I’ve been quiet here as I have been so focussed on my charity event and also in the aftermath, I have been so tired… emotionally and physically.
The event itself went well and I raised just over £600 for both charities which feels pretty amazing.
I would have loved to have had more people attend the actual event but I knew that was unlikely. The feedback that I have had from the people who were there has been pretty good though so I know that I did a good thing.
The video of the short play, Dad’s Lose Babies Too is below and it can also be found on YouTube (https://youtu.be/6DeSY_DLfLQ)
I would be grateful for any thoughts and obviously sharing is more than welcome.
I will post the second video at a later point in time.
Thank you for reading x
My anxiety is back and it is high intensity anxiety. I am constantly on edge. Constantly feeling like there is something bad around the corner. Constantly trying to avoid the world.
I know this has been triggered by my charity event. I know it isn’t helping reliving the miscarriages every week but as I have said previously, I can’t undo what I have started.
Work is proving difficult because my brain just can’t function. I have no pressing demands, no deadlines so I go into full on avoidance mode.
My self care is so bad. I can’t remember the last time I had a bath because I am scared of that I will suffer flashbacks of when I dried to drown myself in the water.
I am scared to get public transport because I am scared that people, specifically men, will get too close and accidentally touch me or brush up against me. I am scared of the memories that will resurface.
I want to binge so badly but I went back to SW and am doing well. I am eating better for the first time in months. My IBS and migraine symptoms are receding. I can’t indulge and have a treat because I am scared that once I start on that slippery path I won’t get back off again.
And my counsellor is on holiday this week, so I have no where to turn. No one to talk to because I can’t tell my friends because I am scared they will think I am crazy.
Maybe I am.
I can’t believe it has been over a month since I last updated here! I can’t believe it has been that long since I decided to do my charity event.
So, the planning has happened. Tickets are on sale and I have sold a number of raffle tickets. Things are moving along nicely. Rehearsals are happening for the plays and I am generally pleased with how things are going.
It has been a lot harder emotionally than I thought. Every time we rehearse, it is like reliving the pain all over again. And I don’t know if I am strong enough to do this.
Everyone says it is an amazing thing I am doing and they are so proud but I feel anything but proud or strong.
I don’t know that I can take the emotional toll it is putting on me but I have too. I started this rollercoaster and I can’t get off it now.
That being said, even if I knew how hard it was going to be, I don’t know that I would change things.
I guess I just wanted to acknowledge how hard this was for me. And it is hard to admit that it is hard.
So I have blogged about my miscarriages here and although this is the internet and anyone can read it, it is still very private as no one in real life knows about this blog. Therefore I can feel pretty safe putting how I truly feel out here and know that I can still be in hiding.
There are people who know how I feel and who I talk to but for most of the time, I keep it all to myself.
Alongside the blog, I write poetry which I will share a little more and I have also written a play. In some fit of madness, I have decided to put these all together and put on a charity event to raise awareness of miscarriage and support two charities close to my heart – Aching Arms and 4Louis.
This is completely out of character and I feel completely mad for doing it because I will have to open up and bear my heart and soul. This will be about me and my journey and I won’t be able to hide behind an anonymous name on the internet. I also feel like it is necessary and something that I have to do.
So I have planned it for the 11th October – for pregnancy loss awareness week. I have created a Facebook page and invited people to it. I have posters designed and a brochure of my poems ready to print and be available on the day. I have also started the long tedious hunt for raffle prizes. It all feels so very real now.
But now I am scared. Scared that it won’t be good enough. Scared that people won’t get what I am trying to say, or most of all – scared that people won’t come. I think this is the worst, the feeling that despite everything – I am still not good enough and even though I am trying to do a good thing, it won’t be enough.
I hope it will be.
And sometimes, your hope has to be greater than your fear.
So a while ago at work I made some small mistakes. Unfortunately, as often happens, small mistakes add up and they became a big mistake. Especially when they culminate when you are on holiday and you can fix them. And then you come back into work complete unaware of what happened when you were absent and it feels like all hell has broken loose. You are dragged over the coals and spend the better part of the day crying because although you knew things were bad, you never knew they were that bad.
