Universal Misdirection (by )

This morning is the first morning alone since the miscarriage as Alaric has had to go to work in Cheltenham, I did last night with just me and Mary but mainly she went to bed and I made Christmas cards until Al and Jean came in.

This is a whole day of empty house - so I decided to make more cards - I like making cards. I made it up to my attic, rested, looked through things until I found my crate of card making things... I bought it down stairs - my stomach is now unsurprisingly hurting and cramping up again. I'm not quiet sure what I was thinking, but in my defence it wasn't a heavy crate.

Anyway - I have made lit. hundreds of cards - no idea what I am going to do with them - I want to make more as well. I think I'll just put them out as "pay what you want" at the 2 craft fairs I am doing. And of course we wont have to buy any cards...

Mainly this is a distraction - I am trying not to think too hard whilst on my own. I've finally started my NaNoWriMo and got to 1000 words last night - again I was on my own with Mary in bed and I needed to blot my own thoughts out or rather have them on the perifery where I can think about them but not always feel them.

I still have a living room full of Christmas Craft stuff I'd gotten ready to run workshops with when it all went wrong. The kids and their friends keep randomly making things out of them.

Tuesday I went for my physio/neurology appointment for treatment to do with the head injury. The universe being the universe decided to kick me or attempt to a healiness or something and my physio had chosen that day to announce she was pregnant and going off on maternity leave - not that she needed to announce it what with her little belly.

Then I had to tell her what was wrong and why I hadn't been doing my exercises and why I was having a huge flare up of concussion symptoms. I am not sure who the appointment was harder for but she handled it well and head injury stuff is on a break for a month until I recover from this.

And also it might be aneamia causing alot of the problems so I need to go to my GP and have a review with the head injury team to try and sort things out. I am mucking up numbers again - I ordered the wrong knitting needles that I needed to finish a project off and I order twice as much mega chunky huge wool/yarn to do make Jean's rug with than I need.

But I managed to go for a short walk around the block and to make some food yesterday which is a huge inprovement. This was increadibly important yesterday as they day started pretty roughly with another kick in the teeth from the universe - we have a letter from the hospital for the Dr surgery but I've needed a lot of looking after and there have been alot of things to cancel/book etc... for Alaric to sort out and the up shot is the Dr surgery didn't yet know about me loosing the baby so I get a phone call from a super chirpy midwife congratulating me.

I said. "oh... no"

And obviously they were startled by this - I then explained with my voice getting quieter and higher in pitch. The phone call had woken me up, I had not slept well due to stabbing pains shooting through me. I'd only answered because I thought it would be the person saying the combined ashes had been scattered.

I should have tried to book more bloods then like the physio had told me too but before I could the midwife said she was sorry and didn't know what to say and then said goodbye. I cried. It would have been the day we had the next scan to see if the baby was still growing or was dead so it wouldn't have been a good timing for the phone call what ever.

I'd cried once we left the physio appointment too - I just can't help but think "thank Universe" over this at the moment.

On top of that I am angry at the universe - this means I end up in internet arguments with 50 yr old men who think they know more about the second world war than me. Or that women just plan can't understand strategy etc... Thank goodness my dad doesn't think like this and as he says he's 70!

He's a star and spent an hour on the phone talking to me about military history snippets he'd picked up he thought I might not have heard yet - he is a good distraction - knitting is a good distraction - shame the project is a breast feeding shawl but it was started for this pregnancy or even for me so I think I'm ok with it.

I realise that the two books I was supposed to have out before Christmas are not going to really happen but I have started to prod them a little further towards the finishing line - they were going to be tight anyway and with everything that's happened and me not even really sure of day/week I think it's best to just let the projects complete when they complete.

My inlaws have been wonderful - phoning up from South Africa and Brighton and offering support etc... and friends too - from all the different stages and parts of our lives.

Physically I am getting there (as long as I don't try to do stuff) and emotionally - well I'm a mess but I think that is the healthy thing at this stage - only time will tell on that one.

Can I have Christmas now?

