Tuesday 31 May 2011

Mumble jumble

The Boy and I have enjoyed the nice long bank holiday weekend. We saw good friends on Friday and Saturday, and then had Sunday and Monday together as quiet time. We've worked out that we need a balance of public and private time to help us along, to ensure we stay strong, and to keep us on more of an even keel. The weekend was mostly enjoyable, but the Boy and I have both lost our way a little bit at times and my mind is a bit of a 'mumble jumble' today.

Sunday was a difficult day for the Boy, and I felt really sad yesterday and slept terribly as a result. I think I managed about three hours of kip in between nightmares and worry. I was never that great at remembering dates and appointment times during the (short) pregnancy, but now I seem to have an internal calendar that peeps up and reminds me of our loss on our regular basis. Dates and anniversaries feel so painful. Yesterday it was a month since our tiny, tiny little baby Beans was delivered in hospital. I seem to have aged many years since then. As I've said in previous entries, in some ways it feels like a lifetime ago and I struggle to remember a time we weren't pregnant or thinking about the baby, at other times the wounds still feel so fresh and raw that it could have happened yesterday. I wonder, since then, how many other women have had their miscarriages managed in that same room in St Thomas's Hospital I was in, and how many other couples have had their dreams shattered and experienced the painful loss.

Tuesdays I find especially difficult as they remind me that our baby - if it had lived - would have been another week older, and we would have been another week closer to meeting him or her. Today our baby would have been 18 weeks old. Almost halfway there... I try not to dwell on what might have been, but I think it's natural to remember, contemplate and imagine. I'm sure I would have had a bump by now; I might even have felt a kick. The stronger, negative and dark feelings like my anger, envy and resentment seem to have dissipated and ebbed away over the last week or so, but there remains a terrible sadness. It's underlying all the time, but in a quiet and unassuming way. It's only when I let myself remember and indulge myself in thinking about what has happened that it begins to roar again. And it's right that I stay with that feeling for a time, for as long as I can manage. I need to, to ensure I can go forwards and be able to bear and live with what has happened. I don't want to be someone who months and months down the line bursts into tears at the news of a friend's pregnancy or a baby advert. I want to do my best to process what is happening and allow the feelings I have about what has happened to be a part of my life that I can tolerate and absorb.

I think it's difficult now that we have definitely decided to try again. I have some guilt about moving on and that fact that I do feel ready to do this, at what I perceive to be quite an early stage since our baby died. I know my baby meant the absolute world to me and the Boy and we couldn't have loved it anymore than we did, but I don't want to take anything from our baby's memory or its importance to us. I fear that if we fall pregnant again people will think we are 'over' what happened and that somehow it wasn't that bad or painful. We're certainly survivng, and I believe we're doing really well, but it's been a very dark experience that I wouldn't wish on anyone and I hope all my friends and family are shielded from it. It has been a really horrendous time and a future baby wouldn't be a replacement, it would be a younger sibling for the baby we lost. We'll never forget. But we can forgive what has happened and allow ourselves to let go - we have no choice.

There is also some anxiety about how my body will work again. As I say, it's been a month now since our little tiny baby arrived. We were told my normal cycles would resume in 4-6 weeks, so I await my 'lady' with both trepidation and optimism. There is fear because I haven't had a period since January, and it will be another physical confirmation and reminder that I'm not pregnant and we must beging the 'trying' process again. But also optimism because hopefully my body will have settled back into its normal routine and we have every reason to hope and believe I can get pregnant again and this time the outcome could be different. We go into trying for another baby wiser than we were before. We know when is the best time to be intimate, and we know the road ahead to be a bumpy one. We're aware our dreams may not be realised, but we are also aware that it's worth the risk of being blessed with a child, and the alternative for us isn't really an alternative.

So I feel a little out of sorts still today. I am a 'mumble jumble' of anxiety, guilt - but also hope. There are going to be new feelings for me over the coming weeks and months and there will be more reminders, more dates, more sadness. But also I'm sure more happiness - and more hope.

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