Friday, 30 January 2009

The letter.

So I read the letter. It was nothing we hadn't discussed before. It didn't dissolve me into a puddle of tears. Apart from all the technical information the first sentence made it all more human. "the sad loss of her baby at 20 weeks of pregnancy." It did mention that my fibroid-uterus measured 14 weeks on 16th December, 6 weeks after losing George. I don't know why, but that fact made me breathe deeper. On that date of my last scan the three evilfibroids measured 66mm (submucosal), 55mm and 50mm (intramural). I am carrying three small nectarines. The biggest bastard evilfibroid was indenting into George's gestational sack.

"Barbara has been reassured that the pain she is experiencing is a normal result of post-pregnancy fibroid shrinkage and continuing degenration" I'm reassured? Oh.

I'm having a HyCoSy scan, not the HSG. And apart from one being ultrasound and the other being xray, as far as I can tell the major difference is that we get the results straight after. But whatever they call it, it's still someone poking about and peeking into my ladyparts yet again.

I have NO dignity left, hell if some healthcare type were to say, "spread 'em" I would probably quite meekly comply. I have lost count of the numbers of latex covered fingers that have prodded and peered around said ladyparts*. A particular image of a lovely smiley midwife with a huge torch springs to mind. That same midwife came to see me, Ray and George just after his birth and hugged me so tightly, telling me how beautiful my son was.

*I'm not a prude and I can use technical terms, yes I can; vagina, vulva, uterus, see. I was given a bed bath by a teenage nursing assistant whilst in hospital the second time and she shyly asked me if I could manage to wash my ladyparts by myself... er, I have two cannulas in each arm, hooked up to a bag of blood, a rehydrating drip and a pain killing drip (the other cannula was a spare)... umm... I don't think so. Anyway, I thought the term was rather twee and sweet. Much like myself... ahem.

Where was I? Oh yes.

So what scares me most is having the scan and being told, "Oh my, how on earth did you get pregnant in the first place, it's such a mess in there".

What I'm hoping for is, teeny tiny day surgery, zapped/strangled/sliced evilfibroid, maybe some nice diamorphine after please? Pregnant a month after. No problem! Whoopee!

Yeah right, most likely somewhere in between.

And this pic just for your information (I only have one uterus by the way):




Getting on with it.

We got the letter today. Finally. The letter that was promised soon after our follow up appointment with the obstetrician on the 16th December. The letter that sums up our appointment. The letter that tries to explain what went wrong.

I haven't read it yet.

My Mum is having a hard time with my Dad. His memory is getting worse and she has to remind him of almost everything a minute after telling him. It's as if she's losing him a memory at a time. She finds it frustrating at times and sometimes needs to get out and away from my Dad.

She came to our house to tell me off this morning because she's only seen us twice since Christmas and that's not good enough. We don't live far, walking distance in fact and we should, I should go to see them more often. Oops, tears and more tears, I was holding them in from thinking of the contents of that letter. I tried to tell her that sometimes it's all I can do to get up in the morning and then she started on at me about depression and counselling. I must call, I must do this, I must do that. Ooh my Mum can be bossy! I will call the counselling service by the way, but in my own time. She's bossy, I'm stubborn. What a combination!

I love my Mum to bits and pieces and she does understand but she simply can't allow me to be sad and grieve. In her mind I have to get over it and move on. She comes from a time when getting on with it was the norm. She grew up during ww2 when so many people died that all that was left was to get on with it. Grief was buried and life was lived. When she had her miscarriage she was told by the doctor to stop crying and get on with it. So she did. I suppose she just can't stand to see her daughter unhappy. But I'm NOT depressed. I am grieving the loss of my beautiful son and I WILL take as long as I need.

Mum and I went shopping together after that and then for a (decaf for me) coffee and I tried to explain. I am sad, but I'm also so happy to be alive and to be with Ray. It's a fine balance that I'm working on and it isn't easy and sometimes it means I neglect my parents and for that I'm sorry.

We're going for lunch on sunday.


Today is a two-post day.


A postcard from my limboland

Slightly dim and out of focus, I'm sending this from one possible future back to the here and now to remind myself (and you if you need reminding) that this moment will pass and so will the next and the next and so on until we're holding that elusive live baby.

