Expecting

I’ve never been someone who makes a fuss over Valentine’s Day, but last year it just happened to be the day I got my contraceptive device removed. My partner and I had wine with dinner—what I planned to be my last glass in long time—and we were happy.

Me and my partner sitting on the couch drinking wine.

This is the story of the year that followed.

A quick note of warning: none of this is supposed to be medical advice. It’s just what happened to me. And there’s a lot to get through. So sit back, get comfy, pour yourself a glass of wine—ha! Kidding. If your bits are involved in baby making it’s best if you stop drinking. Yep, even if you’re the one bringing the tadpoles to the table. You think that’s rough? My sweet summer child, this is only just the beginning.

First up, there’s is a whole story in how I got to the point of wanting a child.

Once upon a time I was a carefree uni student who was terrified of holding babies in case I dropped them or I touched the soft spot or they pooed on me or something.

Comic strip featuring me not at all keeping it together while holding a baby.

I did want kids of my own. Just … someday.

The whole Don’t Hand Me Your Baby aesthetic was working pretty well for me, until the day it wasn’t. My right ovary betrayed me Professor Quirrell style by growing an enormous cyst with designs on world domination. The ovary, cyst and associated fallopian tube had to be cut out of me. I was assured that my one remaining ovary and tube should be enough. I probably wouldn’t run into reproductive issues in the future because of what had happened.

I heard the italics loud and clear, and they frightened me.

They frightened me so much that I began to wonder about what Someday would look like. And when I realised it would take a long time for my life to look like that, I decided to get the process started immediately.

And then I developed a debilitating chronic illness. Even if my lonely ovary shot eggs like a machine gun, I might never be well enough to raise a child. I’ll spare you the full existential crisis that ensured. In short, one of the kindest cruelties of chronic illness is that it sharpens your priorities. I no longer wanted Someday, I wanted Now, and it looked like I might be getting Never.

But you already know it wasn’t Never. I was lucky. After a couple of years my health improved. Not completely (chronic illness rarely does that) but enough.

Giddy with hope and gratitude and still not quite believing I had reached this point, I had my birth control removed and …

Me looking at a negative pregnancy test with pee dripping off it. Speech bubble saying "huh"

… was not immediately pregnant.

Neither myself or my partner have nieces or nephews, and none of our friends had kids. Sex education in school led me to believe pregnancy was so likely it was almost impossible to avoid. I thought unsafe sex equalled BANG, up the duff, bun in the oven, here’s your free gift of a radiant glow, enjoy the giant tatas.

Not necessarily, it turns out.

You’d think this was basic uterus-owner know-how, but despite understanding the fundamentals of periods and cycles and whatnot, it never really clicked for me before this that you only get one shot at baby creation a month. That’s twelve or maybe thirteen chances a year. Obviously, I needed to track and better understand my cycle.

Don’t worry! There’s an app for that!

Actually, heaps of them.

A quick tip from someone who’s been there. Do not pick a period tracker app with a social media community attached to it. Do not pick an app that makes judgey comments disguised as ‘health insights’. Do not pick an app that asks personal questions about the state of your cervical mucus. (These guidelines can also be applied for choosing anything in life. You’re welcome).

I didn’t have anyone to warn me. I downloaded three. And that’s how I learned about TTC.

TTC stands for Trying To Conceive, but it’s more than just a text-friendly acronym. It’s a whole new world, a sub-culture for pre-pregnancy. It even had its own language which I had to spend a few hours decoding. You don’t do a test, you POAS (pee on a stick), and then the test isn’t negative, it’s a BFN (big fat negative). Or it might be a BFP (big fat positive). Or, maybe, a VVFL (very very faint line). Sex isn’t sex, it’s baby dancing, but preferably just BD. A period is tastefully referred to as Aunt Flo, and then even more tastefully abbreviated to AF.

All that probably helps some people. I can see how it could make you feel connected and how it might reassure you that everything you are experiencing and worrying about is normal. And if that’s you, fantastic. Enjoy.

But it wasn’t me. If I really must be discreet, I prefer having fun with it and tell people I’m collecting teabags for when Dracula pops round for a cuppa. And, more importantly, I was already scared. My previous health issues and single ovary had me off balance, and TTC gave me the final push. I fell down the rabbit hole and into a wonderland of anxiety.

Predictably, there’s a bunch of stuff companies sell you to help ease your fears.

One popular way to waste your TTC dollars is with ovulation predictor kits. You pee on one each day until you get a positive or your cycle ends because, actually, they’re quite unreliable and it’s very possible they’ll miss ovulation altogether.

I tried them for one cycle, and I not only never got a positive result, but I managed to accidentally pee on myself three times. I do not recommend them unless you would rather have pee on your hands than money in your bank account. (And if you really would prefer pee on your hands than money in your bank account there are probably more entertaining ways to accomplish that).

Another favourite cash-vacuum is special fertility-friendly lube. This is for when you learn that standard lube acts as a barrier that makes it harder for sperm to score a touchdown, and then you panic that even though you rarely use the stuff it will still mess the whole thing up for you somehow, you don’t know how, maybe via astral projection or by selling your facebook data? (Anxiety doesn’t have to make sense, Karen, gosh).

The fertility-friendly stuff comes in a box plastered in photos of minors (babies), and even if you throw the box away the tube itself shouts CONCEIVE at you in giant, baby-pink letters. It’s basically a weaponised cold shower.

My partner has put stickers on a tube of lube that feature the popular eggplant and peach emojis

Despite my fears, at the end of my first cycle of unsafe sex, I was convinced it had worked and I was pregnant. My period was late and I had a heap of pregnancy symptoms (which, alas, I had been Googling). Also, it was coming up to our first wedding anniversary, so it would be narratively satisfying.

