So to be completely honest, I don’t know what I’m going to say in here. Mostly because I’m still trying to work out where my head and heart is right now. And even though I LOVE writing, I’ve not really seen it as my real “release” before (speaking is normally it for me). But when I struggle to form the words with my mouth, I know writing gives me great pause and forces me to clarify my thoughts into actual words, and gives them life. Writing manifests my emotions into tangible bits that I can then grasp, and which somehow help clarify it for me. And with that clarity, helps me on the path to transform my pain/heartbreak/confusion into something better.
I was truthfully unsure of being public about this…But I am me – I am always and forever a genuine me. This blog is but a reflection of me. I may not share everything in my life on this platform – in fact there’s A LOT (the majority of my life) I don’t share, but everything you read and see on this blog, is me. Nothing made up. Nothing replicated from someone else. The birthday parties, the Christmas loon and the Halloween freak – all of it is exactly how I’ve always been, long before I even had this blog. Or even read blogs. In fact, long before we had our own kids. (My nieces and nephews were the focus of parties and my efforts then) And so are the breastfeeding files, along with all the struggles of parenthood, and all the rawness of my journey through motherhood have been real and honest…So then why would I shirk away from being me now? In this time of unsurety. In this time that is a dark and irregular part of motherhood? Why would I shirk away from something that is so very much a part of me now?… Well, I wouldn’t.
My story here is raw and very real, and is the reality of not all, but for many mothers out there. And far too often, as I’ve learnt these women are left in a shroud of darkness. On a lonely and sad path as they deal with the grief. I know I wouldn’t want that for any of my friends (or daughters) who have or might ever experience this. There are a myriad of reasons why I feel I should share this, but also a few big reasons that make me fear the worst in doing so.
And yet I am still moved to share, and so I shall…it’s a bit scary, alright. So please don’t drop me, K?
I wanted the announcement to be perfect. I wanted to get the announcement of the coming of our newest family member just right. I may have spent far too much time thinking about it – silly, right? But there was honestly just so much love and excitement around the coming of our third child that I couldn’t help myself. I wanted to celebrate it in every possible way. I think with each child we have, we realise more and more how much of an immense blessing it truly is. And I wanted to tell the world… In fact, it oddly took a lot of personal restraint this time to NOT tell the world and every single person I came across about our newest blessing. Just ask the ladies at my recent course I went on – I think I wasn’t 2 hours into the course before I spilled the beans to them. The warm hugs and congrats that followed from these new women in my life was such a welcome to my overjoyed heart.
It took every ounce of restraint not to call up all our friends and share it with them – even though we always wait till the magic 12 week safe mark. This time I felt urged shout it from the rooftops.In fact, to placate myself, I told myself I’d get through my course and then call up my best friend that very Monday afterwards.
There was huge anticipation around having our third child, from friends and family and very much from ourselves. . We counted down the days till we were clear from the Zika Virus danger period (after our recent trip to Mexico). So last month, after what felt like forever, we made it through the Zika clearance period, and decided to go for number three and fell pregnant. The morning I peed on that magical stick that confirmed the pregnancy was a day of extreme excitement, beaming faces and loads of giggles. Just as the previous two times before it was. Except, for some reason, I took more time to really note what I felt. To memorize the details. Especially Mike’s face – and boy, did I study his beautiful face that morning. I did a tip toe sprint across our gallery hall from the bathroom to our bedroom to wake him up with the news. And by sprint, I mean quickly hobble on my recovering dislocated knee, and I tip toed, due to not wanting to wake up tiny sleeping giants. You know, so that Mike and I could revel in our pure joy, without being interrupted for “uppies”, cereal requests or bum wipings. He’s excitement and love quelled whatever nerves I had for some odd reason.
My mom was by us that morning, so I excitedly woke the poor lady up from her dreams, still well before dawn and showed her the stick with the biggest grin on my face. I was wagging my pee sample around the house like the proudest little pregnant peacock ever. I messaged my sister the first chance I could get, and just about managed to not let the rest of the family know yet. It was really hard for me to contain it, but I wanted that announcement to be as special as I felt this child was.