This may not be in my future, who knows, I think it will, I hope it will but I don't know.

And if it isn't, then right there is the shadow of the George-that-would-have-been and look at him being lovingly cared for by his parents who miss him and might one day find some peace without him.

And of course, this is someone else's here and now. It's not us. Ray has less hair and is taller and I have more weight and less skirts.


Thursday, 29 January 2009

My work here is done.

I overheard a woman in the bank this morning talking about her four month old son who was sleeping peacefully in his rather expensive pram. She said that sometimes when he was screaming or not sleeping she wished she didn't have him. Cue lost baby Mum, (and I feel I need some sort of superhero intro music here as I leap in feet first) "Oh please don't say that, I wish every day that I still had my son with me" Shocked face, spluttered excuse, hasty exit by her. I know she didn't mean it, she even hesitated as the words came out of her mouth but I couldn't help myself and who knows, maybe she will appreciate what she has a tiny bit more.

When I first logged back onto facebook, which I hardly ever used before my pregnancy, my last entry said, "Barbara thinks pregnancy is overrated." I was feeling nauseous most of the time back then but next time I won't care if I feel sick for 40 weeks. Ok, I will care but I won't wish it away. I deleted that entry. I don't think I will ever be flippant about pregnancy again. It's serious now.


Wednesday, 28 January 2009

100 days

It has been 100 days since we lost our son.

Sweet tiny perfect George.

We have travelled a long way in 100 days.

In the blink of an eye.

We've found no short cuts as there are none to be found.
We've turned around and gone back a way,
Stopped in one place for a while and stared at the scenery,
Missed some turnings and got a bit lost,
Been bumped off the road and got back on it.

We're not entirely sure of our destination
and we know there's a long long way left to travel
but we're going there together, the long way.

With LOVE.
With HUMOUR
With HOPE

Today... and every day with LOVE.
Because in the end that's all that matters.


Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Popping pills in limboland

Round four. I have to get this little lot of antibiotics down in two weeks. Unfortunately I can't take them all at once and get it over with. I have to take one, four times a day, an hour before eating or on an empty stomach. I'm not entirely sure if there are enough hours in the day when I'm an hour before eating and how long after eating is your stomach empty?


The instructions tell me I should consult my doctor before taking them if I'm thinking of becoming pregnant. Oh hell, I'm officially in limboland now. No more rebellious thoughts of getting pregnant too soon. Well, no acting on rebellious thoughts of getting pregnant too soon.

My new to do list for 2009/10:
  1. take pills,
  2. take vitamins including copious amounts of folic acid
  3. get 3d hsg type scan
  4. zap/strangle/slice evilfibroids
  5. get pregnant
  6. stay pregnant
  7. take live baby home
  8. live happily ever after
(I'll need some help with no's 3-8)

And I'll be in limboland until the last task on that list has been completed.


Today I'm wondering when I last ate and when I'll eat again...


Monday, 26 January 2009

Carly

Today is the second anniversary of Christian Dudley's birth. And loss.



Christian's Mum Carly is such a sweet kind soul who does so much for other parents grieving their loss by remembering our babies with us and taking the time to write their names in the sand in her beautiful part of the world. She has remembered over 2500 so far. Far too many. She helps carry the weight of all our lost babies right alongside us and has helped me immeasurably with her kind words and thoughtfulness. And now the Whispered Support Letter!
She is one of the true wonders of this world and I want to send a big armful of love and rainbows and butterflies and hugs to Carly, Sam, Scarlett, Christian, River and their family and in my small way, help carry the weight of Christian's loss today as we all try to do each day for each other.

Thank you Carly. Thank you Christian.




Sunday, 25 January 2009

Nothing much.

Nothing much has happened today.

There has been no trauma and there have been no tears. I have no profound thoughts to share, not that I generally think of my thoughts as being profound, you understand, but I don't even have not-very-profound-but-mildly-interesting thoughts to share. So I'm just typing...

I've had my daily dose of blog reading and done a bit of commenting. I don't quite know how I would cope without you lovely bloggers, readers and commenters. You keep me going and understanding. Thank you. I suppose even though nothing much happened my heart is still healing in the background.

