Archive for the ‘Without Peanut’ Category

Promise
June 11, 2014

11/06/2014

I thought you’d have faded a little by now. More than three years since my saddest of days and you are still right here with me; just beneath my skin, at the edge of my vision, at the forefront of my mind. I still cry for you in the dark. Instead of sleeping, I lay and thought of you and what we were and what we are. While the children I am blessed to birth and hold and hear cry grow up and inevitably away from me, I will always have you and what you gave me. Joy, hope, excitement and grief. All strong and real and welcome reminders that I am alive and that briefly you were too, and you chose to spend that time with me. I hope at the end of my days I have the time to look back and think of what we had and tell your brothers and sisters that sometimes just the promise of happiness can be so, so sweet. So I give you a name. You were and are Promise. You did not come to be, but you taught me a mother’s love. That love will always be yours.

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14.03.13
March 14, 2013

As the light shifts and the feel of the days change to that Autumn peace, you’ve been on my mind more than usual this last week and yesterday I even had the chance to speak about you with women who understand. Most of the time now, my thoughts about you are held close and go unshared. Your father remembers and thinks of you, I’m sure, but he still finds it hard to talk about you and see me still grieving, not understanding that grieving feels good sometimes. And it does feel good to talk about you and know I will be understood. Mothers love our babies forever, whether or not we are able to bring them to birth.

It’s not easy these days to find the mental and emotional space to think about you and love you the way I want to, but think about you and love you I do. That won’t change. It’s hard to reconcile what sometimes feels like a stasis or stalling in my relationship with you when I have a loud, active, adorable but demanding baby rampaging around the house and seeming bigger every day, but when I think of you I can always conjure those first glowing and promise filled days of early pregnancy. I suppose you are more of a feeling than a memory, and as the loss of you grows further distant, what I still feel most is hope. Thank you.

Happy Birthday, my lost love.
March 14, 2013

It’s 1 year ago today that you were due to arrive into our world. Today probably wouldn’t have been the day, but some time this month we’d have been sitting down to taste your first birthday cake, surrounded by people who loved you. Instead you have me, just me, and that thought hurts. These are the first tears I’ve cried for your would-be birthday, because it feels so unfair when I know you would have been so special. I haven’t mentioned it to your Daddy. He still loves you, but he doesn’t need to talk about it the way I do. It doesn’t mean you haven’t been loved and missed by him too.

Your little brother is chatting loudly, and it’s so hard to understand that even though he’s already so big, he will always be your little brother. And all those firsts we’ve had with him do remind me that they would have been yours, had life taken another turn. I can’t think in terms of  “should”, just of what is, and continue to remember the joy you gave me and think of you with love while I grow your flowers.

I love you, I miss you still, I always will,

Your Mother 

Mother’s Day 13.05.12
May 10, 2012

One of the greatest blessings from my short time carrying Peanut through this world is the amazing women I have gained friendships with. Women who are strong and wonderful mothers to babies in this world and in the next. My life is so much the better for having them in it, and all of their babies are lucky to still be so loved and treasured and remembered here on earth by them.

Last Mother’s Day, my loss was so new, and it hurt a lot to go through the day unacknowledged as a mother when I felt my baby was still so close I could reach out and touch them. This Mother’s Day, I am ready to birth my second baby any moment. It may even have happened before Sunday. I’m so absorbed in everything to do with preparing and welcoming this child safely into the world, but I haven’t forgotten my Peanut. The closer I have gotten to my due date, and, perhaps, Mother’s Day, the more I have thought of the baby who would have been nearly 6 months old now and the more tears I have shed.

While this year I may be wearing my full term belly as a celebration of motherhood, this is not my first year as a mother.

All I ask is that you think of those women in your life who are mothers to the children that you cannot see and, so, go unseen themselves. Find a moment to tell them that the baby they carried in this world all too briefly made a wonderful choice in choosing them to be their mother.

 

 

One of my beautiful friends wrote this for all of us mothers who smile for everyone else and cry on the inside.

http://rememberingallmothersonmothersday.blogspot.com.au/

12.04.12
May 2, 2012

I think of this as our time of day, when the sun starts to sink and the goldenness of it comes slanting warm and gentle into your garden where I now sit. I’m sorry to say that your garden has looked better than it does now, but I’m almost 36 weeks pregnant now and it’s been a while since weeding came easily.

I feel less like this is where you are now. The more time that passes, the more I feel like I carry you around with me. Quiet but present; a friend and a soul belonging only to me. Not unlike the baby I’m carrying, but soon this baby will belong to the world outside and you will continue to belong to me alone.

It is a year today since you left my body and I gave you into the ground. It seems both an age and an instant. The grief still comes on me raw and surprising sometimes but I feel like such a different person now. Mostly due to the having and losing of you. I do wonder how other women can get through the loss of a baby in silence while I had this big, loud grief that couldn’t be denied.

And I feel no conflict in the dichotomy of still physically missing you and the experience that would have been your growth inside me and then your birth, and welcoming this baby, this much-needed baby, into our family. I know this baby is not you and feel it never could be because I’m no longer that me. But I have the space for both of you in my heart and in my life forever.

It’s this most awful of days that stays strongest in my memory now. Not the day we were told you were gone but the day, the horror of that very minute, when the proof of my loss was there in my hands and I hated my body and my life for letting you go.

I still talk to you, though rarely aloud anymore, and I still cry for you and I feel stronger for still having that connection to you. I miss you, I love you still and I always will.

You are irreplaceable. 

November 13th, 2011
November 13, 2011

Had things worked out differently, my baby would have been due today, but every day around the world, women and babies die of easily preventable infections. If you’re moved to do so, please give a small donation to The Birthing Kit Foundation in honour of the baby I lost.
http://www.birthingkitfoundation.org.au/

April 9th, 2011 or Kate’s Story
September 3, 2011

It’s time to write about Saturday the 9th of April. In all the words, I’ve never really talked about that day. I can’t say it was the worst day of my life, but only because I think the next day was even harder.

It was a sublime day. One of those clear, bright days when you just feel connected to everything- you are happy, your heart is open, your mind is free. And I had you. I felt like the Universe was smiling upon me. This is not a rose-coloured retrospect. This is truly how I felt at the time. I just feel like I get it sometimes, and this was one of those days. Only the night before we had gone out to dinner and I had brought along the baby name book (a constant companion). It was the first time that your Daddy was interested in talking about names and having him connecting to the idea of our future with you made me feel like everything was coming together.