The negative test hit me like a slap in my silly, smug face.

It turned out I was just late—really late—because it can take a few cycles after stopping hormonal birth control for your Overlook elevator to flow regularly.

For my second cycle, I again thought I was pregnant. Shark week started early. I tried not to let it get to me (but it did). I was beginning to understand that I might have to face this many, many times.

At the end of my third cycle, I knew I wasn’t pregnant. I just knew. I had my usual PMS and was mentally bracing myself for the communists to take the funhouse, but I peed on a test, just in case. Of course it was negative. In fact, I spotted blood onto the test, which seemed like a major Up Yours from the universe.

That was the first negative that didn’t just get to me, it felt like an earth-shattering disaster. Even though I had been expecting it, even though I knew three negative cycles wasn’t unusual or unlikely or anything to be concerned about, I cried. And kept crying. And crying. It didn’t feel normal. Anything and everything set me off. And, despite the spotting, my period was late and getting later by the day.

So I took another test.

Me looking at a positive test (with pee dripping off it) looking shocked and saying "eep!"

I promptly freaked out.

Growing up, I was led to believe that pregnancy was the worst thing that could happen to you. It came in just slightly above failing maths or wandering off alone at Halloween parties. Then, practically overnight, you’re an adult and you realise you never have to maths again unless you want to, but a large portion of the population will consider you an empty husk of a human if you don’t create a tiny screaming poo machine. Even so, you can’t just delete the knee-jerk Pregnancy Is Super Bad What Have You Done Your Life Is Ruined reaction from your mental operating system. (Sticking together at Halloween parties is always good advice, though; holiday-themed murderers only have to happen to you once).

On top of that, despite wanting a baby, I had never been sold on the whole pregnancy thing. To me it had always looked like level after level of throwing up, fainting and stretch marks culminating in a boss-fight of screaming, pain, vaginal tearing and pooing in front of people. Also, you might die. It’s a lot less likely these days, but still a pretty intense possibility.

Obviously I had signed up anyway, but I still had my misgivings.

I was right to. Unpopular opinion alert: pregnancy sucks.

I was constantly exhausted, hungry, busting for the toilet and on the brink of vomiting. Most of my cravings were for food I wasn’t allowed to eat, e.g. soft cheese and cold ham, and most of my food aversions were for things I was supposed to be eating lots of, e.g. vegetables. I got acne instead of a radiant glow, I kept crying randomly, and to top it all off the very thought of a cup of tea—my absolute favourite thing in the world and only comfort in times of distress—made me gag.

I’ll just repeat that to let the horror sink in: I couldn’t drink tea.

Me, on my knees in a crowded street in the rain screaming "NOOOOO!". It's very dramatic.

Don’t get me wrong, I was excited, too. I ordered a pregnancy book and carefully followed what features my baby was growing, what whimsical food item it was comparable to in size, and what strangely mutated creature it looked like this week. And it wasn’t a secret. I simply didn’t have the skills to navigate tricky questions like “so, how’s things?” without exploding with the news that inside me there was a mutant dinosaur the size of a sesame seed which had an actual spinal column and tail.

A cute mutant dinosaur fetus.

Then I had some more spotting and was sent for an early scan. Everything looked fine. The foetus was a smidge smaller than it was supposed to be, but I was assured that in most cases that’s just because your cycle didn’t match the average. To confirm its developmental dates, I had a second scan two weeks later.

At this scan, there was a big screen on the wall. The first thing I saw was the heartbeat. It was a little white flicker. For the first time since seeing the two lines on the test, the low level panic faded away. For a moment, everything was perfect.

Two panels in a darkened room with a projector aiming for the fourth wall. In the first panel, my partner look forward in awe while behind us the sonogrammer is at her computer. In the second panel, the sonogrammer looks concerned and says "hmm." I notice, my partner hasn't yet.

She explained that it was still too small. In fact, it looked as if over the last two weeks it had only managed three days worth of growth.

“But it will be okay,” I said, because of course it would be.

When I got back to the doctor, she stressed that she’d seen cases like this where everything turned out fine. A heartbeat was good. Still, we should be prepared for a miscarriage.

I had to wait another two weeks for a third scan. I held on to that flickering heartbeat as hard as I could, but I felt like the box for Schrodinger’s cat. Was it growing, or was it gone? Was I pregnant or wasn’t I?

I didn’t cope well with the uncertainty. I spent every spare moment wrapped into an igloo of blankets either sleeping or reading so that I didn’t have to think about the fact that, no matter how hard I wanted to hold on, I could feel my body letting go.

My symptoms faded, and however unpleasant they were this was not how I wanted to be free of them. I started having cramps, constant sharp reminders of what was happening inside me. One night I bled, but not very much, not enough for it to be over.

I made it to the third scan.

The baby didn’t.

There was no white flicker, no heartbeat. It had stopped growing, only measuring five weeks and six days even though it was supposed to be ten weeks.

It never even looked like a tiny mutant dinosaur.

The sonogrammer left us alone for a few minutes. My partner hugged me, and I sobbed briefly because it seemed like the right time to do that. Then I put myself back together and proceeded to the next logical step.

I had to.

It wasn’t over. It was still inside me. I was a living tomb.

Two days after the scan, I had a surgical procedure called a D&C to remove it. I woke up feeling like I’d been having good dreams but couldn’t quite remember what they were. I was given a cheese sandwich and a cup of tea.

I am sitting in a chair in recovery post-surgery with a cheese sandwich and a cup to tea. A nurse is taking my blood pressure and asks, "how's the tea?" I respond, "good."

