Sunday, 30 November 2008

Nightmare.

Last night I dreamed of the moment I knew it was all over.

That morning I'd been bleeding again and in pain again (it was always the fibroids) and after phoning in sick from work and phoning the maternity unit I went to the toilet and I felt something odd, I looked under and I saw the cord hanging from me. I can barely describe the absolute utter horror of that moment.

I knew George had died.

I think I screamed. I remember clinging on to Ray. Somehow we got to the hospital and about two hours later at 11.05 we saw our perfect tiny son.

It was over so soon.

That image of my baby's lifeline hanging from my body is burned deeply onto the inside of my skull. For days after George was born whenever I closed my eyes I would see his perfect face, or that lifeless pale cord dangling underneath me. Last night I kept seeing it over and over again.

It was the first time I dreamed it.


Today I'm a bit less optimistic, but trying to get it back.

Thank you.

Because of the people I have met through this blog and the beautiful way those of you who have lost babies write about your sweet children I know that it will be ok for me to hold on to the memory of my George.

I know that I don't have to get over it yet, and I'll probably never truly get over it. I'm different now, but that's ok. I'm going to cry some more, lots more, and that's ok too. I'm going to have crap, miserable, awful, angry, sad days and although that's not ok, I know it's normal and I won't fight it. Well, I will probably fight it but I won't win.

I know that all the feelings that jumble and crowd around my head are normal and perfectly acceptable for a member of the dead baby club.

I will never feel that I have to pretend that George wasn't real to ease discomfort in others. He will always be included. I will speak his name.

I know that the happy moments aren't a betrayal of my grief for my son and I will allow myself to be happy as and when those moments arrive because those moments are precious.

I don't know when it will be ok but I know I don't have to rush headlong at ok and force it on myself.

I might find ok when... when we're holding our second child. Or it might take longer. I know now that it doesn't matter. It will happen when it happens.

So, from this particular point in my journey towards ok-ness, 41 days since tiny perfect lost George was born...

Thank you.

Thank you for acknowledging my son and his existence and allowing me to share my journey with you.

I wish so much that I'd never found any of you in the dead baby club, and I wish you'd never needed to find any of us but thank you for allowing me to share your grief and the lives of your babies made with love..


Today I'm functioning and vaguely optimistic.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Lucky me.

I have to say that I have the best guy in the world who will do an Irish jig combined with a Russian dance to make me laugh. Wow, he'll be such a great dad. It's so stupidly unfair that he won't get to be a great dad to George.


We were lying on the grass down by the seafront one sunny day not long after we got together and we started playing with our camera phones. There are hundreds of these!

Coo, two posts in one day.

This evening I'm daring to try on a bit of optimism to see if it will still fit.

Running on empty.

Well, this morning I seem to be bleeding less. A lot less.

I should be jumping... if not for joy then for the not so distant promise of not having another D&C. But I'm not. I don't think I trust my body any more. I stopped bleeding a week after we lost George and a week and a day after we lost George I was being wheeled down to surgery. The bleeding had slowed down, until a week and a day ago it started getting heavier. No, I don't trust my body any more.

I'm exhausted.

Wiped out, knackered, done in, pooped.

A lot of it is physical, because of the anemia I think. All this bleeding can't have helped my blood count but then again, frequently forgetting to take my second iron pill of the day can't be helping either. I have no breath for hills (we live on a hill) and my legs ache so much after the least exercise.

I don't even need to mention the emotional exhaustion...

I feel bleak.

But I laugh with Ray. It's confusing. One minute the world is crushing me and the next I'm giggling like a teenager.

Oh I love him so much, he got so upset yesterday with the them that haven't fixed my insides properly yet that he didn't know what to do with himself. A strange thing happens to me when he cries, no matter how distressed I am, I stop and start comforting him. He stops and starts comforting me. Ah we work well together. He once told me he hadn't cried since his dad died when he was 16. He's re-learning the art of crying now.

We miss our George.

Today I'm ..... confused.

Friday, 28 November 2008

The All-New-Me.

Yesterday I was in my local supermarket queuing for the checkout and an strange old lady told me off for standing in the "wrong" place and then tried to get in front of me and I snapped quite nastily at her. This is not like me at all. Or maybe this is very much like me. The all new angry-at-the-world me.

