Thursday, 17 February 2011
Everyone else's lives are carrying on as normal. They are getting up for work, thinking about buying new shoes, going to the gym, making plans, cooking dinner.
My life is in limbo. All I want to do is sleep.
Andy has been working all week and I hate not having him here. I've been on my own since Monday. Monday. Our first Valentine's Day together. It certainly wasn't one we will ever forget, for all the wrong reasons.
I started to miscarry naturally after our scan had confirmed the worst: that the Tiny Guest had stopped growing at about 5-6 weeks old and was already gone from my womb. A cluster of cells, not recognisable as anything human. Thank goodness.
No one tells you how it will be. The doctors, the midwives, the sonographers. No one told me how it would be. That it would be like labour. That I would have contraction after contraction with barely any respite between them. That all the life giving accoutrements that go with an embryo would make their dramatic and painful exit over the course of 2 horrendous hours that I wish I could forget. That Andy would only be able to look on helplessly, as bewildered and terrified as I was. Miscarriage should come with a Government Mental Health Warning.
And then, it was over. The Tiny Guest gone. The only things remaining are the ever present bleeding, raging and unsympathetic hormones and a feeling of emptiness I just can't shake.
Life is a challenge at the best of times but somehow, the unemployment, the fiscal worries, the uncertainty of the future, were all made okay by the promise of a new life. My Most Important Job Ever. And one that I really felt I would be good at. That I didn't need faceless executives to approve me for. One day...... One day.
So today is a bad day. Today I am not brave. Today I am not even nice. I am jealous and hateful. Today I am angry and sad. But these things have to be taken one day at a time and tomorrow? Well to borrow from one of the best: "tomorrow is another day....."
Monday, 14 February 2011
Sarah's bleeding came lightly at first and so, as a 'Man Manual' told me, I didn't panic. This is apparently very common in pregnancy although they don't tell you that in the movies. We calmly went to A&E, at the same hospital we were due to get a scan in 7 days and all being well deliver our baby in 6 months.
We left with hope that slowly faded and reappeared over the course of a roller coaster of a weekend. Now, on Monday, we finally got a scan to confirm that today's liver like clots exiting Sarah was our child. It had died weeks ago, probably between 6 to 8 weeks so all the excitement, worries and sober nights were in vein. There was 1 too many or 1 too few chromosomes in one of our eggs or sperm.
I have been guilty in the past of thinking that a miscarriage was nothing: An unfortunate event that easily disappears and is easily forgotten. I was wrong.
It's not, as Sarah suggested, the 2 months worth of thinking about the baby growing which makes it so difficult, it's the first 16 years of it's life you've already thought about. It's the first birthday, the first word and the first boyfriend or girlfriend. It's thinking about holding your helpless baby. It's thinking about seeing it in it's grandparents arms. These are things that make it not an unidentifiable foetus like I maybe used to think but a living thing. Our thing.
However, I know we're not special or hard-done-by. 1 in 5 pregnancies ending in miscarriage is a massive percentage. My heart goes out to all that have experienced it. Here's hoping you as well as Sarah and I never experience it again.
Hopefully our next parental journey isn't too far away. Hopefully we'll be able to report on this page of a new bump but I think hearts need to be healed and fun needs to be had before we dare head down that path again.
Here's til next time.
This weekend Andy and I lost our baby.
I started bleeding on Friday and we went straight to hospital. We were sent home after assurances that it's very normal in early pregnancy to bleed but I knew something more sinister was going on. The cramping felt very much like period pain so I really felt as if something was being "expelled" from inside.
The bleeding continued all day Saturday and then got very heavy and painful on Sunday so back to A&E we went. This time I was rushed straight through to the back room, the same one I had hoped never to see again when I left it on Friday night.
Then we waited.....and I bled through pad after pad and we both got more and more distressed.
Finally a (brilliant) gynaecologist saw us and did an internal. Here's the rub: my cervix is still tightly closed so if there is a heartbeat when we go for a scan this evening then it could just be a threatened miscarriage. But my pregnancy symptoms have all but ebbed away so I'm all out of hope. This one was just not meant to be:(.
I don't really know how to articulate how I feel. I feel a bit like how I feel every time when I find out that I didn't get yet another job on the tv: frustrated, disappointed, upset, depressed, and really really sad. But this time is the saddest. This job was the one I wanted the most.....
I realise that comparatively with the rest of blighted Blighty I lead a charmed life but today, it doesn't feel like that. I lost something really precious. Something I had already invested 2 months of loving and nurturing in. Something that was going to change my life forever.
I thought I was about to get a job I could really be good at. I would be really good at. But there it is again, those words I'm so used to hearing: Not This Time Sarah.....
Andy has gone to work this morning and I'm at home, trying to motivate myself to get out of bed and make his Valentine's Day as lovely as it can be under the circumstances but all I can do is think about the inevitability of the bad news we're going to hear later.
I think I'll stay in bed just a little while longer.....climb under the duvet and block the world and all it's shitty news out.