I don’t know now how I could have felt so safe. I had begun spotting at 6 weeks and started to panic. Apart from being a nurse, I was well read and knew the risks and the awful statistics. The statistics people still insist on telling me when they hear I lost you. I had started in on the pregnancy books as soon as we started trying for a baby. But the doctor sent me for an urgent scan and your heart was beating! A beautiful, strong 111 beats per minute. And you were nestled in safely to your sac, measuring a divine 5mm long. I think I might remember your numbers forever. Now, my reading had also told me that having seen your heart beating above the magical 100 beats per minute my chance of miscarriage had plummeted- to below 10% at the most pessimistic, and about 3% as per the optimists. I had also read and been told by friends and doctors that many women bleed all through pregnancy without anything being wrong, and that as long as it wasn’t clots or fresh blood and I didn’t have pain we should be okay. So I left that ultrasound cubby on cloud nine with orders to rest and floated off to your buy your first and only onesie in celebration of we two together.

Jake and I were home together that Saturday. I don’t remember what we were doing. Pottering around the house and garden I think, as I like to do. Just being home and happy in each other’s company. My all-day morning sickness had evaporated a week earlier, worrying me a little, but not too much as I know everyone’s different and thought that maybe since it had started so soon I had done my time and earned myself an early graduation. So I was feeling wonderful in every way and wanted to be out in the world and under the sun. I hadn’t done any exercise since I’d known I was pregnant. Every time I even thought about it I seemed to start spotting, as I was that day, but since I’m not an exercise enthusiast I worried that I was putting it off for my sake, not yours, and that my pregnancy would suffer for my poor fitness. I’m always suspicious of my own motives when circumstance seems to be leading me in the direction I want to go. So I told myself off for being overly concerned and lazy and talked Jake into a walk around the lake with me. I didn’t tell him I was bleeding. I wish I had.

We walked and talked about people and work and life and you. I couldn’t talk about life without talking about you. I was considering the big pregnancy reveal in only a week or two, just so I could talk freely about how much I loved you and how excited I was. We didn’t walk too hard or fast; even keeping up with your Daddy’s long legs (which I hoped you’d have) I always had enough breath for conversation. Just as I’d read I should. I noticed nothing during our walk and returned home happy that I’d done it.

It was only when I undressed for the shower that I saw I was bleeding. Clots. And fresh blood. Fuck. Don’t panic. Still no pain. I showered, speed-washed my hair and gathered everything I might need for an overnight in hospital. Only once I was done did I tell Jake. Only then did I cry.

He took me to the Royal Brisbane. Not our closest hospital, but I was already booked there antenatally and waiting to try to get into the birth centre there. I went through triage sober and dry-eyed and was seated next to a woman who looked about 7 months pregnant. She was alone. I wanted to ask her if she was okay, if she needed anything, but I didn’t know if she’d want me to and I didn’t know if I had anything to give her. The male nurse who took my history insisted on being chirpy. When I told him my morning sickness had stopped a week ago he said, “Wow, isn’t that great”. I looked at him like he had three heads, but it wasn’t until I mentioned that I thought perhaps it might not be such a great thing considering my presentation that he realized he’d said something stupid. I suppose we all say stupid things, but I hope I don’t say things that ignorant to my terrified patients. (He’s coughing up blood? Awesome. Better out than in.)

We were settled into a bed to wait for the doctor. Bizarrely enough, I immersed myself in minesweeper on my phone. I can play through it fast enough that there’s no room for any other thought. The doctor came by, tall, dark and unshaven, and told me right off the bat that, chances were, I was miscarrying. I crumpled over, holding my belly and wailing softly. He started to talk over my crying about curettes and natural miscarriage before he even mentioned an ultrasound. Part of me was still holding out hope. I was fantasizing about near misses and drug therapies and six months of enforced bed rest before an eventual caesarean. Anything to keep you. The doctor said I’d need an Anti-D injection regardless as I’m a negative blood group, and the bleeding could have exposed me to a positive blood group. I had to drink till I was bursting for the ultrasound and lie back and try not to “get upset”.  I lay back upset at myself and them that they hadn’t hydrated me for the ultrasound and then worried about getting the urine sample which had been sitting, ignored, on the bench beside me for more than an hour. I didn’t tell the doctor I was bleeding before our walk. I didn’t want him to think I was stupid, even though he said that level of exercise wouldn’t be responsible for this, and I was worried that Jake would blame me. I’d hurt his baby too.

I hadn’t brought my previous scan. I felt so dumb. I knew better than that. The sonographer who came to see me explained that without any earlier pictures, she likely wouldn’t be able to tell me what was definitely happening, just what she saw now. So as I sat there with my ever-expanding bladder, I prayed. Not to god, but to you Peanut. Please be okay. Please be there. Please have a heart beat. Please be the right size. Please don’t leave me.

The sonographer was wonderful. She is my best memory of that night. They’re not usually my favourite people but she was the only one that night to give me genuine compassion. It bothers me that I can’t remember her face. She spoke with me throughout the scan as to a colleague, and it was only accessing that part of my brain that let me keep it together. After verifying that you were there and she could see you she warned me that she wouldn’t tell me anything till it was done. Finally she stopped, and as soon as her eyes were on me, I knew.

Before she could say anything, I doubled over and screamed, high and loud, till my lungs were empty and my stomach muscles cramping. I kept howling, with Jake trying to hold onto me and me burying my face in my pillow, biting, and my fists tearing at the blankets. Some part of my mind which stayed distant and remote could hear her say “I’m sorry, there’s no heartbeat and the baby is only measuring at 3mm”, and was thankful for the warm hand squeezing my shoulder before she left us alone, telling us to take all the time we needed. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t speak. I don’t know what Jake was doing because there was no room in my consciousness for him. I was full with horror, and the inability to understand how everything that was going to be, now wasn’t. I don’t know how long I stayed like that, but it was only when Jake said he was going to ask the doctors to sedate me that I started to come back into myself. I cried and he held me. I still don’t know if he cried that night. I think he was probably too scared about me to be able to cry then.

I sobbed on my bed as they wheeled me back out of radiology. I remember the sick, sad, scared faces of a Saturday night E.R. watching my procession. Back at the bedside, the nurse saw me crying. “Do you have pain? No? You’re just upset? Okay then”. And on he walked. Leaving my curtains wide open and me exposed. Eventually, Jake got up to close them. The doctor came to confirm for me, very unnecessarily, that my baby was dead, probably had been for some time, and to tell me that if I was sure I didn’t want a D&C my miscarriage would probably progress naturally at home over the next few days. He understood I wanted to go home, but I needed to have my Anti-D injection. And he left us. For a long time.

