At the end of March this year, after a long internal conversation with myself about more children, I had the coil removed. I didn’t tell Eamo. I knew if we were ever lucky enough to fall pregnant again that the news would be the best surprise for him. Plus, I didn’t want our sex life to turn into some regimented baby-making mission.
At the end of July, I took a pregnancy test and it was positive. This was Eamo’s reaction (he had no idea the video was set up):
Amazing, isn’t it?. Tears of joy all around, the baby would be due on my 40th birthday. But that incredible video is now, sadly, one I can no longer bring myself to watch.
The second, heartbreaking half
At around what I thought was the six week stage, I had a bit of a bleed. It was barely anything but thought I would be on the safe side and visit the early assessment clinic. A scan confirmed the pregnancy but also that it was too early to see anything and so another appt was necessary.
Over the next four weeks we had three scans, the first told there was no heartbeat but growth so inconclusive, the second there were now two foetal poles, no heartbeats but, again, growth. And the third it was called as a miscarriage. For 11 weeks my body had carried a pregnancy, at what stage that pregnancy failed I have no idea, but it clung on that pregnancy with a determination I will forever be in awe of.
The day after the scan, I booked myself in to have the pregnancy surgically removed. Pulling up to the maternity ward, I underwent surgery to remove our second child from my body, while other women just down the hall were giving birth. After four hours in hospital, Eamo and I left holding a tiny box with our baby’s remains in, walking past joy-filled new parents and newborn babies. It was utterly heartbreaking.
That was about eight weeks ago now. For the first week after surgery, I barely left the house, not wanting to see anyone or pretend that everything was right with the world. I allowed myself that week to grieve, which manifested itself with me just feeling totally numb.
When I did finally venture back out in to the world, I went to the gym and all I remember was even though I didn’t want to talk about, just feeling so angry that the world hadn’t stopped despite this awful thing happening. Everyone was just carrying on as normal while I was frozen in this painful state thinking about our baby led buried in our back garden, I just couldn’t comprehend how the world had just kept turning.
I think both Eamo and I have been guilty of burying our heads in the sand when dealing with the loss of our second child. As hard as I try not to, asking myself if there is anything I could have done differently or why my body failed me in such a monumental way are questions that seem to surface regularly. And I’m guessing only time will ease or take that away.
You may be wondering why I’m writing this, why I’m sharing details of such an intimate part of my life. And the answer to that, first and foremost, is for me. Today someone quite rightly pointed out that writing is a form of therapy for me. I’ve always known that but often underestimated the power of it, I think. Just putting this into words has let out a flood of emotion, which I’ve needed to unload for a while now.
I’m also writing this as, in a similar vein to PND, miscarriage tends to not get talked about much. I 100% understand why. But if there’s anything I’ve learnt in the last two years and countless counselling sessions I’ve had, is that sharing how you feel, be it on paper or out loud to someone (or yourself) can work wonders for helping you process and understand what has happened and how you really feel about it. It works for some, it doesn’t for others. I just wanted to reach out in some way to anyone else who has had similar experiences and just say you’re not on your own and send my love.
So to any parents out there dealing with the pain of baby loss, I’m thinking of you. And to my little wonder resting peacefully in the garden of our family home, I’m so, so sorry we never got the chance to meet. Sleep tight, tiny bean, Mummy and Daddy love you xxxxxxx