Monday, 4 November 2013

One of those posts with all the bullett points

So, in between the bipolar, hope/terror/hope stream of consciousness that is pregnancy after loss, punctuated by genuine freakouts which seem to grow in frequency as we approach each u/s appointment - because I promised I'd try to give that a rest for a while (and really, it's exhausting enough to live it the first time) - other thoughts do occasionally manage to make their way into my consciousness.

Like what? Like, for example, all the of the following, as inconsequential as it is...



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It's November already, which means it's more than a year since we traded in the sun bleached cobbled streets of Lisbon to return to the leaden skies of England. Even though we had some terrible hardships while living there (we lost our second and then our third pregnancy during that time, and got our initial diagnosis of subfertility), a sliver of my heart will always belong to that city, not least because I felt so close to all my babies in the beauty of that country. How could you not be awe-struck, every single day, when this is the view from your local cafe, five minutes from home?










Here we are enjoying a weekend away in Porto. Sigh. It's so inspiring to be surrounded by that kid of beauty. I truly miss the place. At the same time, it's incredible to think of the time that has passed, and how new and fresh things are beginning to seem, again. Aside from leaving Portugal, this year has been filled with some very necessary (and long overdue) changes.





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It's kind of baffling how much traffic has picked up on my blog since this post. I guess the cynical side of me thinks that, even in the land of ALI, most people would rather hear about a pregnant lady than a bitchy, barren one. (Who, me bitter? Yep, guess I'm still processing some emotions.)

And while we're on the topic of this here blog, why is it that this particular post, amongst all my blathering, seems to be catnip for spam commenters wanting to share for the benefit of I and all my readers the wonders of the witch doctor who cast a spell that made tangible all their deepest desires? (I deleted a good many of those comments, but in case you're perversely curious as I was, I'll wait a moment if you want to go have a look for yourself before they're gone for good.) Could it be because, given the title of the post, some poor mammalian ovaries are an ingredient in said magic spells <shudder>? Curiouser and curiouser.


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This morning I received an appointment for my 20 week anatomy scan....booked for the 15th of November, when I'll be 11 weeks pregnant. I have to say, the NHS can generally not be accused of this level of...erm, efficiency, but today they're waaay ahead of the game. However, much as there is a part of me that would love to ffwd to a point in this pregnancy closer to viability, and beyond the oh-so-scary-I'm-already-dreading-it point when I lost S, I'm not actually aware of a method for doing so (correct me if I'm wrong here ladies!). So, time to rescheduled the appointment then, for a date that corresponds to my real-world pregnancy timeline.


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Last week, I had to travel to London to attend a day of training for work. The venue for the workshop was right next door to one of London's more fascinating and touching museums, the Foundling Museum, which uses artifacts and historical archives to tell the stories of London's abandoned babies, or 'foundlings', who were looked after at the property throughout the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. They are currently exhibiting a collection of photographs around the twin themes of Motherhood and Loss. Though loss is understood in the broadest conceptual and emotional sense here, there were several powerful pieces that dealt specifically with pregnancy loss and stillbirth. It was moving and refreshing to see those experiences of motherhood included, given that so many of us experience the societal silencing of our stories and that there remains such a strong taboo on speaking these truths (for fear of 'upsetting' those fortunate souls who never have to contemplate unhappy outcomes of pregnancy?).

After my training workshop and the visit to the museum, H and I met for some shopping and dinner at one of my favorite little hole-in-the-wall Korean restaurants in Covent Garden, where I can indulge in lots of gluten free goodies. I think kimchee pancakes are my new culinary obsession.


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In the last week, just as the more conventional symptoms like food aversions and random cravings seem to be abating (good thing too, or my body's horror through weeks 5-8 at the very thought of anything spicy, usually a staple in my diet, would have prevented me from enjoying those kimchee pancakes), and along come a few genuine head scratchers. Because amongst the exhaustive lists of possible pregnancy symptoms that the likes of Just Mommies and other oh-so-helpful sites have compiled for those of us neurotic enough to compulsively Goo.gle deeply in touch with our bodies, my own seems to have settled on a few new quirks.

I'm having pretty regular palpitations in which it feels like my heart is going to leap from my ribcage; they start in my chest and extend up through my throat. I asked the doctor about it, and he says that although it's not terribly common, it's a perfectly normal response to increased blood flow in these early weeks. I'm supposed to rest as much as possible, which I guess is a good thing, because these episodes usually leave me feeling weak, dizzy and unable to catch my breath.

Secondly and perhaps more humorously, (though probably not for H, for whom this particular 'symptom' is more unsettling than for me), I've started talking in my sleep. Well, not talking so much as...emitting a kind of muttering/humming sound? After H pointed it out, I've caught myself doing it a few times as I drifted off, and it's odd, to say the least. I can't find a single reference to this as an actual pregnancy symptom, but I have never before been one to talk in my sleep and am normally a very placid sleeper, while this habit has only surfaced in the last month, so it must be related somehow. I recall reading somewhere once that post-menopausal woman suffering from snoring so frequently because of the huge shifts in hormone balance that softens the tissue in the ear/nose/throat area, so I'm wondering if it could be something similarly to do with changing hormone levels. (I didn't have the nerve to make a special call to Dr. B to ask about that one.) Wierd.

But also, I told you I was glowing.


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I've been nominated, like, a gazillion times for the current wave of blog awards that are making the rounds. Thanks everyone; I'm feelin' the love. I even keep meaning to reply and accordingly have a draft sitting somewhere in amongst my current posts, but I always end up too lazy and, well, bored with that much self-reflection. I promise I'll get to it after everyone else has thoroughly tired of the exercize! At least, I think I will.  

I hope everyone else is hanging in there. I'm on my way to check in with your blogs now!

12 comments:

  1. Wow, sounds like some unique pregnancy symptoms!

    Also, I just love Portuguese food and have always wanted to visit portugal. Voce fala Portugues??

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    1. Sim! Mas estou esquecendo... Portugal is an amazing country though, and as I said, will always have a special hold over me :)

      Yes, I seem to be presenting with some of the rarer! Keeps the doctors busy (and curious).

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  2. Continuing to hope things go well.

    The museum and exhibit sound really interesting!

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    1. I'm hoping the same for you, with all my heart!

      The Foundling Museum is a lesser known London venue, but definitely worth a visit. Just remember to bring tissues, it's a tear jerker.

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  3. So glad things are going so well. You sound happy and relaxed, and that makes me happy. Those are some interesting symptoms!

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    1. I'm glad I at least *sound* relaxed. The happy is coming with more frequency though, and the hope that things are, in fact, continuing well. I'm expecting our next u/s tomorrow to sustain that!

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  4. Hi, I'm a new reader since THAT post. I just wanted to comment that I clicked over here from LFCA when your news was posted there and have been following along since then. I would have read your blog before your recent good news, I just wasn't aware of it. ;)

    I think the sleep talking thing is totally hormone related. Sleep gets all kinds of weird in pregnancy.

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    1. Hi Mel, and thanks for stopping by! Whatever the reason, I am glad to have new bloggy friends both for the support and the chance to follow and encourage others. I'm stopping over to your space now.

      And yes, weird it has certainly been!

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  5. I'm all for blaming any kind of weird symptoms on pregnancy/hormones! I'm glad things continue to go well!

    And that museum sounds fascinating!

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    1. Touch wood, fingers crossed, hope hope hope...we'll find out just how well at our u/s tomorrow (which always brings with it lots of anxiety too).

      The Foundling Museum is absolutely an engrossing afternoon of social history.

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  6. Congrats on your nominations!

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