Wednesday, 31 December 2008

2008

This was George's year.

The year of joy and sorrow.

The year I learned about real love and real pain.

The year of love for Ray and love for our unborn baby.

The year of such great joy at making George and such incredibly deep deep sorrow at his loss.

The year Ray and I became parents and grew SO much closer through our loss.

The year that the worst thing in the world happened.

The year I found out what it was like to be a mother to a dead baby.

The year I found out there was no such thing as fair.

The year I found kindred spirits in you beautiful people out there who know.

The year my light went out but now flickers uncertainly.

The year that I changed.


I know that one day passing into another year won't take away the pain of grief but I'm hoping that things will keep getting better.


Today I think I'm going to be ok. Tomorrow might be different.

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Do you know





Each time I have mentioned our lost babies I have neglected to mention my own brother or sister who was lost to my mother before my brother and I were born. In fact if that baby hadn't been lost I might not be here. That's a strange feeling that our next child will also have to deal with one day.





So today I'm thinking of Baby Boucher who was lost and of our Mum who remembers.



Monday, 29 December 2008

My other poppet

My poppet, the grown up one, not the tiny missing one, is suffering mightily with a bad dose of man-flu, a madly fluctuating temperature and a rotten sore throat that hurts a lot... yes dear, I get it, it really really hurts.


We're dosing him up with all manner of potions and he is tucked up on the sofa killing things with glee (pc game). I'm tucked up next to him in sympathy playing on the innernets. Well, it's an excuse not to do the washing up again isn't it.

This evening we're snuggled.

Desire

We drove to another little bay and at the end of the path around the beach there was a short hill curving up to a coastal walk. A small boy wearing a large crash helmet had pushed his shiny new bike to the top of this hill and was waiting for the all clear from his Mum who was waiting at the bottom curve of the path to block his journey down off the path, over the rocks and into the sea with her own body. He got on his bike and with a determined look on his face set off at breakneck speed down what must have seemed like a mountain to him. Woosh, around the curve and onto the grass and he did it! The look of triumph on his face was priceless. "Did you see did you see?!" As we walked past his poor mum who was just peeling her gloved hands away from her face and breathing a sigh of relief I just had to tell her how great it was that she let him try this.

George will never get to be allowed to do dangerous things.

I want to be the cool Mum that bites back her fear and lets her child peddle at breakneck speed down a little hill because it's wild and crazy and will give him or her a sense of adventure and achievement.

I want this so much I can taste it.


Today I'm nursing my sick poppet.

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Christmas day

So I started Christmas day with tears and more tears. With a huge rolling wave of, "it's just not fair" that smashed into my chest before I even got up. And it isn't fair, it bloody isn't. It's reminiscent of that childhood not fair feeling when you are so utterly utterly powerless, weak and small that all you can do is stamp your feet and rail against the big bad world.

A post from Hope's mama a while ago said it all really. Grief is hard work. It is so hard. Sometimes it's all too much to bear and I need to sit quietly and actively search for calm. Sometimes I need to howl and rage and sometimes I read about a mother who's baby was born living at a similar age to George and those parents got to spend some time with their baby alive... and there it is again, unfair... why couldn't we have had just ten small minutes to tell him we loved him? But then again why couldn't we have simply kept him for all time? Why did our son have to die?

But there is no fair to be found here and no answers that will ever satisfy.

Sometimes the absolute enormity of his death is too much and I don't know what to do with myself. And sometimes, quite often really, I laugh and everything is almost entirely normal.

I do know that the worst thing I could do would be to pretend that I'm ok and everything is fine. I'm not and it isn't and if you ask me how I am these days, you're likely to get the long answer. I've stopped protecting other people from my grief and as a consequence I'm finding out who my real friends are which, I suppose, is ultimately good to know.

Since we lost George we are not the same people. Our world is slightly different now, a little less bright and a lot more fragile. How could I be the same? I held our dead baby in my arms, touched his perfect face, marvelled at his tiny perfect mouth, counted his perfect fingers and toes and kissed his perfect nose and I will always feel his absence. This is the all new me with a vital piece missing and although it is far from easy and I didn't think it possible, I'm slowly getting used to it.

Ray's friend Joe of the broken heart ('aint we all) finally turned up for dinner after wallowing in a state of self-loathing and self-pity at home alone that morning and after Ray dragged his head into a much cheerier and normal mad-Joe place dinner was quite lovely. A traditional over the top sunday lunch affair with vegetarian options for the veggies amongst us (me).

