Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day – October 15th

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October 15th is a day of remembrance for those who have lost children – before or after birth. It seems a little odd to me to have a day of remembrance because really, you never forget.

There’s a service being held in the Chapel in CUMH today – but we made the decision not to go. I worry that my large twin-filled belly might be difficult for some people there to see – depending on where they are with their grief or loss at the moment.

2011 was a difficult year for us. We lost our first pregnancy so unexpectedly, after seeing a heartbeat and everything. My heart broke and has never been the same again. Our second and third losses weren’t quite the same shock. Now we knew firsthand that things don’t always go so well. But they seeded in us a deep and abiding fear that has followed us all the way through this pregnancy. I ask myself every day “Is this the moment when our happiness is all going to be snatched away again?”. So far we’ve been lucky.

I know we are far from the only couple in our group of friends who’ve experienced this kind of loss. Some of you have felt you could share your story with us, and the statistics alone tell us that one in four women will experience pregnancy or infant loss. I suppose the point of this remembrance day is to give a voice to that grief that so many of us have unfortunately felt.

There’s a “thing” going on tonight – called The Wave of Light where at 7pm – your local time – you’re encouraged to light a candle. I’ll be doing that. For all our little muskateer embryo-fetuses that didn’t make it to see us in real life.

The fishes will laugh as they swim out of the path

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Thing-a-week has been somewhat of a failure over the last two weeks. What I’ve been attempting is to spend a solid 7 days getting up at 5 am every morning. I didn’t think it would be so difficult and on the mornings that I’ve managed it, it’s been an absolutely wonderful experience; the silent brightness of a world awake before people start moving about in it; the feeling of getting many tasks accomplished before I would usually even be awake; more hours in the day …

Well, the last one has been being my downfall. If you want to get up at 5am, you probably need to be asleep (regularly at least) before midnight. This is the part that I just haven’t been accomplishing – for one reason or another. And while I can manage one, or even two nights on 4 hours sleep, that’s where it starts to fall down. At the same time, I believe I *can* make it more routine for myself, and I feel that a longer term goal of getting up at 6am every day (especially on days I’m not working) will be achievable.

So, my plan – such as it is – is to keep trying with the 5am starts until I get 7 of them in a row, but move onto my next thing-a-week from next Monday. I am, as yet, undecided what it will be. Handwritten letter a day to a friend was suggested by someone and I might just go for that.

In other news, the parents’ boat is returning this Sunday and I’m very excited to have them home. Hence this blog title being ripped from Bob Dylan’s “When the Ship Comes In”.

Almost me … Almost you

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So, just a brief update about my new mini-project(s) – the Thing a Week!

It started when I tried giving up facebook for a week (more on that in another post when I get around to it), followed by an impetus to tweet one #positivething in my life, for a week (inspired by the remarkable Jay’s post here). I gained so much for myself with both projects (and I’ll blog more details on each week when I get a chance) that I decided to start a mini project each week.

I feel that this is something that will allow me to “taste” different things that I might want to incorporate parts of into my life, and generally try to become more positive and more adventurous. But without the overhead of trying too many things at once – I will only commit to one mini project a week, and I will attempt to blog my findings at the end of each week. (I will do catch-up blog posts on Week 1 & 2 shortly in the next few days.)

So .. so far, I have:

  • Week 1: No Facebook
  • Week 2: Tweet a #positivething a day
  • Week 3: Give up negative thoughts and statements (this is going to be hard!)

Other things I’m considering: Getting up at X-time every morning (e.g. 5/6 a.m.), Veganism, No TV shows /movies (I already have no TV channels, but I watch things other ways), TBD, TBD ….

So, if you have suggestions for things I could try for a week, I’d love to hear them! I am not guaranteeing I will try all suggestions – this is not a challenge site (yet ;) – but I’ll certainly consider them!

Thanks for reading my somewhat badly explained and scattered post!

It’s damned if you don’t, and it’s damned if you do

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This is not the blog post I was meant to be writing. It was meant to be 4 weeks later and a lot happier.

Some of you may have guessed from our relative silence about the whole thing that our most recent embryo transfer wasn’t a complete failure. You’d have been right – on St. Patrick’s Day I learned I was pregnant. On April 1st we had our 6-week scan and everything looked on track with a perfect little heart-beat and everything. We had a small bit of bleeding later that evening, but as it didn’t continue, we managed to curtail our panic, and follow along the usual path. Things seemed fine and normal; I felt a little queasy, I felt a little achey, we both felt ecstatic and hopeful.