At some stage I ran out of tears. I was so hurt and so lost; I just kept lapsing off into vacant staring. No thought that I can remember. Absent except for the pain.  I asked Jake to call my mother and tell her what happened. I needed for her to know, but I couldn’t tell her. I barely even noticed his absence. I was absent myself. I came to briefly and texted two friends, the biggest supporters of my pregnancy, and simply said, “my baby’s gone”.

I decided I needed to leave, as soon as possible. Jake buzzed for a nurse and we sat and waited. It was nearly half an hour before someone came, and Jake explained all I was waiting on was my Anti-D. More waiting as it was chased up with the doctor. I understand hospitals and waiting. I just don’t want to be left waiting endlessly with no information about why I’m waiting. When the doctor showed up and admitted the injection hadn’t been ordered yet from the blood bank, despite him telling me I needed it about 4 hours earlier, I told him we were leaving and I’d see my GP Monday. He grudgingly gave in and we were discharged. It was a sad and silent journey home.

I called my mother, waking her, to tell her I was okay for now and that we were home. I think I slept.

I spent the next day in bed. I texted my closest friend to come and that I needed her. She crawled into bed with me to hold me and stroke my hair. For hours she stayed and listened to me cry and didn’t call out my dead-eyed staring. She was exactly what I needed. Jake kept himself busy doing other things. I didn’t see him much that day. I didn’t eat but I had an incredible thirst. This continued for the next few days. I lay in bed, crying or sleeping with no interest in the world. Pneumonia set in.

It was that Sunday night that I started to really bleed. I lay in a hot bath and sent a message to all those friends who knew I was pregnant. I started to write. The rest of it, you’ve already read.

It took me a long time to write this. It’s not an easy night to re-live. For the most part it has been written while I sit in your garden surrounded by colour, birdsong, spring sunshine and sweet scents. In the meantime, I’ve been through the whole gamut of emotion around miscarriage and trying to conceive our next baby. Hope one day and devastation the next. Today I feel neither hope nor dismay, just an acceptance of my life and of Peanut’s and the end of our time together.

Written over July and August, 2011 

02.09.11
September 2, 2011

I thought I would start bleeding today but nothing as yet. I’m amazed by how calm I am. I can’t assume that it means anything and I’m still too afraid of a chemical pregnancy to test. I wish I could just go with my heart in this and embrace my instinct that I’m pregnant. I really want to have that link back between me and my baby but it means making myself vulnerable. I guess I’ll have to resign myself to the fact that there might be a lot of things about my next pregnancy that aren’t the way I’d want them to be. I don’t have that idyllic image of pregnancy anymore.

I’m forgetting what it feels like to be pregnant and with that I’m losing my sense of myself as a mother. I feel like I could be stuck in this trying to conceive holding pattern forever. I quite like this second two weeks of the cycle where I get to hope and dream but then every other month my period has come and I’m ruined for the next week. The week after that I’m stressed about trying to nail down ovulation and work daily sex into two lives that don’t really fit it. Then I get to slip back into that fuzzy fortnight’s limbo.

It’s just that there hasn’t been a month since I lost you, Peanut, when I’ve been hopeful like this. There was one the month before I conceived you and the negative pregnancy test was a knife in my gut. I just hope I’m not setting myself up for that again. And that I haven’t fantasised myself into a hysterical pregnancy. Your daddy thinks that only happens to dogs but I think that’s well within the realms of my crazy. It’s the weirdest feeling. I think I’m scared and calm at the same time. I don’t think I could have harboured both those feelings simultaneously just a few short months ago. See how much you’ve taught me?

 

Goodnight, Peanut. 

31.08.11
August 31, 2011

Late afternoon; that time of day when the light calls me to your garden. Those warm, golden beams from the West make me glow as I sit feeling peaceful, strong, grounded, connected and whole. I laugh at a first blue blossom, content to see the life I was able to create to honour the life I wasn’t able to sustain. And I can cry without sadness. I am nostalgic for the time we had together.

Some of my peace may come from the hints that new life may have started again. I’ve tried not to think about it and chances are that in a matter of days I’ll be disappointed once more. But sitting here with you in the warm Spring sun- it feels good to hope. 

26.08.11
August 26, 2011

I’m forgetting what it felt like to be pregnant. It saves me that exquisite pain of conjuring up the sensation to relive it again but it makes me feel so far from you. I don’t know if feeling that again in another pregnancy will help me connect to you again or just make you feel that much farther away. I don’t want to forget you but I don’t want to live another pregnancy in your shadow. I want to be fair to you both.

I would have done anything to keep you. 

Lisa’s Story
August 26, 2011

First of all I would like to say thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my story. Although my heart aches and at times I am forced to stop and take a breath, using my voice to make sure that other women know that they are not alone makes it very empowering.
It is a little graphic in parts so please don’t read if you will find it offensive.
“They say that time in heaven is compared to ‘the blink of an eye’ for us on this earth. I think of all those angels running ahead of us through beautiful fields of wildflowers and butterflies; so happy and completely caught up in what they are doing that when they stop and look behind, we’ll already be there waiting for them.”

I’m going to start my story by going back a little bit.
I had my son who is now 11 in October 1999. Everything was wrong at the time – I was 18, in a very abusive relationship with a man who didn’t want a child, I was unhealthy mentally and physically, didn’t have any stable income or career or even any idea about my future. But fate intervened for me and what at the time seemed like a scary and impossible task ended up being a life saver. I had a trouble-free pregnancy and an easy labour and after 4 hours with no intervention or drugs welcomed my son into the world – all 9 pounds of him. Holding him in my arms I swore that I would spend every moment of my life making sure that he was not only provided for, but that he knew he was loved and cared for. I looked at him and said aloud that this was the moment that everything changed for us.

I took to parenting naturally and gathered the strength to leave my son’s father, promising him a better future. When he was almost 2 I began a distance education course and gained enough qualifications to begin my career. There were some challenges along the way with my son having to endure surgeries to correct a kidney issue that he was born with and the removal of a benign thyroid tumour from my thyroid in 2004, but generally we lived a very happy and carefree life. My son was always a delight and very easy to deal with. We were a great team and being a mother was the very first thing in my life that I was good at. He became my pride and joy, and still to this day i get stopped in the street after my son has used his manners or considered someone in some way, and am told what a wonderful child he is and a wonderful mother I am.

I never actually considered that I would meet anyone – for me, my life was focussed on bringing up my son. I had wonderful family support around me and was very happy. But I suppose as he got older and more independent I began to wonder what my own future held – as he was becoming more and more his own person I was realising that I had to also consider my future. So, be it fate or whatever, one day I decided to contact someone through Facebook who lived in my local area. Not something that I would ever normally consider doing, but I literally typed in my suburb and up came the man who would become my future husband. I was fortunate because he worked all over Australia and not many women were interested in that lifestyle, but for me it was perfect – still independent, but a chance to get out there and maybe have some fun, go for dinner and a movie.

