We’re now at what would have been the 20 weeks point. We would have ultrasound pictures and know what their gender would have been. We’d have been able to feel them move for a while.
At this stage they look human, not like a blob of cells. I look at images of babies in the 4/5th week of pregnancy and they don’t link to the idea of them in my head. In my head they were so much more, they were huge. In seconds they were my whole damn world. I felt so much love for my baby in such a short space of time, I didn’t even have a bump but there was life in there, a tiny little flicker of hope.
I never made it past the first trimester. My loss was never visible to anyone other than myself, unseen unless I told them. The loss was wrenching and broke my heart so that means it won’t ever mend in a way that makes it whole; but that’s okay. It’s changed me as a person and I’m not who I was before. I’ve been so many people in so few weeks. Mother. Terrified. Excited. Grieving parent. Survivor.
I loved them more each second; there was just this link and it scared the shit out of me and I won’t pretend that it didn’t. I didn’t want to be pregnant. I didn’t have a stable income, or my own house, I’m not married yet and it was nothing like I imagined it would be in the future, in some dream world where happy endings exist if you wish enough, and I can have kids with no risk.
Now when I say I didn’t want to be pregnant I hate it. I hate saying it because it sounds like I didn’t want my baby, but I didn’t want to be pregnant at first. I was scared. So scared, I knew there were options but I also knew that the only thing that mattered then at that moment for me was them. This foreign love that made me smile and rub my stomach even as I panicked. I knew, even before I saw the positive that I didn’t feel the quite same. That this late wasn’t stress like the other lates had been.
I thought of everything I was supposed to be. How I was supposed to be applying for uni and how my life would be so different than how I and everyone else had mapped it out. I was scared what people would say. Scared of having no useful qualifications and scared that my age and lack of preparation would make me an unfit mother from day one.
I was scared but I was determined. I had already decided with myself before I peed on that stick that the best thing to do was to not have the baby, that they could grow up with the same things that make me sick, that I couldn’t justify it… and then I saw the positive and I knew I couldn’t. I just couldn’t. I was prepared to pack up everything and run if it meant that was what it would take to keep them. I decided then that there was no way in hell anyone was taking that baby away from me unless they killed me first.
I saw a life ahead. I’m not stupid. I knew it would be hard. I learnt the ‘life’s not fair’ lesson the nasty way and I didn’t, and do not want that for any children I may have in the future, but I could not do it.
The next step was tell people, to face up to reality and do it. I didn’t. Not until I was forced to. I kept it a secret for three days because I just selfishly wanted them for myself. I didn’t want to hear what I knew other peole would say. I didn’t want anyone to suggest not keeping my baby. I’m conviced I’m in love with the best man on the planet, but I was scared that he wouldn’t feel the same way as me; so I didn’t say anything to him until it was too late.
By that point I wasn’t telling him a future. I was telling him as I fell apart about a dream that didn’t get to live.
“I was pregnant once”
was how I told one of my best friends about my miscarriage. God how I hate that word. “I was pregnant”. That ‘was’ is just as bad as the MC word.
There is no good way of putting it. I just smile and agree when people talk to me about pregnancy, how I’ll know one day. But I do know. I know exactly what it’s like. Not all of it, I never experienced so, so much of it; but there isn’t a social protocol on how to deal with that awkward gap I feel when female relatives and friends nudge me and try to tell me that one day I’ll know. Neither “I already know” or “I can’t have children” is ever ‘appropriate’. Of course it isn’t. It makes people uncomfortable.
And if it makes people uncomfortable you shouldn’t talk about it for some bulshit reason.
If I ever find a way I’ll tell you about it.
Surviving Miscarriage Together x