I’ve been away from work for something like 3 weeks. I lose count. I worked from home for a week when we were waiting for the final scan before miscarriage was diagnosed, and then I was signed off by the doctor for two so we could recover from the operation (ERPC) that I didn’t end up having (I miscarried naturally). The strange thing is, in many ways it has been a happy time, or at least an okay time, interspersed with the misery of having a miscarriage. I have a really stressful job which I never really get the chance to disconnect from, and so it has given me a welcome [mental] rest. I’ve not put any pressure on myself to do anything much, so the days have kind of blended into each other a bit, but I find myself nearing the end of the two weeks and I think the time off has been good for me.
The first week was uneventful – and eventful, with the physical miscarriage, which happened naturally and unpredictably – and I spent that week being quiet and watching TV and eventually going for very gentle walks with Dog. Dog is pretty much the ideal miscarriage companion (sad that there has to be such a thing) as he doesn’t force you to talk about it, and mainly gets on with his job of giving licks and cuddles and being extremely obsessed with food. It’s a good way to be, and meant I could deal with the miscarriage in the way I know best – avoidance of thought. Of course I had to think about it at times, but I find it comforting not to, for a while.
I found that I really didn’t want to talk about it much. My folks called me and my family messaged me, and I told a couple of friends. After the first one I told and spoke with on the phone, I didn’t really want to talk about it again. It wasn’t her fault. I just didn’t want to go through it in my head again and again – I was doing that enough already. I found it comforting to talk to my mum now and again and briefly – so she could offer sympathy. But to be honest I didn’t want a great going over of all the details over and over. I don’t know why. I usually like to dissect things (relationships) with my friends. But I feel now like they won’t understand (unless it’s happened to them) and they also don’t understand how much it took to get to this place.
I’ve told a few more people over this past two weeks when it’s come up in conversation as to why I’ve been off work, for example. And I smile through the platitudes: “Well, it happens really often”; “That was very early”; “So I guess you’ll be trying again”. They’re the same things I probably said before. I didn’t know.
This week we already had a mini break planned, a long weekend away in a dog friendly B&B, so we did that. It was rejuvenating. Forget spas (actually, don’t forget spas – I haven’t!), a beach break with a dog is the way to go. T and I enjoyed it but what we enjoyed more was that Dog enjoyed it. When I say dog friendly, this is a pretty big deal in the UK. I guess it’s the same as anywhere – there are places where dogs are welcome (France) and there are places they aren’t (London apart from Hampstead). Where we live in London right now there is a large ethnic community which typically does not like dogs. When I say they don’t like dogs, they actually leap away in horror or cross the road when they see us and our [very small, not at all vicious looking] dog. It used to amuse me a bit but now it bothers me. I feel like a member of my family is being insulted!
So the place we stayed was as far from that as possible. It was a nice little B&B, near the sea and decorated in shabby chic marine style. The best thing about this was we didn’t feel worried that Dog might ruin it! Our room was very small (I’d booked quite late so it was the only room left) but perfectly big enough for us to cosy up in. The bathroom was possibly more shabby than chic but as it turned out there was a super strong hot shower and bath so it was more than adequate! And it had nice Burt’s Bees toiletries which we enjoyed. It’s the little things, really. Being made to feel welcome rather than being jumped away at in fright / disgust makes a huge difference. We both love Dog madly and everyone we met was super enthusiastic with him so he had a great time. Every morning we had a rather luxurious cooked to order breakfast and Dog was given his very own sausage – the same quality as the human’s sausages. He was beside himself! Plus I never end up eating all of mine so he gets half a human breakfast too. Given he’s as big as a large cat, let’s just say he’s carrying a bit of holiday weight now…!
