Sunday, 13 August 2017

WITH ALL THINGS BEING EQUAL, THE SIMPLEST EXPLANATION TENDS TO BE THE RIGHT ONE



After a blogging break, the hardest part is usually the return blog post. It's wondering what to write about and if you should even address your absence to your readers (like does anyone care? Did anyone even notice?). So in many ways this is, and will probably always be, the hardest blog post I ever wrote. But it will explain my absence.

On my return from holiday last month I received some pretty unexpected news. News that I was pregnant. Despite the fact that the pregnancy wasn't planned, I was happy. Really happy. Another baby is something that I have always had on the agenda and truthfully, I was made up. I knew when the time came to tell Ava, she would be ecstatic also. She had been asking for a baby brother or sister for some time now. I excitedly planned how I was going to tell her, I imagined her face when I did. I invested in our new future and allowed myself to get excited.

I thought about baby names, I woke up in the mornings with my hand on my stomach. I embraced the morning sickness because what was happening to me was exciting. I even managed to palm Ava off with stories of a tummy bug when I had to throw up in front of her twice. The baby became a part of me. I started taking folic acid and bought bio-oil. With a nervous anticipation I thought about the dynamics of our new family and what we were to become. I even dug out all Ava's old baby clothes and put my ticket to The Libertines on Gumtree. I was planning for my baby and for the future life we were all about to build together.

Then it happened. Some light bleeding at the beginning led me to a scan at only 5 weeks pregnant but with relief I was informed that everything was ok. The pregnancy appeared healthy and correct and although early, nothing looked untoward. But the bleeding wouldn't stop. It continued for another 10 days. Culminating in a miscarriage on the Friday evening. Which was confirmed when a scan on the Sunday afternoon showed there was nothing there. Nothing left except a trail of blood that was still slowly making its way out of me.

I was inconsolable. The walk from the hospital, around the old buildings, past the Necropolis and over Cathedral Square to the car is one that will be etched in my memory forever. The strong arms that were holding me and the warm hugs that were offered felt empty. I didn't want anyone touching me. I cried freely and I didn't care who saw. I just let the tears flow down my face. The only word I could use to describe that feeling was empty. I just felt empty. Physically, emotionally and mentally.

The next couple of days were blurry but peaceful. I cried on and off at everything. I ached for the baby I had lost at only 7 weeks and felt an inexplicable level of anger towards the universe. To have something so longed for taken away without thought or explanation seemed so unjust. So unfair. I clung to the only other person who I felt understood. The only person I felt I could really let in. Because it was his baby too. That night I got drunk on whisky. We watched endless episodes of Outlander and I cried with what can only be described as the loneliest upset I had every known. He turned out to be a lifeline of which I clung to. He laughed with me when I wanted to laugh and wiped my tears when the slightest little thing set me off. We drank pints and explored bits of Scotland I hadn't seen. We went out for dinner and flirted and kissed like a couple of teenagers. We went to the cinema and for the duration of that film he never let go of me once. He barely left my side for 5 days.

All the things I did after that seemed hollow. I listened to a lot of Bob Dylan and I spoiled Ava to within an inch of her life. I took my concert ticket off Gumtree and I packed the folic acid and stretchmark cream away. I struggled with what to do with the three positive pregnancy tests still sitting in the drawer. They are still there now. I still carry the tiny scan photo in the front pocket of my purse.

I understand that you can't plan for anything. Despite wanting another baby for a while, the pregnancy in itself wasn't planned. The universe doesn't give a fuck about timing. It doesn't care about what you intend. Now I can drink wine with dinner, drink double espressos all day and eat pate to my hearts content. But I don't want that. I want my baby back. A baby that I will never get back. And that is the hollowest grief.

One thing that struck me was how many people didn't know what to say. How many of my friends danced around it, almost avoiding the conversation because it seemed like they were terrified to speak of it. I understand why they did that. But I had no idea until I suffered a miscarriage just how difficult people find it to confront. A few short days after I lost the baby, The Miscarriage Association launched a campaign called #simplysay. The premise was simple. To encourage other women who have suffered the same fate to share the best and worst things that had been said to them in the aftermath. It couldn't have come at a better time for me. I felt like I wasn't alone in a situation that couldn't have made me feel lonelier.