But things improve, or so you think. It gets easier to go to work again and it gets easier to do your job. And you think you have made improvements, good improvements because no one has told you otherwise (and the weekly meetings you asked to have with your manager – well they never materialise). All of a sudden, some six or seven weeks later you have another meeting only to be told there has been an improvements, but not a massive improvement. And your world starts to fall apart again.
This was me, on Friday. And I have spent all week anxious and worrying about work. I am going on annual leave again on Thursday and already I can feel the dread and the panic because I am worrying about what I will face when I come back to work next Thursday. I have wished this week and my holiday week away through fear.
I tried asking for help and support and got nothing in return. My manager won’t hold weekly meetings with me and never intended too. It’s not his style and he doesn’t see why he should. He won’t do it for me if he’s not doing it for the rest of the team and as the rest of the team don’t need it therefore I don’t.
He won’t give me clarification on what I can do to improve as I should know. I should know what is expected of me. I don’t. I struggle to do the basics of my job and I need help with the additional stuff. Apparently because I am the senior person in my role, it feels like I don’t need support. Or I shouldn’t need support rather.
I don’t want to cause trouble. I don’t want to be the person who is always complaining. But I want to be able to do my job. I don’t want to be scared anymore. It’s just too hard.
I’m feeling lost tonight. I haven’t felt like this for a long time.
I went to the miscarriage support group last night and once again I felt out of place. It wasn’t anyone else’s issues but mine. The other two ladies had had later losses than mine and they connected and dominated the conversation but that was ok. I would have interjected but I just didn’t feel able or that it was right.
And even now, I realised, after all this time, I realised that I felt that my losses weren’t important enough. That because they were early it didn’t count and it didn’t matter. I have told many other people that isn’t true, but deep down somewhere inside me I must believe it.
I haven’t let myself think about the losses recently, but the year anniversary of the miscarriage just passing and what would have been my first child’s tenth birthday on Monday, I guess it’s just too much to take in.
I have lit three candles tonight, one for each baby who has died.
They need to be remembered, even if just by me.
One year ago today I was in hospital having my third miscarriage. I can hardly believe that it has been year but at the same time, it feels like forever. It feels like so much has changed, but so much has remained the same.
I don’t really have a lot of words today, but I felt like I needed to mark today, to remember the anniversary of the baby I lost.
We are still no further forward in working out if we are going to try again. We seem to sway backwards and forwards on this decision.
It doesn’t get easier the further down this path I walk, it just gets different.
It seems a bit daft, putting that as a blog title, as I am in effect writing the letter I can’t write. Maybe I should have written the ‘Letter I wish I could Send’ or ‘letters’, maybe it should be letters.
I wish I could write a letter to my husband to articulate just what is going on inside my head. How I have these horrible thoughts but they are just thoughts and I would never act on them. Just so he could understand why my mood can change so dramatically and why I am so anxious all of the time. I just want him to be able to understand my anxiety, depression and panic attacks. I am tired of hiding it.
I also want him to see how much pressure I am under. How being the sole breadwinner places a huge burden on me, especially when my mental health is already so delicate. I need him to understand that if he got a job, any job, it would help me so much. It would relieve some of the immense pressure I am under. I think he thinks I have it easy. I go to work full time and don’t have to do school runs or tea but I have it all when I get home. The moment I walk through the door they become my responsibility because I have been at work. They are mine until they go to bed, which is getting later and later as they get older. But I have to do this because I have been to work all day and he has been at home with them. Despite the eldest being at school all day and the youngest all afternoon.
I also want to be able to tell my friends how I am feeling. How I have planned ways to die. How the weight of so much responsibility is crippling me. But I can’t. We share friends, so to say this would be implying that my husband isn’t pulling his weight and that I am speaking badly of him. I wouldn’t want them to look at him knowing what I had said and for it to affect their relationship with him. Or for them to say something to him that I might have said in confidence. So I say nothing. Of course the depression also takes my voice away and doesn’t let me speak, so even if there wasn’t the sharing of friends to deal with, I am not sure I could speak in the first place.
