All posts by Lucy Grove-Jones

About Lucy Grove-Jones

Writes stuff and draws things. Her comics and humour blog is Silence Killed the Dinosaurs, and her Proper Writer Blog called LJ Grove-Jones Writes*. Has chronic fatigue syndrome and is prone to talking about her cat.

Glasses

2 panels. Panel 1, a professional-looking man in a white coat hands comic-Lucy a pair of glasses and says 'Glasses will help you see!'. Panel 2: a view from comic-Lucy's perspective. She is looking at a friend through her glasses. The friend is saying 'So how much difference does having glasses make?'. Everything outside the rim of the glasses is lightly blurred. Everything inside the rim of the glasses is clear, but smudged with fingerprints and covered in speckles of water.

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Lifechanging.

(For real though, I love my glasses and if you have only slightly dodgy vision and are on the fence on whether you should bother with glasses the answer is, yes, you should bother with glasses. I sat on that fence for years and with corrected 20/20 hindsight, it was really, really silly of me).

Remember, if you love my Silence Killed the Dinosaurs stories and comics, check out my Patreon page or  store. You can support my work and get unique rewards! Just so you know, I am now using affiliate links to my store. This means that if you follow one of the links from my site and buy something from my store, not only will I get an artist commission for designing it, but I will also get a small affiliate commission for, essentially, marketing it. This means buying something for my store doesn’t just support me, it EXTRA SUPPORTS ME.

And don’t forget you can follow me for Silence Killed the Dinosaurs updates on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Nice Basket

Text reads: All common household problems can be solved with a nice basket. Comics with six panels arranged in three rows. Row 1, panel 1: clutter on a bench, text: clutter. Row 1, panel 2, the clutter is now in a nice basket that is on the bench, text: nice basket. Row 2, Panel 1, a blur of a cat zooms across a room filled with scratched up furniture and nibbled plants, text: cat. Row 2, Panel 2, the cat is sitting in a nice basket, text: nice basket. Row 3, Panel 1, comic-lucy is standing in front of her house as a giant Cthulhu figure stomps towards it, text: Cthulhu. Row 3, Panel 2, comic-Lucy throws a nice basket at Cthulhu, bonking him in the head, text: nice basket.

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True story. Unrelated, I will not be accepting critiques of this comic at this time.

Remember, if you love my Silence Killed the Dinosaurs stories and comics, check out my Patreon page or  store. You can support my work and get unique rewards! Just so you know, I am now using affiliate links to my store. This means that if you follow one of the links from my site and buy something from my store, not only will I get an artist commission for designing it, but I will also get a small affiliate commission for, essentially, marketing it. This means buying something for my store doesn’t just support me, it EXTRA SUPPORTS ME.

And don’t forget you can follow me for Silence Killed the Dinosaurs updates on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Baby Practice

A comic with five panels. Panel one takes up 1/3 of the page. In it, comic lucy is pregnant and sitting on a yellow couch with her partner, their cat is purring in his lap. Comic Lucy says 'I don't understand why some people see cats as practice for babies. They're totally different!' The next three panels are smaller and together take up the middle 1/3rd of the page. In the first, a cat nibbles on a houseplant and a baby also nibbles on a houseplant. In the second, a baby drops their sippy cup off their highchair, and a cat sits on a table next to them having just pushed off a glass which is smashed on the ground. In the third, comic lucy stands holded the baby, who is biting her cheek and pulling her hair, while a cat is attached to and biting her leg. The final panel takes the bottom 1/3 of the page. In it, lucy's partner has a laser pointer and is moving it around the floor as both the cat and the baby go after it. Comic Lucy is standing next to them and says 'Fine. There's some overlap'

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I mean, not right away, but when the crawling starts.

Remember, if you love my Silence Killed the Dinosaurs stories and comics, check out my Patreon page or  store. You can support my work and get unique rewards! Just so you know, I am now using affiliate links to my store. This means that if you follow one of the links from my site and buy something from my store, not only will I get an artist commission for designing it, but I will also get a small affiliate commission for, essentially, marketing it. This means buying something for my store doesn’t just support me, it EXTRA SUPPORTS ME.

