Rags and tatters

To all those who came, and who will come, here via NaComLeavMo, err, not good, huh? I am particularly sorry for those who, for whatever reason, ended up going away feeling they’d been walloped upside the head with a two-by-four. Believe me, if I’d known I’d be facing you all with this kind of crap, I’d’ve never joined up. As it is, I’ll probably get around to doing some commenting at some point, but I think I’m allowed off playing it strictly by the rules for a while.

Therefore, to all those of you who did leave comments, such kind comments, I don’t know how to say thank you. It means so much to me that so many people where able to say not only a few kind words, but the RIGHT kind words.

Meanwhile WordPress, the fools, let you see the day you got most visits in your blog stats. They call it your ‘best day ever’. Guess what day that is for me at the moment. Go on, guess. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

Physically, this is taking forever. I counted on my fingers – I have been bleeding, on and off, for very nearly two weeks now. The doctor I saw Tuesday assured me it could take another two weeks, I suppose because despite all the blood the pathetic little remnants that should have been Pikaia were still firmly in there. I hadn’t really been in much pain either, until last night, when my lower back started hurting like the blazes. I knocked myself out with opiates (hurrah for codeine) and actually got six hours sleep and a long complicated dream about book-reviews and prawn-catching in a flooded castle. Now, I am cramping more but bleeding less.

Seeing H so sad is breaking my heart.

On Monday we go back to the EPU for another scan. We have to decide whether we want a D&C if nothing much has budged. I think we will. When the doctor first asked me, minutes after showing me the ultrasound of the little, misshapen thing that wasn’t my baby, I simply couldn’t answer the question. I was quite angry to be asked at all. How the hell should I know what I want? I’ve just been told my precious pregnancy is doomed. I don’t know anything except that I want to be a long long way away from this little dark room full of briskly kind strangers. But now, after a couple of days sat at home bleeding irresolutely, I am quite sure I couldn’t stand more than another week of it. If it’s not over by Monday, make it be over.

H has taken a few days of work. His boss has kindly encouraged him to, on the grounds that I need him. Which is very true. But H needs to grieve and recover as well. It seems to me society tends to blank the poor partners and assume this is all about the miscarrying woman. And yes, we get all the physical horrors to deal with. But would I rather be H, watching the love of my life suffer and know there’ll be no tiny longed-for person for her to hold in January? I think I’d rather be me.

I had to email work, and my tutor at university, to explain my prolonged absence and total inability to finish my course-work on time. I cried my eyes out over both emails. God DAMN, but writing them sucked.

I now have to call the ACU to cancel the viability scan I was to have on Monday, and ask them what I should do when. I assume they’ll be quite pleased – though I hope to God they have the tact not to say so – as I clearly respond very nicely to quite a low dose of Clomid. I assume I’ll be doing a few more Clomid cycles in a few months’ time. It seems completely irrelevant at the moment. Whatever could future cycles and possibilites have to do with this fucking horrible week here now?

My Mum is coming over this afternoon to see me. This was supposed to be my birthday treat – lunch and chatting out with Mum. I am refusing to leave the house, so it will be tea and skulking in with Mum.

No doubt Mum will leave me feeling loved, comforted, exasperated, alternately six years old and sixty, and vaguely homicidal. She is unbelievably ignorant about the mechanics of the female body – and she has three daughters! She asked me on the phone on Tuesday night whether they couldn’t ‘stop it’ by ‘stitching the womb closed’. My mouth politely told her that no, that was for much bigger, older babies who were otherwise fine. It wouldn’t help in my case. Inside my head, I raged at her for minutes on end. Stupid bloody woman. As if I could want a blighted ovum to be sealed inside me. I am glad H is here as well. I don’t think I will be very good at dealing with well-meaning cretinous questions and suggestions.

Another of her suggestions: ‘We shall have to hold a little ceremony.’ My mouth: ‘Hmmm’. Inside my head, general inarticulate ‘butt the fuck out!’ screaming. We shan’t have to do a bloody thing I don’t want to do.


Mum has been and gone. She brought flowers, white and pale pink and beautifully scented. And the first thing she did was grill me about whether there was anything I could have done/ could do next time to prevent this. I tell myself she meant well, and wanted to help, and was not in any way accusing me of fucking up this pregnancy. I do not cry. I give her a brief lesson in genetics, crap-shoot of. She looks thoughtful and mentions using my eggs in a surrogate’s womb. I do not hit her with a chair. I say hotly ‘but there’s NOTHING WRONG with my uterus!’. I should know – no uterus in the entire family has been more thoroughly checked over. She goes off on a tangent about special ‘barefoot technology’ running shoes, and how wearing some might help. Even I, used to my mother’s knit-your-own-granola lunacy, am baffled by this one and disappoint her by showing no interest whatsoever in the stupid shoes. I forcibly wrestle the subject away to other family members. We amicably discuss them instead. Towards the end of the visit, she talks about both of us taking a day to go and see my grandmother. I say I seem to have run out of spare days at the moment, what with work and study. She cheerfully says we could do it during my maternity leave. I am gobsmacked. It transpires she means my next pregnancy’s maternity leave. I say gruffly that I don’t want to think about that. She carries on, making a joking remark about how I’ll probably be spending all of it lying down anyway. At this point I just want her to go away. Luckily, the traffic is preying on her mind and she goes shortly after.

