• That sound you hear? Me touching lots and lots and lots of wood. Do not giggle.
  • Yesterday, I saw my counsellor. We discussed Harry, Harry, Harry, Harry and the Very Bad and Worrisome whole Wanting To Hurt My Own Preshus Self thing. Felt, as always, calmed and soothed afterwards. I am going back a little sooner than usual to explore ways of mentally embarking upon a journey towards a second (actually fifth, but you get my drift) pregnancy that does not leave me feeling guilt-racked – before we’ve even got going – about sentencing a fetus to an worryingly indeterminate stay inside my now proven Not-Exactly-Grade-A uteri.
  • Ethics of deliberately creating a life when you know very well that your faulty internal housing might choke it half to death and expel it early. Like, umm, last time. Dodging of bullets, etc. Discuss!
  • It came as a slight shock when she began to talk about which obstetrician I might usefully be referred to this time around, and mentioned that the Professor of Obstetrics at my regional hospital is a Riskiest-of-High-Risk-Pregnancies specialist. I am so used to being the only specialist on my idiosyncratic anatomy that I tend to think that I’m on my own with it. Which in many ways, I am, but I can’t deny that the prospect of buttonholing an eminent chap (I’ve googled the shit out of him already) who might manage me a little more aggressively this time around was… pleasant. If there is a next time, of course.
  • In related news, my period started Tuesday, exactly 2 hours after I wasted a pregnancy stick. This did not surprise me; not only did I have an unco-operative internal pH thing going on during my LH surge, we also missed the boat on the whole introduce-sperm-to-egg process. On the crucial evening John visited the pub with a mate and although he returned, as ever, keen as mustard to perform, this did not actually prevent him from rapidly falling unconscious asleep without having given of his all, so to speak. Given that I am far too fat to be even half-way comfortably pregnant currently, this was not a disappointment to me, but Hubby seemed displeased about it. I am currently having crampybastardshittyfuckcramps; they are obviously fighting for money in there again.
  • Hubby had, incidentally, got tipsy at the pub with an-embarking-on-divorce-proceedings pal, who is now sporting a brand new pierced ear, his first tattoo and a chunky studded belt. He has also just bought a motorbike, and is stoicly propping up the local pub bars chatting up the beer flossies. Bless the man.
  • I went to bed earlyish last night, exhausted and with racking period pain. I woke up at 2am having bled all over the sheet. Nice.
  • Apropos of the too-fat-for-pregnancy thing, I got on the scales last night, got into bed and promptly burst into tears. I have lost exactly nothing after more than a month of conscientious 3-times-a-week gym attendance. I am, admittedly, aware that I have not been eating at all healthily – a long succession of cakes and sinfully buttery-creamy meals I have cooked for friends – and that my thrice-weekly torture has actually prevented me from gaining the stone+ that I thoroughly deserved to, but still… depressing. I am eating up assisting John with the the last of his birthday cake


and then The Diet begins. I am only 4lbs off my heaviest-ever-including-pregnancy weight.  This is dreadful.

  • Harry’s Speech and Language Therapist came on Tuesday, had some useful suggestions for us, and seemed pleased that Harry has acquired – intermittently – a second word last week: ‘Out!’ He uses it to demand release from his highchair, although often also reverts simply to his generic ‘Iss! Dis!’ while struggling frantically with the straps. (We are still getting plenty of excited ‘Gis!’ despite the fact that they totally made him cry when they honked and ran at him this week.) She is chasing the Integrated Disability Service – that’s how it looks in my head, by the way – again to come and assess him. 
  • I have a boil-type thing in my ear, and it’s making my life miserable, particularly when I’m trying to sleep on it. I can’t see what’s happening – although feeling plenty – so I asked John to take a peer inside, with a view to lancing anything that presented itself. He recoiled backwards, emitting loud ‘urrgggghs!’ Useless.
  • I have still not bought John the whisky he requested as a birthday present, because I can’t be bothered to drive, park, visit the big off-licence, and pay for it with his money whilst toting a grabby-mine-giveitme-wantit toddler. Bad Wifey.
  • Harry has had a waily evening so far, which is a good indicator that he is going to go on to have a disturbed and screamy night. I’m guessing he’s under the weather, possibly with a gripy belly. I am upset by the fact that he is statistically likely to be experiencing pain, nightmares or is scared of something and cannot communicate these things to us at all. It hurts to know he has a comfort need I can’t fill properly.
  • Why, why are there no hexagonal/octagonal used summer houses on Ebay, within 30 miles of here, that no-one apart from me is interested in bidding on? I want one NOW. TODAY. Kthx.
  • The tortoise desperately needs cleaning out; the chicks are also getting off-puttingly smelly and need shifting into bigger quarters in the garage. These are tomorrow’s tasks. I will also have the insanely-heavy-periods-sufferer perk of putting Harry into the creche at the gym for an hour in the morning as usual – and sitting downstairs with coffee and a book.
  • Small Yay! for menorrhagia.

