the rails.

---

and this (and now i'm talking about babyloss again) will always affect everything.

at first, i didn't realise that. i thought i would just grieve for a little while (two, maybe three weeks? that sounds about right. i'll be back to work soon enough. everything will be ok. honestly, i'm fine. really. god, i was so naive) and then i would be back to normal.

i nodded sagely when people said that things would never be the same again. that i would never be the same again. but inside i recoiled in horror. this can't destroy my life like that! i've lost a baby. it's not the end of the world. i can go back to being myself in a week or three.

i think the magnitude of my loss is really only starting to sink in now.

---

i won't be defined by this forever. but my lost baby will always be a part of me. will always be somewhere in my peripheral vision. perpetually just out of sight, but still there.

and that is horrific.

but extremely comforting.

and i'd rather that, than the alternative.

i don't want to forget.

---

the sophie kinsella book is chick lit.

i don't usually read much chick lit.

but i have read articles about how if men wrote about the issues dealt with in chick lit, they would be hailed as literary genii.

(it wasn't that simple, but it's late and i'm tired, and i can't think of enough of it to google)

and this books deals with memory and sense of self and loyalty and all kinds of lofty themes.

and i think that maybe those people have a point.

there is fluff on the top, but underneath is a solid book that has levels and everything.

and it caused me to have a revelation. that doesn't happen very often.

---

i miss being able to tag blog posts nice, simple things. like 'cake' or 'weather'. or 'fluffy kittehs'.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

i'm putting everything on hold.

i was working towards an Open University degree. but now i'm not. what if i get pregnant, and have morning sickness and can't work? what if i get pregnant and can't meet my deadlines?

(or what if i lose another baby? i sure as hell wouldn't be able to work then)

and we're not moving house any more. our mortgage is really small at the mo. if we moved it would go up quite a lot. how would we pay it if i was off on maternity leave?

(or how would we pay it if i lost another baby, and i went onto half pay because i've had too much sick leave? how would we cope?)

i'm not running, even though the urge is starting to come back. because i won't run while pregnant, and what's the point in starting if i can't carry on?

and i'm sure as hell not progressing my fledgling career in writing.

(i can't remember if i mentioned it here, but i got a story accepted for publication a few months back. (it hasn't been published yet - i will mention when it does.) but you know what? i don't care. i should be excited! i should be pleased that i've been paid for something it's really hard to get paid for. i should be thrilled that my hard work has been recognised. but you know what? i don't give a shit.)

---

but.

i'm not pregnant.

i don't know if i ever will be.

it could be this month.

it could be the end of next year.

it could be the twelfth of never.

---

how long do i keep waiting? how long do i refuse to start anything new?

---
---

today i spotted on someone's facebook wall that one of her friends had a miscarriage at 5 months.

i sent her a message, linking her here and to glow in the woods.

i don't know if that was the right thing to do. but she sounded devastated.

(she sounded like me a few months ago.)

i don't care if she thought i was odd.

i just hope she's OK.

---

(i'm trying to ignore the change in prime minister. i have enough problems without the frickin' tories getting into power. i still can't believe it's come to this)
last night, i went to bed - and suddenly i was wide awake.

i tried to sleep for a little while, but i couldn't even lie still. i gave up in the end, and got up and faffed on the interweb for a while. a long while.

i got back in bed around 4am. still couldn't sleep. i think i slept about two hours before D got up for work. i slept about three more hours after he went out. i usually need seven, or eight for preference. still, i reasoned, it was a one-off. i'd sleep well tonight.

good theory. but tonight, i got into bed, and bing. wide awake once more and here i sit on the interweb, again. lather, rinse, repeat.

---

i go back to the doctors on wednesday. i don't want to end up on antidepressants, but it seems more and more likely.

---

my mum told me today that one of my relatives - someone who struggles daily with mental health issues, but who copes amazingly well - had asked if i'd hit rock bottom. and i thought, maybe i have. maybe this is as bad as it will get. maybe i can make my way back up from here. maybe i don't need the drugs after all.

i don't want to take something that is going to interfere with my grieving process. i don't want to postpone my grief. i don't want to suddenly find out ten years down the line that i haven't finished processing this and end up having a breakdown.

but then, i don't want to find that i can't cope with my job. that i isolate myself more and more from my friends. that if i do manage to get pregnant i spend the whole nine months vacillating between anxiety, fear and depression.

i suppose that making calls on difficult decisions like these is why GPs get paid so much. i suppose that's why i'm going to see her on wednesday.