I have gotten better at opening up. I can admit when I am struggling but that’s about it. People know when I am sad but not to the extent that the depression can hit me. And I haven’t admitted the eating to anyone close. I wish my husband could know this. I wish my friends could know the extent to which I suffer. But I can’t let them in. I can’t let anyone in.
And this is why I can’t write these letters and I don’t think I ever will.
I am starting to consider another pregnancy. It is something that I need to do in order to get closure. If we have a healthy baby at the end of a pregnancy, then fantastic but if we don’t then I know that this is the end of my journey and our family is complete.
I have posted about how I wouldn’t consider suicide. It is not something that I would do. I would rather have a terminal illness or a surprise illness and die quickly. Or some kind of accident. Something that takes my choice away but gives me the same result.
Thinking about pregnancy has brought up a lot of memories of the miscarriages but also a lot of catastrophising on what could go wrong. I get from having a very early miscarriage to a complicated miscarriage where I need a hysterectomy and I end up in the ICU. Sometimes I have a stillbirth and sometimes the baby is born healthy and they die shortly after birth. Sometimes, one of my other children dies. One thing is clear though, I do not end this pregnancy by adding another child to our family. It doesn’t happen. And I want to say that this is ok. I mean in the catastrophic thoughts it’s ok. I am used to these thoughts and I can manage them ok.
But this brings me back to dying.
Throughout any pregnancy I have had, my husband and I have always said that if there are any problems and only the baby or I can be saved, we save me. It is non negotiable – the children can cope with losing a baby brother or a sister but their mother would be harder. And I have always agreed. It seemed like the right choice. Except it doesn’t anymore.
In my darker days, this seems like my perfect get out of jail free card. I change my mind at the last moment and save the baby and then I can die. And it won’t be my fault. Not really. It might be my choice but not my fault? Maybe.
And it’s ok to say this hypothetically and probably wouldn’t happen but I am going into a third pregnancy knowing that it is high risk. Knowing I can’t go into labour. Knowing they are protecting me from this by doing a c-section at 37 weeks. They wouldn’t do this if it wasn’t a risk.
So although I am not pregnant and am unlikely to be for a while, this choice does seem very real. And I am scared as to what would happen if I was presented with this choice. No doubt we would present a united front, and save me but what if I was alone and I was given this choice? What if I was having a bad day? What then?
This scares me.
And I apologise. My anxiety and depression have taken over and the catastophising and critical voices inside my head have been in full force.
Today I would like to share a poem I have written on my thoughts about another pregnancy. We have decided to have another baby. That we need to try one more time to know whether or not we will succeed. That one last pregnancy will give me closure, one way or the other. Because whatever happens, I know it will be my last pregnancy.
And here seems like a save space to share this, because I hope no one will judge me on these, my pregnancy after loss thoughts:
Most mothers plan
To bring their babies home
To hold them in their arms
To look them in their eyes
And to love them
They don’t plan for them to die
Their pregnancy is full of hope
And dreams of what will be
And although there is uncertainty
And will it be a girl or boy
It’s not fear and darkness at their door
But light and lots of joy
I wish I had that hope
And how I dream it hadn’t gone
That each pregnancy was a baby
Which would grow and I’d bring home
But loss has taken that away from me
Where once was hope, there’s none
Replaced by fear and panic
No dreams of what will be
But nightmares of the ending
Of how and when and where
And of the empty arms I’ll have
And no baby for which to care
So although I’d rather my baby live
I know there’s no guarantee
Pregnancy doesn’t always mean a baby
Will be coming home with me
Sometimes I have to goodbye
And let my child fly free
So although I don’t want to plan for it
It’s always in my thoughts
And I’m scared to dream of a baby
Of one which I will hold
Because empty arms are heavy
And empty arms grow cold
So don’t think of me as morbid
For thinking my baby will die
This is my truth, my reality
The only thing that I know
And as much as I want my baby to stay
I must also prepare for them to go