Six weeks.  I find myself on an unfamiliar table; my legs are shaking in metal stirrups.  I can hear the blood whooshing in my head; it reminds me of seaside holidays when I was small, of licking rum and raisin cones whilst the waves crashed over my feet.  My adult life often feels so much simpler than my childhood but today I would give anything to be back at Brighton beach with my grandparents again.  I would give anything to be anywhere but here. The sonographer is a trainee; she looks at me as though she wants to immortalise my face, as though my story matters.  She asks me if I mind if she consults with her colleague during my scan, and laughs nervously when I tell her that I don’t mind at all, that I look forward to eavesdropping.  My voice sounds like somebody else’s; I am having trouble keeping myself grounded in this room, keeping my mind on the table.  My heart is pounding like I am being chased.  I thought that I had already reconciled myself to the loss of you. The ultrasound machine is turned away from me.  I’m afraid to watch her face, but when I close my eyes I feel trapped within the darkness of myself, so I stare at the fluorescent lighting overhead until my vision blurs.  I feel as though I’m melting; the blood is collecting underneath me, puddling on the paper sheet.  I feel as though I am trapped in a horrible… View Post

5+6. It is snowing again. I leave the office well after dark, treading carefully on the ice lest I slip, and hurt the baby. The world is so beautiful, frosted over like a cake; it seems full of magic and wonder. It is so cold that it almost hurts to breathe, and I find myself marvelling yet again at my life, at my tremendous fortune, to find myself working here, which I love, and going home to them, whom I love. My heart feels swollen and I am giddy with the joy of it all, with the snowflakes dancing a blizzard about me and landing in my hair. I don’t begin to register the dampness until I’m on the Underground. By the time that we pull in to Waterloo, it is starkly apparent that I am bleeding. And I am thinking to myself, as I walk toward the escalator, that this is a moment that I will remember for the rest of my life. I have never lost a pregnancy before. My legs are shaking. And because I am remembering the image of our blastocyst in its Petri dish, how it looked like the moon, I don’t think to stop. I am rushing to get home, to take the progesterone that might, if I grasp at straws, put an end to this catastrophe. So I take the escalator steps two at a time and settle myself onto the train, which is gravid with commuters seeking refuge from the snow. And… View Post

It’s the middle of the night and I can’t sleep; Kirsty is sleeping away from home tonight, with the children, they are enjoying a night at my mother-in-law’s and I didn’t go because they will all be fast asleep on the living room floor and by the time that I would have turned up after work all four would have been sound-o, and we didn’t fancy trying to get four semi-hysterical toddlers back to bed after their mama had woken them up.  But now the house is silent and dark save for me tapping away on the laptop keyboard, because I can’t sleep.  I’ve never been much good at sleeping when the house is empty.  It’s not that I am afraid to sleep alone, it’s just that Kirsty and I are so rarely apart that it feels odd not to wait up for her, like a labrador.  Even when I am trying to wind down, I find myself listening for the sound of her key in the door.  She even has the dog. So I thought that I would write a quick update as to what we’ve been up to recently, pregnancy aside.  I find that I get so caught up in writing little updates on instagram, I forget that not everybody uses it or follows me – and of course, my blog audience was my first.  Some of you have been here since before my sons were even born. Our daughters turned eighteen months old on the 30th January.  On… View Post

It’s not often that I spend a full day with my ‘firstborn’, as we sometimes call the dog. Woodland walks and pootles around our local parks are typically enjoyed with two, if not four, toddlers in tow.  This in itself is lovely, of course, but sometimes I crave little excursions of just the two of us; a chance to connect.  Josephine-dog has been my dog for six years next month; she was my dog before my children were born, she has been my devoted companion for almost all of my adult life.  There is something special about spending time with her, about the way that in quiet spaces, she seems almost able to hear my thoughts and to respond. We were excited to be invited to a ‘Behind the Scenes with Bakers’ event on Thursday, just me and the bearded lady.  I requested and was granted the day out of the office, took the little chaps to nursery and then hopped on the train with my little dog to go and learn more about Bakers. We started the day with coffees and a chance to chat amongst ourselves – it was lovely to see Hannah from Make, Do and Push and Laura from Five Little Doves, with their little companions in tow.  Josephine-dog enjoyed a polite sniff of both, and a little meet-and-greet with the other dogs there as well.  It was good to meet the Purina team, as well as to meet Sandra Strong from ‘Dog Film School’ and ‘Pippin’… View Post

It’s the fifth of February. I’m laying on my back, thighs parted and held apart. And I am trying to steady my breathing; I feel as though my lungs are leaking. There is something about this position that makes me feel small, that reminds me of the frogs that Persephone and Magnus used to startle from the detritus around the pond, the frogs that would lay prone and still upon their backs like little, breathing corpses. I am trying to remind myself that this is consensual, that I was excited for this; I am telling myself the story of it as though I am a small child, the way that my heart thudded like horses racing as the bus took me from the stop by the Dorchester Hotel all the way to the Lister, how just ten minutes ago the embryologists beamed like children receiving a commendation in assembly as I took the photograph of the blastocyst on the screen and immortalised the before-you-were-human forever. The doctor between my legs is explaining what she is doing, she is apologising, I can feel my lips mouthing ‘fuck’ over again and just as my body begins to twist away from the pain it is over and she is retreating, with a scraping sensation and a platitude that I barely hear. My body feels like a bruised apple. It feels like an apple that has been thrown against the wall until the skin has split and the flesh is mashed.  I replace my… View Post