As corny as it sounds it was love at first sight, although over the months as I fell hard for him it was challenging to be apart when he was working away – it was also so refreshing to be doing something for me after living through my son for so many years. I was so lucky because my husband took to parenting from the start and although I have seen him grow over the years and become wiser when it comes to looking after my son, from the very start he took a very active role and he took it seriously. The other thing that my husband and I shared was a love for family. We both spent a lot of time with our families and also expressed a desire to start our own family sometime in the future. We were both very sure that we wanted a child together someday.

The weekend that my husband proposed to me was incredibly romantic. He took me away for the weekend to this really corny African themed cottage and we wined and dined and visited the hot springs and I felt like I was in heaven. He took me to the end of the pier just when the sun was going down and next to the water that was gently rocking against the pier he presented me with the most beautiful diamond ring and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. I had known in my heart for a long time that this was what I wanted and didn’t hesitate in accepting. When we got home our friends threw us this gorgeous little engagement dinner where the kids had created signs that said things like “congratulations”.

The first thing we planned was our backyard engagement party. We were very sure that we wanted all of our family, friends and their kids together for a BBQ. We hired a jumping castle and enjoyed celebrating with our loved ones. This is also around the time that we started to talk more and more about when we would start planning for that much wanted baby together. One night when we were lying there talking about it, we decided that the timing was right and that it would take a little while anyway so we threw out the pill packet and that was it…. my journey had begun.

We had planned a holiday to QLD in September 2009 – this was my sons first proper family holiday and it was amazing. We went to all the theme parks, stayed in a kid friendly hotel and enjoyed doing all the tourist things in the balmy, warm weather. On the second last day of our holiday it occurred to me that my period was due and I was feeling a bit squeamish so off we went to the supermarket to get a 3 pack pregnancy test. We had agreed that we would wait until the morning to do the first test but at 2am I couldn’t sleep from the anticipation so off I went to do the test. Under the moon light in our room was where I saw that faint line and woke my husband up with the exciting news – he didn’t quite believe it and said wait until the morning when i should do another test. Of course it was the same result the next day. We were so excited and also naive – my only experience had been with my son who I hadn’t planned for and I really didn’t know that things weren’t always so easy. We told my son straight away who actually cried what he called “tears of happiness” for us and his future baby brother or sister. We rang our parents and were so excited. We talked baby names and our future and went home with full hearts and so much anticipation for our future.

From the start it was a difficult pregnancy. I was very over weight and I felt tired and exhausted most of the time and I was suffering from chronic morning sickness 24/7. I was in a very stressful management job and I wasn’t coping. My husband was working away most of the time and when I did manage to get to work I would sit in an office away from everyone feeling miserable and trying to do my job. From the start something niggled at me about things not being right – I joined an online baby forum and started to read about miscarriages. I actually spent many days googling missed miscarriage even though I didn’t have any reason to suspect one. Early on in the pregnancy I was getting a lot of cramps and I presented to Emergency at my local hospital where I was scanned and told that it was too early to see anything except a yolk sac. I was measuring smaller than I should have been but was told not to worry because my strong never relenting symptoms were a sign that everything was ok.

When I visited my GP in the coming weeks and expressed my concern he was very dismissive. Going in to our nuchal scan with my husband I was very excited – he had never seen a baby on an ultrasound and I had read that this would make it so real for him. It was all new to me because I had never received any support from my son’s father so I was excited to be sharing this journey. I have small memories from the scan….. the fact that I was finding it so hard to hold my bladder, the smiling and laughing with the receptionists on the way in and the look of worry on the guys face when he was asking me if this was our first scan and then eventually after an internal ultrasound confirming that he could not find a heartbeat and that things did not look “promising”. I decided that I wanted to go to a major women’s hospital because I knew that I had suffered from a missed miscarriage or, as the doctor wrote on his report, “missed abortion”.

I remember charging out to the car with my films of my dead little baby and feeling such a sense of sadness. My husband went to the reception to pay for the ultrasound and found out that we wouldn’t have to pay for this one. I rang our family and told them and we headed to the hospital. I went to reception and couldn’t talk through my crying and gave them the letter from the scan. We sat and waited to be seen by a doctor. As it was Saturday there wasn’t much they could do – they didn’t have their early pregnancy assessment clinic open until Monday and there was no one there to do another ultrasound so we were sent home in limbo and told to return on the Monday. We went home and I told my son who cried with me – he couldn’t understand why this had happened. We tried to keep things as normal as possible for his sake and he perked up quickly – kids are so resilient and as long as we are ok – he was ok too. We did take him to my Mum’s house on Sunday and spent some time together.

I remember going to the big market in the city and eating terrible food which I couldn’t eat when pregnant from the stalls. Every time I go back to that market I can feel how I felt on that day. I was so upset to be carrying around my dead baby inside me and just wanted Monday to come so that we could find out what was going to happen. On the Monday we went to the early assessment clinic where we were given a brochure on miscarriage and told to wait. All I remember from this visit is that my husband wasn’t allowed to come in with me initially, and I was so upset and felt that it was hard enough on him anyway and now being separated was just making it harder. I also remember having to carry the films with me and feeling like I wanted to get rid of them. We went for another ultrasound where the original diagnosis was confirmed. The baby had stopped growing and died at around 10w 6d. I was booked in for a D and C the next day and told to fast and come to theatre early in the morning and that I would be on an
emergency list. That night I was sick with nerves but also looking forward to the nightmare being over.

The next day, which was a Tuesday, I turned up at the hospital. The cruellest thing about it all was that I was still suffering from incredibly bad morning sickness and because I had been fasting since the night before I was feeling very, very sick. I remember when the lady weighed me I was very upset because her scales were different from mine at home and hers were saying I weighed less than what I did and I was so concerned that they weren’t going to give me enough anaesthetic. The other issue was that my husband was not allowed to come with me into pre-theatre so if I wanted to be with him I had to sit out on the hard chairs in the waiting room but i had the choice of going into a bed and waiting. After a little while I was too sick and uncomfortable so decided to go inside and said goodbye. I got changed into a gown and continued to wait. I waited for hours and I got sicker and sicker and more and more nervous and upset. They kept telling me that there were emergency caesars coming in and that was why I was having to wait and while I knew that a live baby was more important than removing my dead one, I still just wanted it all to be over.

