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Minesweeper

28/12/2011 1 comment

Minesweeper is a game I play in the middle of the night while pumping breast milk. If you’ve never played before, the object is to clear an abstract minefield without exploding a mine. The mine field is simply blank tiles; as you select one either a mine, a blank space, or a number signifying how many mines are adjacent to that tile is reveled. You often can not solve the game with 100% certainty and guessing is require. So you might think the game is going well when suddenly a mine appears and it’s game over.

This time of year is like minesweeper for me. My darling first son Blobby died a week before Christmas. I think of him every day, but even more so at this time of year. This time of year is especially good for flashbacks where it suddenly feels like I’m experiencing his death or events that happened near his death all over again. Sometimes I can predict what might trigger them and try to avoid them, but like minesweeper sometimes it just happens. Game over.

Everyone seems to think that having my darling, living boy means the pain of Blobby’s death should be gone. It’s not. I don’t really understand this attitude. If I’d had two older children and one died I can’t imagine that people would think it was OK to loose one.

So as wonderful as it has been to experience Christmas with my living son, I miss my first boy.

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Unfulfilled

16/06/2011 6 comments

A year ago today should have been Blobby’s due date.  I haven’t forgotten you, my first darling son.

One Year On

23/12/2010 18 comments

I started this blog because I wanted to write about my miscarriage – to get the thoughts that haunted me out of my head.  However I’ve never really been able to do that; the thoughts are too much a part of me and are, I suspect, tattooed on the inside of my skull.  (Poor baffled archaeologist of the future!)  I don’t know that I’ll really write that much about it now, but this is probably as close as I’ve gotten.

Crinone can give you cramps, abdominal pain, and of course – my favourite – discoloured ‘cottage cheese’.  Especially when you’re using it for weeks on end.  I have some colourful cottage cheese at least once a day now, sometimes black and sometimes pale pink.  But last Friday it was bright red.  On the anniversary of my bleeding increasing before giving birth to an extremely premature Blobby.  It was such a horrid feeling of déjà vu.  The panicked phone call to a nurse, the arranging for testing, the agonising wait.  This time of course instead of an emergency ultrasound it was a blood test.

The vampire told me she’d walk my blood up to the lab immediately (it was the nice vampire I’d had the week before) and the IVF Unit should have the results by 12:30 or 1 pm at the latest.  My husband took me home to stay in bed and watch DVDs together; I was glad he didn’t even ask me if we should go to work or not.  At 3 pm we were going crazy, so I finally phoned them: I got one of the totally unsympathetic nurses who informed me the pathology lab had a machine down so they still didn’t have the results.  Did I want them to phone me when they came in?  WTF?!?  No, I had a blood test for no reason.  The IVF Unit closes at 4 pm and have been winding down for over-the-holiday closure so it can be impossible to get someone on the weekend, so I phoned again at 3:55.  I got the same unsympathetic nurse who sighed at me and said one of the other nurses was on another phone trying to get me.  She transferred me (to one of the nurses I love) and apparently my levels were 7683, so had doubled almost 5 times in the week since my last test.  Which is good, but of course that was what was in my blood – it doesn’t prove that my levels hadn’t plateaued or were going down.  She told me to relax, but also told me she realised that was impossible.  And to just take it easy the whole weekend.  That was my Friday the 17th of December 2010.

17 December 2009  I’d been having some spotting since Sunday.  At my obstetrician appointment on the 16th my OB did a scan and said all was well.  I woke up on the 17th with heavier spotting, but I went to work.  It got even heavier.  I didn’t care what the OB had said the day before, I was worried.  I tried phoning his offices – and the number was disconnected.  Huh?!  I checked the number on the ‘Information for Obstetric Patients’ he’d given me; same number.  I googled and googled until I found a different number for him – and finally got through.  I was supposed to be chairing a meeting but I totally blew it off and ran into a stairwell to escape the charming open-planness of my office.  My obstetrician wasn’t available but my call was passed to the midwife.  She told me to get to my GP and get a urgent referral for an ultrasound.  I got an emergency appointment and taxi to my GP.  She sent me to an ultrasound place I wasn’t too keen on (a few months previously they’d mistakenly diagnosed me as having a lump in my breast which when I went to have it biopsied didn’t exist) but at least it was an appointment.  I was told to drink a stupid amount of water, then met up with my husband to get me to the hospital.  Where of course I had to wait in a hallway, in pain from stress and too much water in the bladder.  We got a trainee sonographer.  Great.  But we saw dear Blobby, waving at us, very alive, and measuring perfectly for his 14 weeks and 1 day.  We were told all was well and were sent off.  I returned to the same hospital approximately 12 hours later with my dead son.

