Thursday 30 June 2011

Two months on

Another day, another deep breath. It's two months today since our little tiny Baby Beans was delivered in St Thomas's Hospital. Every day can be different, but today it feels like that was a long time ago. It feels like the version of Elly Beans who was around then wasn't really me, but more of a shadow self, and it feels increasingly like I'm back in my own skin.

Today, so far, feels a good day. I woke early, but after a decent night's sleep. I've been a bit restless the last few nights. It's been so warm in the flat we've had to have the windows open, every noise outside disturbs me, and the sun tickles through our window blinds from dawn. But last night an eye mask and some earplugs sourced by the Boy did the trick.

We started the day off well - we recently had a rent rebate (we live in a shared ownership flat, so we own a percentage of the flat and we pay rent on the other part) as we paid too much rent last year. We wondered (briefly!) about saving the money but have decided instead to have a holiday in Sardinia in September, after my work annual conference and the Boy has run the Great North Run.

I think we'll be ready for another rest then, and as I've said before in these pages having things to look forward to at the moment and quality time together planned helps us both stay sane and keep going forwards. It breaks life into smaller manageable chunks, which lets us relax a bit - a big help as we try to move a bit further along the road. We're getting there, I can feel that and I know that. It seems heart and head have connected once again, and - while we'll never forget our first tiny baby - that can only be good news.

Tuesday 28 June 2011

Guilty pleasures

The Boy is out tonight having a few drinks with an old friend in London town, so I have a rare night in at Empire Towers on my own. I've done two loads of washing and dusted the flat, so with my halo shining I think it's time to kick back and relax. On nights like this, when it's just me at home, there's little I enjoy more than a couple of celebrity magazines and full control of the remote. Simple pleasures! Guilty pleasures, as I always feel slightly naughty for indulging myself in some of the more downmarket weekly gossip magazine titles, as if they are in some way beneath me.

Tonight, while perusing this week's heat magazine, I read with interest that the Wilson Phillips song Hold On is featured in the film Bridemaids. I am super keen to see this film, but I digress - Hold On is a song that takes me straight back to my early adolescence, as I was 13 when this was released in 1990. I adored this song, listening to the cassette over and over again on my red Sony walkman with large orange foam-covered headphones. Imagining myself as one of the band, belting out the lyrics into my red hairbrush in front of my red mirror (yes, red was my favourite colour at the time). Washed with nostalgia I've just looked this track up on youtube and I wasn't disappointed. It's every bit as I remembered and the video made me smile. I think I spent the whole of 1990 in a black halterneck top, or a white shirt buttoned up to my neck and tucked into my (stonewash) jeans, with a waistcoat over the top.

I feel a strong connection with this song to this day, and it's funny it's just popped back into my periphery, as so many of the lyrics are relevant for how I feel right now... "You could sustain", "Things can change", "Things can go your way"... Suddenly I'm 13 again. Twenty years ago. I wasn't such a happy person then, I won't pretend I had the best time as a teenager (perhaps more on that another time) but things could change then - and then can now. So I'll "hold on for one more day"...

Two steps forward, two steps back?

It's been - as seems to be par for the course at the moment - an emotional few days. The Boy and I had a weekend packed with quality time: a meal and drinks out Friday, comedy gig with Omid Djalili on Saturday night in Soho where we were lucky enough to meet him afterwards, and then Twenty20 cricket in Beckenham with my parents on Sunday - and there were some really happy times. I am so thankful every day for having the Boy in my life, because a day when I am with him will always be a good day. But amongst this there were sad times too. I got terribly upset on Saturday morning and was quite overwhelmed with tears, I think a combination of mourning my friend who we lost the Saturday before and also feeling sad about the loss of Baby Beans.

