Wednesday, 28 November 2012

When one door closes....

Today marks the official closing to this chapter in my life. The significance of today is I finally got my period – thanks to good old progesterone! As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I was originally dreading this day as it would be the final slap to remind me I’m no longer pregnant. And part of me feels that.
I have taken a moment to recognise that sadness and honour it as another part of the grieving process. On some levels, it’s a tough day. But, I also recognise it as a new beginning. While the door on my first pregnancy is now closed, today opens up the new door to my next pregnancy, and hopefully my child.
 I’ve read stories of women whose period took months to come back, even with progesterone. So I’m thankful mine didn’t. I’ve read stories about women whose cycles don’t come back regularly and who find it difficult to know when they should try to conceive but I’m trying not to think about that too. Today is the first step of what I’m sure will be many before I hold my baby in my arms. So I’m focussing on that.
I have made an appointment to see the obstetrician next week. If we decide to go on ovulation medication, it will now have to start in my next cycle so for this month, we’ll just give it a go ourselves. It worked before so I’m keeping my mind clear of all the “what ifs” and focussing on what I know – I can get pregnant!
My concern is that I am still suffering cramps, headaches, sore breasts and a variety of other pains. As a result, I’m not confident I will know when I’m ovulating. But again, I’m putting that out of my head. I choose to be positive that my body will let me know what it’s doing. I choose to be patient that it may take time to happen again. I choose to be hopeful that we can pull this off with little intervention. However, I also choose to be proactive in searching out options, information and reassurance that we’re on the right track.
Today, I am standing somewhere between the two doors. I can picture myself, standing side on, with one hand closing one door, my front foot forward and my other hand twisting the knob of the other door. I feel frozen in that spot – ready to move forward but feeling anxious at the same time. I guess this is the feeling you have when you’ve been knocked down and you decide to get back up. It’s that moment, just before you stand again, that you realise standing up means you risk the same thing happening.
But this time, when you stand, you are older, wiser, calmer and so much braver than last time. So realising that, I pull the door shut behind me and step through the next one. Only time will tell what this new chapter will bring!  

Monday, 26 November 2012

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Another piece of the puzzle

I’m finding that mentally, I’m going through this process where my mind releases little pieces of information at a time. I know I feel emotions – angry, sad, anxious, scared etc. – but sometimes it’s hard to know why. There are the simple reasons – I lost my baby and I’m mad and sad about that, but I know there are other underlying reasons. I just don’t know what they are until they show themselves to me.
Overall, anger is the rarest of emotions I feel about the miscarriage and it really doesn’t pop up that often. However, when I saw a pregnant woman walking down the street smoking the other day, it turned up in a big way. The inner tirade started – I loose my baby doing everything right and your baby continues to grow despite you knowingly putting it at risk! In those moments, I know I haven’t let it all go.
So, as I was on my afternoon walk yesterday, one of the reasons revealed itself to me. A while ago, my friend who is trying to fall pregnant said to me “It’s so unfair because we spend so long trying not to get pregnant that when we want to, it seems like the hardest thing in the world.” And boom – in an instant, I realised that was one of the reasons I felt angry.
In my 20s and 30s I was so diligent. I remembered to take my pill everyday. I used condoms with partners until I was in a committed relationship. I took the morning after pill when accidents happened. I did everything right. So right in fact, that I didn’t fall pregnant. I was a gold medal winning performer on how not to fall pregnant.
It took time to find my husband, get married and get to the point where we wanted to have children. So I think part of me just thought that given all my diligent work for so long, falling pregnant when I wanted to would be my just reward. It didn’t seem like it was too much to ask. And really, it wasn’t.
I did fall pregnant quickly but in my raw state, I couldn’t see the point of falling pregnant if you loose the baby. I realised that part of me feels entitled to have this baby the way I want to with whom I want to. Otherwise, I would have let myself get pregnant to some random, and just have dealt with the consequences, but that’s not how I wanted to experience motherhood.  
I guess when I strip the anger back, the real reason I’m angry is my experience was not the outcome I had hoped for. As an optimist, I normally expect the best from life and take it as a personal affront when something negative happens. I’m not in denial about negative things happening, but it always comes a such a shock to me when it does.
I suppose this is a good lesson to learn – don’t be attached to our expected outcomes. If we go into a situation with a pre-defined picture of what will happen, how it will happen and what it will look like when it does happen, we are only opening ourselves to fall when our perfect picture doesn’t come to fruition.
The simple fact of life is nothing is perfect so why do we continue to think it is? Or that it will be? Or that it should be?  It would be much kinder to ourselves to just go into any new experience and say to ourselves “I am open to whatever this experience will bring me.” That way, we open ourselves up to whatever it will be – with no labels of good or bad on it. As Shakespeare said “There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.”
So the lesson I have learnt from all of this is that good can come from the bad. As a result of the bad, it seems I’ve been able to help others, generate discussion and bring issues forward. I’ve helped people release emotions they’ve couped up for a long time and improve relationships. So if I look at my experience with open, non-expecting, non-judgemental eyes, I see the beauty and value in it.
That helps to vanquish the anger and I appreciate the calmness it brings me. However, as the eternal optimist, I now face the challenge of reminding myself to think like that. Perhaps it’s about embracing a new mantra – “I’m open to that.”

