It’s been a while since my last post. Exactly a year, in fact. This time last year, I wrote about Baby Loss Awareness Week and my teetering steps through the early stages of what was my sixth (and most certainly my last) pregnancy. So much has changed in my life since that post, those changes also underpinning the various reasons I’ve not written another blog post in the meantime….
Yes, that would be you, my darling baby boy – the angst that accompanied almost every moment of my pregnancy with you (ergo, if I wrote about it during my pregnancy, that might have tempted fate, and not in a good way); the not-a-little-dramatic nature of your arrival earth-side, which left me physically utterly wrecked for many months; the magical, precious early weeks and months of domestic life with a newborn – who gets anything practical done in that phase anyway? (hush, you lucky people who bounce back and operate normally before 6 months post-partum!); and of course your ongoing love of remaining within 2 feet of me at all times, and the consequent lack of sleep. It is a joy, really it is (yes, even the sleep deprivation). Just a pretty tiring kind of joyousness that isn’t all too conducive to crafting regular, carefully thought through blog posts.
All that said, I couldn’t let this date pass by without writing about Baby Loss Awareness Week, and how it feels one year on from those anxious days when I was, as I said in my post last year, quietly hopeful about my pregnancy. So here I’ll share a bit of a tumble of reflections about life and parenting after loss. I hope this will mark the beginning of more regular writing and blogging because, as I’ve learned over the last couple of years, writing and sharing my musings does good things for my head and soul. And when you discover those things which work some kind of funny magic, I reckon you should hold onto them, and keep doing them (more of that on another post soon, I promise). Back to my reflections, in a bulleted list, as is my way:
- Experiencing multiple miscarriages has changed me, forever. And in really good, important nourishing ways. I have wondered recently whether the fact that my rainbow boy is here (and therefore, in some ways, my journey with the hideousness of pregnancy loss is over) would mean that BLAW2017 wouldn’t matter to me so much. But it does – because recurrent miscarriage is part of my story, I feel so strongly that the world will be just a little bit better and easier for people going through miscarriage if issues of pregnancy loss were spoken about more openly, and for those reasons I’ll probably never stop talking about it – in one way or another.
- Navigating pregnancy after loss is tough. Pretty much every day of my pregnancy with my sweet little boy was marked by some degree of angst – sometimes in my head (note I don’t say ‘just in my head’ – the head kind of angst is as valid and important as worry based in something untoward actually happening); sometimes the angst was entirely founded in pregnancy stuff being actually awry, such as reduced foetal movement. I experienced several instances of this, including shortly before T was born. More on that in another post soon, perhaps.
- Parenting after loss is tough too. I’ve not quite processed my thoughts on this properly yet, and when I do they may well stay off cyberspace, but what I can say now is that all we went through to have our little boy and give his wonderful big sister a sibling has left me with strength but also an awareness of the fragility of ‘how things might have been different.’ The positive, nourishing face of this fragility is – however clichéd it may sound – that I feel hugely blessed at the sweet faces of joy that greet my sleep-deprived foggy face every morning, and I take nothing for granted.
- For all that recurrent miscarriage is part of my story, I am so so so happy to wave goodbye to all things pregnancy-related. The diary-tracking, the supplements, the concoction of meds that did weird things to me in pregnancy. Me and my body (and my family, of course) have had enough of you – be gone. Enough said.
- Experiencing pregnancy loss taught me so much about love, and connectedness and belonging. (I know this is probably a bit cryptic for what should probably be a pithy, easy-read post. Sorry about that.) Experiencing miscarriage has helped me to know myself better, to know what I need to do to nourish body, soul, and mind. It has given me a new perspective on wellbeing and mental health, and has enabled me to have conversations with people – in real life and on t’interweb – about mental health that I think are [pretty powerful.
- It has showed me the strength that comes from finding a community of people who can really empathise and support each other. And it has given me my sweet, joyful, kind little boy. The fourth in our quartet – as it was always supposed to be
All the love. Just that.