Tag Archives: homelife

I am the one in four

Advanced warning: personal post, and TW for pregnancy/miscarriage

I was prompted to write a post on this by my friend Ellen’s blog. October is pregnancy and infant loss month, and this week (9th-15th) seems to have been designated Infant Loss Awareness Week. You may have seen posts on social media saying this, adding ‘I am the one in four’ (1 in 4 women will experience miscarriage/stillbirth in their lives).

This has taken a fuck-load of courage to write, and even more to post.

I am the one in four.

I have had three miscarriages, one just before Christmas 2015 (that made for a fun Christmas…) and two in Spring/Summer 2016.

I think for many people, the strongest pain of a miscarriage is the potential: this could have been a child, this could have changed everything. But for me, to be honest, it wasn’t as devastating as the loss some people experience. My mother had two miscarriages, and so I was in some ways expecting it; I knew there was a family history, and knew it could happen. I took what precautions I could, and didn’t dare treat the pregnancies as real until 12 weeks – it wasn’t a child, it was just a tiny potential bundle of cells. And none of my pregnancies reached 12 weeks (two miscarried at 7 weeks and one at 5), and so… it was just a thing that didn’t happen.

For me, the worst pain was the uncertainty. Had I done something? Not done something? Somehow caused it? Could I have prevented it? I have been told, repeatedly, that there is nothing I could have done to prevent it. I accept that for the ones I have lost – it wasn’t my fault. It wasn’t. Lifting things doesn’t cause it. Eating the wrong thing doesn’t cause it. Doing exercise doesn’t cause it. It wasn’t my fault.

But I can’t help take that burden of fear and guilt, and push it forward: if I try to get pregnant again at whatever future point, will I have another miscarriage? Another two? What’s wrong with me that means I can’t get past 7 weeks? Standard tests haven’t shown anything: there’s nothing immediately physically wrong, and blood levels etc were all standard. My body’s fine….it just couldn’t maintain any of the pregnancies. And I’m now past 30: what will that do to my chances?

The whole thing was compounded by a specialist at the local hospital, who quite bluntly (while trying not to offend me, she repeatedly insisted that she wasn’t trying to offend me) told me that essentially, I was lying. I had no medical proof that I had been pregnant, and therefore they weren’t miscarriages: I hadn’t got blood tests, scans, checks – this all prior to 12 weeks, on an already overburdened NHS, and when there’s nothing anyone can do to change a miscarriage at that stage if it did happen! I’m still deeply angry about her attitude and her accusations: I understand where she was coming from in that the best medical course was to assume that I wasn’t able to get pregnant and check that as well as the actual pregnancies, which is sensible, but she most certainly could have worded it a lot better, and been a lot less cruel and dismissive in her attitude to someone who was simply trying to get help and work out if there was anything wrong.

I did feel – and still do feel – incredibly alone and uncertain about it. It wasn’t something I could share at the time; I wasn’t going to tell anyone until at least 12 weeks anyway, and even the people I did tell couldn’t say anything that eased what is, at heart, a very personal pain. My partner at the time did his best to be supportive, but considering he wasn’t outwardly enthusiastic about children, it was hard for me to lean on him or share any of what I was feeling. And I didn’t want to try any of the resources or groups available – I struggle with interaction anyway, and I felt I had no place amongst people mourning for their child. I just carried on going with whatever the next step needed to be, be it doctor’s appointments or waiting or another try, and tried again and again until everything else broke around me.

Even putting this out now is hard. It isn’t the full story: I can’t process that yet, it’s too linked in with the divorce and emotions and all that. I don’t feel I have any right to support, and I don’t want sympathy. It’s something that happens: I don’t know why it happened, I did what I could, and I don’t have a medical explanation. It passed, it’s fine, and I want to try again someday. It’s all still a jumble, and I’m dealing with it all as it comes up.

But miscarriage happens, and it isn’t talked about. So – I’m talking about it.

I’m the one in four.

5 Happy Things: October 2017

Five things that are making me happy in October…

1.I started watching Avatar: The Last Airbender, and I like it! I’m doing my Kate thing of watching with something else on (I find TV and films – and audiobooks, incidentally – stressful, even though I do like watching some things, so that’s the best way) and so far, it’s amusing. We’re only three episodes in but I’m planning on carrying on.

2.I’ve created my NaNo novel – I’m doing The Thief & The Seer. Wheeee!

3.Autumn colours. I’ve been getting out for walks every day, and seeing the trees change has been beautiful. I really need to start up my Instagram photos again…

4.Trello. ORGANISATION! I’ve made a board for my writing, and I’ve got one for my editing etc as well. While I do have a spreadsheet of submissions, it’s nice to be able to see what is in progress and needs to be worked on, and the dates.

5.Tidying. I’m moving house, and there’s something very satisfying about being able to organise! I have ridiculous amounts of shelving that’s empty, just for me (happy librarian!) and I’m currently packing my books up, planning where they’re going to go, thinking about storage and organisation….there’s definitely a reason why I gravitated towards libraries!