I wonder when, or if, it starts to hurt less. Sometimes I feel like I'm doing so well and being so strong, but at other times I'm pulled right back and my heart throbs and aches once more. I find it astounding how much the loss of the baby actually hurts - the pain seems disproportionate for something that was only with us for 13 precious weeks. Sometimes I feel so guilty about how keenly I feel the baby's loss. Of all the losses we've had this year, this one has bruised me the most and I'm not sure whether that's how it should be. But, it is what it is and I'm not going to give myself a hard time about what I feel. I made a pact with myself early on that I am going to go with this process, trust my heart and body will pull me in the right direction, and hope that at some point I'll come out of it the other end. I know I'm on the way to healing, it's not going to happen overnight and I just need to be patient for that bit longer. My horoscope in Look magazine told me today: "Change is in the air, but it's not quite here yet. Usually that sort of uncertainty would make a well-organised person like you tetchy, but try to keep calm. Good things can happen by taking a back seat and seeing where you end up." Do they know me?!

I can feel movement though. This morning two heavily pregnant women got on the tube at Waterloo, in colourful maternity dresses with big bumps on show, laughing and talking together. And the first thing I did was smile. Granted, after that I did feel a bit envious and I was reminded of our loss, but the first emotion I felt was happiness and I enjoyed watching them interact. That's a first, and am important one I feel. They looked really joyful, and full of life and excitement. It was nice to see, on a tube full of grey suits, and raised my hopes that I could be in that position one day. So - one step forward.

And perhaps another step forward too... My lady has left the building so from yesterday the Boy and I have begun trying for a family again. I'm trying not to get my hopes up too much - I know it can take your body a while to settle down after a fairly late miscarriage like we had and at the moment it's more important for the priority to be intimate and close with the Boy, and then hope that a baby will follow... but I am of course crossing everything - except my legs! - and hoping that there might be some good news for Mr and Mrs Beans soon enough... we'll see what the future holds for us.

Thursday 23 June 2011

A new chapter

Finally after weeks of wondering what has been going on with this old body of mine, my lady made her reappearance yesterday. I had expected that I would find this quite upsetting - being my first lady since January and real physical proof that I'm not pregnant - but in the end it was fine. It's actually quite a relief that everything is getting back to normal and beginning to settle down after all the recent trauma, as now it hopefully means we can begin our quest to become parents again in earnest.

It feels good to have a bit more certainty back in my life. The past few weeks, even months, there's been a lot of wondering and questioning on my part and I feel quite a lot a more relaxed now that something solid has happened. I suppose it is also a sign that the miscarriage is completely over - physically at any rate - and that feels like a relief as well, as waiting for my lady has also meant waiting for the completion of our baby's loss and for a semblance of normality to resume. I feel optimistic for the future, and ready and hopeful to try again. Unexpectedly I find myself almost feeling happy at the thought of it. This whole ride really has been quite unpredictable so far - I've felt good at times when I've least expected it, and then I've felt the depths of despair when seemingly everything around me has been ok. So, I go with the emotions whatever they are, in this instance my heart knows better than my head.

The Boy is as usual being really supportive and making me smile. While we were getting ready for work this morning I mentioned that perhaps I could do some charting of good days this month or get some fertility sticks - I guess I feel so ready now to be pregnant I want to do everything I can to encourage it to happen quickly. The Boy looked like he was pondering this, and then he said with a faux serious look on his face - "No, I think we should just have fun and games every day, out of duty of course - it'll be quite a hardship but I can take one for the team" and then he flashed me his winning smile. It's little things like this that make me warm inside even when the world is cold and crumbling around us - as it has been this week with the loss of our friend - and I still thank my lucky stars he came into my life. I don't like to think where I'd be without him.

So, I guess here we are. The time has come when we are both physically, emotionally and mentally ready to try again. The past forgiven but not forgotten. Baby Beans and the legacy of love always a part of us as we go forwards. The future a blank page. A new chapter in our lives waiting to be written. Deep breath time. Everything crossed again. Rabbit's foot rubbed and four leaf clover at the ready. The roller coaster has pulled into my station and I'm ready for the journey ahead. All aboard!

