Friday, 23 July 2010

why has someone linked me from this forum?
forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=52286

why can't i see what the link says?

*is very nervous*

fan-bloody-tastic

for the first time ever - or at least since we started ttc - my body has started displaying some signs of impending ovulation. including a possibly-ovulation-related crampiness that was so bad that i had to take paracetamol this afternoon.

just while my DH is in no state (or mood, to be honest) to have se.x.

my body has a mean sense of humour.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

random thoughts and painful questions

i have been doing expensive high-stress things with little time to sort them out if things go wrong.

normally i would be ok about this.

(that's a lie. even normally i would be stressed out by this.)

but today i am insanely anxious about it.

and glad i'm on the pills.

---

there is a living newborn baby mentioned in the rest of this post. and for that matter someone else's living children. it's ok if you don't want to carry on reading.

---

last night this post made me cry. my friend caroline talks about how she misses her children being babies. or more, accurately, she talks about how watching Toy Story 3 reminded her to treasure the memories, because children grow up so fast.

me? i miss knowing that i would be a mother to a living child one day. i miss imagining myself cradling a newborn. bre.astfee.ding. taking vids of my child's first tottering steps.

i miss wondering what a combination of me and D would look like.

it's not that i've given up on the dream. far from it. but that idyllic certainty that everything will be ok?

i miss it.

i miss knowing - knowing - i would be a mother. unequivocally. even to the outside world. not just in secret, in my heart, because noone else sees me like that apart from my similarly-shattered internet friends.

i miss the memories i fear will never happen.

and it hurts.

---

tonight i went round to see my best female friend J. her baby was born on saturday lunchtime. i haven't been able to see her in a long time, and it was so, so good to see her again.

and it was indescribably lovely to hold her five day old baby and hear her little meow-ling cries.

i expected it to be bittersweet. but it wasn't. not the holding her baby part at least.

and it made me wonder.

is it strange that seeing my friend for the first time in five months made me cry, but seeing her newborn baby just brought a smile to my face?

is it odd that i could sit and hear about my friend's baby's birth and not have knives stabbing at my heart?

is it wrong that only eight months after losing my baby i have whole strings of days when i am my old self - cheerful and productive?

is it betraying my baby (or the memory of my baby) that i don't cry for him or her very often these days?

is it indescribably weird that today i don't particularly wish things were different?

(it is, isn't it. that last one is just wrong. i should be wishing i have what she has. i do. but... i can't explain it. it's not like i had a great day. work was stressful. but seeing her baby.... it was just lovely. i couldn't wish to change it. and if my baby were there it would have been different.)

is it wrong that today i'm more sad about the fact that i've not been able to sit in the same room as my friend for five months than the fact that i lost my baby?

---

i feel like a bad person for even thinking these things.

i hope you all can forgive me.

i do feel that i need to be forgiven for these things.

i'm not sure how to forgive myself.

maybe it will help if you do it for me?

---

these are rhetorical questions. but i'm still happy to hear any answers you may have.

and if you've read this whole post. thank you.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

i've turned really quiet at the minute. i'm frustrated. the soy hasn't made the slightest bit of difference. i'm on cd18 and still haven't ovulated. there is no realistic chance for this cycle. either i'll ovulate imminently, in which case there is no hope because the hubby is ill and se.x is out of the question, or i'll ovulate later and supposedly you have less chance of conceiving with late ovulation.

i was so, so positive and optimistic over the weekend. i really believed this was the month. we had (great) se.x and my temp jumped perfectly. but only for one day. now it's back down.

i still haven't seen my friend and her baby. hopefully soon.

i was terrified about my husband yesterday. he had a terrible stomach bug and a high fever. i had to leave him and go to work. i was rehearsing in my head on my way home what would happen when i found him dead.

i'm just glad i'm on the antidepressants. i was bad, but not properly panicking. i think i was just disasteralising to stop the worst from happening. it's not a fun way to be but i have been like this since i was a kid.

i found out there will be a couple of people about 7 months pregnant at my sister's wedding. one of those is one of my cousins. aaargh. at least i have bracing time i suppose. and i think my cousin will understand if i ask her to let me approach her when i'm ready. she was very considerate in the way she broke the news of her pregnancy. it's funny, i haven't seen her in years, but she was more considerate than some of the people supposed to be my friends were.

i think i need to take a bit of a break. from commenting at least, possibly from blogging at all.

i don't think it will last more than a couple of weeks. i suppose that when i find out i'm not pregnant again this month (yay optimism!!!!) i'll be back.

