october is here again. tuesday next week marks one year since our twelve-week scan. one year since we sat in the darkened room, laughing and watching as our baby moved around, leaping and dancing and refusing to keep still.
and yet. and yet. only four days later, it was all over. the baby was dead.
we wouldn't find out for more than four weeks after its death.
23rd october will be a hard, hard day to get through.
ttc after loss is hard. the longing, the desperation to have back what has been lost. the desolation as you start to realise that even if you get pregnant again, you will never get that lost baby back. (it seems obvious, but it took me a while to figure that out. i thought that getting pregnant again would somehow erase my loss. would fix me. if only it was that simple.)
the sense of failure every month has left me utterly desolate at times.
over the last ten months, various people tried to tell me - some gently, some not - that maybe trying again immediately wasn't the best idea. that maybe we should wait a little longer. until i was somewhat out of the deepest, darkest part of the land of grief. but i couldn't have waited. i needed to know that there was hope. i needed to know that one day i would carry a child to term and have it live. i needed this, even though i know that there are no guarantees. i know that even getting to 40 weeks without a single glitch doesn't guarantee you anything at all.
ttc after loss is hard. especially when you're so very aware of the march of time. each month it's not just one egg that is wasted; it's many. each month puts me another month closer to 35; it's not that long until my birthday. some months the arrival of my period has felt like losing my baby all over again.
at the end of september i saw someone who drew the tears out of me that i had pretended were no longer there. she looked at me, concerned, and said that she thought i should not be trying to conceive. said she thought i should be grieving the baby i had lost, and looking after myself.
and i didn't really believe her, but i was somehow more willing to listen to this woman than anyone else.
but her words got into my brain. and as the tears and anger returned, i actually realised that i was ambivalent about conceiving that cycle. i had started to realise that yes, maybe time to grieve and to cry before pregnancy was a good idea.
a little part of my brain heard my thoughts, and it said:
woohoo! this, the month you don't want to get pregnant, will be the month you do!
the rest of my brain was mad. it urged that part of my brain to go away and leave me alone. and although a tiny part of me did actually hope that the prediction would come true, most of me just wanted a few more weeks to wallow in my sorrow.
(un)fortunately (take your pick, i'm not sure) fate does indeed have a twisted sense of humour.
i did a pregnancy test last sunday.
it was positive.
(i understand if you need to stop reading. i've been there. it sucks. but no need to keep reading when it hurts. i don't want anyone to hurt because of me.)
four weeks, one day.
and although i am more terrified than i can say, i feel different.
i'm not scared to put my hand on my belly. i never did that last time. i felt like it would be an affectation. i wanted it to be natural. so i never did it.
i want to buy stuff. i never bought anything last time. i have already bought this one a rattle. even if it doesn't stick, it will be a hand-me-down for [please, please] the next one.
i can sometimes imagine myself with a bump. last time, i never did.
i can almost imagine myself with a baby.
it's nearly 12 months after the first baby died.
it kind of seems right. not quite a year since the baby died. it almost feels like it has stayed 12 months, to make sure we're ok, and is preparing to leave now the next spirit has arrived.
there are no guarantees. like i say, i'm terrified. i have tested every day; all have been positive. i need to know it's still there. i am terrified. of chemical pregnancy; early miscarriage; late miscarriage; poor prenatal diagnosis; stillbirth, neonatal death.
and that's just the main categories. and that doesn't even count all the things i'm scared of once a baby is actually born.
but i'm hopeful. the exact ratio of terror to excitement varies from day to day. but both are constant companions.
love to you all, whether you're ttc, pregnant, or parenting after loss, or whether you are a friend who just wants to know what's going on in my world. and if this news makes my blog too hard to read, that's fine. if you'd rather i stopped commenting on your blog too, please do let me know. i can take it, i promise.
oh. and if you know me in the real world, this news is confidential. please don't blab.