Friday, 23 November 2012

Me 2.0

I finally feel back to what sense of my normal self I have left. Of course, it’s not really my normal self - I could never be that person ever again. It’s a new normal - Me 2.0. 2.0 is the latest language to represent a new version of something. Essentially, it’s the same as upgrading from an Iphone 4 to an Iphone 5.
I think the mistake a lot of people make when something significant happens to them is thinking life will go back to being the same. Normally, these things are so severe that they leave an enduring impression on us that we can never erase. Essentially, we are changed for ever. Upgraded if you will!
Upgrades are made to make improvements. To make something work faster, easier and simpler.  To give it more functionality. To make it do different things.
 I’m not sure I’m faster. I’m definitely not easier and life certainly isn’t simpler. However, I do believe I have more functionality and I do think and feel different things.
As with anything in life, our perception of things dictates our experience. So, nearly 7 weeks on, I have enough space from the miscarriage to really sit down and take a good look at myself. If I was to market myself, I would say my upgrades are:
·         more confidence in myself to handle the curve balls life throws at me
·         improved love for myself – treating myself more gently and being kind to myself
·         self-appreciation for simply surviving
·         realising the things that really matter in life
·         gaining perspective on my world and how I function in it
·         increased appreciation for my loved ones
·         a new understanding of who I can really count on – and more importantly, who I can’t
·         knowing my husband and I are a strong team who will survive anything.
Of course, as part of an upgrade, there are bugs that need to be worked out. It’s not often that an upgrade is made smoothly. So I view my upgrade as a phased approach. I’m not sure it will ever be complete, but I feel I’m nearing the top. I know there will be times when I slip back a bit. I expect that and I know I have the tools now to be able to cope with it, so I’m not scared by it.
Essentially, I’ve just accepted what happened. I accept that I had no control over it. I accept that there is no one to blame. I accept that I did nothing wrong. I accept there is no reason for it. I accept that these things just happen. I accept that whatever happens, my life will be fabulous! As a result, I feel happy, calm and peaceful.
It’s been a hard slog to get to this place. But, I’m thankful it’s only taken me 7 weeks when I know some women just never accept it, or they get so tied up in anger, bitterness and jealousy they can never see their way out of it. Now, I am sitting back and patiently waiting. I’m looking forward to the new challenges life will bring me and seeing what new and improved ways Me 2.0 will serve me!   

