Wednesday 30 September 2009

Treading water.

I went swimming this morning with my mum. I haven't been since I was pregnant and only once then because it just felt so wrong. Back then I'd had visions of me floating serenely around the pool with my bump high and dry and I was so disappointed.

Anyway, the swim was good, it felt good to be weightless, although I got out of breath far too easily. But at 10am the pool started to fill with, yes of course! mothers and babies for the morning mother and baby class. Hey, be proud of me; I kept my cool, I kept in control and then we decided it was coffee (decaf) time.

GAH! The changing room was full of tiny, chubby, gurgling, screaming, crawling, smiling little darlings. My mum of course started cooing over the most perfect baby I have ever seen. Honestly, an ad agency's delight. Perfect skin, button nose, fluffy hair, big beautiful blue eyes. How old? Well yes of course, 7 months old, just the age George would/should/could/might have been. "Please let it be a girl please let it be a girl please let it be a girl". We were introduced to Sophie who smiled and cooed at my mum and then at me. And I smiled and cooed back at her, and touched her perfect chubby cheek. And it was warm.

And then I remembered that breathing is a good thing and exhaled.

Might go swimming on a monday next week.

Monday 28 September 2009

The waterworks.

Today I had my "medical" with a Government agency Doctor. Middle aged man, just to set the scene.

So after examining my stinky, arthritic feet and asking me to bend my knees he said, "Tell me about your depression after the miscarriage". Cue tears, tears and more tears, even the odd sob. You'd think I'd be all out of tears by now, surely I've cried a small lake this last year, there can't be any more? "Oh you can have another you know, my daughter had two miscarriages and infertility treatments and after IVF she has twins". I couldn't think of anything to say. Bleaugh.

Anyway, we came home and started watching a tv show. Episode three and one of the characters is pregnant (why is there always a pregnant woman in absolutely everything we watch these days?) suddenly she's doubled up on the floor cramping. Then she's in the brightly lit (!) ultrasound room, and she's on her cellphone (!!) with a friend "they can't find the heartbeat..." "they will, they will" and of course, they do. And I just burst into yet more tears. This isn't how we found out that George was gone but we had a couple of ultrasounds where we held our breath, and then that sound, that wonderful sound.

Yesterday I almost posted about how down I was feeling. Today I have the puffy eyes to prove it.

Friday 25 September 2009

For Natalie

And for Victoria.

Remembered all the way over here in my little corner of the world.

You have taught me that 13 years won't erase my own child's existence from my heart.

Because you will always remember and long for Victoria.

Wednesday 23 September 2009

I think I have finally lost it.

Yeah, as if you've never thought I had lost it before?

This evening I was making salad and pulling leaves off a solid round red lettuce (more like a red cabbage) and suddenly, in my hand I was holding this thing that was exactly the same size as George's head. What? No, seriously, WHAT??? My mind does the most bizarre things to me sometimes, honestly. I put it down, took a deep breath and attended to the tomatoes which fortunately did not resemble any part of my son's anatomy.

I went for my monthly, "Hi, how are you, ready to look for work yet? No, ok, fill in this form." appointment this afternoon and was chatting about trying to get pregnant, or rather listening to my adviser chatting about their receptionist who had been trying to get pregnant for ages, had several miscarriages, and now has pre-eclampsia and has to have a c-section next week. The first time I went into that place I was faced with this seemingly glowingly healthy, obviously pregnant, radiantly happy receptionist and I'll admit that I had a hard time sitting there waiting without thinking at least once, "You have no idea...". Of course she had no idea about me; and I had no idea about her.

You just never know do you?

Oh, and then I went to get my machete sharpened.

Sunday 20 September 2009

My George

Today we were walking by the harbour and I heard a girl calling to her brother, his name was George. I felt a catch in my chest and I had to see what this George looked like. This George was about 8. Did he look like my George? Of course not. Would our George have been balancing on the back of the boat trailer where it attaches to the car grinning at his own daring and cleverness as we pulled our boat up the slipway? Oh I'd very much to think so.

It was somewhat of a coincidence. Amy has been blogging about her feelings when coming across a new baby sharing her Liam's name. And working out how to find peace with it. My maternal Grandfather was George but I haven't met another George since we lost ours. It felt a little strange but it was ok.

Friday 18 September 2009

Day 21 blood

I missed last months opportunity to get this bloody show on the road because, well, I'm not even sure I'm ready for any sort of intervention yet? Because I'm dreading the fertile nurse telling us that's that my time is up, go home and stop longing? Because day 21 of my last cycle was just too inconvenient?

