Tuesday 18 October 2011
I guess that's why they call it the blues
I haven't been doing so great over the last few days. The Boy and I had a lovely weekend in Bristol for his birthday, we shared some special times and made some happy memories to add to our ever-increasing happy memory bank - which is pretty much bulging at the seams these days. But we both know something - someone - is missing, and there is a nagging anxiety that I hold constantly. It's like that trepidation that you've forgotten something really important, or when you know you're feeling nervous about something but you can't quite work out what.
I think however much we try and take care of ourselves and remind ourselves of our blessings, these weeks are going to be hard. If things had been different we would be in the last couple of weeks of our pregnancy now - with the baby due just a fortnight today. The friends I fell pregnant with are now having their babies and their lives are changing. Ours - while lives enriched with so very much love and laughter - are not. We both feel that loss. It's not as keen or as penetrating as it was before, more of a dull ache that washes around my heart and catches me off-guard. As I write this I have a lump in my throat and it takes some control to hold the tears in. I know so well that it wasn't meant to be this time and I can accept that, but it doesn't change the sadness of the loss or the desire that the cards had played out differently.
And so I suspect the next few weeks will be. It's going to be tough, but the Boy and I are as entwined as ever and are talking to each other, supporting each other all the time. We both know how the other one is feeling and the Boy is being very attentive - he reassures me all he wants to do is look after me and I know how lucky I am to have him. But ironically sometimes this makes it hurt even more. I know how much he wanted to be a dad and how great a parent he will be, and it makes me ache that his time has not come and the tears wash over my eyes that cannot see him holding our first baby with the tender flame with which he kindles me.
I feel pretty fragile and vulnerable, and in some ways I envisage getting beyond the 1 November will be a kind of relief - we'll have survived. We're still not sure what to do on the day. One idea is to visit our baby's grave and spend some time there, before having a quiet and reflective day perhaps seeing a film or taking in an exhibition. Or perhaps we might go to Brighton for the day and walk along the coast. Brighton is a special place for the Boy and I. We had early dates there, spent birthdays there, and he bought my engagement ring there. It's somewhere we'd like to eventually settle and raise a family, if we are blessed with one. So perhaps a day spent there might be a comfort. Or perhaps we wrap up at home and open the memento box of keepsakes from our darling baby Beans - the pictures from that first scan that filled us with such awe and delight, the hospital notes, the cards of goodwill sent by friends - and the cards of regret that followed all too quickly. We're not sure and it's something we can play by ear.
So, deep breath and onwards. It's tough. At times all I want to do is curl up in a ball and cry - and it may yet come to that! - but I know this will pass in time. The sadness just hurts a little more acutely right now, and that is ok and normal - and I am 'allowed' to struggle with our loss at this difficult time. I have my first counselling session from the workplace counselling on Tuesday (why is it always Tuesdays? - conceived on a Tuesday, died on a Tuesday, funeral on a Tuesday, due date a Tuesday... even a ruddy counselling session months down the line is a Tuesday!) and I feel optimistic that will help me lay some ghosts to rest. Because I think that is part of the problem - along with baby Beans I am haunted by the ghosts of the family and friends we have lost this year, which makes the world a scarier place for me. And I was never very good at being brave.