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.

---

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?)

---

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.

---

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.

---

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.

---

(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.)

---

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?

---

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.

---

i don't want to forget.

---

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.

---

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.

---

* 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.

---

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???

---

this is playing on a constant loop in my brain.

it's exhausting.

---

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.

---

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.

---

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.

---

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.

---

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.