And then I could go home, and it was all over.

Only it wasn’t over.

It was a kind of horror story. I had taken a wrong turn and ended up in an alternate universe. At family gatherings people handed me glasses of wine, and I drank them. I ate soft cheese and deli meats. I lived the life of non-pregnant Lucy, knowing all the time that I was pregnant Lucy and everything around me was wrong. I knew when we should have been telling people, but there was nothing to tell. I knew when I should have started seeing a bump, but it never came. I knew we should have a nursery, but it was just a spare room.

We waited for several months before trying again.

But it still wasn’t over.

Every time I got my period, I was lying back on a wheeled bed in a darkened room watching a heartbeat on the wall. Every time, I was plunged back into that moment of broken wonder that wouldn’t end. Every time, I came apart. And every time, I had to put myself back together so that I would be ready to come apart again, next month.

And then it was Christmastime, and I couldn’t bear it anymore.

In that alternate universe, the one I accidentally stumbled out of, I would be eight months pregnant. In this new world, my period was due and I dreaded it. If it came, I was going to have to stop.

I was aware, however, that if it didn’t come, if I was pregnant, then the time with the highest risk of miscarriage would be Christmas and the due month of the first pregnancy. When I explained this to a friend, she said, “It would almost be better if you weren’t pregnant this month.”

But I was.

I am looking at a positive pregnancy test. I am emotional. My smile is wonky.

My cyclic depression stopped. It seemed miraculous, a gift. It came at just at the right time to save me.

(Although it wasn’t over. The night before Christmas I dreamed of blood. It was so vivid I could smell it, and I woke up in the darkened room with the heartbeat on the wall.)

I had an early scan again.

A quick note about early scans.

Everything is so small at this stage that it’s difficult to see. It helps if your bladder is full, so you are instructed to drink water beforehand. But if you drink too much, drink too little or vomit up all the water, then you might need an internal scan to get a clear enough picture.

Internal scans are exactly what it says on the box. And they are … weird. Jelly is involved. The ultrasound thingamie is an intimidating size (but don’t worry, just the tip). There is that element of violation you get from anything of this sort that, even if you have okayed for practical reasons, you are not super enthusiastic about.

But I had a heap of them through this whole business, and (at least for me) they weren’t that bad. Pap smears are more uncomfortable. In fact, my first tampon was worse.

The awkward stuff out the way, the sonnogrammer told us that this time it was twins.

Not one little mutant dinosaur, but two.

Twin cute mutant dinosaur foetuses.

I never thought I would have twins. There are no twins in my family, none at all, and I had thought (wrongly, it turned out) that having one of my ovaries removed would reduce the chance even further.

Twins was some kind of magic.

I had tried not to get too attached early in this pregnancy, but knowing it was twins made it impossible. (It was impossible anyway). I started looking up the meaning of names and thinking about double-prams and bracing myself for the c-section that was way more likely now.

Twins also meant double symptoms, and my symptoms had not been minor with a single pregnancy. The only thing that helped the nausea was eating, and the up side to this is that I understand food now. You have not experienced food in its truest form until you’ve eaten a burger while pregnant with twins. My partner insists otherwise, but I’m pretty sure the clouds parted and a beam of sunlight transported me and that burger to heaven. Eating chips was like soaring through nebula on a cosmic narwhal. Bacon was beyond the capabilities of the human mind.

Bacon being experienced. I kind of psychadelic wonderland of colours. There is a large me a two smaller mes flying.

I was due to have a second scan on the same day my first baby would have been born, but I couldn’t do that. (It wasn’t over). We booked it for the day after instead.

I could see it on the screen even before the sonnogrammer explained. I was somewhat familiar with ultrasounds by this point. I could see the sacs that had been on the previous scan. I could see they were significantly larger. I could see there was nothing in them.

Two empty amniotic sacs.

I have heard people say that you aren’t a proper adult, or university student, or city person, or anything until you have broken down and cried in public and been too far gone to feel any shame. I have done that, with a blood nose thrown in the mix for extra points, and I don’t think it has anything on ugly crying in a tiny room in front of a stranger and not having any emotions left over to care that they’re wiggling a condom-sheathed ultrasound thingamie inside you.

Again, we were told not to give up hope and sent home to wait two more weeks for a third scan. Again, that final scan confirmed what we already knew.

Our twins were not there. They had never been there.

In a darkened room after the ultrasound. The sonnogrammer pats my leg and says "at least you know you're fertile".

Three asterisks

I want to take a quick break from the story to check in with you. How are you coping with all this? Are you doing okay?

A confession. I could have told this story differently. I could have cut out the jokes about apps and fertility friendly lube. I could have mentally prepared you from the first line, signalled sooner this was a tragedy and half the cast would be dead (would have never existed) by the final curtain.

But no one warned me.

After the first miscarriage all the doctors and nurses and sonnogrammers told me this was common. I heard different statistics. Sometimes it was one in six pregnancies end in miscarriage, sometimes one in four. The pamphlet the hospital gave me said one in three. Whatever the exact number, it means that there are a lot of not-quite-parents out there.

And yet when I went into that first final ultrasound, I had never had a conversation with someone who I knew had wanted a pregnancy and lost it.

I have since. They had been there all along, hiding in the foreground. It’s like belonging to a secret club. As soon as people know you’ve had a miscarriage, they let you know about theirs or their friend’s or their sister’s best friend’s cousins. But there’s some kind of block—a taboo—about discussing it with the uninitiated.

