Time is marching on. Mostly, I’m still relaxed, though the worries about birthing this person are getting on top of me at times. Mostly Marmite moves enough to keep me sane. It’s a new experience though, this need to feel a movement any time I wake in the night and before I get up in the morning. I don’t remember needing to feel life before; I suppose it is inevitable to have such things wind into the process. I’m petrified of having to birth a dead baby, a possibility that seems perfectly likely to me. From a 1/200 “that happens to other people” statistic, it now seems like evens. I’ve been busy torturing myself for most of the week; I’ve done such a good job of believing it wasn’t my fault, but this week all I can think is that people are nodding politely while wondering why I am kidding myself, that it must have been during birth, that I’m just not asking the questions or seeing the truth.
It all seems like such an extraordinarily precarious process; how on earth does it ever work? Even having done it that way and it DID work, with a living baby at the end of it, it now seems incredible and impossible. I’ve gone from belief to non-belief, with this horrible sense that I’m the joke in the middle of people sighing and shaking their heads at my stupidity. I keep trying to think my way through it; what am I missing? Where is the point where I’m not seeing that someone didn’t see something? Was I right the night before? Was I right that morning when I stood by the desk and listened to his heart throguh a contraction because he just seemed a little too still. But if he was, why was it not obvious when we got to hospital? Was it t he car journey? Was it the pool water temperature? Was it all those thoughts I had while pregnant, did I know, or have I just imagined that since? Was it those last few moments and if so, why was that enough? Was that heart trace really my heart, but if so, why is my heart beat and his so clearly documented as different? have I had the wool pulled over my eyes by people hoping I won’t sue. Are these nagging doubts, fuelled by that guilt ridden consultant letter, fair or not fair? Was it something we just never found out about him, or was it something we all missed.
It’s difficult. The only way now is to face up and ask difficult questions and accept I might hear things that put the blame firmly on the shoulders of my choices. I don’t know if I have the courage. But if I don’t find that courage, how on earth do I work out what is best for Marmite and I?
For the first time this week I climbed the stairs and thought “ouf, this feels like hard work.” It’s an odd position to be in, because I’m so much lighter at the moment than my last two pregnancies, so I feel quite fit compared to most of my recollections of being ‘reasonably pregnant’. The tiredness never really went away, but I don’t have a huge number of small people and a business to run, so I don’t get so bone crunchingly weary. If anything, I don’t sleep well enough, partly because for the first time I have hip pain – and my sleep seems to want me at odd and inconvenient times of the day.
Marmite is feisty enough; likes kicking Max particularly, still seems very mobile. It’ very funny. He’s an active bump but he’s not overly keen on kicking his sisters, although Josie does better than most. He refuses to kick Maddy, Amelie and Fran can’t stay still long enough. But he can be quiet all day but within 5 minutes of sitting down next to Max with his hand on my bump – and all hell breaks loose. None of us can decide if bein the object of much kicking is a sign of being liked or not!
I’ve survived 4+ weeks of no scans, which restart this week. Mostly I just feel like I’m waiting, waiting, waiting… trying not to be too hopeful, trying not to be too afraid that we have terrible grief to do all over again. Trying to have some joy in it, which isn’t so very hard after all. Someone asked me the other week (a friend, very kindly as opposed to a ‘omg, you asked THAT??? kind of thing) if in the end the year of TTC had made this easier. It’s a tricky one. It would have been easier if I had known for sure that I would get pregnant again but I didn’t know. It might have been easier if Freddie had, like the girls, been conceived at the drop of a hat. But he wasn’t. I knew it would be hard and that was a huge pressure. But in the end, now, with hindsight, I’m sort of glad I didn’t have the crash of pregnancy on top of early grief. I’m sort of glad that I had some time to mourn for Freddie and heal a little. Moving past his birthday made things easier. I wish I’d been able to just grieve for him, without the TTC rollercoaster as well, but I suppose that isn’t possible. And I should be careful what I wish for too; I could have been left wombless for example.
In the end, we get what we get and we have to manage what we are given I suppose.
I sense a change now though. I think the ‘easy’ bit is done – now comes the tough bit.