Small happinesses

Life is really not all bad. You’d be forgiven for thinking that my life is unrelenting doom if you read my last few posts, and I’m still getting my head around the idea of my first ever pregnancy and miscarriage happening within a few weeks of each other. But I did want to mention that there are some good things in life too. (My happy things: T and Dog and chocolate.) I’ve stopped counting the days now, which seems kind of poignant somehow but I feel like the worst of the miscarriage is over so I guess this cycle of IVF and my pregnancy is truly over now. 

We decided a while ago we’d have a little summer break (long weekend) with Dog and that weekend has rolled around now. So it’s nice that we get to spend some time together, and we are both obsessed with Dog and we find it nice to have a little holiday with him. The holiday hasn’t actually started yet as we are leaving tomorrow and have a couple of days next week. We are going to the beach and staying in a dog friendly B&B. It looks lovely on the website. Here’s hoping Dog behaves! Haha. 

Because we don’t have a car we rented one as we live in London where you have to be rich to have a car! We picked it up today so decided to take a trip to IKEA. Because we have a car and because, well, IKEA. It’s a tiny bit bittersweet as I was hoping we could maybe look at nursery things, but we still had a nice time. I’m one of those people who loves hot dogs so I was happy! (For those of you who don’t have IKEA, it’s a Swedish furniture store which also has Swedish food… It’s kind of a way of life!)

  
It really is as basic as it looks. Just goes to show you can cheer me up pretty easily!

T has been really lovely after I said to him that I was feeling sad. He made me dinner last night which was nice as he usually leaves the cooking to me! And my favourite, pancakes for breakfast. He recently ordered a load of pans for me as our pans were quite old, and one of them is a crepe pan = far superior pancakes. This morning we had pancakes made with almond milk. He prefers normal cows’ milk but I prefer not to think of little baby cows being taken away from their mothers. I don’t have the same issue with hens as we always have free range eggs… I don’t see this as such a cruel thing. I am very conflicted – I should be vegan really but there are meats I like, such as bacon and hot dogs and pepperoni, ie the processed meats. I haven’t really gotten to veganism yet, although I often flirt with the idea. 

  
Pancake with golden syrup. I don’t know if you have golden syrup in the U.S./Canada… It’s really nice. Sweeter than maple. I love maple syrup too but we ran out!

Also I’ve had a lot of nice things come through the post. My folks sent a card (Van Gogh’s sunflowers, funnily enough, after spending a day last week piping Van Gogh’s Starry Night onto a cake!), my brother who lives overseas sent a lovely bucket of flowers (literally a bucket!), my sister sent me a bouquet of flowers and a pack of Molton Brown bath and shower gel (I have always loved it), and even my typically unthoughtful brother sent me a card. My folks transferred me some money so I could go and get a massage and facial which I’ve booked for next week when I’ll still be off work. I never usually have time for things like that and what’s nice is one of my friends does beauty treatments so I can go and see her. The few friends I told have messaged me quite a lot to see how I am. My folks would have come to visit but my mum’s been in hospital (hopefully just a standard scheduled surgery) and we had the mini break booked. So I did feel cared about. (T remarked that we should do this every week – typical British dark humour!)

And then, really surprisingly I received this in the post from “all your colleagues at [work]”. Which was a real shocker. 

  
My hand for scale! It is a BIG box of chocolates!

Now don’t get the idea that my work is super nice and sympathetic – I only told one person (the nice partner I do a lot of work for and get on with) that I was ill – and I what I actually said was that I needed an emergency op (because I did at the time – I was scheduled for the ERPC this week but the miscarriage superseded it… I would *never* tell my work about TTC or miscarriage or even pregnancy unless it’s unavoidable, as we already get sidelined enough as females). He’s really nice and because of the nature of my work I end up working for lots of different people (most of whom are nowhere near as nice), so I don’t have a line manager as such who’d be responsible for sending stuff like this. I’m guessing it must have been him who asked his PA to send it to me or something, as they typically aren’t very thoughtful at work… Nobody sent anything last year when I had the op for my endometriosis. So I’ll definitely have to find out and thank him. 

