Thursday, 30 December 2010

around and around and around

to see me talking to D last night, joking about what the baby was up to and whether it can hear yet, you would think that i'm faking the fear that i talk about on here.

but then, if you talked to me when i get upset and scared and convinced that the baby's dead, you'd think i had to be faking when i joke with D about the baby.

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in reality, they're both true. even when i'm scared and convinced the baby is dead and there is no hope, i'd still be shocked to the very core to find out there was really something wrong. even when i'm joking and talking about the baby, i'm still hating myself inside for believing.

the joy and the terror coexist, nearly every single moment. it's exhausting.

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i'm 15 weeks 4 days today. i'm not hating this part of pregnancy quite as much as i thought i would. since i had that scan a couple of weeks back time has actually been passing at a more normal rate, not superslowly as it was for the first trimester. but still. last time around, the baby was long dead by now, but i still wouldn't find out for another 9 days. part of me is expecting a similar outcome, part of me simply can't believe that the same thing would happen again.

and yes, i know how naive that is. i would expect more sense from myself, knowing all i know now.

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last new year's eve was when the shock wore off and the pain and the grief really started. i'm a bit nervous about it. i'm going round to a friend's house with D; it'll just be us, J and her husband, but... what if the echoes of last year get too strong and i just sit there in tears?

i think i'll be ok, but it's hard to tell for sure.

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i still need to write properly about christmas. soon.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

i thought i was doing really well. i coped fine with christmas and relatives and even one of my aunts patting my belly*, i didn't jump backwards and slap her hand away like i wanted to or anything. i was so proud of myself.

but then i told one of my sisters that i think i might be feeling movement, and then i started crying. i'm so scared. i thought i was feeling movement last time too, but the baby was long dead by that stage. so i really, really wasn't.

  • thinking i might be feeling movement seems dangerous.
  • telling people i think i might be feeling movement seems dangerous.
  • talking as though the baby might actually be born alive in june seems dangerous. even when i qualify it with 'hopefully' or 'if we're lucky'. and believe me, i always qualify it.
  • being in the second trimester seems dangerous.
  • believing that there is even a tiny flicker of hope for this baby seems dangerous.
  • thinking that this baby might currently be alive seems dangerous. and like the most ridiculous thing to think in the entire universe.
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but doesn't this baby deserve some belief? and some hope?

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*weirdly, my sister's husband touched my belly last night and even though a) i really don't want anyone ever touching my belly without an invitation to and b) he is the least likely person ever to do that i was ok with that, it didn't seem invasive or anything. possibly because he was doing it to make sure a pregnant friend of my sister's knew i was pregnant too. maybe that somehow made it ok?

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and actually i was glad he did it, because although she hasn't lost a baby (that i know of) she somehow gets it and it was really nice talking to her about pregnancy and my fears. i almost felt normal. it was nice.

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anyway.

i'm at my parents' house. D was here with me, but he left this morning as he has work tomorrow. i go back in the morning. i think maybe i'm freaking out because he's not here to keep the lid on my craziness.

i'm so exhausted by simultaneously trying to believe that there is hope and by trying to crush out any ounce of hope that flickers before it takes hold.

i want this baby so badly but i want the other one too.

there's no way i can have both and it's not fair.

i want to have them both.

it's just not fair.

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in just a few days Last Year will no longer be last year.

it seems like my snowflake is drifting further and further away from me. that soon my little mite will be lost to me forever. even more so than it already is.

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D strongly thinks this baby is a boy. i am secretly (well, not so secretly) hoping for a girl. i'm not quite sure what to do with a boy.

i don't have any strong feelings about what it actually is. as long as it's alive, i don't really care.

D is talking about what 'he' is doing in there. about what he will be like.

before i was pregnant, D was very vocal about the fact that he did not want to believe in any pregnancy until it was over and we had a healthy, living baby.

his belief and his optimism simultaneously help me to keep going and utterly terrify me.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

when i first discovered the world of the babylost and the many, many blogs out here, i was astounded. i had no idea that women were going through this. no idea what was really happening. it was such a comfort to me that other women were going through the depths of grief. that other women had done it and had managed to struggle out the other side, even though their wounds and scars were still very evident.

but the one thing i mostly couldn't do was read the blogs of women who were pregnant again. and women who had other children were a toss-up. some i could read; some i really, really couldn't. most - although definitely not all - of the blogs that i felt drawn to were those who had lost their first child (or, indeed, all of their children).

in time, i became more able to read the blogs of those with other children. some of them have become real friends. many of them have supported me even when i haven't been able to support them.

most of them have also given me hope.

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the one type of blog i couldn't deal at all with was the kind of blog where someone was pregnant post-loss and nervous, but didn't really seem to talk about their grief any more.

which makes it really bloody annoying that that's exactly the kind of blog that this has now turned into.

i don't want to be healed. i don't want this pregnancy to wash away my grief and my love for my first child. i don't want it to make me all better. i don't want to forget.

i don't cry for that baby any more. i hate that. doesn't it deserve my tears?

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i'm honestly amazed that so many people still read - especially those who are newly babylost or have been ttc for a while. but i appreciate you all and your support and your comments so, so much.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

other people's children

when we found out i was pregnant, there were already pregnant people around. my friend J's girlfriend was due in the september, eight months before me. H was due in the november. A (no longer a friend) was about six weeks ahead. my female friend J was going through IVF and ended up being about two months behind me. i was so excited that so many of us were going to have babies in the same academic year. i was fascinated by the fact that J's baby was born when i was only 6 weeks pregnant, but that in a few years our children would be in the same academic year. it seemed crazy and maybe even unfair that he got all that extra time to develop.

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but then, of course, everything went wrong. we didn't get to have that baby. i got a whole bucketload of grief instead.

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and then it took another ten cycles to get pregnant again.

i hadn't really realised until the other day that there will be nearly two full years between our child (if it even lives) and J's. and that thought felt like a punch in the guts. i know in the grand scheme of things it's not really all that bad, but... two years, man. two years. i've been wanting children for so long. their pregnancy was unplanned. the baby is delicious. my friend is doing so well in a situation that's hard for many reasons. but it just seems so unfair that he gets to be a full two years ahead of us in the whole parenting thing. that the chances are he will want to give us advice. it's not supposed to be that way.

it's supposed to be us blazing the trail for others. we've been together over a decade. they've been together maybe two, three years. this is all wrong.

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we see J's baby all the time. we're probably the people he's closest to outside his family. he's always happy to see us.

i've written before about the jewellery i wear now. my snowflake pendant and my black plastic bangle.

since the baby was old enough to grab things, he's grabbed at my bangle. it's the same size and shape as his teething rings; he thought it was his. i used to take it off my wrist and give it to him to chew.

these days, he takes it off me and puts it on his own wrist. and smiles at me, proud.

when i hold him, he plays with my pendant.

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these are just things that babies do. nothing amazing or out of the ordinary.

but it occurred to me the other day that this is the closest he will ever get to interacting with my first child. with the baby i was supposed to have. with the child who was supposed to be his friend.

and it makes me glad that he does those things. but so, so sad.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

i just marked 165 posts as read in google reader. i've never done that before. i hated doing it. but i need to give myself a break, and trying to catch up was making me even more stressed than i already am.

i phoned one of my sisters in tears before, entirely unable to order my mum's christmas present. too stressed by photo options and bad reviews of websites and deadlines for christmas ordering. i should get the order through by the deadline but christ, i was stressed.

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i stayed off work sick monday. went back tuesday. tried to deal with the terror. by the time i got home wednesday i needed to know what was going on. i called the maternity assessment unit and lasted about ten seconds before i started crying. they told me to go in the next day (thursday) at 12. that i would go to the end of the list and might have to wait quite some time, but that they would scan me. just this once.

we decided that D would stay in work until i called to say we were getting close. hoped they would give me some idea of how long i'd be waiting. as it turned out when we reported to the MAU a lovely midwife asked 'so do you just need to know this baby is alive?' when i told her yes she said she'd just do me a quick scan before her shift finished at 12.30. i asked if she could wait for D to arrive and she said of course.

i thought the scan would just be a 'there's the baby, it's fine, now be on your way' kind of thing, but it lasted about 15 minutes. she looked at the baby in detail and gave us another 10 (TEN!!!!) pictures. and it was fine. heart still beating away, baby still moving around and lying in bizarre positions. moving much slower than the last baby, but i think i'm kind of glad about that; i still wonder if it was moving around so much and so fast because it was in pain. i know it shouldn't be possible at 12 weeks, but it doesn't stop me being scared that it was and that i didn't know :(

so today i'm 14 weeks. and today i believe we've got a shot at this. no guarantees, but a decent shot. i'm still kind of scared, and i still feel that the 20 week scan is just too bloody far away for comfort, but right now i believe in my tiny baby. i'm scared for it, but i believe.

and just for the record, i've heard so many horror stories about the R.V.I., but for me they've been nothing but amazing. i far prefer it to ra.ke lan.e.

