A new start

I started this blog last summer to try and connect with other women who were ahead of their friends in trying for a baby and who, like me, felt a bit isolated. Back then I was worried about losing my freedom and friendships, and I blogged about vitamins and back pain and exercise. It didn’t take off much, mainly because I didn’t stick at it very long – I got downcast because it took us five months to get pregnant. I know that’s not a lot, but I became focused on that number and the blog slipped to the back of my mind. And then, in October, we found out we were expecting – and I was so happy and so preoccupied that, again, the the blog wasn’t on my list of priorities.

We suffered a miscarriage in January at 10 weeks, and since then the way I feel about, well, everything, has changed.

I’ve got to a place where I feel I really need to write about it, and where I feel like I could have worthwhile things to share with other people in the same situation, instead of just tears. I could have started a new blog but I still think there’s useful stuff in the posts I made before, so please read them if you’re interested in preparing for pregnancy in general. But if, like me, miscarriage fills your thoughts so much more than you ever dreaded it would, then I hope there is something comforting or helpful in my experiences.

I haven’t found a miscarriage blog out there that I really like, that said things in the way I needed them to be said. The whole idea of a ‘miscarriage blog’ is maybe a misnomer, because nobody could possibly blog about it while it was happening – blogs like this have to be in retrospect. So it’s already an awkward concept. But in the whole gamut of emotions that people feel after losing a baby, apparently a compulsion to talk about it is one normal reaction – and that’s exactly how I feel. It’s hard to actually talk to friends and family as they often don’t want the gory details, both physical and emotional. The slight distance that a blog gives is perfect for that.

So, it’s going to be a bit of a traumatic thing to write, I think, but hopefully therapeutic too. I’ll be posting every day for the next week, so follow the story if you want to, whether you’re sitting at home in the dark depths of your grief or whether you feel like the light is there, at the end of the tunnel, but that sometimes you turn a dark corner and lose sight of it.

If you have lost a baby recently, all I can give you is my deepest sympathy, understanding and hopes for a better future.

Tomorrow’s blog: Losing my baby – dealing with the first day


My first proper pregnancy test – and it was negative.

For the last couple of weeks I have been watching entirely too much TV – I live near London and I’ve been totally absorbed by the Olympic Games. As a result I have been appallingly neglecting this blog, but I’m back up and running now!

I did my first real pregnancy test yesterday – and it was negative. Last month I started my period so I didn’t have to do one then. As I’ve mentioned, my periods can be very irregular so it’s pretty difficult to tell the best time to do a test – the packet says the test works from the first day of your missed period. If I had “normal” 28 day cycles my period should have started yesterday, but to be honest it could be anything up to six weeks.

Now I’m in a weird limbo state where I haven’t started my period, but the test was negative – I don’t know whether it was just too soon for the test, or whether my period is just being its normal unpredictable self. I really envy women who are regular, and for whom being two or three days late is exciting. For me it’s just tiresome – and also expensive because I’m inevitably going to waste lots of pregnancy tests. I’m going to wait a week before I do another one otherwise I’ll be bankrupt rather than pregnant!

The whole process of doing the test was very odd. Exciting, but also disconcerting. If you’ve never done one before, tests come in lots of varieties – there are cheap and cheerful ones, right up to amazingly complex digital ones. I have bought a bunch of the cheap ones, and one expensive digital one which I’m going to save until one of the cheap ones says I’m pregnant. Then I can use the expensive one to make sure! With the cheap ones, you have to wee on the end of a little stick – the part you have to get wet is ridiculously small! Then you leave it for three minutes – a little purple line appears to show that the test is working, and then if you’re pregnant a second purple line appears between three and fifteen minutes later.

The most reliable time to test is meant to be the first time you go to the loo in the morning, because then the concentration of the pregnancy hormone that the test detects – hCG – is higher. Inevitably I forgot first thing in the morning, but I couldn’t resist taking the test that day – I don’t want to find out I’m pregnant on a weekday morning and then have to go to work and pretend that everything’s normal! So I just went ahead and did the test – it wasn’t exactly a vary reliable attempt. Hence the weird limbo – I could still be pregnant. I just want an answer one way or another!

Waiting to see whether the little purple line would appear was bizarre. You have to keep the test still while it’s working, so my husband and I leant over the side of the sink where it was sitting and just watched it. I felt really excited at the possibilities, but also I didn’t feel like it was going to be positive – maybe my body knows that it isn’t pregnant. Or maybe I was just feeling pessimistic that day. Either way I am second guessing my every feeling, even though I know stressing about it is going to make conception less likely, not more.

After three minutes we went away, assuming it was negative – I checked again at 15 miniutes and then threw it away, but I had a final peek hours later while it was in the bin. I can’t help but wonder which test will be the one that brings the good news.

The worse thing is, if I haven’t started my period by then, I’ll have to go through the whole emotional palaver again in a week.