Naively I didn't know that at least 20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, so the chances of you or someone you know having an experience with miscarriage is high, but just because it's common doesn't make it any easier if it does happen to you. So, this is my story............
I’m not a sharer unless you’re my mum or one of my many sisters, “I'm alright” is my moto, but this week marks baby loss awareness week and who am I to hide behind a screen and not use this platform I've found myself on to raise some much-needed awareness....
Last night watching Elle's (Feathering the Empty Nest) stories I just felt I had to put pen to paper or finger to keyboard and be perfectly honest. As much as being a supportive ear can help surely a voice saying I can feel it too helps more? I am not comparing my story to Elle's it’s a million miles apart, but if we all keep it locked up and hidden away how's that going to help? no matter how big or small. What we all need to remember is that behind these perfect pictures are a million other things that nobody else can see........
With three babies baked and born without so much as a blip.... a forth baby seemed like no trouble at all. Those clear blue lines within a few weeks of trying (standard procedure) filling our minds full of excitement and nerves soon started to fizzle out. The trouble is I know the drill I knew how being pregnant felt but it was dragging its feet this time around, “maybe it's a boy?” “you've probably just got used to it” ....
The tricks your mind can play on you are quite remarkable, I've learnt over the last two years whether it be overwhelming hope or completely consuming gloom your mind can make you believe some things you know just aren't true.
You see I knew, I just knew, I sat waiting for that scan with Josh's voice telling me over and over, “it will be fine” and my sisters voices ringing in my ears “it's a boy” that's what I wanted to believe, I really did, but when that doctor told me she couldn't find a heartbeat it just confirmed what I had known deep down for 12 heart wrenching exhausting weeks.
Out the back door you go, in that moment when I was told “I'm sorry” what felt like a hundred times, and in my foggy state of mind this really stuck with me. I guess if I hadn't had a baby before I might not have noticed but instead of going back through the waiting room where I came in I went out another door, it felt very end of the road. It's weird the things that stick with you, isn't it? I remember the midwife reeling off ‘what happens next’ information in the background, but this was all I really took in, why are we going out this way???
I won't go into what happened next but we were given options, and within a few days we were off to Spain on a family holiday very much not pregnant and very much putting on a brave face. That's the thing with kids there's not much time for tears, it really is amazing how much you can bottle up and hide away. Already being a mother of three healthy children I felt a little like I had no right to grieve, that there are women who have miscarriage after miscarriage with no other children at home. That I should just be grateful for what I had. But it did hurt, it hurt a lot and it changed me massively from always believing things like that won't happen to me, to being right in amongst it was a complete game changer.
My natural instinct was to fill the void i.e. get pregnant pronto that would solve the problem! My main focus was to be pregnant before December the 24th when our baby should have been due, it would be a lot easier then you see.
It helped, it felt good to be pregnant again and see a heartbeat at the early scan at eight weeks, which we paid to have done privately....... this is where the spiral of completely irrational, all-consuming pregnancy anxiety began. I had more scans, more visits to the maternity unit and more late nights googling symptoms than I can remember.
You see I completely believed there was something wrong with me and that is why the baby we lost didn't grow and that this baby wouldn't either. I thought once the first scan was all ok I would be fine but it stuck right the way through, down to when Tiggy was born. I remember saying to the midwife over and over “I can't hear her? Why can't I hear her” and the midwife replied with “give her a chance” poor woman she didn't know she had a neurotic one on her hands.
So now when I'm asked will there be any more babies? The reason I answer so quickly with a very certain No!!! Isn't just because I feel perfectly complete and dare I say...wait for it.... 'blessed' with my lovely brood but also because I couldn't and wouldn't put myself or my long-suffering husband through anymore of my anxious ridden, rollercoaster of pregnancy emotions.
I've rabbled on completely but I just wanted to share my story because although it may seem blissfully serene from the outside you never really know what's happening or what's happened behind these little squares.