Aside from that, T and I have been watching mammoth runs of Say Yes To The Dress. It’s his new favourite show after I introduced him to it! Quite funny really. He really is an ideal man although sometimes I think he might be gay! I don’t watch TV that much when he’s not there as I tend to read a lot of books instead, but this past week I’ve been watching junk TV (TLC, my guilty pleasure, I mean, Toddlers and Tiaras… Wtf?!) as I keep dozing off whilst reading, so he’s sort of gotten into it. I do tend to watch a lot of wedding shows as I think he might get the idea by osmosis! (He always says we won’t get married… as I’m already married… That’s a whole ‘nother story which I’ll explain at some point. We’ve been together long enough to be cohabiting, dog, joint bank account and TTC so don’t worry!)

I’m feeling better in myself although I still feel slightly under the weather. I’ve had a bad headache today and yesterday. But most of the bleeding seems to have stopped (for now, touch wood). I’m just trying to take it easy and not do anything too strenuous. I think when I go back to work it will hit me more. Right now without work the majority of stress and upset in my life is absent but as soon as I’m back I’ll feel stressed again, and I think I’ll also realise that I’m not getting to go on maternity leave any time soon. 

Some of our friends who are pregnant keep hassling us to meet up and I had to tell T yesterday that I really didn’t feel up to going to celebrate someone’s pregnancy when I’ve just had a miscarriage. I think he got it. But I do wonder whether he fully understands. He is good to me when I explain to him how I’m feeling, but I sort of feel like it hasn’t really affected him like it’s affected me. I don’t expect it to – I know it’s not a physical thing for him – and I don’t want to drag him down. But I sort of wanted him to understand why I wouldn’t want to go and hang out with our pregnant friends and why it might be difficult for me to hear. 

To be honest – I think most people just find it something that we need to get over quickly, like being dumped or something – like, just get drunk and get over it. I’ve probably even been guilty of feeling like that about other friends. 

I’m not going to get drunk and get over it. 

Also, this is completely irrational but I keep having these little insidious thoughts. (I know these are stupid thoughts so please don’t take them seriously – I just want this blog to be an honest account of my IVF and infertility experience.)

How can people complain when they haven’t had 15 years of infertility and not being pregnant? Six months/a year/two years of infertility is nothing compared to what I’ve been through!

How can people be bothered about “infertility” when they already have one or more children? Why can’t they be grateful for the child(ren) they have? I would be beyond happy with one!

Why is it so goddamn easy for everyone else to get pregnant? Why are overweight/ smoking/ drinking women all mothers? It’s not fair!

Why am I surrounded by pregnant people? Why does everyone apart from me have kids?

Why does everyone we know who wants to get pregnant just get pregnant without even trying? Why does everyone have a honeymoon baby?

Why does everyone we know get pregnant and have children without having any miscarriages? If it happens to 1 in 4, where are all the people I know who’ve had a miscarriage?

I know I’m being completely irrational here, but let’s face it, if you can’t be irrational and self indulgent on your own blog, where can you? And the thing with miscarriages – nobody talks about them, so maybe we know people who have. (Probably not all the honeymoon babies, unless they’ve been trying before.)

That’s the thing. You can’t know anyone else’s truth. Everyone Insta-filters their life. What they tell us is usually the nice stuff. (I only know one friend my age who’s had a miscarriage, and a few older people who have children who’ve mentioned having miscarriages. I think maybe people only talk about them when they are already “safe” with having their kids already.) 

I keep reminding myself that I’m a thousand times happier than I was a few years ago when my marriage was over and I was in a horrible dark place. I have a pretty good (the best I’ve ever had by a long shot) relationship with a guy I love and trust and have fun with (and want to be the father of my child) and I have the most awesome dog in the universe (guaranteed and independently verified by my animal hating dad, and my dad knows everything) and I have a job that might be difficult but I have a job that pays me enough money to live, and I haven’t been made redundant like a few people we know lately, which would be really hard. I have easy access to chocolate and wine and pizza! I mean, I live in freaking paradise!

Those bad things are things I can make myself not think about for minutes and hours at a time. I can read a book and escape from infertility. I can watch a TV show and forget about the stresses of my job. I can cuddle with T and Dog and forget about miscarriage. 