It was a very stressful, strange weekend and horrible reminiscent of the same weekend last year.  Scott was out at a work Christmas do the evening of the 17th, just as he was in 2009.  He also was away for most of the 18th.  The Fertile One distracted me though.  We had a picnic in a park between our houses.  She and her partner let me relax on the picnic blanket with her bub while they ran around with our dogs playing frisbee.  Looking up at the sky I remembered something I’d forgotten: that day a year ago when I was in my hospital room waiting for a D & C, I spent much of the day looking at the sky.  All the clouds looked like Blobby that day, and it was the same on Saturday.  Bright blue sky and Blobby-esque clouds.  After the picnic I just went to bed for the rest of the day.  The bleeding had increased again and was bright red.  And I felt very alone.  I was distracted by DVDs and messages from a friend.  And tried to get myself into a chocolate coma.

Well I’ve gotten past that weekend and even past Sparkie’s first scan.  I’ve seen a heartbeat.  But I keep having pink or black discharge; I’m just so scared.  Last night it was bright red and heavier again.  I feel quite alone – between the support of my IVF clinic and not yet a patient of my obstetrician.  And of course it’s the holidays; my RE will be in Paris and there won’t be any nurses at the end of a phone.  My only experience of pregnancy ended in death, and it just seems such a crazy idea that it could be any different.

74 more doses of Crinone to go.

Blank Spots

19/10/2010 4 comments

I know I have a lot of blank patches in my life from when Blobby was born and the month or more after.  Some things I remember vividly, like actually giving birth, and relive at scarey moments I have no control over.  But others are blank spots I’m not likely to ever fill.  For the most part that’s fine; it’s not a time I want to remember that well.

Over the weekend I was doing the sort of cleaning in my bedroom you do when you’re really cleaning, not just tidying.  Putting books back on shelves in order, going through tonnes of paperwork from various cyles, looking through and discarding things.  While I was going through some books I found a card I’d obviously been using as a bookmark.  It’s a gorgeous card, and I immediately thought of my good friend M.  It’s SO her; if you remember this photo I posted after I got back from visiting her (and meeting her for the first time in the meat world) you’ll realise why.  This is just a quick photo of the card:

Card from Mundoo

It was like getting a hug from her.  I didn’t remember seeing the card ever before but wondered where I could get it so I could send it to her.  I opened the card up and read the message inside:

Get well!!  I hope you feel better soon.  I miss our daily chats via twitter.

It was from M.  Obviously sent to me during my crazy post-miscarriage hermit time.  During the time even getting support from people I love hurt too much.  I was in a parallel universe and couldn’t let anyone in.  I’m part surprised and part not surprised that I don’t remember this card.  I’m not surprised because there’s a lot I don’t remember.  I couldn’t hold things in my head at the time – I’d make lists of things like ‘fill water bottle; take shower; feed Lottie’ so I wouldn’t forget them.  I couldn’t drive because I was too distracted.  My husband and I would be in the car going somewhere, and I’d have to ask him where we were going because I’d forgotten and I’d get scared.  But I obviously loved this card because I was using it as a book mark.  (At that time I only re-read books I knew well because I would often sort of ‘wake up’ from reading and not even know what book it was.)  And also because it was from M, who I missed but just couldn’t talk to at that time.

Finding this card reminds me how wonderfully supportive some of my friends were.  I stayed offline for a while – which is very unlike me who now usually checks email and twitter on my phone even in the middle of the night.  After a while I got back online but just lurked.  Evenutally I think I just DMed a couple pleople I was especially close to – probably M, F, and DB.

It feels strange to find this blank spot.  But it also feels like a warm hug across space and time.

I Love You Blobby

16/06/2010 4 comments

I’m really missing my little boy Blobby today.  It should have been his due date.

12 Weeks