Wringing of Hands


Your clear eye is the one absolutely beautiful thing.
I want to fill it with color and ducks,
The zoo of the new

Whose names you meditate –
April snowdrop, Indian pipe,

Stalk without wrinkle,
Pool in which images
Should be grand and classical

Not this troublous
Wringing of hands, this dark
Ceiling without a star.

Sylvia Plath

This post was supposed to be about me climbing sheepishly down off my horse named Melodrama, and telling you that, really, peeps, I’m fine; I just go a little peculiar in the head when I see blood pouring out of my baby.

Of course, that was before he ran across the drive after his Grandad this evening, and fell chin-first onto the tarmac. I’m beginning to feel a bit uncomfortable – and weary – of taking photos of a bloody child with an injured mouth, so I took a couple of myself instead. Harry mainly wanted his Daddy’s shoulder – black-clad this time – to cry/bleed it all out on today, but he stuck with me long enough to make his point.


Ann 2

I’m not an avid photographer-of-self. 15 stone will, you know, occasionally do that to a girl. But these… appeal to me. I have never yet (except poooooossibly the In-Laws-With-Bride group shot at our wedding, by which stage I was getting cold & mizzled on) seen my expression tell a glummer story.

Immediately prior to taking these woeful photos, I endured a 3-hour dinner with my parents. Normally a complete joy to entertain, they omitted to inform me, when I issued the invitation yesterday, that they were not, in fact, speaking to one another. I have a policy of non-socialisation when this occurs, as it upsets me. Today, even John – not the most sensitive human example of emotional litmus – managed to pick up the frosty undertone and the pot-shots. I was just beginning to cheer up as they opened the front door to go, when I saw Harry take his tumble.

An inevitable combination of the 4 deadly Ss – Speed, unSteadiness, Sandals and the Slope sent him smack onto his chin. For some absurd reason, I was supremely confident for a second or two that he couldn’t possibly have bust his lip again, as no-one can possibly sink their top teeth nearly right through their bottom lip 3 times in 5 days. Surely not! The fates are not that unkind to already-mangled and swollen flesh.

They fucking are, you know.

Wax Doll

Because life isn’t fucking fair, sweetheart. Because just when the lip that you smashed up Wednesday morning starts to go down a tiny little bit, you get knocked over by the spaniel and fall mouth-first into the chair.



If you’re wondering why his top is relatively free of blood, it’s because it mostly landed on mine. Harry did hold out his arms to John for a cuddle, but John didn’t want to get his white t-shirt stained and held him facing the other way around instead. Father of the Year.

Self-harm has never been my particular vice. But when I saw the blood pouring out of Harry’s mouth again, and heard his howls of pain, and saw his poor eyes full of incomprehension and distress… I felt so unbearably full of rage and frustration that all I wanted to do was hurt myself. My mouth was crooning cheery little soothing noises, my arms were holding his sobbing little form tightly, and my mind was roaring from a pain that had no-where to go except inwards. My son suffered pain right from the hour he was born, and there was nothing I could do to help him then, either.

Within half an hour he was toddling about again, and he’s now gone to bed, quietly enough considering he has the fattest lip I’ve ever seen, post-12-round-fight heavyweights included. I should be cooking dinner for friends. They’ll be here soon. Instead I’m sat crying.

If I feel such a savage and demented Mummy-Bear over a beaten-up lip, it’s not looking very promising for the first girl that dumps him.

Assorted Thoughts

I am currently ranked 117th on the Lolcats NomNomNom4Fud game. I am equal parts shamed and proud. Hubby and I are both terrible suckers for annoying little blatblatblat games.

I keep dissolving into tears over the horror that is this. Harry was born the day Baby Peter died, and noticeably resembles him. There’s a special place in hell for this bunch.

Did I tell you that the last remaining hen disappeared last weekend? 

This batch of chicks are nervy little buggers, and are fast becoming a pain; I thought Harry would be fascinated by them but he’s hardly bothered at all. (Although, I very nearly died of teh cute when I saw him stretching his empty spoon through the bars, offering them imaginary food and making encouraging munchy noises to them.) They have started to jump out of the box, although they have – thus far – been sensible enough to jump straight back in the warm.


