Hacked – apologies

26 November, 2010

You might have guessed from the rather odd message(s) you might have had from me earlier today that my e-mail was hacked.

I’m sorry if any of you followed any of the links, or if you were muddled or worried by my e-mail(s).

I have now changed my password so it should be secure again. If you get any more odd messages from me please let me know so I can review.

Best wishes



25 November, 2010 16:49

25 November, 2010



4 June, 2010

Today the grief hit me.

It was my first chance to light a candle, and I did. Then all the grief I thought I wasn’t going to experience came upon me like a wave.

I’m shivering with cold (on the hottest day of the year so far); I can’t speak; I don’t know how on earth I am going to get through the rest of the working day – did I mention I went to church in my lunch break from work? – and I have no idea how much of my make-up is streaked down my face.

And there is a chance I’m pregnant.

Feeling normal

5 May, 2010

Feeling normal creeps up on you, as does feeling rotten.

I don’t know if I should feel guilty for feeling fine, or for wanting to look forwards instead of back. After all, miscarriage is so common that perhaps we should look at it as a rite of passage, rather than a tragedy.

Today I had my final follow-up scan. This showed that my body is totally back to normal. The midwife asked very sympathetically how I was feeling, and I was a bit embarrassed to say actually I felt fine. Was that ok?

Feeling guilty because you are “too sad” or “not sad enough” is not helpful. No two people will react to seemingly-identical situations in the same way. I grieved – just briefly. I shed more tears for friends who lost at the same time as me (Jules, Anna, Sara, Leanne, Ruth) than I did for myself.

In general, I think, I am quite hard on myself and set high and even unattainable standards for my own conduct and internal behaviour. Telling myself to buck up and get on with it is part of my makeup. Yes, I feel depressed sometimes, but I am determined not to spend time grieving if I don’t actually need to.

If I am lucky enough to fall pregnant quickly, then I have no doubt I will have some things to think through and perhaps even battle through then.

For now my major hurdle is one of sexuality. Is it ok to have sexual thoughts and feelings when I “should” be grieving for Mousie? Is it ok to want sex when people are amazed I’ve even come back to work “so soon”? Guilt and sex are as interlinked for me as guilt and food, so it’s come as no surprise that I am over-thinking very natural and understandable feelings.

It’s time for me to lower my own standards and behave like a normal human being.

First Day Back at Work

29 April, 2010

This is my first day back at work after something like three weeks away.

I feel depressed. I have come back to photos of a new baby, to a colleague’s newly-enormous baby bump, and general enthusiasm.

And a very favourite colleague has resigned to go elsewhere. Interestingly, the “elsewhere” is one of two places I was already drafting speculative applications to. I think I should probably speak to this favourite colleague before sending off the applications, now. I don’t want to look like a stalker!

So I am down in the dumps today and just want to go home and back to bed. Rubbish.

Taking a break

28 April, 2010

We went away for a (very) long weekend.

It had been planned for a while, but in the end it was very well timed. I finished “leaking”, having passed all the substantial material before we went. So I was able to take some time to admire the beauty of the universe (yes, sorry) and get some perspective on things.

The world keeps turning. I have my little boy, my Bear, and he is so interesting and beautiful and funny and clever and … you get the idea. People go for years without conceiving, let alone delivering, let alone having a child survive.

The lambs in the field were being picked off by the foxes, so once the ewes have lambed they are now being moved into the paddock, far too near humans for the foxes to dare invading, and with lush grazing to produce optimum milk and therefore optimal growth for the lambs. A week in the paddock and they’re right little bruisers.

It was also nice not to be surrounded by well-meaning sympathetic people. I realise I sound like an ungrateful cowbag but actually pity is hard work.

For me, the best response to “Have you been ill?” “Er well actually I’ve had a miscarriage” is “How horrible” and then a change of subject. Since I didn’t mention it, I probably don’t want to talk about it.

Unfortunately I took a sufficient break that I completely forgot about my follow-up scan this morning. Oops. When I called EPAU to apologise and re-schedule, the midwife actually sounded pleased. I suppose I sound like I’ve pretty much lost everything that there is to lose, so the scan would show an empty uterus anyway, and having forgotten suggests I’m not particularly psychologically or physically unwell. From their perspective that’s as good an outcome as could be hoped for.


19 April, 2010

1. There’s really an awful lot of blood. I mean seriously. I am bleeding more than I am urinating.

2. I feel more indignant than sad. How dare the universe cheat me out of my quick conception, perfect sibling spacing and so on?!

3. Either the grief hasn’t properly hit yet, or actually this is going to be ok. I am able to tell people now, and relatively casually.

4. Hospital food is fine, but stupidly you order 24 hours in advance. This means that if you are in for less than 24 hours you only eat what someone else ordered, and only order what someone else will eat. The woman in the bed before me was an anorexic sparrow who didn’t like fruit or vegetables at all.

I will pick up the story when I can. These are just today’s observations.

The Warning Signs

16 April, 2010

Warning – when I said I was going to be honest, this is one of those posts. I am going to talk about blood, and pain, and medical procedures.

