Superman to the rescue
I’ve never opened up about my miscarriage before. Since it happened, I think I’ve only allowed myself to get upset about it once. I blocked out my emotions. Why? I thought of the parents who had experienced many miscarriages, those whose babies were tragically stillborn, and people who were suffering terrible things, such as life-threatening illnesses. What gave me the right to get upset when there were so many others worse-off than me? Now I realise that loss, no matter how small, is still loss and we should allow ourselves to grieve.
Let’s go back in time. Greg and I had been trying for a baby and I was a little worried how easy it would be after being told I had a cyst the size of an orange on one of my ovaries.
In typical me fashion, the cyst was discovered after the pain caused me to pass out on the bathroom floor NAKED. When I came round, still in agony, I hauled myself to the bedroom to get my phone and ring Greg. When he told me he would call an ambulance, I screeched: 'No, I’m naked! (P.s. I had been about to get in the bath, I wasn’t just spending the day starkers.)
Fast-forward past the trip to hospital and onto when I found out I was pregnant – it hadn’t taken long for us to conceive after all, and when I told Greg the news his eyes bulged out of his head in a happy but oh-my-god-it's-happening-already kind of way.
After the initial shock, we began to get excited. But weeks later, I began to bleed - a lot. We went to the EPU (early pregnancy unit) and I had a scan, which revealed I was miscarrying. Greg did his very best to say something light-hearted, to break the sadness in the room, but I just felt numb. I immediately wanted to forget about it. All of it.
But my body wouldn’t let me. I bled for six months and wondered if it was ever going to end. During those months I became a bit of a recluse, and the physical side of what I was experiencing took over the emotional pain that perhaps I should have been feeling. I lost so much blood that there was talk of me having a blood transfusion, but luckily it wasn't needed. By the time it was all over and my body had ‘healed’ or finished whatever it was trying to do, all I felt was relief.
In the year that followed, Greg and I decided to live our best lives and go out and have fun, which included travelling to Italy for our friends' wedding where we had an amazing time (and pretended we were 21 again), drinking and sunbathing to excess.
On our return to the UK, Greg and I decided to start trying for a baby again. It didn't happen as quickly this time around, so we were thrilled when we found out we were expecting for a second time.
After a nervous start and 16 weeks of nausea and vomiting, the pregnancy went smoothly and then, a day before his due date, Joey arrived in true superman style ‘flying’, with his hand appearing at the same time as his head! We couldn’t believe he was really here, our little hero.
Having a baby made me think more about the little life that had once been. Would it have been a he or she? What would they have been like? Joey would have been an older brother. We would have been a family of four. But they were fleeting thoughts. I was now wrapped up in the precious new life in my arms.
In writing this blog post, it has helped me process what happened and why I shut down instead of talking about it. I'm still learning, and I think the quote above sums it up for me - it's okay to feel things and be who you are about them.