Monday, 13 December 2010

i've been disturbed recently. for ages actually. why? because i've felt mostly ok. i haven't wanted to cry. i only cried even on the anniversary of our loss because i made myself write a post talking about it.

i don't like that. i don't like feeling as though this pregnancy has somehow fixed me. made me forget my first child, as if i'm too busy focusing on this second one to remember what we lost.

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but i guess it's ok. it turns out it's just denial talking.

i got in bed tonight. all was well. D and i looked again at the scan pics; that's not really something we've ever done before in either pregnancy, get the pics out to look at them. we were laughing and joking and just chatting. we put the light out. all was well.

except. it wasn't. i moved around, trying to get comfortable, and i remembered the sonographer telling me to move from side to side and to bang my bottom on the bed to get the baby to move. and i thought, if i banged my bottom on the bed now, it would make the baby move. maybe even start it spinning around.

and then i started to realise that i don't believe that for a second. that somehow in my head i think that i believe the baby is somewhere in the machinery of the hospital, because that's where we saw it. it's not inside me. that's just crazy. i'm not pregnant. the baby's somewhere else. (if there even is a baby. how can there really be a baby?) in limbo somewhere. waiting to see whether it gets to live or die. and to be honest i'm just waiting for it to die. i don't want it to, but it feels like it's just a matter of time. maybe my time's up already. maybe i'll have a few more weeks this time. or maybe this time i'll get to go full term and then fall (fail?) at the final hurdle.

i don't feel any connection to this baby. i think i did before, but it's been fading away. the first scan, i cried. i was so relieved. the second scan, i cried before we went in, for fear of what we would see and because D had got trapped downstairs because of a fire alarm (he got to the EPAC before they scanned me, but i was so terrified he wouldn't) but i didn't really cry at the scan. at the 12 week scan i was crying when they called us in but again i was ok when they did the scan.

i think i believed i was pregnant early on but that the pregnancy would fail early on, too. and i was glad when it didn't, but i guess now i'm in my second trimester i can't get my head around the idea that i could possibly end up with a baby in six months. now more than ever i'm just waiting for things to go wrong.

i don't want to be in my second trimester. it doesn't feel like a safe place to be.

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i keep hearing about people who feel their babies moving really early, like 12 weeks. and i'm so utterly bitterly jealous i almost (almost, not quite) hate them. the last midwife appointment i had last time around i was 16+6 and i thought i was starting to feel movement. the midwife said it was possible. but obviously, i wasn't. the baby had been dead for weeks. i guess if i was feeling anything it was my body starting to think about moving things on.

i can't imagine ever feeling this baby move. i can't imagine ever being able to feel it kick me. or be able to let D feel it. it seems so utterly far away, unreachable. every day of this pregnancy seems to last forever. i already feel like i've been pregnant for a year. june next year sounds like a different century.

i can't imagine i'll ever get as far as worrying about giving birth.

i just wish i knew if everything was still ok in there.

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hang on little babe. please hang on. i know i don't even really believe you exist, but i want to. i want to be wrong again. so, so badly. i thought my last baby was alive when it had died. now i want to be wrong again, this time to find out that really you're fine, even if i can't imagine that possibility in even one of all the potential universes.

i need so badly for you to be ok.

i love you. even though i barely believe in you, i love you. please know that above all else.

Friday, 10 December 2010

i know that a lot of my readers here are babyloss people who have probably seen this quote already, but i still wanted to share it, because it's very powerful.

'If you know someone who has lost a child or lost anybody who's important to them, and you're afraid to mention them because you think you might make them sad by reminding them that they died, they didn't forget they died. You're not reminding them. What you're reminding them of is that you remember that they lived, and that's a great, great gift.'

Elizabeth Edwards. Lovely quote, but so, so sad that it's necessary.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

just got the results back from the Combined Test. my risk of Dow.n's Synd.rome is 1 in 50,000. bloody hell, i didn't think it was going to be that low.

of course, that doesn't stop me worrying about whether or not the baby's died in the last week. but at least it's one less thing to have to worry about.

(of course, the risk of losing the baby last time was 0.4% or less, so i don't know why this should be reassuring. even a low risk such as that doesn't mean the baby is definitely ok. please let it be, though. alive and healthy. please.)

Sunday, 5 December 2010

i still have to write about going to see interpol on 25th november (it was amazing).

but.

we were also due to go and see biffy clyro in manchester on friday. but the weather was too bad for us to travel down. bugger.

and you know i mentioned that two of the songs that helped me to cry were songs the singer wrote about the death of his mother?

they played them both. acoustic versions. i'm so gutted i missed it.

Friday, 3 December 2010

pregnancy mentioned

ok, i know it might seem weird to title this 'pregnancy mentioned' when i've done little but talk about being pregnant for the last... jeebers, nearly 8 weeks now.... but, well, this post is talking about 'normal' pregnant stuff. so it might be harder to read. and i kind of wanted to warn you all before you started to read so that if it's too hard you can click away and read something else instead.

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honestly, i don't mind if you do. i've also posted a scan pic right at the end of this post which i know might be too hard to see for some people.

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so. this might be the most 'normal' pregnancy post i've ever written.

i'm only 11 weeks or so, but i'm already showing. i've been trying to disguise it in work with jackets and cardis and scarves, but i don't know how successful i've been; noone's actually asked me if i was pregnant, but i know that before i was even 8 weeks pregnant at least three people in work had guessed; and i'd been off work sick since before i found out i was pregnant until only about three days before that.

(so, yeah. that was a bit weird. two of the people i work with closely but one i don't see all that much of. i guess they all knew we were trying again, but still, it was a little creepy.)

i've been telling myself it's just my imagination that i've got a noticeable (if still small) bump, or just the fact that hell, i've put on a hell of weight in the last year (eating while depressed will either do that or make you unable to eat; i was unable to eat for a few weeks then started eating again, a LOT). but just before i lay down on my front, which i haven't done for a very long time now. and... it felt different. it felt... i guess it felt like there was something small and hard in the bottom of my abdomen. it was quite uncomfortable.

and. i've been starting to get less and less comfortable in my jeans; they fasten but they feel tight and they're getting pushed down and feel less secure. rather like they're going to fall down, in fact, which isn't a good feeling.

so today i bought a pair of maternity jeans. and a maternity top. (i bought a maternity top the day before my scan too. i was telling myself i'd take it back when i got bad news the next day.) i tried them on. i look pregnant in them. (far more pregnant than i actually am, too.)

last time i did not buy any maternity clothes. last time i didn't even look at any maternity clothes. last time, in fact, pregnancy did not really impact on my thinking or my self-image or even my plans for the medium-term future. i didn't really think about it. i knew we'd have to plan sooner or later, but before we got there it was suddenly all over.

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i didn't expect the scan to be reassuring, even if everything turned out well. i expected that i would be reassured at most for the next couple of hours. instead, i find that i feel far more secure. this scan was a very different experience. we didn't have to go back into that room. we were at a different hospital with a better set-up. the sonographer was incredibly reassuring. neither of us saw anything to worry about.

in fact, i just went back to look at the pics from last year. i remember them as much, much clearer than they actually were; while we were there we could see the baby clearly, but on the pictures there's almost nothing to see.

it's amazing. this time we saw a clear baby.

i don't pretend to believe that this confidence will last forever, but even if it lasts just a few days, i'll be happy. i was terrified that, knowing that these equivalent days were the last few of my last baby's life, i would be a nervous wreck. i'm so relieved that i'm not.

thank you to you all for having hope for me when i couldn't hold it for myself.

and thank you merry for making me laugh, if you are reading this :)

Thursday, 2 December 2010

after all that worrying.....

the baby was fine.*

it was very still at first, and i was a little nervous - even though the sonographer could tell me straight away there was a heartbeat, and let us listen to it too.

but to get the nuchal measurement the sonographer needed the baby to move, so she got me to roll around and to bang my bottom on the bed. after that, the baby moved a lot. the thing that amazed me most was the way it span around and around. it's amazing that a tiny little creature inside me can be moving around so much but that i won't be able to feel it for weeks.

by the date i ovulated, i should have been 10+6 today. at the last scan though, the baby was measuring four days ahead of that, so i was hoping that that growth would have kept up, making me 11+3. but i was afraid that it would measure 11+4, because that's what i was when we had our 12 week scan last time around.

so of course, this baby measured 11+4 too.

but i think i'm kind of ok with that. this scan was very different. we got to hear the heartbeat, and it was definitely fast enough (not sure what the actual rate was). the nuchal measurement was good, and... there were no niggling worries for either of us from what we saw. we did mention to the sonographer how slow the heartbeat had seemed to us both last time, and she said 'yes, that doesn't sound good'. i still find it so hard to believe that noone picked up on it when we (who don't know anything about this stuff) were both concerned. we asked the sonographer so many times and in so many different ways if things really did look good. luckily she'd read my notes so she understood, and was very reassuring. and told us many different ways that yes, everything looks the way it should.

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it's hard to know that this time last pregnancy our baby only had four days still to live. but everything feels very different this time round. i'm starting to believe that (whisper it) there might - just might - be a good chance that at the end of june, we'll be taking home a living baby.

oh, and we both preferred this hospital to the other one. so that's good too.