And don’t forget you can follow me for Silence Killed the Dinosaurs updates on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Small Earthquake

Three panel comic. In the first, comic-Lucy sits in an arm chair. She and the room are vibrating. Second panel. Lucy's partner sticks his head through the door, while holding their baby. He says 'Was that an earthquake?'. Third panel, comic-Lucy pulls out her phone and says 'I'll check'.
Two panels. The first, large panel is full of social media updates, all of which are about the earthquake. randomguy69 says 'was that an #earthquake' A Cage (sponsored) says 'Come down for $4 milkshakes in honour of the the earthquake #earthquake #supportsmallbusiness' furringtonthe4th says 'earTh sHake, me hAte' with a picture of a scared cat. abovethis666 says 'obligatory #earthquake tweet'. Someone has posted the 'we will rebuild' meme with the white lawn chair that has fallen over. MarthaandRob Smith has posted one of those facebook laughing face backgrounds with 'Did anyone else feel that earthquake? I will write to the ...' and it is covered by other statuses. Second panel, back to comic-Lucy. Her partner is still in the doorway, their baby is now grabbing at his face. Lucy is looking at her phone, she says 'Yup.'

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HUGE NEWS!

We had a small earthquake on Sunday. A small earthquake is actually a big deal in Australia because overall we’re pretty geologically stable and we don’t get earthquakes often, let alone feel at risk of one actually breaking stuff. It was about a 3.8, I think. Probably not a big deal in most other parts of the world, but whenever this sort of things happens here, the internet GOES OFF.

Remember, if you love my Silence Killed the Dinosaurs stories and comics, check out my Patreon page or  store. You can support my work and get unique rewards! Just so you know, I am now using affiliate links to my store. This means that if you follow one of the links from my site and buy something from my store, not only will I get an artist commission for designing it, but I will also get a small affiliate commission for, essentially, marketing it. This means buying something for my store doesn’t just support me, it EXTRA SUPPORTS ME.

And don’t forget you can follow me for Silence Killed the Dinosaurs updates on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Thing, not done

Three panel comic. First panel. Comic Lucy reclines on an arm chair. Next to her is a big pile of stuff labelled 'Thing, not done'. Friendly dinosaur is standing nearby. Comic Lucy says 'I keel looking at this thing, and it's never done. Second panel. Everything is the same except now comic Lucy is looking at the friendly dinosaur, who is saying 'Have you tried actually doing it?'. Third panel. Everything is exactly the same, except the dinosaur looks taken aback and comic Lucy says 'Don't be ridiculous'

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I’m not sure if this is ironic or just the logical next step of this situation, but I drew this sometime last year and have spent months looking at it and thinking, ‘why is this not posted yet?’.

Got there eventually.

Remember, if you love my Silence Killed the Dinosaurs stories and comics, check out my Patreon page or  store. You can support my work and get unique rewards! Just so you know, I am now using affiliate links to my store. This means that if you follow one of the links from my site and buy something from my store, not only will I get an artist commission for designing it, but I will also get a small affiliate commission for, essentially, marketing it. This means buying something for my store doesn’t just support me, it EXTRA SUPPORTS ME.

And don’t forget you can follow me for Silence Killed the Dinosaurs updates on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Sweet Potato: Giving Birth After Multiple Miscarriages

Imagine a bath so big that I, a grown adult of average size, could float away. It was my partner’s job to hold on to my leg and keep me anchored as I dealt with the contractions through a mix of relaxing in hot water, watching Jurassic Park on my laptop (placed out of splash-range), snacking on raspberry liquorice bullets, getting a bit high on gas and air, and telling Laura Dern not to celebrate because it was only the start of the third act. The midwife laughed a lot. I like to think it was because I was hilarious rather than just because she hadn’t fielded a Jurassic Park Raspberry Liquorice Bullet Bath labour before.

To encourage me, she said to imagine afterwards. Imagine holding my baby potato in my arms. Lots of people find that helpful.

***

Having a baby potato was hard. Having a baby potato following four miscarriages was harder.

The lost babies were more present, somehow, the closer I got to birth. That wasn’t what I wanted. I didn’t want to marinade my pregnancy in sadness. I didn’t want to bring five—counting the twins separately—little shadows into the birthing suite. I didn’t want what-ifs lurking in the back of my mind during wiggly ultrasounds, becoming more real, haunting me with everything they never were.

It wasn’t that I wanted them forgotten, I just didn’t want them so close in those moments.

Their presence meant I couldn’t trust the outcome. I couldn’t couldn’t couldn’t refer to it as a baby potato, so we called it the potato. I struggled to buy baby potato products because I couldn’t escape the fear there would be another tragedy and I would be left surrounded by reminders. When the baby potato wiggled I calmed, and fortunately it was a very wiggly baby potato, but then there was a small issue on my 20 week scan. A follow up showed things were fine, but the damage was done. I didn’t relax again.

How could I? It was only the start of the third act.

