There have been three in a row. One after the other. All very early; 6 weeks, 5 weeks, 4 weeks. And for this reason, I know I have to count myself lucky. I know how many women lose their babies later and I know how much harder that is. I also know, after three - now officially under the 'recurrent' label and lined up for specialist tests - that this road is only going to get harder and that I can't break down now, because one day this will just seem like an imperceptible first hurdle.
But that doesn't stop the waves of pain or what feels like a slow descent into despair and madness. After nine months of trying - my partner and I are both 35 - were worrying we'd left it too late. Then we finally saw the lines and finally felt hope. We allowed ourselves to think and smile. To know there's a future and a plan. I Googled 'is sleeping on your front OK at 6 weeks' and 'can I still run' and 'when to see the doctor'. Then we made the appointment. All of this, then one day I suddenly saw the bleeding.
I've been through this three times in a row and I don't quite know how to see straight any more.
I haven't told anyone. I've continued at work with no time off. A couple of close friends knew about the first two but this third one is just too deeply private, too much. I know no one will know what to say and then - through no fault of their own - will say the wrong thing: 'At least it was so early', 'At least it shows you can get pregnant', 'It wasn't meant to be.'
It's this last one that scars the most. The idea that that bundle of tests now stuffed at the back of a drawer were never meant to be anything more than that. That the babies I felt and saw and loved never even existed. That they never were.
And maybe they weren't to anyone else. Maybe they will always be just a pink line and a few weeks of hope then a smear of blood. But to me they were everything. To me they will always 'be'.
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