i'm thinking of you all even if i'm not commenting. i hope you're all well.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

i'm just moving some things around and trying to add all of my links in. i won't get them all in one go. if when i've finished i haven't linked you and i know you, it's because i'm naff, not deliberate. please shout and let me know.

hope you are all well.

edited to add: for some reason google is not picking up some of my favourite reads. catherine, illanare, lis, and a couple of others. i have no idea why. i'm sure there are other people who i'm very fond of who are missing. but i'll make sure you're all there over the next few days!

recommended

it turns out i've had a useful book on my shelf for all the time i've been going through this, and yet i'd no idea.

the book is called 'You'll get over it: the rage of bereavement'. i've had it for over three years, for sure; i bought it at a second hand book sale in the job before this one. i started to read it when i first brought it home, but the mere thought of losing someone i loved devastated me. i started to realise that one day i would lose my mum and my dad (luckily that was plenty for my brain to cope with; i didn't even start to think about the possibility of losing D too), and i cried. i howled. i could barely breathe.

in the end D took the book away from me and hid it. probably just as well.

i've been aware of where the book is on the bookshelf for a while now. i guess i've just been happy to leave it there. know that it was there for when, one day, someone died and i needed it.

but for the last seven months, i haven't remembered.

not til yesterday.

and yesterday i picked it up.

---

finally, i've found a published book that seems to make sense. someone out there is talking about how death affects people. about how some people need to cry, some don't. about how grief is only a tiny part of the bereavement process. about how it isn't really a process. or a journey. about how different it is for different people; about how there's no 'right way' or 'wrong way' to go about grieving.

about how absolutely shitty it is.

it talks about shock and numbness and PTSD. about how some people need to see a body, some don't. the physical effects it can have on you.

the horrendous things that people can say.

it talks about losing father and mothers and sisters and brothers. it's quite comprehensive in its consideration of death and its effects on those left behind. but it also talks about stillbirth (once at least; i've not read the whole thing yet) and it mentions miscarriage more than once.

how amazing! a book about bereavement that acknowledges that miscarriage and stillbirth are death, are a bereavement.

and how depressing that i'm thrilled and amazed to see that in print.

You'll get over it: the rage of bereavement is by Virginia Ironside. it's rather english, but none the worse for it; i just wanted to warn any readers who aren't. just in case.

i'm glad to be able to recommend a book for a change.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

strangely positive

a few days ago i was thinking. about the fact i'm not pregnant yet. about getting referred on for testing. about what the next steps will be for us. about how relieved i am that my GP is writing the letter.

and i stopped in my tracks when i realised that i was glad we were getting referred on.

i believe(d) that getting pregnant was a fluke. i've never expected it to work. never expected to get pregnant even before we lost the baby. i remember D one month saying 'i really think we may have done it this time' and watching myself as i told him not to get my hopes up. i watched the smile slide from his face and hated myself for it.

and i've never expected it to work since. even less since. i kind of assume that we are monica and chandler from friends - that his sperm are low motility and i have a 'hostile environment'. but i'd never realised before that i was acting like i wanted this to be true.

but i really kinda have been.

i've been pretty pessimistic about this month. just assuming that if it hasn't worked by now, then it's not gonna. that we need to go on and be tested. i've been hoping that it's just something small. that maybe they can give me something to promote cervical fluid and say something to make D stop drinking so damned much and eat healthier. that maybe after that we'd just get pregnant nice and easily.

but even though we've been doing the deed each month, i've been expecting it not to happen. of course, i've always been devastated when it's not happened. but not surprised.

so this thought, this realising i wasn't expecting a positive. it somehow took me by surprise. ridiculous but true.

---

and since then, since i realised all that, i feel more positive.

i feel that there is a chance that this month might be the month.

and in maybe-connected news, s.ex suddenly doesn't feel like a chore. today we did it just because we both were in the mood. well timed but not to the timetable we had agreed, on the grounds that we nearly killed sex last month. it wasn't just a normal chore by the end of the month. it was cleaning out the cat poo from the garden. (we don't have cats. other people's cats, just to make it worse.) that was how much we didn't want to have sex.

today? it was pretty.damned.good. and we didn't care whether it was well timed or not.

---

back in september, three hours after i found out i was pregnant, i found out that my sister was getting married.

two weeks today is said sister's hen night.

coincidentally, if i ov.ulate to my usual timescale, that will be day 29 of my cycle, and a day that i could conceivably (har har) get a positive test result.

and that pregnancy didn't end so well, so in some ways i wouldn't want the echoes of that pregnancy in this one.

and yet.

i'm taking it as a good sign.

but!

and this is the good part.

if i'm not pregnant -

i kind of think that i'll be ok.

i kind of think i'll be able to take a couple of days to be sad (hopefully delayed til after my sister's hen night), then shrug it off and start again.

pretty amazing, huh?

