Ootastic: PCOS in pictures

May 12, 2017

Collected miscarriage comics

Filed under: comics, miscarriage — ootastic @ 9:38 pm

I first started drawing comics when I was struggling to get (and stay) pregnant.  Given that fertility problems affect an estimated one in six couples and that up to a quarter of pregnancies end in miscarriage, it should be of no surprise to find so many comics on these topics. This is the first of two posts collecting links to relevant comics and other illustrations. Please feel free to point me to any I’ve missed!

Diane Noomin’s groundbreaking comic “Baby Talk: A Tale of 4 Miscarriages” was published in the now defunct Twisted Sisters anthology (though can be glimpsed on the web here and here) and has inspired many, including LaydeezDoComics (LDC) co-founder Sarah Lightman.  Fellow LDC member and Paula Knight recently published her graphic memoir, The Facts Of Life, which deals not only with recurrent miscarriage and long-term illness (ME/CFS) but also societal expectations of women and motherhood.  Kate Evans often provides illustrations for the Miscarriage Association (e.g. Partners Too and Teens Too) and Unravelling never fails to bring a tear to my eye.  Lucy Knisley shared a similar experience in A Record Playing By Itself and LDC Glasgow co-founder Anna Brewer did likewise in Sad News and subsequent posts. Non-fiction comics website The Nib published A Lost Possibility by Ryan Alexander-Tanner.  Ryan has also drawn What To Say (Nor Not Say) and Grieving a Miscarriage in collaboration with psychologist Jessica Tucker, who spearheaded the #IHadAMiscarriage social media campaign and also launched a range of pregnancy loss greetings cards.  Meanwhile male perspectives of miscarriage are show in this sketch by Curtis Wiklund and the episode Loss of the web-comic Crtl+Alt+Del by Tim Buckley.  In fact, the latter spawned an internet meme – and while miscarriage is no laughing matter, wider acknowledgment of its impact can only help.  Finally, while not comics-related, Marjolaine Ryley’s Arts Council funded project thethinbluelinethedeepredsea explores pregnancy loss in the arts.

January 5, 2015

Eating for one

Filed under: depression, food, miscarriage — ootastic @ 10:26 pm

This LunarBaboon comic reminded me of a cartoon I drew but never got round to posting. The time stamp for the original file is a few months/seasonal occasions after my first miscarriage (in late November), so an expanding belly (if only from comfort eating) was obviously on my mind.

Eating for one

April 23, 2012

The missing piece

Filed under: miscarriage, PCOS, TTC — ootastic @ 4:33 pm

Attending a family christening last weekend reminded me to post this…

The missing piece

August 24, 2011


Filed under: miscarriage, PCOS, TTC — ootastic @ 1:12 pm

They wed, then expect the best. Events deny them: empty nest. Weekend sex, speedy sex, needy sex. Nevertheless…

Peers breed, render them defenceless. They detest the secrecy, the extreme pretence. He’s dejected, she feels depressed. Even the esteemed experts seem helpless. They’re sternly refereed, shepherded between cheerless beds, endless tests, decency repressed. They wrestle the enemy, seek the mystery remedy, vexedly beseech the NHS.

She’s vehement, he relents. They reverently meet the expense: stem needless excesses, redeem elderly investments, freely enter debt. Wheels screech. Grey steel, green sleeves, B&W screen. Twelve, eleven, ten…she sleeps deeply. Legs bent, stretched, wedged. Clever men leer. Lenses checked, teeth clenched, needles deftly steered. Eggs meet sperm, sperm meet eggs. Cells seed, seethe; genes express, enmesh. Seven spheres selected, the rest preserved. She’s restless; he feels stressed. Evens? Twenty percent? Very reckless!

Three breezy September weeks creep by. Then excellent news: presence detected. Never better! He’s speechless; she feels blessed. Her chest swells, smell perverts. He respects her gentle strength. She revels; her gem, her jewel. Feet perched, nestled serenely; greedy, self-centered, well-deserved rest.

December descends, freezes the fens; every tree, beck, fence. Kelsey Crescent, Eden Street, Cherry Mews, Temple End. She sneezes, feels feeble, fevery. Then she bleeds, festers, belly tense. Emergency! They beg clemency. Nerves shred, red seeps, sheets drench. She retches, keels, weeps; perfectly wretched, been rejected. He trembles, reels, swept senseless, bereft.

Sheer hell. Never ends well…

They teeter. Then swerve, tether themselves; he, she, we. Resentment tempers, regret ebbs. They emerge dry-eyed, neck held erect, renewed, refreshed. They remember, reflect; then they’re settled. They pledge the next step…

August 18, 2010

The M Word

Filed under: miscarriage, PCOS, TTC — ootastic @ 9:05 pm

The M Word

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