An Outing (by )

Yesterday we attempted a gentle outing - I'd really really wanted to see Paddington 2 and it is one of the few films that the whole family would be happy seeing - I've been waiting for it to come out. Cinema is expensive so it is normally reserved for special occasions.

The cramps have reduced drastically so we thought we'd try it, you can park relatively close to the cinema and it is basically just sitting down and I wanted to do something fun and family.

It was a great outing but... a) I lacked the energy and clean cloths to get dressed in so was in my christmas onsie with a large jumper over the top b) just the walk to the cinema ended with me clinging on to Jean and walking so so slowly - I had to sit down whilst we got tickets and muddlied my food order.

The process of sitting down is also often still painful and I had to take it slowly, I still have a horrible cough and it hurts everything inside so goodness knows what the teen boy next to me thought.

I became light headed and dizzy during the trailers - not sure if that is due to the miscarriage or the head injury and I had to leave the film at one point due to cramps/contractiony things but...

The film was lovely and Jean and I shared pop corn and Mary did her little laugh and ended up snugged on Daddy and I only cried once but it was a happy cry.

It was physically painful and probably not something we should have done but mentally I think we as a family needed it - Mary has been asking for a kitten then getting concerned that it will die before we get it home - Jean snapped at her about this asking why she was obsessed with pets dying like that. Mary paused and said "because of the baby". Yes we haven't hidden this stuff from them - a) I don't think we could have even if we had tried b) it is their family too and this is their grief too.

They both need hugs at the moment (though this did result in both of them managing to hit my stomach and cause a lot of pain which they then both felt bad about :/).

Physically I am in that annoying place of thinking I'm fine whilst semi laying down but crumbling as soon as I try and do anything. Saturday night Alaric cried again - I heard him and came to hug him - we are in separate beds because our bed is broken and not comfy for me and I am still getting the cramps and would keep waking him up and that is not fair as he is doing everything - working, housework, the kids and looking after me and being Al he feels his responsibilities very keenly and so trekked out to the Remembrance Day stuff yesterday morning but felt guilty about leaving me.

He heard me crying yesterday morning and came in to hug me - kind of ironically (or something) I was crying because he'd been crying - I was crying because I was remembering his pain and anguish and I don't want my husband to be hurting like this.

Mainly I like seeing babies and children and though sometimes I cry at specifics I'm finding my friends life shares about baby first smiles and things more healing and happy moments than despair. I did cry at older sisters holding baby dollies sitting next to their younger sibling being held but it was still healing. But social media network bots have gotten hold of the pregnancy thing and not the miscarriage thing and so I am receiving targeted ads for baby and pregnancy stuff - this I find hard and hurtful.

Al has canceled Wednesday's scan - this was the scan to see if the baby was growing. The Early Pregnancy Unit said we can make an appointment and talk to them if needed - right now I would like to stop bleeding and having cramps. It's not heavy but there is still the occasional (small) clot which I don't like.

We've told both schools - Jean was late several times last week and being Jean just wrote down "traffic" in the book for why.

I've kind of lost over a week of time - it was suddenly Sunday and my last coherent day was the Thursday morning before the cough hit bad and the bleeding started, this was not the Thursday just gone. It's all a bit of a jumble.

I'm supposed to go to the hospital for my physio for the head injury tomorrow - I'm not sure there is a lot of point but at the same time I am also not sure really what I am supposed to be doing about all of that as I can't currently do some/most of the exercises :/

Everyone has been amazingly supportive and I know we haven't replied - just overwhelmed at the moment.

Paddington was a good film - me and the girls loved it Al said it was all right. Jean announced she is Jean Pym and likes Computer Games at the end of it 🙂

Miscarriage (from the father’s eyes) (by )

My family is the single most important thing in my life. I grew up lonely - it was just my mother and I, and I always found portrayals of "typical family life" in popular media slightly painful to watch; I wanted that bustling house, full of children, with grandparents and aunts and uncles visiting. Sure, I'm mad about creating things; I love tinkering with computers and electronics and metalwork and DIY, and designing things around a table with my friends, but my biggest and best creation is my family.