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the only real problem was the consultant appointment. my midwife had referred me because she wanted me to get another scan around 15-16 weeks to stop me from going insane. but according the the all-important protocol, there is no reason for this to happen, so i ain't gonna get it. right now, i'm ok about that, but ask me again in another couple of weeks and i might well be going mental. we'll see, i guess.

ah well. i love my midwife for trying.

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*incidentally, entirely depriving me of any opportunity to say 'i told you so', so if you could all be so kind as to not say that? i would really, really appreciate it ;) thankyouverymuch!)
6 hours 40 minutes until my scan.

not freaking out, but my stomach feels hollow.

i know i need to eat breakfast or i'll be ill later, but i can't face it.

i only realised this morning that if i get bad news today i'll have two loss dates only one week apart.

i feel like typing that was tempting fate.

but i wish i'd realised it earlier and asked to change my scan date when i thought about it earlier.

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i'm terrified.

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i might not be able to update until later this evening but i will do as soon as i can.

thank you all for understanding.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

the lovely Angela Rodman has an amazing giveaway on her blog. spread the word!

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i went to see my doctor today. we've decided that i'm going to start weaning off the antidepressants. i'm quite optimistic about it, but at the end of the day if i start to struggle i'll just go back onto them and try again later.

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i am actually a little more positive today. kind of. in a wonky kind of way.

i can't imagine this baby is alive. but i also can't imagine it's dead. i just can't imagine there is a baby. the idea that there really might be one is just ridiculous. like i say, my brain cannot grasp what is supposed to be happening.

last time, i didn't really believe there was a baby until we had the scan. which, unfortunately, fell only four days before it died. unfortunately, i then spent over four weeks with a dead baby inside me, finally getting excited about what was going to happen, utterly unaware that it was already over.

i suppose that if i acknowledge this pregnancy - the bump that has to be more fat than baby, the tiredness, the hope that i'm too terrified to let in - then i acknowledge the fact that it's already too late. that if i lose this baby too, i am sunk.

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i'm scared that the minute i believe in this baby will be the minute it dies. it's weird; some people are terrified that buying baby clothes or nursery furniture will somehow kill their baby. i'm actually ok with all that; i've bought far more baby things this time than i did last. for me, it's love and anticipation that i'm scared will prove fatal.

after all, it was when i was finally filled with love and anticipation last time that the baby died.

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i realise that some readers might find it hard to hear how negative i feel about the chances of this pregnancy sticking.

it's similar to anticipatory grief, i think. last time, i was so utterly unprepared for the possibility of things going wrong (i was past 12 weeks!!! NO ONE has a miscarriage after 12 weeks!!!! well, except for all the people that do....) that it utterly broke me when it happened. as a result, my psyche is trying to prepare me for the possibility of the same thing happening again by telling me that it's already happened. i mean, that's all very well. it sounds really sensible.

apart from the whole fact that it doesn't actually work at all. but who cares about that part?

if that doesn't protect me, i have nothing to stop me from falling into the ravine.

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less than 40 hours until my scan.

Monday, 29 November 2010

update

we're knee deep in snow round here. unheard of at this time of year.

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i've been getting random stabbing pains at the edge of my left b00b. rather disconcerting.

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i scared the bejesus out of myself this morning. i helped D push our car back onto the pavement this morning after it got stuck in the snow half into the road. and then remembered i'm ten weeks pregnant. i know it shouldn't make any difference, it shouldn't be possible to hurt the baby like that, but i'm still terrified i did.

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our 12 week scan is on thursday. it falls when i should be 10+6. but last time we had a scan i was 8+4 and the baby measured 9+1. so if it measures less than 11+3 i will be terrified that everything is going wrong again.

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of course, that's really only my secondary fear. right now i can't imagine that the scan on thursday will show that the baby is still alive. right now i am convinced it is already dead. and that because i am such a terrible mother, i should have realised this by now.

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it's not even that i'm anxious about it. i'm calm. i'm just waiting for my world to collapse again.

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last time our 12 week scan fell at 11+4. the baby died four days later. i realise the odds of the same thing happening again are minimal. but that just doesn't help. i can't imagine a good outcome to this pregnancy. i can't imagine myself with a bump... even though one is already appearing. i can't imagine myself with a baby. my brain just won't move in that way.

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i'm kind of aware that my experience is colouring my expectation, but that doesn't reassure me either.

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i don't want to lose this baby.

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but i'm scared it's already too late.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

a year of grief in review

it's been a year.

it's been a year.

excuse me if i'm repeating myself. but today marks a year since we found out our baby had died, and i honestly find that hard to understand.

it's been 365 days. 52 weeks. 12 months. four seasons.

how is that possible?

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i don't even know why today's date is the one that means something. we found out what had happened a year ago today, but that's all. the baby had been dead for weeks by that point; it measured 12 weeks 1 day, which would mean it died on 23 october, but i know things aren't that precise. i went into hospital on 29th november and actually had the miscarriage that day; i say 'had the miscarriage' because that was exactly what it felt like. it felt like the passage of waste products from my body, and that memory will always upset me. i'll write about it one day, but i keep putting it off.

the point is that that date doesn't really mean anything to me either.

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the memory of last winter seems unreal now. it doesn't seem like something that happened to me. looking back, it's clearer what i was going through; but i don't seem connected to it. it seems like something that happened to someone else.

in the immediate aftermath, i told work that i would be off for two weeks, because there was a girl in HR who was due to go off on maternity leave and i couldn't deal with seeing her. i genuinely thought that two or three weeks would be all i'd need. that i'd go back to work a week or so before christmas when everything was slowing down for the holidays, that it would be ok by then.

looking back, it's clear to see that in the event i spent december running round in shock. going into town nearly every day, sitting in starbucks, trying to avoid the reality of what had happened. christmas we pretended everything we ok - i think we actually put on quite a good show. we even convinced ourselves that we were ok.

at the beginning of january, though, we went to a cremation ceremony for babies who had been miscarried in hospital. just us and maybe four other couples. we'd been led to believe it wasn't overly religious, but it turned out it was; this wasn't comfortable for either of us, but still i sat and sobbed my way through the entire thing.

it was at this point i began to realise that something huge had happened, and i couldn't run away from it. that the way out was through.

january was very dark as i began to accept the depth of my grief. the ground was covered with a blanket of snow for most of the month. it helped. the weather was so out of the ordinary - we often get snow in the winter, but it never stays for more than a few days usually - that it felt like the weather knew that we were in mourning.

in february i went back to work. at the time it felt like i'd been off for too long, if anything. my doctor disagreed, but reluctantly signed me off as fit to go back. i was ok the first couple of days, but then it really started to hit me. that time had passed. that everything was real. it hit me in the gut the day that i picked up my date stamp and it read '25 November 2009'. don't get me wrong; i was aware that time had been passing... but at the same time, i really hadn't.

march was hard, although tiny little glimmers of hope started to show. not all the time, just every so often. but april was mixed. it began well. i almost started to feel like me again. but towards the end of the month, i started spiralling back downhill. by the end of the month i was off sick again, barely able to cope. may - especially the beginning of may, around my due date - was a hard, hard month. i finally went onto antidepressants. they helped.

june and july were ok. i had times when i was doing well and times when i really, really wasn't. at the end of july we went on holiday to Barcelona. it was just what we needed. we came home relaxed and happier.

unfortunately, then i immediately went on my sister's hen do and was unexpectedly confronted by noticeably pregnant women, causing a downwards spiral once more. august and september i forced myself to carry on, sometimes believing that i was really doing ok, but in reality not being ok at all. in the end, work referred me to occupational health, who broke through my defences and had me in floods of tears in less than five minutes. i was then signed off work for another six weeks, during which time i found out i'm pregnant again.

and now we're here.

---

you know what? being pregnant again is hard. i can't emphasize that enough.

it's not a magical cure-all. it doesn't fix my pain.

don't get me wrong; i'm glad that i am. i'm glad that i have a glimmer of hope in my life. it's much better than the alternative. but you know what else being pregnant means? it means the possibility of pain. it means the possibility of losing a second child. it means trying to fight off anticipatory grief.

(D's already concerned that if everything goes well, i won't be mentally prepared. that if we actually take home a living baby, i won't know how to deal. at first i thought that he meant i wasn't prepared for the reality of being a mother, of caring for a baby 24 hours a day. but recently i've begun to understand that that's not what he means. that he's scared i'll be prepared for pain but not for happiness. that i'll end up with post-natal depression because of our history. and honestly, i think he might have a point. luckily, though, in the last week or so i've had my first appointment with psychological services after being on the waiting list since march. and it turns out it's not counselling; it's therapy. it's regular appointments with a psychologist to give me tools to be able to cope with all this.

thank goodness.)