If they stray outside the bars only God can save them from A) the Toddler (aquila non capit muscas, and all that, but if one starts running about his playroom I can’t very well see Harry passing up a chance to… interact), and B) the Spaniel, who always exhibits an unhealthily keen interest in poultry.

thelwell dog poultry

The only thing pissing me off more than WordPress at the moment is our actual PC. It’s not responding properly to keyboard or mouse input (I sound restrained, but I’ve been beating the keyboard like a coked-up hip-hop star this evening) and it seems moribund – again. I think I shall start calling it Lazarus. It has more chance of long term survival than our laptop, however, which is currently dismantled on top of a bookcase


with zero (zilch, nada) hope of resurrection, and I can’t afford another one.

Which should bring me neatly onto the whole Going Back To Work Because We Are Flat Stony Broke topic, but I don’t have the energy for that one just now. It… isn’t going well.

Harry’s one word: ‘Geese’ is getting much more reliable. He says it about 150 times – at least – a day to practise, triumphantly. He has other words – which are not words. ‘ISS! ISS!’ I suspect is a bastardised ‘this!’ and means ‘Do something NOW with whatever I am pointing at. Open it/Give it here/Turn it on.’ A funny little Akkhh! sound in the throat is occasionally meaning No. He won’t shake or nod his head, and still refuses to make eye contact to denote a choice, glaring instead at the desired object with combustible intensity. He has a try at saying ‘teeth’, too. In fact, he’s big on sibilants, full-stop. He’s not given to sticking his tongue out at all – I’ve checked for tongue-tie any number of times – but he now seems to think that all words must begin with his tongue stuck quarter of an inch through his teeth. When he is trying particularly hard to attempt a word, I can see his tongue rolling into all sorts of contorted shapes. The speech therapist is allegedly coming Tuesday, and not a day too soon. I am feeling alone.

I found Harry trying to feed a Shaun the Sheep DVD – his favouritefavouritefavourite thing ever – into the slot, with a fair degree of success, despite the fact it was still closed. I was, oddly, delighted by his multimedia progress.

Harry is stoically coping with the fact that his lip is, essentially, pierced. He is my tiny brave soldier who has had to suffer far more than his fair share of mouth-trauma, and I have no words to tell you how much I am in love with him and his infinitely awesome cuddly-kisses. But not his tantrums. Not loving the ‘trums at all.

Earlier this week, I discovered hazlenuts where hazlenuts had no right to be. My focus pulled back and I realised the little terror had been climbing on top of his cooker.

cooker ladder

It’s cool. It’s not like there’s a glass door nearby he could smash straight through or anything.

Today an aeroplane flew overhead and Harry pointed at his cheek (should be his ear, but he abbreviates!) and then pointed upwards to tell me what he heard. I did the arms-wide universal aeroplane impression, which he copied. A minute or so later, Me Too! came onto CBeebies – a program with a sweeping CGI bird’s eye view of a city for opening credits. As soon as he saw it, he whipped his arms out into an aeroplane impression – and made a brrm brrm car /truck /tractor noise. 

How the buggery bollocks did he know that’s what a city looks like – from an aeroplane? I’m hugely impressed. But also very puzzled.

I keep starting to cry when I hear the Timmy Time theme. Because Timmy leaves the farm (sniff) and goes out into the world (lip trembles). You see, I have been making brave noises about booking Harry into nursery when he is 2 – the nursery, that is attached to the pre-school, that is attached to the primary school he will almost certainly attend. So, when he does start, he’ll be there continuously until age 11. And his birthday is only 74 days away.

That is all.


My name is Ann

For those of you who were sucking your teeth and wondering when karma was going to turn round and bite me on the bum (I was one of them)… you didn’t have a long wait. Except Karma evidently has lousy aim, and hit an innocent bystander instead. Twice.

Firstly, she tripped Harry up as he climbed up onto our bed this morning, which wouldn’t have been so bad except he was, foolishly, holding his toothbrush between his teeth as he did so. There were copious tears and even a little blood, although he typically refused to let me look in his mouth, pushing me firmly away after his crying had ended. He probably thought I was attracting the lightning.

He wasn’t wrong. I came downstairs with a now-cheerful-again little follower, and left him, as usual, on the lowest landing, two steps above the ground. If you stay to watch his descent he showboats shamelessly; left to himself he is a reliable descender of stairs. He does, however, occasionally find the swinging properties of the open stairgate too much to resist.

Well, karma missed me again, the stupid bitch. I had got as far as the tumble dryer and was ferreting for my gym kit – a prime opportunity to electrocute or wallop me completely passed over – when there was a heavy thump, a roar, a chin graze and an alarming amount of blood in his mouth. Pretty soon the screams were at fever pitch and the blood had spread itself about my shoulders and industrial sports bra – thinly, but a lonnnng way.

