I still have more to write about losing the baby. It was just a lot to write in one go. I'll come back to it soon, though. I don't want to leave it too long.
Work have, in almost all respects, been really, really great to me since I lost the baby. They have been mega supportive. They've encouraged me to use the counselling service. They've asked what they can do to help. They've used the word bereavement in relation to my loss, which really helped.
But right now, I'm exhausted (...probably doesn't help that it's past 11pm and I'm still online). Since I went back this time I've had loads to do. It took me a good few days to feel able to really tackle anything at all. I didn't have a phased return last time. I didn't ask for one, and I hadn't quite been off long enough for them to ask if I wanted one. And even if they had I quite possibly wouldn't have said yes. (I do wish my doctor had suggested it though, seeing as she didn't want to send me back to work at that stage anyway. Ah well. Hindsight is 20:20, as ever.)
I was given a huge job, on only my second day back. Hardly any of the work that was building up was done. Part of the problem was that the girl who'd been mostly covering for me went on leave two days after I got back, so she just threw everything back to me and I was left to struggle as best I could. And I've had time off (paid) for counselling appointments and dental appointments so I've had even less time to do what needed to be done. I even took work home last Wednesday ffs. I NEVER do that.
In related news, I dug this book out the other day. I read through it again, particularly the last section, which talks about the amazing correlation between improved psychological and medical support and the success of pregnancy subsequent to miscarriage (fun fact for the day: one miscarriage makes you way more susceptible to pregnancy complications subsequently. because that will help people's sanity!). For further information on the loving care approach see here, or here or here for the medical paper behind this research - the control group had a 33% success rate for pregnancy post-miscarriage; the treatment group had 86% success rate. The numbers are small, and because of the nature of the treatment it can't be a blind trial, let alone a double blind one - but they are still staggering.
I read the book again. And today (because torturing myself is fun!) I reread my NEM form (that's the New and Expectant Mothers Risk Assessment Form for those not in the UK). It was really sad to read that form. To remember being in my line manager's office and thinking that i was pregnant with a living baby, remember the excitement i felt, not knowing that it had already died. (Why yes, I do pick at scabs. How did you know?)
And I saw all the things that a pregnant woman in the UK can ask for. And I realised that I was offered these things. And I turned them down.
I just carried on as before.
And I don't blame myself for what happened, not really.
But after reading that last chapter again - after reading about how supportive loving care can make a hell of a lot of difference in subsequent pregnancies - I realised that I have to start advocating for myself. I have to look after myself. Once I'm pregnant again (...... please .....) I have to ask for a place I can rest in private. I'm entitled to it. I need to make them provide it.
At the end of the day, they aren't going to force me to take advantage of this if I don't ask them to. So it's up to me.
So there isn't somewhere currently? That's their problem. I need to not make it mine by refusing to ask. Where there's a will there's a way.
I've mentioned this book before. It's worth mentioning again. It's very good.
It makes me feel better that I've decided all this. It makes me feel that me actually having a living baby might be possible.