When Joe had gone back to his dark pit of despair (honestly, he is his own worst enemy, Ray tells me his ended-relationship has been an on again off again disaster zone for years but then again he can't step back and see it from our perspective can he?) we went for a drive, parked by the seafront and stepped onto the beach in the dark to listen to the crashing waves. It was hand-achingly freezing windy so we drove around for a while, warming up and giving marks out of ten for the tacky house decorations (the more flashing lights the more points) before heading home. Ray, who doesn't celebrate Christmas kept telling me Happy Christmas until I said it back. I love him to infinity and beyond.


Today my monster period from hell has finally definitely finished but has left a cramp or two behind. Bloody fibroids.

Friday, 26 December 2008

A small gift

I dreamed this morning that I was sinking deep into the sand whilst trying to walk along the most perfectly beautiful beach. I tried to avoid the big rolling splashing waves but my clothes became soaked and so I gave in to getting wet and dived in. The beach was suddenly completely crowded and I was trying to pick my way through the people; I wobbled and swayed on tip toes when a voice told me to take my time. I made my way to my dad who was sitting at the end of the beach. It wasn't a sad dream or a happy dream but quite a strangely peaceful dream.

I don't normally remember dreams, or I didn't until I became pregnant, and now I'm still remembering them. Maybe this is a small gift from George.

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Missing from today...


... and every day...

George, Kai, Sam, Hope, Ezra, Alice, Christian, Emma, Douglas, Karis and Addison Isobel and Jovita, Sueb's twin babies, Morissa and Neilly's babytobe, Shilpa's baby, Martha's baby, and each and every one of the babies that should be here but are missing... and sorely missed.

xxx

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

A balancing act

After we'd been not-exactly-trying-but-not-doing-anything-to-stop-a-pregnancy for the 6 months after we got together I decided to take it a bit more seriously and I started looking into nutrition and fertility. I think I mentioned before that I'm a researcher by nature and taking my age into consideration I decided that anything I could do that wouldn't harm couldn't hurt and after being diagnosed as anaemic it seemed important to get everything balanced.

So now I'm getting back into the routine of taking the supplements that might (or might not) have helped to make George in the hope that they will help to make George's little sister or brother.

Clockwise from the top:
two vitex (agnus castus) to balance hormones
one calcium + vitamin d
one b6 supplement, more balancing.
one pregnancare multivitamin (I still have some left; I had enough for 40 weeks of pregnancy)
one high dose vitamin c with bioflavoniods.
And in the middle the prescribed iron supplement. Two times a day.

Once I was settling in with the Great Pill Routine I started ovulation testing, but I'm not bothering with that until after the tests and possible evilfibroidectomy (um, I'm almost sure that's not the right term).

I suppose concentrating on these supplements rather than the Great Two Week Wait and the Great Period Disappointment helped me stay vaguely sane before we made George and hopefully will give me something positive to focus on in the new year.

Oh yes, and apart from the pills and the ovulation testing there was lots and lots of lovely love making baby making lovely sex.

I'm always on the lookout for anything else that might help so if you have any ideas please let me know. I'm particularly interested in the weird and wonderful, stupid and laughable things you might have heard of or been told. We all need a laugh, oh yes.


Today I'm feeling a little less hormonal. Whoop de doo.


Tuesday, 23 December 2008

The crying game

Today I've been having a crying day.

I needed one.

For me and for Ray and for our George.

It started early this morning in a dream where George was born alive but no one would even try to help him and I was running around with my tiny baby in my arms begging for his life... I woke Ray up with my sobbing and he woke me out of the dream with a cuddle.

So in between cleaning the kitchen, finding the dining table underneath all the dried washing and making a big batch of Rocky road, (no, of course it all went in the fridge straight away, the very idea) I have been alternately weeping, bawling, howling, blubbering, wailing, sniveling and sobbing.

Bloody hormones.

Bloody fibroids.

I don't know if I feel better for it: better comes in small increments these days, but I had a build up of tears that needed releasing and so I gave myself permission to let the misery in and cry it out. I feel exhausted but I'm smiling a bit more this evening.

Today I've been missing my son inside my belly.

Tomorrow will be better.


Monday, 22 December 2008

Bah humbug indeed

Well, today I tried getting with the christmas spirit and went shopping for a present for Ray. Crap.