We both decided that we would take some little hobby type things to do on holiday in case there wasn’t enough to do (ie no TV or broadband!). On the way back from IKEA we passed by a Hobbycraft and I excitedly pointed it out to T, and T being T he suggested we go in, so we had a very pleasant half hour perusing the various crafty aisles. I decided to get some sewing things to make a patchwork dog (I’m nothing if not committed to a theme!) and T decided in his wisdom that he’d take up knitting. I kid you not. So we spent a nice few hours on holiday just half watching TV whilst T tried to figure out how to cast on and I sewed patches onto the dog. (Not our Dog – that would be mean!) I’m terrible at sewing but I think it added to the charm. I’m going to give it to one of my friends.
We had such a nice break including some of my favourite foods… All my photos are of Dog or food, just so you know!
Every morning we had a nice home cooked breakfast with fresh orange juice and hot chocolate and coffee. We could start off with cereal and then move on to the hot stuff, and Dog had his own sausage and half of mine!
It was a really nice holiday and we had lots of great quality time and dog walks. It was just what I needed.
When we got back I had a few treats planned which just worked out nicely as I didn’t get the post holiday blues.
My mum was really nice and gave me some money to get a massage and facial, which is something I love to have but hardly ever get the time (or money!) to do. It was great because I got to go and see my friend who does Elemis treatments (my favourite) and I could also catch up with her. And she’s dog friendly so I got to take Dog – coincidentally I took him for his first ever trip to the dog groomers just before, so he had his trip to the spa too! My friend’s dog was the sort of inspiration for us getting Dog, so it was great to see him too. Small happinesses! I had a pampering and Dog now looks really clean after he was all sandy from the beach!
I also had a long standing trip to a day spa to look forward to, with my BFF for her birthday. We booked it ages ago and she lives overseas so I don’t get to see her as much as I’d like, so it was another really lovely thing to enjoy.
On my way to the spa I decided to go the whole hog and get a strawberry frappuccino. As you may have gathered I love hot chocolate with whipped cream (and marshmallows if poss) so this was my attempt at a summer version as it’s so hot outside.
The deal we had at the spa was a sort of VIP package in a posh hotel where we got 2 treatments each, some time in the water (2 different jacuzzis, a sauna and steam room) and then a lunch with champagne and chocolate dipped strawberries! It was really good value considering London is usually so expensive.
I suppose the one downside is that I’m still feeling really sensitive about my body. I am very overweight compared to my usual body shape. I guess my body shape has been changing over the past couple of years but it has gone a bit haywire with the hormones and IVF and I just don’t feel confident at all. For the first time in my adult life I actually wore a full swimsuit instead of a bikini. I really didn’t feel happy about that at all and felt very self conscious, but luckily I was with my BFF so I could cope. I’ve decided not to pressure myself to lose weight until the end of the month and then I’ll have time – 2 months until our US holiday. Also when I’m back at work rather than sitting around the house I will be less likely to sit mindlessly eating. I’ve also tried to treat myself food wise after the miscarriage – I’ve just tried to be nice to myself and not hard on myself. We had a great time overall; I just felt self conscious in my full bathing suit. Not very attractive. Anyway! Life isn’t all about being skinny and attractive!
Included in our deal was a set lunch so we enjoyed that with our included bottle of champagne. Here is my dessert – a salted caramel mousse in a chocolate pot. It was very chocolatey!
We also had chocolate dipped strawberries – I love these. My BFF doesn’t even like them so I ate most of them!
It has been a great week and weekend – a holiday within my time off work. Physically I’m feeling a lot better and it feels like the bleeding has more or less stopped, although I did have some this week, and some ongoing pain. It is easier being able to have long naps when I need to and still taking painkillers. Hopefully it will be confirmed tomorrow that the miscarriage has completed. I feel like I am almost ready to get back to normal life. I’m worried about going back to work but trying not to think about it.
So that’s it for now. A few vignettes of what I’ve been up to (mostly food related!) – we have been being nice to each other, T and Dog and me, and we’ve been making little moments of happiness. My plan is to have enough of them so that there are enough to make the majority of my life, our lives happy.
I’m going to stitch together happy.