I have carried this baby for the past few weeks with so much love and excitement for our future. Mike and I fantasized about it every day. But God had other plans for us…and I think deep down I knew. Sadly, we lost our precious baby a week and a bit ago.
That fateful Monday morning, as I cuddled Parky in bed, preparing for a sick day of nursing both her fever my terrible laryngitis, I struggled to shake a horrible feeling that gripped me from the pit of my stomach. I hated being sick, but also knew it was due to my suppressed immune system thanks to pregnancy- so I also loved being sick. But that horrid feeling wouldn’t let me go…Like something was not right. Truthfully, it was always there from the beginning of this pregnancy. I cannot explain it, but it was there. It even took me a while to share this feeling with Mike, as I couldn’t properly articulate it. And the two mornings before that fateful Monday had me seeing visions of the most dreaded kind.
These visions were so strong that every time I went to the bathroom I was sure it was to come true. In fact, about 3am that Monday morning , in the bathroom for the umpteenth pee of the night, as the faint light shone onto me, I thought for sure this time the vision would come true and there would be blood. I actually didn’t breathe until I saw it was not so. I eventually sighed a breath of relief and spent the rest of time feeling amply stupid and paranoid for wasting my energies on fear and anxiety…
Until that is, right before Mike left for work and I went to the bathroom again. And there it was…exactly as I had feared. Blood.
The amount of terror in my voice as I called for him couldn’t be masked. I have never bled in any of my pregnancies before, but I knew what this meant. There wasn’t much blood at first, and I know not all blood means the worst, but sometimes you just know.
In no time did we have a gynae appointment that day. After that first scan (I saw her there in my belly), I oscillated between logical acceptance of the possibility of what may happen and the shameless hope for a miracle – there was even a split second moment where I even laid my hands on my belly, willing it to live. But just as quickly a sense of acceptance – and heartbreak- washed over me. Knowing what was coming. You just know. You can feel it in your bones.
In fact, I tried to sway myself into positive thinking the Tuesday night. I boldly marched up to Mike to layout the game plan, something along the lines of “till those blood tests come back, we’re treating this as everything is perfect and healthy”. But before I could even start rattling off the plan to him, I was interrupted by Parker-Grace with, “Momma, there was a person in your tummy. But God took that person away now.”….Keeping in mind, we hadn’t breathed a word of this to any of the kids….But there it was, out of the mouths of babes…Talk about divine signs? That was just short of a burning bush! I was stunned into silence, felt like the wind had been knocked out of me and almost immediately retreated to my room where I crumbled into tears.
And it hurts. This loss cuts deep into places I’ve never yet felt. And whilst I have many of those fleeting moments of “it’s in all in God’s work”, and there is honestly acceptance as it unfolds, it doesnt take away that heartbreak. Knowing what is being lost. This is new territory to me – deep and strange…and horrible.
And yet,oddly, even though we are still grappling with this loss, and though I still spill plenty of tears about it, and stumble a bit as I try to figure it all out, what I do know is that there is an inexplicable sense of good energy swirling inside of me. I don’t know why I do, or what it means, but I’ll take it with both hands.
So whilst I still don’t know what exactly our story actually is, as this loss unfolds for us, and as I figure out what I am actually feeling, and how I’m truly dealing with it, I feel I need to share it.
Because we need to start the conversation about miscarriage and keep it going. We need to start removing the dark that envelopes it, and bring it into the light. Light where comfort and love exist; Where acknowledgment of that little life is found; Where acknowledgment of the love and loss that now co-exists within your heart, all because of that little child. A little child you will never get to know in this lifetime. And mostly I need to share it, because I don’t want this precious child to go unacknowledged and uncelebrated, for however short and precious our time was with her. For this child will forever be a part of me, of us. And will forever be loved.
I am also so very, very grateful to the loved ones who knew about the good news and then the sad news, and have supported me through their love and shared losses. I feel blessed to have you in my corner, holding me as I walk this path.
The 1st September – the first of Spring, a symbol of new beginnings and life, and the very same day when that life inside me was confirmed on that stick- will remain a day of great joy and celebration for me.