Oh but it was awful. People seem to have even less regard for their fellow stressed shoppers at this time of year and what with looking out for people I didn't want to see (anyone I know) and trying to navigate the too-small shops too full of people, all of whom were in my way, and keeping public toilets within dashing distance I seem to have stressed myself right up to the eyeballs.

I arrived home with a big box of super plus tampons, two packs of pads-with-wings, ibuprofen and paracetamol, two baking trays, christmas cards for: my mum and dad; Ray's mum and step-dad; my brother and my fiance, (I actually had to choke back the tears when I was reading the slushy verse in Ray's card, sentimental hormones at play today I feel). I bought a huge tv remote control as a jokey-gift for my mum and dad, and finally, a very nice jumper for Ray. I wanted to get him a piece of jewellery but couldn't find the thing that I had in my head which probably doesn't exist... and as I dumped it all on the floor I burst into tears because I forgot the toilet paper.

And this evening, in the true spirit of masochism we're going to the supermarket... watch out for those hormones!

Today I'm breathing deeply.


Sunday, 21 December 2008

A sharp stone in my belly?

I think there are four, and three of them are bloody fibroids.

Warning. Far too much information coming up.

This period is turning out to be a monster. Heavy clotty bleeding for three days now and last night was the worst, I barely slept and kept dashing to the bathroom and oh those cramps to strangle your partner for... no I haven't, he's fine, really, but you know... I haven't felt this hormonal for a long time... and there's not too much intelligent, or intelligible thought going on in my head. Stupid fibroids. Maybe there's one in my head too.

When the ob checked the position of my uterus she said it was still about twice the size it should be, because the largest of the three fibroids (or the evil triplets as I'm coming to affectionately know them) is still rather, um, large and yes, those sharp stabby crampy pains I've been feeling are the fibroids slowly shrinking to their pre-pregnancy size. Lovely.

I can't wait to get something done.

Today It's been 56 lonely days since we lost George and I'm just a wee bit ratty.

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Names.

I had a bit of a revelation today. I was consciously thinking of the future again, maybe even meditating, imagining holding our second child and all the fears that would go along with the pregnancy and then I realised that I was thinking of this baby as a she (I even tried imagining twins and they were both girls).

During my pregnancy with George he was always a boy to both of us and even as I struggled to get a look at him after his birth and asked his sex, we already knew the answer. One woman at work had even accused me of knowing his sex and keeping it from them when I'd said, "him" a few times and told them that I didn't actually know. (One of those who has yet to acknowledge my loss incidentally. Meh, I never liked her much anyway!)

The strangest thing about this was that we just could not find a boys name. We even started watching tv programmes to the credits to get some ideas. We'd settled on Clint as his in-utero name (or Clintina for a girl!) and everyone begged us not to let it stick! Oh... I've just remembered that I wrote a card to my Mum and Dad on their 50th wedding anniversary in September and signed it from "Clint or Clintina".

Ray chose George when I was crying for our dead baby to have a name. It was my grandfathers name and had been high on my list but we'd dismissed it because a friend had a dog called George. I think if it's possible I actually love Ray a tiny bit more for taking that decision for me.

We still have two girls names ready and waiting.

I wonder, did any of you have similar feelings before you even conceived or while you were pregnant? Where you right? Do you have any feelings now for children to come? What, if any, were your in-utero names? Nosey aren't I?

I never had a preference on sex and still don't. Just healthy ... and living. Especially living.


Today we've been driving and I've been cramping. Grrr.

Friday, 19 December 2008

"The hardest gone"

There are never enough remembrances of our babies are there? We light candles, make a memorial page, buy a special piece of jewellery, let go balloons, say prayers (if we have a faith), display photographs, keep souvenirs, tattoo ourselves, plant a tree, place a special ornament on our christmas tree, grow a rose, have our babies names written in the sand and write our love in our blogs. Is it because our babies made so little impact on this world (not on our world of course) that we feel we must mark out a place in the world for them, surround ourselves with their essence and say their names proudly? Do you know, despite the miserable rotten days we're all having and will continue to have, I think we're doing really well!

There's the kindest offer by Mommazen over at Cheerio road to remember our lost babies in a Jizo ceremony in her garden. Danielle told me about the mizuko or water babies and I think it's a beautiful idea. If you leave her a comment mommazen will say your baby's name in the ceremony.