I also avoided bumping into two people that I know, just turn about, go in a different direction, but unfortunately I bumped into a third when I was almost home. He said the usual crap. I kept it together until he walked on but three steps later tears filled my head and I was gasping for breath. The all new anti-social-me.

I can feel myself slipping into a dark bleak place. I don't want to be there for long though: I prefer the light.

Today my Doctor is calling my consultant and I might have to have another D&C.

Today I have nothing left.

I cried and cried last night to be done with bleeding and pain and I'm still crying today.

I lost my baby, isn't that enough?

The all new misery-me.

Today is another crying day.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

I think today will be a crying day.

Yesterday tried to be a crying day but I had too many things to do. Collect things, do shopping, stay close to public toilets.

When I do go out I walk around with my head down. I don't want to see anyone I know. I don't want to hear sympathetic words or insensitive words or not hear him mentioned at all. No, you can't win, whatever you say will be very wrong.

What I really want is to curl up in a ball and hibernate. No, that's not right; what I really want is George back where he belongs. Neither will happen so I'll just be crying here in the corner today.

Today, I'm crying.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

I think I'm broken.

I gave birth to our sweet tiny lost son George on the 20th October.

I have a hard time describing that day except in flashes of panic, pain, disbelief, agony, kindness, morphine haze, blood, tears and more and more tears.

Rushed back to hospital on the 28th October, gushing blood and huge scary clots, blood pressure down below the floor, heart rate erratic, three whopping bloody painful venflon cannulas in my arms, emergency D&C in the middle of the night. Transfusion; two units of blood. More pain. More drugs. Morrrppphhhinnne... I like morphine: I'm thinking of becoming an addict. Having to call a nurse three times to see my pee after they took the catheter out. Anemic.

Three days later: went home, bled, didn't bleed, bled, didn't bleed. Cried, didn't cry, cried. Blogged. Cried.

Saw Dr on 20th November, highish temperature, infection, more antibiotics. Better.
Bleeding getting slowly heavier since then, crampy, bit ikky clotty. Dr doesn't think it's a period yet, thinks there might be something still needing to come out, warns me I might pass a large clot at some point. Will be phoning me every morning until something changes, or doesn't. I'm scared of my own blood.

Don't want to go back to hospital. Nope. Uh uhh.

Bleugh, yuk, poo. I DON'T WANT TO BLEEDING BLEED ANYMORE!

Today I'm waiting...

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

It all seems like a bad dream sometimes.

Sometimes I wake up and I've forgotten that George has gone and then there's that awful monstrous moment when my heart lurches into my throat and I remember. My baby is dead.

Sometimes it's as if he never existed. Was I really pregnant? Did I really feel him move? Did we really see him sucking his thumb, waving to us and doing flips on that screen?

Sometimes it's almost as if I can still feel him.

Sometimes I feel as if my heart will burst from my chest with all this pain.

Sometimes I feel quite alright and I laugh. I kiss my guy, I feel playful, I make plans, I do domestic stuff (badly, but then again I've always done domestic stuff badly), I hope, I dream and I get through the day.


Today I'm thinking too much.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Seriously though...

I don't want to be a member of the dead baby club any longer.

The membership fee is too high and the benefits are scant. Member participation involves too much pain and it makes me cry for other lost baby Mums. We are too too too many and it's all just so wrong. So very very wrong. My heart breaks a little bit more for each and every one of us each and every time I sit down to read or type.

Being a member marks you for pity. People who know look at you differently. They say stupid things. Or they say nothing at all. Why do they ignore my son's existence? Please.

And it makes me cry for my George who isn't growing inside my belly where he should be.


But it's a lifetime subscription with no get out clause so I'm stuck here.


Today I'm fed up. (understatement)

Sunday, 23 November 2008

His grief

Part of Ray's grief journey has manifested itself with a series of nightmares.

He dreams of dead babies.

And a couple of times he has woken up to the scent of his dad, who died when he was 16.

His Mum, who believes in such things, gave him a crystal years ago that he swore worked to keep the bad dreams at bay but when we moved (just before we made George) it was left in a box with other crystals and stones. Apparently you have to keep them "charged" by leaving them in sunlight and moonlight. He found it out on Wednesday, put it on a window sill and hasn't had a bad dream since. Power of the magic crystal? Or power of the magic mind? I'm inclined to believe in the power of the mind but who cares, he sleeps more peacefully at night.


I'm okish today.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Love

The anger I have been feeling over the last two days has dissipated somewhat and today I'm thinking about good things. More specifically, I'm thinking about love.

I don't like feeling angry. I'm not an angry person, it seems such a destructive emotion, but since I have promised myself to go with the flow of my grief I let it in and accepted it and then splurted it out in my blog. No, splurted isn't a word, my mac tells me so but I like it and it fits.

Today I'm reminding myself of the amazing love I share with Ray. My best friend, lover, fiance, fellow geek and partner in loss. I'm so lucky to have found him.

At 39 I was starting to think that I would never find anyone to share my life with and making plans to breed cats, collect brown paper bags and grumble loudly at people who passed too close to my house.

I knew Ray for about 5 months at work before he asked me out on a date. We chatted, laughed and joked together every day and I had no idea he was harbouring romantic feelings towards me. (His brothers let me know later just how much he'd been "going on and on" about me for months). At first I said no, it was a bit of a shock to be truthful but eventually I realised just how much we had in common and how easy it was to be with him. No games, no pretense, no macho crap, just a nice guy (with a decidedly dodgy past) who I could tell all to. He accepted me for who I am and I accepted him for who he is.

He'd practically moved in after a week and one night, after about two weeks together we were lying in bed and he just casually blurted out that he thought we'd probably get married at some point and I casually agreed with the idea which then turned into him asking me to be his fiance and me saying yes. He then casually mentioned that he thought we'd make good parents...

Telling my parents was a bit odd as they'd only met him once before and since my Mum still thinks of me as a hormonal 16 year old plus she's seen the aftermath of the gory mess of a couple of my relationships I wasn't sure how she'd take it. She was shocked, went very quiet (totally out of character) and eventually congratulated us. I'm sure she thought it wouldn't last. She loves him to bits now. My dad just grinned and congratulated us.

Around a year later, my period was late and I told Ray we needed to buy a test. When we got it home off I went to pee on a stick. Ray turned purple at this point. His face was such a picture! It's all very well thinking you'd like kids but faced with the reality panic sets in, "oh my god, can we really DO this?!" Yes we can!" The test, as you know, was positive and although we didn't realise it, George had been created. Made with love.

It's hard to believe that we've only been together for 16 months when it feels as if I've loved him a lifetime.

Today I'm ok.

Friday, 21 November 2008

More anger

Two posts I've read today have reminded me of the insensitive things people say and how my life has changed.

Hope's Mama wrote Don't ask me how I am and Monique wrote about her Shitty new life.

I used to be tolerant and forgiving and make excuses for people's insensitivity or ignorance but now I find I have a lot less sympathy for people's discomfort around me. My baby died, I feel like crap, I'm not going to pretend I don't.

I had a sympathy card, not an actual sympathy card but a cute notelet from a lady at work (similar age to my Mum) saying, "I'm sorry for your great disappointment ..." disappointment???????? The note went on to say that, "maybe it was for the best". No it bloody wasn't!

Oh that note made me feel SO angry. Still does if I'm honest. I know there was no malice intended, how could there be, but for goodness sake how insensitive could you be? "Disappointment"? I gave birth to my dead baby, I didn't fail my driving test.

And today I took my sick notes in to work. One of the ladies there gave me a hug and of course I started crying and, "Oh don't cry, you can have another one... at least you know you can conceive..." Yes, I know I can have another one, or at least we can try, but at the moment, if you don't mind, I'm still grieving for this one, who was real and lived and died inside me and was tiny and perfect and utterly irreplaceable.

Just because technically George's birth is considered a miscarriage doesn't mean it hurts any less than if it had happened three weeks later when it's possible that his lungs might have worked had he been born alive. He was real. He was my son. And oh hell, I want him back.

Being angry makes me type in italics.

Today I want the world to go away.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Anger

I have an angry feeling today.

I'm angry that I'm still suffering the after effects on my body of losing George and I'm angry at this body that let me and my son down so badly.

I'm angry at all the couldn't-care-less mothers that I see dragging screaming babies around. Don't they understand the preciousness of the lives they have carried or the responsibility of care that they have?

I'm angry at all the happily pregnant women who have no idea how unfair it that they get to have a healthy live baby or how much pain I feel at seeing them.

