10 Months Old

Gideon is 10 months old today.

10 months. It seems such an age. I can’t even imagine how he would have looked at 10 months; how it would have felt to hold him, watch him laugh and smile at me.

It’s strange. I can’t imagine every being pregnant now. I know I was – for over 6 months, and in the back of my mind I remember feeling the morning sickness, the kicks, the rolls, hearing his heartbeat, seeing him kicking around on the screen, watching my belly grow with him.

I remember all that, but it’s like a dream. Something I read about, or something I watched on TV. A fantasy perhaps, like winning the lottery. But not real. I can’t imagine ever being pregnant.

And I certainly can’t imagine ever being pregnant again. It feels like something that happens to other people, happier people, luckier people, normal people; people with happy, normal lives and families. I try to imagine taking a pregnancy test, one day in the undefined future, and seeing two lines, and I can’t. I try to imagine going for a scan and seeing my baby in there and I can’t. I try to imagine feeling a baby kick inside me and I can’t. I try to imagine holding my living, breathing, healthy child and taking them home and it seems more likely that I will win the lottery, or get hit by a meteor.

I don’t just feel that I will never have that, I feel it is an impossible dream. I can’t imagine it. The time when I was pregnant seems like a dream, nothing more, a short time when I was more than an unlucky woman, a woman who has experienced so much unhappiness, who lives in chronic pain every day. For those short months I was normal, like everyone else. I could actually relate to people who were pregnant, people pushing their prams, people talking about their children, I wasn’t so impossibly different, so impossibly unlucky. I felt human.

My time had come and I was at last getting this special gift.

But in my heart, I knew it was too good to be true. There was NO way I was going to have a normal, healthy pregnancy with a healthy baby to take home at the end. I knew it, my family knew  it – it was too good to be true.

And now 10 months later, all I have is those dreamlike memories of my normal. The normal that ended the moment my waters broke, the normal that I said goodbye to when I stood over my son’s incubator and watched him suffer.

I’ve accepted that I don’t get normal now – it’s not for me. My life will never be perfect 2.4 children, my own home, boring family life etc etc. But does that mean I can’t have my pregnancy and an earth baby too?

I can’t imagine it. I can’t imagine ever being pregnant again.

Let alone bringing home a healthy baby.

And right now, I’m not depressed about it. I just sadly acknowledge it. It may never happen for me. Somehow I must accept that.

Happy 10 months my perfect little boy. You were my glimpse of happiness. My angel of Joy.

And my soul sings for the love I feel for you and the 17 days we spent together.

One for sorrow

I saw a magpie today.

A magpie in case you didn't know what one looked like.

 

One magpie. There are never magpies in my garden. But one? My first thought was

One for sorrow

One for sorrow

One for sorrow

Not two for joy, not three for a girl, not four for a boy.

One for sorrow.

And the memory of the raven I saw only 2 days before my son’s death came back to me.

So I wrote a little rhyme.

 

Don’t you dare Mr Magpie. Don’t you dare.

Bring a friend or two, I don’t care,

We’ve had enough sorrow. I need some joy. 

I need a little girl, or a baby boy,

Fly away magpie, fly away home,

Whatever you do, don’t come here alone.

No Time to Lose

I was reading this wonderful post: Not better, not worse by “by the Brooke” on the idea that certain types of baby/child loss are “better” or “easier” than others and it made me think.

Would it have been “easier” if Gideon had not lived for 17 days? Some people tell mother’s of stillbirth that it was easier, because their child did not live outside the womb. But I do not agree. I have always said that I felt so privileged that my son lived for those 17 days, I would have found it so much harder had he been born sleeping.

Now, we have these 17 days of memories, as well as all the memories during his pregnancy. I have an idea of his personality, I have these little parts of him and his life that DH and I (only DH and I) can share. Memories of the first time he opened his eyes, memories of him waving his feet at us, memories of his tiny, sweet cry, memories of him hitting doctors who tried to examine him, memories of holding him while he slept, so peaceful in my arms.

Our memories, his memories. They are him. We knew him, we had 17 days to get to know our little man, to examine every single millimetre of him, to learn about him, to read to him, to sing to him, to love him.

And I feel blessed for that. Because if he had been born at 22 weeks when my water’s broke, or had he died “in utero” all I would have is the memory of the pregnancy, the idea of who he might have been.

Some might tell me it was “better” than he didn’t survive for longer, for months, that I hadn’t had to get to know him better and then let him go. But as “by the Brooke” says, it’s no better or worse. It’s just different.

I meet a lot of women from the forum I started on fertility friend for late loss/infant loss mom’s. Mother’s who lost children to SIDS, or later even. And I empathize with them, I cry for them often, but our losses are different, I cannot say I know what they are going through, because I don’t. I never see my loss as worse than someone who has a stillbirth or a so-called second trimester “miscarriage” before 20 weeks, which the doctors don’t even count as a stillbirth, but the woman must still go through labour and push out their child and watch them die. It isn’t better, it isn’t worse. It just is. We can only share our grief, we cannot share how it feels to walk our path.