---

edited to add:

my best friend J had her baby today. a little girl.

i am looking forward to seeing them both so, so badly. i haven't been able to see J since february, since her pregnancy got too obvious. she has been amazing about it.

i kind of hope that now she's had her little girl safe and well, that it's my turn.

Friday, 16 July 2010

if your baby isn't born in office hours it's at greater risk of death

This is absolutely horrifying. The study was done in Scotland but they seem to imply that the risk is also there in the rest of the UK. I'd be interested to see how the US compares.


Babies born at night or at the weekend are at a greater risk of dying than those born within normal working hours, a study suggests.

The analysis of more than one million births in Scotland over two decades found the risk of death for babies born out of hours, while small, was a third higher than for those born in the day.

Night staffing and access to facilities were possible explanations, Glasgow and Cambridge universities suggested.

Most babies died from lack of oxygen.

Those born between 0900 and 1700 on Monday to Friday were classified as being within normal working hours, all others as out-of-hours, the British Medical Journal reported.

In all, there were 539 deaths.

The team adjusted for a wide range of factors and excluded babies born via planned caesarean, who are usually delivered during the day.

The team argued that as the risk of death for these babies was so much lower than for those born vaginally, their inclusion could overstate the risks of out-of-hours birth.

But even with these exclusions, the difference persisted.

For mothers giving birth during the normal working week, the risk of their baby dying was 4.2 per 10,000, and 5.6 per 10,000 at all other times.

One in four deaths through oxygen deprivation was directly associated with the risk of being born out of hours, they calculated.

Improving the level of clinical care for women delivering out of normal hours might reduce the overall rates of perinatal death, the research team, led by obstetrician Professor Gordon Smith, suggested.

They acknowledged that the expenditure required to save only a few lives might be seen as out of proportion, but they noted that they only looked at deaths: much money is spent on long-term developmental problems caused by oxygen deprivation at birth.

And a quote from Janet Smith of Sands:

"Had these babies been born at a different time of day they may well have survived. This is completely unacceptable. A baby's life should not rest on whether or not they are born in office hours."

Too bloody right.

---

The study is reported in the BMJ here.

facebook hate

the latest 'copy and paste this status' thing has just appeared in my news feed. to quote.....
'To all the mums who have traded eyeliner for dark circles, salon haircuts for ponytails, long showers for hairy legs, late nights for early mornings, designer handbags for nappy bags.... and wouldn't change a thing... lets see how many mums repost this. Mums don't care, whatever they give up. They love what they get in return. repost this if your a mum and love your kids ♥ ♥'
(typos not mine, believe me.)

so, yeah. motherhood? doesn't really look like this to me. to me, it's wearing a pendant. it's remembering the dates of my baby's tiny, tiny life.

it's doing all i can to accept that my husband doesn't see us as parents. even though we are, we are.

i would give up anything to have my baby back. to change what happened.

and the kicker is that the woman in question stays up all night to play facebook poker then sleeps into the afternoon every day, refuses to deal with her children except when it's convenient to her (to the extent that she will call her bf from a different room to pick something up the baby has dropped even when she's sitting right next to him), drank heavily (and i mean heavily) throughout her pregnancy, smoked constantly throughout her pregnancy... i could go on.

and she has never suffered babyloss.

and it's all i know.

i fcking hate facebook.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

back in january, i wrote about an orchid.

it took a long time for the buds to open, but they did. it's been in flower now for maybe three months or so. still looking healthy.

---

in december, when this was all new and fresh and horrific, one of my friends bought me a begonia, for reasons that are good - something to last. not cut flowers that would die. something that would live.

except, it didn't. she gave it to me and it failed and died within a few weeks. it filled us both with horror and fear. even D, who doesn't let that kind of thing get to him. we couldn't even keep a plant, a gift given by a friend with love, alive.

we bought another. that one died too, slowly, inch by inch. i hid it so D didn't realise.

then. a few months later, his grandparents moved house. and someone gave them a begonia as a moving in present. and they somehow didn't realise it wasn't plastic, and didn't water it. by the time we realised this one was almost dead too.

we took it home. they didn't really want it; they don't like having to take care of houseplants. by this time, i expected it to die. we were obviously no good at begonias. D wanted to put it straight in the bin.

but.

i wanted to give it a chance. i couldn't bear to let it die without giving it that one final chance. i watered it. i took off the dead flowers, the dead leaves. it was down to one stem, a stem that looked like it was about to give up the ghost itself.

this is that begonia tonight:




















it's not that i think that keeping a plant alive somehow means that maybe i can keep a child alive long enough to bring it home.

i wish it did.

but maybe just being able to keep a plant alive is enough.

for now.
I just read this on the BBC:
Care lacking for bereaved parents.