Even if I feel so alone in my grief "out there" I don't feel lonely and isolated here in lostbabyland. I've found a marvelous community of care. We're all here for each other, and we'll all remember our babies together. My George is thought of all over the world and for that I'll be eternally thankful.

xxx


Today I'm cheating on the chocolate thing (again)

Thursday, 18 December 2008

The impatient body.

I got my period today. A proper period this time, on time, exactly 28 days after the last bleeding that was probably a period but didn't feel like a period but like a problem from the d&c (I blame my doctor who said it was too early). I'm badly crampy and I think it's going to be clotty and heavy and now I have something to blame, fibroids! I can feel the big one with my hand and I so want to dig it out and stamp on it. (god that sounds disgusting! So sorry if you've just eaten.) I'm moody, very tearful and oh crap, I shouldn't be going shopping for yet more sanitary protection, I should be shopping for babygrows and stockpiling nappies.

Ray doesn't really understand the tears, he sees it as my body working properly and getting ready for a new pregnancy. He's the one who reminds me to take my vitamins, reminds me to order decaffeinated and watches my chocolate intake (I cheat on that one). I see this as just one step further away from my baby ... and now that I've written it out I can clearly see the glass half full/half empty type thing going on here and need to adjust my sight: I'm not a half-empty person, I need to look forward, not back and take George forward with me rather than staying in one place with him.

The radio station I normally listen to is having a talk-in about "what were you doing when your waters broke". Pffffftt! I wonder, do they really want to know?

Today I'm hunkering down and preparing for a bad one.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Funerals, blood, tears and tea.

Neither of us slept much last night. My head was filled with gynecological thoughts, delayed hopes of new babies, apprehension at tests to come and continuing wonderment at George's perfection. Ray's thoughts were of funerals, dead family, people once again doing painful things to me, and of course thoughts of his son.

We attended Ray's brother-in-laws funeral this morning and I was reminded of why we didn't choose this route for George. The atmosphere is too charged and too controlled and I sometimes think that people behave in a certain way at a funeral because they think they should rather than just allowing themselves to feel whatever grief throws at them. Each to their own choice of course, it seemed to help Karen and her children and for that I'm pleased.

Ray cried quite a lot at this funeral. He's not sure if he was crying because of his sisters pain or out of some sort of feeling for Darren (as he said, no one is all bad), or even from some remaining grief for his father who died many years ago. Whatever it was, seeing him cry made me cry, which felt rather peculiar as I was crying at the funeral of someone I have never met. Odd.

We skipped the wake and drank tea in a nice 16th century hotel instead. Later we parked by the sea and watched the sun go down for a while. Ray had been irritable and snappy all day and naturally I got the brunt of it. I don't mind, he gets my bad moods too. I left him in the car for a few minutes, stretched my legs and had a cry for George.

In answer to some questions from yesterday: I can't remember if HSG was mentioned but I do remember the obstetrician talking about a 3d scan. I'll get all the information and a summary of our meeting in a letter. Thanks for the heads up ladies, forewarned is forearmed; pain relief before and after and heating pads!

The ob thought that the bleeding I had 3 weeks after the D&C was probably a period, just a much longer, weirder one. It was, after all, 4 weeks from George's birth. Counting on 28 days and I'm due for another period. I'm crampy today so perhaps she's right and if so, wow, my body has just snapped back into cycle. Snap. I'm pleased but sort of strangely sad that this pregnancy was so easy to recover from.

Today I've been a jumble of emotions and I'll be glad when this day is over.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

The postmortem.

No, there wasn't one performed on George, he was perfect.

This was our first visit back to the hospital to see the obstetrician who performed the painful CVS test that told us that George didn't have Downes syndrome or Trisomy 18 when we were given a high risk; who was there to tell me what I already knew, that yes, my baby was dead; who was the one to stick needles in my ladybits because I just couldn't pee before I gave birth to our George. Who came back after the placenta came out to scan me and decided not to order a D&C which might possibly have prevented the week later rush to hospital.

I have very mixed feelings towards this woman and wasn't quite sure how I would react to her today.

However, she was kindness itself. Of course I burst into tears as soon as she asked me how I was, but then she held my hand and told me it would be abnormal if I didn't cry. She said I should cry. Ray held my other hand tightly.

We have no definite answers. It is possible that one of the three fibroids (which I didn't know about until my first scan) got in the way by growing inside the womb instead of in the wall of the womb and it's also possible that my body didn't absorb enough folic acid which makes for a healthy placenta.

