Today should be my due date. I should be cradling my beautiful newborn in my arms, gazing into his or her perfect little face and feeling as though all my blessings had come at once. Instead, I am crouching at a pretty grave site in a beautiful woodland where my tiny child rests with the other little angels who didn't make it as far as their mothers' arms.
Let us rewind a year... and there I was. My children were healthy and growing, my husband's business was beginning to take off and he had found a hobby he liked and I was studying for a degree in a subject I love, working a little part-time job which I thoroughly enjoyed and had my own little car for the first time in over 15 years. Life was good and I was happy.
Then I found out I was pregnant. It was unplanned and unexpected. We had decided some time before that our 3 children were enough. I had miscarried several times before and didn't want to feel that loss again, and my husband was enjoying the freedom that having older, more independent children gives you. But we dealt with it, I fell in love with my tiny baby from the instant I knew it was there and it didn't take long for me to re-order my life in my mind to make room for this pending new addition.
And then...bleeding. Only a little, but enough
The next three weeks consisted of a series of scans, blood tests, more scans and more blood tests. They couldn't see enough, was I sure of dates? Bloods kept rising but not enough, scans showed growth but no fetal pole, where was the sac positioned? All the signs pointed towards it being an ectopic pregnancy and I was devastated.
And then, a little miracle!
A teeny, tiny little jellybean with a fluttering heartbeat was there on the screen! I could have kissed the consultant who ordered one more scan before taking me in to remove my ovary! Sadly though I was already bleeding heavily by then, and just a few days later, I miscarried.
The staff at the hospital were lovely and told me of a woodland burial service they offer.
It felt right to have somewhere to put my little child to rest, and it was comforting to know they would be with others just like them
Now what I want from my life has changed, I yearn for another child even though I know it is not practical. In the past I managed to move on from losing my babies. Each miscarriage was different but there was always hope. I would try again and I would get there!
This time there will be no trying again and it breaks my heart. Don't get me wrong, I count my blessings (of which there are many) every single day, and I have tried to move forward with my life. Some days, however, I feel I am just going through the motions and there's always a space in my heart for this last child I lost which it can't be filled with my job, a car, schoolwork or even my husband and children.
So today I have taken a birthday present to my child, a dragonfly made of wire and sparkly marbles which matches one already in my garden. I have placed it next to the robin I took over at Christmas, and the Easter eggs and flowers placed there by a loving sibling of another tiny child. It's a beautiful place which one day will be reclaimed by trees. I can't think of a nicer place to rest.
I am sure things will become easier with time and am I hopeful that once today has passed I can begin to piece myself back together. But today... today I have allowed myself to fall apart. I have dwelled on the little person who should have been. I have let the tears fall unchecked and I have been kind to myself.
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