***

Imagine being dumb enough to delay getting the epidural you always planned on having out of a combo of morbid curiosity about contractions and covetousness for that giant bath which looked fun and wasn’t allowed post-epidural.

Imagine a lot of pain.

More than that.

Yeah, no. Still more. It was pain that sent me into panic, even though I knew what was causing it, even though I knew it would stop and give me a break until the next wave, even though I knew everything was going exactly as planned, even though I was a bit high on gas and air and Laura Dern was holding her own against the velociraptors.

Okay, close enough, we’re burning daylight.

I finally wised up and asked for an epidural please and not to be a bother but could-that-happen-ASAPthanksinadvance. But the midwife was pretty sure based on my contraction strength that I was almost ready to give birth. So I got out of the bath and hobbled toward the bed—acutely aware for every shuffled inch across the linoleum floor that my feet were wet and slippery and my legs were shaking from the pain and that it would be unbearable if I slipped and fell and hurt the baby potato when we were so close. Part way, the midwife recommended I visit the bathroom first, so I added a way-point and a slow, careful pee break to my road trip. When I eventually reached the bed (although I’m pretty sure Frodo and Sam overtook me on the way), the midwife remembered I was due for my next round of penicillin. Except it was also shift change and all the handover chat had to happen before that. When, finally, I was in the bed, the shift had changed and the penicillin was dripping into my arm, it was exam time. I failed miserably. Zero dilation had occurred since water breakage. I had ages to go. And then of course it was still 4am and the epidural guy was at home in bed.

That makes it sound worse than it was. Really, after I crossed the floor I didn’t even notice that time passing. Everything hurt too much for temporal normality. When my partner told me later it was at least an hour and reminded me of all the little delays, I was shocked.

Once the epidural was installed in my back, the pain was so, extremely, amazingly gone I fell asleep.

***

Pregnancy gave me vivid dreams.

My worst pregnancy-induced nightmare wasn’t the one where I was living in a house under the sea with hundreds of great white sharks swarming outside. It was the one where I was in labour, and then just when the baby potato was about to come out, my belly deflated. The doctor, who had been bending over between my legs as per every Hollywood birth scene ever, straightened and said that it was a false alarm. There was no baby potato. That this happened sometimes. I should go home. And she and all the midwives packed up and left me, confused and scared and alone, on the hospital bed with no baby potato.

***

Imagine the slow horror of realising you don’t get to keep the epidural for the pushing bit.

No one warned me about that. They were all oh, epidurals are so good you can sleep through contractions! Which was the truth. It just wasn’t the whole truth.

Imagine discovering that pushing hurt hurt hurt in a whole new way.

It wasn’t that it was impossibly bad from a physical standpoint. I mean, yes, it was that. It super hurt. But so does life. There are worse things than pain that will go away eventually. Really it was that, unlike the contractions, pushing didn’t just happen to me—I had to do it. It was no longer about endurance; it was about choice. There was no way out the other side of the ordeal other than to actively, knowingly hurt myself. To choose pain, more pain, escalating pain, over and over and over. Psychologically, it was a lot to process in the moment. Too much, really.

No one warned me about that, either. I think they should have. That kind of thing leaves a mark if you’re not prepared.

Again, I was told to imagine my baby potato. Again, I couldn’t. My mind would not go there. Instead, I focused on following the instructions. When to push, how to change position to help things along, how to push more effectively, when to move back so the doctor could check the progress since it did seem to be going on a bit.

That was when she asked if she could cut me a little bit.

I said not unless it was absolutely necessary.

She said she did think it was absolutely necessary.

I said but … really absolutely necessary?

She said well technically no, and then explained what was, in her medical opinion, the most likely alternate scenario. It included the adverb ‘horrendously’.

I said well then, let’s add some scissors to this party, sounds fun.

***

I was supposed to be induced a day earlier, but when I went to the hospital as scheduled, half the town immediately went into spontaneous labour. We were told to wait while they got on top of things, so my partner and I set up in my hospital room with a takeaway pizza and Star Wars Episide IV on my laptop. Midwives and doctors popped in with brief updates—someone else had arrived in labour, a baby who had gone home yesterday needed to come back in for extra care, a birthing class everyone had forgotten about just showed up and the midwife on duty would have to drop everything and take it. Eventually, a doctor told me told they were too busy for me that evening. I should go home.

I cried.

He said even though it would probably be okay to start the induction anyway—since inducing means preparing you overnight for labour to start the next day and everyone else should be done by morning—they couldn’t risk it because occasionally someone goes into labour as soon as they’re prepped. He said he was sorry.