So, I'm getting investigated. In January I'm having a special scan involving some sort of dye injection (I can't remember the details, it was all rather emotional) to see what the fibroids look like without the effect of pregnancy hormones and then we'll discus surgery or no surgery and perhaps get a second opinion (her words). And when, that's when we get pregnant again I'll be prescribed a high dose of folic acid and monitored closely.

She swabbed me to check for infection and gave me the gentlest internal exam I've ever had. My womb is still bigger than it should be but that's the largest of the three fibroids hanging around and causing the occasional crampy feeling.

My feelings towards this woman are no longer ambivalent. I feel reassured by her and I feel that I'm being cared for. That whatever stupid problems caused my sweet George to die are going to be addressed. I feel optimistic that all will be done to keep our next baby safe. We've been advised to not try to conceive until we have test results. This sucks, of course I want to be pregnant again as soon as possible.

But most of all, I feel so terribly, terribly sad that I'm not carrying our son any more.



I want to thank all of you who left such encouraging comments yesterday about the insensitive woman I encountered. I have not and I will not let her remarks dig too deeply into me. But I think that if I hadn't found this safe place to talk about my grief and pain it would have been very different. You all help me to be strong. Thank you.


Today was difficult.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Reeling.

That's how I was left after bumping into an acquaintance today who told me she had lost a baby a few years ago and then asked how far along I'd been with George. She then said that of course my loss wasn't as bad as hers because she carried her baby longer than me and her baby was officially stillborn and it'll be easier for me to get over it. Yes, she really did say "officially" and "get over it". I've heard some insensitive remarks since George was lost and born but this one quite entirely takes the biscuit and indeed, the biscuit tin. I wonder if she feels better about her loss by negating mine? Didn't she realise that she was also negating George's sweet short loved life? How dare she.

And excuse me but I didn't realise there was a grief competition? Please tell me there isn't; that this person was terribly misguided or ignorant or just plain stupid.

Tell me there aren't grades of grief dependent on fetal age or weeks in the womb or breaths after birth? Tell me there isn't a scale of loss? Tell me there isn't more merit to your grief because your baby was older than mine? Tell me there isn't more merit to my grief because my baby was older than the baby of another? Because if any of this is true then I fear for our humanity.

If you don't mind I'd like to tell you what I think: The loss of any wanted, loved and longed for baby, and even if it is just the loss of the hope of the dream of a baby, is utterly devastating. Utterly. For example, If you've been hoping for years for a baby and your infertility treatment fails yet again then isn't that great loss worth marking? If your baby never breathes or lives for a few minutes or thrives for a few months, or lives for 5 years, does that make one grief greater than another? It's certainly going to be different I'll agree to that, but somehow better or bigger or harder or worse or more worthy of sympathy? I honestly don't think so. Tell me if I'm wrong.

I find that I am slowly becoming a stronger person because of losing George and because of this all-new-me this woman's remarks haven't dug in too deep. Oh they've scratched the surface alright but this anger won't last longer than it takes to type this post. It isn't worth my time or effort: I'm too busy healing. If I'd have met her sooner after George's birth I don't know how I would have reacted but I know what I have lost and I know that my grief is a relevant as the grief that anyone with a lost baby is feeling.

Unfortunately at the time I was left utterly speechless ('aint that just the way?!) and didn't get the chance to respond, but to this woman with the coldest most selfish heart I have ever had the misfortune to encounter I would have liked to have said, "I am so sorry for your loss" but also, (and forgive me for using such language but sometimes it's absolutely appropriate) "fuck you."


And now I'm going to take a nice relaxing warm bath and wash this day off and be done with it.

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Lights in the darkness. Part 2.

I lit my candles at 7pm GMT and thought about our dear sweet George. And missed him. And missed all the other lost babies too.

They were still burning at 10.50pm when I took the photos.


The vase is full of marbles and now there are also fairy lights crammed in there with the marbles. I could only find four candles today. I used to have so many but we still have stuff in boxes from when we moved here in May so they may turn up yet. I thought the candles I found were pretty though, and I left the curtains open to shine the light outside. George was conceived the week that we moved here. The week we were concentrating on packing rather than making a baby.

Lights in the darkness.

Thank you to Danielle for pointing this out to me. Click on the photo to go to the compassionate friends page. sorry if this is too late for you in your timezone.