---

one of my friends got married on 10 april. it was her birthday six days ago.

i have texted her but haven't sent either cards or pressies for either occasion.

i hate myself for that.

my pregnant best friend, the one i can't cope with seeing? her birthday is on wednesday. i had managed to forget until today. i suspect my subconscious did this deliberately.

i want to see her. so badly. but she is now 31 weeks pregnant, and that's not something i can manage to ignore.

it sucks that i can't accept the support i know she wants to give me.

it sucks that i can't be there for her while she is pregnant. that i haven't seen any of her scan pics (.. she would email them but doesn't have a scanner.) that i can't just laugh and joke with her about pregnancy.

it sucks that i put up with seeing MY HUSBAND'S EX GIRLFRIEND, and yet my own best friend is too hard for me to see. (... that sucks even more for him though, so there you go.)

---

i keep writing posts in my head. honestly, if even half the blog posts i start writing in my mind made it to this blog, it would be a full time job keeping up with me.

Monday, 10 May 2010

unrecognisable

i just got a message from one of my friends. she's leaving newcastle and going back to scotland with her family.

she's one of very few people from the big group that i used to be part of that i still want to be friends with.

i haven't seen her since february january, and before that i hadn't seen her since november at least. but i feel desolate at the news. she was the person this night who understood. i don't think she's ever lost a baby, but she's part of this ALI world, and she understood.

i have no interest in socialising at the minute, but losing one of the real-life people i actually would want to socialise with has left me feeling even more lost and lonely than i did before. and i already felt very lost and lonely today.

---

i look in the mirror and i don't look any different. fatter, i suppose. i waver between comfort eating and a complete lack of appetite, but i've still put on weight since losing the baby (and typing those words suddenly made me cry. goodness knows why. i've typed them far too many times since the end of november).

isn't that the wrong way round? shouldn't i have permanently lost my appetite? the days when i sit and eat junk food, i disgust myself. i think i should have wasted away. withered away to nothing without my baby. not got fatter. especially not after i had been at a healthy weight (finally!) before getting pregnant.

but there are no wrinkles. no stretch marks. no lines of grief marking my face.

i look the same, and i hate that.

---

i still want a tattoo to commemorate the baby. i almost hope not to get pregnant this month so i can just bloody well do it.

almost.

i'm still not sure where to put it. i know what i'm going to have, but it involves shading, and i need to find a tattoo artist i can really trust, and i'm not sure if the one my friend uses is really good at shading and i need someone who's really good at shading. (he hasn't got any tatts with shading like this that i know of.)

i think it would help. having something visible on my body. something that has changed.

---

the main thing that's unrecognisable is my life.

i never used to sit still.

i always used to have something going on.

open university courses. volunteering. meeting friends for lunch or tea. writing, of course.

my husband couldn't keep up. it wasn't entirely unknown for him to get home from work and have no idea where i was. usually because he wasn't listening when i told him, but that's not the point.

and now? i never go anywhere. i never do anything.

well, occasionally i go into town or for a meal with D. or sometimes my parents take me for a meal when they're around.

and very occasionally, these days, i go for lunch with a friend or two.

but mostly, i stay home.

i email friends, sometimes. mainly online ones ironically (although even the online ones are neglected). the real-life ones are mainly sadly neglected.

i don't reply to comments on here as much as i want to.

the photo site - the one i love and enjoy - well. i just can't bring myself to act like i'm ok and post a photo a day.

(i should ask if someone wants to take it over on a short term basis.)

i sometimes text real-life friends.

i promise to meet them, but i don't.

i don't want to.

i just want to stay home with D.

i just want to be here with D and my baby. getting used to caring for a baby that is really ours.

like it should have been.

like it's not.

---

my best friend (J)'s girlfriend keeps joking that we can have her baby.*

she has no concept of what dangling something we want so badly under our noses does to me.

we joke about it too. 'we've got her on board! we just have to persuade J'.

god. if only it was that simple.

i love her baby. he is beautiful. he smiles when we come into the room. he fell asleep in D's arms on friday night. he fell asleep in my arms on saturday.

(he never falls asleep anywhere but his dad's arms usually.)

she wants us to be his godparents.

i want to be his mum.

i would. in a heartbeat.

