It’s not as if I thought it would be easy, trying to conceive after our miscarriage. And the void and sadness I have felt since we lost our 11 week bean is not going to be filled by a new baby. But – it’s more about the ‘moving on’ element. One baby will not replace another – but when a pregnancy is ended prematurely, it’s like a giant earth-mover has swept down and scooped out a chunk of your life. Not just the immediate weeks or few months, but the entire future you had planned: changing your lifestyle, wearing different clothes, ending work, having a baby, having a child in your life. When this is taken from you, the next year or so that you had mentally, and sometimes physically, begun planning for, is altered and I guess ultimately, delayed.
So, when we see those two lines on the pregnancy test it will be fantastic, but terrifying. It won’t fix the sadness or the loss. It won’t be as if the previous pregnancy didn’t exist. But I certainly feel that I will be able to sort of re-enter the life I had temporarily been beginning to live.
I imagine me freaking out at the 10 week mark and staying home from work for 2 weeks. Just so we can get to the ‘safe-zone’. I picture myself having a panic attack just randomly, in the kitchen, in a meeting, at the shops. Just around that time between 10 and 12 weeks. How am I going to survive those weeks when you know that you’re far enough along for it to be extremely painful, but you are just SO CLOSE to almost being there.
Because there’s just nothing you can do. When I went to my doctor and was like, so, I’m bleeding, she very honestly said, look, if it happens, it’s just going to happen and there’s nothing you can do. And that was pretty much the right thing to say.
At least, I guess I know now how it will happen. I didn’t before. If I know the process, will it be easier? I’ll bleed, the cramps will escalate, and I’ll lose my baby in the work toilet. I don’t think I can go through that again. But if I want to get pregnant, I need to be open to the fact that it MAY happen. But what can I do? Nothing basically. I could wait until I’m more mentally healthy. But I’ve never been good at waiting. I want to be pregnant, pregnancy will bring anxiety, but if I want a baby – then I will deal with it. I can’t have a baby without being pregnant!
After we started trying again, maybe 2 months in, I got my period. I was devastated. AS I SAT DOWN and said to my friend, DAMMIT I JUST GOT MY PERIOD, someone LITERALLY WALKED IN AT THAT MOMENT, slumped down in front of us and declared “Oh my god I’m so nauseous, I think I’m 6 weeks pregnant. I know it’s early but if something happened, I would totally advocate for talking about that sort of thing.”
I felt like I had been stabbed in the heart.
I don’t blame her for being pregnant! And I don’t blame her for telling us so early (I told shitloads of people last time!). It was the sort of… flippant way that she said it that hurt me. Because in that one sentence I relived in my mind everything I had been through and how painful it was to deal with it, tell people, and try to move on with life. When you have not experienced it, you just don’t know what you are talking about. And so when I saw this girl saying that you know, if anything happened, she would just deal with it… well, I saw myself I guess. Before I had any clue what losing a pregnancy would be like.
I shut down. I didn’t even mean to. I just… turned off. I let my friend talk to her about her surprise pregnancy and I actually plugged my ear phones in and looked interested in my phone. I was so rude! But I just didn’t know how to deal! Every so often I turned and smiled as if I was still half listening. But I wasn’t. I was blasting my brain out with Regina Spektor.
(Since then, I have seen this girl and made a point of asking how she was going. I feel terrible that I didn’t engage properly in that conversation!)
Everyone goes through shit. And no one can really know how anyone feels until we live their experience. There are so many things I don’t understand. I’ve never had a close family member go through cancer. I’ve never experienced war. I’ve never been abused or assaulted. There are so many stories I cannot claim to understand, and so I do not blame anyone for not understanding mine.
But I don’t apologise for banging on about my one miscarriage. It’s how I deal with it. Since I have posted about it, I have received messages from friends all over: a whole heap of lovely messages offering support, and a whole heap of people reaching out to share their own stories. So many! Most importantly, people asking me how they can support friends who have also miscarried. (I don’t have the answer to this obviously, but I can say what I needed at the time and after.)
So anyways, just a shout out to all the ladies and their partners who have lost. Keep trudging through life. And if you need to talk about your loss, talk about it. Write about it, sing about it, scream about it. It’s hard, but you can survive. I have just got through all the births of the people who were pregnant at the same time as me, as our due date is nearly here. So maybe even just some time will heal you a little.
In a bizarre way I am actually thankful for my miscarriage and the strength it has brought out in me.
Stay strong. One day life will be better than it is now and I wish all the best for every one else going through the same struggles.