At some stage an expectant father was sat next to me and I sat there and thought of the new life that he was about to meet, and while I was so excited for his miracle I was also heartbroken and grieving for my loss. As I sat and cried nurses and doctors would pass me and no one said anything until a male nurse stopped and took my hand and he asked if I was ok and he let me cry to him about  how unfair it was and about how I just didn’t understand why it was happening to me. Eventually it was my turn and the last thing I remember before I went to sleep was that I had a splitting headache, so much so that I wanted to scream for them to stop. When I woke up I was groggy and I was in a lot of pain. They told me it was all over and I cried and cried for what I had lost. I still don’t know how much of my pain was physical as opposed to mental anguish.

Before the surgery I was told that it was a simple procedure and that I would wake up, have something to eat and then go home so I was very surprised when I started to bleed profusely in recovery and was told that I wouldn’t be going anywhere. A doctor came and manually dilated my cervix and while I cried out in pain they tried to stop the bleeding. Eventually it did stop enough for them to take me to a room where I was admitted for the night. I won’t go into too many details but it was a very traumatic day where they would call the doctor over and over again and try to stop the bleeding – which did happen eventually. My husband was my rock for this whole time. He stayed by my side and showed me that I could rely on him no matter what. He put himself second and didn’t once leave or not handle what was very confronting during that day. I also remember that his mobile phone got lost but that’s a whole other story.

The next day we went home and I began the slow road to recovery. The first week I suffered terrible panic attacks – I thought that something was wrong with me physically and I was very fortunate that my neighbour was a nurse and was so caring and every time I would go into a spin she would come and check on me and reassure me that I was ok. My GP wasn’t so reassuring and actually prescribed me Valium and said to pop one when I felt like I couldn’t handle it anymore. Luckily my husband was the one who would tell me that he understood if I needed to but that I could get through it and didn’t need the drugs. I only took one of them before deciding to face reality.

It was very difficult returning to work where most knew of my pregnancy. I had never thought that anything would go wrong so I wasn’t shy in telling people. My tummy had grown quickly and I didn’t hide it or deny it. It was also a difficult time because my job was being made redundant but it was a very slow process and the work environment was incredibly toxic. In the end before I received my pay out they actually moved me to another office because the one I was in was deemed to be too much of a risk considering the state of my health.
So life went on.. we grieved but things did get back to somewhat normal. My husband was working away again and I was going into the other office and work was bearable. I was waiting for a generous redundancy payout. We started planning for our January wedding and moved our focus onto that. We were told to wait a cycle and then we could try again.

We had a wonderful wedding and celebrated it with much hope for our future.

The next time I fell pregnant was 2 weeks after Valentine’s Day. I was so hopeful, and everyone including the doctors had told me that the miscarriage had just been bad luck. It happens, they had said. This pregnancy wasn’t so hard on me as the first one- I had less sickness, was in a low stress job knowing that I would receive my payout shortly and I truly believed that it wouldn’t happen again. I did everything right – didn’t over do it, ate the right things. I was incredibly overweight though – more so than even the first pregnancy and it bothered me immensely. I had been below my healthy weight range when I had my son many years before. The first sign that my body was struggling was when I was only just pregnant and went to a health check at work. My blood pressure was high and I was advised to go and see a GP as soon as possible. By now I had changed doctors and went to her with my concerns. She told me I had nothing to worry about and sent me home to do some BP monitoring. It was borderline and even though the hospital wanted me followed up by a clinic she assured me that she had spoken to an obstetrician who had told her I didn’t need any medication. I waited until 8 weeks when I had a scan and saw that precious heartbeat. My husband couldn’t be with me because he was away, but I remember ringing him and both of us crying with relief that everything was ok. At this stage the baby was measuring a few days behind but I was told not to worry and that it would all be fine. Around this time I also told my son I was pregnant because he was jumping all over me and I was over sensitive and just thought it best if he knew. He was so happy for us and we assured him that everything would be ok this time.

We had planned our honeymoon for May and had decided to take a cruise around the South Pacific Islands. I had to provide them with a medical certificate saying I was fit to travel and we organised our nuchal scan for a week before.

At the appointment for the nuchal scan I became sick with worry. Just before going in I just started crying hysterically and I just knew that it wasn’t going to be ok. We had been telling ourselves that it was all going to be ok for months and for some reason in my heart I just had this sudden feeling of dread. When they did the scan and told us that there was no heartbeat I was really annoyed and actually said aloud “I knew it”. We could actually see the lifeless baby on the screen and although I was supposed to be over 13 weeks the baby was measuring 11. It was all very ground-hog day and our biggest concern became do we go on our honeymoon or cancel it. We were due to leave the following Wednesday. So off to the same major women’s hospital we go with our ultrasound films in our hands and, although devastated, more aware of what was going to happen. We were actually able to report straight to the early pregnancy assessment clinic where I was to be re-scanned as per hospital procedure to confirm the diagnosis.

When I was being scanned the lady called my husband over and flipped the screen and said “look at this” and she proceeded to show us the babies heartbeat – we were so confused. She responded that places that don’t specialise in obstetrics can make mistakes, and that the baby was measuring smaller than dates but that there was a heartbeat. We were so excited and hopeful, the midwife was calling it a miracle and when we asked about our honeymoon she said to go and enjoy ourselves and to come back and get another nuchal scan when we came back from our holidays. So off we went. When I got home from the hospital I called my doctor to tell her the good news. She was very quiet during this conversation and said that she would call me back. She rang the first place that we had been to and discussed the different diagnosis with them. They were standing by their original diagnosis 100 per cent and said that there were other reasons why this baby was not alive and that there was no placental blood flow etc. My doctor rang me back and said that I need to go back to the first place to be re-scanned because they want to know if they had misdiagnosed me.

At first I was very adamant that I didn’t want to go – I wanted to hold onto this bit of hope and I was emotionally exhausted. She got very stern with me and told me that if this baby was dead and I went on our cruise I might not get the medical attention that I need and that I could bleed to death….. so I gave in and off I went. I asked my husband to stay at home with my son because I didn’t want his routine to be interrupted. When I got there they re-scanned me with two doctors in the room including the senior one and showed me the screen and just about tried to sell me on the fact that this baby was dead. I was so confused and upset by now and just didn’t know what to do. I called the Women’s hospital where the midwife said “oh, you’re our miracle case, why did you go and get another scan?”, and then said she had to rush off home. I called my GP and we agreed that we would make an appointment at another scan place the following week – a high-tech specialist scanning clinic. In the meantime she also rang the Women’s hospital who then proceeded to call me. They insisted that I come to casualty so that they could do another scan and have a proper diagnosis. It turned out that the lady in the clinic had detected my own pulse or something that she had mistaken for the heartbeat – so it was confirmed that the baby was not alive and it was recommended that I be booked in to have another D and C. I was exhausted mentally and physically and went home to begin our grieving.

