I’ve written pages in my personal journal, but it’s not enough, so I’m writing more here. I am emotionally self-consumed and on red alert at the moment and I’m really struggling to think about things clearly.
Being pregnant, each time it happens, brings back so many intrusive thoughts and fears and terrifying memories… each pregnancy I’ve lost, each of the days I felt all the blood coming away from me, so many days of bleeding in my life, the scans with no heartbeat, the waiting, the smashed hopes and dreams, baby showers I attended while bleeding away pregnancies, newborns I visited after losing my own pregnancies, and the worst things of all, things my mind will never see in soft focus – bleeding out in the hospital, doctors shouting my name, asking if I’m still with them, a nurse squeezing an IV bag into my veins trying to counter the rate of blood loss, the pins and needles attacking my arms and legs as my body prepared to shut down, diverting blood from my limbs to my vital organs, trying to survive through the haemorrhage, consciousness slipping away and silently repeating my children’s names to myself, promising myself that I will not leave them without a mother. Crying alone in the hospital at midnight as they tried to set up a blood transfusion, full of the suffocating fear of reacting to the blood and dying anyway. The doctor asking if there was someone I could call and staring at her for a long, long time. No. No one.
The nightmares after getting home, being afraid to sleep in case I bled to death while I wasn’t conscious. Fear of my periods returning in case the blood wouldn’t stop. Shouting out into the darkness, night after night.
And still more… catching one of my babies in the palm of my hand, then having to take him into the hospital for fetal testing after keeping him in the fridge overnight… things that no woman should ever, ever have to go through.
And then, on top of that, I have all the trauma of What if it goes okay? And I start thinking about the birth, the retained placentas I had with both of my children, the emergency blood transfusion, signing paperwork to consent to a hysterectomy if they can’t stop the bleeding, nurses trying to find veins and failing, people shouting about no blood-pressure readings, doctors rushing around me, and bright, pure whiteness, morphing back to concerned faces as I regained consciousness before going into theatre.
And later… at home, crying so hard, my nipples dripping a mixture of blood, milk and baby-saliva onto my deflated stomach as I desperately tried to breastfeed with a body that was a ghost of itself. No time to rest and repair, nothing but a beautiful, hungry baby to feed every 90 minutes from breasts that were bruised and battered. Family visits from people who stayed too long and expected us to make tea and lunch for them when I was the one who needed looking after. People who laughed and joked and wanted to hold my son, when I was still in a state of mental and physical shock from almost having died, reluctant to hand him over because he was my everything and I trusted nothing and no one to keep him safe. Even when he slept, I stayed awake, crying silent tears of fear for everything that had happened. I lived in a crippled state of exhausted insomnia for months.
And now, again, all these things swim around my head in a turbulent panic, torturing me with what was and what still could be. If I wake in the night now, I lay there for ages, trying to calm everything down, trying to reassure myself that the past is in the past and these things are not happening today. That I am okay. That we are all okay. Slowly, gradually, as the minutes turn into hours, my mind accepts a peace, of sorts, and allows sleep again. But my nights are restless.
I live with all these memories and I feel like I am full to bursting. Several times over the last few days I’ve felt a compulsion to post random, totally brutal and honest statuses on Facebook that acknowledge who I really am and what I have been through. I feel like I WANT to shock people, because people do not know me. They do not know what we have lived through. I feel like it’s too much for me to carry around inside. All this stuff, with a potentially healthy baby growing inside me… I have an excess of mental energy and nowhere to direct it.
I swing from being indescribably happy to wanting to scream “Fuck you!” at everything and everyone. I want to cry and sob and bash my fists on the floor and yell to the stars that “I am pregnant and I will have this baby! I worked like a dog for this so here I am and this is what it took to get here!”
I’m afraid of people’s joy, if we ever get around to telling anyone. I’m frightened of the congratulations and oh, how exciting comments I will have to deal with. I feel like I’m navigating a war zone and people are going to smile and say how lovely!
I am conflicted, emotional, probably emotionally scarred, shit-scared and absolutely over the fucking moon about what is going on, and I’m finding it hard to deal with the feeling-o-meter being on maximum red the whole time.
I know, in part, this is building to a crisis because my scan is tomorrow morning. Because I know that every little thing I’ve dared to hope for the future can be taken from me tomorrow, yet again.
But that it might not be. And I’m wired as hell over it. I’m trying not to make tomorrow the most significant even in my life ever, but in some ways it is.
We said, after the last loss, we’d try for one more pregnancy, and to hurry that along, we were going to do IVF. Well, like a miracle out of nowhere we got our one more pregnancy, and this time it has to work.
It has to.
It. Has. To.