Thursday, 22 November 2012

The ripple effect

There was no possible way I could ever have imagined the impact my Facebook post would have. Since posting it, I’ve had 14 friends tell me about their experiences, including one who hadn’t really spoken to anyone about it. I forwarded on my blog to some of them and one friend told me that reading it was the first time she had felt a ray of hope. I am enormously humbled by that.
But the most inspiring thing is that my husband’s three closest work friends shared their own experiences of miscarriage as a result of seeing my post. It’s amazing to think this group of four men were all carrying about the same pain but not talking about.  As I said to my husband, it’s not like one of them would just say one day “My wife had a miscarriage.” But somehow, knowing that he had experienced, they felt it was ok to share and have now shared with each other.
They told my husband how impressed they were with my bravery and how touched they were with my post. Stereotypically, we don’t expect men to express such emotion but I’m enormously touched that they feel like that. My husband is a man of few emotional words but he told me he was proud of me for being so brave.
But I can’t take the credit. That has to go to my dear friend who experienced the still birth. I realised these events are all part of the chain reaction she put into place by posting her message. As I went to send her a message, I read one from her telling me she was feeling anxious about having to return to hospital to get test results and facing the potential for receiving bad news. My heart felt for the emotional wrenching that situation would bring.
I told her my story and the outcome of my post.  I told her she should be enormously proud of the ripple effect she set in motion and the impact she has had on so many lives of people she will never meet.  But, I also recognised that it was in fact her daughter that started it all.
While her daughter spent such a short time in this world, she made her brave, and that made me brave and that made others brave. My friend’s hope all along was that people would be open and talk about it so the issue would not be forgotten. We have well and truly achieved that. I have had some amazing conversations with people and gained a fabulous insight into what lies ahead of me. But mostly, I’ve been inspired to remain hopeful that things will work out, given I now have so many examples to look at.
I hoped that knowing all of this could bring my friend some comfort as she faced another test. I hoped that knowing that her daughter’s existence had not gone unnoticed and would not be forgotten would make her smile. Despite the fact I never met her daughter, I will always think of her as the little soul that inspired us all!  

Friday, 16 November 2012

Getting back to business

I know I’ve been a little post-happy this week – it’s just been one of those weeks! And while my last few posts have been about the emotional struggle, I now want to focus on the physical one – and getting back to the business of making a baby.
Well, it’s been frustrating to say the least. It’s been nearly 6 weeks since my operation and my period has still not returned. The obstetrician told me it would take 4 to 6 weeks but I’ve also heard of other women having to wait 9 and 12 weeks and even 6 months. This is not an option for me.
The other annoying fact is I’m still having cramps, headaches, pains in my breast and nausea. After all this time, I’m getting over that too. I think I’ve been through enough emotional pain so I don’t need a constant physical reminder of what I’ve been through.
The pains were getting so bad I went to my GP yesterday. He thinks it’s just my hormones STILL sorting themselves out and has put me on Primolut – a progesterone drug to balance out the hormones and induce my period. I need to take two pills a day for 10 days and then my period will come back about 3 to 4 days after that.
I know I’ve previously said that I was dreading getting my periods back – that it would be the final slap in the face. But now I want them to come back. I’m ready to get back to trying but the absence of my period means that isn’t possible. So onto the medication I go.
The obstetrician told me if I was 30 years old he would have just told me to wait until they came back but given I’m 37, there was no time to wait. He said that he might put me on Clomid to aid my ovulation as some women can experience infertility issues after a miscarriage. I know a lot of women who go onto having children after a miscarriage, but it can be a difficult process. So I’m keen to get the process started as soon as possible.
I spoke to a friend who had her baby on Clomid. She said her obstetrician made her have it one cycle on, one cycle off. She fell pregnant on the third cycle which meant it took her 6 months. I had a little inner-tantrum when I heard that. Impatience, once again, getting the better of me! I’m just so frustrated that it seems to be taking so long to recover but I quickly got over it, realising I need to respect the fact my body needs to heal as much as my mind does.
I have been enormously buoyed by all the fabulous comments I received on my Facebook post. I got so much support and so many friends told me their inspirational stories that now I’m really motivated to keep moving forward. It makes me feel silly that I spent so much of my first pregnancy worrying about my age. I think that was a big contributor to constantly thinking I would miscarry. Now, I see so many of my friends who have had babies at my age with no problems at all, and I see so many friends older than me who have also had no problems.
So I’m in a much more positive frame of mind. I’ve learnt so much from my first experience and now feel confident I can handle another pregnancy and have a successful outcome. As one of my friends said, “Babies don’t often come easy” and it’s true – they don’t! So many of my friends can attest to that. But they can also attest to the benefits of not giving up so now I’m ready to stare the negativity in the face and yell BRING IT ON!