Everyone says to be kind to yourself so that’s what I’m trying to do. I’m not trying right now to lose weight, even though it’s something that bothers me the most. We have two full months after this month before our holiday in October, so that’s a decent time to diet and get rid of some rolls of flab. I am not thinking about work until I go back (I refuse to!). I’m just going to take it easy.

I’m going to remember the small happinesses, and I’m going to stick them all together and see if I can make a big happy.

  
Billboard on our first trip to NYC – T surprised me for our first Valentine’s Day when we’d only been going out a couple of months. I got him a book – I think I got the better deal! NYC is one of our happy places.

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26 comments

  1. Courtney

    Keep in mind that we are done having kids… IVF is behind us… When my sister told me about her latest pregnancy that was not planned (this is her second, his third), I had many of the same thoughts that you laid out above. Here I am past that horrible, dark time, and my gut reaction was, “of course you’re pregnant AGAIN with an oopsie pregnancy. Don’t you dare cry to me about this… Don’t you dare.”. For you to be feeling all of those things you wrote, well, that’s normal and I admire you for putting it out here.

    I’m over the moon for my Australian friend who’s visiting me right now who is pregnant with a surprise baby with her boyfriend of 6 months, but that’s because she desperately wanted kids and the clock is ticking and she wasted time with her first husbands who was a louse. But when she told me the other day, is be lying if I said I didn’t feel some frustration and resentment.

    It never goes away….

    How nice of your coworker! That’s really thoughtful!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nara

      Thank you. I know that my jealous thoughts are just snarky and irrational so I promise you I understand just how silly they are! I think it’s important to be honest about how these things make us feel and also for anyone going through a similar experience to know that they’re not alone. And I’m so grateful for you sharing your feelings and experiences too, and I’m also really happy to know that your story had a happy ending (or middle! It’s not the end!). It gives me hope. Like when I first started blogging I looked around for people with similar experiences and hopefully ones who had experienced similar feelings to the ones I had, and if I scrolled forward they had kids! I’m honestly happy for everyone who has struggled to have children who now has them. And I recognise that my feelings of jealousy and inadequacy are just that – my own and no reflection of the people involved.

      If only life were simple! If only we could always get what we want! Darn it. 🙂

      Like

  2. stealingnectar

    Glad to hear you are letting yourself feel and relax and eat hotdogs. All your thoughts seem in the range of normal 😉 – I think you will get through this as splendidly as any of us that deal with such a horrific and incomprehensible situation. Wishing you the best weekend and week off!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. stealingnectar

    I should probably elaborate…I said “in the range of normal” because I think you are enlightening, funny, and quirky…but other than your own delightful spin on the situation…your thoughts and feelings are so valid. Just wanted to explain in case it didn’t translate so well from my head, to the page, to your head. Xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nara

      Hahaha. I’m never usually described as normal so that’s nice to know! 🙂
      We are at our B&B now, relaxing… Maybe a trip to the beach soon. Thank you for all your support and encouragement – it means so much to me x

      Liked by 1 person

    • Nara

      Haha it’s so silly and snarky but sometimes I can’t rise above it! I’ll just try and remember that I’m on holiday so I can take time off negative thoughts!

      Like

  4. ashleykyleanderson

    I hope you guys have a great time in Orlando. It is always nice to have something like that to look forward to! Make sure to look into Epcot– it is my favorite of the Disney parks in Orlando. Magic Kingdom is great and so much fun, but Epcot has mini versions of several countries around the world (Mexico, Norway, Italy, Germany, Japan, Morocco, etc.) and they have souvenirs & food from each place and even a couple themed rides, and you can do a “beer tour” around the world there, and it is like getting a little somewhat-Americanized taste of each country. They even hire exchange students from the respective countries to work there. Also there are a couple good non-travel rides in that park like Finding Nemo and one called Soarin’ which I’ve never been on but everyone raves about it. Just typing this is making me really want to go back! (My husband’s family lives less than a hour from there).

    Oh and Universal Studios has the Harry Potter World which is amazing. It has a different feel than the studio tour outside London, but they’re both great (though the butter beer is way better in Orlando). It’s less of an exhibit than the Leavesden one and more of a mini-world. The Hogwarts tour is not to be missed! They’ve even recently expanded it to include a train ride. Just make sure that you buy tickets to the Island Adventure park– NOT the Universal Studios one. We made that mistake the first time we went because it is not clear and they do not advertise the difference well. I don’t know a ton about the different parks, but I have been to most of them a few times, so I’d be happy to try to help with any questions.