Tuesday 21 June 2011

Computer says no

I took my first pregnancy test since February this morning. I still haven't had a period - or my 'lady' as I affectionately call it! - since the miscarriage, which was nearly eight weeks ago now. Eight weeks. That amount of time makes me catch my breath a bit, although it's starting to feel like time has passed and I feel like we're slowly moving on to the next chapter in our lives.

While the Boy and I haven't actively been trying since we lost baby Beans, we have been intimate regularly so I had a little voice at the back of my head whispering about what the reason for my lady's no-show might be. While I didn't think or feel I was pregnant and had no symptoms to speak of, there was an element of doubt, and of possibility. I bore this for a few days. For me, sometimes it's easier to hide in a grey world of maybes than live in a black and white world of fact - but I knew this could only be a temporary state so I decided to take a test.

I felt very nervous doing it. My fingers fumbled over unwrapping the box and I re-read the instructions several times. I waited for a few minutes wondering - and if I'm honest with myself, hoping - but the test was negative, so I guess I need to try and be patient and hope that my body all settles down again in due course. I'm finding the waiting for normality to resume quite difficult, but in the grand scheme of things it's still pretty early days. While I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed, I trust that my body knows what it's doing and hopefully we will have a different result soon enough.

When the miscarriage happened I spent a lot of time asking myself 'why me?' and 'why us?'. Why were the Boy and I the unlucky ones and why had this happened to us in particular? I think it's very difficult not to ask these questions in the early days, when you're frantically searching for answers that just aren't there. I immediately wondered what I had done wrong, or what we had done to deserve this. I felt like the victim and the guilty party all at once. And at times I still do. The guilt has ebbed away because I know I didn't do anything wrong - I know I followed all the guidelines and took the best care of our baby that I could, and having the explanation of the low hormone levels helps me accept that I'm not to blame. But the 'victim' mentality can sometimes haunt me, especially when I'm feeling sad or tired, and I have to yank myself back from that path and force my eyes forwards. It's the only way to stay sane.

In recent weeks the question has shifted and I've begun to ask 'why not me?' and 'why not us?'. The odds can be as long as they are (and I still greedily consume them - yesterday I read 0.5 per cent of babies are lost after a heartbeat is heard at 10 weeks...) but the Boy and I have as much chance as anyone of experiencing sadness - and happiness - in our lives. I feel more vulnerable these days. Before we lost the baby I didn't think about pain and loss very much. The Boy and I had led pretty sheltered lives, and apart from losing one of my best friends when we were 20, my life hadn't really been touched by death. I guess it's that old cliche that I always saw it as something that happened to other people.

But within the vulnerability there is also a sense of relief. I have a tendency to try and control my life and the world, and that is quite a pressure. 'Why not us?' reminds me that this life is fragile and cannot be controlled, we are all open to warmth and loss, and it is what it is - the good days are there to be seized and enjoyed, and the bad days must be endured and survived. Fear not, I'm not about to do a Robin Williams and run around shouting 'Carpe diem!' but I feel a little bit freer now to take life a day at a time, and a little bit more able to take my light and peace when it comes and where I find it.

And 'why not us?' works both ways, of course. I find myself wondering if I will fall pregnant again and if the Boy and I will be able to experience a family of our own one day. Or will we be one of those couples who battle on for years to come, and never manage to achieve their goal. Those concerns can prey heavy on my mind, and I long for us to be lucky and to have the family we want. But now I can tell myself why shouldn't we have our dreams - 'why not us?' and 'why not me?'. Why not?

Monday 20 June 2011

Night falls

The Boy and I had some sad news last night. A friend of ours - a former colleague and very close friend of mine - committed suicide on Saturday. We had lost touch with him in recent years as his increasing mental health problems had made his behaviour very difficult and erratic. While we did what we could to be understanding and supportive, he had deliberately moved away from older friends in the last few years - finding it easier I think to spend time with newer acquaintances who didn't know his full history.