Yesterday morning, at the 8-week scan, we learned that our tiny baby no longer had a beautiful heart-beat, and seemed to have stopped growing at some point the previous week. We were, and are feeling pretty kicked and heartsore. I don’t really feel like talking about it, and I’m not sure when I will. But I suppose I wanted to not hide it either. He (or she) lived for a while. His heart beat and now it doesn’t anymore, and we feel a very very keen loss.

So, what now? Apparently we wait. For reasons of protocol, we must wait until a second scan on Wednesday to “confirm” before I can stop taking progesterone and oestrogen. But don’t let that fool you into thinking there is hope, there isn’t, this is just procedure. (So please don’t ask me if it “just might be too early” or anything like that, because it hurts to try to explain again).

After that, we wait and hope I miscarry naturally (the very thought of which makes me shake with fear), because the alternative is a D&C and that could impact future conception.

After that … well, I wonder if things would be different if we didn’t have four frozen embryos still waiting for  us. I don’t know when we’ll cycle again. Decisions like that are a long way in the future, but I think we will try again. We’re slowly getting through the hours at the moment, functioning as best we can, crying sometimes and holding each other a lot. We don’t regret in the slightest the people we told of our pregnancy, for they got to celebrate the happiness of the brief new life, and mourn with us and support us now.

Today we planted a small garden for Aramis (that was his embryo name, after René d’Aramis de Vannes from the Three Muskateers) and our other 3 muska-embryos. One of the little rose bushes is called “Dawn Chorus”, the other “Thinking of You”. (You can click to see bigger images.) It helped a bit.

So please please please, let me, let me, let me …

IF, Life 25 Comments »

Which is one of the reasons I’ve avoided writing it up until now.

I’ve been wanting to write a blog post about our infertility issues (should that be our fertility issues? I feel we’re doing marvelously at the old INfertility…), but it’s difficult to know what to say. And some days I feel a bit raw and I really worry that I’ll get upset by people’s comments. So, while I’ve tried to be pretty open on Twitter, that land of sound-bites and truncated @-replies, I’ve kept away from actually blogging about it.

Okay. I guess I’ll start at the beginning. I met Gareth, Gar is awesome, we love each other, and we decided that most definitely how fan-bloody-tastic would it be to be involved in the creation of something that had a little bit of both of us, and try to give it love and a good life and all sorts of stuff like that. It’s not an unusual story.

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Harder Better Faster Stronger

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While performing Jala Neti this morning, I had a thought about something. Not an entirely earth-shattering one, but one that made me start to see things in a slightly different light.

“We’re often quite violent with our bodies”.

I was letting the water run from one nostril to another, and had such as strong impulse to want to force it through faster. I think this is indicative of a lot of how we treat ourselves – or at least, I know I do, and I suspect many of us are guilty of the same. We scrub our skin clean, we vigorously brush our teeth, we squeeze ourselves into ill-fitting clothes or shoes, we force food into us at speed – and all at the same time, with an judgey inner monologue criticizing ourselves for not doing it better. Or faster. Or whatever-er.

And I don’t think we need to be at such odds with our environment.

I’m not much of a one for creationist theory or higher-power spirituality; I believe that we evolved in this universe, to fit this universe. And to me it makes sense that we’d be mostly set-up for the things we encounter in our environment – certainly the basics like eating, washing and dressing. I think we do ourselves harm by the kind of constant push-back against our natural flow that I often find myself engaging in. If our nasal passages need cleaning, maybe it makes sense that the acceleration due to gravity is the optimum rate for them to be cleaned. So, I’m resolved to try to be more mindful in many of the things that I do.

I’m currently doing my best to sip my coffee and not burn my mouth in anxious gulping down. I’m taking bites of the food that I want to eat for breakfast (which today turned out to be fruit, but tomorrow might be croissants – but I’m resolved to try to listen at least). I’m trying not to stress about the million & one things I need to get done today (as every day), but approach them more calmly and within the flow of my day.

And when I use my neti pot, I’m going to relax and imagine warm heavy rain peacefully falling.