That night we wrote a very long letter to the Chief of the Hospital explaining our misdiagnosis and how the midwife and doctors had handled it and requested that they do testing on the foetus because I wanted to know if there was anything that had caused it.
The next day we headed into the hospital where I was admitted through a ward which meant I didn’t have to spend all that time in theatre and my husband could be with me. Straight away we gave our letter to a patient advocate and we told our story. As I was being wheeled into theatre I was told that the hospital had agreed to do testing even though it isn’t what they would normally do after only 2 miscarriages. I woke up bleeding heavily again and was taken to a ward. The midwife from the clinic visited me at one stage and I was almost hysterical in my grief and really didn’t want to speak to her about what had happened the day before. That night I was discharged and, broken-hearted, my husband and I went home to grieve. We decided to still go on our honeymoon and a couple of days later left on our 10 day cruise. We really did leave the world behind during our holiday and although my heart ached I did enjoy the escape from reality.

There were tears and nights where we lay together silently while the boat rocked and asked each other why. Returning home was hard but I also had new resolve, I was going to make changes to my life. We both agreed that we should put our baby plans on hold. I wanted to lose weight before we tried again because it bothered me being so heavy while carrying a baby. I also finally got my redundancy package and started a new much more relaxed non-management job. I walked out of the office at 4.30pm and was able to go home to my family and leave work behind. We also decided to buy our first home together and purchased land and started to build.

After a couple of months we went to the hospital for the testing on the baby and found out that it was a little girl but there were no chromosomal issues. It was almost Christmas by now and there was a part of us that wanted to just believe that we were unlucky but there was also a part of me deep down that thought maybe that wasn’t the case. I actually started to do my own research and read a few books and discovered that women who had experienced a couple of miscarriages at around the same time as me did have blood clotting disorders. So in January we decided to visit the recurrent miscarriage clinic at this same hospital. We were referred here because after the misdiagnosis we were apologised to and offered an appointment at the clinic. Usually they will only see you after 3 losses but for us they made an exception. We were told that they probably wouldn’t find anything wrong with us and that the majority of couples left without answers but that they also offered a weekly appointment service through their clinic when we were pregnant again which might assist with some of the anxiety related to pregnancy after miscarriage. They took about 10 vials of blood and sent us on our way with a follow-up appointment in 6 weeks time.

Life moved on, I continued to lose weight (have now lost 40kgs all up and am in my healthy weight range), the house started to get built (it is now 1 week off finished) and I started to build my career in my new job.

When we went for our results we were told that I was born with Factor V Leiden, which is a blood clotting disorder. I have inherited it from one of my parents and while they can’t prove it, it does cause miscarriages because blood clots form in the placenta and the baby doesn’t get enough nourishment and eventually dies. I met with a haematologist and have been told that I will have daily Clexane needles (blood thinner) and have already started baby aspirin while we try to conceive.

I am sure that I have left bits out of this story and probably even blocked some bits from my memory. I am such a different person today than I was two years ago when I started this journey. I don’t sweat the small stuff anymore, I have made some amazing friends who have been through similar painful journeys and I have drifted away from many friends who I had before because I don’t have that much common with them.

I hold my son close and although I knew how blessed I was – now I really know. I am proud of the changes that I have made in my life and my husband has proved to me over and over that he is the man for me. He has stood by me and showed that he is always going to be there. We are still so hopeful of holding that much wanted baby in our arms and I am sure that when it happens we won’t be complaining about lack of sleep or tantrums or the challenges that parenting brings – we will know what a miracle life is. I have always believed that everything in life happens for a reason and while my beliefs have been challenged throughout this time, I stand by it, and although I don’t really understand it at the moment, I really hope that one day I will.

Thank you so much for reading my story.

24.08.11
August 24, 2011

It’s not right that babies are given to some people. People who just keep popping them out only to have them taken into care, living their lives without a thought of how it will affect their children. I fell in love with a baby girl at work the other night, and, coming from her background, a bottle and a cuddle and she seemed to love me too. And I would be so much better for her than anything she’s going to have in the near future. Why do I never hear of women with questionable parenting skills struggling to have babies?

I know it’s judgemental, I completely believe that there is a lot of grey, but there is also just plain wrong.

I’d long been planning how to teach you right from wrong before you sparkled into being. Stories and lessons. Ways to help you see the world. I make a lot of mistakes and every day I do things I regret, but I really try to even the score. I try to make sure I do more good than harm. It’s not about being perfect, but it is to an extent about justifying my existence. Living a life I can be proud of.

There are some, a lot, of good mums out there. An unlikely new mum, whose baby arrived just the day before yesterday, will be wonderful. Better than she expects, I’ll wager. And a work friend, already mum to a toddler, is having her second. I found out two days ago when I saw her belly. She’s only six weeks behind me, where I was, anyway, and I can’t believe I didn’t know. I’m happy for her but I was surprised. And a little upset to be honest. It’s just that I want that so very badly.

With all the baby vibes in the air, I surrendered to buying some baby clothes for myself. I made the decision that it’s not pathetic, it’s optimistic. I need to be hopeful. And I spend time and energy on other people’s babies. I just wanted some of that for myself.

My boobs are still sore and I figured if I want to buy things I better do it before I take a test. I’ll either be sad or scared, and I don’t want to be burying any more baby clothes. Fingers crossed for us, Peanut. 

22.08.11
August 22, 2011

A strange couple of days. Jake sulked most of yesterday, unhappy about our talk the night before. Good sex and a nap fixed us both, I think. By the evening we were back to silly dances and games with the cats.

I ended up bailing on the first birthday. I’m annoyed at myself for it, but I got up sick in the night  and then woke up feeling tired and crap. And I was worried about seeing P. I want us to be okay but pre-pregnancies we weren’t that close, so maybe I’m just going to have to get over it. I’ve been looking for something really special as a baby present for her. A nice gesture to say I’m still here, I still care and I’m okay. Then I’ll just back off and leave her to it.

Yesterday I had no hopes of this moth ending with a pregnancy, but today I woke up with sore breasts. Maybe….. just maybe. I need to not think about it. I’ll just be good and wait it out. 

20.08.11
August 20, 2011

I don’t know if it’s just the sleep deprivation, but I have this all-pervading frustration and dissatisfaction with most everything in my life today. Jake and I just had a yucky conversation full of misunderstandings and disconnection. About connecting, stupidly enough. Too much mechanical, efficient sex as we hurriedly come together between all our obligations. Bad for us.

