It was such a strange time. One minute I was happily me, then next I was gone.
I could describe it as an out of body experience. I know I didn’t feel like it was happening to me at all. That day changed me forever. Not only was I mourning the death of our baby girl, I didn’t realise at the time – but I was also mourning the death of me.
When you’re pregnant, having never experienced the loss of a baby before, you are in such a happy place. Every day is another day closer to meeting your cuddly baby. Checking apps and books to see how big your baby is today. Ooh look you have arms and legs now and eyes! Fingernails even! Joking about how big you’ll get, making plans, choosing the pram, planning the nursery, imagining who your baby will look like, breastfeeding classes booked, NCT classes, maternity clothes…. If you’re like me, pregnancy filled my mind 24/7. If I wasn’t looking at stuff online, I was dreaming about it at night. It’s a beautiful cuddly bubble full of happiness and excitement.
They tell you that bleeding in pregnancy is normal. I’d had a bit that morning, the 18th February 2016. I wasn’t overly concerned, maybe our baby was snuggling down a bit. But gut instinct told me to go and get checked out anyway. It was half term and the EPU was a short bus ride away. I had no choice but to drag the boys with me, I remember Charlie not being terribly keen to come with me but he was too young to leave on his own and Stuart had gone into work. I called Stuart to tell him to turn back as we were going into hospital to check the baby was okay. Neither of us were hugely worried but I think he also had a gut feeling he had to be there. I remember thinking that we’ll get to see our baby on the screen for the first time. Even slightly nervous they’d find two in there! And the boys would see their baby sister for the first time.
Nothing could have prepared me for that long silence while I was being scanned, and then those words “Your baby’s heart has stopped beating”
That was the moment we said goodbye to the old Molly.
Fun, happy go lucky, silly, and a terribly dark sense of humour. But I was also quite selfish and struggled to empathise when people were really struggling. I don’t think I had a huge amount of time for sympathy – despite trying my best at times. I just never felt like I had it in me to be a comfort to people. I felt awkward, really uncomfortable, which I now know is nothing compared to the pain people go through. I hated hugging and was renowned for how much I hated it.
But when you are essentially hit by a train, something astronomical happens. Once those words were said I went into shock. All this information was being given to me, leaflets and forms to fill in and signatures needed from me. That was the out of body experience. One minute I was lying on the hospital coach about to see our baby, the next I was standing on a bus going home, watching everyone go about their daily business while my life had stopped still.
I don’t think there is much out there that even comes close to losing a baby.
The new Molly still has the ‘Fun, happy go lucky, silly, and a terribly dark sense of humour’ traits somewhere. But they are tinged with hollowness.
On a positive note, I have so much time for people who are struggling. I love to hug now, and I like to think the selfish Molly is in the past. I am acutely aware of other people and always wonder what awful thing the person on the train next to me has been through. I think this experience has taught me to think on a far deeper level than I have ever done before.
When I see a pregnant woman I wonder how many babies did she lose, how much heartache has she had to get to this place and will her baby still be alive tomorrow…. I am constantly thinking about Stuart and the boys, worried I don’t give them enough of me. I know I am doing the best I can, but grief does funny things to us and makes us paranoid. One of the most disturbing thoughts I have almost daily, that never even entered my head before we lost Emily, is that I will get a call with the same words the Sonographer gave us that day. I can’t help but think ‘We’ve had those words said to us twice now, who’s to say it won’t be today that I will hear them again?’ It is deeply frightening but it is real life. I don’t think I would have appreciated quite how precious life is before we lost our little ones, so maybe it isn’t such a bad thing.
The new me appreciated every single second of my following two pregnancies, knowing that each day could be (and was) the last. I won’t ever get the chance to look forward again in pregnancy, not like I did with the boys and Emily. There will be no classes booked, or imagining little chubby faces, or cuddles, or names chosen, or a pram chosen. No baby clothes bought, no nothing. But I will treasure every moment, I can tell you that. I wrote a daily diary for our little boy who we lost at the end of November. I will do the same for our next baby, and the one after that, and the one after that until I get to complete an entire nine months – that will be something very special indeed.
Three years on and I am a very different person, My heart is still in so many bits, way too many to piece together again and I still have that deep hollowness, despite having so much more than other people have. You can be hugely wealthy in love, money, intellect,and experience, but take a child away and there will always be a hole. Add a rainbow and some of that hole can begin to be filled again.
I’m getting used to this version and I think in most ways, this is a better version. I feel a hell of a lot older but slightly wiser… and I’m one hell of a great hugger!
Goodnight my sweet little girl, thank you for giving me so much more xxx