Blogging – taking some down time

Things aren’t often noisy over here on Magpie, but they’ve been a bit quieter than usual. I’ve been having a bit of an emotional slump, which I think are related to the hormone injections I’ve been having as part of the fertility treatment. I’ve been quite flat. As a consequence I haven’t really had much to say. My intellectual muscles aren’t really engaged right now.

When not in work I have found myself drawn to a more physical existence. Pottering in the garden, making sure everything has had enough water in our uncharacteristically hot summer, and picking courgettes, which seem to be doing well while everything else wilts. Swimming in the Serpentine Lido. Drawing with pencils on paper. Cutting up bits of cloth (soaked in watered down glue to prevent the edges fraying) and paper into new shapes. Arranging and rearranging things so experiment with different forms and colours. Anything that I can touch with my hands, anything with texture.

The online world feels a bit more unreal than usual to me at the moment. A little less engaging than it has been in the past. I am sure it will pass and I’ll have a bit more to say. Soon.

Like what you see? I also make art. You can things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying

Thinking of parallel futures

It’s been really hot in the UK over the last month and I don’t do particularly well in the heat. I love spring and autumn, have a good bash at enjoying myself in winter, but summer is not my friend. Friends at work casually joke, on a regular basis, that I should move to Norway, or Iceland. The North pole maybe. In previous years I’ve got on a bit better because we traditionally have awful, overcast summers in the UK. Not this year – a never ending heatwave. I have spent the last two weeks taking FSH injections so I am sure the external influence on my hormones is not helping my mood. I run from grumpy to gloomy and back again. Let’s just say that’s not the most fun thing ever for my fiancé to deal with. I dream of swimming, all the time.

I have been thinking over the last few weeks and months about how the experience of infertility is pushing me to consider parallel futures on a fairly constant basis. I’ve always been a bit of a fan of the parallel universe, alternative future genre of sci-fi. I am finding that while actively having fertility treatment my eye is on two possible futures a lot of the time. My effort goes into living life as normal, in making plans for fun things and future challenges, but my mind drifts off to consider other possibilities. Next year I will swim a 10km event, or I will be looking after a baby. Next year I will work on several interesting projects at work, or I will be looking after a baby.

We made a conscious decision not to stop making longer term plans, not to reduce our world to the single pursuit of making a baby. We plan trips, I pay entry fees to swimming events and do a bit of training. I work out what kind of swimming body I will need to swim a marathon swim next year, and (loosely) plan to train for that. All the while I know that a pregnant body would be something quite different, it would not be making a 10k trip around a cool lake next summer. We’ve been doing this fertility thing for a while now. It’s not been working. A heavy pregnant body doesn’t feel like it could be a real thing for me. Yet I plan for that too.

Like what you see? I also make art. You can things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying.

Objects with Meaning #20 – Glam headband

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This is a part of a series of photos of objects that have meaning to me. I’ve still never worn it, 7 years later. Want to know a little more about the origin of this project? Have a read here.

Fellow magpies, what objects have meaning for you? If you would like to join in and tell the story of your own objects with meaning have a read of this post, or post in the comments below.

Like what you see? I also make art. You can things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying.

Objects with Meaning #19 – Birthday Card

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This is a part of a series of photos of objects that have meaning to me. Want to know a little more about the origin of this project? Have a read here.

Fellow magpies, what objects have meaning for you? If you would like to join in and tell the story of your own objects with meaning have a read of this post, or post in the comments below.
 

 

Like what you see? I also make art. You can things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying.

Objects with Meaning #18 – Birthday Pen

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This is a part of a series of photos of objects that have meaning to me. Want to know a little more about the origin of this project? Have a read here.

Fellow magpies, what objects have meaning for you? If you would like to join in and tell the story of your own objects with meaning have a read of this post, or post in the comments below.

 

 

Like what you see? I also make art. You can things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying.

Objects with Meaning #17 – Christmas Chocolate

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This is a part of a series of photos of objects that have meaning to me. I’m sure these don’t exist any more, I ate these shortly after this photo was taken! Want to know a little more about the origin of this project? Have a read here.

Fellow magpies, what objects have meaning for you? If you would like to join in and tell the story of your own objects with meaning have a read of this post, or post in the comments below.

 

 

Like what you see? I also make art. You can things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying.

Objects with Meaning #16 – Wicca Heart

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This is a part of a series of photos of objects that have meaning to me. Want to know a little more about the origin of this project? Have a read here.

Fellow magpies, what objects have meaning for you? If you would like to join in and tell the story of your own objects with meaning have a read of this post, or post in the comments below.

 

 

Like what you see? I also make art. You can things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying.

Objects with Meaning #15 – Onesie

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This is a part of a series (including typos!) of photos of objects that have meaning to me. Want to know a little more about the origin of this project? Have a read here.

Fellow magpies, what objects have meaning for you? If you would like to join in and tell the story of your own objects with meaning have a read of this post, or post in the comments below.
 

 

Like what you see? I also make art. You can things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying.

Objects with Meaning #14 – Knit your own perfect boyfriend

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This is a part of a series of photos of objects that have meaning to me. Want to know a little more about the origin of this project? Have a read here.

Fellow magpies, what objects have meaning for you? If you would like to join in and tell the story of your own objects with meaning have a read of this post, or post in the comments below.

 

 

Like what you see? I also make art. You can things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying.

Patience and watching my garden grow

I started writing this a few weeks ago, but I’ve been kind of working through a sticky depressive brain fog since then and I feel so slow at the moment (and I already picked the slow road so you know, snail pace slow right now) so apologies for the relative radio silence. I also wanted to think a bit about pressing the ‘publish’ button in this, as it’s a bit more personal than the posts I normally go with. But I’ve decided it’s ok. I hope you think it’s ok too.

A few weeks ago I planted out some plants into the garden we had raised inside from seed. Anyone living in the UK at the moment will know that we’ve had some unpredictable weather recently and so we kept these little plants inside a bit longer than was really good for them because of some very late snow and ice. A week ago in the heatwave I caught myself going out into the garden every few hours when I was home, inpatiently tracking the growth of my plants (and monitoring which ones were being eaten by the snails, but that’s another story).

I’ve been thinking about this a bit this week as I surprised myself a bit. In my work life patience is one of the ruling principles of doing the work I do. I work in mental health research – rush tends to lead to ruin here. At home I have picked the kind of art forms that are slow. The finished thing reveals itself over a period of weeks, months or years. While I have often felt frustrated with myself, I have mostly made peace with picking such slow hobbies.

In the last few weeks, pacing around the garden I have questioned a little my full capacity for patience. One of the big things in my life, that had been silent in my writing here so far, is that my partner and I have been trying to have a baby, for quite some time. There have been some tests, some medication, some more tests, and now some more medication. Yesterday I started injecting myself with hormones, and this will be a daily deal for a while. There has been healthy living and less alcohol and talk about reducing stress. Thus far things have not worked. I am aware of the importance of patience here too. I have very little control, apart from the obvious (wink wink), over making a baby happen.

Some times I think that I need more than patience. Patience isn’t enough. I need a better strategy or plan for managing the weird emotional fall out from this situation. Holding my friend’s gorgeous 2 month old baby is a joy as it should be. But there is sadness on the train ride home. Some days I actually don’t feel at all bad about where we are – we are lucky, I can access good medical care on the nhs, and have a great doctor helping me. Some days I talk to my friend who is devastated after her multiple attempts at ivf have failed and think, that could be me in a year. Right now I still have hope, and have been building on my mental stamina. But I’ve not been building a plan. I’m not sure what that would look like. Outside the peas in my garden are just beginning to flower.