Thursday was positive OPK day, or eggstick, as we’ve taken to calling them. So yesterday, then, was ovulation day. Smack bang between night duties. So I came home exhausted, had a quick scrub, bolted some breakfast and headed for the bed ASAP so Jake could hurry along to work late. Normally I can laugh about this stuff but I find it hard to see the bright side post-night duty. If I hadn’t seen the pattern before, keeping these letters, this journal, whatever it now is, has hammered it home.

Tomorrow, a first birthday party. Which I will be fine with after some sleep, but I love Kaila for warning me about baby-belly photos in the slide show. I just feel bad that people are still looking after me. What I’m most anxious about is seeing P. I haven’t really seen her for probably 2 months. Maybe more. And I’m frustrated with myself for being worried. I shouldn’t have to worry, I didn’t do anything wrong.

But since when does life go the way you want? Or the way it should? You and I should have been 28 weeks tomorrow. And I’m still here wanting you back.  

18.08.11
August 18, 2011

Lounging around the house, conserving energy for night duty, but then that golden afternoon sun hits and I can’t be anywhere but in your garden. After a couple of days of go to work, come home, sleep, go to work, come home, sleep- sitting in your garden is soothing and energising at once. Like coming home after a long trip. Wherever my home is, you will always have a place.

I don’t want to write today. I just want to sit here and sing to you. 

15.08.11
August 15, 2011

Spring is here, even if it will take the calendar a little time to catch up. Your garden is looking truly lovely. Walking into it in the golden late afternoon sun I think I feel just a shadow of the peace and pride I would have felt watching you sleep.

It has been a really good weekend with F. and J. visiting from Canberra since Thursday. It gave me the excuse to take them out around some of our favourite Brisbane spots plus I got a night at home with Mum and Dad, I marched and cheered in the marriage equality rally and I’ve had the chance to get my hands in the dirt.

So I’m feeling nurtured and refreshed, and only slightly guilty from all the good food, and trying to stay relaxed waiting for ovulation. Ovulation prediction strips are still negative which now means Wednesday at the earliest, but what can you do? We’ll have to work out how to see each other long enough to have sex around my roster- two twelve-hour days followed by two twelve-hour nights! Oh, well. Far from ideal, but that’s how we got you Peanut.

I’ll see you in the garden. 

12.08.11
August 12, 2011

It feels like the months are pushing on so fast. The cycles where we didn’t conceive are racking up and your due date is starting to feel soon. I’ve booked a fortnight off after your birthday so I can be here and sad for you in your garden and then we can run away for a little while.

At the moment we’re thinking New Zealand. It was the first place we travelled together 6 years ago- a whirlwind 2 weeks covering both islands and we loved it. Thinking practically- it’s close, it’s safe and they have a good medical system. All of which need to be considered when planning months ahead because I’m really hoping we’ll be pregnant again by then.

It’s almost tempting to take a holiday from the babymaking for a little while. It’s starting to feel draining and if we pushed it back then I could use more leave and not worry about saving it for maternity leave. And we could go somewhere exciting and sleep rough and go diving and eat street food. I’m really feeling pulled to go back to India. Jake proposed in Pushkar, but I think it’s just because I was really happy then in my life anyway.

I can’t do it, though. We are pretty well-travelled, a holiday to New Zealand is not exactly the short straw, and I don’t want anything as much as I want a baby. I think Jake is feeling the same need to conceive that I am now. Apparently he has a “good feeling” about his sperm this week. Okay. I guess I hope he’s right. Countdown to ovulation is on, ETA Monday or Tuesday. I start peeing on sticks tomorrow. They’ve been dubbed “egg sticks” in my house.

I’d never realised what this is really like. You came to us so easily. It all felt so right. I only wish it had been. Good night Peanut 

09.08.11
August 9, 2011

Yesterday was my interview with the journalist. I’d been really nervous about making myself look a fool or being unable to make myself understood but I actually enjoyed it. We spoke for over an hour and she wanted to hear everything. It was just so nice, such a luxury, to be able to time travel back to the beginning and talk about our happy days and how excited I was about you.

I can’t wait to have that again. I know next time it will be marred by the fear I learned this time around, but I miss the promise of that feeling. Me and my baby; a connection deeper than any other.

I suppose I am glad that I didn’t fall last month. With the peritonitis I’d have been worried about implantation and something eventually catching up to me for the whole pregnancy. The months just keep rolling by, so quickly, and we will have our next chance just next week.

Put in a good word for me, Peanut.

Miss you. 

07.08.11
August 7, 2011

It’s been a very busy weekend on the ward, Peanut, and I’m ready for a few days off. It’s not really the patients that are the problem so much as the parents.

I’m usually really good at not judging families. When they come to us they’re under a lot of stress and I don’t think behaviour in hospital is necessarily a true reflection of the way a family functions. And I’m pretty open-minded about the ways families should work. It’s just that I’ve seen a lot of questionable parenting in the last couple of days and it burns that somehow, the way the chips fell, these people were given amazing and challenging and vulnerable children.

I know a lot of people would say I’m not a parent and I can’t judge, but I’m aching for the chance to prove myself. I wanted so much for the two of us.

While I was at work, three pregnant friends were at a baby shower.

I just want to stamp my feet and scream until someone takes note and somehow makes the world a fair place. I feel like giving up, but this is the one battle in my life that I won’t back away from. 

05.08.11
August 5, 2011

I’m so tired of everything. I’m tired of not knowing what’s going to happen. I guess I never knew, but I’ve never been so aware of it. We want to escape away somewhere in November, right after your due date, but I feel paralyzed and unable to plan ahead because I don’t know if I’ll be pregnant. God, I hope I am by then.

I spent a lovely afternoon and evening yesterday looking after Miss I., who is now ten months old, but it was lonely to come back to my house, all dark, Jake in bed, only cats for company.

I seem to have misplaced my faith that everything will be okay. I can’t even bring myself to look at baby clothes anymore. Or at the moment, perhaps. I’ll get it back.

The pain is back today, I’m tired and I’m feeling lonely. And newly worried about developing endometriosis from this month’s misadventures.

I miss the things I used to worry about. 

03.08.11
August 3, 2011

I was watching a comedian speaking to a grief counsellor about where we find our comfort. The counsellor said, whether or not its real is irrelevant, what’s relevant is that we find meaning in it.

02.08.11
August 2, 2011

Well, I know for sure now that I’m not pregnant. My period stopped almost as soon as it started so I decided to test. I never for a second believed I was pregnant; just thought I should rule it out. So I have. I wasn’t even sad, I was so sure. It’s the least emotional I’ve been in days.

I feel like I should get drunk- just because, fuck it, I can. But that’s just one more path to me sitting in a corner weeping. Scratch the surface and you find sad real quick.

