Monday, January 31, 2011

A Sunday in London.

Say you were visiting London with your love and say you had a day all to yourselves while your brother in law looked after your babies and say it were a Sunday in February and say you wanted to see beautiful things and eat delicious foods and say you were a little tired after an evening at a wonderful girl's party so you wanted to take it easy and wander and stroll, where would you go? What would you see? Where would you eat?

* Tired of London print.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Jamie + Celia + Hank + Lucy

Back in August my favourite girl Celia tweeted me "P, I'm 7 weeks pregnant! No one knows, don't tell anyone."

Four days later my other favourite girl Jamie tweeted me "P, I'm 7 weeks pregnant! No one knows, don't tell anyone."

It was pretty much the best week ever; friends! babies! synchronicity! secrets! friends having babies synchronicitally and telling me secrets! And then it sucked, because I knew they would both be so happy when they found out that they were probably expecting their bubbies the same week and it was so exciting and I wanted them to know now now now! But I'd promised, and so I kept quiet.

Then they finally told each other and it turned out that their bubs weren't just due the same week, they were due the SAME DAY. And then they started a blog and that's where the magic lives. It's called Hank and Lucy and I already love it. Almost as much as I'm going to love those bubbies when they arrive.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Operation S.B.A.M

It's been over three years, maybe four, since I went to a hairdresser. Every 8 months or so I have been handing Nye scissors and asking him to remove the 'really crap bits'.

I've been wearing the same glasses for that time too. In fact the last time I got a haircut and new glasses were on the same day. I wouldn't have done if I hadn't been staying with my mum and the optician and hairdresser weren't 30 yards away. And she hadn't made the appointments for me.

I've also plaintively whined about needing a haircut and new glasses at least once a month for the last 2 years. I became that abysmal person who complains about something that they never do anything to fix. I hate that person. It's a testiment to Nye's patience that he has been listening to this crap for two years and hasn't slapped me with a wet fish.

It's probably not that much of a coincidence that I stopped making an effort at the same time that my endometriosis got so bad we stopped trying to have a baby. It's not that I didn't care, I cared. I just didn't have the energy to do anything about it.

Also, I hate going to the hairdresser. I have done since I was about 13 and I entered the hairdresser truly believing that I would be transformed into a one of those women from the shampoo ads and left it in tears. Not happy ones. A few more years of dashed hopes were too much for my nerves and I gave up altogether. And the opticians? Well that's just too much looking in the mirror whilst being watched by a bored shop assistant when you don't much like looking in the mirror (because you have crap hair.)

And I'm lazy. Let's not forget that I'm lazy. Choosing a salon, making an appointment, dressing nicely so that the hairdresser thinks you care what you look like and doesn't give you Ann Widdecombe hair, answering inane questions about your holiday plans and whether you came to the appointment by bus or train.... who can be arsed? Really.

But that is over. It's time to make a little effort, if only because if I hear myself moan about how I look, knowing full well I'm not going to do anything about it, one more time I will slap myself with a wet fish.

And so commences Operation Stop Being a Minger.

*Photo of Patti Smith, by Richard Mapplethorpe, via East Side Bride

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Four years minus nine months, cont.

(I didn't finish it before the babies are born. I will no longer set myself unrealistic deadlines. Here are parts 1 and 2)

And so we start trying. Not right away, we give it six months. Six months to get our lives in order, to contemplate parenthood. Six months to finish art school and sell the flat that is perfect for two but absolutely not big enough for three. Six months to talk about how we will raise our child, dream about the adventures that we're going to have, research how much our baby will cost us financially and have a blazing row outside the pet shop about what we will call it. Our dreams are so vivid that they feel real, tangible, and every night we fall asleep with our hands resting on my belly. We are ready. We are sure. We are going to have a baby very soon. .

But we don't. Six months later we have finished art school, sold the flat, bought a new one with a Baby Room and a park on the doorstep, started a business that we hope will support the new family we are making, and nothing. We had been told that those first three months of trying after treatment for the endometriosis are crucial, as with every month that passes my body will get more damaged and our chances ever smaller.

By the end of those three months I am sinking.

I start playing games with myself; If I do/eat/think/don't do x,y,z then this will definitely be the month I get pregnant. Desperate, chaotic games with no rules.

In Spring of 2007, aged 22, my consultant tells me I'm not releasing eggs any more. He tells me to go on a drug that stimulates egg release and it will all be fine. Actually, he tells Nye that if I go on the drug it will all be fine. As if I'm an animal Nye has taken to the vet. But I'm in no state to start taking a drug that ups the chances of multiple pregnancy and is likely to make the endometriosis worse. I'm in no state for anything. I ache with anger, loss and disbelief. I cry every day. I stop talking and I take to getting up an hour after we go to bed to stare at the computer screen in the dark, hoping that it might show me an answer. We have stopped trying. There isn't any point.

Meanwhile the pain is worsening. As well as the burning, clawing, screeching period pains there is a continuous twisting, tugging ache throughout my pelvis. A reminder with every move I make that I'm unlikely to ever get pregnant. The endometriosis has spread to my bowels and I pass out when I go to the loo. Cysts grow on my ovaries then pop, spraying blood over my organs like hot oil from a frying pan. With each month that passes I spend a week in bed and another in a haze of exhaustion. I spend a third tortured with hormonal highs and lows and on that fourth blessed week I'm able to function, catching up on a life missed. I look forward to that week all month.

I need to see the doctor again but the thought of another appointment with The Vet sends me into a tailspin and without question my new GP refers me to Dr G, a different gynaecologist at the same hospital. He books me in for another operation to 'see what's going on in there' with the view to us recommencing trying to conceive after everything has been 'tidied up.' We leave our appointment with glimmers of hope stirring inside us, we have finally met a doctor who inspires confidence.

In January of 2008 I come round alone in a hospital bed. There is a new scar on my stomach. Two of the previous three have been reopened. I notice that they now form a cross with my injured womb at its centre. Curtains pulled around me, to block the eyes if not the ears of the other women on the ward, I am told that my tubes are blocked and my ovaries are decaying like overripe fruit left in the sun. “If you ever want to have children” I am told, in a halfway place between sedation and awareness, “then you will need to have IVF. The waiting list is two years.” And with the quiet swish of the curtain that was that.

*photo by Pacocamino

Monday, January 10, 2011

"crying is the perfect evolutionary tool for your baby to communicate her needs"

Uh no. I'm pretty sure that if we're asking for perfection talking would be the way to go. As a communication tool crying stinks.

Quoted from The Bullshit Baby Book, by Never Looked After A Baby. Published: 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995....

Friday, January 07, 2011


We don't really do New Year's Eve, and Christmas was a little... hectic. But on January 1st we made a concerted effort to have a lovely, memorable first meal of the year.

There was candlelight and conversation and lasagne in a heart shaped dish. There were babes in arms and mince pies made to a family recipes and wine brought from France wrapped in my father in law's socks.

Happy 2011 Chickpeas. I hope that it's a beautiful year for you. I predict that ours will be... hectic.