And that is right where I am today. Still wondering what happened. Still asking why. Still finding it hard to breathe through the pain. Still in disbelief it all went wrong after 40 weeks of worrying every single day and only tentatively taking a little breath at each stage we successfully passed: the positive pregnancy test, the first scan at 6 weeks, bleeding at 8 weeks, our 12-week scan and booking appointment, the first time we heard a heartbeat, the first little flutter of movement, a 20-week scan and all looked well, 28 weeks and she had a chance of survival if born too soon, 30 weeks and we had moved into our dream house, a 32-week growth scan and all looked perfect, and again at 36 weeks, stopping work at 37 weeks and embracing mat leave, a painted and fully stocked nursery by 38 weeks, 39 weeks and all of her clothes and towels were washed and put away, the moses basket was made up and ready by our bed, I had even opened the pack of nappies for easy access when we got home. I was so ready, although still didn't quite believe it was actually going to happen. I still ended every sentence with "all being well...". I didn't want to "tempt fate" or take anything for granted.
But we got in the car 11 weeks ago and felt a spark of excitement… “let’s go have a baby!”. We had done it. We had got to 40 weeks and we had made it. My baby girl was fully cooked and beautifully healthy. We handed ourselves over to the doctors and midwives to take over and get her out safely. Why didn’t that happen?
I know that was where I was 11 weeks ago, but it is where I am right now too. Re-living what happened, asking over and over if there was something else I could have done, if I should have known what was happening to my beautiful girl? Could I have shouted louder when I was bleeding? Should we have been more persistent in looking for help when the pain became unmanageable, so we didn’t have to wait 25 minutes to be seen. Questions upon question upon questions. Right where I am is still not knowing, still not understanding how this could have happened.
We have been given three hypotheses: a cord prolapse? Placental abruption? Uterine hyperstimulation? It could have been one, two or all of these. Or none of them at all. We have been waiting patiently for our appointment with the consultant, for the post mortem results and some answers. The letter came a few weeks ago… “you are invited to attend the pre-pregnancy clinic…”. This makes no sense. We are not “pre-pregnancy”, our hearts and minds are still in the depths of our first pregnancy. The memories so fresh and real. My bump, my baby, the hope. Do they not understand that she was it? All we had ever wanted, all our dreams in one little bundle.
Another pregnancy for us is a mountain we might never have the energy, funds or time to climb again. We can’t just try again the natural way and cross our fingers. That doesn’t work for us. And I had accepted that. I had taken the challenge of infertility, grabbed it with both hands and met it head on. And we beat it! We did it! We made a baby. So why isn’t she here?
If you had asked me before I started writing where I am right now, I would have said I was sad, missing my baby girl, but hopeful and finding things are getting a little easier each day. I thought I was feeling more positive about life, a gentle acceptance that this is the path we have been given to follow and we need to make the best of it. But it turns out that is just what I tell the people around me. And try desperately to tell myself too. But writing from my heart shows this isn’t me right now. I want to be good at this, to be the best “bereaved mummy” I can. To make people feel proud of how well I am coping. But that’s not being true to where I really am right now.
Writing this is allowing my anger to come out, my bitterness. It is giving me permission to shout out loud that IT ISN’T FAIR! Why the f*** did this happen to me? To my beautiful baby girl? That’s right where I am now and it’s not a place I want to be.