PMS and grief and the disappointment of another cycle with no conception is just too much for me. I started bleeding at work yesterday and I guess that irritated the peritonitis which hasn’t entirely gone away. The pain and the nausea and the grief and the disappointment broke me and I had to hide away and cry. All alone, which makes it hurt so much worse when I’m brimming with self-pity.

There have been a lot of tears in the last few days. I went for a walk this afternoon and was thinking about P. and her baby. I had to just stop and sit and cry by the side of the path. I just felt so alone.

I heard a Somalian father on the radio speaking about fleeing the famine with his family. All his daughters were raped with knives. Crying again. I worry so much about this ugly world.

D. told me the other day she thinks my child will change the world. I laughed it off but I appreciated the intent. I don’t expect that. In small ways, I suppose. I would like to raise a child who improves the lives of those around them and wants things to be better and acts on that.

I want to be someone who makes life brighter for people and the world seem a friendlier place. And some days I think I do that. Not lately. People don’t want to come too close and step under the little rain cloud that follows me around.

See? I’ve even forgotten that I like rain clouds.

I was going to teach you the joy of jumping in puddles. I find it hard to connect to the woman I was- the woman who thought the most important thing she could teach her child was joy. I still think it’s important, I’m just doubting my ability to impart it.

After having been so flat and miserable, by this evening I was so highly strung, I was wired. Laughing too loud, talking to myself, playing games with the cats that they don’t so much enjoy. I need good, nourishing sleep. Not nightmares like last night.

Tomorrow is Wednesday. I can be sad if I need to. By Thursday I’m going to be happy again.

Love you still x 

Primula
August 2, 2011

Your Daddy's favourite.

Peanut’s Garden
August 2, 2011

 

For You.

Bacopa
August 2, 2011

Endearing Bacopa Blue.

30.07.11
July 30, 2011

Words are hard tonight. Tears are easy.

I felt great this morning coming home from night duty. I’d decided not to test and was happy with that decision. No pregnancy symptoms, don’t want to go through a chemical pregnancy, etc. All good reasons. Why, then, am I so destroyed now that I can feel my period is coming? Exhausted and heartbroken again.

I understand its supreme narcissism but that doesn’t stop me feeling like I’m being tortured. Peanut, losing you was the worst thing that has ever happened to me. And on top of all that anguish come all these other things, gouging that hole wider and deeper.

Had I not lost you, I wouldn’t have had pneumonia, I wouldn’t have had peritonitis, I wouldn’t have lost two friendships and I wouldn’t have to face the monthly slap in the face that is my period. Do I deserve this?

I miss you so much tonight there’s a weight on my chest.

I miss you. 

29.07.11
July 29, 2011

I hope you can see your garden at the moment, Peanut.It’s so pretty, just like a picture from an old storybook. Some days I feel like you’re there and some days it’s just me.

I spoke to the garden today. Not to you but to the plants, the soil, the rocks. Without knowing it was coming I said, “I’m so proud I made you”. I shocked and horrified myself that I could say that and not be saying it to you. The strangest things leave you freshly gutted and flopping. Had you been born, I’d have been proud of every feed, burp and dirty nappy, but I am still proud I made you. You remain my greatest achievement and most crushing failure.

I am proud of myself today, too. I had an awful sleep today after night duty and rose early already dreading the night ahead. Then I saw a note on the blog from a journalist. She likes my writing and wants to talk to me about a story. I write these letters for you and me, but I hope other people get something out of them and it’s nice to hear that people enjoy the way they’re written. In the first two months after I lost you they weren’t so much written as just channeled at the page.

I’ve decided to take a pregnancy test tomorrow. I think I’ve decided to. I’m still nervous about it because I think I’ll be disappointed. I don’t feel any different. I knew when you were with me, but maybe not for a couple of days further along than this. I’m at a point now where a pregnancy test should be accurate so I think I should just bite the bullet.

I’m scared. Peanut. 

26.07.11
July 26, 2011

I seem to be wavering between optimism, pragmatism and pessimism. I logged into Ebay and bought enough ovulation prediction tests for another three months but I can’t stop checking my boobs to see if they’re sore. And then they are sore but it’s because I keep smooshing them to check. Now that I’m feeling so much better I can’t stop thinking about whether it will be this month. But what if we did conceive and all the inflammation affected implantation and means I’ll miscarry again? I know it’s out of my control but I wish it was out of my mind.

Jake has come up with some worries of his own. I don’t know why he’s thinking it now but he’s worried we lost you because of a problem with his sperm. Maybe it’s all those years of me telling him to get his laptop off “my” testicles. Maybe he’s been worried the whole time but couldn’t say anything because he was too busy trying to dissuade me from thinking it was all my fault.

Having you made us more than we had ever been and losing you lessened us. There has never been a moment when I wished that you hadn’t existed so we could avoid the pain of your loss, but I don’t want that to be the end of my story. I want to be Mummy to a baby I can hold.

Sweet dreams, Peanut. 

24.07.11
July 24, 2011

I come to the garden to be with you.

You’re here,

Not here,

But I’m here for you.

We speak a language of daisies,

Violas and golden bells.

My flowers blossom where my belly should be

And I grow my love for you still.

23.07.11
July 23, 2011

I’m still in pain but I’ve been reassured. The pain was worse this morning, so bad I couldn’t stand up, so at the last minute I called in sick to the little people’s hospital and went to the big people’s hospital instead. After lots of painful prodding and poking and yet another ultrasound, we have an answer. I ovulated from an especially, you might say freakishly, large cyst this month and have a huge bleeding corpus luteum which is giving me peritonitis. Nothing to do with the miscarriage and no reason to worry. I just have to wait out the pain.

Jake stayed with me in Emergency except when I went for the ultrasound. It was foolish because I should have realised where I was going, but it was only once I was wheeled in that I realised it was the same room where I spent some of the worst minutes of my life. The place where I was told your heart no longer beat. I apologised to the sonographer and explained why I was upset. She was sympathetic but decided the best way to distract me was to tell me about a woman a week earlier who had had just one of her 21 week twins die in utero.  Why do some people think that when you’re sad you need to hear about all these other awful things?

I didn’t get to cry in earnest until she left me alone in that dark and airless room, stained with the sadness of thousands of grieving mothers. I cried for you and then I slept. I think I just needed to shut down for some respite, and the pain and fear have left me exhausted.

The only superhero power I ever wanted was the ability to turn back time and have a fresh, new chance at whatever it is. Usually something stupid I’ve said or done. I just wish I could go back to that awful night when the sonographer said that awful thing. I’d do it a thousand times over and make a deal with every devil to get you back.

This is not how I thought it would be.