Saturday, 29 September 2007

Will it be this month?

I have four days to go until my period and I'm almost counting down the hours. I've been emotionally feeling better over the last few weeks, I think when you're 'trying' for a baby at least you feel like you're doing something postive about it. I think the hardest thing is when you feel like you can do nothing. You've had a miscarriage and you're waiting and waiting for your body to get back to normal, or you're waiting for the right time to try to concieve, or waiting for your period to come or not to come. It seems like your world is split into monthly cycles, everything counted in squares of four.

Everything I do or think is assessed in a 'am I pregnant?' timeframe. Am I more tired? More hungry? Do my nipples hurt - yes because I've squeezed them again! If I make a cake (it's very rare) I think I can't scrape the bowl just incase I'm pregnant and I might get salmonella, should I not drink? Not eat nuts? The list seems endless.

I get really angry when I'm not pregnant. At the moment I feel cross about taking folic acid, (I hate taking pills). I feel like the small yellow pills have let me down, I faithfully took them, keeping my side of the bargain yet they didn't "protect me" in the past, my babies have still died. I get angry with the individual tablets, as though they should take the blame for my reproductive inadequacies. Maybe it's because I feel that I shouldn't have to take them, I should now be five and a half months pregnant, but I'm not, and that hurts.

Four days to go. I'm already wondering whether I can take a pregnancy test on Tuesday. I really think I might be pregnant this time, I'm foolishly indulging my hopes. I guess I'm lucky because it's never taken me that long to get pregnant, never more than three months. A friend has been trying for 14 months and that must be hell. Sex just becomes about getting pregnant and the desire to be pregnant dominates your world view.

What annoys me about miscarriage is the fact everyone assumes it's the woman's fault. Of course many people don't say 'fault' but they talk about me being stressed at work or having hot baths as though they are factors I can blame. I refuse to blame them, to blame them is to blame myself for having succomb to them. Why should it be my fault? What about my husband? What's the quality of his sperm? No one asks, instead they look at you, I guess everything about parenting and how the child turns out is the Mother's problem, why not start now?

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Day One

Let me introduce myself. I'm twenty-eight, married, mostly happily married and have four children. Three of them don't have names, although I'm sure they were three girls and a boy. Only one of them every made the transition into this world, is my beautiful daughter whom I'll call Grace.

I never thought it would be hard having a family, I was young, we both wanted a large family, I thought it would be easy, everyone else seemed to do it okay, then I had two miscarriages. The months passed slowly, at Christmas I cried all the way through 'Away in a Manager', I watched friends babies be born and remembered my own due date, I cried again. I thought I would never be able to have kids. Finally we had Grace.

Despite all the longing and waiting I wasn't prepared for parenthood. I was prepared for the invasiveness of this small cherished creature, the overwhelming burden of guilt of what you have or haven't done. The hormones surging inside you reducing you to tears one minute while making you giggle uncontrollably the next.

When Grace was one we decided to start trying again. It took me a while to get used to the idea, the emotional intensity of 'trying', 'hoping', 'waiting' took me some time to get my head round. We got pregnant in the first month and started bleeding in the second. By the third I had lost the baby and it was all over.

Except, nothing is ever all over. My friends are all now pregnant, well it seems that way although it's not true. I find it hard listening to 'baby talk', my baby would have been 20 weeks now, I would be proudly showing off my bump and discussing names, except there is no baby and so it needs no name.

We recently put in a bid for a house which failed, I was told 'Oh well, never mind, at least you don't have to move yet'. That to me seems doubly cruel, in my irrational mind it is as though both plans, screwed up and discarded, are somehow justified as positive by friends and family trying to help.

Miscarriage is a lonely business. People assume you have 'got over it', you're coping so well they forget the times and the dates and deal with the realities of their own lives, their own pain and joy. You watch from the sidelines and smile with them as they show you yet another bloody scan photograph or little jumpsuit they've bought. Then you go home and cry and ask God 'Why?' 'Why did it have to happen to me?'

I know I have so much already, I am so blessed with my precious daugher yet I still feel lonely, isolated and full of grief. So, join me on my journey, the road which is narrow and the terrain barren. Follow my tears and my sorrow as I search for the rainbow, as I trust in God for the future that although I don't know what the future holds, that he holds it in his hands.