More than half of maternity units are still lacking a dedicated bereavement support midwife, a survey suggests.

The stillbirth charity Sands also found that nearly half have no specific room on the labour ward for a mother whose baby has died, where she is shielded from the sounds of other newborns.

The counsellor I went to at the RVI had her phone switched on at every appointment I went to.

Sometimes she answered it while she was with me.

She told me that she believes 'these babies go to a better place'.

And that she didn't mean that 'in a religious way'.

And many other things i can't be bothered to remember right now.

---

I hope that one day they get someone there who is dedicated to bereaved parents.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

the dates i remember, the dates i mourn

there seems to be little rhyme or reason to the dates that make me remember.

25th november is the date i mourn. the 25th day of every month stings to a greater or lesser extent.

that was the day we found out that i'd been carrying a dead baby for four weeks without any clue there was anything wrong.

29th november was the day i went into hospital as a day patient, the date i passed my baby into a bedpan. that date? doesn't sting so much, even though i feel that it should.

maybe it's partly because it didn't feel like a birth. 17 weeks had turned into 13 weeks and into not-pregnant-at-all at the same time.

what happened that day did not feel like giving birth.

---

one of the things that haunted me once i realised how long the baby had been dead inside me was hallowe'en.

D had gone to the cinema that night. there was an all-night horror showing. four films, starting at 10.30pm. i stayed home, alone. but not-alone. i had the baby! i was never alone.

except, i didn't. i was.

by then it was already dead.

i think that will always be a hard time for me. not a time to mourn, but a time for unpleasant shivers to run down my spine. hallowe'en is a time for dead things.

my baby wasn't supposed to be one of them.

---

my due date was 6th may.

the beginning of may will always be hard, but i suspect that the november date will be harder, coming as it does as england turns dark and cold. may will be a time to think about what might have been. november will be a time to remember what was.

---

and i suspect that i will often use these lottery numbers.

not always, but often down the years.

17 (the number of weeks pregnant i thought i was)
13 (weeks when the baby died)
25/11 (the date i found out the baby was long dead)
6/5 (the due date that was never meant to be)

---

which dates are the ones you remember? which are the ones you mourn?

Dr Spock's Pregnancy Guide review

One more review. I promise i'll stop after this one. (Unless I find anything particularly out of the ordinary I suppose.)

(Again this was written on Wednesday last week)

---

Dr Spock's Pregnancy Guide by Dr Marjorie Greenfield.

This isn't by Dr Spock, but is published by the company set up in his name. I expected stillbirth to at least crop up in the index, but it didn't. Again, miscarriage appears, but takes up only a tiny percentage of the finished product. This might be partly because Greenfield states:

“I have tried to focus on the questions my patients most often ask me, and the issues to which I bring a unique perspective.”

So maybe noone asks about stillbirth and hardly anyone about miscarriage. Maybe this doctor has never had much experience with pregnancy loss. (In fact, I think this is likely to be the case; in talking about overdue babies, she says that instead of focussing on the due date women could have a more useful mantra of All babies come out, pregnancy won't last forever, there really will be a baby, which doesn't sound like the thought pattern of someone who's been close to stillbirth or neonatal death. )

And maybe she's right. Maybe even if your baby is fated to die that's still a better thought pattern to have than focussing on why your baby isn't born yet. I don't know. But that 'there really will be a baby' part... it's hard to read. Because sometimes the baby that's born doesn't live. Sometimes the baby dies before it's even born.

I can't understand how these things aren't included.

Monday, 12 July 2010

overheard

i walked into town this lunchtime.

i was listening to music on my earphones. not really listening to anything. not wanting to hear people's conversations.

but then i heard a voice. it seemed to be in my ear.

'5th december', it said.

and i wondered idly what was happening on that date. concert? wedding? anniversary? party?

'oh, lovely!' a second voice said.

and then i heard the first voice again.

'a christmas baby!'

---

it's the sudden jabs that hurt.

the ones i have no bracing time for.

and what did my brain have to tune into that tiny snippet of conversation for, anyway?

i'd walked along a good while without tuning into anyone's conversations.

why that one? why then?