We've been for a short walk. Short because I overdid it a bit when I went back to work and have damaged my heel and I'm limping a bit. It will heal though, my heel will heal, and hopefully soon. It's nothing to fret over. No trauma.

Walking home, through a gap in the buildings, the sun shone out from behind the clouds and lit up a slice of sea and I thought of George. Not that I ever not think of him but, well, you know... I'm learning to think of him as part of the world around us.



I hope you've all had uneventful sundays.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Peace.

I can breathe now, my heart isn't pounding and I don't have that feeling of dread falling into my chest.

We're having a quiet day. No shopping, no walking, no going out at all apart from a short trip into the garden to feed the birds.

I feel a little more peaceful away from the toxic workplace on our nice big comfy sofa.

I do however have a lovely sinus headache from all the crying yesterday; first at Area manager, then at my doctor (who, rather sweetly, is reluctant to write anything other than "low mood" on my sick note) and after that, at my Mum and Dad. (Although I did end up making my Mum cry with laughter I'll have you know)

I would like one day to be able to express my grief without crying. I can do it here (mostly), I can do it in my head (mostly) but (mostly) not out loud. I have the telephone number for a free counselling after loss service. I just have to call. Easy, right?

Cure for sinus headache? Microwave a damp towel and drape attractively over face. WARNING! Do not microwave damp towel to the point where it steams several layers of skin from your face: Not attractive.

Today we've already watched a movie (City of Ember) and now Ray is shooting zombies in the face and I'm browsing, making notes, browsing, making cups of tea and browsing. Every so often Ray does his serial killer laugh after gunning down several soldiers/zombies/mutants and I do wonder...


Friday, 23 January 2009

I have run away to join the circus

Or I have run away from the circus to the safety of the sofa.

Area manager turned up today. I knew she would. I've been back two weeks and we needed to review my situation. She disappeared across the road to McDonalds with Bossy-cow and then Cow-pie was summoned to join them. Huh? How about that to make me feel even more isolated.

They came back and Area manager and I took some chairs upstairs to a storeroom to talk. I cried, I told her what I thought and how I felt and I've decided that, hell yes, I came back too soon and since I have an appointment with my doctor this afternoon I'll be asking him to sign my sick note for another month... or more.

And I've decided to ask for counselling. I think I need some coping-with-insensitive-cow strategies or even just coping-with-each-day strategies.

Who knows, I might go back there eventually, but somehow, and I know you know this too, I very much doubt it.

Bossy-cow gave me a hug in front of Area Manager. I needed one on Wednesday with no witnesses, not today.


Thursday, 22 January 2009

Today was better than yesterday.

Last night in bed Ray whispered to me that I really don't have to go back to work if I don't want to. LOVE.

I went. Sucker for punishment eh?

Boss (or Bitch according to my friend Tracy) was day offing. Colleague (or Cow according to me, Tracy quite likes her) was at work.

Colleague (who was employed as my maternity cover) didn't seem to like that I was doing her job and sorting through a delivery of donations and so decided to question nearly every item of clothing that I had sorted to be hung, steamed and priced. But the thing is, I really don't care. I have no enthusiasm for my job and couldn't care less whether an item of clothing goes for sale or for rags. She got bored of the questioning when she could see that it didn't bother me.

Colleague said I was having a nice week wasn't I, having sunday, monday and tuesday off. So I told her that yesterday had been a bad day, she asked why and I told her. She turned her back on me and mumbled something about the volunteer who didn't know. Cow.

I suppose it doesn't really sound like it but it was a better day than yesterday. Boss wasn't there and Tracy was. She doesn't mind that I cry at her one moment and laugh the next. And now I have an appointment booked to have a look at those damned evilfibroids, even though it seems years away, it feels like things are moving forward.

Today was better than yesterday. Tomorrow won't be good because both Boss and Colleague are there and they're just such good buddies. *sticks finger down throat making attractive retching noise*


Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Appointments

The obstetrician called this evening. Yes, I know you forgot me but thank you for calling. We consulted our diaries, compared appointments and cycles and scheduled a 3d scan with a squirt of dye for 2nd March. A sort of HSG. With a possible hysteroscopy look-see just for the sheer fun of it. Nothing moves fast in the good old British national health service but a nudge here and there to the right secretary seems to help.