I shall be lighting as many candles as I can find at 7pm GMT and thinking of George, Kai, Christian, Sam, Hope, Ezra, Emma, Douglas, Isobel and Jovita (twins lost only a few days ago), Alice, Sueb's twin babies and all the little babies hoped for and lost or only being dreamed about but all so very much wanted.

Today I'm going to post my candle photos later.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

A tiny moment of pure joy.

Last night, in the heavy pouring watch-out-for-floods rain, Ray and I went for a drive in the country lanes. We listened to a radio station playing music from the 70's and sang along as loud and as badly as we could as we splashed through the puddles. Ray made some huge splashes, sometimes almost aquaplaning, just because I'd mentioned times when I was little when my brother and I would nag our Dad to do the same. We got home about midnight, exhausted and refreshed.

I want more moments like this.



Small steps.


We drove around the same area this afternoon until the daylight was gone.



Dartmoor is a stunning area filled with surprises and we found lots of space for my head to let go of a tiny bit more grief.

This evening, I'm reading maps.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Christmas is cancelled.

It's all wrong. I should be waddling around feeling George kick me while I fiddle with fairy lights.

Ray doesn't like to celebrate anyway, it's the time of year he lost his dad and since neither of us celebrate the religious side of the holiday there doesn't seem much point this year.

So we're avoiding not seeing either side of our family and instead inviting Ray's friend who just split with his girlfriend to share our dinner and not celebrate christmas with us either.

I will be making a batch of yummy Rocky road type stuff and distributing it instead of presents and I might... might find a few of those fairy lights and drape them over the fireplace and maybe leave them out for a new baby to see... and hope that doesn't take too long.

Today I'm planning other ways to not celebrate christmas.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Mother Grandmother

I had a shopping morning with my Mum today and then we went for a coffee (1 americano and 1 decaf amaretto latte. Yes, the second one was mine. Yum.)

We talked about her first grandchild and we had a little cry together. She kept saying his name. She has one of his scan pictures and wondered if I wanted it back. I told her she could keep it and she was so pleased. She asked if Ray and I would take her and my Dad to George's place in the woods and of course we will.

My Mum wanted to make sure that I wasn't upset with her because she just couldn't bring herself to see George after he was born. Of course I wasn't. I told her I understood and I do. She knows I have photos and his hand and footprints and I told her that if she would like me to bring them to her, where she can see him and have a cry safely, I will.

I told her never to worry about speaking about George, he's part of our family and needs to be included and she most definitely agreed. I told her she should never worry about upsetting me as I'm already so very upset and the tears need to get out. She told me that when she saw me sobbing at the hospital she wanted to pick me up in her arms and take me home. I'll always be her baby. It was lovely.

Today, I've been sharing my son with his lovely Grandma.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Uncharted territory.

I have been battling with odd moments of anger and irritation for a few days and much of it has been directed towards Ray.

This man has been the biggest, best and brightest source of love and light in my life and yet I find myself snapping at him for trivial nothings. At times my heart almost bursts with love for him and yet I feel I want to be away from him and he won't leave me alone. I feel he isn't grieving enough. I feel he doesn't say George's name enough. I want him to cry with me and I search his face for sadness. When he gets irritated with something I want to tell him that it doesn't matter, the worst thing in the world has already happened, how can anything else upset him?

But of course he already knows that the worst thing in the world has already happened, it happened to him too and he hurts too. We're not secretive about our feelings and we are helping each other to feel whatever we need to feel. We never leave even minor irritation in the air and we both always apologise if we get snappy and I hate that I've been feeling like this. We don't fight and we don't argue with anger: what's the point, we talk about our feelings and we don't bottle things up for long. If one of us is sulking, the other wants to know why. Ray never tries to stop my tears and has spent hours just holding me. I don't want to tell him that sometimes I feel like this. I could not, would not, will not hurt him. I know that anger is natural and a normal part of grieving but bloody hell, it's quite distressing to find it directed at the one person who really understands my pain. (and no, he doesn't read my blog, but he knows about it.)

Sometimes the act of writing out this negativity dissipates it. I organise my thoughts, type them out, edit a little and try to understand myself a little better. I can feel my mood lifting as these words appear on the screen.

This afternoon he's been visiting his buddy who has just split with his girlfriend after years together and Ray has been telling him that it's ok to feel bad and grief takes a long time. He knows. He understands.

This evening I told Ray that I was feeling irritated and on edge with the world and I was sorry if he was getting the brunt of it. I got hugs. He understands.