It's hard not to wonder whether it was something I did or didn't do that damaged my Little Guest so irrevocably. I'm trying not to think about that possibility as there's nothing I can do now and of course, We will never know anyway.
It wasn't just a foetus. To Andy and I it was, and will always be, our first baby. We had kissed it and loved it and talked about what name it would take through life and how we would raise it. I hope that one day we get to be the parents that we were already learning how to be.
So back to the hospital tonight. More tears. More unpleasant practicalities.
Then we will pick ourselves up, dust ourselves down and say how lucky we are really, in the grand scheme of things.....and we are.
Thursday, 10 February 2011
I saw Lady Willoughby today actually as I had a little stint on This Morning doing the papers and helping her celebrate her 30th birthday. She's glowing. And tearful! As anyone who saw the show will testify;). Bless her, all the messages and fuss just sets off those hormones a treat. In fact, it's a minor miracle that I didn't dribble all over the This Morning sofa too but I was aware that my tears might be slightly harder to make excuses for at this stage....
Andy met me afterwards and although we really probably shouldn't have, we went to Mamas and Papas and I cooed over the cots (and he tolerated it). I'm now just about fit to EXPLODE!!! A week tomorrow and it can't come quickly enough. This is worse than my 7 year old Christmas countdown. And I have no Jedi patience at the best of times
Anyway, that was my soggy day today. It was good.
I'm off to feed my tiny guest with a cheeky hot chocolate:).
Be safe y'all
PS. Oh dear:(. I have just started crying at Relocation Relocation. Hello Tearful, do come in, cup of tea?
Tuesday, 8 February 2011
Andy is, of course, the brilliant voice of reason and statistic. And of course, he's right.
In the meantime, my thoughts are with Amanda and her family. I hope that they can find their way somehow through this dark time and find comfort in each other and eventually in the healing forces of time.
Be safe y'all
Monday, 7 February 2011
I just want to start by reiterating a point that Sarah made: SHHHHIIIIITTTTTTT! (Is that enough T’s?)
As Sarah stated, both our lives changed forever (Hopefully for the better) on Boxing Day – Nothing clears a foggy head like being told half your genes are growing in another human being. I’m not condoning it as a hangover cure though!
So I think Sarah quite adequately stated what’s going on in our lives so I won’t bang on. I wanted to get involved in this blog more to see if I could get advice and help from others but also because the alien experience I am going through has provoked in me the need to express (excuse the pregnancy pun) what’s going on in my tiny man mind. It is difficult not being able to discuss the joy/fear for an age before all vital signs are there.
I’m not sure I can offer much – both in this blog and in the whole situation my girlfriend is going through. Men are spare parts when it comes to pregnancy. My job feels done (apart from sympathy and empathy – which aren’t men’s strong points), so although I don’t want to, I might just have to put my feet up and wait for that fateful date in September where my feet will never be up again.
One thing I can offer to this blog is a promise that I will post no ridiculous abbreviations (SEE: In The Club - BKU (Before Knock Up)… PKU (Post Knock Up)), There will be no LOL’s and very few Smileys but there maybe a lot of HELPS!!!
‘Til next time
Saturday, 5 February 2011
January wasn't so bad as Andy joined me in a bit of a detox. Most people find it really annoying but they do leave you alone as it's really quite common after Xmas to want to give one's poor old liver a rest. My friend Caroline calls it "Janadan": like Ramadan but without the religious devotion.
I'm not going to lie, I miss getting drunk. I miss the camaraderie that goes with the metaphorical loosening of the tie. I miss that an evening can fly by in the blink of an eye, the way that one minute it's 9.30pm and when you next look at your watch, it's bloody 3am!
I'm finding that I get a bit bored now at social gatherings. My attention span was already pretty compromised but now it's minuscule.
I've got 2 more weeks of excuse making before I come clean so I'm trying to come up with some interesting variations on "I'm driving", "I'm on antibiotics" and "I'm detoxing"..... I'm failing.
I was generally always up for a party, always the one that suggested doing shots and commandeered the dancing to Girls Aloud at 2am. Party Sarah is still here but her appearances may well be a little less frequent from hereon in. I'm 38 after all so time to put the party shoes on the top shelf for special occasions only.
So Dry Saturday here I come! Can anyone suggest any interesting Mocktails?
Have a nice day y'all!
Friday, 4 February 2011
So, a new chapter in Cawood World begins. I Am Pregnant. Knocked Up. Bun In The Oven. Up The Stick. With Child. In The Family Way. Well and truly: Up. The. Duff......
I actually did the test at the In Laws. On Boxing Day....I've had better ideas it has to be said.
Is it very wrong that my first thought was "Bugger. No more Christmas Boozing, gooey unpasteurised Brie or duck pate"?
I told Andy straight away while the poor sod was still slumbering off his Christmas Day overindulgences. I probably did him a favour: there's nothing like a big,fat shock to wake up that metabolism;). Whilst it wasn't really planned, once we had gathered our shell shocked selves we gave each other a squeeze and knew that this was another amazing adventure that we were going to embark on together.