That taboo meant that when it happened to me the first time, I had no idea what to expect. I had no idea what to do or how to cope in the two weeks between the second scan and the final one. I didn’t even realise waiting and uncertainty could be part of a miscarriage—I assumed you either thought everything was fine or knew it was over. That taboo meant I was afraid doctors would think I was weird for crying, and I was afraid they would think I was callous for not crying. It meant I had no blueprint for how to grieve, and I had no reassurance that everything I felt was normal.

So I’m breaking the taboo. I’m talking about it. And if you end up in that dark room with too few heartbeats, then at the very least you’ll have one story in there with you.

(And if it’s not you in that room but someone you know, then you won’t say “at least you know you’re fertile” because you will understand that some things are not replaceable, some situations are too broken to run smoothly a second time, and some silver-linings are so sharp they cut.)

And besides.

My babies (foetuses, empty sacs) do not have birthdays. They do not have death certificates. They do not have tombstones. They only exist in my medical records and in the space they carve out in people’s minds. They only exist if I tell you about them.

And they exist more if it hurts.

Are you doing okay?

Three asterisks

I had a second D&C. I woke up feeling as though I had dreamed good dreams, and then I remembered where I was and why I was there. I ate my cheese sandwich. I drank my cup of tea.

And the next day was Valentine’s Day, again.

We stayed in, again. We sat on the couch, again. We had a glass of wine, again.

My partner and I sit on the couch with a glass of wine. We are no longer happy.

Nothing had changed. Everything had changed.

And it isn’t over.

*********************************

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233 responses to “Expecting”

  1. Wolf of Words Avatar

    Thank you for sharing this story. It hit me like a ton of bricks and all I did was read it so I can only imagine how you felt and still feel.

    Liked by 12 people

    1. Lucy Grove-Jones Avatar

      It has not been easy. Thank you for commenting :)

      Liked by 6 people

  2. Claudia McGill Avatar

    You are brave. You have lots of strength. I admire you and hope for the best. I also think you have written a really cathartic and (oddly enough) humorous piece with a lot of heart. Thinking of you.

    Liked by 8 people

  3. jule Avatar

    Oh Lucy, you make my heart ache and I wish I could give you soothing hugs. Thank you for sharing your story.
    Accio hugs!

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Sophia Ball Avatar

    Beautifully written. Thank you for sharing, it touched my heart. You know me, I think there’s a power in vulnerability and we’d all be better off baring our souls than hiding our pain away. Our emotional intelligence would increase. People would know to deeply reconsider any sentence that starts with “At least..”

    I wish you luck, love and strength on the rest of your journey. <3

    Liked by 5 people

    1. betunada Avatar

      I agree with “far sighed” as well as the previous comments. axually, it must be the feminine sighed-of-me’s ‘time of the month’ or whuddeverr, but i’m sorta choked up and (especially if there was NO BEER in the house) I might even sorta cry, a little. (there is some beer. i’m tryin’ to be funny — but really, your essay is/was profound and I don’t mean in any way to detract from that ~

      Liked by 6 people

      1. Sophia Ball Avatar

        ^^^I love this (betunada’s, if this doesn’t thread right) comment! The sincerity shines brightly. You sir, have a good heart. <3

        Liked by 4 people

  5. Bear R Humphreys Avatar

    Ah. Shitty times.
    I understand a little more.
    This was a powerful piece from a desperately sad year. I don’t to prayers but I dunno, will virtual positive vibes and best wishes do?
    Be well.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Lucy Grove-Jones Avatar

      Virtual positive vibes and best wishes sound like just the thing.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Losing the Plot Avatar

    I don’t know what I can say, except I will share this where I can

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Lucy Grove-Jones Avatar

      Thank you. I hope it does some good.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Losing the Plot Avatar

        I hope it reaches whoever needs it, it is an amazing post. I don’t really have the right words, but poignant, touching, funny in parts and heartbreaking are a start.

        Liked by 2 people

  7. Dina Avatar

    wow – you are a gifted writer. you had me laughing – aloud, then crying (true – literally was). such a journey and so beautifully told. please hold on to your witty outlook on life, and that courage you have to share some of those colder days with us xxx

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Wilt Avatar

    I am envious of your ability to tell a story. Amazing.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. Pistachios Avatar

    I used to think the same about it being really easy to get pregnant, but then I started working in a pharmacy that dispenses IVF medication, and just seeing so many women on IVF (sometimes multiple attempts) made me start thinking that it’s near-impossible or something. Now I get anxious for people I know who are TTC (is that the right acronym?)

    This was a good balance of funny and serious. Thank-you for sharing. There’s a lot about miscarriage I didn’t know.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Lucy Grove-Jones Avatar

      Yes, TTC is the acronym.

      Thing is, it’s not hard for everyone, but you don’t know how it will go for you until you try.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. actualconversationswithmyhusband Avatar

    I’ve heard a lot of things that didn’t help, and even more things that were some flavor of awful. So I’ll repeat the one thing someone (a stranger, of all people) said that actually made me weep with relief: me too; nothing anyone says takes the pain away, but I’m sorry.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Lucy Grove-Jones Avatar

      Thank you <3 that is helpful to me.

      Like

  11. CW Avatar

    I identify with your story, and however sad/funny it is, I love how you told it. Thank you.

    Liked by 4 people

  12. Sammie Avatar

    This was so hard for me to read, and I can’t begin to imagine how hard it was to write. Okay, well, I can sort of. This is so familiar to me story.