---

and walking along northumberland street, i realised, and my heart started to drop.

the people with december due dates are telling people that they're pregnant. they're safely past their 12-week scans.

(i wish i'd been right when i thought i was safely past mine)

and it made me calculate

what my due date would be, if i got pregnant this month

(not that i believe for a second that i will)

and i subtracted three months, added seven days

and came up with two days before my birthday

9 april 2011

---

twenty-eleven?????????????????

how is that possible?

two days after that i will turn 35.

so by the time i get to have a baby who lives, i'll almost certainly be an elderly gravida. even if you take that to be over 35, not over 30.

(not primi. this will not be my first child. i will fight anyone who tries to tell me it is)

and that due date

it wouldn't even be in the first quarter of the year

time is slip slip slipping away

---

i'm just exhausted.

if it's going to happen let it happen.

if it's not, i need to know sooner rather than later.

---

i go to see my GP tomorrow afternoon.

let's hope the waiting list isn't too long for us.........

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Conversational analysis

At our best friend's house the other night. He's talking about a woman who works at SureStart.
'... she's great with the kids, really loves them. She's had her own though, it's not like she needs them as some kind of substitute...'

He doesn't say it – I doubt the thought even crosses his mind – but I hear the end of his sentence.

'not like you guys.'

(Sometimes i wonder if that's why we've attached so hard to his baby. Because this is the only chance we'll ever get to interact this closely with a baby as it grows up.)

And in work the other day. Two people talking about one of their colleagues:
-oh, no, can you imagine her pregnant?!
-would be awful, wouldn't it?
-oh, don't worry anyway, i think you're doing enough to keep the human race alive!
-i am! i'm very generous aren't i?

One of them knows what happened to me. The other, I'm not sure about. But still. I had to bite back the retort. Just for a second.
-Don't worry. Maybe if she got pregnant she'd lose her baby. Like I did.

I don't wish it on the girl. Of course not. I wouldn't wish what happened to us on my worst enemy. But... I just wanted to make them realise. How very painful that snippet of conversation was to me.

But it's not the kind of thing you can say at lunchtime as your colleagues make a round of cuppas, is it?

---

I'm sick of having to go through this. Still. Even after all this time.

---

Over seven months, and still no sight or sound or sniff of a second baby for us.

I remember when i heard Dannii Minogue was pregnant. It was just a few weeks after we lost our baby. I read an interview with her in a magazine while I was at the hairdressers. She sounded so happy and optimistic, and I cautioned her in my head. Don't get too excited yet. There's still a lot of time for things to go wrong.

But of course, they didn't. And now she has a baby. A living baby.

Me? I have nothing to show for the last seven months, or the last fifteen for that matter. No positive pregnancy test. No little bump. No big bump. No baby.

I have little or no hope or optimism left.
i was clearing the bags of stuff that i seem to have accumulated before. throwing things away, shredding other things. i got three bags of stuff down to two.

at the end, i found a purple notebook. i remembered it, but not the contents.

i flipped it open. only to be confronted with the list of possible names i'd written while pregnant.

D didn't want to name the baby, for very similar reasons to those emily talks about here.

but i think any name, now, will kind of feel wrong.

---

it's weird to think that any baby i have in the future will be a different baby to that which i would have had had my first baby not died.

even though i've now passed my due date, that's still true. different egg, different sperm. and different parents. ones who've drank an awful lot more alcohol than they would have otherwise. had more sleep. a mother who's on antidepressants.

and i'm sure i'll love any living children i ever may have.

but i'll have to make sure that i don't let them think that they are somehow second-best to the baby who died, that they aren't some kind of consolation prize.

---

of course, i'll have to actually manage to have a living baby before any of this is an actual issue......

Saturday, 10 July 2010

So. Raoul Moat is dead. He shot himself at around 1.15am. I've been talking about this a little on my other blog, but I think this post belongs here.

I was watching the blanket coverage last night on the BBC news channel, hating myself for doing so. Knowing that it was unlikely he would give himself up. Asking myself why I was watching the slow suicide of a desperate man. Unable to look away. Hoping against hope that he put his gun down and gave himself up. But knowing how unlikely it was.

And this morning, hearing that it was over and he was dead, I felt hollow.

His poor mum. His poor kids. His poor ex girlfriend. She's been betrayed in the worst possible way by her ex partner - who she presumably loved at one point. Her boyfriend has been murdered, and she's been left a single mother. And one day she will have to explain to her child what he did.

But you know what else haunts me?

The fact that witnesses to last night's stand off heard him say 'I haven't got a dad'. And 'no one cares about me'.