So, I was delighted when, a couple of weeks ago, Sarah decided to do a pregnancy test; and it came out positive. We'd put if off for a while; we had some false starts when conceiving Mary, so we didn't dare get our hopes up too soon. We waited until it looked like the periods were definitely staying away, when it started to feel like if Sarah was pregnant we'd best be getting set up with a midwife and all that. I'd already been rather hopefully resting my hand on Sarah's belly on the sofa; but once the test came back positive, it was time to start snuggling down and talking to her baby. Partly soppiness on my part, and partly because I'm told that even after the first few weeks, babies start to learn their parents' voices (and it's never too early to start learning Lojban).

However, we only had a few days of that before things started to look a little wrong. I kept talking, telling the little grain of rice that there was lots to live for; it would have two siblings, three cats, two chickens, a mummy, a daddy, and a lovely house to live in, and I had so many wonderful things to show it. But the poor thing was probably already dead by then; a few days passed before everything got a bit medical, and I was carrying a bowl full of chunks of womb lining while a nurse wheeled Sarah through a hospital in a wheelchair, wondering if I was (in some grisly sense) at least getting to carry my child in my arms, for a while.

As is usual when things go wrong, Sarah was too ill to do anything, so I went into Caring Husband mode; looking after Jean and Mary, organising meals, cancelling things, supporting Sarah. I'm not shy about my emotions, as many male people are; but while there were things that needed doing and nobody else to do them, I didn't have the mental energy to feel them, so I just got on with it all. But once Sarah was home again and I didn't need to worry about her health all the time and things had settled down a bit and I had time to think about it (thanks to my lovely colleagues at both jobs, who covered for me), I finally had my chance to cry; Sarah was working on her picture, and wanted me to choose some colours for the rainbows in the lettering. I put together a spectrum (my choices are at the top of the first L, by the way), and I remembered being a little child, choosing that my favourite colour was blue; I went for sky blue and sunrise yellow at the time (although I've since moved towards darker, purplier, blues), and I wondered what this child's favourite colour would have been, and then all the pain came up and I cried on Sarah's shoulder. I still feel a lot of pain, but a good long sob helped me to heal a lot.

Now, I just want to find ways to record the existence of the little thing. When we had the initial scan, I wrote down the dimensions they told me on the appointment letter, because I feared that and the memory of seeing it, fleetingly, on a screen might be all we got to keep. When the ashes have been scattered, I'll try to find the memorial garden in Cheltenham, and go and visit.

I wrote a poem, in Lojban of course. I could translate it to English, but I'd have to either drop all the rich attitudinal indicators (which would make it rather boring) or try and explain them in English (which would make it long and convoluted), so I'll just leave it as-is.

.i .u'anaisai mi ba'ozi te tarbi
.i .uinai mi na ba pamjai le .iu tarbi
.i .uinai mi na ba tavla le .iu tarbi
.i .uinai mi na ba bevri le .iu tarbi
.i .a'onai mi na ba zgana lo nu le .iu tarbi cu ke banro
   joi cisma
   joi klaku
   joi cadzu
   joi tavla
   joi prami
   joi jmive

.i le .iu tarbi na ba djuno fi mi

.i co'o tarbi

Expectancy’s Shadow (by )

Some of the poetry written about the miscarriage including pieces written before it was def. a miscarriage, Alaric is working on one in Lojban which we will share once it is finished.

These are not the poems and drawings that we had hoped to produce but it is pretty much all we can do. Mary at least has found the visual poem useful and has drawn her own.

Spotting the Gunk

Chewing a cardoman pod
dreading the day
antiseptic flavour
stings my throat
Moments tick in sips of tea
A jar full of piss
Awaits
I got it on my hand
Dark scars mar the sky
With no stars and grey dawn
Heart breaking
Wanting to know
Not wanting to go
For the scan
to check for
A little life
That is probably
Already gone.

