It's all gone a bit quiet from me recently- not been on Twitter much, been rubbish at replying to emails, not been banging on about archaeology online, not done much writing since coming back from Ireland.
This could just be a natural reaction to the intensity of a Visiting Fellowship, a joyful time which was stuffed to the gunnels with work.
Sadly, that's not what the problem was. The problem was that last Friday I was diagnosed with an ectopic pregnancy and have since been going through the process of my body disposing of this poor little misplaced bundle of cells. It's not been much fun. In fact, there was a point on Friday when it looked like I would be in surgery that afternoon. I can't say how thankful I am that this didn't happen and my body has dealt with it without intervention. I'm definitely one of the lucky ones.
I've read other brave posts from scholars writing about how their ongoing conditions have affected their work- what comes across most is their strength to carry on in spite of long term pain. I don't know quite how to explain my own sudden absence except in these brutally honest terms: I've had bigger things to worry about than Etruscans, publications, and even Twitter, like potentially losing a Fallopian tube and leaving my daughter overnight while she is still getting over being separated in Ireland.
Tommy's, a charity that supports families who suffer pregnancy loss and stillbirth, have started a campaign called #MisCourage that encourages people to share their experiences, start a conversation, acknowledge that this happens: it's not all happy endings and cute scan pictures. For some of us, what starts with a joyful little line on a stick ends with tears and tests and ultra towels.
I wanted to join in, to explain, to state what has happened in the last week. But I do feel afraid- is this appropriate, is this too much information, is this really ok for a blog that is deeply tied to my academic identity? But the two things go together- if you've been wondering where I've been, now you know. Is it better to be perceived as an oversharer or a flake?
I'm going with it's better to tell the truth.