Evilfibroids, we're coming to get you on 2nd March. 3 days before George's due date. Just when I want to be visiting the hospital.

I moaned about my infection, ok yes, I cried at her about it and she's going to call my Dr and tell him to prescribe two weeks of more antibiotics. Oh joy. This will be round 4.

I wish I could have this test next week but at least I have a date and at least it isn't exactly George's date. I'll take the least of anything at the moment, it's been a bad day: (see previous post).

Tomorrow will be better.


Misery lies within

Each morning that I have to get up and go to that place I feel miserable. Once I'm there I try to tuck my misery into a corner of myself and just exist. This can't be right.

Today was bad. I cried before I went there and whispered to Ray, "I hate it". "I know." he said. But I've resolved to give myself some more time so I went. Once there a volunteer who hadn't been around for a long time said, "where's your baby?"

"He died and I lost him."

The poor girl looked so shocked and I don't blame her, she'd let loose the tears that I'd choked down earlier. When I was calm I did tell her to please not feel bad, that she didn't make anything worse and she didn't upset me because I'm already so upset. Boss's remedy? Go and have a cup of tea.

And my infection is back. It was hiding behind my period. Sneaky bastard.

I would have been 33 weeks pregnant today.


Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Punished.

I'm being punished for my rebellious thoughts of trying for a baby too soon by a sharp twisty stabbing pain in my lower left side. I think it's an evilfibroid letting me know that my uterus belongs to them and there's no room for a baby. Yet.

Oh but they don't know what's in store for them do they? Bwahahahah. <-evil laugh.

I know it's nonsense but there's a lot of non-sense in my head these days.

I think they forgot about me at the hospital because yesterday I spent quite a while trying to explain to three different secretaries that I'm supposed to be getting an appointment for tests. There was a lot of umming and ahhhing followed by, "I'll just put you through to". With each phone call I felt I was getting closer to the inner sanctum of gynaecological wisdom. Maybe not. I'm still waiting for the last secretary to call back. She promised.


Today I think I'm losing it, but not in an entirely bad way.


Monday, 19 January 2009

Generations

I found these photos today and I thought I'd share them.

This is my Dad as a boy on holiday with his father and grandfather and hidden sister in a rather wonderful perambulator. My Dad's father died at 60. Ray's Dad died at 38. Ray will be 38 in June and is apprehensive of how he will feel as he becomes an older man than his father. My Dad had similar feelings.



My Dad playing his fathers piano in the house where I grew up. Very spacey looking heater to the bottom left of the photo and is that an ashtray on a stand to the right?! My Mum cured him of that habit! My Dad's memory is not so good these days and he repeats himself quite a lot and often tells me the story of how he trained our dog to play that piano and also of how he used to terrify my brother and I by reading fairy tales. I remember Dad, I won't forget. The piano went to my cousin when they moved into a smaller place and he plays a keyboard now and does it beautifully.



My Mum looking beautiful and so happy and I believe, pregnant with my older brother.



My brother and I on holiday somewhere. Apparently I was quite ill on this holiday. I remember playing on that tractor. Neither of us grew up with blond hair.



Ray and me before we got pregnant, before we found sad and before we became even closer but right about the time when we realised that we two were already a family.



Our sweet George made with love and lost with sadness. I wonder if his hair would have started out blond and become brown. I look at that perfect little nose and I cry. I wish I had more and/or better photos. I wish I wish I wish.



Today I'm reminiscing with love.


Sunday, 18 January 2009

Firsts

I sent an entry into Exhale magazine and I thought I'd share it with you here. This was before I'd found my lovely new family of babylost mothers who help so much, when grief was still such a raw jagged wound and peace seemed as if it was lost forever.


The before jeans.

The first time I went outside a week after coming home from the hospital I wore a pair of jeans from before. They fitted perfectly after a couple of months of being put away until after. Just not this after. This after came too soon.

Wearing these jeans seemed to symbolise everything that was wrong and awful and incomprehensible and sad and monstrous and mysterious and frightful and frightening in my new life as mother to a dead baby.