I was aware he had been through some very dark times and he had gone missing a few times, once for months on end. So I suppose in truth, deep in my heart I had wondered if this day might come and I might hear this news. He had been so very troubled and unable to find peace in this world. But it is such a loss - he was a very warm, bright and colourful person, and I have no doubt the world has lost a little bit of light with him no longer in it.

While we hadn't been close for a time, he had been a good friend to me and I have many happy memories of him. I think together we kept some of the landlords in Shoreditch in business, and we took a very crazy trip to Berlin together the two of us just before I met the Boy. He had been the one who helped me move into Empire Towers - the one who drove the van and helped me carry the (very) many boxes up the two flights on stairs to my new flat. And then he was the one who took me to my new local boozer to help me celebrate my new home. In his typical fashion we didn't leave without knowing all the names of the new bar staff!

Today I am thinking of the times we spent together and hoping that my friend has found the rest and peace where he is now, that he couldn't find in this world and in this life. I find suicide so sad. I think it's one of those things that everyone has an opinion about - some think it an evil waste of life, some think it is a selfish act, some think it always wrong, some are left feeling angry and guilty with questions that can never be answered... I've certainly had some black and white ideas about the issue in the past, but this is my first - and hopefully last - experience of losing someone in this way. The feeling that arises in me with this friend is one of tremendous sorrow and regret. That a flame that burned so brightly and was so intoxicating to be around, was slowly subsumed by mental illness and depression until the fire flickered out. Sleep tight my friend, you will be missed.

Sunday 19 June 2011

Don't give up

Thanks to my trusty ipod, I rediscovered my Chicane Behind the Sun album while in Santorini. It was one of my favourites in my clubbing days. Listening to the Don't Give Up track with Bryan Adams was like getting a hug from an old friend - but this time round I was older, wiser, and the words touched me even more than before. I hear this song and I feel warm, I feel in the sunshine again.

Business as usual

I've hardly had a chance to catch my breath since we've been back from holidays. Work has been incredibly busy these past few days. I work as a press officer in the union movement, and it seems I have come back to the UK to find the country on the verge of the first general strike since 1926, and the biggest industrial action planned since the miner's strike!

Well, that's what the Daily Mail would have us believe... but it's certainly been very full-on. I was in the press office on my own on Friday and I took more than 50 calls from journalists and was working until about 9pm. I was on-call this weekend - I take part in a duty rota to ensure the media has 24-hour access to my organisation, and spend one weekend a month on-call - and yesterday was also relentless, the first call coming in at 7am and then steady enquiries until around 6pm. Today has so far (touch wood) been much quieter, but stories about proposed strike action continue to dominate the news so the Boy and I haven't been able to go anywhere or do anything, as I've needed to have my PC and landline in touching distance.

It's been hard work and part of me was resistent to getting thrown back into work quite so quickly - the holiday now feels something of a distant memory! - but it has been a blessing in disguise. It's been a while since I felt completely connected with my work, probably back in January just before I fell pregnant. When I fell pregnant my world shifted and my priorities changed in ways I didn't expect as a career girl. I was completely overtaken by the new life beginning and growing inside of me. Even though I was excited to be preparing for the huge demonstration in March, work couldn't be my complete focus - my fatigue and morning sickness put paid to that physically, but emotionally and mentally I was evolving. And then of course the tragedy of the miscarriage rocked the Boy and I to our very cores, and nothing felt important any more - certainly not being in the office and being at work.

At times, I've wondered if I'd ever get back the buzz I used to have in my work. I thought perhaps it was lost forever, the spark dulled by our experiences, the commitment lessened as I've changed and now see the world differently. I suspected my newly-determined conviction that the most important job I could ever have would be to be a mother and a nurturer, meant that my career would slip silently into the back seat of my life.

