I haven’t written for a while because I got a bit lost. I hadn’t grieved after my last miscarriage because I insisted I was fine. Actually I was unraveling and self-destructing, hopping on and off SSRIs, benzos and fertility hormones like a bizarre and awful rollercoaster I couldn’t quite escape. Last month I had a bit of a revelation: somehow accepted things for what they are and became satisfied with my lot. Ditched the pills (well, all of them but the vit D and the folic acid), stopped consciously trying to conceive and felt more satisfied than I had done in ages. I didn’t care whether I had another child or not in the future. I was free from the angst of trying to conceive and my body being uncooperative. It was a relief.
Then (as all of Twitter discovered in due swiftness), I found out I was pregnant.
I had been bleeding for a few weeks, which I attributed to my cycle being more fucked up than usual due to stopping all the pills at once. So I did a test just to check that I didn’t have to feel guilty about all the wine I’d been consuming whilst socialising with friends during a visit to Brighton.
An undeniable second line emerged and I started muttering “shit, shit, shit…” as Julian reassured me in vain that it would all be ok.
Actually not the first test this pregnancy but the fortieth. Roughly.
I had either conceived two days before he’d shlepped off to Peru last month (hence the romantic break in Brighton for Caspar, the dog, the cat and me), or a while prior to this and was miscarrying. I felt sick. I must be miscarrying. If not, why the bleeding?
Of course this all happened on a Sunday. It always does. It is the requisite period for self-torture and worst case scenario envisioning. With no medical assistance available, I somehow got through the next 24 hours to Monday morning, rang the doc and got an immediate referral to EPU. The next few days were bloods, bloods rising (yay), bloods not doubling (boo) and a scan that showed a dark patch in my uterus that could be the beginning of a pregnancy with maybe a yolk sac or could be a blood clot. Oh fuck it’s Christmas 2013 all over again. Then I had to go on holiday.
I cannot explain or express my gratitude for how my pals on Twitter kept my sanity intact during last week while I faked an appetite for gambas alioli and enthusiasm for the World Shitting Cup (badly) to both family in-law and strangers alike.
Finally I was home, Sunday again (following a car breakdown on our return to Bristol, just what my blood pressure needed), then yesterday was my follow-up scan to see whether it was a pregnancy or just my body being an utter twat again.
If I’m honest, the thing I was most looking forward to was going under general anaesthetic again eventually. Of course I would have another D&C. That few seconds before you slip out of consciousness and the faces go hazy and you don’t care why you’re there or whether you will wake up. That’s the best bit of a D&C. That and the opiates. Look on the bright side (light?), right?
I mentally pondered decisions. Would I get signed off work for a week while I recovered? If I did, would I send Caspar to nursery during that time or would I prefer him to be near me, as I had during my recoveries from previous D&Cs? Will I be able to get really strong opiates if I don’t opt for a D&C? Ooh, diamorphine…
In a succession of short seconds the sonographer breezily announced “yep, there’s a baby, strong heartbeat, can you see?” and turned the screen to face me.
Shock. Delight. Absolute shock mainly. 7 weeks. A baby! (Well, a blob.) A tiny flashing star heartbeat!
I didn’t see the heartbeats of either of my lost pregnancies, before I miscarried. By the time I had scans for them, they had already started to disintegrate or stop developing inside me. This heartbeat feels like a real chance. I saw Caspar’s at the same gestation, 4 years ago almost to the day, and there are statistics that say Everything Is Probably Going To Be Ok (unless you’re the unlucky 10 per cent for whom it’s not).
I keep poking my boobs to check they’re still sore. I know how easily this could be snatched away from me and I wish I could use my newfound mental strength to hold onto it where my body has previously failed. I have a long way to go. My losses were at 12 and 8 weeks respectively. When will I start to believe that this baby could be real, could really be mine and get born with life and health when the time is right?
Pregnancy after miscarriage is sullied by fear and anxiety for many women, regardless of the gestation of pregnancy loss, so I am going to try and take things one step at a time and try not to let my fear get the better of me. I’ve tried that one before. I need a different approach this time.
With Caspar, I loved him, or the idea of him, without question or hesitation, from the moment he appeared as a faint blue line. I wasn’t able to do that with my pregnancies last year – the first because I was just a bit nonchalant and ignorant to the reality of miscarriage, the second because I expected to lose it anyway. I feel like I might have already fallen too far in love with the idea of this one already. It’s frightening.
I really want you, little nut. Please stay.