The tears flowed and flowed as they are doing now writing this down for the first time. Another first. My partner and I stood by the side of the road wetting each others faces and necks with our mixed tears. He knew why I was crying without me telling him. He had noticed the jeans that didn't fit but now did. The strong healthy life that was there a week ago was gone. Thrown out by a body that couldn't hold him safe.

There were more firsts after that. Much harder firsts that I'm still dealing with as they slam into me. But that particular small first was the very first. At that moment I knew I would never be the same.



If you have a famous first to share, you could share it here or there or in your own blog.


Today I'm not at work and it feels good.


Saturday, 17 January 2009

Another day

Another day at work. The feeling of dread began before I went to bed last night and came back to me before I got up this morning. The feeling is worse than the doing of course but I hope it goes away soon.

Boss was off today, I had the pleasure of Colleague all to myself. It's easier when one of them is off, they can't exclude me.

Colleague asked me how I was finding it. "Finding what?" I asked, was this a glimmer of compassion? "Being back at work, are you tired?" She quickly answered with a don't mention babies look on her face. "Yes, I'm tired" I said.

I was sorting through some stored bags of teddies, looking for valentines bears for a display when I came across a little blue teddy still in it's gift box. "It's a boy!" shouted it's teddy jumper. Breathe. Just. Breathe.

I got through another day. I don't want to get through another day. I want to enjoy my days.

One day I will. Soon soon soon please.


Today I feel subdued.


Friday, 16 January 2009

Naughty.

Oh I feel like being naughty and not doing what the doctor suggested. I want to try to get pregnant this month and I'm fighting myself not to, not to count the days, not to pee on just one ovulation stick just to see if... ah, it probably wouldn't happen anyway.

Whether it's because I really think my infection has finally finally gone, or maybe because my period hasn't been sent from hell this month lightening my mood (hooray for raspberry leaf tea. Maybe) or because I just so don't want to work in that place any more and the sooner I'm pregnant the sooner I can leave... I don't know.

But I'm so ready.

Must. Restrain. Myself. Dangerous. Wait.

Don't worry I won't, we won't. Ray won't let me. I won't let me.

But I wanna I wanna I wanna!

Aaaargh!

Today I'm banging my head against the wall (an internal wall so as not to disturb the neighbours).


Thursday, 15 January 2009

Second day of work

They broke into my locker while I was off sick. "We did it together" boss told me as I asked for my things, as if that made it better. I had a legal document in there relating to my parents will and bits and pieces that weren't important. There are only 8 lockers and apparently the new rule is that no one has their own special locker any more. You use it for the day and empty it when you leave. Fine. But really, a phone call too difficult?! I live a 10 minutes walk from work and I haven't been bed-bound. Let. It. Go.

Boss had a good moan about the cold she'd had for 3 weeks that put her in bed for a few days. Hmmm... Bite. Tongue.

I had amassed a small collection of donated items for our baby. (Not paid for, just put aside) I have a cot, a stroller, a swing, a bath, and a few clothes, toys and books. They are all stored in the shop. My friend Tracy who volunteers in the shop has been protecting them. I'm going to take it all home. I'm going to keep them in what would have been George's room until George's brother or sister can get the benefit of them. Colleague threw her hands up in horror, "It's bad luck, you can't take it home!". My response, "Well leaving it here didn't stop me losing my baby did it?". Oh oops did I mention the unmentionable? Stupid superstitions. If you have a baby and keep the baby stuff for your second child are you tempting fate? Of course not. I'm just being practical and prudent. I'd rather store it in an attic but since we don't have one the spare room will have to do.

I worked my socks off today, up and down stairs all day, was it enough? Of course not.

I need a new job, sod the maternity benefits.


Home, shower, candles, dinner made with love, smile, breathe and relaaaaax...


Today I'm looking for a new job.


Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Stop it

I've had so many thoughts rushing around my head since I got home from work yesterday afternoon. They kept me awake on and off last night when I was exhausted... or I suppose I could blame the yummy curry and give my head a break for once!

Today I've been dealing with them. Throwing out the negativity! "Stop it" I tell myself every time some argument breaks out between me and boss in my head and if she says this I'll say this. "Stop it" every time I let the dread back in of going to work for another day with people who have little compassion. "Stop it" every time I worry about my body not holding another baby safe. "Stop it" every time I wonder if my infection really has gone for good this time. "Stop it" every time I feel impatient to get all the tests and surgery over and done with.