---

i wish she meant it.

---

she's one of only two people we really see on any kind of regular basis. we only see her because she's our best friend's girlfriend. there's a whole backstory that involves her being D's ex girlfriend from 11 years ago.

(it's even more ridiculous a situation than it sounds but i can't be bothered to explain right now.)

i kind of tune her out when she says insensitive stuff. 'who'd have kids?!', what kind of thing. i kind of expect it.

but it's hard. really, really hard. to see her. to see her and her kids. to see what she has.

to see what i want, so badly.

to see what i don't have.

---


*incidentally, i have a best male friend and a best female friend. both have the initial J. this is annoying when blogging. oh well.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

i owe so many people email - and especially replies to emails that have really touched me. jen, i'm particularly talking about you. your email meant the world. also, it would be really good if my readers can go over to jen's site. she will be remembering her baby Aiden tomorrow on the date he should have been due.

but i just wanted to link to this article on secondary infertility. maggie o'farrell is one of my favourite ever authors and her book After You'd Gone is one of my favourite ever books (but DO NOT READ ANY REVIEWS of it if you're going to read it - even the main amazon review gives away too much which is why I'm not linking it) and made me sob and sob.

anyway, the article is a very good look at secondary infertility.

---

me? i'm very up and down. not too bad today, but very sad yesterday. i guess things will go on like this for quite a while.

Friday, 7 May 2010

i actually felt more normal yesterday than i've done any other day this week.

(probably more normal than i've felt for the last couple of weeks, in fact.)

i found the days preceding incredibly difficult. maybe that made the day itself less hard? it's hard to tell.

it did also help knowing quite how many people were thinking about us. about me, about D. about the baby. i have no shame about the fact i asked for this on facebook.

(i'm always in favour of letting people know what i need. i would hope that people would remember the dates that matter, but people are busy, and these things aren't as important to them. other people's children will never be as important. other people's dead children even less so. so if i need people to remember, i'd rather remind them than be disappointed and hurt.)

but anyway. today i'm back to feeling uneasy, and hollow, and nervous, and sad.

---

i've never admitted it out loud before, although i do suspect i've written it here. but i admitted this to my counsellor today.

when i was pregnant. i never actually saw us with a baby. i never imagined us with a baby. in our arms, in a cot in our room.

in our hearts. but then, i didn't need to imagine that bit.

every day, i expected to start bleeding. i had no reason to expect that. i thought the fear would stop after the 12 week scan.

it didn't.

i was convinced - convinced - that at our 12 week scan they were going to tell me the baby had no heartbeat. the scan was on a monday; i spent a large proportion of the weekend googling 'missed miscarriage' and trying to work out what our risk was.

i was amazed - amazed - when all was well.

ironically, that must have been about the time things started to go wrong for the baby. it stopped growing only ten days later.

about the same time that i started to think that everything was ok. ironic, huh?

---

i do believe that my subconscious mind knew something was wrong. long, long before my conscious mind was clued in.

i wish my subconscious mind had given me a heads up.

---

i still feel guilty.

that i never imagined. my baby, in my arms.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

if you remember tonight, and if you're drinking a glass of wine or something? i'd really appreciate it if you stop and think of me, and D, and the baby. just for a moment.

thank you.

---

i miss you so much, my little snowflake. i wish i was getting ready to meet you today.

love you always.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

my work calendar has been mocking me.

phrases such as 'the universe isn't required to fall in line with your will' (maybe not - but shouldn't i at least get a shot?) and 'when your dreams turn to dust, vacuum' (this one really, really hurt. but at the end of the day, what else can we do? the scariest thing is that i can't say that it's wrong.

misguided and harsh and cruel, maybe. but not wrong
).

tomorrow's, i have memorised. i might not be in work but i still know what it would say if i was there.

'bravery is when noone knows you are afraid'.

by that definition, i'm a coward.

but who gives a crap. i don't care if my calendar thinks i'm a wimp.

i want my baby back.

but i can't bring it back through sheer force of will.

(i can't accomplish a lot of things through sheer force of will. not fair.)

so.

i'll just keep on doing my best.

what else can i do?
it took me a long, long time to get out of bed today.

i wish, tomorrow, i could just sleep through the entire day.