Grain of Rice

They called you a grain of rice
Sitting there on the screen
Not even really that
So small
More puddin rice
still just a bundle a ball
Of cells
But no heart beat
Maybe because of size
But a bloody surprise had us
Glued to the screen
Seeing you
Possibly for the only time
Our little grain

Don't be dead
Don't be a zombie baby
Don't rot and poison me

Be strong and healthy
Grow and beat that little heart
But if you need to go
Just know we love you
We will remember our
Little rice grain

Couldn't Stay to Play

miscarriage visual poem

Blood Stains and Pin Pricks (by )

Trigger warning: miscarriage.

I didn't even get to make the announcement that I was pregnant - social media has picked up the pregnant thing but not the miscarriage bit and is sending me targeted adverts. I am having nightmares about babies being the on the other sides of mirrors, windows, veils and not being able to reach them. I am managing maybe one meal a day.

I want the painful cramps to go away but feel guilty as they are the last part of that little life that I failed. All I have left is blood stains, pin pricks and bruises and they are all disappearing but I'm not sure that I am healing. Several people have told me not to think on it too much and to just be grateful for my girls but I hadn't even gotten my head around having another baby before it was taken away and worse because of the complications I have suffered in the past I was terrified of being made to go through labour and things and was scared of having the baby but then I started to get excited and now... now there is just a hole.

Alaric says, that his little rice grain deserves being cried over. Initially he didn't cry and Mary asked why I told her Daddy is like Apple Jack (a My Little Pony character) and does his crying on the inside but that he was crying none the less we just couldn't see it. She pointed out that Jean tends to cry on the inside too - and this certainly is true. When he broke later that night she came down because she heard him and tried to get him a cat but ended up patting him and hugging him.

I managed to get in the bath last night - I am still in waves of pain but am ok physically in between. The support have been overwhelming and important especially for Alaric who almost drowned in silence when I was ill with having Jeany and the aftermath.

It was a lot of pain and medical stuff for no baby.

The honest way I feel?

I am in pain, I am falling apart, I don't fit into any of my clothes, I am letting people down, I've given up some fantastic opportunities - to try and save the pregnancy and now they are lost to me along with potential future projects from the same people, worrying about that makes me feel selfish but I am angry and hurt and bewildered too and disappointed that I can't do the epic things. I can't physically help with the housework and so everything is on Alaric who is also still trying to work - his colleagues have been fantastic - the school noticed he was suffering. I'm a mess if I'm honest I didn't want to wash the blood stains off even though it is my blood but somehow I am thinking of it as the baby's blood.

I feel I am over reacting and under reacting and I can hardly walk. I need to cancel the midwife appointments and ultra sound and so on. I don't really want to talk to people/strangers.

Kids make me smile, I am missing Jean because she is on a sleep over and I am making a visual poem to remember the baby by. This was worse than the suspected ectopic and that wasn't particularly brilliant. I need to do something. I feel like I've had my insides washed with a brillo pad - I am not actually quite sure exactly what they did.

I'm scared people wont want to see me that they will hide themselves away from me. I am worried about how I will react to certain things.

Most of all though I feel like I've gone through labour and don't have a baby to hold and I know the baby wasn't even really a baby though as Al said he was more worried about this one because it did have a developing nervous system and really hope it wasn't in pain. Again if we find anyone using this as anti abortion stuff we will go spare: pregnancy is a potentially life threatening thing no one should be made to go through that if they don't want to.

Still I wish it could have lived, we love it - we already love it. After I had the bleeding/threatened miscarriage with Jean's pregnancy we agreed to love the little pregnancies because that might be the only time we had with them. But I didn't really know for long enough with this one - it's been such a fast chain of intense emotions.

And the picture is not the little book of poetry I'd planned but it is all I really have to offer.

I think miscarriage is unique in that the thing you are trying to get better from is the last remnant of the thing you longed for and the grief is mixed with the physical healing in complex and varied ways.

One of the nurses told me it is really very common but no one talks about it so every woman thinks she is on her own.

This thought chills me.

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