A journey to a baby

2.12.2017

Someone said to me today: I didn’t realise how all encompassing this has been for you. I didn’t realise how much you were hurting and holding back until I’ve seen you now.

Because now there’s a baby. There’s a baby with a heartbeat and there’s been a fetal pole and not just a yolk sac and there’s been no fruitless waiting and seeing and just all the good news.

But have I been holding back?

I don’t know about that. There’s palatable relief for sure. I’m still not out the woods but it’s going so much better. I am planning. I’m in maternity jeans already.

I don’t think I was living half a life.

Morning sickness doesn't just happen in the morning

This year has not been easy, course it’s not. I’ve had two miscarriages and been in A&e twice for different injuries. But I cracked on. Kept buggering on. That’s been my mantra. Head down, elbows out.

I think really that the cruellest thing about the miscarriages is that you are expected to be fine about it. You’re either in pieces or you’re not and if you’re not then you’re coping. Well, I wasn’t coping. I’m just a really good actress. I’m excellent at pushing what I really feel down into a place where even I can’t access it and saying “it’s fine” and making everyone beans on toast.

At listening and nodding and saying the right thing. And people say “you’re strong”. And I say: I’m not. Because I’m not. I’m a person going through what people go through and I’m not strong because I’m not really saying what I need or doing what I should. That would be strong.

The thing with the loss is that it’s just that; it’s a loss. It’s a real thing that you’ve lost. And it’s a real thing all wrapped up in love and hope. I mean, I’ve said this before. This isn’t new. But what I am saying is that you need time to get over that loss. To acknowledge it almost. Not just physically but emotionally. And I am not great at that. I’m good at buggering on.

But listen, no one needs another martyr.

So this time, so far, it’s worked. I worked. And I told friends early and then family – way I figure it friends are invested in you, they care about you in the pregnancy. Family are invested in the little bean you’re growing and trust me, because I’ve done it, explaining that there is no more bean to people hoping for grandchildren or cousins is horrible.

And some of them said “how will you tell so and so? How will you let people know this time?”

Because back before the losses we did have a plan. We had a t shirt for Nives to wear and she put it on at Christmas and everyone gasped and was happy and I felt amazing and loved.

But that isn’t our journey anymore. This pregnancy comes after heartbreak and tough decisions and sitting in rooms with poor lighting with boxes of tissues in the corner. It comes with three scans before eight weeks, with pictures of Nives under my pillow as I’m wheeled into surgery, with the wonderful NHS holding my hand all the way like the trusted friend it is.

It comes after sitting and looking, again, at the leaflets on the wall offering advice. It comes after seven times of turning left out the lift on floor 11 and not going straight ahead. After tears at other bumps. Anger, sobs. Self preservation. Self preservation above all else.

It seems churlish, I know. If I seem ungrateful or moany, I’m not. Trust me I’m not. I’m marvellously happy. But I can’t pretend we’ve not had this journey. I can’t start releasing coloured balloons out of packages and snapping tiny pairs of shoes with a whimsical caption and not nod towards everything we’ve – I’ve – been through to get here. That’s not who I am. Not now.

This baby will be loved, so fiercely loved. As loved as Nives and as celebrated as her. And in July when I hold that baby in my arms I will never want to let go. And I’ll cry, of course I’ll cry. I’ll cry with the relief of knowing that this time I won’t have to say goodbye too soon and I’ll cry, again, for the babies I didn’t get a chance to hold in my arms.

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7 thoughts on “A journey to a baby

  1. Made me tear up. Not just because of your words but seeing the shot the scanning room and the early pregnancy unit that I never want to see again. One step closer to getting your Arlo rainbow baby (that’s what he was and you’ve been through one hell of a storm). I hold him much tighter and enjoy him so much more because of what I lost. Thank you for sharing as always x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I hope in some way writing this down has been cathartic for you, this is a loss that needs time to adjust and move on from but will stay with you, I don’t doubt for ever. I have friends that have been through similar and have told me that the expectation to just move on is immense, without an acknowledgement of a loss of a child. This is the loss of a bond of pure protectiveness and love towards a precious child and the feeling of loss must be immense. I am so sorry.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. It’s been hard and in a lot of ways I’ve thrown myself into other things and just kept plugging on. People told me stories of other friends who had had far more losses than I had and it put things into perspective but then also made me feel that maybe I was wallowing. The point is, I suppose, that no two experiences are the same. It certainly has helped having Nives to focus on. The night I miscarried she was ill and I slept on her floor because I didn’t want to leave her. Danny thought I was mad, but it made me feel better, weirdly.

      Liked by 1 person

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