---

i went to the doctors.

i'm extremely tired.

my appetite is gone. i have to make myself eat.

i'm finding it ridiculously hard to do even the tiniest little thing.

i have a feeling of dread that won't let up.

i'm really, really terrified of tomorrow.

... yeah, she signed me off sick.

if i'm no better next week? time to start thinking about chemical help.

---

thank you all for keeping me in your thoughts this week.

i'm finding it really hard.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

it's tuesday.
4th may.
it's nearly wednesday.
5th may.

and then it's the day. the day the baby would have been due.

it's been approaching, at a snail's pace, for what seems like forever.

but now it's so close?



i'm not ready for it to be here.






i need more time.
i've been watching the snooker for the last couple of weeks.

the world championship finished at 1am. just ten minutes or so ago.

neil robertson's mum was there, watching him win.

and i think it's pretty unlikely that any kid of mine would win the snooker world championships.

but it makes me wonder.

what would he or she have done?

Monday, 3 May 2010

another day closer.

it's hard to believe that in another universe, i would (could, should) have been only three days away from my due date.

and even then, i wouldn't have been home dry. i wish i didn't know the many and varied ways things can go wrong.

it's hard to accept how long has passed. how skewed the timing is. it's 22 weeks since we found out what happened. 22 weeks. over five months. how has so much time passed?

the baby didn't even exist for that long.

---

i never sat and read to the baby when i was pregnant.

i never sat and relaxed and talked to it.

i never did a lot of things. i was going to do those things. but i was only 17 weeks. (i wasn't even 17 weeks. i was 16+6.) i was going to start soon. 17 weeks was a bit early. i was going to start doing them in the few weeks following.

i hope the baby knew i loved it and wanted it very very much.

i don't know if it did.

i didn't really do anything different after i found out i was pregnant. not until i was 15 weeks. i got mega stressed and upset that day, a sunday, and ended up going to the hospital. they checked my blood pressure and everything and told me i needed to relax. told me to take a fortnight off work sick, actually. told me i was far too stressed.

i took a day off then went back to work.

i tried to slow down a little. after that. to stop worrying so much. to stop running round so much. i told work that i knew i needed to calm down a bit, and they were really supportive.

but it wouldn't have made any difference. the baby had already died.

(why didn't they try and listen to the baby's heartbeat that day? why didn't they pick up that something was seriously wrong? why didn't they send me for a scan? it wouldn't have made any difference. but it would. it would have meant the baby was only dead for two weeks before i found out, rather than four.)

---

i'm on leave this week. but work have told me to let them know if i'm not fit for work so they can mark it down as sick leave.

i don't know what to do. i took this week as leave because i knew i wouldn't be fit to go to work.

i'll ask what the doctor thinks when i see her.

D couldn't get the week off work (long story involving his work knowing why he asked for the time but not letting him take my due date as leave) so i decided to have a clearout. to get rid of all our rubbish. to deal with all the paperwork. to try and make this place pleasant to live in again.

it only just occurred to me now that in another universe, i might have been doing the same thing.

i might have been calling it nesting.

the thought tastes bitter.

---

my mum and dad have been saying for a long time that they wanted to come up for my due date. just to make sure i was ok. just to be here if i needed them.

i umm-ed and ah-ed. i wanted D here with me. i wasn't sure if i wanted them too.

in the end they said they would come and stay anyway. they would find other things to do if i didn't want to see them. but that they would drop everything and be here for me if i did.

i'm so glad now that they will be here.

---

i wish so badly that they were coming up to meet their first grandchild.

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my middle sister gets married in september.

i'm terrified that she will end up having a baby before me.

i know in the grand scheme of things, it wouldn't be the worst thing.

but......

it would hurt.

and i hate that i even think of these things.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

a lot of people in the comments are suggesting variations on 'relax and it will happen' and 'your negativity might be stopping you from conceiving'. (phrased nicely, and i do believe the comments are coming from a good place, but that's what they boil down to.) and i wanted to talk about that.

those comments make me feel that my readers think it's my own fault that i'm not pregnant yet. that i am bringing this on myself. that until i can be all happiness and lightness and peaceful, that i don't deserve for it to happen.

i know that's not what you mean (... at least i hope that's not what you mean) but that's how i feel when i see them.