So, like I said. A little, probably obvious thought, but one I’m finding has changed my perspective a lot. And I’m really hoping it will work out and not make me late for everything. I’ll keep you posted.

Protected: Teaching Reflections – before the beginning

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Whatever made me glow, It’s gone now

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“… But I pretend I’m having it still.”

The last two weeks were without bloggery on my part (despite the fact that my many reminder widgets duly reminded my of my duties). My father was visiting and we took something of an impromptu holiday for much of his time here.

And now I’m back in front of a blank screen, all the thoughts I thought I had to share have somehow escaped. Possibly they are out chasing birds with the puppy.

This is likely to be something of a patchy blog update. I’ll jump from topic to topic, no doubt. Probably quite like having a conversation with me. Or a flea.

I had a bit of a trip in a Time Machine this evening (oddly enough, this seems to be a metaphor other friends have been using on their blogs and the like, recently). I was watching a recent episode of the TV show Skins which – through characters and music pulled me so thoroughly into a past mind state, it was scary.  I’ve experienced a similar thing reading certain books. Murakami’s Norwegian Wood comes to mind, in particular. (That’s twice in two blog posts I’ve linked to books by Murakami. People might start to get the impression I read nothing else!)

Anyway, I’ve escaped from the past for now, so onwards with blogging.

Puppy got hit by a car. I doubt that is anything close to news to anyone reading this blog, as you have likely seen my Twitter feed on the day.

“I can smile about it now, but at the time it was terrible.”

It was shocking and traumatic, and I think she recovered from the incident more quickly than we did. It brings the pre-sad for the day she will die. A terrible type of time-travel to be indulging in, given that she’s less than a year old!  So, I’ll tuck it down in the back of my brain, shelved with thoughts of my own future demise, buried under a flimsy pile of sunshine, candy and tea. A pile not as dusty as I’d like .. 

I’m not managing to shake this funk as quickly as I’d like.

This week is mainly about reorganizing and re-focusing. I’m being a lot less productive than ideal on a number of fronts (nearly all of them, in fact). To this end I’ve created a Remember The Milk account where the main recurring task is to set up a To-Do list for the day. It them IMs me over Google Talk to remind me of what I’m supposed to be doing, rather than browsing the Internet.  

I’ll reserve judgement until I’ve been using it for at least a month, but so far I’m pretty impressed.  I’m failing at getting it to integrate with iCal or GoogleCalendar in the ways I’d like, but seeing as I don’t really use those that much, it doesn’t bother me.

Anyway – next on the list is a date with Alice in Wonderland, so I’d best get my best pop-corn eating smile on. 


Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

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I first started running for exercise when I moved to Japan. It seemed to fit somehow with the new world and new life I was seeking out for myself. And I enjoyed the montage-life picture of myself running along the river side in the early morning light, back-dropped by strange Asian architecture.

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I’ve really come to hate my body – and all the things that it requires in this world

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Oh dear and few bloggers, since last we spoke a Warped Convention has been and gone, leaving me exhausted and with a sore throat. Running was sadly absent from the chocolate and fire-chicken-wing fueled weekend (though calling something that stretched from Thursday to Monday a weekend may be slightly inaccurate).

I did my usual Play One Game at a con – as I have done for all 5 I have now attended. It’s getting more fun, but I still feel I would be reluctant to commit to anything like regular role-playing. I like to claim that it’s down to a desire not to commit to scheduled activity, but there’s not a small part of it that’s down to being unsociable. I actively crave time in my own head – especially after long bouts of time in large groups. With Itzacon a mere 2 weeks away I had better hibernate in my room in order to ready myself sufficiently.

In the meantime, I am working away on my piece for the Torture Company challenge. I am pretty sure most people who read this blog have been pinged to come join the Artistic Challenge Facebook group – where we have a Theme a Fortnight to create (anything anything anything) to.  I’m attempting my very first digital coloring of a drawing, which is coming out okay, I think. It’s slow going and I’m already after realising mistakes I’ve made (which I’m not going to rectify at this point, I think. Shall just “learn for the future”.).

Anyway, I poke any and all of my readers who is interested in making fun stuff to check it out – even just have a lurk and see what other people create. I’m excited to see the results of this first one.

As for me, I will take this sore sore throat and head to bed, internetless and dreamful for at least 8 hours.

Be well.

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