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Paying it forward

I found out this week that a wonderful woman I use to work with suffered a full-term still birth. I was saddened to hear the news and enormously inspired by the courage and strength she had shown. She was determined to share her story in an effort to keep attention focussed on figuring out why this still happens. I thought it was an important cause to support.
It’s not just stillbirths that sometimes have no explanation, it’s miscarriages too. I have read so many stories about women who miscarry and the tests shows there was nothing wrong with the baby. It just doesn’t make any sense. And how can people be expected to get over and heal from something that just doesn’t make sense?
When I think about it, I know four women who have suffered miscarriages. I have relied heavily on one of those women to share her knowledge, encouragement and support to help me through this. She is the only one who can sit opposite me and nod her head in absolute understanding of what I am going through. But surely, there must be more of my friends who have suffered this?
I’ve learnt that some people just don’t know what to say or do in these situations.  Some of my friends have seemed to approach me gingerly and feel bad for not speaking to me sooner. Some of them just don’t even bring the topic up.  I can certainly understand the difficultness of the situation. In the past, I have tried to console friends who have had miscarriages and felt useless as I couldn’t possibly imagine what they were going through. Now I do know, I realise how important it is just to show your friends you are thinking about them and caring about them. In the midst of all the grief, that’s all you want to know – that people care about you!
So, inspired by my brave friend who had the tragic loss of her daughter, I posted my story on Facebook today. Today was significant as I was originally booked in for my scan and would have been announcing to the world that I was 13 weeks pregnant. I questioned whether I should – I was worried about people judging me, people at work knowing and people thinking I was just searching for sympathy. But, I knew my motivation was pure - I didn’t post it searching for sympathy or nice comments, I posted it so that if any of my friends had experienced the same thing, or do experience the same thing, they know they can call me and I will be there for them as my friend was there for me.  And, I realised that being worried about what people thought is the main reason women don’t talk about it and that was the whole reason for doing it. In that moment, I quickly realised I didn’t care what anyone thought – that was enormously empowering!
Within a few hours of posting it, four friends had told me about their miscarriages. The majority of those had gone on to have babies, but clearly, the pain and the memory was still there. For another friend, her experience was very recent and she was going through a lot of the same thought processes as me. All I could do was tell her I totally understood where she was coming from and send her the link to this blog.
In the end, my post was about paying it forward. If we can all stand proud in our experience, it releases the feelings of guilt and shame we carry around. If I can help one person through their miscarriage, then my experience hasn’t been in vain. I’m so glad to realise so quickly that my instinct was correct and people have already valued it. I hope and pray that none of my friends ever have to experience this, but I’m ready to turn up to their house in a moment’s notice if needed.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Remembering the man

In my last post, I mentioned I had said something to my husband in my wedding speech about facing the challenges life would throw at us. As I thought about that post, I had to laugh at the fact we lived in such ignorance of those challenges facing us so quickly after being married!
The below is an extract from my speech – made 30 March 2012!

“Marriage, like so many other things in life, is a leap of faith. It is a scary thing because there are no guarantees. There are so many things we don’t know about the future but I’d rather travel that path with you to find out, than let fear keep me stuck here.

It is with great thrill and excitement that I take this leap with you. We are explorers, venturing into new and strange territory. We will use our combined strengths to overcome the difficulties, find the solutions and navigate our way.

There will be times when we have to go through treacherous terrain, climb up steep hills, swim through wild rivers and sustain scratches and bruises. But there will also be times when the stars are so clear we can see the planets, the sunset stretches as far as the eye can see, and the immense beauty around us brings a tear to our eye.

We start this journey with a commitment to stand next to each other, support each other, hold each other and carry each other. There will be times when one will do it for the other, and times when we do it together. But the key word in all of that, is together.”

I mention this as the feelings of the father often gets overlooked in this process. Luckily, my friends and family always ask after my husband to check he’s doing ok. But men process these things in a much different way to women and that’s been interesting to learn that.

We had no idea this would be part of our future but I was spot on – I would rather be dealing with this with my husband than without him. He has been such a tower of strength and has carried us both when I didn’t have the strength to stand.