And I'm angry at all the "friends" at work who haven't bothered to call or even text.

Today I'm not great.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Health

I would quite like some. Health that is.

I'm anemic and dizzy at the strangest times (turning over in bed for example). At the moment I have an infection and I'm taking antibiotics which upset my stomach. I'm still bleeding lightly almost 4 weeks after we lost tiny sweet George and I wish it would stop. I'm tired all the time and my brain feels like it's turned to mush.

The other day I vacuumed the flat and the day after I felt as if I'd run a marathon.

Sometimes smiling is tough. Crying is easy.

But today I'm okay, I think.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Lightness part 2


I won my ebay auction for this little baby shoe.

It's just a little reminder of my little George that I can carry with me every day.

Grief part 5

Does the fact that I seem to have become engaged in the careful dissection of my personal grief process mean that I am working through it intelligently and diligently or does it mean that I am dwelling upon it unhealthily?

My theory has always been that however and whatever you are feeling at any given moment is normal and natural (unless I suppose you've been diagnosed with a mental illness). If you're grieving for whatever loss you have suffered whether it be the death of a loved one, the ending of a relationship or even the loss of your job then bad moments will happen and shouldn't be just brushed aside. Nor should you let anyone tell you how you should be feeling.

You feel how you feel.

BUT. I wonder if by writing about my grief I will be prolonging it or am I simply recognising and acknowledging it and in doing this, allowing myself to pass through it?

I'm a researcher... not by profession but by nature. I researched everything there was to know about trying to conceive and then everything about pregnancy and now I'm researching everything about stillbirth, miscarriage, babyloss and grief. It has been heartwarming and heartbreaking to find so many many women and women who have gone through and are going through what we are embarking on. The journey to peace.

Sadly we are a club with an extensive membership.

I feel ok today.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Pain part 2

I saw my doctor this afternoon and he says I have an infection. Bah. Back on the antibiotics.

The pain is slightly less than yesterday (already?) so hopefully it won't last much longer.

Visiting the doctors surgery was awful; it was a clinic day and the downstairs waiting area was full of mums and dads and maybe 20 or more crying gurgling screaming healthy babies. I had to walk through it to get to the stairs to the upstairs waiting room which was fortunately not full of babies. I've been ok seeing babies so far but I guess this was just overload.

I just about waited till I got home to cry on Ray's shoulder. George should be with me.

I feel ok but distracted today.

Baby P

Whenever I read about this sort of abuse and waste of life it makes me wonder how on earth any parent could be so lacking in humanity as to allow this to happen.

And now, having lost my own sweet son George, it makes me feel terribly, terribly sad and angry to think that this woman gave birth to a live healthy baby and failed miserably to keep him that way.

I don't understand why there is so much effort made to keep children with their parents in cases like these. There are so many childless people who would have welcomed little Peter with open arms.

"Family" seems to be a misunderstood concept. A genetic relationship isn't much of a reason to keep a child in bad circumstances. We need to stop worrying about the rights of the parents and concentrate on the safety of the children.

We take more care of abused animals than we do of children.

I don't understand any of it.

News story.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Pain

I've been trying to ignore the pain in my belly that has been building since thursday. But it isn't getting better. It hurts to pee. It hurts to poo. It hurts to pass gas. It hurts when I walk. My strong painkillers haven't killed it entirely and I seem to have started bleeding a bit. Again. I'm also having little dizzy spells that pass in seconds.

And now I've written it all down and realised that I shouldn't ignore this I shall stop ignoring the pain and go to my doctor in the morning and get something done.

Physical pain distracts from emotional pain.

Today I'm not sure how I am but I wish my body would give me a break and heal dammit.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Quoting

The risk of love is loss, and the price of loss is grief -
But the pain of grief
Is only a shadow
When compared with the pain
Of never risking love.”

Hilary Stanton Zunin

Grief part 4 and a bit

I cried buckets last night and Ray held me.

Ray doesn't cry: he dreams of dead babies. And I hold him.

I woke feeling less down.

And today I'm okish.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Grief part 4

Three people now have told me that I seem strong but I don't feel strong at all: I feel broken and lost.

I feel as if my heart has been ripped out and stuffed back in the wrong place.

This is a bad day.

Today I'm not ok.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Grief part 3

Yesterday I met a friend for coffee who I hadn't seen since we lost George.