No one - no matter what they've done - should have to die thinking no one cares about them.

I think maybe my own grief is colouring my reaction. Maybe. But still.

I wish it hadn't come to this.

I don't really see how this could have played out any differently. But I still wish it had.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

excuse my french

even fucking trent reznor and his fucking wife are fucking pregnant.

they've been married five minutes.*

it's not fair.


(* or maybe nearly nine months. whatever.)

Monday, 5 July 2010

by the way...

I still haven't started writing the book, but I'm getting antsy with the longing to do so. The problem is that I've realised that before starting a book for others, I need to write out my whole story first. I've written a lot of it here, and I plan to write more (... still not quite there yet) but I need to finish my own story first. I need to get it all out of my head before I can start writing for other people.

But it's hard to find the time and the space to do so. My house is a tip; D does his best to keep things tidy, but I need to look through a lot of things and work out what the hell needs doing with them. And I find it really hard to concentrate on writing – writing anything, except blog posts I suppose – when I'm at home and the piles of stuff that are lying around are looking at me.

I'm tempted to take a couple of days off to try and deal with them. The problem is that when I do that, I usually just lie around and watch the Gilmore Girls and maybe manage to make myself do the washing up, but that's about it. D gets home from work and I try and pretend I've been busy, but he sees right through me.

Ah well. Maybe one day....

more pregnancy book reviews

I wrote this last Wednesday but I've written so many posts since then that I'm only posting it now.

---

In the library again. More books.

Your Pregnancy – with Hilary Pereira. The Netmums guide to having a baby.

This one does mention both miscarriage and stillbirth in the index. It's better than the last book I talked about for information about miscarriage; this one does discuss the emotional impact and the practicalities of what will happen next, as well as acknowledging that if you tell people you're pregnant early on, that does at least mean that if anything goes wrong that people already know and you'll have support. It even describes missed miscarriage and there are a couple of case histories from people who have gone on to have healthy babies post-miscarriage. It all feels a bit squashed into a small section (3 pages or so), but at least the section is there.

As for stillbirth, that's mentioned five times. The first is about the risk of stillbirth if you consume soft cheeses. One states that the technical difference between miscarriage and stillbirth is that if you lose your baby after 24 weeks it's a stillbirth and that then '[you] will be able to hold a funeral for your baby'. No mention of the fact that that you can actually arrange to have a funeral earlier at your own expense. Not mention of the fact that some hospitals arrange communal ceremonies you can choose to attend if you miscarry in hospital.

One states that if you've had a previous stillbirth you may be offered more scans for reassurance (no mention though of the fact that some areas will agree to extra scans after a miscarriage, depending on the circumstances). One tells you that if you contract a condition called ostetric cholestasis that your risk of stillbirth is higher. And the last is the contact details for SANDS.

So at least stillbirth exists in the Netmums universe, but you'll still find nothing about pregnancy or parenting after stillbirth, or even any statistics or information about its causes or aftermath.

---

Pregnancy for Beginners – Roni Jay

This one isn't here this week but I saw it last week*. Its name is a little patronising, but it's actually pretty good from my quick scan through. It's not like the other pregnancy books; it doesn't tell you exciting titbits about how big your baby is now. Instead it talks you through the major decisions you'll need to make – but it is the most realistic book I've seen. The first chapter is about when to tell people you are pregnant, but it actually discusses the two opposing viewpoints of tell or don't tell, and the pros and cons of each. Support if you do miscarry vs the pain of needing to tell everyone that you've lost your baby. I was amazed to see something so honest, I really was.

When it gets to discussing when to buy furniture for your baby and when to decorate the nursery, it actually states that if you have a stillbirth (... I think it actually says something like 'if you don't get to bring the baby home' but still - it alludes to stillbirth!!!!!) it might be harder for you if the nursery has already been prepared. I don't actually agree with that - it might be as hard coming home babyless to a house that looks like it never expected a child - but still. At least the possibility is mentioned.

I was really impressed by how detailed and realistic it was, especially for a short book.

* Actually it was - it was just on a display near the entrance on a different floor.

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Miscarriage: the facts - Gillian C L Lachelin

Hilariously this has one good review and one bad review on amazon currently, and i think that's perfect. It's written by a 'leading authority' in the field, and you can tell. I actually thought until I read the back that it was aimed at doctors treating women who've had a miscarriage – but no, it's actually aimed at the women and their partners.

It's written in a very clinical style and i think that 50% of readers will like this and will want to be able to read the medical information about miscarriage. However the other 50% will be looking for kindness and reassurance, and those readers will not like this book at all.

