Item – towards the end of October, 2009, I discovered I was pregnant for the second (possibly third. Bastard chemicals) time. And promptly miscarried. Dramatically. (Who’d’ve thought such an early miscarriage would make such a bloody mess?). I was, I swear, not really thinking about this particular miscarriage at all. The subject of miscarraiges generally, admittedly. But I do seem to have some kind of ghastly internal calendar app that goes ‘bing!’ a week or so before the anniversary of something horrible.

Item – The 15th of October is the increasingly internationally recognised Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. I didn’t want to make a big deal of it. Making a big deal of it makes my skin feel crawly and several sizes too large, and the pink-and-blue ribbon, lavender-everything-else, angels-in-heaven aesthetic of it all makes me feel sick. Which is, I know, deeply unkind of me, as many many women get a great deal of comfort out of the idea of their lost babies being angels, and pastels and babies are inextricably linked in the public consciousness. But I am an atheistical snarkazoid and think of my dead embryos in shades of ivory, midnight, and blood. Anyway, there it is. A big event in my tiny, lopsided online community. I nerved myself to mention it on F*ckB**k. I was not going to post about it much here. That’s where I am, grieving-wise, or thought I was (but see next item, for Foolish May Is Foolish).

Item – However, I did want to be home by 7pm to light a candle, and join the Wave of Light following the sunset round the planet. We’ve done this, H and I, for the past four years. We talked about doing it a few days before hand. H saw my FB post. And then we went our separate ways – I was having lunch with my girlfriends (huge long post somewhere in the works about having girlfriends, especially these girlfriends) in another city entirely, and H had an important meeting/rehearsal thing for a Thing he is doing which is not my business to spread all over the internets. H can do that if he likes. (And it makes me so proud I think I might just kvell myself into a spasm). I had a simply marvellous day out. However, the train home went tits-up on me and I knew I was going to be late, later than 7, anyhow, and I couldn’t get hold of H. H’s mobile phone, I could get hold off, but he wasn’t answering it, so… Well, actually, so I left him an increasingly angry and frantic set of texts and missed calls, and got home to find him still not there, and lit the damn candle at 7:30 pm, and proceeded to have a text-message row with the now responsive H, who’d simply been somewhere very noisy (‘pubs‘, I believe they’re called) and couldn’t hear his phone. The which excuse I’d buy if it weren’t for the fact we have a row about his bloody phone and the fact he can’t hear it and therefore doesn’t answer it every few months for the past four years. H was extremely sorry and repentant to realise he’d forgotten the 7pm candle thing, and even more sorry and repentant to realise he’d really pissed me off. But still. I was really pissed off. I am still really pissed off, but self-aware enough to realise that a lot of this is to do with Slough of Despond also hormones and therefore it isn’t actually fair to still be pissed off with H. So I sublimate, and am pissed off with everybody.

Item – There was a blood-curdling story on the BBC news, that doctors might be diagnosing anembryonic miscarriaged prematurely, and therefore performing D&Cs on viable pregnancies. This is of a piece with the whole Campaign for Better Miscarriage Care, really. Now, before anyone panics, I know, I am sure, that my own D&C, for my first miscarriage, was performed on a very dead and anembryonic pregnancy indeed. I had a scan at week six, and a follow-up scan more than a week later that confirmed that the gestational sac had not only failed to produce a foetal pole, or a heartbeat, but had actually shrunk a little and collapsed into a weird oblong. No, my PTSD-type reaction was, of course, partly induced by the spiral of miserable reminiscence I was whizzing down into like a penny in a coin vortex funnel, yes, but it was also empathic. I couldn’t sleep for thinking of all the women out there who had read this and were now… thinking… that about their doctors and themselves.

Item – Speaking of unfortunate news stories, someone at work – luckily a stranger to me – was speaking loudly to her friends the other day about how the NHS should not be wasting precious resources on fertility treatments. After all, child-bearing is a choice, and people shouldn’t have to pay for others’ choices. She said this while pushing a buggy with two children in it. I, tax-paying fool that I am, am paying for her disgusting spawn to be immunised, to be treated for their coughs and colds at the GP’s, to be hospitalised if there’s an accident or severe illness, to be educated, and if she loses her job, which she might, economy in pan etc., and I keep mine, I will be paying for her hideous whingeing little snot-and-chocolate-covered grubs to be fed, housed, kept warm and clothed via social security. And, you know, I don’t begrudge anyone else, my taxes on behalf of their children’s health and well-being and education, not a penny of it. I’m a socialist, I believe in national health care and education and benefits. Her, and all the others who think my kids can rot in limbo because they are, after all, a mere ‘choice‘, I begrudge every single fucking penny, from the failed STD clinic free condom through every scan and midwife visit right up until her crotch-fruit can pay their own fucking taxes.

