pink roses in buckets

Diary | And I might be OK, but I’m not fine at all…

[TRIGGER WARNIG / CAVEAT: I wrote this post as a diary entry back in December 2016, when I had just been diagnosed with, and was receiving treatment for, an ectopic pregnancy. If you’re reading this now, you should know that I suffer from extreme health anxiety, and have a crippling phobia of surgery, both of which made my reactions to this situation much more extreme than might otherwise be the case. So please read with kindness, and be aware that this post may be triggering for people who are pregnant, have experienced pregnancy loss, or who suffer from anxiety related to health and medical procedures. Thanks for understanding. If you’d like to read the full story of my ectopic pregnancy, you’ll find all the posts here.]

I’m sure you’re all getting sick of me saying this by now, but I feel I need to thank you once again.

Thank you for reading all 2,000+ words of my last blog post. Thank you for commenting, for being there, for sharing your own experiences, as painful as I know that must have been. I haven’t been able to respond to each comment or email individually, and I feel really bad about that, because I honestly want to hug every single one of you right now. It would be awkward, obviously (Unless there was wine involved, in which case it would only be retrospectively awkward. I’m not sure which is worse, actually…), but I think you deserve it, so please consider yourselves hugged… in the least creepy way possible.

I also wanted to write a quick post today (Haha, who am I kidding: as if ANY of my posts are ever ‘quick’!) because, as I mentioned on Instagram earlier this week, it’s kind of hard as a blogger to know how to segue gracefully from miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy and health anxiety to, ‘Hey, lookit my new shoes: so sparkly!’

I mean, I could do it exactly like that, and just accept that I’d look like a bit of an ass, but to quote Taylor Swift (Which I do more often than I probably should…), I might be OK, but I’m not fine at all… and I don’t want the sudden switch in topic to imply otherwise. I, do, however, want to get back to writing about the kind of things I usually write about here: so the fashion, the beauty, the sparkly shoes, and all of those other things that don’t generally have to come with trigger warnings attached to them.

That doesn’t mean I’m going to stop talking about all of the other stuff that’s been going on lately, because now that the Chamber of Secrets has been opened, so to speak, I feel even more convinced that these things have to be talked about, and if I have to volunteer as tribute, then so be it. I will try to stop mixing my literary references now: sorry about that.

Anyway, what I wanted to say was that, on the day my miscarriage was confirmed, I came home from the hospital, took a blank notebook from my special ‘notebook’ drawer (Yes, I have a drawer full of blank notebooks. They bring me peace.), and started writing about my experience. I had some kind of half-baked idea at the time that one day I would publish these writings as an ebook or something (Because there HAS to be a market for a book called ‘Hysterical Ramblings of a Very Hormonal Hypochondriac’, right? HAS to be.), and that this book would have a happy ending, which would both comfort and encourage people who were going through the same thing.

Well, as you know, it didn’t work out like that, unfortunately. I did keep writing, though – every day, in fact. Then every other day. After a while, I realised I hadn’t written anything in that notebook for a while, purely because I hadn’t needed to. I won’t say I was fine… but I was OK. I felt like myself again, for the first time in weeks, and the reason I felt like myself was because I had been acting like myself. I don’t mean I’d been denying my feelings, or lying about them, or anything like that. I just mean that I’d been getting up every morning, putting on makeup, getting dressed (I really wasn’t joking when I said there are certain members of hospital staff who have never seen me in makeup, or wearing anything other than clothes I can also sleep in…), and going about my day.

Doing these things doesn’t make everything magically better, of course, but they DO help: or they helped me, anyway. Even just opening up my WordPress dashboard, scrolling through my favourite retail sites, and writing posts about shoes and clothes, and other things that don’t really matter, helped give me back a sense of normality, and right now, normality is what I most crave. There was a day a couple of weeks ago when Terry and I stopped in at Starbucks after yet another hospital appointment (This was before I knew my pregnancy was ectopic and had simply been told that it was failing, and I should expect another miscarriage…), and we sat there for a while, watching the word go by. I remember watching people rushing around doing their Christmas shopping, and going about their business, and thinking that I would give anything – anything at all – to be one of them. To be worrying about what to buy everyone for Christmas, and what my next blog post should be about, rather than waiting for the hospital to call with what I knew would be bad news.

