Navigating life after loss was never going to be easy. Navigating life after loss after loss after loss wasn’t going to be easy either.
We are now a good 3.5 years into this world, tainted by the extraction of innocence. Looking out through an impenetrable glass window at the world I used to belong to.
I don’t know if I’d ever go back to just living on that side, given the choice.
I mean, I’d never in a million years choose to go through what we have, but I’m a far better person on this side of the glass. I understand true pain. I have the ability to genuinely empathise with others and really listen. I pick up on sadness in others far more than I used to and I feel like I’m more of a help when the shit hits the fan, rather than my old “Ah, you’ll be okay!” and a pat on the back.
But 3.5 years on I still look out through that window and wish I was back on that side, just for a day. Just to experience that complete innocence and naivety, and the feeling of being wholly happy, without the constant dull ache that drags on the chest. Just a small break from it, you know? A break from the empty arms and hollow, broken womb.
I had an email a couple of weeks ago. It was from the fertility app/device I’m using.
“It’s nearly been a year since you started your journey with us”
Gee thanks. I needed a reminder of how long we’ve been trying to make a baby that doesn’t die since our 3rd child was taken from us, like a bullet to the head. They offered a discount if I took out their annual subscription. Annual? Could we really still be TTC in another year’s time!? No thank you. As tempting as it is, I’ll stick with monthly while I still have an iota of hope if is all the same, thanks.
But what is hope? I’ve been hoping for 3.5 years. Not a single day goes by when I don’t hope. That’s 1,338 (roughly) days of hoping. I wonder if I’m doing it wrong. Where’s the hope manual? Anyone? I’m beginning to wonder if all this hope is being projected towards the people on the other side of the window, because there are a vast amount of pregnancies and babies being born within my social circles.
Some are now expecting their second in those 1,338 days. Two!? But how….?
We are doing everything we possibly can. We are both healthy, our losses were random and ‘one of those things’ (well three actually). I’ve been practising yoga and meditation to ‘relax’ as well as having acupuncture and eating all the right things. I wish I knew the secret to “Looks like we’ll have another mouth to feed soon!”, but it seems to have passed me by.
That’s the other thing. Sharing on social media. I completely understand why people do it. It’s that innocence again. I did the same when I was in that world. I shared my happy news when I was expecting my second son. After all, it took a good 11 months (11 months! Lol…) and various interventions to get pregnant. I was so happy, I was oblivious as to how much my news would hurt others. I regret that now. How many of my friends were really struggling to see my constant updates about my pregnancy? But social media will always be the source of pain for so many people.
I’ve been off Facebook and Instagram for quite some time now. The final straw came after a second pregnancy announcement for one couple. I deleted both apps after that, they weren’t doing me any favours. But I have since realised it’s not even just online triggers, I have to battle with real life and also pretend triggers.
The women who pass me everyday, proudly displaying their ‘Baby on Board!’ badges and the constant updates at work from colleagues and their friends who are expecting or have just had babies. The DJ on my favourite radio station making jokes about getting your wife or girlfriend pregnant now, so that you can have paternity leave when there’s a big sports event on in nine months time – because its that simple, right? Stuart turned the station over as he knew I didn’t need to hear that – bloody love that man so much!
I gave the radio station another chance and switched back on after about an hour or so. The first thing I heard was the DJ talking to a listener and saying “So, your wife is eating for two!” I turned it straight off again after shouting how unfair this was and I was never going to listen to it again.
I failed and, about another hour later I switched it back on after the literal ‘radio silence’. No more than five minutes in and the DJ started going on about a woman whose waters broke live on air. That did it for me. I’ve been sitting in silence all day so far in fear of them mentioning the ‘P’ word again. May I just add, this was a Rock/Indie music station…
Then there’s the pretend triggers. The ones that materialise on my favourite soap or some other fictional program I’m watching. They’re not even real and it hurts… Eastenders last night, for instance. Do Eastenders have a job lot of pregnancy suits they’re wanting to use up!? One of the set runners bought one too many pregnancy tests? Three of them on The Square are now up the duff. I was an avid EE watcher for many years.
I’ve cancelled our series link recording.
1,338 days and I continue to cling to hope. We thought we’d done it last cycle. I was experiencing the same symptoms that I recognised from ALL my pregnancies – and I should recognise them by now as I’ve been pregnant 5 times (shit, 5 times!?). My body was screaming at me “you’re pregnant!”. I bounced along on a cloud for a good week or so, soooo certain that there was a little embryo quickly developing into a baby. I mean, what else could it have been!? I even got out my ‘Pregnancy, Day by Day’ book (like a fool) so I could see what was happening in there. That is how strong my symptoms were.
I wasn’t pregnant.
I was experiencing the effects of Cyclogest. A progesterone medication I was prescribed to take after ovulation to help our baby along in case we got lucky. No one told me Cyclogest mimicked pregnancy. Kind of ironic that the one thing that should have helped me caused further upset. I’ve taken pregnancy tests before but I’ve always known they would be negative so its never a shock. This time was a different ball game. When I saw the negative result on the pregnancy test, then my period arrived two days later, it hit me like a truck. It was almost like losing another baby all over again, only this baby wasn’t real. It was all in my head. I started grieving for something that was completely made up. How fucked up is that?
So here I am. Hiding from the world. Sitting in silence. Absolutely terrified of the next announcement that bites me. Scared to put the radio on. Freaking out that if I bump into someone, they will have a bump. I’ve recently passed the time by resurrecting my love for Patience (the card game) because by god I need patience in my life! But I keep winning so its getting tiresome… 😉
I still have a tiny bit of hope left, I think… How much though? I don’t know. What I do know is that hope may just lead to the one thing that breaks the window for me, So I keep on going. I’ve got my fiance, my boys, my cats, and my pack of cards to keep me from completely losing my marbles 🙂
Maybe my next post will be the one…
(If that’s not hope I don’t know what is!)