We decided that we would keep our news to ourselves until we'd got our heads round it and had all the various scans etc that would tell us we had a healthy sproglet on the way. Let me tell you....12 weeks is a bloody long time to keep a secret that bloody big.
Obviously I told my mother the moment we arrived at her gaff on Boxing Day afternoon. And obviously I didn't tell Andy that I'd already told his Mother In Law. Obviously.
The ladies will understand this. A girl tells her Mum stuff. Especially big stuff. And I needed to share with a woman really. It's a girl thing isn't it? All that pregnancy gumph. All that wierdness going on inside your womb like a scene out of Alien (do you think John Hurt felt that little fucker kick before it took it's unorthodox route to the outside world??)
Anyway, I needed to share the news with someone that wasn't me or Andy and be excited.
Last year, before this amazing man fell into my life, I had doubted that I would EVER meet anyone as wonderful as him, let alone have a family.
There are some grade A Twats out there let me tell you and I have had the misfortune to waste some of my precious time with a few of them. I had all but lost hope that there were any decent men left with half a brain and a head of hair but single ladies, take heart! They DO exist. I was lucky enough to unearth one of these precious gems. He's not even a rough diamond. He's just a Diamond. And now he's going to be the father of my child. I couldn't be happier.
So here I am, 10 weeks later, on a crash course in pregnancy, parenting, breast feeding and beyond. There is ALOT of stuff to read out there on this stuff and the pile of books beside my bed is out of control. BKU (Before Knock Up), my bedside reading material consisted of The Week, The Observer Magazine, Red, Psychologies Magazine and maybe the newest Times Best Seller. Well THOSE days are already gone! PKU (Post Knock Up) they've all been replaced with What To Expect When You're Expecting, Pregnancy For Modern Girls, Prima Mother And Baby magazine and various leaflets from midwives and GPs.
Things will never be the same again.
So, this blog is not going to be saccharin sweet. I have no intention of sugar coating what is essentially the weirdest and sometimes most undignified time of a woman's life. I have never been very good at acting like a celebrity which is probably why I have never been a very good one. I'd rather play it for laughs and keep it a little more real because it IS funny and it IS very real and no amount of Vaseline on the lens is going to make it look any prettier..... So, shall we get started? Are you ready? It might not be glamorous but I'm hoping it will always be entertaining.......
So, here I am, sitting in my kitchen, still in my pyjamas at 1.02pm on a Friday afternoon. I am 10 weeks up the stick. So far, I have been very lucky with the more unpleasant pregnancy side effects: I haven't felt that sick or knackered but I must add that it has coincided with one of the most fallow periods of unemployment I have ever experienced. This is both a Good and a Very Bad Thing. Good because I've been able to take it easy and stay in bed if that's what I've felt like doing. Bad because I will soon have a tiny person to feed, clothe, educate and entertain and for those things I will need to be doing more than 1 voice over a week:-/. So, as a result of the lack of work, I am learning that there is another, much more prevalent but not very much discussed symptom of being knocked up: Worry. It's all I do at the moment. And Worry sometimes brings it's hormonal chum, Tearful along for the ride and sometimes I get a triple whammy of Worry, Tearful and their tag-a-long, Grouchy. No one really likes Grouchy that much, not even Worry and Tearful but it seems that he is a necessary evil. At least for the time being.
Andy has already allayed my fears and promised me that it will all be OK. His optimism is just one of the qualities that make him an easy man to love. You'd love him too. He'd buy you a pint and make you laugh. I'm a really lucky girl.
So, I'm taking on some of that optimism myself and I've told Worry, Tearful and Grouchy to stick it. Well, I'm trying to....;)
So aside from the hormones, I've really been very lucky...... There is just one thing that has been happening, more or less from day 1 that is most unwelcome. The 1st indignity of pregnancy? Wind. Gas. Farty Pants. It's not me, I promise! And I can prove it! This is an excerpt from babycentre.co.uk explaining the biology:
"Women often experience more wind in pregnancy because the doses of progesterone that your body produces early in pregnancy contribute to digestive problems. Progesterone relaxes the smooth muscle tissue throughout your body, including your gastrointestinal tract. This relaxation slows your digestive processes, which can cause more wind, bloating, and uncomfortable sensations in your stomach, especially after a big meal."
See? I have a valid excuse for it! I sent Andy the link to that little snippet of info shortly after the onset of my gassiness and his reply?
"well it explains the act but not the smell..."
Thank you Darling, Father of my Unborn Child. Thanks very much!
Now my sense of humour is puerile at the best of times and even though I know it's not ladylike or delicate in ANY WAY, it makes me laugh my ass off. I can't help it! They REALLY STINK! I haven't been banned from the bedroom. Yet.
My theory is that it's nature's way of getting parents to be ready for the onslaught of stinky nappies. They'll be a lot of Cawood Theories coming your way over the next 7 months. They'll all be utter bollocks I'm sure but it entertains me to come up with them.
I think that's quite enough for a first post, don't you? So I'll bugger off now. Oh and just to let you know, Andy may pop up here and there with his own take on things. We're in this together after all! Now have a nice day y'all.