So that’s me for October for the moment – I’m moving on Wednesday so I should remember to do a post, but if I don’t, it’s because I’m filling a van with boxes and trying to ensure that the cat isn’t amongst them…

A brief hiatus

I broke.

I was hoping to get to the end of the next two weeks; finish at my current job, have a trip to Croatia for a couple of days, move house, then catch up on the stress from the last few months. Unfortunately there’s been a couple of additional stresses recently, and it’s all just got too much.  I’ve been trying to do one step at a time, and there’s too many steps, and I’ve run out of energy to keep fighting.

I’ll be able to start up again, I’m going to keep going – just I need some time to get up out of my hole first. I’m going to take a couple of days to just relax and let everything hit, and then I’ll start dealing with it.

I’m going to try to keep posting on here (because it’s a nice schedule, and I can write what I want, damnit!) but I might not be around on social media as much. I’m ok, I’m just Hermit’ing for a bit, as one of my friends says. Hopefully I’ll shortly be back to Human’ing. I can’t promise Adult’ing, because that’s just scary, but it’s something to aim towards!

Internet hugs to everyone as well – the season’s changing, the world’s shit and life is pretty stressful right now. Remember to take care of yourselves!

 

Interview + Portal

I did an interview with the lovely Isha Crowe for the Ink Pantry – mostly about writing and GreenSky, but also about games. And that got me thinking – have I raved about Portal? I don’t think I’ve raved about Portal. So I’m going to. Because IT’S AMAZING.

First, you need a computer that can cope with a computer game. Then you need Steam and an internet connection to download it. Then you need about two days and a brain.

You’ve got all those, I know you have.

Portal‘s a puzzle game, where you wake up in a facility with a gun that shoots portals – one blue, one orange – and anything you put through one comes out the other (including yourself). You’re in some sort of testing facility, and you have to solve the puzzles in each chamber to reach the next one – but they slowly get harder and harder, and there’s more puzzles, more dangers (although the Turrets – above – are weirdly adorable) and the AI’s voice slowly gets more and more sarcastic…

Ah, who am I kidding. She’s thoroughly sarcastic, and it’s one of the best parts of the game. Definitely play with the sound on!

I love it because there’s no creeping dangers; you know where the turrets are (even though getting shot isn’t great) and everything’s a really nice, solveable puzzle. It doesn’t get boring, either, despite the fact you’re using the same basic tools: there are a huge variety of ways to put the obstacles together which means each chamber requires a new approach. The game isn’t too long either, which is nice, but you can save and come back easily.

There’s a second one too, which has a different feel (but just as good!) so it doesn’t feel like a repeat of the first – and you get to see different areas of the facility, as well as meet different people. And potatoes. And robots. The co-op mode in Portal 2 is amazing, as well; Atlas and P-Body are great fun, and you can drop each other in gunk! Accidentally. Honest.

So if you haven’t come across it and you like puzzles and sarcastic humour, definitely play Portal!

All change…again

I would say that life seems to be going out of its way to screw me over this year, but most of it is my own doing! So, the short version of “What Kate Is Up To THIS Time” – I am…

  • Quitting my current job;
  • Moving house in October;
  • Taking over a typesetting business (BookPolishers.com – more info on that when we’ve got more of the details sorted!)
  • Still doing editing and proofreading – they’ll be included in the above;
  • Causing general havoc!

This was all meant to be happening sometime later when I’d gotten settled a bit more, but the typesetting came up, and I figured it’s worth a go. I’m going to be doing it as an official business, so I’m currently in the midst of setting up a company, bank accounts, software, hardware, all that sort of thing….

I’m part scared, part excited, part just struggling as usual. I had an interesting talk to my friend Sophie when I told her; she was ridiculously excited (although if you haven’t met Sophie, this is her usual state of being) and thought it was brilliant that I was chasing my dream. I just feel like I’ve failed at yet another thing, as I’m quitting a job I wanted to be stable and successful in. The new business is exciting, yes, but it’s really hard for me to see it as a good step. But as usual, my brain’s being a complete moron. It’s a big step, yes, but it is a good one – I was so excited when I found out I’d got the business, and even stupidly complicated tasks like setting up the bank account have been worthwhile. It’s going to be hard and it’s going to be stressful, but it’s going to be both of those in a good way! I’ve got so much to learn, but at the same time, I’ve been realising how much I know already. So it is going to be good 🙂

I’m still around this month (September), planning and packing, but I’ve got the moving van booked and dug the boxes out of the store room, so I will be moving in the second week of October. If anyone’s got any advice, helpful hints, doomsday warnings or bad jokes to brighten the tedium of packing, send ’em over!

I’m still writing and all of that, so everything else is still going. Also, I’ve still got a few more random plans in the works, so I’m afraid I can’t promise that the chaos is over quite yet… *happy Kate dance*