It does contain a couple of case histories - one in particular is about a 38 year old woman who had something like eight miscarriages at various gestations, from 6 weeks to 12. After that she ended up with two healthy children. It says something like 'the following case history may give you hope'. And it might not give hope to everyone, but it gave me a little.

If you like your information clinically written, this may be the book for you.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

'non geordie mum'?

i first started a blog called 'non geordie mum' on wordpress back in october.

i wanted somewhere to blog about my pregnancy. i thought, back then, that it was a given that one day i would have a baby of my own. a child made up of myself and D. the non geordie mum name was obvious. it fit well with my other blogs. it seemed like a good name.

then the end came. and i started to discover that the dream doesn't come true for everyone. that sometimes it's snatched away. that sometimes good people don't get to be parents. (oh illanare, i hope so hard that something magic happens and that this will one day no longer apply to you, as unlikely as it may seem.)

and yet. when i wanted to move the posts i'd already written back in the naive old days of october over to blogger with the rest of my blogs, i chose to keep the same name. non geordie mum. a statement. one that now seems filled with a breathtaking arrogance. a certainty that i do not feel. a certainty i have not felt since the end came.

(i'm well aware that i link that post far more than any other.)

i don't feel like a mother.

i don't think it will ever happen.

but i hope, so hard, that i'm wrong.

----

i actually have a page that discusses this. i'd kind of forgotten.

has anyone bothered to read the pages? i might repost them as normal posts if not.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

I've just been absolutely floored.

My friend Caroline has a new book out. It's called Like Bees to Honey. It's excellent. You should buy it.

And as part of the awareness-raising for this book, a friend of Caroline's has created the Hive, an 'experiment in social interaction that aims to build on the successful Black Boxes blog widget. The inspiration for the experiment is Caroline’s newest novel – Like Bees to Honey.'

The Hive asks questions. 'should i have one more?' 'do you like it hot?' 'do we still need toenails?' from the profound to the mundane. I've been playing around.

And then it asked me this.

'Is it better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all?'

And I don't know.

I honestly don't know.

It's a question I just can't answer.

CD35

This morning my temperature was 36.12.

But still no sign of my period.

I did a pregnancy test just to make absolutely sure. Negative.

I've never had such a fucked-up cycle before.

Currently 10 DPO. My temp usually stays high way longer than this.

Right now, I just want my sodding period to show up so we can start again on this treadmill.

But also? The thought of another round of duty se.x, whether we want to or not, makes me want to cry.

I want to take a month off. From temps and checking my cerv.ix and se.x when the signs are right.

But if I have another cycle a week (or more!) longer than usual, and I don't know what's going on, I think I'll scream.

I can't bear the thought of thinking there's a possibility I'm pregnant, when really I just ovulated even later.

Anyway, I'd still have to keep taking folic acid, just in case. I'd still want to keep my alcohol intake down.

But there's also a tiny part of me just wants to give up.

Is the dream of children of our own really worth taking such a toll on our mental health?

---

I may have said this before – but we keep doing the same thing each month, again and again, but expecting a different outcome.

Isn't that the very definition of insanity?

Friday, 2 July 2010

ps

temp was 36.37 this morning. up a fraction on yesterday. still no sign of my period.

if it doesn't turn up by tomorrow morning i'm doing a pregnancy test anyway, even though my temps say there is no hope. just so i know for sure.

i'm sick of this.
today it was a tiny thing that made me cry.

---

today i went back to the hospital i was booked into. where i had the scan. i didn't have to go to the maternity unit, but when i woke up and remembered that i had to go there again, i winced. i didn't want to go.

but i went. and it was ok. i suppose. although for some reason there seemed to be ultrasound pics of my baby in the back of my file. in cardiology. i don't understand that. (and no i've never had an ultrasound for any other reason.) but i was confused more than upset.

(don't worry, i seem to be ok. they're just investigating.)

i told the consultant about the miscarriage, insofaras it related to today's appointment (not much). i kept calm. i didn't cry.

i made it back out and got onto the bus back to work.

i sat and daydreamed, gazing out of the window and listening to HTDA. but halfway back, i found myself looking at a car showroom, the cars sparkling in the summer sun.

and out of nowhere i was transported back nearly eight months. to a sunny day in october, when D and i were wandering round, looking for a newer car to replace the one that kept going wrong. i thought we were being quite previous, that it was jumping the gun to be looking at buying a new car when the baby wasn't due for another seven months. (i thought at that point that it was quite previous to assume we were having a baby at all. i'd already started worrying about having a missed miscarriage. oh the irony. if only i'd kept worrying about that. maybe it wouldn't have been such a body blow.) but D insisted that keeping me safe while i was pregnant was just as important. so we spent our week off trekking round car showrooms.