    I had a daughter, actually. Then, immediately, had most of my left ovary removed, though they assured me it probably wouldn’t—shouldn’t—impact fertility, and besides, I had a second healthy ovary. I was fine with that. We had always intended to follow the first one closely with a second and then we’d have our family and be done. But then the years ticked by. Pretty soon, six years passed, and I had given up hope. Then, I was diagnosed with gluten intolerance and went gluten-free. Driving home one night, I was thinking about the pineapple pizza at book club and it made me nauseous (as it should, of course, I mean really), which wasn’t normal. So I tested and lo and behold! We were ecstatic. First scan done, everything looked great. We had no reason to be concerned.

    Then I started spotting. It was a week before my next scheduled scan. My doctor assured me that’s normal and sometimes happens and I already had a scan set up anyway but to call back if it got worse. It didn’t get worse, but it also didn’t stop. In the meantime, my symptoms gradually went away. By the time we made it to the ultrasound, I was supposed to be 12 weeks along and the baby had died at 10. I had the D&C the day before my birthday. That was last September.

    This year, I’ve had more health problems, and I decided pregnancy obviously just wasn’t going to happen. But I’ve been sick for the past few months, and I believed it was a hormonal imbalance. My periods started coming late. I’ve even had a ruptured cyst for the first time. So I went in yesterday to have my hormone levels tested, and I was diagnosed with PCOS. One more hurdle, right? In order to put me on pills to stabilize my hormones, I had to take a pee test, of course. I already did one, before going to the doctor, just to rule it out, and it was negative. Well, the doctor’s came back positive, but PCOS can sometimes cause false positives, so I was sent for a blood serum test. Also positive.

    So I am now about four weeks pregnant and absolutely terrified. I should be thrilled, right? But every time I pee, I’m scared of seeing red. I wake up every day thinking, will today be the day my baby dies? I want to celebrate. I want to tell people. I’m stuck in this weird limbo of if I don’t get my hopes up, it won’t hurt. But it already hurts.

    Thank you for sharing this post! Your writing is beautiful, and what a roller coaster ride of emotions. I wish the best for you and your husband and whatever your future hold. Hopefully, it’s a whole lot of happiness.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Lucy Grove-Jones Avatar

      Thank you for commenting and sharing your story. I’m sorry to hear you have also experienced miscarriage, and I know that it can be terrifying to be pregnant following a loss. I also tried to stay detached, but couldn’t. I would see saw wildly between hope and despair. I was open about it with friends and family (it helped me a lot to have people to talk to and lean on), and it surprised me the way they could all see it as something certain.

      Nevertheless, congratulations! I really hope your pregnancy is healthy and uneventful. Best of luck with your health issues, too. My thoughts are with you.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Lucy Grove-Jones Avatar

      Thank you for commenting and sharing your story. I’m sorry to hear you have also experienced miscarriage, and I know that it can be terrifying to be pregnant following a loss. I also tried to stay detached, but couldn’t. I would see saw wildly between hope and despair. I was open about it with friends and family (it helped me a lot to have people to talk to and lean on), and it surprised me the way they could all see it as something certain.

      Nevertheless, congratulations! I really hope your pregnancy is healthy and uneventful. Best of luck with your health issues, too. My thoughts are with you.

      Like

  13. If you read one thing today… – Almost Pregnant Avatar

    […] Read Expecting by Lucy Grove-Jones. […]

    Liked by 2 people

  14. AdnamaMarais.wordpress.com Avatar

    Oh Wow I have a lump in my throat and if it possible tears in my Heart. I have Congenital hypothyroidism. Polycystic ovarian syndrome. 46. I wish you Love and light and a huge Success. ⚘💕❤

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Lucy Grove-Jones Avatar

      Thank you <3 I'm sorry to hear about your health issues.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. AdnamaMarais.wordpress.com Avatar

    I’ve had 3 miscarriages. There are few things more devastating as you know.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lucy Grove-Jones Avatar

      Honestly, my miscarriages have been the worst thing that’s ever happened to me.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. gwennym Avatar

    Thank you for sharing such a heartbreaking story. Nothing anyone can say could ever be enough. ((hugs))

    Liked by 3 people

  17. Chomeuse with a Chou Avatar

    You write so powerfully that I couldn’t stop reading even though I wanted to. It is so good of you to spread awareness. I don’t know how you feel and won’t insult you by imagining that I do, but I know how recurrent miscarriage makes me feel and I am so so sorry for you. I have no advice to offer but you have my very best thoughts and wishes.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Lucy Grove-Jones Avatar

      Thank you <3 I'm sorry that you wanted to stop reading, and I hope this wasn't too much. I was concerned when writing this that it would be an overload for some people.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Chomeuse with a Chou Avatar

        Oh not at all. I try to avoid the subject generally but it’s amazing what you can get used to, isn’t it? I found your use of humour to be very engaging, bring more personality into such a tough subject. My son was born third time lucky, so I hope the magic power of three works for you too. Sadly I haven’t been as lucky again trying to give him a sibling. Just keep going, huh? All the very very best of luck.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Lucy Grove-Jones Avatar

          Good luck with your second <3 I hope it works out in the end.

          Liked by 1 person

  18. translancer01 Avatar

    Thank you for sharing this story…I had tears reading it..I am not a mother and never tried to get pregnant but I relate to your story somehow…it is the deepest feeling and strongest bond a woman can experience…the lost or the long for maternity “exist more if it hurts”…

    Liked by 4 people

  19. Gini Avatar

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    So many things you wrote were things I’ve wanted to write but haven’t had the ability to so far. I know everyone’s experience is slightly different, but thank you for giving me a chance to relate to someone else’s time of being pregnant and subsequently no longer pregnant. Your illustrations perfectly summed up last year for me and provided more comfort than you’ll know.