Well the past few days have taught me different. They've shown me I can still get the adrenaline buzz rushing through me when I need to be in charge, and that I still have it within me to be on top of my game when it matters. I've worked well under the pressure - to praise from my colleagues and the head of our organisation - and I feel the old confidence seeping back into my veins. I feel like I've taken that old familiar, faithful coat that I used to wear when I was younger out from the back of the wardrobe and slipped it on once again. I'm caught by surprise that it still fits, and that feels good - and when I catch sight of myself in the mirror it's like I've never looked better in it.

I feel re-connected and re-energised, and ready to go again. I feel like me. I feel the confidence creeping back in and enveloping me - and that is such a welcome development as when I lost our baby Beans I lost my a big part of myself, and I lost a lot of confidence. I'd been on such a high falling pregnant so quickly that my confidence had grown and I'd felt myself blossom - I could do this! But then the rug was pulled so fast from underneath us that my feet were flailing in the air and the only way was down. Now I know that I can go up again, and it came effortlessly - less of being back on the ladder, or the staircase... more like being on an escalator and naturally moving up from the basement to the ground floor. Let's hope I'll be gliding my way up to the first floor as seemlessly in due course.

Wednesday 15 June 2011

Back from the brink

The Boy and I have just returned from a fantastic week in Santorini in Greece. We had an amazing time away from everything that weighs us down at home, and the trip did us both the world of good. It has been a difficult year for us so far - not just losing the baby but also the sad deaths of my uncle, colleague and former colleague to take on board - and I think we were both even more jaded and in need of a break than we had previously realised.

The island of Santorini is really beautiful and was everything I had hoped for and imagined. Lovely mountain top towns set into the rugged volcanic cliffs, gorgeous beaches, the dramatic caldera and a stunning array of white churches with blue domes at every turn - I think I took about a hundred photographs of the churches alone! It was the perfect place for us to take some time out and 'just be'.

We enjoyed some romantic nights in quiet Greek tavernas, as well as some more lively evenings (there were a couple of 5am returns home!) with the locals. We lay by the pool and on the black sand beach - reading, talking, snoozing, swimming together and generally enjoying each other's company. We had a few late starts, and also a couple of busier days when we toured the island's sights on quad bikes. That for me was the highlight of the trip - there was something very romantic and carefree about biking around the island together, taking in deserted beaches and watching the breath-taking sunsets over the caldera. I also really enjoyed the evenings out together - getting dressed up every evening to spend quality time with my beautiful husband was really lovely and I want to try and make sure we do more of this now we are back. We are a good team and we deserve special time together.

I've returned feeling refreshed and renewed, and - importantly - a little more accepting of what has happened and what we have lost. I realised while I was away that it's ok to feel sad about little baby Beans for as long as I need to, and it's ok for the Boy and I to talk about the baby as much as we want to. And I feel now that it really is ok to move forwards, so the Boy and I are beginning our quest to be parents again in earnest - I'm excited by the thought of that, and I don't feel scared to say that any more. I am of course aware that every pregnancy comes with its risk, but that doesn't frighten me now - that's life, it is what it is, and we have to go for what we want and chase our dreams. I feel we have every chance of a happier outcome and if our worst fears are realised once again, then I have a quiet confidence that we can cope and we can endure. So - watch this space, hopefully in the not too distant future there will be some exciting news to share again in these pages that have been so washed with heartache in recent times.

Monday 6 June 2011

Feeling gloomy

It's not been the best start of the week for me. I had a terrible night's sleep last night with more vivid and upsetting nightmares about the miscarriage and losing future babies. I woke up at 3am and really struggled to calm myself down and I even had to wake the Boy at one point for a cuddle and some kind words as I was so distressed. It was well after 5am by the time I got back to sleep, and then the alarm went off at 6.30am as we were coming in from my parents house in Kent this morning. A very disjointed night which has left me feeling edgy, anxious - and above all, incredibly sad.