---

i am regularly filled with fear. the terror of things going wrong again isn't constant, but it's regular. two scans haven't really made me any more confident that we will have a good outcome. sure, it's good to know that there's really a baby in there, and that it had a heartbeat when we saw it. but we had that last year, and, well. we all know how that ended.

this pregnancy will either end well or it will end badly. the odds might be in my favour, but it'll either happen or it won't. at the end of the day, i see our chances as 50-50. no better, no worse. either we get to take home a living baby or we won't.

i hope (more than i can say) that this pregnancy will end well, with a living, healthy baby. but i find it very, very hard to believe. because i'm all too aware of just how often things go wrong. i'm aware that when the books say that the risk of miscarriage drops after the first trimester, that they mean exactly that and no more. the risk drops, but it doesn't go away entirely. that even if i get through the first trimester (and that's still not a given, even though i'm getting close now - ten weeks tomorrow), that doesn't mean that i won't miscarry in the second, or that i'm not going to find out that the baby has a condition incompatible with life.

it doesn't mean that i am somehow safe from the risk of having a stillbirth.

my dad said the other week that he was sure everything would be ok. and he meant it well; he just can't stand to believe that this could happen again. but it scares me when people say such things. i don't want to tempt fate. it feels like people are pushing my head above the parapet.

---

in the end, today isn't about possibilities. today is about remembering what was. a year ago right now, we were about to leave the doctor's surgery to go to the hospital. the midwife had said that she thought everything was ok, but that she would send us down there. just to make sure. because she knew i would worry otherwise. and at the time, she truly believed it. the sun was shining. we knew everything was ok. we were just going to get an extra peek at the baby. all was well.

i think that part of me will always be stuck there, waiting at the hospital. believing in that baby. just a little bored. happy to have a chance to see our acrobatic little baby once more.

i want a part of me to stay there. to be happy for that baby. to love it and cherish it. my tiny little snowflake.

---

i love you, my little one. my first child. i wish i'd got to meet you. i wish i hadn't been too terrified to look when you passed from me. i wish you could have known how much i love you. how painful it was for your dad and i that you had to leave us.

i wish i could have known which of us you'd look like. i wish i could have known whether in time you would have liked the music we like or whether it would have made you cringe with embarrassment. whether you would have preferred indian food, or chinese, or pizza. i will always be sad that i don't know who you would have been. even whether you were a boy or a girl. i will never know, and that makes me so sad.

even if all turns out well with this new spark of life - even if we were to have another five or ten or twenty babies - please know that we'll never forget you. i will remember. i hope to honour your tiny life by always remembering how lucky i am to have had a chance to see you leaping and dancing inside me.

---

and thank you - more than i can ever say - for sending me the snow today.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

christmas

i kind of think this post needs to come with a health warning. i know that quite a few of my readers are facing their first christmas after losing their babies, and this post might be quite incomprehensible to you right now. to be honest, it's a little incomprehensible to me too, but it is what it is. and i hope that at least some of the older-timers understand. at least a little.

---

you know what? i am ridiculously excited about christmas this year.

and that's not usual.

usually, i'm not ready for christmas to even think about starting until december. preferably about the 10th. i get annoyed at the christmas decorations turning up in early november. i scowl when the fenwicks window first appears.

but this year it's been different. i mean, i started out as normal - annoyed by early christmas decorations. but that only lasted a few days. then i started liking the christmas lights. and looking at christmas decorations and - gasp - being excited.

i found myself in HMV today deliberating on buying a cd of christmas music, ffs! the only reason i came home without one is that none of them was quite what i was after. i am SO not the kind of person who buys christmas cds.

we bought our christmas tree last night. and a load of new decorations. we haven't put it up yet, but it'll be going up soon. and i can't wait. i want to wrap all my presents and put them under the tree. i want to write my christmas cards. it's been snowing, and it's due to snow loads more tomorrow, and that makes me happier than i can ever say.

basically, i want it to be christmas.

and i suspect there are two reasons for this. i'll share the slightly more horrible one first, so i can end this post on a nice note.

i think the first reason is that i want to make sure that i get *some* amount of christmas spirit this year. if something goes wrong, i want to have enjoyed myself beforehand.

because last year was a bust. we went through the motions, but neither of us enjoyed it.

but.

last year was a bust. last year we didn't enjoy christmas at all. this year i want to have fun. i want to listen to daft festive music and get excited about mince pies and wrapping presents. i want to see if i can make non-alcoholic mulled wine and non-alcoholic bucks fizz. i want to put my christmas tree up while it's still november and leave it up right the way through til twelfth night. i want to light bunches of candles and turn off the lights and snuggle with D on the sofa. i want to go to carols by candlelight and listen to the choir and sing the carols.

i want to enjoy my christmas. and dammit, if it's at all possible to do so, i'm gonna.
there was a thin scattering of snow on the ground outside when i woke up this morning.

it's due to keep snowing today. and tomorrow.

i don't believe in signs, but i am so thankful for this.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

a few people have stopped in to make sure i'm ok so i just wanted to quickly update* to let you know that i'm ok. feeling much more sick today and yesterday which i'm hoping is a good sign. feeling quite positive in myself. feeling quite quiet though; i haven't commented on anyone's blog in a while now. i'm reading but keeping posts unread in google reader because i want to reply, but can't find any words.

very aware that this thursday marks a year since we found out the baby had died, and rather wary, because i don't feel upset, and that feels wrong.

i'll talk more about this later on tonight. in the meantime, thank you for thinking about me.


*i loves me split infinitives....

Thursday, 18 November 2010

thanks all for the comments on my last post. i feel more at peace with the situation now.

---

still spotting a little. i've been having some abdominal pains but they seem to have eased off. hoping that's a good sign and not a bad one.

got a midwife appointment tomorrow. hoping she can reassure me a bit.
wow. someone i was friends with on lj (livejournal) is pregnant. as you will know i find it really hard to hear about other people's pregnancies... i tried to be ok with it but then she posted two vids of her ultrasound and it was so painful to see.

i sent her a message telling her my history and asking her if she would mind filtering me out of her pregnancy-related posts. i worded it really careful and said that i felt like a horrible person asking her to do this. but she seemed like a really nice person. i thought she would understand. lj's not like fb, you can't just hide a single person (at least not as far as i know).

i got a message back from her this morning telling me that i should feel like a horrible person and that it was disturbing that i would project my problems with pregnancy onto her. she accused me of trying to rob her of her happiness.

oh yeah, and she's deleted me.

full disclosure: she stated in one of her posts that she's terrified of miscarriage, but she's had quite a few healthy ultrasounds and is now over 10 weeks - so her risk is very low. and again we all know that means nothing, but... i still fully expect everything to be ok for her.

she asked me not to reply so i'm respecting that.

part of me wants to tell her i'm sorry for upsetting her - because i really, really am - but part of me just can't understand why a message i thought was calm and considered was read as disturbing and - reading between the lines - cruel.

tell me truly. i can take it. am i a horrible person? i thought not, but maybe i'm wrong :(

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

i arrived at the hospital early. i was waiting outside the EPAC for D when the fire alarm went off and all the doors shut. and not a member of staff in sight.

in the end some staff turned up. they put me in the day room off one of the wards. i tried to call D to let him know but i couldn't get through. i was terrified they were going to make me go in and start before he turned up. i ended up in tears in the day room.

he got through to me in the end though; said they wouldn't let him upstairs yet but he'd be there as soon as he could.

it felt like forever but in the end the alarm was switched off. a nurse told us we could go back to the EPAC. when i got out D was just arriving. such a relief.

---

i'm not quite sure how to say this. i was so adamant that everything was wrong.

the nurse started the scan, then looked up at us and said 'the baby's fine!' in a kind of 'what on earth are you here for?' kind of tone of voice.

last week it measured 7+1, apparently.

this week it measured about 9 weeks.

so it's doing pretty well in there.

---

thank you so much for being there for me, everyone. it means the world.

---

my 12 week scan is scheduled for 2 december. as far as i'm concerned i should be 10 weeks 6 days then. if today's 9 weeks was correct though i'll be about 11+3.

so just over two weeks to get through til we can have another peek.

i'll try not to go too crackers between now and then.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

no real change. a couple of times there's been more blood. still brown.
i'm going to work tomorrow.
yesterday i didn't think there was any hope. today i think there's maybe 1% of a chance?

but then, last time i didn't know things had gone wrong 4.5 weeks before i found out, so what the hell do i know.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

no change here. no more blood. still no pregnancy symptoms. i know they can come and go but until wednesday they were pretty much constant. i haven't had any for three days now.

i cleaned the kitchen this morning. D had made gravy yesterday. normally it makes me feel sick dealing with the jug even when i'm not pregnant. this morning, not a flicker. i actually feel less sick than my usual state of being.

still over two full days to go through before i can find out what the hell is going on.

we've given up hope. i mean, i'm not drinking alcohol or eating runny eggs or anything yet (and i crave nothing more than the oblivion of being really drunk right now) but that's only because i don't want to do anything i'd regret in the unlikely chance that everything is actually ok.

---

we started trying to conceive in april 09. (i know that's nothing compared to some of you.)

if you'd told me then that 18 months later i still wouldn't have a living baby in my arms i would never have believed you.

the dream seems extremely far away, and entirely pointless.

Friday, 12 November 2010

last time around the baby died four days after a scan.

this is all happening three days after a scan.

---

last time i found out the day after i'd been out for lunch with a group from work.

today i went out for lunch with a group from work.

---

last time it was november.

now it's november.

---

this doesn't feel good.

i'm going to bed.

