ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE OF MY HEART | FERTILITY
I can't believe it happened again. I mean, I can. I went to a Tarot Reader back in June and asked her with excitement when I would fall pregnant. I was not prepared for her answer. "Not for 6 to 12 months, and it will take a LOT of work for you to have a healthy baby... and you may have another loss first." Talk about Doom-Reader. I walked out of there shell-shocked and cried for days after.
You see, as much as I'd like to be, I'm not the "grain of salt" person. I'm the kind of person that lets these things get in my head and feed my anxieties. (I know, I know, not the type of person who should go to a psychic- lesson learnt!) So when we found out I was pregnant, I was already anxious that the pregnancy wouldn't last, but tried my hardest to be happy and put the Doom- Reader out of my mind.
We found out we were pregnant a couple of days before embarking on our month long trip to Europe. Ironically, after five months of unsuccessfully trying to conceive post miscarriage, we fell pregnant the month we "didn't try". As I told my husband I didn't want to be pregnant overseas with all the flying and stress of being away from home. And I wanted to take Archie on all the rides in Disneyland- so best not to try. Isn't that how life works? Of course we were over the moon with the surprise news. Cautiously over the moon, but so, so grateful to be pregnant again. I almost pulled out of the trip, but for months Archie had been talking about going to Disneyland, Dubai and Italy so much that it would have broke my heart to let Daddy go without him. So we armed ourselves with the recommendations, herbs and supplements from our wonderful Fertility Naturopath and headed off for our adventure. I had my bloods done just before leaving and all the levels showed a perfectly strong pregnancy. We were good to go.
Almost three weeks into our trip I was lying on a deck chair on Isola Bella as Dave was on the last day of his campaign shoot. Archie was sitting at my feet eating Pizza and said "Mum, I can see blood on your swimmers." "No you can't," I replied laughing. "That's just the pattern." An hour later I felt something and to my horror he was right. I was bleeding. Not a lot and it was brown, but I knew it was the beginning of the end. I was 9 weeks pregnant. We went to the hospital in Taormina, but it was horrendous. Dirty, crowded- prison like facilities. No reception, just a button on the wall and a line of sick people. I wasn't in pain and it was still just spotting so I decided to go back to our Villa, get into bed and ride it out. I was on bed-rest for the next 5 days. I was only spotting a little brown and there wasn't much cramping, so I was hoping it would be OK. I did some research and found a great hospital in Istanbul and decided if I was still spotting I would get a scan when I got to Turkey.
A week of spotting and mild cramps without being able to find out what was happening was torture. Every toilet trip filled with anxiety. I prayed and cried so much in the days leading up to the scan hoping everything would be OK. I was holding onto the fact that I still felt so pregnant, but deep down I knew I wasn't. Maybe it was the flying, maybe it would have happened anyway, I will never know. But when I looked at the monitor and saw a large black hole where the baby should be, I literally felt that hole mirrored in my heart. Five hours later I was in an operating room in Istanbul having a D&C.
This loss wasn't as dramatic as my last- I hadn't heard a heart beat, I didn't bleed by myself all night on the bathroom floor while my husband was away and there is a little comfort knowing it was an anembryotic pregnancy and the foetus didn't develop. But it's still painful. It's still a shock to the system. And just so sad.
I wish more than anything that this wasn't my story. That my fertility journey wasn't playing out this way. I'm not sure I'm even going to share this post. It's 2.54am I'm in a hotel in Istanbul and I can't sleep. My hormones are crashing and I am feeling emotional. I keep thinking that I don't want people to feel sorry for me, I don't want to be the poster girl for miscarriage. I just want to be a normal mum who can give her son a brother or sister. I don't know. Maybe I should keep it quiet, pretend it never happened. But the reality is it did happen. This is my story. And like it or not, I'm a"mummy blogger"- and being a mum isn't all cute onesies and designer prams. It can also be heartache and struggle and constantly doubting yourself.
So I'm hoping my story will give a voice to others who silently struggle with fertility. Women who scroll through their Instagram feeds full of beautiful bellies and babies and feel that desperate ache to the core of their soul. Women who feel like their body is failing them, who feel like they can't do what we are put on this earth to do. Yeah, it's tough. Beyond tough. Sometimes I sit in the car and scream at the top of my lungs. I have cried my way through spin classes and spent countless nights laying awake wondering if I should keep trying to do this. It taking a toll. On my confidence. On my family.
Many women share their fertility struggles after they have had their rainbow baby. And I love reading these stories. But I need to tell it while the struggle is real. The reality is that I don't know if I will have my rainbow. All I can do is be grateful for what I do have. And I am. I truly am. But boy do I hope I get my happy ending. That my family gets their rainbow. And their mum and wife back.
I managed to get to a really strong place of acceptance and gratitude after my first miscarriage, and I know I will get there again. It may just take a little time.
I'd love to hear from those who have experienced loss and welcome you to share your story.