    So thank you for sharing your story with realness, humor, and eloquence. Thank you.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Lucy Grove-Jones Avatar

      Thank you for commenting. I’m glad this helped you in some way.

      Like

  20. cynthiaattempts Avatar

    I thought twice about reading this, because of my own miscarriage at 16 weeks last August,but I am glad I did. And you’re right, no one talks to you about miscarriage until you have one. Maybe because it is too painful?

    I was always able to write about whatever pained me, but in this case I can’t do it. Not yet. But kudos to you for your bravery. Even though i am pregnant now, a part of my heart will always ache for the one I lost.

    I wish you supporting people who never say the wrong things to you. I wish you hope and all the best in your life.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Lucy Grove-Jones Avatar

      Honestly, if my story had popped up in front of me written by someone else, I’m not sure I would read it (at least not right now, as it’s still very raw). I’m glad you don’t regret taking the plunge. I don’t think the pain ever goes away for something like this.

      Congratulations on your current pregnancy! I hope it is healthy and uneventful and brings you happiness.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. K.M. Sutton Avatar

    Firstly sending you huge hugs. Second thank you. Thank you for sharing this, thank you for being vulnerable. Thank you for shredding this taboo topic, thank you for talking about this. So much love to you! <3

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Lucy Grove-Jones Avatar

      Thank you for commenting :)

      Liked by 1 person

  22. josypheen Avatar

    Thank you for sharing.

    Urgh. This is a tough post to read. I am keen to ditch the birth control and start trying…but the thought of it not working stresses me out before we even give it a go! I have so many friends that have gone through miscarriages/IVF that I sort if assume it’ll be similar for me.

    Anyway, this post is a really good mix of humor and poignant story telling. It makes my heart ache for you, so i am wishing you all the best.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lucy Grove-Jones Avatar

      Thank you for commenting. It’s not this way for everyone, and I think that’s important to remember too. Good luck with whatever you decide to do in the future <3

      Liked by 2 people

      1. josypheen Avatar

        Thank you, and right back atcha!

        Liked by 1 person

  23. ladyrevontulet Avatar

    Thank you for sharing your story. My husband and I have been trying for just over a year now and have had no success. I know the advice that people offer is meant to help, but it tends to make me feel like the fact that we haven’t succeeded is my fault somehow. Thanks for taking a step to break the taboo. It helps.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lucy Grove-Jones Avatar

      I’m sorry to hear it hasn’t worked for you so far. Trying can be a very difficult time, and I don’t think that is discussed enough. I don’t think there are easy answers (for anything, really), and I am always a bit skeptical of people who think there are. It definitely isn’t your fault. Our bodies let us down sometimes. Hugs and best of luck for everything in your future <3

      Liked by 1 person

  24. mcrmom614 Avatar

    My miscarriage broke my heart, but I was lucky. There are so many people with similar issues, and that both helps and doesn’t. I’m so sorry for your loss(es), and hope that they don’t continue. Thank you for this.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lucy Grove-Jones Avatar

      I’m sorry you went through it too. Thank you for commenting <3

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Emily Kitsch Avatar

    I’m so sorry for your losses. I’ve had multiple miscarriages as well and sometimes it feels like you’re occupying the loneliest corner of the planet, all alone. I wish I could give you a hug. Thank you for sharing your story, I’m sure it can’t have been an easy thing to do.

    Sending you so much love.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lucy Grove-Jones Avatar

      Thank you for commenting <3 I'm sorry to hear you went through this too. I appreciate virtual hugs, and send one back.

      It was not easy to write this, but I'm glad that I did.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Emily Kitsch Avatar

        Aww, thanks sweetie. *hugs*

        I’m glad you wrote about it too, pregnancy loss is a topic that rarely gets discussed, even though it happens to so many of us. There is a very real grief that comes along with it that often gets brushed aside by others who might not necessarily see that grief as valid for whatever misguided, insensitive reason. Discussing miscarriage and it’s aftereffects is not just important for the women who have been through it, but for people who are lucky enough to have not experienced it, so they can see what it’s like, how it effects people, and the scars it leaves behind. Thank you for being brave and sharing your story and starting the discussion! <3 So much love to you.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Lucy Grove-Jones Avatar

          I completely agree with all those reasons for talking about it <3

          Liked by 2 people

  26. Laurie Avatar

    Wow! This was a powerful story from a very gifted writer. You have so much talent.I am so sorry for your loss, and am hoping that some healing is slowly taking place. I know it doesn’t help you, but I had a very similar experience. There is a sisterhood of us out here.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lucy Grove-Jones Avatar

      Thank you <3 I'm sorry you went through this too. There are a lot of us.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Sue k path Avatar

    Yes, Lucy, its such a tough journey of trying to conceive. Its a miracle by itself. We are really subjected to a tough situation of Gods creation. The nine months is like over thousand years. You sit, you stand, you sleep but nothing works. Its a journey whose destination is only God knows. Sometimes, its good to remain under doctors observation .

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lucy Grove-Jones Avatar

      Thank you for commenting <3

      Like

  28. thewholesticapproach Avatar

    Thank you for this post. I just dealt with this in February and even though you know people have experienced it, you feel so alone. I appreciate your candidness. Still have my up and down moments, but the hubby and my 6 yr old son, help me so much.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lucy Grove-Jones Avatar

      I’m so sorry for your loss. I also still have my up and down moments, and expect I will continue to have them for some time. I’m glad that your husband and son are helping you, and I wish you the best for everything in your future.