---

the last time before yesterday that i saw my acupuncturist was 16th april. last time i saw my GP was 13th april. at that point? i agreed with my GP that i didn't need any more regular appointments. that i had come a very long way since i first saw her, back at the beginning of january. that i was a lot calmer, more accepting of what happened.

my acupuncturist, a few days later, said something very similar. that i was looking much better, much more at peace with myself.

that was in the run up to ovulation.

and i was ok, during the run up to ovulation. i was peaceful. i was calm. i was even laissez-faire about the whole thing. i had surrendered myself to the fates. if it happened this month, it happened. if it didn't it didn't.

it was just after ovulation that i started to journey downwards again. and the reason i've started to journey back down into grief is because a) i reached the five month anniversary of finding out the baby had died, and monthly anniversaries are always hard for me (... although now it tends to be the few days after, not the actual date itself), and b) my due date is rapidly approaching and i am mourning the loss of my pregnancy and my baby (jen said something recently about them being different, and i think she has a point).

this dark, miserable, exhausting patch on this road of grieving and healing is not because i'm not pregnant yet. that only set in in the last day or two.

there is no rhyme and reason to these things.

---

please, for the love of god, don't tell me 'when i started doing this it happened for me'. even if you think that whatever you did might be something good for me to try. suggest it, by all means, but don't tell me that it worked for you.

because if i do whatever you did, and i don't immediately get pregnant? i just take that as further evidence that the baby i lost was a fluke; that one (or both) of us is (or are) infertile; and that it's never going to happen.

(logic flew away from me a long time ago now. about the same time that i lost a baby i should not have lost.)

acupuncture? didn't magically make me pregnant (kate i'm not aiming that at you - but someone else did say that the first month she had acupuncture she got pregnant)

spe.rm friendly lubr.icant? didn't magically make me pregnant.

relaxing and letting the fates decide? didn't magically make me pregnant.

realising that the baby really did die and any future baby wouldn't be the reincarnation of the one that i lost? didn't magically make me pregnant.

what else is there?

and like i said yesterday, 'i'm aware that without fert.ile cm (and for some reason i don't seem to produce the stuff), it's an uphill struggle.'

---

i haven't got months. i haven't got years. i can't run the risk of giving myself a few months off, because i'm close enough to 35 to be very aware that with every month i don't conceive, my risk of miscarriage rises. how fckng ironic.

i'd be ok with the thought of IVF. but success rates are low. and two of my friends have had successful IVF. so that obviously means that i'd fall foul of the stats.

(i know stats don't work like that, but in my head they do.)

i'd be ok with the thought of adoption. maybe we'll do that in the long run, whether we have a child 'naturally' or now. but i want a child that's made of that bizarre combination of D and me, as well.

---

i want a child. here with me, in my arms.

i don't want to be here.

i want my other life back.

---

i don't often use the word 'should'.

i don't say, very often, that i 'should' still be pregnant. because if i 'should' have been pregnant, i would still be pregnant.

but -

but -

i want to live in that other world. where the baby was ok.

where we would (could? should?) have been parents in a few short days.
another two articles i thought were good.
this is another item about depression and women.
this is about IVF and dads and how they cope. be warned, though; although it is a very good read and very honest (be warned about that too, actually), they are those lucky sods that you hate that now have four children. i'd still recommend it though.
i hope my husband doesn't think any of those things - i don't think he does - but i could understand if some of his darkest thoughts are at the beginning of those pathways.

---

i went to starbucks before with my laptop.

i looked at stories that i've written as though they were written by a stranger.

i don't know what the point of any of them are.

i feel as though all my dreams are slipping further and further away from me, and that my attempts to grab them just send them spinning further out of my reach.

---

i don't know who i am any more.

i wish i could be normal again.

---

instead i sit looking at memorial jewellery and wondering why nothing seems right.

Friday, 30 April 2010

i'm not infertile (... as far as i know; fingers crossed eh...) but i wanted to support the national infertility awareness week for those of my friends who are.

for information about infertility check out resolve.org (... not sure about UK links - anyone?)

and for facts about infertility clickety here. The one that most gets me is below:

Myth: Don't worry so much -- it just takes time. You'll get pregnant if you're just patient.