And all that negativity has gone.


This evening I'm feeling loved, accepted and a little more peaceful.

A sharp stone in my belly.

Today a friend shared something she was told,
"Grief is like a very sharp stone in your belly. You carry it with you and the sharp corners wear away until you just feel the weight of the stone and not the pain."

I have to say, that moment can't come quickly enough for me. Right now, at this moment, it's still far too sharp.

I am SO impatient to be well again physically because the closer I get to wellness the closer we will be to trying for another baby made with love and for goodness sake I'm 41, I don't want to hang around too long! But I think that even if I were younger I would still be impatient to do some mothering to a live baby. I had a store of cuddles saved up for George and empty arms just don't do it.

Emotional wellness, well that's a different matter. I have promised myself all the time I need and most of this time I can accept the good days and the bad days for what they are but sometimes I forget that promise and become frustrated with the tears and the sadness and the anger and just the whole sad sorry situation. I want out. I don't want to be here in this small dark place of grief any more. I want some light back, a big blazing expansive flood of light, much more than just the odd glimmer here and there.

I want to feel whole and happy.

And pregnant.


Today I think the stone might be in my heart.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Finish every day and be done with it.

My love and I finish each day with a kiss, a cuddle and an, "I love you".

We start each day in a similar way. This is what will fix us.

Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities
no doubt have crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.

Tomorrow is a new day;
begin it well and serenely
and with too high a spirit
to be cumbered with
your old nonsense.

This day is all that is
good and fair.
It is too dear,
with its hopes and invitations,
to waste a moment on yesterdays.

Ralph Waldo Emerson



I don't know about beginning each day serenely and with a high spirit, particularly not today but meh, you know, I get up, I get dressed, I breathe, I love. That will just have to do for now.

This evening I'm a little calmer. Breathe Barbara, breathe..... ok much calmer now.

The diabolical machinations of the British national health service

I can see why people "go private" I really can, jump ahead of the queue, get in before everyone else and get some bloody attention and if we had any bloody money we would.

I've been waiting for a scan for over a week now and have heard nothing, nowt, nada, zip.

On the phone again to my doctors secretary who will email the doctor (?) to find out what's going on... just heard back from her... wait for appointment (??).

Gah!

I already have an appointment booked with the obstetrician who failed to order a D&C after George's birth and after seeing a "ragged" placenta but I was hoping to not have to wait until 16th Dec to find out what's going on right now with my internal ladyparts.

Grr!

Bloody bloody bloody HELL! Just had another call and because of the 16th Dec appointment with the obstetrician they haven't bothered to make another earlier one with the gynecologist. Nice of them to let me know.

*%!*$!

Today I'm indescribable.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Too much sadness.

We heard yesterday that Ray's sister's semi-estranged husband has died. I never met him and Ray has no good feelings for this man who beat his sister on occasion, gave her hep C, a child and introduced her to alcohol and drugs (sounds great eh?).

We picked up Ray's Mum and went to offer our love today. Oh but it was awful. A room full of this man's horrible drunken friends, laughing, swearing and talking rubbish. I felt so incredibly uncomfortable and I wanted to leave after a few minutes.

When Ray left that room to talk to his grieving sister I struggled with my own feelings. I felt almost abandoned, even angry at Ray for leaving me and I felt completely selfish. I sank into myself and counted the minutes until we could leave, one cup of tea, surely not two.

But it wasn't about my grief today, it was about Karen's and she needed her brother to her self for a while, so I sat there next to his Mum and listened to the drunks happily telling drinking stories in front of the 6 year old. Drinking stories about her dead father who drank himself to death.

We'll be going to the funeral not out of respect for this man but out of respect for Ray's sister's sadness. Her grief is real too and needs to be acknowledged.

When we finally left my head stayed in a strange place for quite a while. We got out of town and watched another sunset near the ruins of a castle. The cold open air and the bright moon seemed to absorb my negativity.



Today I was not on my best behavior.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Days without.

We bought a car yesterday (here you see my darling Ray pretending he knows what he is doing). It is 10 years old and was very very cheap which was useful since we have no money. One of our friend described it as a wardrobe on wheels, and it's great! Ray loves driving and since I don't drive I get to be chauffeured about, albeit in a slightly creaky manner.

Last night we pointed it in a direction and went. It was a beautiful night. The sky was deeply black and starry and light from the half moon sparkled off the sea along the coast roads.


