Halfway up the hill, and ten steps backward

9:32 pm Amanda 0 Comments


Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Every day, at some given point, sometimes multiple times, I react to no longer being pregnant.

I know precisely, without calculating, that my miscarriage began 11 weeks ago this Thursday. I know, exactly, that I would be 22 weeks by now, able to discover our baby's gender if we had elected the option.

I know my womb is empty every time I can order a glass of wine. I know my womb is a barren wasteland every time I don't have to consider the food in front of me.

I know that I hate this. With a passion. A passion unbecoming the person I used to be before.

Before.

What I wouldn't give for before.

I rarely talk about my experience, or my grief, any more, not even with my husband.  I know he hurts. I know that he finds some days more testing than others. I know he doesn't want to hurt me by showing his pain. I know he misses our little dot, and can't help but think about what would have been. But I don't want to bring down his efforts to move on, and show him how teetering on the edge of holding it together I really am. I'm all twine and staples inside, buckling and twisting, straining the meagre restraint they have managed to maintain on my emotions.

Mostly though, it's because there are few people who have the interest to stop and listen, and give me the ear I desperately seek. Not every day, just the few days when I'm deep inside the dank, slimy well of heartache and all around you are those slick stones that give you no purchase to haul yourself out.

On those few occasions where I've risked it, the responses are difficult to hear.

"Just relax. It'll happen one day. Stop pressuring yourself."

"You've got age on your side."

"Think yourself lucky you got pregnant the first time so quickly. Others take a year to even get the first go."

"It was early on, so really it was for the best. You didn't have enough time to get that attached."

"If you keep dwelling on it, you'll never get over it. Just let it go."

"But what do you mean, it still hurts? You're over it, surely? You act so normal."

Yes. My online presence is normal. I don't mention it. Just that once, where I stupidly tried watching One Born Every Minute and the little boy was born way premature and didn't make it.

I have to be normal online. Nobody wants to know that you're drowning, unless it happens to be when you're actually drowning initially. Preferably in a ball pit, because hey, there's comic value there.

I have to try to be normal every day, or I won't get out of bed. Or leave the house. I picked up my life and kept on going, as soon as I could stand it, because I have responsibilities.

It in no way makes me normal.

I could explain my response to every comment that I quoted above. If you're reading this, I doubt I need to. I expect my feelings are pretty apparent.

However: Let it go? This isn't a bloody Frozen narrative. What to the scientific and medical communities were categorically just "a bundle of cells" was my heart's desire. My dream. My baby. Our baby. I can't let it go. Just like you can't forget that you once had a limb where now there is a stump.

My body took a new life within it and wanted to nurture it. My body changed, developed, grew. That life just wasn't capable of making it. Or maybe my body wasn't capable of sustaining it.

I had nearly 12 weeks to be attached. Every time I bubbled with nausea, I was attached. Every time I had to talk myself through each step of my morning, to ensure I left the house in shoes and not my pyjamas, I was attached. Every time I rested my hand on my belly, or thought of the day to come, or a name, or a dream for the future, I was bloody attached.

I pretend to be completely fine when the café I'm in fills up with newborns, infants and toddlers.

I pretend I'm coping when suddenly my train carriage fills with pregnant women, prams, and pregnant women with prams.

I pretend that I am full of joy, with no pain, when yet another person in my life (online or in person) announces that they're pregnant. Or gives updates and ultrasounds. Or both.

Why? Because the last thing I need is to be labelled a bitch.

A bitch for not being happy for someone else. A bitch for not just getting over it. A bitch for being in despair that I was pregnant and now I'm not, and all I want is to be a mother and bear a child for my husband, a grandchild for our parents.

Sure, the pain will dull with time. It has, it does, but some days just plain suck. You slip into a puddle, and then before you know it, the bottom has dropped out of the earth, and there you are, huddled on the mossy cobbles at the bottom of that well or perhaps fighting to keep your head out of the stagnant water.

It is impossible to be perfectly normal every day. Christ, it's impossible to be normal every day, let alone perfect.

I am not normal. I am not okay. Not yet. Not yesterday, not today, probably not tomorrow.

My heart carries the weight of loss.

On the day when the universe blesses us with a new pregnancy, it still will. If we get our rainbow baby, it still will.

There will never be a day, for the rest of my life, where our baby didn't make it and it isn't still sad.

I will never be your definition of normal again. I will always have lost our child. But eventually, I won't need to go over it again and again, and feel the rawness of it all.

Until then, for me, and for every other couple suffering the effects of a miscarriage, please stop.

Stop and pause for just a second.

We are not unusual. We are not rare. We are not alone.

There are millions of us. Millions of women whose wombs are empty. Millions of men whose hearts are full of sadness. Millions of couples who sometimes just have to sit together, holding each other, and remember that there is something, someone, missing. It hurts.

It really bloody hurts.

And it should. It does. It will.

There is no "lucky" in the loss of a pregnancy.

I am not crazy. We are not crazy. Not even that couple across the hallway, and down a few doors, is crazy: irrespective of age, race, creed, sexual or political persuasion.

We are probably not "normal" or even "okay", even if we insist we are. Even if we demand that we ought to be. Not just yet.

But we don't have the plague. We cannot pass our misfortune onto other pregnant women, or women trying to get pregnant. We have feelings, and a lot of them. And I, at least, was incredibly attached.

Every day that I get up, I strive to be normal and not remember what was.

Every day, at some given point, sometimes multiple times, I react to no longer being pregnant.


0 comments:

Powered by Blogger.