In between food shopping, kitchen cleaning, scribbling, playing with the innernets and taking Ray cups of tea across the road where he is painting it has been an interesting day of stopits. However, my period is starting today and unfortunately I can't stopit at that! Bleaugh! I'm guzzling raspberry leaf tea by the pint in the hopes that the cramps won't be so bad this month. Argh! It seems like minutes ago that my last period ended.

Bloody fibroids.

Breeeeeathe...

To calm myself this afternoon I thought of my sweet baby and all of your precious babies, lit the candles, turned on the lights and found my smile, just before Ray came home.





(Yes, there are two Christmas cards still out.)


Another day at work tomorrow...


Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Home and safe.

"What's for dinner Poppet?" My not so subtle hint that I really don't want to cook tonight.

"Oh I don't know, I'll have to see what's in the freezer." Poppet goes to look in the freezer, comes back, sits down.

10 minutes later the buzzer sounds.

"Who the hell is that? Bet it's him from next door wanting his laptop fixed again."

Poppet comes back 2 minutes later with lovely Indian takeaway food ordered just before I got home. My treat for getting through today.

Hooray! I love my poppet.


My day wasn't great but it wasn't awful despite what I'm about to tell you. I walked in the office and my boss and colleague said hi, how are you and walked out one after the other. Seriously! The area manager turned up unexpectedly five minutes after I arrived and I'm glad she was there.

I work for a major British charity that has shops in many UK towns. We receive donations from the public which are sorted, cleaned and priced. The shop normally has two paid members of staff and as many volunteers as can be recruited. At the moment our shop has three paid members of staff and lots of volunteers.

Ms Area manager got the three of us together in the office to get anything we wanted to say in the open. One colleague (the one I've mentioned before that I don't like) said she didn't want to talk about babies all day and I must realise that I'm not the only woman to have gone through this. My boss said that she didn't want to talk about it either. At this point I realised that I really don't want to share my George with these people: they don't deserve him! and so I said fine, but they must remember that it has happened to me, it's the worst thing that has ever happened to me and I can not hide my pain for their benefit. I cried a bit.

Things were as I expected after this. I got on with whatever I was asked to do. I laughed with some of the volunteers. My dear friend Tracy who volunteers and who so totally gets it without having gone through it came in at 11am and said how good it was to see me and how glad she was that I was back. I had no such welcome from the other two.

Ray came for me at lunch time and we sat outside on a cold bench getting some fresh air, weak sunshine and eating sandwiches. We joked about how useless boss and colleague are at being human.

I did my work and at the end of the day, the area manager thanked me, told me I'd worked hard and said welcome back. Nothing from boss.

I'm so very glad that I gave myself permission not to worry about not caring because I really don't care. I could have let those two hurt me but I didn't. It's great, I don't care what they think! I don't care that they seem to think I'm wallowing in my pain. I don't care that they excluded me from some of their conversations. I honestly found that quite funny. These people are so flawed that I wonder how I ever expected any compassion from them!

What I've realised is that I absolutely do not want to work there any more but right now I have to. I'm doing what Sally said, working towards the goal of bringing my baby home and I'll probably have to stay in this job so I can use my maternity benefits and the sooner that happens the better.

Four days working this week: Monday (sick), Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday.

Today I think I can deal with that. I can.


PS

And thank you ladies who commented on my earlier post today SO SO SO much!

I got home, ate dinner, logged on and burst into tears at the kindness of your words!

Thank you!

Love to you all.

Hugs to you all.

xxx

PPS you can read about my day here.



Up and dressed but not ready

Oh I am SO not looking forward to today. Not a bit.

I'll be fine, I'll be fine, I'll be fine.

Breathe.


Monday, 12 January 2009

I don't care anymore.

I find myself panicky today.

I'm going back to work tomorrow and I don't want to. I feel like stamping my feet, rolling on the floor screaming, "I don't wanna, I don't wanna!"

I should have started my maternity leave at the end of December but I find myself returning to the job I would have left behind me for a year and possibly longer. But that's my sadness, it's intense, it's making me cry, I knew it would be there and it's not the reason I'm feeling panicky.

