by Sarah Davies
I started off with good, not great intentions of writing something heart felt and profound, but you know what? I just haven't got the strength in me to open that box- because when I even come close at peering into it, if you listened closely enough you would hear the sound of my heart shattering over and over.
Like a broken record, with the words from the sonographer 'I'm so sorry' on repeat. That box that I work endlessly to keep locked shut since the very day we found out. You know the one that I am talking about,right? Tell me I'm not the only one that still struggles. Tell me that I'm not the only one that thinks what if?
Our darling baby would have been coming up to the age of two, but instead of planning a birthday party- I am left feeling. A sense of emptiness. That's crazy right? I have such a beautiful, beautiful little girl that from the bottom of my heart I am ever so thankful for. She wouldn't be here if it weren't for this extremely, profoundly -enter any profanity you can think of here- moment. That in itself. Well.
That is just another reason to hate myself. I shouldn't feel.. well,this? Not when we have gotten our rainbow. Not everyone gets to be that lucky, so I keep telling myself.
The box is well and truly open now, so I might as well tip it upside down, shake it all about and empty all my toys out. I mean what kind of person would that make me- if I forgot any ounce of detail? It would be an insult to the memory of our angel. That's the reason why I have to remember. I have to dig down, even if it's just for a moment.
I remember the sheer panic, the sense of feeling sick, the gut feeling, when for the first time I thought, knew something wasn't right. I ran into our bedroom to tell Gareth. We spent weeks torturing ourselves by trawling through the internet, trying to figure out whether we were losing our baby or not. We were told that doctors couldn't help and in this day and age that in itself sounds ludicrous! They told us that because our pregnancy was so early on, they could do nothing even if I was miscarrying. Well that was it. I was sent into a blind panic. I tried to calm down, telling myself that it wouldn't have been good for our baby.
For the weeks leading up to our first scan, I remember feeling like I was watching everything in such a slow motion, that if I were to blink, time would have gone backwards. It wasn't helped by the fact I had annual leave from work, in readiness to move. The irony of it all. It was meant to be a fresh start. New home, a family. The world was our oyster.
Three days prior to what will be forever etched into our minds, I was at my cousin's house for her little boy's birthday party. Everyone had noticed that I had put on weight and had an inkling that I was wearing maternity clothes. I remember my family asking 'innocently' to see my tattoo on my stomach as they hadn't gotten a proper look since I had it done.
I had to of course show my tattoo and bite my lip to stop myself from welling up. Pretend that everything was ok. Even though I was having cramps and the pain was terrible. I had to slap on a happy face and act as if I wasn't pregnant, which is sadly and poetically ironic.
The day of our scan came, and the receptionist gave us a book on babies. I remember taking a deep breath and taking the book, as I began choking back the tears. I could feel Gareth squeeze my arms at this point. Telling me that we'll be ok. We sat in the waiting room filled with happy parents to be.We walked into the room, and before the sonographer had chance to say take a seat. I blurted out everything. I remember her features softening and I remember her asking questions. The time came. I cautiously laid down, Gareth holding my hand tight.
My heart was in my chest, I just kept thinking, it's not real, please don't let it be real. We're not losing our baby. Please let our baby be OK.
My eyes darted around the screen, desperately searching for any signs of a tiny heartbeat. I could feel the tears fighting their way to the surface. That's when the words 'I'm so sorry' broke my concentration. Cue the devastating earth shattering cry that came from within. I never knew my heart could ache this much. The pain was unbearable. I could feel myself losing control and that's when Gareth grabbed hold of me and hugged me so hard I could almost actually physically feel his pain. We were lead out of the room, and I remember looking out, seeing everyone's faces. A sea of empathy knocked me over. The thought crossing their minds, what if that were us? It felt like a knife was being driven through my heart. We weren't going to be one of those happy parents to be anymore.
I had lost our baby. Me. My body. Gone.
Even now I still get days where I still feel like a failure. Nothing I did could will my body to protect our baby. My body felt the need to dispel and get rid of the foreign thing that was inside my body. Our darling beautiful, child that we'll never get to meet.
When you've never experienced miscarriage. You think oh, that's horrible. But never mind. There's always next time? Right?
Until it happens to you.
I was guilty of this, and to this day I wish I could take it back. To the parents that have been through the agony, I can guarantee that they think, "Yes there might be a next time, but I want this time. This god damn time, I want it back!"
At the point where you have just found out your proverbial world has been pulled out from beneath you, you don't give a damn about next time
As much as the people that care for you try, they will never truly understand how or what it feels like to be in the position that you are in, and whatever comes out of their mouths, they mean no harm. They just don't know what to say. As hurtful as their comments might feel, they are the ones there that will pull you through the undoubtedly -enter any profanity here- time.
Because that's what it is. No fancy frills just all rounded -enter any profanity right slap bang here-. I would never want anyone to feel what it truly feels like to be in our position. Never. I would rather take on some hurtful comment that was never meant in the way it was taken, than for anyone to suffer the way we have. A thousand times over.
To this day, I get days where I don't want to crawl out from under my stone. All it takes is a faint reminder, and I remember that I lost our baby. I carried our baby, and it was my job to keep them safe. The guilt can swallow you whole, if you allow it to. And you know what? Some days it does. But it's ok, to not be ok. Even if it feels like everyone else has moved on, and they've unintentionally forgotten what day it will be. Allow yourself to grieve. Be honest with yourself.
And to the family and friends who haven't got the clue what to do or say, just be there for both mum and dad. Just because dad wasn't physically carrying their baby, doesn't mean he isn't suffering too. Hug them, tell them it's a - enter a lot and a shedful of profanity here- situation. Treat them as you would anyone who had lost a dear loved one. Just because you didn't get to meet them, doesn't make them any the less real. When anniversaries come, don't shy away. Talk about it, ask questions. No matter how awkward you might feel. We want to remember our babies. It's when no one talks about them, you start to feel that no one cares. That they've forgotten. Of course that's silly, because how could you ever forget one of your children?
That's just the beginning. In more ways than one. Good and bad. If you're one of the lucky ones. You will trudge through the storm and find your wonderful, precious rainbow that you will be ever thankful for. But if you haven't yet had that chance. Keep fighting. Never let the flame die out. Remember the pain, and the angst. It reminds us that we, well are. You will find your rainbow in the darkest of places. In the hell of all storms. Never stop looking.
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