---

i'm terrified i'm going to wake up bleeding in the middle of the night.
i went to the loo before. there was blood.

brown blood. old. not much. but blood.

blood is not good.

---

i called D. work and mobile. couldn't get through. i called my midwife. her phone was switched off.

i got someone to give me a lift home from work. i didn't know what to do. the only number that looked potentially useful in my maternity notes was the number for the maternity assessment unit. i called. they told me that as i hadn't had a dating scan yet that they couldn't do anything for me and that i would have to go to A&E.

A&E is at the General. the Early Pregn.ancy Asses.sment Cl.inic (EP.AC) is at the RVI. i already didn't like this.

i got hold of D. told him to see me at the General. phoned a taxi.

---

we basically waited at the General for over an hour and a half for someone to a) take my blood pressure and b) make me an appointment at the EP.AC. what a fuc.king waste of time. they showed no interest in the fact that although i don't have pain in my abdomen i do feel like i feel when i get my period, or the even more tellling fact that my pregnancy symptoms are easing up - the nurse actually said 'well that's good!'. NO IT'S FUC.KING NOT.

no. it's fuc.king not.

they didn't even check my cervix. i'd think that was something important.

and this is the best bit. the appointment at the EP.AC isn't until tuesday.

i don't feel sick any more, not really. i'm not tired. i've had some blood. i feel like i do when i'm getting my period.

i can't help thinking that it's all over but the bleeding.

---

i really believed in this pregnancy.

---

please don't say there's still hope. i know that technically there is. but... just please. don't say it.

----

edited to add - D pointed out ages ago that the blood was probably from the scan on tuesday. it's not the blood that's freaking me out. it's the sensations that are similar to when i have a period. it's the fact that the nausea is gone and the tiredness is all but gone. i know i started with it, but that's really not the main part of this.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

yesterday i went back to work after being off sick for over six weeks.

it was really scary.

when i got home i didn't even take my coat off before flaking on the sofa. i dozed for over an hour then watched the Gilmore Girls. i felt so sick and dizzy.

but reassured. sick and tired are good signs, right?

---

this morning it took me an hour to get out of bed. while i was working up the energy, my brain decided to replay being in hospital, miscarrying my baby. it was really quite horrible.

---

it took me a while to get myself to have my breakfast. but i managed in the end. i ate more today than yesterday, in the hope it helped stave off the tiredness and nausea for longer.

---

i felt sick at lunchtime. but better after i'd eaten some crisps. (chips for my american readers.)

i wasn't exhausted this afternoon. tired but not exhausted. i didn't feel really sick.

the afternoons seem to be when i feel worst.

between that and the reruns going through my head this morning, and some random pains to each side of my abdomen, i'm busy being scared it's all over today.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

i felt like i was walking to my own execution as i made my way to the early pregnancy assessment unit.

i panicked as i walked into the room. D was late and i didn't want them to do the scan before he got there. they started the initial assessment first though and he arrived only just after.

i was so terrified as she started the scan. she seemed to take forever before she told us what was happening. i was so scared the news was going to be bad.

but then...

we have a heartbeat.

(we have a heartbeat!!!!!! can you believe it?!?)

the baby's measuring 'seven plus' weeks - according to when i ovulated i should be 7+4, so that sounds good enough to me.

there's definitely only one. thank goodness.

not ectopic. not molar.

a healthy, viable pregnancy.

and things are looking good. and our chances of miscarriage are 'very low'.

---

i didn't cry until she started to show us the baby's heartbeat. i could barely see it for crying. D said it looked stronger and faster than the heartbeat we saw at the 12 week scan last time. i'm glad he was there, on so many levels.

they wouldn't give us a print out (apparently they don't at these early appointments) but they let D take a picture on his mobile.

---

we're still not telling everyone, but i think we're going to start telling a few more people.

---

i can't tell you how relieved i am. we both are.

---

even if this little one doesn't stick around, at least we got to see it.

Monday, 8 November 2010

wish me luck

i called the hospital this morning. they had one scan appointment left for tomorrow. 11am.

please keep everything crossed for me.

---

when i got home today i found my appointment for my dating scan. at the beginning of december strange coincidence.

i just hope i get that far.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

i went to see my GP this morning.

when i arrived at the bus stop, a single crow was hopping round a few feet away.

my heart sank.

---

i got the doctor to show me the actual numbers from the HCG blood tests.

the first number, at 5+3, was 17,116. the second, 48 hours later at 5+5, was 24,010.

that's not doubled.

---

however, they are pretty high. and apparently when they are over 6,000 mIU/ml they take four or more days to double. but other pages say that levels should keep doubling up to about 7-8 weeks, and i'm not there yet.

and now i've just looked at the table at the bottom of this page. going off that my numbers are higher than the usual range.

shit. i wish i understood what the hell was going on.

---

i don't want it to be twins. i know too many people who've had twin pregnancies end badly.

---

i'm also hoping that this doesn't signal molar pregnancy.

---

aaaaaargh. my head is a mess. i'm so terrified that this pregnancy is over even though it's hardly begun.

i'm also kind of wondering whether i'm further on than i think, but my chart seems pretty definite - not much room for having ovulated earlier than it seems. no?

---

i'm hoping to get a scan on monday or tuesday. i need to know.

---

edited to add, i called the hospital. the woman i need to speak to isn't in til monday. i guess i'll call on monday morning.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

This is a really interesting piece on the BBC website. It's about a funeral photographer.

I remember reading somewhere years ago that the Victorians took photographs of everything, including their funerals. (Apparently it wasn't just their funerals; they also used to take pictures of the dead.) I could understand the theory of why - they took photographs of everything, both happy and sad - but didn't really understand. Not really.

And I didn't understand. Until last January, D and I standing in the chapel at the crem. And the thing I wanted more than anything else was a picture of the tiny white coffin that contained the remains of the babies being cremated that day.

I knew I should have gone outside and got a picture of it before it came into the chapel. But I was somehow scared. I didn't. And then as it got to the end of the ceremony and I realised that I only had a short time left, I picked up my camera as quietly as I could and snatched a shot of the tiny white coffin.

I was really scared that the other parents there would freak. Would ask me what the hell I was doing. Noone did. I don't know if that's because they didn't realise what I'd done, or because they were too upset to care. D was pretty weirded out by it, but he didn't say anything after a whispered 'are you serious?'

So. I guess all I'm trying to say is that I'm glad someone is breaking this taboo. Even though it's a bit weird that it's a business idea.

---

I should probably say while I'm here that I'm OK. Struggling with nausea. I threw up last Friday but other than that I've just been queasy. More so than last time, which is kind of reassuring, but not constantly (and interestingly not first thing in the morning) which isn't.

I'm 7 weeks on Friday. I was supposed to get a scan around that time but... I guess I'm scared. Even if I do and all's well, it doesn't mean all will stay well. And I guess... if the news is bad it'll come soon enough. I guess I don't want to hurry it along.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

warning - dead baby mentioned

a while ago i read this post, about wanting a warning label on books and films and TV shows that contain dead babies. Warning - Dead Baby Mentioned.

---

I watched Up recently. I cried almost constantly, but I sobbed at the 'married life' montage when it becomes clear that Carl and Ellie can't have children. I knew it was coming, but it was still heartwrenching.

---

I got a book out of the library today. The Truth about Melody Browne by Lisa Jewell. 24 pages in, there it is. Dead baby. Neonatal death, to be specific.

NO ONE talks about dead babies in the real world. No one talks about miscarriage or stillbirth, at least not in my hearing. Why are they everywhere in fiction?

Monday, 25 October 2010

last time i was pregnant i expected to be bleeding every time i went to the loo.

even after 12 weeks. every single time i expected blood, and looked and looked to try and find it. i think part of my brain was amazed that it wasn't there.

this time i'm still checking every single time. i'm still kind of surprised that it's not there... but this time, i don't think i really expect it. not in the same way as i did last time.

maybe that's a positive sign?

---

of course, as it happened, there was never any blood, last time around. not until well after we'd found out what happened, and after a lot of medication. ironic, no?

Sunday, 24 October 2010

comment from merry:

The trouble is, you are surrounded with people with dead babies without the good experience some of us have to help you know you've gone through something relatively rare. Most pregnancies DON'T end in dead babies.


yes! that's exactly right. and that's the problem, although it's also a good part. hanging around the babyloss quarters of the internet means that i don't feel so alone, that what happened to me wasn't something that doesn't happen at all. but now i'm pregnant again all i can see is the miscarriages and the stillbirths and the neonatal deaths. all i can see are the people who have lost more than one pregnancy (at any stage) or child.

i read the book Avoiding Miscarriage last night. I actually found it quite reassuring. I see our odds of miscarriage as one in two, really - either it's going to happen or it isn't - but according to that stats at this point it's only about one in five. there's a good chance that i'll end up having this baby.

before i got pregnant i couldn't read certain blogs. not 'pregnant women' or 'women with living children', nothing that concrete. some i could read, but some i couldn't, and i never figured out why.

i suspect that for my own sanity i'm going to have to stop reading the blogs of those who've miscarried more than once. i hate that, but i think it's something i need to do.