I said he didn’t need to apologise. I understood his decision (and he was right not to risk it, since when I came back the next evening, my waters broke 10 minutes after I was prepped). I said I was so sorry for crying.

He said I didn’t need to apologise. He explained that even if I was induced anyway and went into labour that evening, it shouldn’t be an issue if everything went smoothly. The problem was there wouldn’t be enough staff to provide prompt help if it didn’t. Although it should. But they needed to be cautious. He said he was impossibly sorry.

I said he didn’t need to apologise and I didn’t need reassuring. Because I absolutely agreed with him. I wanted to be cautious too (and he was right to be cautious, since when I did give birth, I immediately haemorrhaged approximately 1.3L of blood). I said was so sorry about the crying that my sorry could bring the dinosaurs back to life.

A nurse who wasn’t usually in the maternity ward at all (they were that short staffed) came in to help me pack up. She saw me crying and said she was so sorry her sorry could probably win a Guinness World Record if she was tacky enough to submit a moment like this to a judging panel. She said they would never send me home if they weren’t satisfied things looked fine.

I said she didn’t need to apologise and promised that, really, there was no need to comfort me. I understood everything, and I did want to stop crying, I just couldn’t for some reason. I knew I’d been checked thoroughly and the uterus situation looked great. I said I knew the crying was uncomfortable for everyone and I was so sorry that if I heaped up all the sorry it would be a mountain big enough to attract tourists who would take selfies and possibly die in avalanches of sorry near the peak.

She said I didn’t need to apologise. She said she was so sorry that if she put her sorry in a rocket engine it could take unhealthily rich people to space and probably not even explode them. Maybe it just wasn’t meant to happen right now. She believed everyone has a set birthday and everything happens for a reason.

I said I’d had four miscarriages. I couldn’t believe that.

She said oh.

That night, I fell asleep at home in my own bed, still pregnant, still crying. The next morning I woke up teary.

I hadn’t lied. I understood delaying the induction was the best decision under the circumstances. But I was also trapped in my nightmare, belly deflating, being told to go home because there was no baby potato.

***

Imagine the unimaginable. My baby.

Comic-Lucy in a hospital bed looking bedraggled but happy and cuddling a large potato. She is covered with a blanket, the bottom of which is stained red. Red blood drips out the end of the bed and onto the floor. Lucy's partner is standing next to the bed, staring at the blood. He says 'Um ... is there supposed to be that much blood?' There is an asterisk next to this, and an answering asterisk at the bottom of the page that says '*Lol. No.

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It’s now over 7 months later. For the first time in years I’m happy with where my life is, but I’m still dealing with the aftermath of the miscarriages. I think I always will be. It isn’t as overwhelming now, though.

The potato is doing very well, but ‘very well’ for a 7 month old doesn’t always include sleeping, which is why posting here has been sporadic of late. I’d apologise about that, but I’m not sorry at all. Babies gonna baby, and I’m loving it.

Remember, if you love my Silence Killed the Dinosaurs stories and comics, check out my Patreon page or  store. You can support my work and get unique rewards! Just so you know, I am now using affiliate links to my store. This means that if you follow one of the links from my site and buy something from my store, not only will I get an artist commission for designing it, but I will also get a small affiliate commission for, essentially, marketing it. This means buying something for my store doesn’t just support me, it EXTRA SUPPORTS ME.

And don’t forget you can follow me for Silence Killed the Dinosaurs updates on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Birds

Three panels. In the first panel, comic-Lucy is putting seeds into a bird feeder hanging from a tree while saying 'It will be lovely to have birds in the garden!'. The second panel shows a sulphur-crested cockatoo on a branch outside comic-Lucy's window. The bird is screeching 'Aaaaarrrrgggggghhhhh' and inside Lucy is in bed with a pillow over her face saying 'Dammit.' The third panel shows a hills hoist clothesline with a white sheet hanging on it. A sulphur-crested cockatoo is perched on the clothesline, and bird poo is streaked down the sheet. Comic Lucy watches and says 'Dammit'.
Two panels, the first large, the second regular sized. In the first, large panel, comic-Lucy stands near the bird feeder. A sulphur-crested cockatoo is perched on the feeder. It says 'You're a terrible person for feeding wild animals and making them reliant on humans'. In the final panel, a sulphur-crested cockatoo is perched on a wooden outdoor chair and is chewing it up. Comic Lucy watches and says 'Dammit'

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Ah, nature. Do any animals visit your garden?