Item – A friend, who is drifting away to the furthest reaches of friend-hood, has been posting pictures of her (very beautiful) child on FaceBook (perhaps I should stay well away from FuckBook for a bit). I should have a child the exact same age as hers. And, naturally, twice as beautiful. It – oh God, I’ve turned into that woman – stung. Our friendship really started falling apart when I miscarried and she sailed on into a healthy, normal pregnancy, and birth, and motherhood, and I lost more babies and she… stopped talking to me. This friend is now trying, laudably, bless her, to get back in touch, and I, less laudably, want to say to her ‘my life is a bit foul, really, and H and I are slogging through a seemingly endless trough of shit, and funnily enough quite a few my friends, noteably the ones who had no problems at all conceiving and carrying to term, simply dropped me and ran and this made me feel no better at all. Incidentally, I’ve lost at least one more pregnancy since you last asked, and now I’m awaiting surgery. Are you now going to regale me with ninety-seven quadrillion adorable-baby-related anecdotes? Let me stop you right there.’

Item – Oh, and there’s my job. I know it’s bad form to complain about one’s job in the current economic climate. One should adopt an attitude of uncritical adoring gratitude. But my job is currently driving me round. The. Twist. The students are demanding, stupid, lazy, selfish, noisy, and did I say stupid? Well, a lot of them are stupid. Money doesn’t talk, it swears, to quote the one-and-only Bob Dylan. Most of my colleagues are lovely, clever, sensible beings. A few of them are idle, vague, confused, lazy, thoughtless, difficult, spiteful, and whiny. I can’t get from one end of the day to the other without having to clear up, sort out, rearrange, delay, or reschedule at least an hour’s work because one of them has fucked up or arsed around or been utterly unbothered. And someone is possibly pregnant. I wouldn’t mind – she’s a nice person and why shouldn’t the nice people have babies? – but a certain gossipy cadre of staff (who, funnily enough, share a large chunk of Venn Diagram with the spiteful, whiny, lazy ones) have gone into Noisy Speculation Overdrive. I hope said Cadre get piles. Then at least they won’t be able to just sit there while they refuse to work and loudly snivel on and on about everyone and everything that is so very not their business.

Item – the two things I wanted out of life in my 30s – a baby, and to write a book. If I can’t have one, the other doubles, trebles, in importance. About this, I had such a fucking melt-down on Sunday I think my head exploded. Certainly it felt as if it had exploded. Vicious circle – I am so tired and depressed and unwell that after a full day’s (unsatisfactory) work, I have no energy to write. After a few days’ not writing, the depression and anxiety get worse, which, you know, helps, also, vicious circle perpetual motion motor right there.

12 responses to “Triggers

  • kylie

    Oh, that sounds not fun. Big (virtual) hugs from the other side of the planet.

    Male inability to hear cell phones- maybe they are set at a difficult frequency to hear- I have noticed that the phone is rarely answered when a quick response would be required. One solution is to have toe-curlingly embarrassing ring tone- but that is not so fun the rest of the time.

  • MFA Mama

    Arse. Feck. Also? CROTCH-FRUIT. I die.

  • Valery Valentina

    atheistical snarkazoid, I love that. me too. I didn’t know about the 15th, but I think I spent the entire evening gazing at a candle, tuning everyone out, reminiscing.
    Sorry about H and the stupid phone thing….

  • Dr Spouse

    I hate noisy speculation overdrive. None of their damn business.

  • a

    “Her, and all the others who think my kids can rot in limbo because they are, after all, a mere ‘choice‘, I begrudge every single fucking penny, from the failed STD clinic free condom through every scan and midwife visit right up until her crotch-fruit can pay their own fucking taxes.” Yes! Absolutely!

    Sorry about the missed 7:00 deadline – and the unheard phone, and the late train.

    Noisy Speculation Overdrive should be met with a giant Monty-Pythonesque cartoon mallet to the head. Every time.

  • Shannon

    Crotch-fruit is about to become my new catchphrase for, well, about everything, even that which may not be applicable because heretofore I’d reserved my hero worship for Peter Capaldi’s character in “The Thick of It”, which you may have just subverted.

    Also – I’m so sorry about train screw-ups and being late on the 15th. There’d have been a rush to get you home. Promise.

  • Chickenpig

    All the baby dust, rainbows, and angels is why I haven’t joined in the pregnancy/baby loss community. A loss is a serious thing to me, and angels and rainbows just don’t fit the equation for me. If my husband should pass away and I remarried I wouldn’t call my second husband my ‘rainbow’ husband.

    That being said, I still lit a candle. A loss is a loss, and grief needs to be respected even if you don’t have a casket and a funeral.

    I laughed so hard I cried over ‘Crotch Fruit’. It needs to be the name of a punk rock band. Totally hilarious, and on point.

  • Amber

    I really love your writing, May. It might take time but it will be a wonderful book -of that I am sure.

    “ivory, midnight and blood” -so sad and true and beautiful. I just wish the other side of that beauty wasn’t such pain. So so sorry you and H are going through this.

  • katyboo1

    yep. Pastel angels suck. Truly suck and I am sorry that there is not a more sensible, down to earth space for you to mourn without having to wave sparkly wands etc. I am also sorry that you missed lighting your candle and for so many more things you are having to suffer. And if I am ever being unbearably smug about my children I give you full permission to beat me with my shoe until you feel better. xxx

  • minichessemouse

    Oh may it does sound like a festering pile of steaming fermented arsewank indeed!

    Many hugs and i am around if you want to chat.

  • Lilian

    Fortunately (for me) I’m only in a position to really sympathise with you about the dreadful students and the husband who doesn’t answer his phone. I do empathise with you about everything else, though. *Hugs*

%d bloggers like this: