Tag Archives: humor

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.

Scanning

Comic page with 3 panels. In the first, Lucy sits are her desk in front of her laptop. A scanner with a piece of paper poking out is also on the desk. She taps a key and says '... and ... scan!'. Panel 2: a window lights up red with an exclamation mark on the scanner. A sound effect rendered as *Beep* can be seen over the scanner. Panel 3: Lucy rushes around, arms flailing, at the laptop and the scanner, saying '... off... on again ... and scan!'
Comic with 7 panels, two smallish ones on the top row, three small ones in the middle row, and two smallish ones on the bottom row. Top row 1/2, close up of the scanner with a red window and exclamation mark with *Beep* in red. 2/2 same close up view of the scanner. A speech bubble saying 'What if I...' is visible coming from off-stage. The scanner screen-window lights up red with an exclamation mark and a red *Beep* sound effect. Middle row 1/3: Same format. Speech bubble: 'How about now?' Scanner goes *beep*, the screen lights up red and this time has a skull image displayed. 2/3 Speech bubble: 'Now?' Scanner, red *beep* and red screen with a biohazard symbol. 3/3 Speech bubble: 'Please?' scanner, red *beep*, screen red with a nuclear hazard symbol. Bottom row. In the background of both panels is a long, drawn out scream rendered as 'Aaaaaaaaaaaaggghhhhhhhhggguuuurrrrrrggggrrrr' devolving into scribbling. The background of these panels is red. 1/2, scanner red *beep*, screen red with dinosaur image. 2/2 Scanner red *beep*, screen with a rubber duck image.
Comic page with 3 panels. Panel 1. Lucy is slumped over her desk, face on the keyboard of her laptop, tapping a key half-heartedly. The scanner goes *beep!* in green and the screen lights up green with a tick on it. Panel 2: Lucy raises her head, disbelieving, and says '... but I did nothing different!'. Panel 3: view inside the scanner. A demon in red with horns and a pointy tail sits in a computer chair at a workstation with buttons and screens. On the wall in front of them, a light displaying the words 'SCAN REQUESTED' is lit up. There is a large green button with a Y and a large red button with an N in front of the demon. The demon is holding a magic 8 ball that displays the result 'all signs point to yes', and is saying 'Eh. Okay.' and pressing the big green Y button.

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Ah, the joys of being a digital artist.

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.

A Quick Doodle

2 panels. In the first, cartoon-Lucy approaches her desk where there is a sketchbook and pens. She says "I'll just do a quick doodle for fun". Panel 2: Text says "12 hours later...' Cartoon-Lucy now looks tired and stressed. Bunched up pieces of paper with scribbles on them mound up all over the desk. Lucy is typing on her phone saying "why ... are ... horses' ... knees ... wrong ... and ... how ... dare ... they"

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I’ve been doing a lot more non-comics art lately. I’ve always liked doodling when I feel stressed or tired, but now I’ve started making these doodle-designs into repeating patterns. Although I actually haven’t drawn any horses for the patterns yet (I have drawn horses before, so I know the pain), I’ve been falling down a number of other artist rabbit holes that keep pushing out what I expect to be a quick, fun job.

Also, so you know, I’ve set up some social media accounts called Lu Repeating to showcase the patterns and doodles. I don’t have a wordpress website for it, but If you’re on social media and interesting in seeing them, you can on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook (I’m not on TikTok so far because I am apparently too old to understand it). Lu Repeating is very different to my comics and writing here, so really do not feel obligated. Just if you’re interested.

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.

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

(By the way, horses’ knees are wrong because they’re actually their ankles.)