"Most pregnancies DON'T end in dead babies."

So true Merry. thank you for reminding me. such a simple thought but it seems revolutionary to me right now.
i got past yesterday - a year since the baby died - without really noticing.

i think it's mostly just hard to believe. that i was pregnant. that it really happened. that i was pregnant with a baby that was alive. that died.

i miss it. i miss my little lost one. but it doesn't seem like something that really happened.

---

i saw my gp on wednesday. i told her that i'd been worried about miscarriage; specifically ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy and blighted ovum. that i'd been having some occasional abdominal pains. i was crying on and off anyway. but then she said she wanted to examine me.

my gp's room is the room i was in for my final midwife appointment. the one where she couldn't find the heartbeat. i've been in there so many times since that i'm not so sensitive about the room anymore.

but this time i had to lay down on the same bed, in the same room. i cried. i couldn't even bring myself to tell her why.

i want this to be real. i want this pregnancy to end in a healthy, living full-term baby. but i'm so scared it won't.

and i'm so sorry that i keep repeating myself. i know it must be a little tedious. but hopefully i'll stop soon.

---

hopefully we'll see my midwife on wednesday.

Friday, 22 October 2010

everything seems to be conspiring against me right now. i still can't get logged into my sodding savings account, and my front tooth broke again today for the third time in twelve days, and i found out yesterday that the full-pay section of my sick leave is about to expire, sending me onto half pay and us on a rapid road to financial destruction.

the thing about my sick pay would be irrelevant if i knew this pregnancy was viable - i will hopefully have a scan before it happens and if everything is ok then i'll go back to work, and everything is fine. the problem is if everything isn't ok.

the thought makes me feel sick. makes me want to curl up into a gibbering ball on my sofa.

but i am five weeks today. five weeks. that's all. i'm not having any symptoms. i'm not feeling sick. i've not got sensitive bo.obs. (shouldn't i have sensitive bo.obs by now?) i'm not having weird tastes or smelling weird smells.

i know i'm lucky to be here at all. i know this is what i've spent nearly the last year absolutely desperate for. i know that i have to go through all this if i want even a hope of having a baby. but...

it's just that right now i don't think this is the one.


---


i just hope i'm wrong.


---


i'm only seeing single crows and magpies again.

i'm so scared of losing this chance at a baby.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

just wanted to say....

if you know me in real life and you're reading here and you've never explicitly made that clear, please could you send me a message (or comment here if you would prefer) to let me know? i'm not aware of anyone that is - other than people who i met through blogging or facebook who i'm obviously aware of.

i know that the internet isn't exactly an anonymous place to write and that i'm not exactly as well hidden as i could be, but i'd like to know if you're there.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

i went round to a friend's house at the weekend. i told her i was pregnant. she was thrilled. too thrilled, if anything. she doesn't seem to understand that nothing is guaranteed. she told me she's not going to put her maternity clothes in the loft, so i can have them. she told me that if we find out we're having a girl, she'll keep the things from her baby for us.

i'm four weeks pregnant, people.

this is especially hard to hear from a girl who thought right the way through to the end of her pregnancy that something was going to go wrong. i thought i could rely on her to keep things low-key. i mean, i didn't want her to pretend that the news was nothing, but i thought she would at least acknowledge that i'm scared.

ah well. that's not what i came here to talk about.

when i was going i asked her to keep it under her hat. and she said yes, of course. i told her that i would tell three of our friends after we have a scan and know what's going on, and that at some point she could tell the rest of the group that used to be my friends. if they're still interested, i said.

i said that because... well. because none of them have contacted me. because they have let me drop off the edge of the world. they have given me no indication that they still remember what happened to me. that i lost my baby. that in the space of a couple of hours i went from pregnant and excited and with every reason to believe everything was ok, to having my dreams entirely shattered. a good number of my 'friends' just haven't acknowledged that at all.

but my friend heard me differently. of course they'll be interested, she said. they're not angry with you or anything.

What. The. Fcking. Fuck?????????????

what have i done for them to be angry with me for? NOTHING. their lives have been carrying on as normal, while i've been sitting here wondering if they will ever remember me. send me a message. let me know they're thinking of me.

yes, i haven't been in touch; but i'm the one that's been grieving over here. i'm the one who's been suffering from anxiety and depression. i'm the one who you hurt so, so badly by your careless facebook posts, showing off your perfect lives.

but she's not the one i'm angry with. she's the one that's been there for me, who's understood. much as i want to lash out, she's not the one who has hurt me.

she mentioned getting the baby christened again. i told her that i'd almost certainly be slipping in at the last minute and slipping out the minute it finished. but i don't think she understood, because after that she said that she knew D wasn't up for church things but that he was welcome to join the drinking part afterwards. D is even less likely to be civil than me. the people who have hurt me, he wasn't over fond of in the first place. and if i slip out the minute it finishes, then i won't be staying for drinks, will i?

i don't honestly miss these people. it's hard that my best friend is still close to them. i wish i could just forget they exist, but i can't.

---

i want to find some women who are pregnant after a second trimester loss who live nearby. i'm not sure how to go about finding them. i think i'm going to ask my midwife, but if anyone has any ideas about how to find any that would be really, really good.

Monday, 18 October 2010

somewhere in this house is a shoe box.

in that shoebox are the things we were given for the baby. last time around.

and a couple of samples of things that would last until this time around.

and i want that shoe box. so, so badly.

i want to look at the contents, and imagine a happy ending.

but i don't know where it is.

and D denies all knowledge of it existing.

so i guess it must be trapped in the room that time forgot (previously mentioned here).

and that means it'll be a while before i can access it.

---

today i don't really believe that there's even the merest hope that this will work out.

but i still want to buy a blanket.

something to keep the baby warm.

or maybe something to keep my hopes warm when they seem too far away.

---

i think part of me is mourning this baby even while - as far as i know - it's still alive.

---

i meant to say. even D has commented on suddenly seeing pairs of magpies and crows everywhere, after only seeing singles for so, so long.

either i've really infected him with my crazy, or maybe they really do know something.
i have to learn to stop reading new blogs if they are talking about things that terrify me. if those things happen, i know where they are for mutual moral support, but until that time, i need to stop reading.

if this baby is going to stick, it's going to stick.

if it's not, it's not.

i can't make it go by reading about very early miscarriage, can i?

... can i?

please stay, baby. please stay.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

today i'm mostly scared of ectopic pregnancy and blighted ovum.

today i'm quiet. not excited, not terrified. occupying that grey area in the middle.

today i'm wondering about cancelling my tuesday appointment at the dental hospital for two small fillings. wondering whether the stress would be a bad thing.

today i'm wondering whether tomorrow the clearblue test will say '2-3' instead of '1-2'. and wondering how i'll cope if it doesn't. and wondering whether i should wait another couple of days. just to be sure.

today i'm hoping the midwife calls me tomorrow.

today i don't have any symptoms, and i'm trying to tell myself that that doesn't mean anything.

----

today i'm trying to remember that i'm lucky to have all these things to worry about.

----

today i'm thinking the next 36 weeks are going to last a very, very long time.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

news

october is here again. tuesday next week marks one year since our twelve-week scan. one year since we sat in the darkened room, laughing and watching as our baby moved around, leaping and dancing and refusing to keep still.

and yet. and yet. only four days later, it was all over. the baby was dead.

we wouldn't find out for more than four weeks after its death.

23rd october will be a hard, hard day to get through.

---

ttc after loss is hard. the longing, the desperation to have back what has been lost. the desolation as you start to realise that even if you get pregnant again, you will never get that lost baby back. (it seems obvious, but it took me a while to figure that out. i thought that getting pregnant again would somehow erase my loss. would fix me. if only it was that simple.)

the sense of failure every month has left me utterly desolate at times.

over the last ten months, various people tried to tell me - some gently, some not - that maybe trying again immediately wasn't the best idea. that maybe we should wait a little longer. until i was somewhat out of the deepest, darkest part of the land of grief. but i couldn't have waited. i needed to know that there was hope. i needed to know that one day i would carry a child to term and have it live. i needed this, even though i know that there are no guarantees. i know that even getting to 40 weeks without a single glitch doesn't guarantee you anything at all.

ttc after loss is hard. especially when you're so very aware of the march of time. each month it's not just one egg that is wasted; it's many. each month puts me another month closer to 35; it's not that long until my birthday. some months the arrival of my period has felt like losing my baby all over again.

at the end of september i saw someone who drew the tears out of me that i had pretended were no longer there. she looked at me, concerned, and said that she thought i should not be trying to conceive. said she thought i should be grieving the baby i had lost, and looking after myself.

and i didn't really believe her, but i was somehow more willing to listen to this woman than anyone else.

but her words got into my brain. and as the tears and anger returned, i actually realised that i was ambivalent about conceiving that cycle. i had started to realise that yes, maybe time to grieve and to cry before pregnancy was a good idea.

a little part of my brain heard my thoughts, and it said:

woohoo! this, the month you don't want to get pregnant, will be the month you do!

the rest of my brain was mad. it urged that part of my brain to go away and leave me alone. and although a tiny part of me did actually hope that the prediction would come true, most of me just wanted a few more weeks to wallow in my sorrow.