I had a lovely weekend with friends and family, spending quality time with my Dad in advance of his birthday on Thursday, so once again feeling gloomy has caught me rather by surprise. I try to reason why I don't feel myself - am I tired, is it the weather (the rain is pouring down as I write), am I anxious about anything... it's like I forget what the crux of the matter is or somehow think losing a baby isn't enough of a reason for me to feel so out of sorts, when of course it is.

I suppose because I have been generally doing so well, when my sadness catches me off guard I feel some confusion. My brain takes a moment to make sense of the unanticipated emotion. I think it expects my recovery to be a slow but steady upward curve, so when I stutter or fall backwards like this it's not always easy to make sense of it quickly. I need to find a way to let myself understand that it's bound to be like this sometimes. Grief doesn't follow a coherent pattern from A to B, and there will be times when I am doing really well, but also times - which will often be unexpected - when life feels tougher and even simple tasks feel impossible.

It seems when I feel low and vulnerable like this, the world conspires to remind me even more what I have lost. I was sat next to the Boy on a packed tube this morning when I noticed a quite obviously pregnant lady get on at Waterloo. I was praying for someone else to see her, but no one did - or feigned that 'commuter ignorance' that I so despise, seeing her there but pretending they haven't so they don't have to extend any human courtesy to a fellow passenger - so I got up and gave her my seat. She flashed such a grateful smile at me, it really hurt. I wish I was the one being offered seats - or not offered as the case may be! I would be almost 19 weeks now... It hurts how different my circumstances now are, and I guess it is going to take time for that to lessen and I have to try my best to keep hanging in there for just a bit longer.

I don't think it's helpful being unconnected to my physical self. I'm still not really sure what's going on. On Saturday I thought my cycle might be kicking in as I had a little spotting, but it disappeared just as quickly as it arrived so I'm not sure what to make of that. My internet research (yes, I know I shouldn't be doing this, move away from Dr Google!) suggests that it might be different the first few months after the miscarriage, but not this different. So I don't really know what's going on or where I'm at. It's all quite bewildering and frustrating, and I'm hoping over the course of our holiday - we go tomorrow - I will begin to feel more united again. I don't think I can move forwards when I feel so disjointed and unconnected.

So it seems our holiday has come at just the right time. I feel weak and fragile, and today is another one of those days when I'm sat in front of my PC trying my hardest not to let the tears out. But tomorrow is another day, as they say, and I will be heading off into the sunshine for a week with my beautiful Boy. I could certainly do with some re-energising. I hope it does us both the world of good.

Friday 3 June 2011

Me, myself and I

We're tiptoeing towards the end of the working week with a pleasant weekend with friends and family stretching ahead, and our holiday to Santorini swift approaching. I absolutely can't wait for the break in the sunshine - I feel it will help us so much to be together just us two away from everything, enjoying each other's company and the sun and sea air. The Greek islands hold such special and happy memories for us that I can't think of a better place for us to be to regenerate and begin again.

It's been an anxious week for me, and I don't feel I've quite yet settled back into my own skin. In the past I've always felt my body and I were friends. I didn't always treat myself too well, but my body was always strong and reliable, and I could depend on it to care for me. I have enjoyed good health and very few ailments, aches and pains. My cycle was always regular as clockwork, despite years of me being on the pill, and we fell pregnant quickly.