I'm feeling panicky because I find that I just don't care about the business. I don't care about the charity organisation that I work for. I don't care about sales targets, I don't care about doing a good job and oh my, I really don't care to hear the petty problems of certain people there who constantly gripe and moan about their lot in life.

I'm worried that the all new me might just tell these people exactly what I think of them thus creating an impossible working situation. I'm worried that my attitude will show and I will be unable to work there when we need the money. The money. Yes, that's the only incentive I have for going back.

A few times during my back to work interview on thursday I almost laughed when the area manager thought that throwing myself into work might be good for me or when she mentioned the exciting promotions coming up or when she talked about her passion for the business. Great. Good for you. I do not care.

What I do care about, what I do feel passion for are Ray, my lost son and our families. I care about getting my body fixed so that we can try to make another baby with love. I care about getting pregnant as soon as I can so I can get on with being a mother to a living baby. I feel enthusiasm for a small business idea that I need to save some money for to make happen. I don't feel enthusiasm for the job I'm going to do tomorrow.

I know it's all normal and natural and I imagine that I will cope; that these concerns will come to nothing and I'll slip back into the daily routine of work.

Today I'm also getting ready for another monster period from hell to start tomorrow or wednesday and quite possibly this might be colouring my view.



Sunday, 11 January 2009

Flashback

When I was rushed into hospital a week after we lost George in quiet shock and terrified of the amount of blood I was losing, frightened at the size of the clots that were falling from me and feeling so dizzy at even sitting up in bed, and as they prepared me for surgery and the surgeon ordered 4 units of blood (they only gave me two in the end) I had one huge thought:
Don't die, don't die, you can't leave Ray on his own.
and one slightly less huge but still rather large thought that I think I probably conveyed to the surgeon in some desperate manner or other:
Please don't break my uterus, we need it.
This was quite a revelation to me, I've always felt a great deal of empathy and yet I've always been quite selfish but now there's finally someone, a tiny lost someone, the promise of someone and something to take myself away from me me me. Thank you George. Thank you Ray. Thank you future hope of baby to be.


Today I'm making lists.


Saturday, 10 January 2009

Vague ideas of possible plans

You know how we all feel such a powerful need to hold tangible reminders of our lost babies? I write his name on everything! George George George, there, even typing it feels good. As if by saying and writing it makes him more present, more here in the world.

I have been looking at some of your beautiful pieces of jewellery thinking of ordering something with George's name and date of birth or just "George, made with love" and it all appears to be outside the UK. Just checking Etsy and all the prices are in $, there are some lovely pieces there if anybody is looking.

So I started thinking. I do a lot of thinking, in case you hadn't noticed.

I used to make jewellery. I took a silversmithing course a few, well, a whole lot of years ago and I loved it. I made a ring, some earrings and a brooch. Hang on, I could do this myself. I could do this myself. For myself and Ooh, hang on again, maybe just possibly for others.

So I made a list of what I need. Not too much to start with. I have a little sheet silver left over from the course (20 years ago, now I think about it!) pre-cut shapes would be easier. A new saw and fine blades. A fine drill bit. Some polishing materials. A few findings. A set of letter and number punches.

Not much.

Money is tight at the moment but I'm seriously thinking this could be a small business idea for me in the future. Not an original idea by any means, it's all out there already just not so much in the UK. However, I do know that it's an idea that works from my own desire and search to find something.

I suddenly see myself hammering tiny names into silver with peacefully sleeping baby nearby. Yes, yes, I know, hammering and sleeping don't generally go together but our live baby will be perfect and sleep through anything and I'll have nothing else to do while he or she is doing the sleeping. Hey, don't laugh, this is my little fantasy!

This might come to nothing at all and the most I'll do is make something for myself but even that will be worth it.

Today I'm thinking of mustering up a little enthusiasm.


Friday, 9 January 2009

Semantics

How long can I say, "I just lost my baby"?

I ask because it's been 81 days since we lost George and some days I feel as though it just happened but some days I feel as though it was a lifetime ago and that quite possibly an entirely different and much stronger person went through it.


Thursday, 8 January 2009

I think I may have created the wrong impression.

I surprised myself today with an attack of what appeared to be motormouthitis.