It was thrilling and exciting for us to take this pregnancy leap and I was certainly in new and strange territory. And yes, we have had to use our combined strengths to overcome this and still love each other through the process. I guess this is one of the things that can make or break a relationship. Luckily for us, it has continued to make it.

We have had to deal with treacherous terrain. We are climbing up a steep hill. And we most definitely have sustained scratches and bruises. But I know, with every fibre of my being, that the stars, sunset and immense beauty is awaiting us.  Actually, not to sound too corny, but I think we already have the immense beauty in the love, support and commitment we have to get each other through this.

Who knew my words on that fabulous day would be so prophetic – we are most definitely surviving, coping and moving on together!

Sunday, 11 November 2012

The search for my smile

In the paper today, there was an article on the 10 guiding principles to help bring you lasting happiness and fulfilment - an extract from The Happiness Code by Domonique Bertolucci. Those are two things I'm definitely lacking at the moment. While I have moments of happiness, they are fleeting. And I don't think I've really felt fulfilled for quite some time. How can you when you feel so empty?

But, I have decided that I need to re-think my attitude and get myself back into a healthier state of mind. I can't see myself conceiving when I feel so down and I know that wishing to be pregnant just to make myself feel better is the one thing to surely stop it from happening. So I read the article with an open mind. 

1 - Take Charge -"The first and most important step in becoming the best you can is to simply decide to be that person." It was funny to read this as I had been berating myself over the last few days for slipping back into my old habit of drinking wine and eating chocolate as a coping mechanism. When I was trying to fall pregnant last time I was so stringent on myself and so careful of what I put into my mouth. I was exercising and looking after myself so I could be in the best possible shape to fall pregnant. Now, I think the unknown  of when my body is going to get back to normal has sent me into a downwards spiral. So, I need to pull up my socks and get back to being the best I can be.

2 - Let It Go - " Don't waste energy trying to change or alter things that are well beyond your control." Well, it doesn't take Einstein to see that I clearly have not let the miscarriage go. God knows I've tried but perhaps it's still early days. Rationally, I know I had no control of it but the irrational mind isn't so cooperative. This one remains a work in progress!

3 - Live For Now - "It's important to accept the past, dream of the future, but live in the moment." A very wise friend told me that the miscarriage presented an opportunity for my husband and I to spend more time together. Given we've only been together for 1.8 years, this probably isn't a bad thing. In this moment, today, we have spent the weekend together, although both feeling sick. But, it's time to be together, support each other and love each other. So we will continue to share and love being in each other's company.

4 - Expect The Best - "If you believe things will turn out well they usually do." This of course is a tough one because I never thought the pregnancy would end well. Does this mean I created it myself? Who's to know. But, it does remind me that next time, I must take a more positive approach to my journey.

5 - Back Yourself - "One of the most important ingredients in creating any success in life is to believe in it." This one I can whole heartedly support. I believe in my dreams, myself, my husband and us together. I believe that we are meant to have a baby and we will be delivered that. I believe that things will fall into place and I believe my body has the strength and power to produce a baby, be a sanctum for that baby and grow a healthy baby. I guess I just need to let it do that in it's own time.

6 - Give All You Can - "Be generous...what you give will determine what you receive." By nature I have always been a generous person. However, I am more generous with others than I am with myself. So this is a timely reminder to treat myself, my body and my mind more kindly. To show myself the love, support and encouragement I would show a friend going through the same thing. I don't know why I haven't done that to now - habit no doubt!

7 - Get Out Of The Way - "The only person who can really hold you back in your life is you." This speaks to the part of me that wonders if I am keeping myself in this time. There's part of me that chooses to go backwards everytime I think I'm moving forward. Like I'm somehow dishonouring Peanut's memory if I do move on. But, staying in this pocket of my life isn't a healthy place to be. I've experienced it enough to know there's something better up a head. I just need to walk the path to get there.

8 - Be Grateful - "When you focus on how much you already have, your true desires will be easily met." This is one thing I haven't struggled with. If anything, going through this has only highlighted everything I am so grateful for. I am grateful for the love, support and encouragement of my husband, family and friends. I am grateful to know who my true friends are and those who have disappointed me so I know who not to rely on next time. I am grateful my body fell pregnant when so many other women can't. I am grateful that this experience has strengthened so many of my relationships. While there's plenty to be sad about, I have always remembered this.