For me self-blame has always been something I have struggled with. And although the rational side of my brain knows that this miscarriage wasn't my fault, there will always be a part of me that blames myself. Those extra tired days when I drank three cups of coffee instead of the recommended two, that glass of red I drank on holiday in Aviemore. I've googled some studies that say that stress can increase your chances of a miscarriage, I've lamented myself for not taking better care of myself and the baby. So the best thing anyone told me through that horrible, arduous experience was that it wasn't my fault. To let go of the blame. To let go of the guilt.

The worst thing anyone said to me was that 'it could have been worse'. I understand that in some ways I was lucky. I suffered very little pain and the bleeding was controllable. I was only 7 weeks gone which made the episode less traumatic than it might have been. But I wanted that little baby so much and it would have been so loved. On that walk back from the hospital it really didn't feel like it could have been worse.

So to my baby.

My tiny cluster of cells who couldn't quite make it past 7 weeks.

I am so very sorry.

I would have loved you completely.

And I will always wonder who you would have been.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was sorry to hear your sad news, but wow what a powerful and heartfelt post. I too have suffered a miscarriage and though you do eventually move on from the emptiness, there will always be moments in days when you think about who they would have been or how old they would be. But life goes on, and no matter what happens or how much you hurt, soon you will move on from those feelings of emptiness and whys. Whatever happens you must hold on to the fact that a miscarriage doesnt always have to be something you did wrong it just happens and leaves you an emotional wreck. The wreck will get stronger but never will forget. Light is at the end of the tunnel no matter how dark it may seem now. Grab what you already have with both hands and dont let go. Life is precious.

Stephanie Smith said...

What a really brave blog. I'm so sorry to hear this and for the heartache and pain you are feeling. All I can say is try to embrace what has happened and treasure Ava all the more. Life is shit sometimes and unfair and you never really know what hand you are going to be dealt but we grow from these things and it teaches us just how strong we ladies are. You will always wonder what could have been but don't let it consume you. I hope you have all the support you need right now and my thoughts are with you xxxx

Dawn Young said...

Thank you both for your kind messages which genuinely mean so much ❤️ xxx

wholelottarosie said...

This is desperately sad news, Dawn. I hope that you will find the strength to move 'forward' at some point because I don't think moving 'on' is actually possible with any form of grief or loss. Sending you good vibes and best wishes - it's lovely to hear that you have a good support system in place - he sounds like a good 'un.

Dawn Young said...

Thank you very much. It gets a little bit easier with every day. Thank you for commenting. xx

Nikki Hill said...

I am so so sorry to hear this sad news Dawn. Please know I am here for you if you want to talk. I went through the same thing (not that makes it easier but just as someone to speak to...) I am sending you the biggest cuddle ever right now xxxxxx

Dawn Young said...

Thank you so much Nikki. It's been an eye opener who many other women have got in touch to say that they have also been through it. It's such an taboo subject for some reason but it shouldn't. Your comments mean a lot xxx

Anonymous said...

I am very sorry for what you have gone through. This is such a well written post it has me in tears.

After my husband and I started trying for a baby in December I had two miscarriages. I find myself struggling not to be consumed with sadness and a little envy as so many of my friends are announcing their pregnancies and having babies.

It amazes me the number of people who have told me I am lucky both miscarriages happened so early (8 weeks). I'm finding it hard to see it that way but I know the emptiness and grief will lessen with time and I hope it will for you too.

I know some people will find it a difficult subject but don't be afraid to reach out to people and talk about how you are feeling.

Stay strong xx

Dawn Young said...

Thank you so much for leaving that comment. I am so glad you did. What's happened to you totally completely sucks and I hope you are managing to deal with it ok. I know exactly how you feel and it is horrible. I hope you are staying strong because I 100% believe you will get your happy ending. Good luck to you. Thanks so much for your message. xxxx

Anonymous said...

I wanted to say I'm so sorry for your loss. You put into words something which is so heartbreaking. I have a diagnosis of recurrent miscarriage and have 4 angels with my most recent January this year. I've never been lucky enough to see my baby on scan and miscarry between 5-6 weeks despite medical treatment. Somehow people don't see my angels as babies. I always say that the moment I knew they were there and even before they were always my babies and always will be. I understand how hard it is for people to know what to say but the taboo needs to be broken. We need to speak out so that people understand the impact it has.
This was not your fault. Stay strong x

Dawn Young said...

I can't begin to imagine what you have been through. Of course they were babies, they were your babies. Don't ever let anyone allow you to think differently. I am so sorry for your losses. I had a tear in my eye reading your message. I hope you understand that it wasn't your fault either and I am so glad you took the time to comment on my blogpost. Thank you so much. You sound like an incredibly strong, brave wonderful lady. xxxx