I’ve been asked this question a lot recently. Always in love, and with a concerned look and sad smile. Maybe a shoulder pat, and always followed by an expectant pause…
Some days I’m just fine. So I say, “Yeah, I’m good thanks!” Other days I’m feeling really sad and weepy and so I say “not great really”. Something I’ve noticed is that there’s often an awkward silence thereafter. I suppose it’s because there’s really nothing that can be said. People want to see how I am, to show by their asking that they care. But after that, what does one say? I have no idea. Most people have no idea. Because there isn’t anything that will make it better. Statements of the “Oh well, better luck next time” variety seem glib and inappropriate. They are. Luckily I’ve not had any of those.
I would say I have a very mild form of social anxiety. Very mild. But it’s enough that in these silences I feel the need to fill them. To somehow reassure the asker that I’m ok really, and I’m moving on, and the next cycle…Blah blah blah. I want to throw them a rope. They’ve walked into this dead-end with all the best intentions, and now they’re trapped. And if this conversation happens enough times in quick succession, such as at a social gathering or church, I end up trapped with them.
The mood swings are taking me by surprise. I’m still incredibly exhausted, right down to my bones. This probably doesn’t help the swinginess of my mood. I’m thinking of getting my iron levels checked. But another reason for the tiredness is likely that I just throw myself into being busy. We’ve just had some building works completed at our house, so there is plenty of cleaning and sorting to take my mind off things. And Toby of course. He takes quite a lot of energy and brain power. He’s brilliant.
But when it hits me, it hits hard. After a particularly early start to the day yesterday, and a quick succession of “how are you?’s”, I fell fast. I couldn’t stop crying. Every time I closed my eyes, I could see an excited Toby – the top of his little blonde head pressed against my stomach as he said “hello baby” and cuddled and kissed it, before bouncing off around the room. I am distraught at what has been taken away from him, albeit without his full comprehension. Every time I see him interact with a baby, gently holding a tiny hand or stroking a tiny, soft head, something breaks inside me.
Watching friends with their beautiful babies – holding them, feeding them, comforting them, laughing at them – a longing deeper than the ocean tugs me down.
I wanted to feel that baby move inside me. I was really looking forward to that.
Sometimes it’s less obvious things that affect me. Like today, for the first time since the day my miscarriage started, I’m in the same coffee shop, on the same day of the week, at the same time of day. I didn’t think about it before I came in. But the last time I was here I was pregnant. I was so happy. I was writing lists of things I needed to consider for a Christmas time birth. I was about to go home and have a nap before collecting Toby from preschool. Toby who was going to be a big brother. Last time I was here…I was just about to start bleeding. My body was just about to start the prolonged and painful process of rejecting the tiny embryo and its home. Part of me is cross with naive me from two weeks ago today. She should have relished pregnancy more. And so as I sat down at my table, I was suddenly and unexpectedly overwhelmed with all these thoughts at once, and I sobbed.
That reminds me, I still need to call the midwives and cancel my appointments.
I want to end this rather sad post by talking about my amazing husband for a moment. He’s been through this loss too. It was his baby too.
He’s cried, he’s felt angry and sad and incredibly worried about me. But he’s also looked after me and Toby during this time in a way that goes above and beyond. As well as doing a full-time job, John has taken Toby for prolonged periods during the days immediately following the start of the miscarriage, when I was too tired and in too much pain to have him myself. They’ve blown bubbles together, so many bubbles. He’s kept the joy alive in our house by laughing and playing and generally being silly with our amazing 3yr old.
He has done all the bedtimes, all the early mornings, given me breaks when he can see I need them, stayed awake with me as I’ve sobbed, rubbed my back as my body laboured to expel our unformed hope, listened to my pain, given the very best hugs in the whole world, bought me flowers, cleaned, cooked, encouraged, understood, shown incredible patience, and loved in a way that is both practical and holy.
Thank you my love – I know this is a really hard time right now, and we’d rather not be going through it. But as we are, I wouldn’t wish for any other teammate but you. I love you so much, and so does Toby. Xx