Bad Mum 2B

Bad Mum 2B

Friday, 13 July 2018

My rainbow baby

I’ve always been an incredibly impatient person. If I have an inkling there is a surprise in the pipeline I need to have all the details asap. Never have I experienced impatience like when I was barely one day late in March 2017. As my fiancĂ© Antony was halfway out the door to work I began excitedly waving a pregnancy test stick. “I think there is another very faint line!” Ever the pragmatist he advised me to “wait a few days”. For me, a few days may as well have been a few years. I went to work getting more and more excited, daydreaming of the possible happiness of the next 9 months. I dashed out on my lunchbreak and got another test. More waiting to read the result. Filled with anxiety that this ‘pregnant feeling’ I had might be contradicted. It was from this moment that hope became such a huge bearing in my life. I hoped this little plastic stick could make my dreams come true. Sure enough they did with the word bold and bright as day ‘PREGNANT’. Sitting in that cubicle I could have burst out of my own skin with happiness. I wanted to tell everyone but somehow managed to contain myself. I shared the news with Antony and he promptly began ordering baby books and guides. I picked him up after work and we turned into puddles of happy tears. Unfortunately our joy was to last for 7 weeks and 4 days.

As I lay on the hospital scan bed, clinging Antony’s hand, tears streamed down my face, I heard the nurse say ‘There’s no heartbeat. I’m sorry, but you have lost the baby’. These words confirmed what I had known in my heart when I had started bleeding that morning. They were also very confusing for me. I had ‘lost’ the baby. I mean, you lose your keys, your bobbles, hairclips. Misplace them through being busy or careless. There’s almost an element of blame in those words. ‘Silly me, losing the keys’, but how do you ‘lose’ a baby? Have I ‘lost’ our baby? My brain whirled and my heart broke. The hope I had clung to about our future had completely gone. In the weeks following, I underwent a physically difficult miscarriage. I had the tablet treatment twice which were both unsuccessful. Many scans. Then eventually surgery as my little one was clinging on to me.

The feelings I felt in the weeks that followed completely bowled me over. I expected to feel sad, but I did not expect the other feelings I had. I felt ashamed and guilty. My body had let both me and Antony down. Somehow it had to be my fault. Maybe those two antihistamines I took, exercising, too much stress at work. I blamed myself. I was also so angry and it made me doubt everything I believed. How could this have happened to us? Was this karma for a wrongdoing of mine? I found myself becoming increasingly jealous and sad at the sight of pregnant women’s bulging bellies, which of course compounded my feelings of guilt. I was a bad person for feeling that way. I was so hard on myself. Over time, what felt like a long time, those feelings eased as I found support in sharing my experience with friends who had also suffered miscarriage. I read a book called ‘A loss Misunderstood’ by Jaclyn Pieris which also really helped me to understand how I felt was normal. I kept busy; projects in the garden, I went back to work and resumed ‘normality’, though the grief I felt continued to harbour in my heart.

I knew I wasn’t ‘ok’ but I was desperate to be pregnant again and within a couple of months we started to try again. I became obsessed with tracking my temperature, diet, activities. After my second cycle I took a test before work and it was negative. When I came home from work that day I looked at the test again. Sure enough a second very faint line was there. Those two faint lines showed again, and again. I was pregnant. I couldn’t believe it. I was so shocked and also really scared and anxious about what could happen. I tried to brush those feelings to the side and me and Antony shared in our happiness once again. A week later, I looked in horror as I discovered those familiar red marks. I met Antony at the hospital and I was completely heartbroken already, convinced I was having another miscarriage. We sat in the same waiting room, fighting back tears. The same scan room. Same bed. Same nurse. Same invasive scan. I clung to Antony’s hand again. This time I heard “Your baby is absolutely fine. See the little heartbeat”. I broke down in tears as relief swirled through my body, staring at that screen at our little precious baby. The bleeding and uncertainty continued for another 3-4 weeks and I was back and forth to the hospital for scans to check on our little one.

Throughout the pregnancy I suffered deeply with anxiety. I went to CBT and tried my best to ‘think positively’. It was a really difficult time, but having the support and reassurance of Antony was crucial. It wasn’t until our baby girl arrived in this crazy world that my anxiety fully subsided. 

Rose Lesley Warner was born on 18th February in a whirlwind labour. Being Rose’s mum has given me such a purpose. I love her unconditionally and everyday I find so much joy in us being together. Don’t get me wrong, I have no idea what I am doing and motherhood has challenged me to the core, but I feel like me and Rose have both fought for this and it was worth every single second. I know how lucky I am. I know there are many other mothers in the world who haven’t yet had the chance to hold their babies. I hope and pray that one day they do and send love and strength to each and everyone.

By Nicki @_nix21_

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