Remember, if you love my Silence Killed the Dinosaurs stories and comics, check out my Patreon page or  store. You can support my work and get unique rewards! Just so you know, I am now using affiliate links to my store. This means that if you follow one of the links from my site and buy something from my store, not only will I get an artist commission for designing it, but I will also get a small affiliate commission for, essentially, marketing it. This means buying something for my store doesn’t just support me, it EXTRA SUPPORTS ME.

And don’t forget you can follow me for Silence Killed the Dinosaurs updates on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Parenting Tips No One Tells You (except me, of course) #1

Comic with four panels. Above, text reads: How to Push a Pram While Holding a Takeaway* Coffee (the asterisk leads to the bottom of the page and says '*in a reusable cup'). Panel 1: diagram of pram handle bar from above. Hand 1 (labled) is on one side, hand 2 (labelled) is on the other also holding a coffee (labelled as 'coffee rests on handle'. Panel 2: the pram goes over a small rock and bounces, an arrow is drawn going up and reading 'force transfer', the coffee bounces off the handlebar and spills everywhere. A very alarmed looking comic-Lucy who is about to get a face full of coffee has an arrow pointing to her saying 'unsuccessful caffeination'. There is a big X in red and the word 'No.'. Panel 3: diagram showing pram handlebar. This time, hand 1 is off to one side and hand to is holding the coffee midair away from the handlebar. The coffee is labelled 'safe coffee'. Panel 4: view from above, the pram is pushed by comic-Lucy and they wobble all over the path until they have gone off the side and hit a bench. And arrow points to the pram and says 'unlikely to sleep'. There is a big X in red and the word 'Nope'
Second page of the previous comic. Two panels. Panel 1: diagram of pram handlebar with hand 1 centered and hand 2 holding the coffee in midair. Panel 2: comic-Lucy happily sips coffee and pushes a pram in a straight line. The coffee sipping is labelled 'successful caffeination'. And arrow points to the pram saying 'might actually sleep'. There is a big green tick and the word 'Yes'. Underneath the panels are the words 'You're Welcome.'
:

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It took me an embarrassingly long time to work this out. I spent months in a ditch at the side of the park paths in over-sized coffee-stained jumpers staring enviously at all the put-together parents cruising around in sleek active-wear and looking like they’d actually showered and remembered about brushing their hair that morning .

Bonus tip: This also works great for playing Pokemon Go.

Remember, if you love my Silence Killed the Dinosaurs stories and comics, check out my Patreon page or  store. You can support my work and get unique rewards! Just so you know, I am now using affiliate links to my store. This means that if you follow one of the links from my site and buy something from my store, not only will I get an artist commission for designing it, but I will also get a small affiliate commission for, essentially, marketing it. This means buying something for my store doesn’t just support me, it EXTRA SUPPORTS ME.

And don’t forget you can follow me for Silence Killed the Dinosaurs updates on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Haunted

Comic with 3 panels. Panel 1: comic-Lucy sits on the couch with her laptop. The mouse pointer is zipping all over the screen. She says 'Ugh! Stop!' Panel 2: The mouse pointer zips around even more. Clearly frustrated, Lucy says 'Is my mouse connected or my laptop haunted?' Panel 3: a view behind the couch shows a cute ghost pushing a computer mouse around on the floor. They say '... or both...'

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Remember, if you love my Silence Killed the Dinosaurs stories and comics, check out my Patreon page or  store. You can support my work and get unique rewards! Just so you know, I am now using affiliate links to my store. This means that if you follow one of the links from my site and buy something from my store, not only will I get an artist commission for designing it, but I will also get a small affiliate commission for, essentially, marketing it. This means buying something for my store doesn’t just support me, it EXTRA SUPPORTS ME.

And don’t forget you can follow me for Silence Killed the Dinosaurs updates on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Hate

Comic Lucy glares at a scanner on a desk. She says "I hate you". The scanner replies "I nothing you".

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Yes, another scanner comic. This is a long-standing thing and I have a lot of anger to process.

Remember, if you love my Silence Killed the Dinosaurs stories and comics, check out my Patreon page. You can support my work and get unique rewards! Along with the usual merch you can now get facemasks in my store. Specifically here. Just so you know, I am now using affiliate links to my store. This means that if you follow one of the links from my site and buy something from my store, not only will I get an artist commission for designing it, but I will also get a small affiliate commission for, essentially, marketing it. This means buying something for my store doesn’t just support me, it EXTRA SUPPORTS ME.

And don’t forget you can follow me for Silence Killed the Dinosaurs updates on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.