When The Baby I Never Met Told Me Her Name
I have discovered that many people were having sex around February this year!
I know this because the Christmas newborn pics are dominating our social media feeds.
However, maybe I am noticing it more than you. I seem fixated on this more so than usual this year, but for good reason. My husband and I are currently trying for a baby. Again.
Letting go of control around having a baby is a whole new ballgame. Particularly when the baby-making machines I speak of included us; just without the happy Instagram picture.
You see, we fell pregnant in March with our first baby due December 19th, 2018. My husband froze his sperm many years ago after a radical prostatectomy after a sudden prostate cancer diagnosis. So our pregnancy after a successful IUI attempt was a wonderful surprise.
We experienced and understood the miracle of it all and very quickly bathed in utter joy at the thought of meeting our baby.
However, at seven and a half weeks, we didn’t have a heartbeat.
I knew in my gut I wasn’t pregnant anymore and I hated myself for it. The days and months have been a blur of sadness, anger, loneliness and confusion.
The lack of control was real. Everyone else’s problems around me started to feel minor and I judged the world as they carried on with their lives. I, however, felt the world had stopped. We miscarried in May at just under 11 weeks, leaving us devastated.
The grief you are met with is so surprising. It showed up for me in the form of regular panic attacks, fights and anger at the lack of control over it all. The word 'surrender' now had a whole new meaning.
I felt sad for people that had been trying for years, people that had it worse than me, and whilst I tried to sit in gratitude of the fact I could ovulate, that I did have eggs and that I did fall pregnant; I quickly forgot it all and selfishly obsessed over my own story.
Sometimes it's such a lonely feeling that I forget it’s my husband's journey too.
It’s been incredibly surprising where miscarriage and the fertility process has taken our relationship. I never realised how much work it was going to be to ensure that we stayed on the same page.
We both shared the all-consuming fear at times. And it was selfish; which made it hard to be on the same page. As two kind-hearted, giving people we found ourselves quite focused on ourselves. I, unapologetic in my bratty behaviour and frustration at how much work it is on my end for something that didn’t happen to me. And my husband incredibly challenged by guilt over the repercussions of his cancer treatment option.
Who knew it was going to be THIS hard and THIS isolating. As a woman who has suffered in this world for only a short amount of time, I do have perspective. But sometimes, it's important to sit in your mess and feel what you feel.
Just when you start to think about trying again and the sun starts to shine, you are met with Christmas, due dates, other family pictures with their buckets of kids and a sense of forced happiness.
Who knew the pain could run this deep? I wasn’t someone who dreaded our due date, but my goodness the grief comes from nowhere.
I woke up yesterday morning crying like my heart was broken. It was 5 am, the day before I was due and I was coughing, tired and frustrated.
Out of nowhere, I had to put my head in my pillow I was yelping so deep. We all know that cry? When you can physically feel it in your heart.
I didn’t think about this due date much but it’s not like you plan your emotions. They come uninvited and I have learnt to let them.
After this epic release, I had the urge to go straight to her. My hubby and I went for a walk and sat in the place we said goodbye to her and meditated. In meditation, I asked her her name. We hadn’t done any of that. I found it all a little too much. How much weight do you give something you never met?
Turns out your feelings and the grief will answer that for you. It is the weight of the world. She was my baby and very quickly through this process I started to understand what people meant when they referred to the club you don’t want to be part of.
My baby answered my question with “Lolly”, I told my husband, and I laughed out loud. Turns out she did have a name. Somehow I feel maybe at this point she’ll be free and so will we. I didn’t carry her in my body for nine months but she’s been in our hearts. Perhaps now is the time we are ready to meet the others in the wings.
I’ll never regret Lolly coming and getting what she needed from me. That’s what Mummas do. Turns out she gave me so many gifts too. I’m just so relieved I am finally seeing them clearly. One being the permission to step forward.
Maybe the new year will bring that fresh air you get after a hot summer’s day. And with that, we may just find the courage to start again on a new path towards a new year and a potential new child.