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March 2010

as I live and breathe...

I do, I live and breathe. It appears that life continues.

 The hospital experience was a long, empty and hungry one. There were drugs to start the process, that didn't work, perhaps because they are designed for stomach ulcers (Pharmacist, perplexed: Are you having an operation on your "tummy"? Me: Eh. Yes. My "tummy".) and as it turned out, there was cytotec, which our state maybe doesn't consider to be too "bold" for us, after all. Then there were mercifully strong painkillers (in the form of a pessary during the operation. How delightful). And then home, in a taxi. I suppose it was for the best that I was in the hospital, in any case, because of the length of gestation. I don't know.

Thank you all for coming to check on me from LFCA. I think Mel is the most wonderful, kind person. This is truly the best of the internet. I am so grateful to you all.

--

I am going to set myself a challenge - post an image every day for a month. They won't be anything graphic - I promise - just a kind of investigation into this grieving process, an attempt to understand it, (as opposed to the creation of something aesthetically pleasing, heh). I'll start soon, not sure when exactly.

Till then, friends, take care of yourselves.
T


vale of tears

I am here, riding the peaks and troughs of grief. Sometimes it is precipitous and frightening, at other times, I go through a while when I am coasting, not feeling anything, not thinking, just waiting. Other times I am strangely peaceful and glad of my pregnancy. Then I weep again, weird huffing cries.

I am so grateful everyone for the kind words and emails of support. It means so much to me to know you are there, many of you have survived this, in some cases too, too many times. I am not alone, we are not. Far from it, I am in good company. I don't know what I would do without you all. You are helping us, so much. I just wish we never had to learn to grieve like this, in order to understand what it is to grieve like this.

I have my appointment with the consultant later. My initial instinct was to be done with it all at once, immediately, but the doctor is wise, and sent me home to start to feel the disappointment and sadness. I am glad of that now. I just hope we can come to the right decision for me, not based on fear, or trying to avoid pain.

I trust him. He is kind and experienced. I hope I can avoid absenting myself and letting the polite robot take over, which is my usual coping mechanism. (Do you know what I mean, the Polite Robot? I must have thanked them all ten times each on Tuesday. Gah.)

Sigh. I better go. Wish me luck. And thank you, again.

--

Outcome of meeting: It's all set for tomorrow. I was starting to have this funny notion that maybe it'd be "good" for me to experience the miscarriage at home, but it seems that is not an option because unlike modern, normal countries you can't get the pills that help it start here, and so I would be waiting for an unknown period of time. So then, it dawned on me slowly that hey! wait a minute! I'm an artist! and that I could make art to help with the process of grief. 
I might be painting some very odd pictures :)  but don't worry I won't post anything alarming. Good. I am glad I can do that.
(If anyone feels inspired to lash out/express their sorrow artistically alongside me, you are welcome to. We can frighten the horses together! Ha!)


lost

The doctor couldn't find a heartbeat this morning on the ultrasound. The baby must have died around 10 weeks and 5 days. Over a week ago, and I didn't even know.

I have to go in and make a plan with him on Thursday about what to do, probably a D&C.

Hold my hand, please? Tell me we can survive this. Tell me how.

At the moment I am so far away from myself I don't know how I am functioning. I got the bus home, somehow, I hung my coat up, I don't know why, and waited for JB. I don't know how I am sitting here typing, but I need your kind company and compassion. And this is how I reach you.


Cha-a-arge!

Sorry for the lack of - well, anything at all - happening here. True to the Incontrovertible Law of the Freelancer, I have been hit with two projects at once, and am going a bit mental. One is a nice job - a A3 poster of a Viking raider complete with ships and dramatic sea, and the other a corporate website for Brother (The Successful One in the Family). These have been cutting into my Study of Crap TV quite a bit.
Then, also, furthermore, and in addition, there were the week long festivities to celebrate the birthday of a 5 year old, known here as Spike. I am still having flashbacks after yesterday's party, the children's component to it. Brother's garden was filled from fence to fence with a vast inflatable bouncy kind of Beecher's Brook for the 12 boys to hurl themselves over while the adults stood there hoping the different Toms and Jacks wouldn't brain themselves/each other as they landed, yelling, down the precipice. Then there was a mass migration into the house, where like a horde of locusts, they ate their way through enough sandwiches, pizza and alien cake to sink a battleship, also with sounds effects.
They have gusto for life, those kids.

