A lot of women have them. More than you think, in fact. We don’t normally mention them. But you know me. Never knowingly undershared.
Fourteen years ago, March 21 was a good date. A momentous date. It was a day something amazing was going to happen. I was pregnant for the first time, and this was my due date.
I lost the baby at 9 weeks.
Don’t worry. I’m not going to go all mushy and sentimental. I’m not one for all that stuff about little angels in heaven, although if it helps other people, good luck to them.
Because my baby wasn’t really a baby. It was a collection of cells. A bundle of tissue. But our love and excitement was wrapped up in that DNA and losing it was a real shock. It was a physical blow. After the D & C, I felt hollow and sad and angry.
Pregnancy was never the same after that. It was always underscored with fear.
I was terrified during the initial stages of my pregnancy with my daughter. Once the scan went OK, I managed to calm down and settle into a bovine state of gestation. Once she was born, and she was diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome, the fear came back. Something had been wrong after all, you see. I was stupid to think it wouldn’t. This is what me and pregnancy was like. We didn’t mix well.
Events continued to prove me right. I had a ruptured ectopic pregnancy and lost a tube, and another miscarriage that involved going back again and again for ultrasound after ultrasound until they told me there was no heartbeat after all.
To this day I can’t bear those scenes on the telly and in films when they rub the jelly on the woman’s pregnant belly, and stare at the image, smiling and getting teary-eyed at the sight of their tiny baby.
Everything about it takes me back to the times I’ve spent in the Early Pregnancy Unit looking at the blackness and wishing I could see that tiny rhythmic blip of a heartbeat, my husband holding my hand and not knowing what to say or do to make it better.
So today, I’ll just spend a minute or two remembering and wondering what that little bundle of cells might have turned into. And I’ll do it again on November 21 and on December 26.
And maybe I will get mushy and sentimental after all and give my two children a few extra hugs and silently thank them for being tough enough to stick around.
Video is Echo & The Bunnymen - Nothing Ever Lasts Forever