I love my memories of my son. I love how we can fall back on those days when we talk about Gideon.

And I feel awful for those that never got to have that, while I’ve been told by other loss mothers that they feel awful for me, because he lived and I had to let him go, we had to let him go.

I am jubilant that I knew him, for however short or long his life was, and that I still feel him with him. Every day.

I’m out

I didn’t actually need to test, my temperature dropped below coverline, so this cycle is already over.

I feel so deeply crushed, like someone plucked out what was left of my hope and burnt it. Then stomped on the ashes. Then threw them in the air and blew them away.

My arms ache so much with emptiness. I just want my baby to hold and love. But as always I must love my son from afar.

If you have children – even one, if you can have children, if you can get pregnant – appreciate it, realise just how lucky you are. Pick up your babies now and give them a hug from me. You may want more, you may be trying again, but just realise how wonderful it is that you can hold your precious child. If you get annoyed when they keep you up crying all night, next time smile because they can cry. When they have a tantrum and you feel like shouting, just once, smile, because they have the life to have a tantrum.

Not everyone has happy endings.

And I’m beginning to wonder if I’ll get mine.

 

10 Days Past Ovulation

This has to be the most nerve wracking two week wait ever.

I don’t know why, but it is. I’m still a bit hopeful that this will be my month.

At some point of course I’ll have to put myself INTO misery and test. I can see it now, that single line staring back at me, the space where the second line should be taunting me with it’s bright whiteness.

I should be seeing two lines. Two nice pink lines, nice and dark and clear.

But I know more likely than not, it isn’t going to end that way. I keep telling myself it will, I still have a chance, and in passing moments I have flutters of hope in my belly, then I have this river of underlying despair which I know will emerge the day I take that test.

And I just want it to be my month.

I’ve waited so long. I don’t want to take a month off, I don’t want a hysto, I just want to be pregnant. I’ve waited, I’ve been kind and understanding and patient, I’ve been supportive of others. I just want my turn to come, without thousands of pounds I can’t afford on treatments I don’t really want.

I think I’ve put too much hope into this cycle, allowed my imagination to drift away to thoughts of pregnancy and babies. It’s going to be crushing if I have to see another negative test.

Why does it have to be SO hard?

 

My appointment at the miscarriage clinic

Well, it was today and it went well.

I saw a lovely nurse called Anne-Maria. She took all my history and all my weird symptoms down.

She said she had spoken to Dr F and they had agreed that it seems likely it was my cervix that caused my pPROM and loss. But they want to test for absolutely everything else that could cause it, so they can  be sure.

They took many, many vials of blood. Testing me for sticky blood and lupus and I don’t even know what else. But they had trouble getting my  blood, as usual and had to call the anaesthetist in to try and draw blood from the stone that is me. He made a lovely mess by getting blood all over the floor, over him, over me…but he got his blood. Ouch, I hate having blood taken from my hands.

And on the 7th of February I have my hysteroscopy. Under full anaesthetic, but that’s just how it is.

I am nervous, but I know it’s important. They are going to check my internal and external cervix for weakness and dilation, so they can decide whether to TAC me or TVC me. I’d love a TAC of course, it would mean no bed rest, and a much higher chance of carrying to term. But I trust Dr F, he knows what he’s doing.

So, it’s all happening here.

On the only minus side, I can’t try to get pregnant from now on until about 2 weeks after the procedure. So next month is out.

So unless I get pregnant this month, which I am deeply hoping I will, then I have only March to get pregnant, otherwise there will be no 2012 rainbow for me. I feel a bit sad about that. But I know this is important. I don’t want to get pregnant just to lose the baby. I always said I would go through my last pregnancy, even if I knew Gideon would die, because for the time I met him, it was amazing. I would never take away those 17 days.

But I couldn’t do it again, I want to be able to bring home my baby next time.

I love my angel, but my heart hurts that I must love him from afar.

Talking of my perfect angel, he sent us this, wonderful double rainbow on the way to the clinic today. How amazing is that? Gideon is so wonderful, I love him so much, I know he was telling me it’s going to be OK, our rainbow(s) is on the horizon.

 

This is going to be a long week

I ovulated four days ago. So far it looks like the 100mg clomid did the trick in making me ovulate properly. Nice high temps, still climbing, I hope they continue to climb, and then of course there is implantation. The one thing that was missing from my first clomid cycle. I had these perfectly climbing temps, but it never dropped at 7-10dpo for implantation like it should have done. This month is going to be different. It’s going to implant.

Here eggy eggy eggy. Implant my little one, mummy needs you.

A week, a week and I can test to see if I’m pregnant.

A very long week as this is my last clomid cycle for a couple of cycles at least. And that could mean a lot of frustration.

And on Thursday…well, on Thursday is my appointment at the miscarriage clinic.

It’s funny what you get excited about when you’ve lost a child.