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)

Monday, 26 April 2010

i am seeing so many single magpies and crows it's getting insane.

i realise that random bird sightings have nothing to do with the contents of my ute.rus, but that doesn't stop me thinking that either a) i'm not pregnant or b) if i am it will be gone within a few weeks.

---

a girl who works with D asked him today if i was pregnant. she saw me friday. apparently she has a nose for these things.

i can't help hoping she's right.

and every time i think she's right, i think i have jinxed us. i think i've made sure that it doesn't happen.

---

i am absolutely, utterly exhausted. but my blood pressure is now within the band of 'normal', after being sustained high (both systolic and diastolic) for about three weeks. the hospital are still investigating, but at least it's back down for the mo. still. blood tests today. ECG tomorrow. 24 hour blood pressure reading soon, hopefully. at least if something is wrong i'll find out. in the meantime i'm walking 2-3 miles a day (over 4 on sunday) and eating better and trying to destress.

hopefully this will work.

---

today i walked past the ward i went to to have my medically-induced miscarriage six times. there is only one ward - ONE WARD - that you can only get to by walking past that ward. and the person i was visiting just happened to be on that ward.

walking past, on my own, knowing that i needed to keep it together? one of the hardest things i have ever done.

i've actually been back to the hospital since. did i ever tell you about the slightly-crazy counsellor? i should if i didn't. so i went back plenty afterwards. but today, being there for something different - not being mentally prepared - jesus it was exhausting.

but?

i did it. i made myself walk past and i held back the tears. and when i was past i exhaled, and it was really ok.

---

sometimes i think that i brought this upon myself. because i was glad i got pregnant before my best friend.

i hate myself for that.

i hate myself that i can't deal with seeing her any more.

i hate how jealous i am.

i saw a woman crossing the road today. she was maybe 5-6 months pregnant.

i was so jealous, so bitterly jealous.

i turned to watch her walk away.

i don't wish her any harm.

i just wish....

i just wish i was 39 weeks pregnant.

or getting used to having a baby here with me.

not wondering if this will be my month.

or wondering how hard next thursday will be.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

25th.

So. Yeah.

Five months ago today we had a midwife's appointment. And she couldn't find the heartbeat, so she sent us to the hospital for a scan. And suddenly it turned out... well. You all know what happened.

Yesterday I got a Tesco baby magazine through the post. Complete with cover pic of perfect newborn. I don't shop at Tescos. I never registered for anything there. I haven't been brave enough to open it yet. I'll call and get my details remove from their list as soon as I can pluck up the courage. (oh - but I should share this link - for those of you in the UK who have lost a baby you might want to register there. They will stop you from receiving so many baby-related mailings.)

To be honest, I'm more worried about next month than today's monthly anniversary. Next month has my unfilled due date and the sixth month anniversary of our loss, at opposite ends of the month. That's going to be hard.

---

I'm not pregnant.

But if, or when (pleasepleaseplease) it happens? I'm really not sure about what to do. I'm not sure whether to post about it here.

D wants to keep it a secret as long as possible. (20 weeks at least for most people; 12 weeks for family.) I want to tell most people pretty much straight away. (Largely because there aren't very many people any more. My social circle has reduced to about a third of what it used to be.) As far as I'm concerned - there is no safe time, so we might as well tell everyone as soon as we've had a scan at seven weeks and know that there is a really-real baby.

This place has kept me going. And I need to talk about stuff. Pregnancy will be really hard for me. How will I keep going if I can't vent on here?

I wish I knew what the answer was.

The hardest thing will be our best friend. I will need to tell him. D will need him not to know. There is no answer to that conundrum.

---

still seeing only single magpies. dammit.

Monday, 19 April 2010

i really really want to post. but i'm not anonymous enough to write what i need to. so i'll just have to keep it away from here.

---

i don't think i'm going to be pregnant again by 6th may. the date the baby would have been due.

that is really really hard to me to accept.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

so ridiculously many blog posts in my head.
not enough time to write them all.

i went to the doctors yesterday.
she will refer us for testing if we don't get pregnant again in within six months of trying (ie if we're not pregnant by the end of June). she won't make us wait the full year. THANK CHRIST.

but something else (unrelated to TTC) has gone wrong, and i need to go for testing, and may need to go onto medication :(

because not enough is already wrong.

Monday, 12 April 2010

impossible pie.

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup plain flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup coconut
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

you're supposed to melt the butter, and beat the eggs. mix the wet ingredients into the dry, followed by the vanilla extract and the coconut. but i just shoved it all into a bowl and mixed it together with a wooden spoon, and it came out perfect.

it seems impossible. that you can mix all that into a gloopy mess and it will come out as a pastry layer under an egg custard layer with coconut topping. as a tasty pie. but it works.

