Sometimes in life we are surprised by an unexpected gift, and sometimes it can be cruelly snatched away. Occasionally though, these moments can also bring us clarity…
*Trigger Warning – contains talk of miscarriage, please only read if you feel able*
I’ve never been a great writer. I love reading but I don’t have the flare that so many other bloggers seem to have when putting their point across. I love reading those blogs but it’s just not me, I am who I am and my only aim for this blog was to help others feel less alone. Yet here I am using this blog as a way to help me through my own difficult times. Writing has become therapeutic in some ways, and putting things out into the world which would have stayed private previously has actually helped me.
The past few weeks/months have personally been challenging for me and my family. I always try to remain as honest and real as possible and I share difficult moments because I think they will help others and lessen taboo. This is one of those moments as sadly a few weeks ago we experienced our second miscarriage.
The pregnancy was very unexpected, and like so many others I just knew I was pregnant before I did a test. The old familiar symptoms I had with my previous pregnancies came flooding back. I cried at the drop of a hat, over silly things that I normally wouldn’t, I had nausea, extreme tiredness and vivid dreams. I seem to react quickly and extremely to hormone changes in my body, and I just knew something was up. And so I tested. Positive. Faint but as they say a line is a line. (But to be sure I tested again and again…and again… ok it’s true 6 positive tests can’t be wrong)
I felt completely shocked, I just couldn’t get my head round it. I was pregnant with our fourth child. I always hoped to have four children but after previous episodes of Postnatal depression and anxiety, as well the financial/practical difficulties another baby would bring we had decided we probably wouldn’t have another. (Never say never was what we actually said but most likely no)
I went through every emotion possible.
Disbelief – can it be true?
Fear – how can we cope with four…..How can I mentally cope, I’m well now and don’t want to become ill again…..what if something goes wrong… the list is endless
Anger – how did this happen!?
Shame/Guilt – my most difficult emotion to accept… guilt at feeling any negative emotions, I know I’m lucky to have children and another is a blessing
Acceptance – ok I love being a mum and I’m good at it so we will cope, we can do this
Excitement – another little baby, our other children will be so excited, seeing them together will bring us so much joy…
It was a rollercoaster of emotions of which I felt I had no control over. Fine one moment daydreaming about cuddling a newborn, then crying the next that we had put more stress on the family. I noticed my anxiety begin to flare up and old habits/thoughts creeping back in.
Just as the news was settling and we were cautiously allowing the feelings the joy of a new pregnancy brings, I began to bleed. Light and inconsistent but it was there. Cramps too, which I knew wasn’t a good sign. Yet we remained hopeful.
Over the next week the bleeding continued to stop and start. Was everything ok or not? It was early days and a waiting game, and not knowing was extremely distressing. I broke down to my parents, and some friends. After experiencing a miscarriage before and not reaching out I knew I needed to this time. Having their support made a huge difference.
Eventually the bleeding became heavier and what I knew in my heart was confirmed. We had lost the baby.
This pregnancy was so unexpected, a completely shock which was really difficult to process because of my previous mental health problems surrounding pregnancy/the Postnatal period. Yet I felt so sad at what we had lost. I believed I had made peace with wanting any more children and so this whole experience caught me off guard. I began to feel so excited at the prospect of another baby and while I tried to remain realistic, I couldn’t help but let my mind wander to the first precious months with a new baby.
Now things have settled, and I’ve had time to process what has happened; this experience has really made me look at our life and the children we have. We are so lucky to have three beautiful, healthy children and I’m feeling more grateful for them.
It’s also made me realise that another baby isn’t likely to be in our future. I don’t feel I can go through the whole pregnancy/hormonal changes again, I may not even struggle with postnatal depression or anxiety like I did with previous pregnancies but I don’t feel I can risk it, and this experience has confirmed that for us.
As much as another child would have been a true blessing, that chapter of my life is over. And I’m okay with that, this experience as confirmed our thoughts and while we were desperately sad to have lost this baby, I’m feeling more grateful than ever for the children we have and what the future will bring for us all.
If you’re struggling with baby loss you can contact these charities all who took part in baby loss awareness week last year – the Miscarriage Association, Action on Pre-Eclampsia, ARC (Antenatal Results and Choices), Bliss, the Ectopic Pregnancy Trust, Group B Strep Support, the Lullaby Trust, Sands and TAMBA