---

(un)fortunately (take your pick, i'm not sure) fate does indeed have a twisted sense of humour.

i did a pregnancy test last sunday.

it was positive.

i'm pregnant.

(i understand if you need to stop reading. i've been there. it sucks. but no need to keep reading when it hurts. i don't want anyone to hurt because of me.)

four weeks, one day.

and although i am more terrified than i can say, i feel different.

i'm not scared to put my hand on my belly. i never did that last time. i felt like it would be an affectation. i wanted it to be natural. so i never did it.

i want to buy stuff. i never bought anything last time. i have already bought this one a rattle. even if it doesn't stick, it will be a hand-me-down for [please, please] the next one.

i can sometimes imagine myself with a bump. last time, i never did.

i can almost imagine myself with a baby.

---

it's nearly 12 months after the first baby died.

it kind of seems right. not quite a year since the baby died. it almost feels like it has stayed 12 months, to make sure we're ok, and is preparing to leave now the next spirit has arrived.

---

there are no guarantees. like i say, i'm terrified. i have tested every day; all have been positive. i need to know it's still there. i am terrified. of chemical pregnancy; early miscarriage; late miscarriage; poor prenatal diagnosis; stillbirth, neonatal death.

and that's just the main categories. and that doesn't even count all the things i'm scared of once a baby is actually born.

but i'm hopeful. the exact ratio of terror to excitement varies from day to day. but both are constant companions.

love to you all, whether you're ttc, pregnant, or parenting after loss, or whether you are a friend who just wants to know what's going on in my world. and if this news makes my blog too hard to read, that's fine. if you'd rather i stopped commenting on your blog too, please do let me know. i can take it, i promise.

oh. and if you know me in the real world, this news is confidential. please don't blab.

Friday, 15 October 2010

quiet

i'm very quiet at the mo. i'm still reading. and i'm commenting more than i have in a while. so i guess it balances out.

---

jess at after iris read a list of the names of babies who have been lost. i listened to the whole thing. it was amazing to hear my baby's nickname read out. and it was amazing to hear all those names together. it felt like they were very near while she was reading.

what she said at the end made me cry.

---

last night i posted about (inter)national pregnancy and infant loss awareness day. I said...








---

tonight i lit a candle tonight and remembered my baby, and all the other lost babies out there.


Friday, 8 October 2010

thank you all for your support yesterday. it helped so much.

i'm feeling better today. still tearful and upset and hurt and needing comfort, but better than yesterday.

----

i don't usually remember my dreams. but the last few months i've dreamed at least three times that i'm at an airport and that somehow i'm unable to catch the flight i'm due to be on.

i don't think it would take an expert to analyse that one, eh?

----

i'm starting to catch up on comments on other people's blogs. i'm not there yet but i'm getting there. i'm thinking of you all and i am so, so grateful for your comments and supports.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

this rant brought to you courtesy of a bank tipping me over the edge

last year. september. D decided that we needed a new car. because ours kept breaking down, and he thought it wasn't safe enough any more. not once there was a baby to put in it.

i personally thought that we didn't have to do that straight away. i thought there was plenty of time. but he insisted. we borrowed money from my parents and went ahead.

---

our flat. we'd been looking to move for close to a year. but once i found out i was pregnant i thought again. when our fixed rate mortgage expired we moved onto a tracker mortgage. base rate plus 2%, on a relatively small mortgage. it doesn't add up to a terribly high monthly repayment. i was scared of how little my maternity pay would be; i couldn't justify ending up with a much higher mortgage when our income was going to drop so much. D wasn't terribly happy about staying put, but... well. we thought it was only until i went back to work afterwards.

but it meant that we needed to think about the flat. we needed to get ready for our new arrival. we'd already worked on the bathroom and our bedroom; it was time to sort out the spare bedroom.

but first, D wanted to sort out the lounge. replaster, paint, get a new carpet. i didn't know why he wanted to do that first, but it seemed important to him. and there was going to be plenty of time. it didn't really matter what order we did it in.

the plastering started on friday 20th november. five days before everything was going to fall apart. we moved all the furniture we could from the lounge into the spare room. all our bookshelves (and DVD shelves and CD shelves; MAN we have a lot of stuff). the chest of drawers.

nearly a full year later, it's all still in there. the lounge is replastered and the walls painted. the skirting boards and internal doors are replaced through the whole flat.

the furniture, though, all remains where it was put. actually, i tell a lie; D has moved the bookshelves around when we've needed to get behind them - it's a major faff every time.

but all the things we put in there to get them out of the way while we were decorating are still crammed into that small room. which means that we can only access half our books at any given moment. that our paperwork is piled high on the chest of drawers; technically accessible but without any indication what's where, so pretty much useless.

---

nearly a year on. it's taken me this long to realise that the reason we haven't dealt with the room yet is that we're still in no man's land. we don't have a baby; we're not pregnant. we've been trying again for over nine months and nothing; but we don't have a diagnosis that anything is actually wrong.

we can't make it into a nursery; what if it never happens for us?

but then what's the point in making in into something else?

---

the whole place is a tip. i have piles of stuff everywhere in varying degrees of urgency. and now my credit card payment is either going to bounce or is going to take me over my overdraft limit because the account my savings are in are unhelpful bas.tar.ds and i can't access it and because we've been overspending like drunken idiots over the last few months because don't we deserve some kind of a break instead of all this shit? and i can't say no to D when he asks if we can get things, because we were supposed to have a baby by now and it's not fair that we don't, and he says 'you should get this!' too and hell I SHOULD HAVE A BABY BY NOW AND I DON'T and buying this doesn't actually heal that hurt but i keep thinking it might, so we keep going into HMV or waterstones and buying DVDs and CDs and books like there is no fucking tomorrow and we've got to stop, we have no money, but i can't.

and apparently having a dead baby doesn't mean that your shit luck is balanced out by suddenly winning the lottery, because... just because, because life is shit i guess, and so all the crap we've bought the last year or so is a) taking up space and b) building up, and i've always managed to scrape something together, but a holiday in Barcelona, two wedding hotel stays, a car service, and something else i've forgotten about have conspired to all fall in the same few months and now i think we are like £500 short of my payment and like i say my savings are in a bank of unhelpful bastards that won't just do a fucking transfer to our current account until i send in a cheque and a direct debit form and THEN i can request them to move the money - EVEN THOUGH I WANT TO CLOSE THE FUCKING ACCOUNT ANYWAY - so. we're screwed.

---

i can get round it. probably. my phone cut out half way through my argument with the supervisor at a certain indian bank that kind of sounds like a chemical company (is that enough information for you to figure out who i am not recommending????) so i'll have to phone back sometime to set it all up, even though it makes me want to hit people to have to do so, and pretend i didn't argue with the last guy for like half an hour. but i have an empty credit card that have offered me 0% balance transfers, so i can probably use that.

but i just want to not have to deal with any of this. i just want to burn all the papers that are lying around. or have someone give us a nice shiny new house and we can leave all the shite lying round for someone else to deal with. i don't care.

why am i not pregnant? i'm guessing this meltdown is meaning that my period is on its way. it's not due for another four days but that doesn't seem to be the point.

i just want a baby.

----

apparently D - who thinks genetics has nothing to do with whether you are a parent or not and would be completely fine with adoption - isn't even ready to think about when we might start thinking about adoption yet.

i can't just keep on keeping on. i have no hope left. i know lovely people keep telling me that it's not just insane to keep on trying when the outcome keeps on being the same, that it's a sign of hope. but i can't keep having my hopes shat on like this.

i told D yesterday that i'm more mentally stable than he sometimes thinks. i guess this post proves him right.

i kind of think i should wait before posting this but i don't want to.

i miss you so much, baby.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

apparently all i needed to have a proper cry was to really listen to songs by a Scottish rocker mourning the loss of his mum.



i would do anything for
another minute with you, cause
it's not getting easier
not getting easier




I would dig a thousand holes to lay next to you
I would dig a thousand more if I needed to
I look around the grave for an escape route of old routines
There doesn’t seem to be any other way

Cause I’ve started falling apart I’m not savouring life
I’ve forgotten how good it could be to feel alive

Crazy as it sounds you wont feel as low as you feel right now
At least that’s what I've been told by everyone
I whisper empty sounds in your ear and hope that you won’t let go
Take the pieces and build them skywards

we're going to see these guys in december. i kind of hope they play these songs, and kind of hope they don't.

Monday, 4 October 2010

IVF news stories

Thought some of you might find these interesting:

This looks at the selection of embryos and success rates.

Having IVF means that your chance of having a boy increases slightly (the article makes it sounds like it's suddenly 70-30, but actually it's 56-44 as opposed to 51-49).

This one talks about a test that gives you a better idea of your likely success with IVF.

---

i've still been mostly unable to cry. i did cry though at my counselling appointment this afternoon. it felt like a relief.

my counsellor thinks that repressed anger might be making it harder for me to cry. i'm going to try and work through that these next few days.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

i made it to the ceremonycemetery today.