9 - Keep It Up - "It won't always be easy to do, be or have everything you want in life. Don't give up or choose a more complacent path should this take longer than you might have wished." So here's the old patience chestnut staring at me once again. There's no escaping the fact that this is going to take longer now. So in reading this, it seems slipping into the wine and chocolate has been a complacent path - complacent is the perfect word. It was almost like taking revenge on my body because I feel it failed me. However, if I want it to work for me, I need to stay focused, be diligent and look after myself. Luckily I poured the wine down the sink this morning!

10 - Be Brave - "If you want to be the best you can be, you need to do the right thing, not the easy thing." This is all about courage - having the courage to get back up when you've been knocked down. The courage to follow your dreams when people tell you you won't succeed. The courage to follow your heart and look defeat in the eye. Yes, it won't be easy but I am NOT going to let it defeat me. I will storm ahead on my trek and face whatever challenges it brings along. Actually, as I type this, I said a very similar thing in my wedding speech to my husband. I should have listened to myself more closely as I seemed to have forgotten that!

Friday, 9 November 2012

The curse of the cruel stick

I would have been 12 weeks today. It's been a pretty tough day. Mind you, I'm glad I didn't end up in the fetal position on the floor by the end of it.

Deep down I hoped I would get pregnant again straight away. Probably everyone does. But my body has been in such turmoil that everytime I think I've been ovulating, something else happens that makes me think I wasn't. I've had an enormous amount of cm which would normally tell me when ovulationg was approaching. However, because I've been getting it every few days, it's been impossible to know for sure. The ovulation tests have been no help so I haven't been able to rely on them. The normal signs - cramps, sore breasts - have been a constant. Especially the cramps! 

The cruelest part has been pregnancy symptoms - sore breasts, increase in cm, constant peeing, nausea and even a cold. But the pregnancy test remains negative so I have nothing left to think but my periods are coming. At this point in time, I've just decided to give up.

While the operation was taxing enough, you then have to go through the process of receiving all the bills in the mail, phoning up to pay them, taking them into Medicare and your health fund, have doctors call you up and have people constantly ask you how you're doing.Then just to cap it off they sit a woman next to you at work who is pregnant and due the same time you were so you're going to have a constant reminder for the next 6 months. Everytime one of these things happen, you relive the experience again. It seems that when you want to move on and not dwell on it, the world doesn't let you.

To add to the challenging week I've had, I had my four week check up with the obstetrician this week. He said everything looks okay. I told him I didn't know if I had ovulated or not because of all the different symptoms I was having. He did a scan and told me it looks like I was ovulating now. My husband and I contemplated whether we keep trying or not, but I realised I had nothing else to give at the moment. My energy levels are so low because it takes all my energy to get out of bed, face the day, and put on a brave face.

The obstetrician said if  my period does not come back in four weeks to go back and see him. He will put me on medication to make me ovulate. After doing some research, I saw there is 30% chance of falling pregnant on the medication. That's compared to a 25% chance of falling pregnant normally. I think I'd rather just have the medication!

I feel like I've been hit with the cruel stick over and over again through the past few weeks but the onset of my periods will surely be the hardest blow. It will be the final sign that I'm not pregnant anymore. It will be the crescendo to the ongoing tsumani of pain I've had to endure over the past few weeks. Needless to say, I'm not looking forward to it but I know it will be the end to my current storm and the rainbow always comes out at the end!

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

One month down, forever to go

Today marks 4 weeks since the operation. It's hard to believe that a month has gone by already. Another indication that time really does not stand still. I'm not sure I would have wanted it to - actually, I'm not sure what I wanted. All I know is the past 4 weeks has been a rollercoaster of emotions filled with angst, grief, impatience and frustration.

It seems that crappy things always happen on a Tuesday and today was no different. I am home feeling terrible thanks to a cold and got a call from the obstetrician I was originally meant to see but who had been on leave when all of this happened so I never met him. I had to recall the whole story which always puts my recovery back a few steps back. It has left me feeling deflated and defeated.