      Liked by 2 people

  29. awakeningwildflower Avatar

    When my fifth child died, which I gave birth to, one of the nurses took him out, looked at him–looked at me–then said: “Well, this is good. He wouldn’t have made it anyway. The cord is wrapped around his neck three times.” In this case, silence would have been preferred. I’ll never forget her…her coldness over the body of a living soul. I’m so, so, sorry for your loss and pain. Talk about it! Your child may not be “here,” but…he and/or she IS here. Once a part of you, always a part of you. And THAT does not change. hugs…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lucy Grove-Jones Avatar

      <3

      I'm so sorry for your loss. That must have been so impossibly hard to experience, and to have someone say something like that in that moment … I don't have words. I have a virtual hug, though, which I am will-powering over to you.

      Thank you for taking the time to comment.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. awakeningwildflower Avatar

        Hugs back to you. I should mention that I had MANY kind nurses and doctors along the way, it’s just that sometimes the “inappropriate” comments beat out the loving ones. Grateful to have found your blog…look forward to reading more.

        Liked by 2 people

  30. angelanoelauthor Avatar

    A beautiful, excellent example of heartache and if not triumph at least perseverance. How real to know it’s not over! It’s not over when the news is good or when the news is bad. It’s never “over.” The constant choose-your-or -adventure-except-it’s-not-always-really-your-choice of life keeps spinning. You write beautifully. And though the peice was long, I loved every word (and every comic.)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lucy Grove-Jones Avatar

      Thank you <3 I usually don't write posts that long, but I couldn't have done that story any shorter.

      Like

  31. Muhammad Fahmi Lubis Avatar

    Oh my, this rends my heart. Apparently I didn’t read the tags and the excerpt and I was focused on the cute illustration (which I actually didn’t really pay attention to)—but hey it made me read the whole story, which is great, right? I like how you deliver this story captivating, even though I don’t know how exactly you’ve been through in writing this (and of course this experience as well), but I hope everything is always at its best for you….

    Two years ago, my friend was talking about her period to me. In all seriousness, I don’t know how I ended up with that conversation—like, to a guy? She’d had late periods, even sometimes skipped an entire month, and she said it’s already in her genes. It looked “normal” to her but she had been really anxious. Reading this story somehow makes me understand her more.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lucy Grove-Jones Avatar

      I actually wrote it to be read that way, so that the reader won’t know how it’s going to end. Thank you so much for commenting. I’m glad this has helped you understand your friend.

      Like

  32. Kaycee Avatar

    Very lovely.. Just lovely.. Great story

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lucy Grove-Jones Avatar

      Thank you <3

      (You seem to have another comment that doesn't seem complete and was maybe an accident. I might just not put it through moderation, if that's ok?)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Kaycee Avatar

        Okay.. Totally understand.. Thanks

        Liked by 1 person

  33. BellyBytes Avatar

    I am a granny now to three but still remember my first miscarriage. There were no ultrasounds and scans then but all that signaled a dead foetus was a spotted panty. An uncomfortable internal exam confirmed the worst and I too had to have a D & C . It was on a Hindu holiday when we celebrate the Harvest festival .
    So there you have another miscarriage story that fortunately had a happy ending .
    Love your cartoons and your wry humour.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lucy Grove-Jones Avatar

      I’m sorry to hear of your loss. Thank you for sharing <3

      Liked by 1 person

  34. Violetta Sochka Khamis Avatar

    You are incredibly brave and strong. I feel very strongly that the silence about miscarriages should be broken and women should not be made to cope with it on their own.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lucy Grove-Jones Avatar

      Thank you <3 Me too.

      Liked by 1 person

  35. eyelovemom Avatar

    I am very sorry for your loss. I am having mine. Right now. And I feel your story very much. Thank you for telling it. Thank you for sharing it.

    Stay strong!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lucy Grove-Jones Avatar

      I’m so sorry to hear that this is happening to you right now. It’s such a brutal experience. I am sending love and internet hugs <3

      Liked by 2 people

  36. thewhisperingheart Avatar

    Dear Lucy, I loved what you have written. Any woman can actually feel what you’ve gone through while reading this. I wish you good health, and lots of love.

    Liked by 2 people

  37. sweeterthannothing Avatar

    Just heartbreaking, I’m sorry for all the hurt you’ve been through but want to say, you’re an amazing person for finding humour in a story such as yours!

    Liked by 2 people

  38. hannah1986blog Avatar

    I’ve been in your shoes. You never “get over it”, but you learn to cope with it as time goes on. Even when you do finally have a healthy baby in your arms, you still think of all the ones you lost to reach this moment. Thank you for sharing to help rid the taboo.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lucy Grove-Jones Avatar

      It’s just going to always be a terrible thing that happened. I would like to reach a place of peace (though I don’t expect ‘peace’ to equal ‘okay’ or ‘pain-free’), but I think it will take a long time. Thank you for commenting.

      Like

  39. Cristina Gore Avatar

    You are incredibly strong for sharing this and a truly amazing writer. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  40. Ay Avatar

    You’ve gone through so much heart break. What a strong message and well written piece. Thanks for sharing and publishing.

    Through all the heartbreak associated with losing little heartbeats, I find the standard medical practice to be inadequate in providing care and a cure on the prevention of the next miscarriage. The common practice is to not do further tests on the mother and the fetus to determine what caused the miscarriage until after the second miscarriage. I personally don’t think it’s ethical to allow families potentially go through a 3rd heartbreak before taking constructive action.

    It’s important to allow time to grief and also important to find out the cause, in the hopes of of knowing what can be done to prevent a next time, knowing it also might not work. Our journey in trying to find a cause also helped us cope and gave us hope.