No, Seriously, Get Vaccinated

Comic page with 1 medium panel, 3 small panels, and another medium panel. First panel shows lucy sitting in a chair and wearing a mask. Someone also in a mask stands next to her and is administering a vaccine in Lucy's arm. 3 small panels. 1/3. Lucy leaves the vaccination clinic with a bandaid on her arm. 2/3. Lucy encounters some coronavirus cells and stops. Her bandaid begins to glow. 3/3. Lucy looks extra tough. Spikes sprout on her back and a tail pokes out from her dress. The bandaid is glowing a lot now. Final medium panel. Lucy stomps a coronavirus cell with the huge dinosaur feet she has grown. The lighting goes red.
Full page comic. A Lucy-dinosaur mutant hybrid rampages through coronavirus cells. She stomps them and crushes them in her fists. She shoots down airborne virus cells with laser eyes. Her bandaid glow is at its most intense.
Comic page with 3 small panels and one large panel. 3 small panels. 1/3. Lucy walks away, still with dinosaur legs, a tail, spikes and a glowing bandaid. 2/3 Now she only has small spikes. The glow has reduced. The lighting is no longer red. 3/3 Lucy is normal. She takes off her mask as she walks in a door. Large panel: Lucy says 'You're one person safer' as she takes her smiling baby from her partner. An arrow labelled 'vaccinated' points to lucy. An arrow labelled 'also vaccinated' points to her partner. An arrow labelled 'to young to be vaccinated' points to their baby.

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Those vaccine side-effects, am I right?

But seriously, I have now had my second Pfizer vaccination, and all I got was a sore arm. It was fine. If you can, please, please, please get vaccinated. Help me protect my baby.

Remember, if you love my 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. (And actually with the whole new-baby situation, this would be a particularly excellent time to do any of those things if you’ve been considering them).

Also, I adapted some of the other vaccinated illustrations for my store! You can get the steamroller or the triceratops on both stickers and shirts! I even did an extra couple of illustrations so there would be versions with different figures (i.e., not just cartoon-me). Click to see the steamroller version with long hair and short hair, or the triceratops versions with long hair and short hair.

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

Get Vaccinated

2 panels. Unvaccinated: a lone person looking out the window of a home. They are sad. Vaccinated: I sit in the window of a bustling cafe while drinking coffee. Everyone is happy.
2 panels. Unvaccinated: a person-shaped covid virus monster punches a person in the face. Drops of blood and a tooth are knocked out their mouth. Vaccinated: I am in a steamroller rolling over a person-shaped covid-virus monster thing while I laugh like a supervillain.
2 panels. Unvaccinated: person with virus-y body and virus-hair is sucked into a swirling covid-virus vortex. Vaccinated: I ride a triceratops through space. Rainbows stream out behind us. I am delighted.

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I got my first covid vaccination shot! I still have about a month of waiting for shot number two and full immunity to kick in, but I am PSYCHED. I do not want covid with my medical history, and I REALLY do not want to catch it and pass it onto my 6 week old baby. I know access to vaccinations is very different around the world. It feels like it’s moving so slowly in Australia (where I live), but that’s probably just because we get so much news from the US and the UK. If you have access and are medically able to, please get vaccinated. For everyone’s sake.

Remember, if you love my 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. (And actually with the whole new-baby situation, this would be a particularly excellent time to do any of those things if you’ve been considering them).

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

UPDATE: I adapted some of the other vaccinated illustrations for my store! You can get the steamroller or the triceratops on both stickers and shirts! I even did an extra couple of illustrations so there would be versions with different figures (i.e., not just cartoon-me). Click to see the steamroller version with long hair and short hair, or the triceratops versions with long hair and short hair.

Loud Noises

2 panels. First panel, text reads: 'Something no one warned me about babies...' while a cartoon me holds a cartoon baby. A small green fart cloud comes out of my behind, reading 'parp', and I say "Whoops! Sorr--". Panel 2. An enormous green-shading-to-dripping-brown fart cloud reading 'PAAAARRRRRRBBBB--"and turning into a messy scribble comes out of the baby's behind. I look shocked. Text reads: '... is how loudly they fart and poo.'

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Yes, that is an accurate depiction of the hair she was born with. And fart volume she can achieve. I will have to get used to being outdone.

Remember, if you love my stories and comics, check out my Patreon page. You can support my work and get unique rewards! A quirky congratulations card based on this comic is available to buy. Along with the usual merch you can now get facemasks in my store. Specifically here. (And actually with the whole new-baby situation, this would be a particularly excellent time to do any of those things if you’ve been considering them).

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