Grief came with me of course. In fact I was quite nervous as to just how much grief would show itself. I needn't have worried. I cried and she cried. I showed her his photo and we cried some more. We also laughed and chatted about mundane things. I'm wrapped in my bubble of loss and everything other seems incredibly mundane.

This is how life is at the moment. I laugh, I cry, I'm quiet, I'm chatty, I put one foot in front of the other and I cry a bit more.

Ray told me last night that he feels weird about the bathroom at the moment because it was the scene of so much trauma. I came screaming from it a few times and I bled so much in it. I called him after I had showered the other day to listen to a dodgy hissy boiler noise and he came running worried. I didn't even realise. For me it's the memory of the bleeding that is so traumatic not the place it happened.

His grief hits him occasionally. He'll be painting and stop and think and feel and then distract himself with his work.

He tells me that it's natural for my grief to be worse than his. I tell him there is no worse or less or easier. It is what it is.

Today I'm ok.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Quoting

At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.
-- Albert Schweitzer

I received a surprise gift of some comfy cosy pajamas and slippers this morning from my lovely thoughtful friend Serene

Smiles and tears and gratitude.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Lightness



This is my Pandora bracelet. I spotted one in a jewelers not long after Ray and I got together and last Christmas I received the bracelet with the bear and frog charms. Oh I love my guy! Plus he's rather cleverly given himself an easy way of buying a gift for me! Not for him 5:30 on chrismas eve, "oh hell, what can I get her... gotta get a present... perfume? underwear? household appliance?" Since christmas I've been given the heart and the two glass beads by Ray and a pretty safety chain by my parents and it's only been off my wrist long enough to put the new charms on it (apart from my hospital stay where they made me take off all my jewelery including my engagement ring which didn't fit again for at least 24 hours, bah).

I love my bracelet! The beads however aren't cheap, especially since we're on a tight budget at the moment; they range from about £18 upwards. If they were cheaper I would probably have a filled bracelet by now! I think they mean just that little bit more as they aren't bought on a whim.



I'm now "saving" to buy a bead for myself. I want to get this baby shoe as a small memento of my little George that I can see every day. Not as a morbid reminder to make me cry you understand, but a nice memory of his existence. I'm watching one on ebay in the hope that it won't get too expensive before bidding closes!

I'm not sure which charm I'll get for christmas from my lovely, fantastic, wondrous, groovy, incredible, terrific, phenomenal, marvelous, fabulous, wonderful, gorgeous, super Ray of sunshine (Creeping? Moi?) but whichever it is, I know it will be bought with love.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Grief part 2

Grief is becoming a rather sneaky companion that walks quietly alongside me one day and the next day rushes up to me, slams into my chest, takes my breath away and fills my eyes with heavy tears that don't seem to want to stop.

The tears do stop of course. I do laugh again of course.

We spent sunday afternoon with his family celebrating two of his brothers birthdays. He was his normal laughing joking lovely self and I was almost there. It was good until his sister hugged me goodbye saying something sympathetic and grief sneaked in and caught in my throat. The rest of the evening was a slow come down from the high of a cheery lunch.

Today there have been a few tears, a few giggles and a few quiet moments. I made arrangements to see my parents tomorrow and made a coffee appointment for wednesday with a good friend. Moving on? I don't know. The idea of going back to work fills me with dread at the moment.

One foot in front of the other.

I'm not sure how I feel today.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Weakness

Begging your indulgence but I think it's time for an anemic moan.

Not having the physical strength to get very far is tiring in itself. Either I'm tired when I wake up and have to force myself to get up, get dressed, make breakfast, make a cup of tea and just generally DO things, or I get up feeling as if I have some energy back and by midday I've used it all up and I want to lie down again. I am tired every afternoon. I know it's still early days but I'm already frustrated with this complete lack of energy. I have to keep reminding myself of just how much trauma my body has been through in the past couple of weeks and that I have to just try to relax and give myself time to heal. I've never thought of myself as particularly impatient but I'm feeling it now!

Thank goodness I've finished my course of antibiotics, which my bowels hated with a passion and the course of what have become known as my "bleeding pills" which my stomach hated with a deep and nauseating passion. I'm going to now concentrate on taking the vitamins and supplements that helped my body get conception fit 6 months ago and well, we'll see how things go from there.

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