    Sending you and your partner lots of luck and well wishes in this journey.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lucy Grove-Jones Avatar

      I agree. I was told they only start looking for an underlying cause after the third miscarriage. It just seems so awful to allow people who have issues that might be fixed to go through it more times than necessary. It would destroy me to have it happen a third time, find a problem that could be fixed, and then have to live with the knowledge that if tests were run after the first miscarriage the other pregnancies might have been saved.

      I pushed, and my doctor is lovely, so I got some blood tests done after my second one (no answers though).

      Liked by 1 person

  41. Unleashing the Cougar Avatar

    I love your story too. You write and draw so beautifully. Your raw honesty tinged with humour and concern is an authentic and moving way to write such a difficult memoir. Well done and I wish you success where and when you want it, next.

    Liked by 2 people

  42. dirtbri Avatar

    I appreciated hearing your story. Related with a lot of what you said, and then learned things and saw into your world for a bit. I think maybe people don’t know how to respond when people mention hard things like miscarriages– that’s my guess, in part, for why people don’t talk about it more. Or maybe they haven’t decided where they’re at in the journey of emotional recovery. Maybe they don’t want to relive the emotions. However, ONCE you start bringing it up, or sharing what you’ve experienced, it frees THEM to talk about it. When I’ve shared my stories people have suddenly felt free to share about their experiences– and they were people I’d known for years and never even hinted at the idea that they’d lost anyone that way. Sometimes I don’t like dipping into the emotional vault with people, so I don’t say anything… but I think I err in this. I should share more of my emotions with people and not just with the two or three people closest to me. Others benefit when you share. Thank you ;)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lucy Grove-Jones Avatar

      People definitely don’t know how to respond to things like miscarriage. And I know the “at least” comments come from a place of wanting to help and provide comfort. I think the more we talk about it, the more people understand how to handle the situation.

      But we have to look after ourselves too. Sometimes it helps to talk, but sometimes we need to be distracted. Sometimes it would do more harm than good to plunge back into it. And that’s okay.

      Thank you for commenting <3

      Liked by 1 person

  43. jencamb Avatar

    Thank you for sharing – so much of this resonates with me. And so sorry for your losses xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lucy Grove-Jones Avatar

      Thank you for commenting <3

      Like

  44. Adalynncrafts Avatar

    Thank you for sharing your story. A hug for you on your journey through this life. I hope sharing is helping you and I know you are helping others. Also I love the drawings!! And the raw honesty in this. ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lucy Grove-Jones Avatar

      Thank you for commenting and for the hug <3

      Liked by 1 person

  45. thereallifechristian Avatar

    Yes! I can relate to this post SO much! After I miscarried our first, I felt so isolated like no-one else had to endure that type of thing. It wasn’t until I announced I had lost it that people came out of the woodworks (pardon the phrase) telling me how they had miscarried too. I wasn’t alone but sure felt like it initially-not saying that it’s any easier knowing you’re not alone. I miscarried a second time. The third pregnancy, I was so paranoid even up until the end feeling like at any moment I could lose her. Thankfully, I didn’t! Thank you for writing about a topic that seems to be taboo! There are too many women who deal with infertility or miscarriages and feel alone.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lucy Grove-Jones Avatar

      I’m sorry to hear about your losses. I have also found that having people to talk to made it … not easier, nothing could make it easier, but it helped. I’m glad your third pregnancy was successful. Thank you for commenting <3

      Liked by 1 person

  46. mockingjay Avatar

    This is so amaaziinggggg

    Liked by 2 people

      1. mockingjay Avatar

        Can you please follow me? And read my work.

        Liked by 2 people

  47. Away In Autumn Avatar

    Hello Silence Killed The Dinosaurs: thanks of your awesome post. I have looked through your cartoons and story, and I am now following you on twitter, instagram and Facebook. You are sharing much truth in an entertaining and impactful visual and text way combined, so that meaning and reality hits the reader all at once with such strength. I applaud you for your courage in sharing your truth–we all benefit from this … and clearly you are finding success here. I look forward to future stories!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lucy Grove-Jones Avatar

      Thank you so much <3

      Like

  48. Na'ama Yehuda Avatar

    Thank you for writing this. I read it. I understood it. Maybe not in the exact way some others might, yet still in one of the many ways women (and I assume, the men and women who love them) who know aspects of such emptiness can understand.

    You are so very right about the need to put words to it. To not always be the reassuring one. To care about how others feel and still tell it like it is. Because it matters. Because the hopes and dreams have form, even if they are shattered and even if it’s been that way for a long time. Even if you happen to be someone who knows – and have come to terms with, whatever that may mean at any given time – that your body will to do what some others’ can.

    I have friends who still find it difficult to give voice to their empty (or emptied) wombs. Some are still trying. Some have moved on because the costs were too great and they could not hold hope without bankrupting something else at the same time. I have friends who had after years of try-and-loss become parents, and who have pulled a tight blanket over the years that preceded the now. I will be sending all those friends the link, because I think they too will understand, each in their own way, what this had meant to them, and how there are others among us who understand.

    Stories need not be identical to make them ‘pain-alike-enough’ to understand.

    And … yes … taboos carry their own weight in agony, and what we do not speak of becomes something unknown and yet lived painfully anyway. I am so glad you wrote.
    Well done.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lucy Grove-Jones Avatar

      Thank you for your thoughtful and heartfelt comment <3 My thoughts are with you and your friends in whatever kinds of loss you have experienced.

      And thank you for including not only the people physically experiencing the loss, but the people who love them.

      Liked by 2 people

  49. hashioates Avatar

    Thank you for sharing your story. All of this relates so strongly to me and it is so kind of you to share ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lucy Grove-Jones Avatar

      Thank you <3 And thank you for commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

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