I was working on the Thursday immediately before Easter (Maundy Thursday) and although I felt a bit run-down, I mainly attributed this to the obvious factors:

  • having a toddler who sometimes thinks he needs his mummy in the night
  • breast-feeding said toddler three or four times a day
  • being pregnant
  • going to work
  • having had¬†norovirus the month before, a relapse the week before and still recovering from both

I went to the toilet when I was going to bed, and noticed a little old blood on the paper when I wiped. Being well aware that there are many reasons for a little light bleeding even in totally normal, healthy pregnancies I didn’t immediately worry.

Friday was a bank holiday, so it was quite nice to spend the day quietly at home. The brown blood loss continued, although still only a tiny smear, scarcely enough to mark my underwear. If it had been a normal day I would have rung the ante-natal clinic to check what I should be doing, but it wasn’t, so I ended up ringing the hospital reception, who put me through to the Gynae ward, who said I should just stay at home quietly until either the bleeding went red and/or heavy, or I started feeling pain or cramps.

It wasn’t a fun weekend, and I did ring Gynae a couple of times for reassurance, but I got through it.

Then on the Tuesday I called ante-natal. Before I’d got ten words in, the midwife booked me into the Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit (EPAU) for a “viability scan”.

Viability is an odd word. I’ve heard this scan called a “reassurance” scan before, which suggests “we expect your baby to be fine”. Calling it “viability” told me “we expect your baby to be dead”. I had quite a big cry after I got off the phone.

Sure enough, the dildo-cam showed an empty sac. It was explained that this is what it would look like five weeks after conception, not seven. This would mean a conception date of approximately 3 March, when I got a positive pregnancy test on 5 March. Nonetheless, they had to ask me to come back after a week, just in case my dates were wrong.

There are some people whose dates are uncertain. If you are not trying to get pregnant, and/or your cycle is very irregular, then you might genuinely not know when your period was meant to come, and therefore not really have any idea of when you conceived. Women have gone for their first scan thinking they are 12 weeks pregnant only to find that it’s more like 20 weeks.

That doesn’t apply to me. My cycles certainly haven’t been clockwork, but the last four were 29 days long, 28, 28 again, then 26, so I knew I was “late” on 5 March and definitely pregnant then. Normal home pregnancy tests (HPTs) don’t show a positive until you are at least four weeks pregnant.

It was hard to go home that afternoon, knowing that I had miscarried but without the certainty of knowing how we were going to proceed. I cried quite a lot, and asked Aunty Google for information about miscarriage and What Happens Next. Then I cried a bit more.

Almost worse was having to tell the very few people who knew I was pregnant. I had told precisely two friends and my parents; the in-laws had been told too.

Then on the Thursday I went to work.

After the Easter weekend, or indeed any public holiday, people generally put on a bright and happy expression and say “So, what did you do over the weekend?” This time I didn’t answer even remotely honestly.

“Oh, not much,” I said, “you know, just spending some family time, taking Bear to see the ducks, that sort of thing.”

Because who would ask that question as breezily as it’s generally asked, and actually want or need to hear the answer, “I lost my baby” ?

Potted history

16 April, 2010

A little background, then.

I got married in 2004, on the hottest, sunniest day of the year. Shortly thereafter we both got new jobs and a brand new flat.

In 2007 we started trying for a first child, and were delighted to fall pregnant at the end of September 2007.

I was absolutely convinced I would miscarry, though, so I found it difficult to get used to the idea of being pregnant until we were quite far along, had seen the scan, and so on. I am not quite sure where this absolute conviction came from, although I’m sure the fact that both of us are “try again” babies gave me the impression that I might expect to miscarry before carrying to term.

My pregnancy was uneventful for thirty-two weeks, then my contractions started. After two weeks of repeated tests my consultant simply recommended that I stop work, chill out, and hope to get to term. Her advice was sound – he held on for another nearly seven weeks, and after my waters broke and no spontaneous labour, I was induced and our son was born by forceps delivery precisely twenty-four hours later.


When our little Bear (not his real name) reached 18 months, we decided to start trying for #2, and were lucky enough to fall pregnant in our first cycle of trying.

A few quick sums told us that #2 would be due on 10 November 2010, giving an age gap of approximately two years and five months. We know families with that sort of age gap, and it’s just delightful, so we were overjoyed. We made the kind of vague plans you make when you still have eight months to sort things out, and started referring to “Mousie”.

But unlike being pregnant with Bear, being pregnant with Mousie was practically symptomless. I was assured that you don’t spot symptoms as much with a second, as you’re so busy running round after the toddler that you don’t have the time for speculation, self-assessment or symptom-spotting that you have in abundance with a first pregnancy.

At last, at around 7 weeks I started to feel sick in the mornings, and sick and exhausted in the evenings. “Great,” I thought, “I remember this. This is what being pregnant feels like.” I fully expected to start throwing up shortly, as my main memory of early pregnancy with Bear was lots and lots of throwing up, and scarcely any eating.

Goodbye Mousie…

15 April, 2010

Thanks for visiting Goodbye Mousie.

Posts start soon.