Normality. It’s utterly wonderful, and very much under-rated, don’t you think? So, over the next few days, I’m going to be doing my best to get back some sense of normality. Obviously I’m still dealing with a lot of very difficult stuff (I’m writing this on Monday evening, knowing that I have another hospital visit on Tuesday afternoon: it should just be a routine blood test, but you never really know what these tests will show, and already The Fear is starting to build), and I’m not going to just ignore that, or pretend it’s not happening, but I will be starting to return to regular programming, as opposed to the ‘all misery/all the time’ stuff that’s made up this week’s content.

I realise that the sudden changes in subject might seem a little odd and jarring at times, but, well, that’s life, really, isn’t it? And all we can do is get on with the show…

[Read all of my posts on ectopic pregnancy]

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  • Jennifer


    I am so sorry for what you are going through. I had 3. Its hard. Take care of yourself.

    December 6, 2016
  • Pip Lee


    I would just like to hug you in a totally non creepy way now. I am much older than you and have the benefit of being able to look back. I spent years trying to have a baby which I eventually did via IVF and then a number of years trying to have another one. The day we stopped trying was the hardest day of my life. My heart broke. I then had to have a complete hysterectomy and spent a long time coming to terms with the fact that I couldn’t have a baby and my heart broke again. I know now how incredibly lucky I was to be able to have my son but if anyone said that to me at the time I would want to punch them in the face! One of the things I think helped me get through it all was my ability to look at stuff. I spent hours wondering aimlessly around John Lewis in Oxford Street and then going down to Selfridges and doing the same. It kept me grounded and I could forget for a few hours whilst I decided what duvet, crockery, dress etc I would buy if I had more money than sense. Shoes and clothes and other assorted pretty things matter. It is really hard to find the right words without sounding trite or patronising as your story is still unfolding, but doing what makes you feel better when you want to do it is the best thing. One of my go to strategies for coping when life is hard, is to look at ball dresses on the Selfridges website as you never know when you might need to be ready to go to a magical ball, rather than dealing with a dirty oven and an autistic sons panic attack!

    December 6, 2016
  • Chiarina


    Amber, having read many comments of readers as well as many, many, many of your blog posts, I really think not one of your regular readers could for an instant believe that if tomorrow you write a beauty review, or post a picture of sparkly shoes or show us a new dress, that you did it because you don’t care or don’t feel about what you shared with us. Normality IS important…
    Lots of love and hugs.

    December 6, 2016
  • The Other Emma


    It’s the one foot in front of the other just so you keep going thing. Sometimes you do normal things and sometimes you situation there and wonder how can everything and everyone carry on as normal when YOUR while world has change so completely. I used to think how could the world not notice something was different, how could everyone else carry on like nothing had changed and then I realised that everyone had something going on that affected them that way, it was just my turn to wonder how to get through it.

    You do and write about what works for you, no-one will ever think you’ve just forgotten about it.

    Sending awkward introvert hugs to you and hoping your appointment went well today <3

    December 6, 2016
  • The thing is…. you bring just joy to us… we should be thanking you! xx

    December 6, 2016
  • Ginger


    Chiarina and Meme Glenn said it so much better than I can. We love your blog because of YOU! I appreciate and am grateful for your openness and honesty, for your humor, for your self-awareness, for how much you care for your husband and family and friends and readers. I wish I could hug you. You are not alone… you are loved so much. <3

    December 6, 2016
  • Myra


    You are doing great – one foot in front of the other – or one post at a time. This too will pass. Sending big fat soft angel hugs ???