I had a "back to work" interview with our (new, never met her) area manager this morning to go over any health issues, timing etc before I go back to work.

"And is there anything you would like to add?" after we'd been through the standard form, decided on four days a week to start with and discussed medical issues. This is the point where motormouthitis struck me with a vengence.

You must understand that out there in the real world I'm normally quiet, fairly private and rather shy. I don't make speeches and I don't like confrontations. I generally just let it go and move on.

Not today.

I explained how deeply it hurts when people say nothing at all and could she ask those at work to please not ignore my loss. I don't need a pity party, just a little acknowledgement.

I explained that no, I'm not done crying and there will be times when I will cry at work.

I explained that I won't bottle it up or just get over it because people at work might feel uncomfortable.

I explained that I do understand their discomfort but I simply can not let it affect my healing and my grief by forcing me to bury my pain.

I explained that I don't want people to walk on eggshells for fear of upsetting me. I'm already upset. Not mentioning it doesn't make it any better: it makes me feel isolated.

I explained that I don't want the loss of George to become the elephant in the room that no one mentions.

I explained that if anyone wants to ask me questions they can. If they want to ask, "what was it like" they can. If they want the whole sad and sorry story they can have it. If they want to see the photo of my son they can, with pleasure, because he was beautiful and it feels good when I'm asked to share that.

I explained that I have absolutely no idea how and even if I will be able to cope as I have no experience to draw on but that I'm willing to try.

I cried off and on during the whole interview and when Ms Area manager could get a word in she told me about her husband losing his mother and how badly it affected him and she understood that bereavement is a process and can take a long long time when you lose a member of your family. I thanked her for that acknowledgement.

Yes indeed, we did lose a member of our family.

I think it went well but I also think she sees me as someone much more capable than I feel I am. She remarked on my honesty and my willingness and goodness she really couldn't see that what I really wanted to do was crawl under my bed and hide and not turn up?

So, I'm apprehensive about going back to work but it's something that I feel I have to do, not only for financial reasons but as a step forward in my process. I'm going back next tuesday. I'll let you know how it goes.

I did get a lovely big I-missed-you-today hug when I got home to make up for my traumatic morning though which always helps.

Today I'm exhausted.


Wednesday, 7 January 2009

In memoriam

I think that the very best memorial for our son is our happiness and our continuing and growing closeness and love. George is so much a part of that and always will be. It's what made him, it's what keeps us together and it's what helps us to cope with this deep sadness and awful grief. It's a living memorial.


Tuesday, 6 January 2009

A code id by dose

I have man-flu... well ok, I have a cold. A rotten cotton wool in the head cold. I yawned earlier and my ear popped and all of a sudden I could hear again and I never even realised that I couldn't hear in the first place. At least I don't have the sore throat from hell that Ray had. At least I now have an excuse for lying around on the sofa all day.

I'm taking antibiotics four times a day and also garlic capsules because I read that it helps and I'm all for helping get rid of the dreaded strep.


Today I'm feeling terribly sorry for myself but my heart is a little lighter than it was yesterday.


Monday, 5 January 2009

Crash : the update.

I have a Strep B infection. Just waiting for my doctor to speak to the microbiologist to tell him which targeted antibiotic to prescribe.

My doctor has signed me off work for another week. He offered as much time as I want but I have to get back to normal life (and normal wages) soon.

Today I managed not to weep like a fool in the doctors office.


Crash

I was doing well. We were getting out and about. Drives into the countryside were healing and soothing. I was feeling calm.

But today I just feel as if I've come down with a crash. I miss my son. I don't want to go out. My chest is crushing me. I want to go to sleep and wake up to find it's all been a bad bad dream and my belly is huge and George is kicking me in the ribs.

I started spotting and cramping last night, not a huge amount by any means but it's only 18 days since my monster period started so it shouldn't be happening at all. It's been 10 weeks since I gave birth to George and despite two rounds of antibiotics I've had an infection ever since the d&c a week later. I feel like crap and I'm off to see my doctor now to get the physical problems sorted out once and for all before my internal ladyparts are irreversibly damaged.

I was supposed to be going back to work tomorrow but I'm not. Just one more week and then I'll go back, I will.

This grief creature is bloody sneaky.


Today. I have nothing.


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