Poor, unhappy boy. He’s cried himself to sleep in my arms, and is now lay on the sofa in uneasy rest, sporting a lip like a bratwurst. I daren’t wipe any more blood off in case I hurt him. I’m dreading him waking up, too, because misery is inevitable. He’s gonna be scary-mean.

poorly boy

My sad little man. He’s obviously thumped his chin hard, and sent his top teeth sinking deep into his lower lip.

bust lip

*readers recoil squealing in horror*

As if ramming a toothbrush half way to tummy-land AND having itchy eczema around his mouth weren’t enough for one morning. Karma can bite me. Accurately, please.

I am off to perch nervously on the sofa and see if I can load (‘insert’ sounds so… descriptive…) a paracetamol suppository without him waking. He shouldn’t have to suffer for his mother’s sins, poor lad.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Today, the fires of my personality are dampened. In fact, I’ve seen pissed-on barbeques show more spark than what looked out of the mirror this morning. There was a 30th birthday party next door last night; as it was Harry’s godmother, we felt it best to exclude him completely from the proceedings and enjoy ourselves without him.  I probably judged the wine and champagne vaguely right, but slipped up badly with the whisky – in that, I actually drank some.

John & I staggered down the hill at midnight like an ambulatory A-frame, and proceeded to talk unmitigated shit to his parents, whom we had left on guard over a snoring Harry. Given that my dear old FIL probably dozed in front of our TV (as opposed to his own) for the entire evening, I did go to bed worrying vaguely about having a guard to guard the guard in future.

You can clearly tell we are getting older. Harry, after busting our chops with yet another 5.30am wake-up, went down for a nap at 10.30am… and by 10.35am John & I had given in to our nap-envy and were also back in bed, snoring blamelessly. I did manage to redeem myself by dragging a skirt and boots on and staggering out into Stratford to wine & dine again with friends this evening, but I was ineffectually smothering yawns the entire time, despite excellent company.

I am, my friends, Past It.

However, I have recently lived a vicariously wild life via

I urge you to partake!

Uneasy Lies The Head

I was also thinking about calling this one ‘Mucus: Wherefore Art Thou?’ Or ‘I can has frequent blog posting prize?!’

I have the twinging pain. In the lazy ovary, too. The one attached to the good* uterus!

I have the LH surge**:


I have the spots:

(Photo taken but too featuring far too many un-plucked, un-waxed and un-bleached hairs to publish)

But I do not have the mucus. At least, I have none of the right type of mucus.

And this month, I was half-considering having a proper go at things. At 15 stone, (that’s right! a whole stone heavier than the previous ‘I am too fat to get pregnant post!’ AND I went to the gym 3 times last week and 3 times this week ALREADY and it’s only Thursday! AND I sweated properly! AND I have put on another pound! GAH!) this is not a particularly clever move. I have no better reasons to field than A) I lose the best part of a stone in the 1st trimester coz I can’t actually eat, and B) I am surrounded with legions of pregnant women. Simply can’t move for the buggers. Announcements have been coming at me from all sides, which I suppose is inevitable when a high proportion of your girly chums have 18-month old kids.

I don’t dissolve into a sad little puddle of hate the way I used to when ‘the news’ is given. I can produce a smile without having to ratchet it there forcibly from an achingly sore combination of personal obligation, social conscience and pride. I don’t inwardly convulse with a toxic mixture of jealousy, naked distress, and panic. But the memories of when I did are etched so deep that I still get a stab of something unpleasant. My baby isn’t a baby anymore – and fuck knows how and when that happened – and all these other women are leaving me behind with their relentless output; their production line of infants. Again.

My pregnancy seems like a distant dream. Not even the fact that I can still – still! – produce milk convinces me that I’m in the club now. I tell myself that I am, happily, no longer one of the distraught dispossessed. I have the baby magazines, the stairgates, the cute little clothes, the lego, the carseat and everything. Whilst Harry lives, I can never be desolate again. And I still can’t accept the new normal, or take any of it for granted. 

Even if we have another child… after so spending so long in such deep distress and mourning for my failure to conceive, followed by losing my babies, I’m sure I will spend my remaining life stood on the outside of motherhood, looking in. Harry – despite being the light of my existence, without whom I would curl up and try to die – can never return me to the person I was in 2003.

On a visceral level I am truly maimed by his long-delayed arrival and premature birth, but I consciously try to view the traumas of infertility and miscarriage as a catalyst for some seriously stern character development. With varying degrees of success.

** When I requested John to take this shot with his super-duper new close-up lens, he squinted suspiciously at the peestick, went to pick it up, had second thoughts, and withdrew his hand. He then enquired in repulsed tones ‘Which end have you peed on?’

Hairy hubby is such a girl.

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