    The funny thing is, we are moving not far outside of NYC at the end of the summer, which is a place you love, and you live in London which is one of my absolute favorite cities! Perhaps we should work out an home-switch sometime? 😉

    Still thinking of you every day. Hope each one gets easier. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nara

      Aww thank you – you’re the best! We are definitely looking to go to all the parks! We go to Disneyland Paris every year for Christmas (just before). It’s our tradition. It’s really cheesy but we love it and all the Christmas parades! We promised ourselves if IVF didn’t work that we would do the proper Orlando trip. Very excited although it seems like ages away – it’s not till October! And we’re going to NYC too so it will be an all round happy place. It’s impossible to be sad in the Magic Kingdom! I’m looking forward to going to Epcot too – I’ve never been. Went to California Disneyland when I was a kid and it was the best experience of my childhood, haha! I am the American-loving version of an Anglophile! One day we will move to the U.S.! They have a Nemo ride at Paris where you ride on turtles on a roller coaster. And I’ve never been to the Harry Potter world! I read the books but didn’t much care for the films… Maybe we should go as it’s close to London!

      We should SO do a home switch sometime, haha! We live in a fairly rough part though (think Brooklyn before it got trendy!) so possibly not! 😉 How cool is that?

      I can’t tell you how much your encouragement and support means to me. I appreciate it so much. X

      Liked by 1 person

      • ashleykyleanderson

        I’m glad you’re going to multiple parks! Animal Kingdom is the only one I haven’t been to, so I can’t recommend that, but the others are great! You will have a blast.

        It would be amazing if we figured out how to swap places at some point! It actually makes me think of that movie “The Holiday” with Kate Winslet & Cameron Diaz. I’ve always thought that sounded so awesome. We will be in Jersey though, so I’m not sure if that would be convenient enough for you because you would have to take the train into the city every day. I know people do that for work all the time, but it’s different when you’re traveling. You would have to decide if you’d want to do that. I don’t know London super well, but we were just there in the Fall of last year and stayed near the Bloomsbury/Camden area if I remember correctly– North Gower is the street name. It was out of the way for everything we were planning to do except the British Museum, so I know it was a little silly (even a cabbie asked how we ended up there), but we are comfortable with the tube and were trying to save as much $$ as possible. Also, it was our first time traveling there so we didn’t always know what we were doing or what to expect, but we figured it out well enough. Kyle had never been before and I had only stayed in London a few times as a kid (well, once we were staying with friends in Twickenham, but we went into the city from there a lot). I can’t wait to get back because there is ALWAYS something else you want to see (or see again)… like NYC really. 🙂

        October weather in Florida is GREAT! Just be sure to purchase travel insurance. We didn’t on our trip to England & Wales and I ended up in an A&E near Heathrow with dehydration and then my husband had it as well two days later (we tried Ealing that time which was a better experience actually). Thank God the medical care was free, but that is definitely NOT the case here. Also, hurricane season is usually ending by that time but it is always good to be prepared and aware of anything that could happen. Insurance would help tremendously if you would need to change your flights for any reason.

        I’ve never been to any other Disney parks (aside from Disneyland once when I was 2), but I have wanted to try out the Paris one just to see how it differs. You will have to let me know! xx

        Liked by 1 person

      • Nara

        Hahaha I love The Holiday! Such a silly Christmas film! (Back when I actually liked Jude Law!)
        Yep I know about travel insurance… Jeez. I once ended up in A&E in the US after I came off a bike (pushbike) and ended up on crutches! I’m a bit accident prone! Will definitely let you know about the parks… It seems ages away. And let me know if you’re ever in London – I can give tips for what to see! 🙂 xx

        Like

      • ashleykyleanderson

        I hope when can see London again sooner rather than later! My husband is starting grad school this fall so it is likely going to have to wait a bit, but it is my dream to live in the UK for a year or two someday. We came really close to going for it in 2010 but my grandpa became ill, so I am hoping we might have a study abroad opportunity in the next few years but I will definitely let you know! The school sends a lot of students to St. Andrews, which I’m sure is lovely too, but my heart is in England. Would love to have some tips sometime 🙂