But now I'm aware I'm slightly mistrusting of my body. Since the miscarriage my friendship with my physical self has been tested. Why did the pregnancy have to go wrong and why was the baby lost? Why didn't my body play ball? Logically I know, given the low hormones in the blood tests, this was just 'one of those things' and I couldn't have done anything about it. There is no point going over and over old ground that can give no fresh knowledge but can bring fresh pain, but somewhere in a quiet corner at the back of my mind those questions linger, never to be answered. I feel anxious awaiting the return of my cycle and a sign that my body has recovered and settled down. It's been five weeks and the doctor said it could take six or seven weeks to come back, but the waiting is tense - and mother nature teases me by delaying it so I begin to wonder if I could be pregnant again. I find it cruelly ironic that the symptoms of my lady and my pregnancy were so similar - tiredness, sore breasts and very light cramps. I've felt all of those in the past week but yet no lady arrives. My hopes rise that perhaps I am pregnant again - but I know that it is so unlikely I have to try and ignore my naive expectations. As things are it will be a bitter enough pill to take when my cycle kicks in again.

So, again I take a deep breath and pull out another little bit of courage from my reserves. There seems a good supply there. I place one foot in front of the other and hope that the rest somehow follows from there. I go easy on myself - it is, after all, only five weeks. I'm going to be fragile for some time longer and that's ok. There will continue to be little signs and incidents that remind me of our loss. Last night on the tube on the way to the cinema to see Hangover 2 (more great escapism - I'm loving films that distract me completely at the moment!) a pregnant lady sat down with a 'Baby on Board' badge on her coat. The Boy had talked about buying me one, so it was an unassuming, small trigger and I felt sad for a moment. But it was just a moment of many moments in the day, and it passed. The next moment - a smile flashed from the Boy - quickly arrived to replace it. If I take each moment as it comes, when it comes, how it comes, then I know I have every chance of moving on from this stronger than I was before, more knowing than I was before, and more at one with myself than I was before. Wish me luck.

Wednesday 1 June 2011

The first time

I feel like I should be doing well today. The sun is shining, our holiday is fast-approaching, and I had a good night out last night. The Boy and I went to see one of my favourite bands, Belle and Sebastian, with some old friends (see above). It was at the Roundhouse in Camden which is a brilliant venue. They played a varied mix of old and new tunes, and I really enjoyed myself. But I'm feeling wobbly and like I've slipped back a few steps and I'm faltering. Maybe it's the tiredness from the gig, or perhaps more likely it's me being aware that a month has passed now since we lost our baby.

I suppose I'm also waiting to see if my cycle will be back to normal again and I am finding that stressful, and - if possible - I'm going to the toilet to check what's happening even more often that I did during those first 12 weeks of our pregnancy. It's a real bitter-sweet experience. I really want it to come so that I will know my body is settling down and recovering, and we can think about trying for family again. But I am also dreading it, as I couldn't have a more physical sign that I'm not pregnant and another poignant reminder that baby Beans didn't make it.

Suffice to say I'm struggling, so I'm trying to comfort and cajole myself into a happier state of mind. I know it's important to let the sad times breathe and not hide from the uncomfortable and the awkward, but I also don't want to lose sight of the love and light that is in my life and how much the Boy and I have to look forward to. So I'm thinking of firsts to try and recover that smile that belongs on my face but has skipped away into hiding somewhere. Today is the 1st of June and the first day of summer. Hopefully many more blue-tiered skies stretch ahead of us over the coming months.

And more specifically I'm thinking about firsts with the Boy - our first glimpses of each other, our first words, our first kiss, our first date... the Boy had booked a table at Strada and I wanted him to think I was feminine and ladylike so I ordered a risotto not a pizza! How times have changed - now I have the pizza and then ask what is for dessert! Our first night together, our first weekend spent solely with each other, our first holiday... we went to Lanzarote and had a fantastic time in the sunshine. When we first said we loved each other, he first moved in, when we first got engaged and when we were first married... and of course our first wedding anniversary. There was also finding out I was pregnant and seeing our baby on the scan for the first time and how mesmerised and emotional we were - and while it didn't last, the first scan was very special to us both and we won't forget it.