I love her dearly, really I do. She is generous and loving and I know she is so sad for me right now. I must keep telling myself this.

Meanwhile, the rain pours down outside.

20 responses to “Rags and tatters

  • thalya

    You sound in remarkably good shape for someone who is experiencing such a loss. Look after yourself, ok?

  • thalya

    Oh yes, and see if you can have an ERPC rather than a D&C. Much better for your long term uterine health.

  • Rebecca

    May, I found you through NCLM, and I’m glad I did. I really like your blog and plan to stick around. 🙂

    I am glad you posted today. I was wondering how you were getting on (as I think they say in your part of the world).

  • Candid Engineer

    Here thru NCLM. I’m really sorry to hear of your bad news and bad day. I’m not educated in all of the shit surrounding infertility, but I can appreciate how heart-breaking it is for you and how it doesn’t help to have an unintentionally unsupportive mother on your hands. I hope you can spend some time loving your husband and gradually heal.

  • Rachel

    Isn’t it amazing how little people know about the human body? I’m glad that you can appreciate your mother, even if it seems that she doesn’t exactly have the knack for saying the right thing all the time. I really hope your physical pain is over soon. Please keep posting and letting us know how you’re doing.

  • Hairy Farmer Family


    Your lips must be damn near bitten through. You poor, poor girl. I feel your fury and exasperation and misery, I really do; this is all so uncannily familiar.

    I think medical science must have either discovered or really got behind cerclage in the 60s and applied it willy-nilly to every miscarried woman regardless, because no less than 3 of my Mum’s friends asked whether I ‘couldn’t ask the Drs for a stitch?’ I always felt as if they thought I was making facile excuses when I gently explained the obvious about, you know, already dead babies and blocked exits. Because not one of them ever looked convinced!

    It took nearly 3 weeks for one of my uteri to expel a fetus once. The trip to the hospital with the poor little sac inside a margarine carton just destroyed me. F*ck only knows why they wanted it, I wished I’d buried it in the garden now. I’d only just managed to grab a bed-pan in time in any event. I’d really recommend the D&C if nothing appears soon.

    WordPress is a bugger. Mel at Stirrup Queens has successfully orchestrated a Replace-the-Best-Page effort for Our Own Creation today because of exactly the same sort of thing.

    My mother, my nan and my MIL have collectively and singularly deserved annihilating over the years with many a heavy chair. I never cease to be surprised at how many feet they manage to insert into their thoughtlessly flapping mouths. And you KNOW there’s no actual malicious intent to wound and maim, it’s just… inconsideration? lack of empathy? misinformation?DOWNRIGHT BLOODY STUPIDITY?! Ahh, I dunno. Whatever it is, it adds to your burden when you’re already low. And I’m so sorry, coz I’d really like for you not to have to suffer that.

    It’s so bloody unfair of life that you should be leaving such FUNNY comments on my site, and I’m leaving these wretched attempts at consolation on yours. I do wish it weren’t so. Poor May.

  • Aphra Behn

    I think it might be helplessness as well, and feeling that it was easier when scraped knees could be washed with dettol (or marigold water) and kissed better. Our mothers feel they should be able to make the unhappiness go away and feel helpless when they can’t. For some reason it’s very rare that they learn to treat us as peers. And of course you’re right. They can turn out to be astonishingly and shockingly ignorant.

  • Hairy Farmer Family

    I have started at the beginning of your archives, and I feel as if I’m settling down with a brand-new book from one of my favourite authors. Coz I just KNOW i’m going to love you!

  • Robyn

    My mother was a fully paid up member of the knit-your-own-granola club as well. Excrutiating pain from endo and adenomyosis? It’s all due to my lack of positive thinking. Hideously heavy periods? 47,000 various (revolting) herbal teas/vitamins/concoctions suggested. Bicormuate uterus? Should have kept going to see the chiropractor. WTF???? Not sure how he was going to manipulate that out of existance.

    Over the years, just learnt to nod and mutter “Mmmm, sounds interesting. Might look into that” at the right moments. And as you say, their intentions are good.

    Sorry about the continuing crap. Wishing you a gentle time over the next few days.

  • deanna

    Oh, sweet May……I’m so very sorry I missed your earlier post about this terrible, unjust sadness.

    My heart is just in pieces for you.

  • Rita

    When I’m feeling overwhelmed by the ‘storms’ of life, I always think of Owl calling out to Piglet as Piglet is being swept away, “Be Brave, little Piglet. Be Brave.”
    Sending you positive healing vibes

  • DC

    Thank you for the update. I have been thinking about you. I hope you and H are able to lean on each other during this difficult time. Sending lots of good thoughts and hugs your way.

  • geohde


    I am sorry (again). Having a miscarriage is a tough thing to go through, and I’m sure you will probably get more well-intentioned but daft advice from people out in the real world.

    It is okay, as long as it doesn’t become a habit, to belt them occasionally,



  • Katie

    I’m glad my mother hasn’t heard of the cerclage as I’m sure she’d recommend it too… But you can tell your mother I’ve got Maasai barefoot trainers and I’ve had FOUR miscarriages so obviously they are making it worse…

  • Katie

    And just another one to try and bump up today’s comment count…

  • Kim

    So sorry. I know having experienced loss that there is not much else to say. I think you are a wonderful writer!

  • Katt

    There are no words that can make this any easier for you I’m sure. Please just know that I am one more person thinking of you and wishing you strength through all of this.

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