Wednesday 18 May 2011
Mirror, mirror, on the wall...
As I write today I am really struggling. I'm trying to be strong but I feel so weak. My mood is dark, and my thoughts are dominated by loss and taunted by the 'if onlys' of what might have been. It's hard to keep pushing myself through the week, being back at work pretending everything is normal, when it is anything but. My instinct is to hide away as I crumple inside. Every minute spent outside our little home is difficult, every minute a challenge to appear normal and contain the tears that press at the windows of my eyes crying to be let out. I know I need to let these emotions breathe and not fight against my feelings, and I know it's better they come out now so I can keep working through my grief, rather than try and push them away and find myself caught off guard when they invariably explode further down the line.
I'm aware when I look in the mirror I hardly recognise myself. My eyes seems dark and dull, less alive somehow. The bags beneath reveal the difficulty I have in finding sanctity in restful sleep. When I do sleep the dreams are vivid and brash, more often than not nightmares driven by anxiety and fear. My skin which had a dewy glow while I was pregnant, seems dry and sapped of life. My face seems older, more weary, more lined and somehow less my own. I look at a face that seems to want to give up and admit defeat, and it's all I can manage to look away and pretend I don't see - because I don't like what I read etched in those lines. I have never been one to throw the towel in, and I don't intend to start now... but it's so tough to resist, and so much more tempting to collapse, to hit the bottle, to give in, to give up...
The conflicting feelings within me bubble up inside all day, in a gaggle fighting to be the one emotion that can preside and dominate - sorrow, anger, jealousy, frustration, despair, dejection, fear, disappointment... I feel drained and exhausted from this constant battle which presides inside of me, from which there can be no winner. The situation is what it is, and cannot change as much as I or the Boy wish it, and will it to be different. And therein is the difficulty, because I don't want to feel this way but in order to move on the pain must come. It must be felt. There is no answer to the empty cry from my heart, but it must make this noise inside me to begin to heal.
My heart sighs for every woman who has found herself here, where I am now. It's so difficult - even when I have the support and love of the Boy, and the care of such amazing family and friends. How girls get through this alone I can't imagine. Even with a mountain of support I feel so afraid for the present and the future - while I know we'll get through this, there are moments when I wonder how I can bear this, how we can keep bearing this. And I wonder for the future - a future that comes with no guarantees that the outcome of a pregnancy will be any different. No magic wand to wave to reassure us, no guiding hand to tell us all will be ok. I know it's more likely than not that next time we'll have a happier outcome. But it is all in the hands of Mother Nature. Which for a control freak like me is an issue. Like this time, I can do everything I can to be healthy - take vitamin supplements, not drink or smoke, eat well and avoid the danger foods, take gentle and regular exercise, get enough rest and look after myself... but I can't do it all. Part of the process is always going to be in the lap of the gods - and while I have a Christian faith and want to believe that happiness will come to us - that absolutely terrifies me.
But it doesn't terrify me as much as not being a mum. That would be really hard to take. I loved being pregnant, and the idea of starting a new chapter in the life of the Boy and I. It felt so natural and I don't want to go backwards to where I was before - I'm tired of a life based on self, that only revolves around shopping, bars, holidays and other now seemingly meaningless elements. I want more. I want a family with the Boy so much.
I have such a strong work ethic, everything I've ever wanted in life I've been able to work for and achieve. I wanted a flat in London so badly I worked three jobs at one point to have enough money for my first mortgage deposit, and when I met the Boy and fell head over heels in love with him we both worked hard to make our relationship as safe and strong as it is. But I can't work hard to make this happen for us - and so I don't know what to do with myself. My usual, fail-safe, proven tactics are useless in this case so I struggle to latch on to the tools to help me now... But I know the tools are there within myself. I know I am strong, stronger than I ever realised, and I know women do cope with miscarriages before they go on to have families. And so can we. I'm just beginning to realise that the journey from A to B isn't going to be an easy or quick one for either of us.