We have so many happy 'firsts' behind us, as well as the sadness of the loss of our first baby, that I really hope I can take heart in them and find some more comfort. I do have hope, and I know things might change, but I want to start really feeling and genuinely believing that things can be different. I want to feel that we can bring a baby home from the hospital for the first time, be parents to a baby with a beating heart for the first time, and hold our baby in our arms and watch it grow for the first time. I know it's still early days on our road to recovery and I expect I am asking too much, too soon. I know I am being impatient and unable to bide my time and wait for what I want - and the Boy and any number of my friends will tell you that's certainly not the first time for that!

Celebrity hit list

It's struck me how many celebrities have suffered from miscarriages or still births recently - Lily Allen, Amanda Holden, Kelly Brook... From my experience miscarriage is an intensely personal and at time lonely experience, and I really feel for any woman who has to live out such a loss in the public eye. For me, it has been hard enough facing friends, family and colleagues since our baby died. I felt like a failure and there is nowhere to hide when the evidence is there to see - when there is no baby. I can't imagine how it must be to face the press and the public at such a painful and sad time.

I am inspired how these women have maintained their integrity and dealt with such a cruel and crushing loss with strength, peace and dignity. Rather than hide away, I am so impressed that they have spoken about their miscarriages and lost babies in public. I have a sense that 'miscarriage' can be a dirty word, not talked about, swept under the carpet as just something that couples have to endure in their quest to have a family. These celebrities have pushed the boundaries of that taboo and made it more acceptable to talk about, recognise and - perhaps most importantly - feel that loss. And for that I salute them. I am not sure I would have had such courage.

I've collected together below some of the things these women - or their partners - have said about their losses. I find their words a support and comfort as I manage my way through my grief, and I thank them for finding the power within themselves to be so open and frank, to lay themselves bare, when I imagine all they wanted to do was hide from the eyes of the world and grieve in private.

Tori Amos: I went through a lot of different feelings after the miscarriage - you go through everything possible. You question what is fair, you get angry with the spirit for not wanting to come, you keep asking why.

Lily Allen: It was a huge ordeal. It was a really long battle and that kind of thing changes a person. Like when you send soldiers off to war, they go off as one person and come back very different.

Kelly Brook: Kelly is understandably devastated. She's at home and is being looked after by Thom and her mother. There's nothing you can say to anyone at a time like this - she just needs to be allowed some time alone to grieve.

Courtney Cox: Well, it was really weird because everyone in my family has kids. I mean, they pop out like it's nobody's business. No one in my family has a problem. So to me, I just thought this would not be a problem at all.

Brenda Fricker: The body wouldn't do it, so I had to give up on that one. But I enjoyed trying. Getting pregnant is wonderful. It's the best thing in the world because it makes sense of the whole sexual act, and love is such an aphrodisiac.

Audrey Hepburn: If my world were to cave in tomorrow, I would look back on all the pleasures, excitements, and worthwhileness I have been lucky enough to have had. Not the sadness, not my miscarriages or my father leaving home, but the joy of everything else. It will have been enough.

Amanda Holden: It was the worst time of our lives. I am an optimist. I think, as bad as life sometimes gets, there is so much joy and so much good stuff, that there is a balance. Although what happened is obviously horrifying, we can go on to have more children.

Hugh Jackman: We tried and it just didn't happen for us. There was no particular medical reason. We had a few miscarriages, which was very upsetting. But we always planned on adopting anyway, even if we had our own biological children.

Alex Kingston: It didn't surprise me that women were trying so many times, I know there's that need - and it ultimately overrides everything else.

Kym Marsh: It was hard to give birth and never hear those precious moments - the first cries a mother cherishes when their child enters this world. To leave the hospital without your baby is even harder. It was the most painful experience I have ever gone through.

Brooke Shields: We were crushed. Up until then, I thought simply because it was time and I wanted to have a baby, it would work out.

Emma Thompson: There's been an awful lot of grief to get through in not being able to get pregnant again.

Johnny Vaughan: The Mrs and I suffered a bit of a tragedy with the baby we were going to have, and thank you very much for your support.