---

and right now, it seems impossible to me that our reproductive systems can do what they are supposed to. it seems impossible that i will ever get pregnant again.

but maybe i'm wrong.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

if you do a search on yahoo for 'im not right in the head' (sic), this blog is the first result.

too true. but i don't think it was what they were searching for.

anyway. i feel better about my birthday now it's actually here. i made impossible pie last night, instead of birthday cake. it made me feel more hopeful. i'll explain why later.

thank you all for the birthday wishes. they mean a lot.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

it's my birthday tomorrow.

i feel hollow, and sad, and empty, and stuck, and wrong.

----

i wish i knew how this was going to end.

i wish i knew that one day we'd have a child to call our own.

i wish i knew that one day we would live somewhere else. a house, not a flat. somewhere with enough space. somewhere with a garden we could sit out in on sunny days.

with a child - hell, this is fantasy, even two or three - to run around after.

----

i wish i could be happy with what i have.

an amazing husband. a job i quite like that's pretty secure (and that's saying a lot, these days). a supportive family. a city that's home.

but it's just not enough.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

so, yeah. a year ago today was when we started trying to conceive.

if things had been different, i would have been eight months pregnant today.

nothing seems really real today.

---

edited to add that i appreciate every single comment, and will reply to them soon. also that i am only seeing single magpies the last few days. dammit.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

omens.

i see omens everywhere.

magpies are the most common. two = this cycle will be the one, because one is for sorrow and two for joy. but one magpie one time beats two or three or four or ten pairs of magpies. because sorrow beats everything.

today's omen was getting rid of our old bed. we had a sh*tty unsteady old horrible squeaky bed before, that we got not long before i got pregnant. and now we've got rid of it and got a nice new lovely bed. and somehow i take that as an omen that this cycle will be the one.

---

i wasn't this superstitious before.

i used to be different in other ways too.

i used to care about what was going on in the world. i used to check out the bbc news site, the guardian, the times. many times a day. just in case something had happened.

now i'm not that person any more. i'm someone who randomly has manicures. twice since the end of february. never before that. well, once when i won one, and once for someone's hen night. never 'just because' before.

i hate it. i'm not the kind of person who gets manicures. i don't care if anyone else does. but... it's just not something i do.

and it's not something i should be able to do right now. i should be saving every penny. i should be panicking about how on earth we can afford to live when i'm on maternity leave.

i hate that it doesn't matter.

---

you know what else sucks? before i had to phone my best friend, J, and tell her that i can't cope with seeing her any more. that it hurts too much that she's pregnant. that i can't see her any more now she has a proper bump.

that it hurts too much now that i know she must feel her baby moving.

because i've never felt that.

because i'm scared i never will.

i miss J. i miss her really badly. but i can't get away from it any more.

---

sometimes she has prophetic dreams. and she told me before that she'd had one about me. i'm not sure yet what it was. but even though she's usually scary-accurate, i have no faith any more. (she dreamed i was pregnant? but i was pregnant before. look how that ended. she dreamed she saw me with a baby? i see a baby, one i love dearly, once a week. but it's not mine.)

i have no faith at all that it will happen for me.

i have no faith i'll ever get pregnant again.

(i'm kind of bored of saying that.)

i keep believing. every single month, i believe this is the one.

every single month i set myself up for a shattered heart.

---

i just want this year to be over already. i want to be past all the dates. if 2010 isn't going to hold a baby for me, then i want it to be done already.

i'm sick of my own grief and pain.

i feel i should be over this by now.

Saturday, 3 April 2010

i've dyed my hair (extremely dark) red, after it being black for a long time. (before i was pregnant; it wasn't something i did after losing the baby, but i won't deny it: i was glad it was black the last four months or so.)

i hope noone takes that as some kind of proof that i'm somehow 'over' this.

---

6 april marks one year since we started trying to conceive.

it also marks what should have been eight months of pregnancy for me.

---

today, i'm exhausted, and sad. not overwhelmingly so... it just seems that anything at all is too much effort.

i don't want to do anything.

i feel that i've let everyone down.

(i realise that is entirely ridiculous. want to persuade my brain? i can't manage to)

i'm taking a mate up to asda later. i think it'll do me good. i don't want to go, but i think it'll do me good. (and to be fair D would do it, but i think i need to do something before i go stir crazy.)

---

the other day, in the supermarket. there was one of those rides that kids can go on. and a kid was on it. and she was just sitting there, looking bored. while the woman with her (her mum?) flicked through her mobile phone. ignoring the child.

it made me so, so sad.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

someone i work for came along to see me today.

i think he just popped along to make sure i was ok, knowing i'd had a tough time earlier in the week.

---

when i hear about the lack of support some people have had from friends, colleagues and workmates? i think that a lot of the people around me are... unbelievably amazing. incredibly supportive.

i think, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that in some ways i am lucky.

---

i'm not too bad today. i'm looking forward to mostly relaxing over the weekend, as well as meeting up with my other sis and her fiance on monday. i hope it works out as planned.


---

and finally, suggestions wanted.

currently, my due date (6th may) is blank in my diary.

i don't want it to be blank.

it feels too weird that there is nothing in on that date.

it looks too blank and empty. nothing to represent my baby. or my loss.

but i can't think what to write.

and i can't draw.



... has anyone got any ideas?