Thursday 5 May 2011

You've got the love

I'm starting to feel like the Boy and I are taking tiny pigeon steps in the direction of healing. I know there's a long way to go, but I can feel myself beginning to get stronger and that's taken me by surprise as I had imagined it would take an awful lot longer to get to this stage. The pain feels like more of a dull ache than the gripping panic it was to begin with. It's really helped that we've both been given some compassionate leave from work this week as the time together is a great comfort. At first we were nervous and unsettled with empty days stretching ahead of us, but it's been a real blessing, and I am so thankful to both of our employers for being so sensitive to us. I've had time to let myself feel - sadness, anger, fear, guilt, envy - and we've had so much time to cry, talk, listen and cuddle. We've tried each day to do something 'normal' that takes us out of the house - be it a trip to the cinema (although that was a bit of a disaster on Monday), a walk, or going to the pub for a quiet drink. Pigeon steps back to a semblance of normalcy.

I'm aware already that if we'd gone back to work, or if I'd have been at home on my own during this period, I wouldn't be feeling like I am now. There's been something very important about being together and being there for each other. Spending time with each other and dealing with this tragedy together will in time prove our salvation, I'm sure of it. But of course there is still the huge sense of loss and sadness - the Boy was talking last night about how excited he had been to become a father and how he'd expected that to happen in November, but now we don't know when it might be... and that's hard for him to take, hard for us both. Especially as inevitably news continues to break of more babies on their way in our extended network of contacts. My sister came to see us for a few hours yesterday and one of her best friends from school is expecting a baby the same day I was due, and there are others I know about through social networking sites. I normally love Facebook and Twitter, but in times of difficulty I think they can be more of a pain than a pleasure.

We've been able in this time as well to think about the future. It's beginning to feel as if we might be ready to try again sooner rather than later, and we've been exploring our feelings around that. I think we both have some guilt about preparing to move on. It's not that our first baby didn't matter - of course it did and we will always remember, we will attend the funeral, we will buy an ornament to mark our baby's birth date, and we will make a memory box and treasure every keepsake of our little, little one. But this experience has left us absolutely certain that we want a family and that we are ready to be parents - we pretty much knew this before but there is something about being tested and experiencing loss that firms the resolve and erases the doubt. I think it's different for every mother and father-to-be who experience this loss. For some I think more time and space is needed. For me, I think the hole that has been left inside desperately wants to be filled with a new baby. Not to use as a replacement or to help me forget, but because I know and feel this is what my body, my heart and my mind wants, and I'm not sure what advantages taking time out now would bring me. We don't have to make any decisions now and we will continue to think and talk. I trust that we will find what is the right next step for us.

The Boy was looking through some old photo albums yesterday afternoon - I was very diligent when we were first together and I think all the pictures from our first year or so are nicely presented in pretty photo albums, standards have slipped since! - and there was something helpful and powerful in looking back at happier times. And we've had so many. We laughed really hard at some of the photos, and that was cathartic, and as we competed to share memories and stories I felt us moving even closer together.


One element I hadn't expected to come from all this sadness was heightened feelings for the Boy. I feel like I'm falling in love with him all over again, discovering new qualities to him and rediscovering the ones I always knew were there. With these feelings come a certain happiness and freedom, because my life can't be complete darkness with this level of love in it. I guess this love is like a security blanket which will keep me warm when things feel bleak. We had the Florence and the Machine version of You've Got the Love playing after our wedding, when we were were announced and walked into the wedding breakfast as Mr and Mrs. I've always loved the song, and now the words speak to me even more.

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