Fact: Infertility is a medical problem that may be treated. At least 50% of those who complete an infertility evaluation will respond to treatment with a successful pregnancy. Some infertility problems respond with higher or lower success rates. Those who do not seek help have a "spontaneous cure rate" of about 5% after a year of infertility.

it upsets me when people say that they're sure that it will happen for us. i try not to argue, because i know people just want to believe that so badly. but even if we do get pregnant again (and note - 'if' not 'when'), what's to say my next pregnancy will be any more successful than this one was? all the odds were in our favour, but the baby still died.

four unsuccessful months of trying hurt, so badly. i can't even bear to think about how bad it must be for couples who try for years and years.

i don't trust statistics any more.

anyway. below is a news vid on infertility and a conference that's taking place this weekend is below. the fact that struck me was that women 'approaching 35' or over 35 should only wait 3-6 months before asking for a referral. i reckon you'd be hard pushed to get the NHS to treat you after only three months of trying! but seeing as we have the NHS, i shouldn't complain should i?


(thanks to lis for the push to do this!)

Thursday, 29 April 2010

this is NOT how it was supposed to go.

it was supposed to read pregnancy=babies.

not pregnancy=miscarriage. especially not pregnancy=the baby actually died four weeks ago. your body just hasn't expelled it yet.* and especially not miscarriage=grief and pain and finding out that grief really isn't linear (i was skeptical, before, when i heard people say that the pain was still as raw years later than it is the day you loose someone. that it just became something you learned to live with. didn't really believe it at all. i wasn't unsympathetic, i just didn't get it.

i do now.)

i was only 32 when we started trying. not that old. suddenly now i'm 34 and feel a hundred years older than that.

and i feel crazy for even bothering to hope that one day it might work out for us.

not for believing it. i don't believe anything any more.

* as an aside, i still find it hard to accept that my body held onto the baby for four weeks after it died. all the NHS staff i've spoken to about it tell me that something would have happened in the end. but how can i believe that?

does anyone have any idea how long it can take for your body to catch up with what's happened? not that it really matters now, i suppose, but i've been wondering for the last five months.

---

i just phoned to find out what the eligibility criteria are for IVF where i live as google wasn't helping at all. upper age limit 39. three years unexplained infertility - but GPs can refer you earlier (and i said we'd only been trying a year [although i didn't explain the circumstances] and she said that was ok). no kids from earlier relationships.

i think you only get two cycles - i forgot to ask that, but that did seem to be the case from google.

so at least there is still a glimmer of hope. i suddenly got terrified that this was going to be one of those areas where you can only get IVF treatment up to age 35.
i just read this article about women and depression in today's guardian.

this quote stuck out:
"I think we're conditioned to think that sadness shouldn't be part of the human condition. But it is. It's like all of these difficult emotions, like loss, fear of mortality. All of these emotions that seem so difficult, so they're just pushed away – then they bubble up. Perhaps we have to become a bit better at understanding and dealing with them."

(i think the quote is from Laura Martin but the article doesn't make it entirely clear. also, 'loss' isn't referring to babyloss)

but i wonder if babyloss - coming on top of all this, and it being worse for women because we are bred to want it all, and to make everyone happy on top of it? i wonder if babyloss is this.much.worse, because of all this.

i'm not entirely sure how much sense i'm making. but the article is a good read, anyway.
i never expect to get pregnant. i expect it not to work. it's not even that i try not to get my hopes up, it's just that i'm aware that without fert.ile cm (and for some reason i don't seem to produce the stuff), it's an uphill struggle. so to speak. (har bloody har.)

but every.single.month, something happens to make me think it's happened. a sudden sickly feeling in the morning and increased sensitivity to smells. absolute exhaustion and just generally feeling weird. this month's special was sky high temperatures about 6 days past ovu.lation and a crampy feeling that i just don't usually get.

but this morning, the week's downward trend pushed me under the baseline. my temp was 37.03 degrees Sunday - ridiculously high for me. this morning was 36.41.

i did a test, just to make sure (have i been sleeping with my mouth open? is it just a random fluctuation? can it really be....).

Not Pregnant.

f-u-c-k.

every single month, i tell myself not to get my hopes up.

but.

every single month, i get excited. i think it's going to be a yes.

why can't i have a month where none of that happens? when i ovulate, nothing happens and then my period turns up? none of this fckng messing around with me. none of this saying to D 'well it could be nothing, but it could mean i'm pregnant'. i'm like the bloody boy who cried wolf.

the first four months we were trying, i never even bothered to take a pregnancy test. no symptoms and my temp went down. fair enough.

why does this keep happening every time?

