#misCOURAGE story, 05/07/2017, by Anonymous
In another life there would be one of the following: a 15 month old, a 6 month old, a newborn, or a 12 week bump, as well as my beautiful and precious 6 year old child.
In another life there would be another birthday to celebrate each year in our family.
In another life there would not be a name missing on the ‘from’ part of my mother’s day card, or my birthday card.
In another life there would be more photos in my house. The ones where there is a boy holding his baby brother or sister. There would be four people in the family pictures, not three.
In another life I would not avoid the new babies in the school playground at pick up and drop off.
In another life I would not cry during my drive to work, stop the tears when I get out of the car, then resume them again on the way home.
In another life I would not have missed days of work due to physical recovery, and weeks and months due to mental recovery.
In another life I would not be so angry with many people close to us for their silence on the subject, for keeping their distance, for not asking me how I am, for the feeling (real or not) that I am being judged. Reality is they just didn’t know what to say.
In another life there would not be the crippling guilt that it was all my fault…
In another life there would not be the sense that I let everyone down. I couldn’t give my child a sibling, my husband another child, my parents and in-laws another grandchild…
In another life there would not be the label ‘only child’ in my family.
In another life at every milestone or happy event with my child there would not be that little voice in my head that says “you won’t have this again with another child - this is what you lost…”.
In another life I would have way more of our savings left…. medical bills, loss of earnings from 6 months off work, not to mention the counselling fees.
In another life the playdates would be balanced. There wouldn’t nearly always be two mums and three kids – my single child meaning the numbers are uneven against their two kids.
In another life I would have done far less household recycling – all those empty bottles of wine from blocking it all out with alcohol.
In another life I wouldn’t want to tell everyone I meet that I did want another child, and that I tried really, really hard to have one. In fact, did you know, you can see 1 child but I’ve been pregnant 5 times…
In another life I would not see the imaginary toddler in the garden stumbling around, or the one in the lounge that grabs at all my ornaments within reach.
In another life I could bear going into the spare room.
In another life I would be able to face getting rid of the cot, or the buggy, or old toys and clothes.
In another life I would not spend hours reading stories online from people who have the same experience as me, as that is the only way I feel less alone.
In another life I would be having round two with Iggle Piggle and Mr Tumble, whom my 6 year old has now outgrown.
In another life I would not have the sense that I literally need to reassemble myself, piece by piece, until I recognise myself again, because I am so broken.
In another life I wouldn’t have made so many excuses to people about why I couldn’t come out to their work function / birthday drinks / sports session.
In another life I would be able to breathe normally when I see Facebook photos with a newborn.
In another life I wouldn’t hate myself for not being able to feel the same happiness for others that I used to feel when someone announced a pregnancy or birth. It’s not that I’m not happy for others any more, it’s just that it is so painful for me to be reminded of what I lost, which kind of puts a dampener on things.
In another life I would be meeting up with the friends I made at pregnancy yoga / baby massage / tumbletots. We’d go out for mums drinks.
In another life my boy would have someone there for him when I die, or when my husband dies. Someone who had the same mummy and the same daddy as him, so he would not feel as alone.
In another life in our family we may have been celebrating more marriages, more grandchildren.
In another life I wouldn’t be thinking about what tragedy I would have swapped this for, that anything would be better than this, or wondering if the saying “I would give my right arm” could actually be taken literally. Insane.
In another life I would not have a discreet charm on my bracelet that says ‘HOPE’ and a similar one on my necklace that says ‘COURAGE’.
In another life I wouldn’t be thinking about just how much we have lost… when you lose a baby, you lose your future, you lose a lifetime of memories that won’t be there now.
In another life I wouldn’t be worrying as much about whether I will not be with family at Christmas when I am old. My only child will have his own life, with his partner’s family to consider too.
In another life at my boy’s family birthday gatherings, there would not be three sets of cousin siblings and then just him on his own, like the odd one out.
In another life I would not have the vivid flashbacks from those horrific scans, and replay the voice saying “I’m so sorry…” in my head on repeat.
In another life my child wouldn’t complain they don’t have a brother or sister. They would be fighting with the one they have.
In another life I wouldn’t be so bitter about the unfortunate coincidences – the 12 week scan due to take place on my boy’s first day at school; the loss that happened on the day of my boy’s 5th birthday party (thankfully not his actual birthday); the fact that we were always sat in the miscarriage clinic waiting room when the texts arrived from a variety of people to announce a birth.
In another life I wouldn’t always been thinking about what my other life would have looked like, and what we would all be doing now.
But this is isn’t another life, this is this life. “Try to make the most of it” they say. “You should be grateful” they say. “Have you considered adopting?” they say. Not forgetting my personal favourite - “Why don’t you get a dog?”.
And, despite the fact that (at my age and with my history) I should be moving on, all I can think is, “what if next month is ‘the one’…”?
Please note that the opinions expressed by users in Tommy’s Book of #misCOURAGE are solely those of the user, who is unlikely to have had medical training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of Tommy’s and are not advice from Tommy's. Reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment from a qualified health care provider. We strongly advise readers not to take drugs that are not prescribed by your qualified healthcare provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor, midwife or hospital immediately. Read full disclaimer