    December 6, 2016
  • A big non creepy hug to you and Terry too. A sense of normality is important to help you get through the bad times. It doesn’t mean it’s gone away or that you are fine, or don’t care anymore. The day I was diagnosed with cancer I couldn’t bear to go home at first so I went and bought sparkly gold eyeshadow instead.

    December 6, 2016
  • December 6, 2016
  • Moni


    I know… There have been days when I thought “Why hasn’t the world stopped turning? MY world has just been totally shattered, and yet other people are going to work and doing everyday stuff as if nothing happened at all??!!”
    On the other hand, while we go about our lives as usual, other people’s lives are going to pieces right that very second. And we can’t do anything about it. If we know them, we can be there for them, lend ears, and shoulders, and hearts. But we cannot prevent bad things from happening. Nobody can.
    So to keep ourselves from drowning, we cling to whatever “normality” we can. And it’ s okay. It has to be. Because there is no other way to keep ourselves sane.
    Going on with the usual stuff does not mean that one does forget. Or even wants to forget. But it helps with arranging things. Putting them into context and perspective. And it helps with not letting yourself get sucked into the abyss forever.

    We are with you, Amber & Terry. We care. We see what you are going through, and please be assured that you are awesome!

    December 6, 2016
  • Amber it broke my heart to hear of your miscarriage in your second post… You are absolutely going through the wringer right now, let’s hope this year gets over and done with pronto and you can start over anew and fresher with better fortunes for you (both) next year.

    Sending my very best to you with loads of love and a non-creepy hug – look out for something in the post tomorrow to you ?

    Catherine x

    December 6, 2016
  • Sharon


    I think trying to get a bit of normality back into life when you’re having a difficult time is quite common. Not always easy to do but one’s interest in everyday pottering around comes back and things get easier. Such a cliché but time is a great healer.

    Take care xx

    December 6, 2016
  • Wrapping you in a ginormous cyber hug Amber. When I wrote I was happy that your numbers were going down…well in that moment it felt right…but I now better understand the tangle of emotions you are feeling and the challenges you are going through. xo I feel I should have known better as I have been through similar loss. Some time ago, I commented on one of your posts…something to the effect that you had wormed your way into my head and written my exact thoughts. It feels like that again. I didn’t permit myself to share any feelings of loss, other than with my husband. I think healing would have been a less rocky road if I had read your story then. You ARE helping others by writing about this. Thank YOU and HUGS!

    December 6, 2016
  • This makes me think of that popular quote from Confessions of a Shopaholic” when she says “because when I shop the world gets better” that quote always resonated with me on the deepest level.

    There’s legitemt therapy in shopping. It’s a form of self care.
    An returning to normal, having your usual activities, well that’s therapy too, you’re not freezing yourself in that one moment all the time.

    And Taylor Swift is usually right.

    December 6, 2016
  • Marilyn


    Writing is cathartic. And if it’s published on a blog and it helps others, that’s great. If not, that’s also fine. Everyone heals differently, some take more time than others. I really don’t think there is such a thing as ‘normality’ though because most people have worries and troubles. It’s just that some of them are better at pretending, and you’d probably not want to switch lives with them. (Taylor Swift is always right!)

    December 6, 2016
  • Cazroline


    Write what feels right, when it feels right.
    It’s been heartbreaking to read the last few posts and I’ve been massively impressed with the bravery you’ve shown in talking about it and think of normality (or something that looks a bit like it) is what you need then normality is good and I’ve always enjoyed your posts.
    I also agree that miscarriage is something that in general *should* be talked about more, if only to make people more aware just how much it does happen and that it’s often for no damn reason so if it helps you to write about it then go for it.
    In short, if you write it I’ll read it, whatever the topic.

    December 6, 2016
  • Karlie


    I read somewhere recently that a child born after a miscarriage is called a rainbow baby. I then realized that almost every baby in my extend family except my oldest child could be considered rainbow baby. What ever makes you feel good you should do. Sometimes we just need to look at shoes.

    December 7, 2016