Whatever it was I decided last night that it had to be done. And my GP's surgery couldn't (wouldn't? They can be rather awkward) fit me in so I had to drag Ray to the hospital phlebotomy department.

Interesting word, phlebotomy. Makes me think of phlegm and lobotomy... We've spent a lot of time in that rambling huge old and new hospital over the last year. Maternity, so many times through my pregnancy for bleeding or spotting, Gynaecology for the scary bloody mess I was in a week after losing George, Surgery (zzzzzz), the morgue (to collect George from the kindest lady who had a biodegradable box made for him because I didn't want a coffin). Audiology for Ray, (he's not going deaf. Woop. He has Meniere's disorder. Boo.) and now Phlebotomy. There are miles of corridors linking departments and in a tribute to hospital directions, I have to say we've never been lost.

Because we are tight fisted and refused to pay to park, and because we chickened out of parking in the bank/pub/supermarket car parks due to the large signs threatening to clamp/tow/fine our poor little car to death we found free parking outside the hospital.

The phlebotomy department ladies called me in and proceeded to involve me in their complaint about christmas coming earlier and earlier every year. Did I know it was only 15 weeks till christmas? Did I know that M&.S have all their christmas cards and decorations on display already? Have you ever not noticed someone sticking a huge needle into your arm? Damn that phlegmy lobotomist was good.

Wednesday 16 September 2009

Cuteness overload

Prepacked kitteh

He's laughing at me, isn't he? Beastly savage.

Nasal cuteness.

*brrrrp* Oops pardon moi

Our cats were born at the end of February. They are almost the same age that George should be.

Should be/would be/could have been/might have been. My choice of words seems to follow my state of mind. On a good day my might have been child sits sort of comfortably on my shoulder, observing the world he might have been born into had circumstances been different. On not so good days George should be here, we should have taken him to Cornwall with us and he would have kept us awake all night in an unfamiliar guest house.

And it would have been wonderful.

And his absence is palpable.


Sunday 13 September 2009


On friday morning Ray decided not to work. We put a few things into a suitcase and drove 140 miles into the wide open spaces of Cornwall. It was good to get away.

We found some peace and space, filed down a few rough edges, looked out on big skies and long beaches, tried to photograph crashing waves and dramatic scenery and had fun.

Until our car started not wanting to work and flashing warning lights at us so we decided to come home saturday evening instead of sunday afternoon. We drove home our normal Dartmoor way and stopped in a country lane. In the pitch black. We looked up and gasped. The Milky Way, shining so brightly, stretched out across the sky. It was magical. And then I saw a shooting star. Oh yeah, and then we had a snog.*


Thursday 10 September 2009

Closed up like a rusty hinge.

I sat down and tried to dig out from my keyboard whatever splinter was making me angry and frustrated. I couldn't. I have been trying to write a post for days. There are snippets of sorrow, of pain, of mistrust, of fear, flashes of red and orange anger and frustration at the whole why-me-why-you-why-any-of-us-ness of it all dotted about my screen. I have just swept them up and thrown them away. What is the point in hanging on to monday's worries? Let. It. Go.

How are you? I'm ok. Thank you for asking. Not great, not smiling as much as I would like but breathing and realising that I have no control whatsoever over the universe. None. I can only ask it politely to be a little kinder. But maybe that's a bit like asking a tree to be a bit less like a tree. Whatever. I'm done shouting.

But if I did have control over the universe; If I could find and operate my very own wormhole; If I could twist and turn space and time to my own ends; This is where I would like to be right now, or maybe in a couple of hours when the sun starts to sink into the sea. I'd like to be back on Rhodes in late October 2007, at the very tail end of the holiday season with cafe's and shops closing down for the winter, the normally packed streets quieter except for the occasional disgorging of cruise ships. When it was still warm without being stifling. Sitting at this pavement cafe eating baked aubergines and drinking Lip.tons tea almost exactly one year before we lost George. Before I was pregnant and before I knew about real pain and sorrow and the feirce tug of longing. Ray and I had been together since July, we were engaged already and he took me to Rhodes. Our engagementmoon. Before.

And I haven't peed on or near one single stick so far this cycle*. Not one.

*Somewhere in the middle of my cycle in case you were wondering

Tuesday 1 September 2009


I don't know Mirne or Craig,
I can't imagine how they will survive the loss of their third child, Jet.
I can't imagine the depth of pain this family feels.
Petty concerns pale into nothing.
I can't do anything for them but promise to remember.
And join with the wave of love and grief spreading around our community.


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