        Like

  5. babyangelb

    I struggle with a lot of those same thoughts. Recently the one that has been bothering me the most is when a mom who has multiple kids tells me she understands my infertility journey. I had a lady who has 3 kids and one whole has 5 kids tell me they have been trying to have more and no success. Really?!? I don’t think our situations are the same at all! Also I had a lady who has 5 kids and had 4 abortions try and tell me she understands my journey. Um. No. You don’t. Apparently all you have to do is think about getting pregnant and it happens for you. Sigh. I guess I am in a pretty bad space right now. Sorry for the rant.

    Like

    • Nara

      Ahh my dear, I completely understand how you’re feeling. It seems so unfair! It really gets me how people don’t seem to want what comes easy to them. And they just take having kids for granted. I once almost fell out with a friend who told me she understood infertility because she had TWO naturally conceived children!!!!!! I mean I think it took her just over a year to get pregnant. Seriously. A year. Give me strength!
      I also see all these mothers smoking around their kids! But what can I do? I’m sure if I had a kid I would probably do something that others would consider bad (like letting them eat sweets for breakfast!). We have to learn to let go of our anger and jealousy – it’s so hard though.

      I hope you’re looking after yourself and please don’t be too scared. I know that’s not right for me to say as I’ve said how painful my miscarriage was in great detail(!) but I think that I have a very low pain threshold and I’m a bit of a wimp! I hope that it is as easy as it can be… I know it will be horrible, but at least you can be prepared. I’m thinking of you and wishing the best for you x

      Like

  6. My Perfect Breakdown

    First, that picture from NYC – I LOVE IT! It is the photo on my computer screen! Each time I’ve been to NYC I’ve dragged Mr. MPB to that spot and taken my version of that photo. Somehow, I think it’s amazing that we’ve stood in the exact same place and loved that photo! Heck, I even wrote a post about that exact painting (http://wp.me/p4qQfg-hj) because I love it so much!!
    Second, I do believe being kind to yourself is one of the keys to surviving loss. And, I particularly love your plan to take small happinesses and stitch them together into a big happy!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nara

      I love that we both have this! I read your post and we were there about a year after you, and it was still there! But last year we went and I think it had been changed in some way. I’m trying to remember but I think it had been altered in some way. Love to think we both stood in the same place!!! Thank you for sharing that – it really cheered me up this morning! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. andthewindscreamsmary

    I think I have thought (more than once) all of those insidious thoughts you’ve listed. I think it’s completely to be expected and I get it. You are allowed to feel however you want, there is no right or wrong. I hope you have a relaxing time on holiday – have a drink, pamper yourself, and remember you are a strong woman.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nara

      Thanks! I had a couple of drinks and actually felt a bit sick! I’m hoping it passes soon and my own tolerance is back, haha. Am having a lovely time on holiday xx

      Liked by 1 person

  8. dinksbydefault

    You are not being “self indulgent” or irrational by sharing your thoughts & feelings – if you can’t share what you are feeling on your own blog, then what is the point of the blog?!? AND I have most of those same thoughts myself rather consistently.

    AND AND AND I haven’t ever had a miscarriage but I have sort of been avoiding pregnant friends and friends with newborns for a while. So you are more than entitled to take a break from things that make you more sad. It will get better eventually. The way I look at it is, if I do hang out with them, I am risking getting upset and either A) crying and looking like a complete crazy person in their eyes or B) saying something despicable and still looking like a crazy person in their eyes. People who have not struggled to conceive will never understand what you are going through, and that is fine, they can still be your friends. But they don’t have to be who you surround yourself with while you are trying to heal.

    Also, I love the verb “insta-filters”, I am going to start using that. I have had to give up social media completely (except for Pinterest of course) because everyone only shows their best days / moments, and it is not realistic nor is it healthy to constantly be “checking up” on your 200 closest friends “best day evers”.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: After miscarriage: moving forward | From zero to zygote
  10. Pingback: We can’t be Pollyanna every day! | From zero to zygote

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