Today we drove a little further along the coast in the opposite direction from last night, stopping here and there to photograph the views and just enjoying the freedom. At the end of a driving day we saw the sun set on a beach that I remember from childhood holidays and then warmed ourselves by the fireplace in a beach cafe drinking tea and eating a very late lunch.


It was a good day.






I looked over my shoulder into the back seat and imagined a car seat with little sleepy George in it. Cue tears.




Today I'm thinking of days with George that will never be.



Friday, 5 December 2008

The colour of grief.

Red apparently.

I was sitting staring at my little sketch book willing some sort of inspiration to come into my head. Draw my grief? It's bloody and red.

The rest of the world is grey.

My love for George is fresh green. Like new grass. The colour of new life.

My love for Ray is aqua blue, my favorite colour. I painted this around the week when he asked me out and I took that week and another to think about it. It was something to consider: he'd already told me he'd fallen in love with me and saw us spending a lifetime together. Quite a bit for a girl to take in and really rather scary for a girl who'd not had a great deal of luck with relationships! Ray thinks of this time as our "courting" days. It was all very old fashioned and proper. No kissing and not even hand holding; just spending time talking and talking and talking. One of my friends named this painting "turmoil" but I think it's called "love". I gave it to him for his birthday before I'd decided that he was the one. Or maybe I'd already decided?

I don't always think in colours, but sometimes they just pop into my head as an association with a feeling.

The inspiration hasn't come yet. I suppose, like everything else, it takes time.

Today I'm waiting.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Odd thought

Here's a thing.

After Cara's comment in my blog yesterday about anticipation I started thinking. (I don't do a great deal of it these days, bear with me.)

George was due at the beginning of march. Wow, that seems like such a long way off and oh hell it's going to be a bad bad time.

Somehow and for some reason that I can't quite fathom, I think I would really like to be pregnant again before this date. Pregnant with a new life when George should still have been safe inside me.

Making the loss of his life meaningful? I don't know. It's an odd thought that has just occurred to me. We were only planning on having one child so being pregnant with no.2 will already be a life created where none would have been.

Does that make any sense? Can anyone else fathom this thought?


Today I'm trying to be artistic. Also not crying (yet) and not bleeding.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Grief is wrapped tightly around my heart.

There's that instant of utterly enveloping panic and horror when the reality of George's death hits me yet again. For the four hundredth time. My baby is gone. My heart skips a beat, my stomach flips and I gasp for breath. I hate that moment. It's coming less and less even now, but I hate it.

I spoke to a lady from occupational therapy today. She made me cry. She was so lovely. She asked how far along I'd been and then asked our baby's name. She asked George's name. She lost a baby after 10 weeks of pregnancy and she understood. Another member of the dead baby club. I could have hugged her and if we hadn't been talking on the phone I probably would have. I'm going back to work in January. I think.

Then I talked to my Mum, and cried some more. She and my Dad lost a baby early in pregnancy a year before my older brother was born. Her memories are coming back and I think she's mourning her lost little one alongside her grandson because 43 years ago the doctor told her to stop crying and get on with things. They'd been trying for 8 years and she'd had surgery and treatments she can't remember. Attitudes have changed so much, but not quite enough, not yet.

Then I met my friend for coffee. The one who isn't afraid to speak his name and isn't uncomfortable when I cry. Love her to bits.

Today is another crying day and that's ok.
(and shhh, don't get too excited but it's also a not-bleeding-although-still-cramping-a-bit day)

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

I spoke his name.

Yesterday Ray wasn't working and we went into town to run a few errands. We popped into my workplace to hand in another sick note and I saw two colleagues that I hadn't seen since I had my babybump. One of them asked if I was feeling better, as if I'd had an illness. Neither of them uttered one word about my George.

So I did.


I spoke about George's birth and about not being healed since George was born and they should have given me a D&C straight away after George's birth. George George George George. Damm them! How dare they not mention my lost baby.

What on earth is wrong with us that we think it is somehow better to not mention the dead. As if by not mentioning them the death didn't really happen. HA! You can't fool me, I know I had a baby.

We went for a coffee after that (decaf, keep with the good habits) and Ray was a little surprised by my anger, (I growled, I think) for him it's too painful when other people DO mention George. He doesn't want to forget or pretend, it just hurts.


Today I'm not as angry as I was yesterday, and a little proud of myself.

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