We've given it our best shot to try and fall pregnat but clearly it's not meant to be. Between the physical and emotional state I'm in, I just don't have any more emotional energy to give it. I've realised that my energy has been given over to the process of accepting I will have this pain for the rest of my life.

Yes, I have survived it and yes, it didn't kill me. And yes, I know this isn't the worse thing that could happen to a person. But it has changed me as a person. It has left a lasting stain on my soul that I don't think will ever be removed. But maybe it shouldn't be. Maybe, it's meant to be a reminder for me to always keep things in perspective, always cherish what I have and never take things for granted.

While it's been a tough few weeks, I do want to look at it positively. It's hard, and I battle to stay in that mindset, but I try. I had to write a letter to Peanut as a way to say goodbye for my counsellor. Reading it helps me but only to a degree. I'm trying to get to the state where I can read it without being overcome by it but it's a work in process - it's the very last word that gets me everytime!

Dear Peanut,
For an all too brief 7 weeks, I had the utmost joy and privilege of being your Mother. I took pleasure in feeling my body change as it meant you were growing inside of me. But it was always such a shock to me with each different pain I felt.

For some reason, I never felt confident you would arrive safely. I don’t know if it was paranoia or premonition but I guess I always prepared myself for what eventuated.
Loosing you was the most devastating and painful event of my life. I feel the pain of loosing you every second of every day.

But I’m glad you went if you weren’t well or happy where you were. I prayed to your great-grandfathers every day to watch over you and I trust that taking you was their way of moving you to a better place.
I am only sad I never got to meet you and see the wonderful person you would have become. But your loss will not be in vain. Hopefully we will be blessed with another little soul that I know you will look after and keep safe.

Wherever you are my darling little soul, I want to you know you were loved, you were wanted and you won’t be forgotten.
I shall cherish the memory of you always.

All my love always,
Your Mum


Friday, 2 November 2012

Starting to believe

I saw a tv show this week about a gay couple who were using a surrogate to have a baby for them. One of them wanted to dive in and start buying clothes and baby things and the other wanted to wait until they were "out of the woods." They all went for the first scan where they heard the baby’s heartbeat and the obstetrician ran them through all the other scans and tests the mother would have to have. She ended up with a petrified look on her face!

Eventually, the father realised there would never be a time when they were out of the woods. He realised he had been so scared and negative about the experience he was missing it. Suddenly it all clicked into place for me. I realised I had done the same thing.

I had spent the 7 weeks of my pregnancy paranoid and anxious about the worse thing happening. I think it was a self-protection mechanism for me to feel prepared for a miscarriage. It was futile because I wasn’t prepared for it and it didn’t make it hurt any less. All it did was bring an enormous amount of negativity into my experience about an event I had no control over.

I know I’m a worrier but I realised that, as a parent, you are NEVER out of the woods. When you’re pregnant, you worry about them arriving safely. When they arrive, you worry about something bad happening. As they grow, you worry about them making their own way in the world. In the end, the worry doesn’t stop until the day you die.

That was a light bulb moment for me. I realised that come my next pregnancy, I could choose to face it the same way, or I could choose to think positively about it. Of course, I know next time it will be easier as the worse has happened and I survived it. I am already doing some brain training so I can respond to my anxiety in a more positive way, but I feel like I’ve turned a corner and will be stronger next time.

It seems to be the week for turning corners. Previously, I said that one of my concerns was I didn’t feel connected to the pregnancy. I would see pregnant women and have no sense of being excited or prepared for the fact I would look like that. Then I got on a train I don’t normally catch, on a carriage I don’t normally get on, and saw a pregnant woman wearing a dress similar to one I have. When I was pregnant, I thought this dress would be perfect for when I was bigger.

Suddenly, in that moment, it all clicked. I looked at her and saw myself fat, wearing that dress. I felt happy that I would look like that. I was excited to know that dress still looked good with a pregnant belly filling it out. It was just the shot in the arm I needed. Finally, I felt ready to be pregnant and revel in it. Now, I just need to wait for the stork to visit me once again!


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