---

you know cats? when they play with a mouse and start to let it escape? just far enough away that it thinks it's safe. then they make another grab for it.

that's how i feel. fate's sitting there, laughing at me. letting me think that maybe - just maybe - it's happened. then reeling me back in. the better to make me crumble. because finding out you're not pregnant is just all the better when you combine it with an unhealthy dose of PMT.

---

do you watch sex and the city? i keep replaying that line of Charlotte's. "Everything is exactly like it always was, but I'm pregnant!"

and then she has a miscarriage.

fate. reels you in, spits you out.

---

i was in WH Smiths on Tuesday. heard a noise. accidentally looked into a pram. saw a newborn. all beautiful and pink and, well, there. not some fckng ghost of a baby that will never be.

i nearly puked.

it's the first time that actually seeing a baby has provoked that reaction. it probably shouldn't have, but it took me by surprise.

it's not fair.

---

you know what? i am completely sick of myself. i hate myself for being so pathetic.

---

i can access counselling through work. going to phone up and make an appointment now.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

i just phoned to see where i am on the waiting list for counselling.

i was referred at the beginning of march.

the person at the top of the list? was referred in june last year.

jeeeeeeesus.

---

maybe if i stay on the list now, and i get pregnant in six months, i'll get to the top of the list in time to help me cope with any post-natal depression i get?
work sent me home sick today.

they also suggested i might want to go and see my GP again - last time i saw my GP i left it as i would contact her if i needed her. stupidly, even ten days after it started to get bad for me again, it hadn't occurred to me that maybe it would be a good idea to make an appointment. strange how when the bad times hit even the most obvious things don't occur to me.

i'm so, so glad that work treat my loss seriously. the word 'bereavement' was used. in a world where most people (including myself!) call it a 'loss', it was such a relief to hear someone acknowledge the seriousness of what happened, and how short a time it's been.

i'm absolutely exhausted. i'd kind of forgotten how exhausting grief can be.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

magpies.

(for lis, and anyone else who may be confused by my magpie obsession)

one for sorrow
two for joy
three for a girl
four for a boy
five for silver
six for gold
and seven for a secret
never to be told.

magpies are not the nicest birds. for more information on them see here. (edited to add this link is better)

so i am wishing you all joy. and i hope the pair of magpies brings you luck.

(trousers, erin, jorgelina, stephen, becky, caroline and the other novel racers/ex novel racers and my other lovely readers - i wish you all joy too. please don't think i've forgotten you!)
and after yesterday's trip to one hospital and revisiting places i didn't want to be, this morning i had to do it again at a different hospital.

my ecg was at the hospital we went to. the one we had the scan at.

it was really, really hard to make myself go in. even to a completely different area of the hospital.

on the way out i stopped and looked over at the entrance to the maternity ward. i watched a couple come out. hoped their news was good.

hoped they weren't as shellshocked as D and i were, walking out that afternoon.

even in my most bitter moments i wouldn't wish that on anyone.

---

yesterday i had to walk past the crowds of smokers to get to the place i was going to.

no obviously pregnant ones. thank goodness.

i always want to scream at them.

tell them how unfair it is.

---

i can't help but wonder if my positive inclination towards this project (reported on BBC breakfast news this morning) is coloured to a large degree by having lost my baby.

---

the stupid thing is that i don't even believe in omens. i don't salute single magpies or say 'good morning captain!' like you're supposed to.

this morning on the bus back from the hospital i saw:

one pair of magpies (... maybe there is a glimmer of hope)
a second pair of magpies (... yes, maybe there is....)
then a group of three magpies! (OMG - a girl?) that was then joined by a fourth magpie (OMG - a boy?!?) - that was then joined by a fifth (... oh. silver. i'd rather have a baby).
then a single magpie.
then a single magpie.
then two more single magpies, that - try as i might - i could not see as a pair.

so i'm coming to the conclusion that maybe the magpies know squat.

but.

this morning a friend (thank you so much Erin) sent me this:




and i'm going to take them as a lucky charm.

catherine, illanare, jen, lis, maddie, eliza, MK, therootofallevel, caz, rachel, sad kitty - and anyone else reading who needs luck (i so hope i haven't missed anyone out - if i have please shout in the comments) - i'm passing it on to you, too.

and i'll try to stop MagpieWatch2010. i'm even a bit sick of it myself.

(updated to add in a few people i forgot and add in links to their sites)