---

last night (by which i mean friday night; it's past midnight now) i remembered something, and it gave me an unpleasant little jolt.

i realised it was 1st october, and that that meant we're approaching the anniversary of my first scan, the scan where everything was ok. and for a second, i remembered being at that scan.

and it made me jump. because i remembered watching the baby move on the screen. i remembered how it wouldn't keep still for the woman to take her measurements, to make sure everything was ok.

i remembered D and i joking that if it wouldn't keep still, it was definitely my baby.

and it was really unnerving. because in all the memories, i think that part had got lost. the part where my baby was alive. the part where it moved and we watched it, fascinated and amused.

i think i'd got caught up in the part where it was dead. still and unmoving.

funny how the alive bit gets forgotten and covered up by the death part.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

another layer of crappiness

i've mentioned before that my best female friend had a baby in July, and that i couldn't bear to be around her for the entire second half of her pregnancy; we kept in touch via email and text but it was too painful to be in the same room as her.

she mentioned a few days ago that the baby will be christened towards the end of this year.

and that's ok. i'd have no issue with being there. i want to be there.

... except. the rest of the group of friends will be there. the one that i used to be a part of. the one that i have no interest in being part of again. the people that will come and talk to me if they see me.

i don't want to have to talk to them. because from my point of view the only thing i'd want to say is why did you all forget about me? and if you didn't forget about me, then why the fckng hell did you let me drop off the side of the world? why were the only emails i received emails about socialising, to be swiftly replaced by no emails when i said i wasn't up to meeting groups of people? where were the messages asking how i was doing?

to be fair, four of the group were varying degrees of supportive, and i have no problem with them.

but one sent two messages of sympathy via text message and then never contacted me again. one sent one via (InYour)Face.book and that was it.

three i never heard from at all.*

i am actually quite scared of bumping into these people. every so often when i'm in town i get nervous in case i see one of them. because i know myself. i'm not going to challenge them on their total neglect of me. but neither can i talk to them like everything's ok. i fear that if it happens and they say 'how are you?' i will turn hugely passive aggressive and say 'pretty terrible actually; suffering from anxiety and depression, not pregnant again yet, still full of grief and pain from the loss of my baby and dealing with the fact that a second baby will not heal my pain. how are you?' and all that with a big smile.

i'd kind of like to do that, but i think that more likely would be me blanching, saying as little as possible and running away at the first opportunity.

so - to get back to the point of this post - my friend will invite the group to the christening. why wouldn't she? it's not her that they've been neglecting.

so i'll have to make the choice either not to go at all; or to slink in at the last possible moment, and to run at the end.

it might be easier if D agrees to go - moral support and all that - but he wasn't exactly known for his willingness to go to christenings before all this happened. before a large proportion of my 'friends' left me to deal with this on my own. i suspect he would have no problem at all in telling them how terribly they neglected me. and while i don't honestly care if he does, i don't think my friend's baby's christening would be the right time to do it.

just another layer of the ways in which this sucks.


*(one of those had a miscarriage a few months after me. i sent a card and emailed her maybe four times during the next few months, letting her know i was thinking of her and that i was there if she needed to talk to someone. i never had a reply. i hope she did appreciate the emails, but i feel kind of stupid for sending them.)

Friday, 1 October 2010

the irony

because i was up so late last night, i didn't make it to the cemetery this morning. oh, the irony.

and this afternoon it's pouring with rain. and i want to be able to sit there. just sit, and be.

but the seat will be wet. i wouldn't mind if i'd sat down and then it had started to rain, but i don't want to do it this way round.

maybe if i didn't have to get two buses to get there i'd do it anyway. but i guess i can wait until monday.

i'm so tired. not just from the lack of sleep. from the amount of time i've been spending with people. i need a break. i need some solitude.

i still don't really know what i want to take to the snowdrop garden. i kind of want to take a white cyclamen, with some snowdrop bulbs in the same pot. but i'm kind of scared it would die.

i kind of feel like i've isolated myself from a lot of good people. some who have even had miscarriages in the past, so who understand to some degree at least. i don't want to throw friendships away. i don't want to refuse to associate with people who are not part of the ALI world.

but i kind of feel like i've lost the thing we had in common. i kind of feel that the connection has already gone. and i kind of hate myself for letting that happen.

but i can barely keep up with the babylost world. and i'm not writing so i have nothing keeping me connected to the writing world any more.

which sucks. i met some lovely people because of writing.

but i don't know if i'll ever go back to wanting to write fiction.

it's not fair.

---

i still miss my baby. more than i can say.

in 18 days it will be a year since we had the first scan.

four days after that will be the anniversary of our baby's death.

five weeks and four days after that it will be a year since we found out about that death, weeks earlier.

six or so weeks after that is the anniversary of the communal cremation service.

i know i said all this last night, but i need to say it again. to persuade myself that it's really real.

how the fckng fck can it be a YEAR?

i miss my baby. so, so much.

tears

i've been needing to cry for what seems like a long time now.

i had an appointment last tuesday morning. i cried in there, a lot. it was sudden and unexpected. i had thought the tears had mostly dried up.

but after i came out the tears seemed to dry up again. i think i tried to seal them up once more. put them in the box that tries to hold my grief, along with the memories.

even though the one thing that had suddenly come abundantly clear was that that wasn't going to work.

last thursday was the worst. i felt stuffed full of stuck emotions. tears that wouldn't fall. anger and frustration i couldn't express. i ended up standing outside in a conveniently-timed rainstorm; letting the rain and the cold seep into me, in the hope that it would help. it kind of did, but not much.

last friday, i cried a little at the cemetery, but not enough. not enough.

on monday, at my counselling appointment, the counsellor broke through my defences. i cried a little more, relieved, but it still wasn't enough. i kind of hoped that when i got home that i'd be able to carry on. but no.

since then this week has been horrendous. a three-hour root canal appointment at the dental hospital, complete with rubber dam. a visit from my parents (who, to be fair, are not horrendous), who told me that if i needed space that they would just pop round for a short while and then go. but no; instead i pretended that everything was ok (not even consciously, to be fair) and took them into town and to my friend's house so they could see her new baby.

and in all of this, not a single tear.

i am terrible - TERRIBLE - at realising that what i want and what i need are sometimes two entirely different entities.

i want to be ok. i want to be fine with babies, 100% of the time. i want to be able to spend time with my parents without an undercurrent of wrongness.

but.

i want my mum (and my dad) to be holding my baby. to be buying presents for their first grandchild, not my friend's baby.

i didn't really realise how hard it would be, seeing my mum holding my best friend's baby. (strangely it wasn't so hard when i saw her hold my best male friend's baby.)

what i want and what i need are two different entities right now.

i need time. i need space. i need to go sit in the snowdrop garden. i need to phone and ask about that plaque. i need to have days when all i have to do is sit on the sofa and cry. cry because my baby isn't in my arms. cry because i don't believe i will ever hold a baby of my own in my arms. cry because i seem to be the only one who actually, actively misses my baby.

---

anyway. my brain's been reaching towards something. with this post and my own post from earlier tonight and the part towards the end of this post from quite some time ago.

and i didn't really understand where my brain was trying to go until just after i got into bed.

and then my thoughts suddenly unravelled themselves, and everything became clear.

i don't want to be pregnant *again*.

i want to be pregnant *still*.

i want to travel back in time. one year. i want to go back to when the baby was alive. i want to do something - anything. i want to make whatever sacrifice i can to make sure that this time, my baby lives.

i don't want a new baby.

i want the baby i lost.

i want the baby that died.

---

and that, right there, was the thought that broke through the defences i didn't mean to assemble. that was the thought that made me really cry.

i got back up out of bed. there's no point in waking D. he has enough problems without having to comfort a sobbing B in the middle of the night.

i've stopped crying right now. but i don't think i'll have any problems starting again when i need to.

---

i think i was talking a load of shit when i said that i didn't really think that it was really a baby that i had lost.

---

the irony is that of course, even that thought isn't strictly true.

i never wanted to have only one baby. i always wanted more than one. three for preference, but i'm realistic. i know that two is a more realistic number.

(although if i get to have two living children, maybe i get my wish. just in a really sh.it way.)

i do want to be pregnant again. to have a baby that one day i get to feel moving inside me. to experience childbirth, whether 'natural' or through a c-section or what.

and as i can't get my first baby back, it will have to be a different baby.

my second.

---

CD26 and i still haven't ovulated. this is the latest ever.

right now i actually don't want to get pregnant this month. i want to take a month off to cry and get a tat.too and just be.

problem is, if i ovulate over the next couple of days, we've still got a chance of conceiving anyway.

and i kind of think that my body has a sick enough sense of humour to make me pregnant the month when i'd really rather it didn't happen.

i don't know what i want. (except to go back in time and get a different outcome.)

i don't know what i need. (except to be fixed. to go back to the old me. and, of course, to have my baby back, alive and well.)

---

it's nearly 3am. i need want to be up in the morning in time to go to the cemetery. i really have to go to bed now.

---

i'm a terrible commenter right now. it would be better if i didn't comment on anyone's blog - at least that would be consistent! - but i'm managing some and not others. i'm sorry. i don't mean to neglect my friends. i'm just finding life extremely hard right now.