at that one we looked at a mondeo. we thought about buying it for a while but ended up with something else. we didn't tell any of the salespeople that we were having a baby. it was our secret. we protected it.

i remembered.

and suddenly, on the bus back to work in the middle of the morning, my hand was over my mouth, trying to keep the sobs in, and tears were rolling down my face.

i could've expected many things to make me cry. but never just driving past a car showroom.

i don't think i was even crying for the baby, not this time. i was crying for the loss of who we were that day. i was crying for our lost innocence. i was crying for the couple who smiled secret smiles at each other.

it's not even that i wish i could have warned us what was going to happen. i wouldn't want to take our happiness away. our joy. our utter belief that once the 12 week scan was past, everything would be ok.

i just wish we could be those people again.

i miss that version of us nearly as much as i miss my baby.

---

three weeks later or so, the baby would be dead.

we wouldn't find out for another four weeks after that.

i still find that impossible to comprehend.

PostSecret

Have you heard of PostSecret? You can write your secrets on a postcard and send them anonymously to an address in America. There are

Anyone, the fourth secret this week breaks my heart.

For anyone who is reading this after the new one is posted, it will (hopefully) still be visible here. But if not, it reads...

This is a piece of origami paper that was folded into a crane, and made to hang above my son's crib. He died 2 weeks ago after living just one week. For 9 months he was my muse, and I created so many beautiful things for him. Now I'm afraid I'll never be able to craft again.
i wish i knew how to reach out to this mother. i wish i could tell her she was not alone. i wish she could hear about glow in the woods.

i wish no one else would ever have to join us there.

---

(i meant to post this on monday and only just remembered. i hope it's not too late. i think these secrets will only be up til sunday morning)

Thursday, 1 July 2010

two days ago my BBT (basal body temp) was 36.73 degrees C.

yesterday it was 36.59. the same as my coverline.

today, it was 36.39.

fertility friend seems to think there is still hope. i'm not convinced.

my brain, though, keeps 'helpfully' suggesting possible reasons for today's low temp. you woke up for the loo at 3.20am; you'd only been asleep three hours. you've normally been asleep way longer when you take your temp. and you drank ice-cold water when you were up for the loo! your mouth must still've been cold from that.

and i want to believe it. i really, really do. and most months prior to this, even when my temp has started to fall - even when it's been well under the coverline - i've still had hope. i've told myself that i haven't started my period, it just might be implantation spotting. that any temperature dip is just an implantation dip. even when it's perfectly clear to anyone that no, it's perfectly clear, you're just not pregnant.

the bugger of this month is that when i read the display on my thermometer this morning, i knew straight away. this is not our month. we might really have a problem. i'm not young enough to fuck around with this. i called the doctors' surgery to try and make a phone appointment to speak to my GP, so she could start with the referral. but she's away. not back til 13 july. and i already have an appointment with her that day. so i'll have to wait til then.

so is that progress? that i'm not clinging onto hope when it's gently been extinguished? it kind of feels like it. that i still have hope, but i realise it's not realistic. i knew this month wasn't likely to be our month.

but.

but.

today, i've felt sick. i've felt dizzy and exhausted. i was in a meeting this morning; the room was overfull and hot and airless even with the windows open. i had to lean my head against the wall; i had to hold onto the walls of the corridor on the way back to my office and sit quietly for ten minutes before i could even think of doing anything else.

i would have lain* down on the floor if i didn't work in a busy office.

i've been doubling my antidepressant use this week. one of my friends who takes ADs (she doesn't plan on having kids so no connection to babyloss) says that she doubles her dose in the run up to her period as her PMT is so bad. my ears pricked up when she told me this; i discussed it with my GP and we decided to i should try it too. so these symptoms might be to do with that; the ones i'm on can lead to dizziness.

but that annoying part of my brain, the one that's telling me all the reasons my temperature might have been low this morning? it only has one suggestion for the dizziness.

maybe you're pregnant!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

that's all it says. it doesn't say how exciting that is. it doesn't say definitely. it just keeps dangling that possibility just under my nose.

i wish it would stop. i'm not strong enough to keep hoping when i know it's not real.

---

oh, and i've lost my sodding charts for the five cycles i charted last year. fuuuuuuck.



*laid? lay? conditional past version of lie. google was no bloody help. if anyone can tell me for sure which word it should be i will be very happy. and impressed.