Three and a half years ago and it was an experience I don’t ever think I’ll ever fully come to terms with. How can you when what happened is so cruel, unexplained and completely out of your control? October is tainted a cruel month.
It was two weeks to go until I turned 30 and I was on top of the world. We had planned a holiday to Disneyland in the Easter because I would be due late summer/ early autumn. I had told my mum I would need a larger bridesmaid dress, much to her horror that I wouldn't match my sister and I'd been out to pick up an isofix base because it was an absolute steal on a Facebook selling site. My maternity exempt card was through, and I started planning as much free dental treatment as I could get away with! But Thursday morning, I woke up and had a feeling. I went to work, still not quite right. Maybe morning sickness is finally kicking in, I'd had nothing up to that point. My friend said I look pasty. Bloody hell I felt it. I had started teaching year 13 and luckily it was a self-directed lesson by the students. Something was telling me to just go to the toilet whilst they started working. There's a lot to be said for gut instinct. The unbearable was beginning, I was starting to lose my baby.
Fighting back anxiety, tears and gut raw instincts to scream was the hardest ten minutes I remember, whilst I walked back in my classroom to get my handbag and say I wasn't feeling well. I didn't see them for two weeks. By the way never underestimate the sympathy and love teenagers can offer someone suffering.
I reflect on this time now not wanting to go into the ins and outs of what happens to the body. Anyone reading this who has miscarried will know too well the physical and emotional tearing it grips you with. I do though want to look back and recognise loneliness around baby loss and what it means. It is a loneliness that comes from the feeling of failure, from letting others down, the hopes and plans you build in your head for what should be your future and belonging, it lingers within you. No matter how many people are around you supporting you, the pain and self blame can very easily push you away from others.
I didn’t want anyone near me but my lost baby, but at the same time all I wanted was cuddling so tight it would almost take the pain away from what was going on inside. When I did want to just rant and bellow, I also didn’t want to ‘burden’ people. Some parents go through so much worse, so why should my pain be important?
But there came a point, and it was about a month later, where I needed someone, otherwise I would have gone down a much darker path. I needed my husband to repeatedly apologise to, I needed my mum to talk inanely about her latest eBay bargain and how great Taylor Swift looked in the video for Blank Space. I needed my sister to tell me her friends' experiences and how they were ok, deeply hurt but ok. So I guess as I sit here looking back three years, I just want you to know whichever situation you’re up against right now that feels so dark, the time you feel ready to raise your head out of it, call and people will be there so badly wanting to help you. Your issue will matter to them because you matter to them. You really never are alone, and though it often feels like nobody understands the pain, let people listen to you and try to understand. They will offer support in ways that are not numbing of the pain (because lets face it nothing can take it away) but will listen, And the talking bit is so important when you are ready. xxx