There was a time when a pregnancy test declaring me pregnant was accepted with joy, mixed with trepidation and elation. those were the innocent times, the happy times. I call them the ‘naive years’. The years before. And it certainly feels like another life now.
Sadly, I have forgotten what that felt like.
By the time my third pregnancy (whilst still waiting for that baby in arms) arrived, I was looking at that word that suddenly appeared on the small monitor of my snazzy £5 pregnancy test and when my brain finally computed the correct order of the letters, that’s when it really hit me.
It wasn’t the sudden rush of emotions, the butterflies-in-my-stomach feeling, the hurray moment I was looking for.
The message sort of fell flat on me. Cos I felt….absolutely nothing, the word ‘Pregnant’ suddenly didn’t mean sh*t to me.
I was well and truly in the realms of the double-edged sword that is PAM, or for those you not in the know, that means Pregnancy After Miscarriage.
Pregnancy After Miscarriage is a time when you leave the cosy womb of the TTC (here’s another acronym for you, trying to conceive) phase and enter….literally unknown territory.
A miscarriage is hard to heal, it’s the paper cut that keeps on re-opening and people tell you to forget as it is nothing really, just ignore it and carry on.
But it burns, it keeps on requesting your attention and you can’t let go of the fact your body failed you.
FAILURE is such a bad thing in today’s world of immediate gratification, failure is something you can’t quite compute when you’ve got 24 hour takeaways and Amazon drone deliveries coming up. You CAN have everything you want, as quickly as you want. So why is my body the only one who is not getting the message I would like a baby right here and right now?
So you enter pregnancy with a deep mis-trust of your body, because after all, the clever little thing managed to confuse you first time round, even letting you experience the pangs of all-day sickness (I refuse to call it morning sickness as such is not) and then suddenly pulling the rug off your bum.
The word ‘Pregnant’ means fear, ‘brush-it-under-the-carpet’ news, don’t believe it till you have it, and so on.
It was a sad state of affairs for four and a half months in my case.
When most couple would announce at 12 weeks, I thought about what happened to me at 11 weeks, and that first scan didn’t make me feel at all secure.
On the eve of my 20 week scan, I realised I couldn’t carry on as I was and started searching for help. It wasn’t fair on the baby, who slowly but surely was growing and was even waving at me in my first scans.
First it was pregnancy yoga which helped immensely in making me bond with the growing life inside my tummy, and then I found my haven, my sanctuary, hypnobirthing.
As a very rational person, I initially rejected it for fear any teachings would ‘clash’ with my rational brain, but I knew I couldn’t carry on thinking about every possible scenario where things could go (scientifically) wrong so I forced myself to change my attitude and open up.
I discovered I could take it one day at a time, I found out I still had an incredible amount of fear within me, but gradually the tools I was given helped me first of all to face it, then to reign it, then to kick its ugly ass goodbye.
Hypnobirthing gave me focus and distraction and made me look forward to the birth of my wonderful baby boy.
I enjoyed the pregnancy as an amazing chance I was given and I truly rocked the birth too.
I felt empowered and truly grateful.
I still remember the feeling of emptiness in reading that word on the stick, and am not quite sure how I will feel if it happens to me again one day.
To the mums who went through this, or currently living the living hell that is miscarriage, I salute you. You are survivors, and like all survivors you are in need of a safety net.
Anyone’s safety net might be different, so please please please don’t stop looking for yours.
You deserve it mama.