Luckily, and in timely fashion, this week has seen a leap in Twangy energy levels. Yay, verily even unto the gymnasium I walk, and to town, without feeling the need to lurk near home, greenish about the gills. It's all springy and nice. The sun has even made an appearance and town is full of Scottish fellers in kilts. What could be better than that?

Oh yeah, and in keeping with the hazard sign vibe of last week, (the use of the word "vibe" doesn't age me a bit, does it?) I saw this sign near a building site on the way to one of the parties:

Hazard_sign

Any idea what this could signify?
..anyone? Anyone?

Skateboard Essential For Skate Park, perhaps?

open door

I am very conscious that the last thing some of you lovely friends, Romans and countrymen might like to read is - you know - offspring stuff. And while I can try to be as non-nauseating about it as possible, the last thing I want to do is add to anyone's distress. So I am going to use this hazard sign (uh - basically the actual Irish road hazard sign, imaginative?) when the subject is coming up:

Hazard_s


And if anyone wants to bow out, take a walk around the block, or un-subscribe, there will be no hard feelings. None at all. Open door policy. Don't fall in the sea, is all I'm saying.

So here we go:

Hazard_s2

I had the 10-week scan last week. All is fine. The little mite was wriggling around like a good one. It was amazing, I was beyond thrilled and grateful, and fit to burst. (It was a water torture scan - you know, where your uterus is pumped up into view by your uncomfortably brimming bladder.)

The technician:
Oh look at that! Lots of activity! Oh, again, look! That's really very active. Quite incredible!

TPtheEG, finding this really heart-warming, but not particularly surprising, confided in her: Oh yes. The father is a Martian, you see.

All right, I didn't say that. I wish I could act as looney as I feel, but a lifetime of conditioning ("good" upbringing, humph, blooming parents) has repressed my nuttiness more colourful ways.

It's true though, as I have previously noted, the JB is a Martian. One of the many pieces of evidence:
He has fiendish amounts of energy, does not need to sleep and can happily exist on 5 hours a night, for weeks at a time. When he wakes up, he is instantly cheerful and (maddeningly) chatty, and does not yawn or groan, rub his eyes, or malinger in the bed. What does this sound like to you?
Not human, anyway, I think we can all agree. He is the souped-up male Mrs Doyle of Martian society. And that is it.

The case rests, m'Lord. And so far so good, most thankfully.

No 1: New Cork, New Cork

I won an award! (Thank you, May. Your encouragement really means a lot to me).

I am shaking my memory vigorously, like a child with a piggy-bank, to see what could possibly be in there that might be of any interest. Seven things seems ambitious, but we'll see.

Oh, here's a thing, though it's not really about me, as such:

Grandmother
[How I imagine her].

1. My great-great-great-great grandmother was Lithuanian. As far as we know, she arrived here around 1880, presumably fleeing the pogroms, (she was Jewish). I could never quite understand why someone would choose this country above richer, more cosmopolitan places. Lack of choice maybe? But how desperate do you have to be to emigrate to a country that was recovering from a devastating famine only 35 years before?


And then I found a possible answer on the internet:
The refugees, the story has it, were dropped off in Cork at night, by unscrupulous boatmen, who told them that they had reached New York.

Suitcase

------

Oh dear. I went on a bit. Tell you what, I'll stagger these, the better for your head not exploding. No 2 coming soon.

cabbage

I would have posted before, but I am totally devoid of inspiration. These days, it's like having a slot machine rattling away insanely in my head, except instead of trying to match three cherries, it's flipping through all the foods I have ever eaten in an effort to find something that doesn't turn my stomach. It's all weirdly specific (apart from being boring, and I apologise in advance for this):

APPLE PIE? Categorically NO. BLEAH!
ICE-BERGERS (those ice-cream biscuit sandwiches)? How REVOLTING.
RAW CABBAGE? Could be.
Day-old pizza? Could be, too. Or could be NOT.
Those gnocchi my Italian flatmate used to make? Ping! YESYES! NOW.

There is no room left in what passes for my mind for anything else.

Cabbage
 
Not that I am complaining, I am fine, and on the vomitometer, I am registering a mere 3-ish out of 10 - which is - pouff! - nothing, really. I am lucky. When I think of all the earlily-pregnant women across the globe, in factories, and offices, trying to hide their symptoms from their mean bosses, attempting to throw up quietly in the staff toilets, and look alive in meetings, I know I am. I am so fortunate to be able to collapse on the sofa and watch rubbish telly till I feel okay again.

(Rubbish telly - what did sick people do before it was invented? Beats me.)

Your flummoxed,
T