The other night I had a dream that made me realise something.
It was a normal-ish dream, apart from the fact I wanted to confess my undying love for someone in the work place, that is. That person, not someone I know personally but is in one of my favourite telly programmes (no, it’s not MacGyver), seemed to like me too as we’ve had a few ‘moments’ but as I’m waiting for him on our lunch break (break from what, I don’t know, I have no idea what my job is) he blanks me completely and proceeds to tell someone his girlfriend is pregnant. For some reason, I go mental. Start shouting and swearing at him. He never told me he had a girlfriend, and just what the hell was he doing getting her pregnant? I get carted off by who I can only assume is my boss. He just wraps his arms around me, lifts and walks off with me and shoves me into an office and yells that I can’t act like that. What the hell made me start yelling at my colleagues? And slams the office door. He waits and eventually I tell him what it was that made me start yelling. “I’ve had two miscarriages,” I say and then tell him everything about how difficult it’s been, how it still hurts. When I’m finished, he’s nodding and he asks me, “do you ever talk about this?” My answer is no. I don’t.
That’s when I woke up and I realised, that as random as that dream was, I don’t talk about it. I don’t talk about my two miscarriages even though I’ve written about them for others too read to try get people to talk about it. I’ve had people contact me on social media telling me that I can talk to them, they’re there if I ever need them. Not to worry about even saying ‘hi’ just talk about what I need to. Have I taken these people up on their offers? Nope. Why? Possibly because I’m an idiot and would rather suffer on my own instead of leaning on others when I really need to. Or maybe, sometimes, it’s just too hard to talk about.
So, I’m going to talk about my miscarriages and why this January was a really, really shit month for me.
One thing you must understand is that when you find out you’re pregnant and given a due date, it sticks with you. It doesn’t matter that none of it’s going to happen, that it should be forgotten about, that it’s “no more”. It sticks with you.
When I first fell pregnant back in 2015, there was a girl in my workplace who also fell pregnant the same time as me. Was due the same time that I would have been. I lost my baby and then had to return to work and live with the fact that there was someone I would have to see and talk to who was going through everything that I wasn’t going to go through. The scans, the tiredness, the excitement. Would be going on maternity leave when I should have been and having her baby when I should have been having mine. It’s safe to say that this hampered my recovery. Already devastated and heart broken from my loss, it was like having my nose rubbed in it. It wasn’t. But that’s what it felt like. It was a constant reminder of what I’d lost. What I couldn’t have.
During this time, one of my closest friends fell pregnant. Now even though this friend was (and still is) wonderful, tactful and caring, it still hurt. A lot. It was only because of how much I love my friend that I managed to come to terms with it. Accept it even. I felt like I was a really shit friend during her pregnancy because I was going through so much emotional turmoil, I just couldn’t be there for her. Be excited for her, for that one thing she’d been longing for. Even so, she is still my friend to this day and I hope will be very a very long time.
Anyway, I had this idea that once October was out of the way (when I would have been due and when my colleague was due) I’d be okay. October was a rough month and I did feel a bit better but then I had January looming over me. Eventually, January came and my friend’s gorgeous baby was born. It was still difficult but I knew it would get better. It did. Apart from the overpowering, all consuming need to be pregnant. That didn’t ease until I gave up on the idea.
It took almost a year until I fell pregnant for the second time. Of course, I miscarried. On my husbands birthday.
I threw myself into carrying on with things, life, like last time and was doing pretty well until there were two announcements on social media at roughly the same time. That’s right. Two people I knew were due exactly when I would have been, in January. Two. It was like being kicked in the teeth, having my nose rubbed in it all over again but at least I didn’t have to see these people. Now, these two women are lovely. I’ve worked with both of them and both of them deserve happiness and lots of positive things but it still hurt. Luckily, neither of them filled my news feed with scan pictures or baby stuff. Because of this, I managed to carry on. Now, I’m not saying I forgot about my second loss but I didn’t keep either being reminded or reminding myself at the stage I should have been at. I “moved on” more successfully but never forgot. You don’t forget. Like I said, it sticks with you.
Then January came and I realised that it was January. I know it’s all ‘should have, would have could have’ and ‘if only’ but that was when I would have been due and within the same week, two babies were born.
I spiralled into a deep depression. Actually, I don’t think I even spiralled. I was just dropped in it.
When I use the the word depression, I do not use it lightly. I have suffered with depression since I was 14. I know what it is. It has followed me round ready to dig it’s viscous claws back in right when I’m doing okay. I have been on medication several times. Received therapy and counselling. I have methods for dealing with it all, for climbing the walls of that bottomless pit of inky darkness that swells up over my head, dragging me down, taking all of my energy and suffocating me. I know I can get out of it. It’s a long haul and I’m thoroughly exhausted at the end but I can do it. I will also keep on doing it for as long as I need to.
What made this period even harder for me was the fact that my friend’s daughter was turning one. I have met this beautiful baby and let me tell you, she is a wonderful, happy, gorgeous creation who is a credit to her parents. Never the less, it took me right back to how I felt when my friend told me of her pregnancy. How it felt when I was still recovering from my first miscarriage. All whilst I was dealing with the darkness that was overwhelming me because yet again, I wasn’t holding my first born in my arms but others were holding theirs.
It’s now February and I’m doing better. I think I’m about half way out of that pit, maybe a bit more but I’m getting there. I concentrate on things I enjoy, try keep my mind away from where it wants to dwell but most importantly, I acknowledge my feelings. That’s vital for recovery from just about anything I think. I acknowledge the pain, the loss, the void inside of me, the heartbreak, the devastation. I let myself cry when I need to instead of bottling it up and I acknowledge the fact that it’s okay to feel these things. To still feel these things even when others (who don’t know what they’re on about) tell you different. I may still be feeling these things in ten years time and you know something? That’s okay too. It’s also okay if I’m not. As long as I deal with it all in a way that’s right for me, it’s okay.
Yes, life goes on. Others are entitled to what you are not, what you cannot have or what keeps being taken from you. But you, someone who has suffered a miscarriage, still birth or any other devastating loss of a baby or child are entitled to mourn. Entitled to feel jealousy and anger. Entitled to talk about your loss and your feelings. But no one, and I mean no one,is entitled to make you feel bad for feeling the way you do.
So I’m going to try a little harder to talk about it and I hope you do too.