At the time of writing this it's been 2 years, 11 months and 1 day since my first loss – my son, Hunter. It is 1 year, 2 months and 20 days since I lost my first daughter Esmae and 7 months, 24 days since I said goodbye to my second daughter Freya. In between losing Hunter and Esmae I had an early loss and since losing Freya I've suffered another early miscarriage. Whilst those two little ones were no less important than the babies we got to meet, hold and name, I somehow seem to cope with the early losses much better. I grieve for all my babies as a whole and I try to see each pregnancy, no matter how short lived, as signs to not give up.
Last year when I wrote my first 'Right Where I Am...' blog I was trying to look forward and to be hopeful. Since then I've been fortunate enough to have fallen pregnant twice more, although I still have no living children. Whilst I'm still just as hopeful that things will eventually work out for us, I feel as if I'm only just clinging onto that hope for dear life.
Over the past three years my life has changed in ways I never could have imagined. I have felt my heart shatter, more than once, unleashing an unimaginable, indescribable pain and I feel alone in it all. My husband and I feel alone in it all. We feel more and more isolated from those around us. Sometimes it's as if everyone has forgotten, or they just don't dare ask how we're doing because they don't know how we are managing to cope, but somehow we do.
No matter how cheated I feel, I never feel angry at the world for the hand we have been dealt. I do, however, find myself feeling increasingly bitter and envious of those around us. Those who seemingly sail through their pregnancies without a care and then get to take their baby home at the end of it all. They get to experience it all as it should be. I tell myself that deep down I am happy for them, but I honestly don't know if that's true. I get so angry at myself for not feeling truly happy for them and for having to distance myself from them, but it just hurts too much.
Pregnancy and birth announcements can reduce me to tears, probably more so now than a couple of years ago. I remind myself I'm not crying because they are happy and I am not. I reassure myself I'm crying because their announcements remind me of what I once had and have lost. There have been so many announcements in recent years I've lost track. It's far easier to count those around us who don't have children or aren't pregnant at the moment. I can count them with one hand still firmly in my pocket. I feel as if my husband and I are being left behind.
The spells of feeling 'normal' seem to be lasting longer these days, which is nice. I've even caught myself having the odd fleeting moment where I've forgotten any of this has happened. This isn't necessarily a bad thing and I don't feel guilty for momentarily forgetting. It's strangely comforting; to know this will always be with me, but I can live with it more easily now. I know there will always be reminders of what my husband and I are missing out on and they will always be hard to deal with. The other day I was walking home from work and there was a little girl, no more than two years old, and her mum walking slowly down the hill towards me. The little girl wandered off course and her mum called her name to stop her from venturing too far – she called out my daughter's name and it pulled me right back to reality. Little jolts like that are hard to prepare yourself for.
We've been through so much I sometimes think it seems almost fictional. Yet, I live each day with pieces of me missing and it doesn't matter what the future brings, those pieces will always be missing from me.
At this point last year I was hopeful to start trying again and I will feel that way again soon, but for now, a little over a month on from my last loss, I need to focus on myself. Even just for a few more weeks so I have one less thing to worry about. Whilst I need to keep going, keep trying and keep moving forward, the tally of pregnancies which have been cut short, due to a whole host of separate reasons, sticks with me.
Our family is growing more quickly than anyone else's around us, but I'm the one still sitting at the computer in our spare room desperately wishing it was the nursery we had planned, pictured and shopped for. I'm the one who can't look at another little baby for fear of forgetting what my own babies looked like or in case they snap me back into reality and make me remember the raw pain that can only come from loving so strongly and which I try to push deep down each day.
Sometimes I think it's a good thing we can't predict the future. I am here, almost 3 years on from losing my first baby and I'm glad that I didn't know then what I know now. I'm so glad I didn't know what was in store for us. In a strange way I wouldn't change the past, but I could never have pictured this would be where I am right now.
You can read Lindsay’s previous post here: