I saw this meme today and it struck a chord as it covered babyloss and infertility.
I can recall doing all of this when we were trying for a baby before Toby arrived:
- I knew exactly what day of my cycle I was on without looking at the diary
- I could feel ovulation pains
- I spent every day second guessing the slightest twinge or change in my body
- I would count ahead 9 months all the time
- I put fun stuff on hold ‘just in case I’m pregnant’ when it happens
- I changed what we ate
- I consumed more supplements than they had in Boots
- I thought of wanting to be a mum from the moment I woke to the moment I went to sleep
Those points are the tip of the iceberg and infertility did consume my life.
Then babyloss happened and the all consuming feelings returned, not with the detail but after Rory the longing for another baby was all I thought about. I thought a new life would make me feel better. It consumed me in a way I cannot describe.
As soon as I was pregnant with Henry of course I knew a new baby was never going to fix me.
When we lost Henry we decided enough was enough, no more babies. I said it in June 2016 but deep down I didn’t really mean it. I’ve had wobbles since then and trawled the internet for stories of hope, they are there of course but there are no guarantees. 2017 has been the first full year since we had Toby where there has been no vague plan for a sibling. At the start of the year I wondered if I was strong enough, if I truly wanted that journey to end.
Now, I sit here and think about things with the meme in front of me I realise that baby loss and infertility doesn’t consume me anymore. The phrases did relate to me but now they don’t. The all consuming feelings are in my past, not my present or future. Ask me today and I can’t tell you anything about my reproductive cycle as I’m not interested in it. I have no plans to have a baby. I don’t want another baby. I feel free.
People say that I’m strong and I don’t think I am, I just take life as it comes and I muddle through. I’m not strong when I avoid bumps and babies. I’m not strong when I duck out of social situations because I’m frightened of people asking how I am. I certainly wasn’t strong at work on Friday when I cried in the loo as the baby talk in the office just got a bit too much.
At the gym today (whilst I tried to improve my physical strength), I noticed that it takes a different kind of strength to walk away from something that consumes your life for so many years. This year I have made a choice to carry on without a baby in my arms. I have made a choice.
For the first time in a long time I think I might actually be strong. I want to hold my head up and tell people I lost two babies and it’s crap but I’m still here.
I’ve spent most of the last year looking for stories of hope after loss which don’t feature a baby at the end and I’ve not found many.
I didn’t get a happy ending but I think I’m finding an alternative that doesn’t feature pregnancy and a baby. I think I’ve found my own story.