The last time we were in this field, that boy there was a grape sized fetus. Nine weeks on the inside and growing perfectly. So confident was I, in the miracle that was heading our way, we took a photo in this very spot (heart-shaped hands, held in front of an already burgeoning bump) and shared our news later that day.
It seems a lifetime ago.
That easy enjoyment of pregnancy. The blissful ignorance and perhaps even arrogance, of how seamless it would be. I haven’t felt that way in a very long time. Six more pregnancies have come since then, each as hellish as the last. Except for one, of course. When I finally had my rainbow in my arms, those (almost) 42 weeks of agonising worry were utterly worth it. A chubby baby boy who, at 14 months, still resolutely refuses to say Mama; but who brought me back from the brink. The third baby of the four that I’d always hoped for, but the one who, for a long time, we’d decided would be our last.
The ache was still there. The gap. The feeling of not being “done”. And so, eventually, we tried again. And lost again. Now today, I stand in this field where I was once gleefully carrying my biggest boy, only this time, I’m on the verge of my fifth miscarriage.
I found out on Christmas morning and I allowed myself that one day to be happy. To feel excitement. To consider the realities of being a mum of four. To take a quick glance through the list of names that have been stored on my phone since I fell pregnant for the first time. Then on Boxing Day, self preservation kicked in and I began the agonising wait for the inevitable. The word “if” was used a lot and “maybe”. There are no certainties for me.
I was offered “hormonal support” this time. I started the progesterone pessaries on the 26th (it was decided that HCG would be too risky, given my molar history). I was supposed to see my consultant on the 29th, but the appointment was cancelled and moved to 12th Jan. By the 4th, I was bleeding again.
I barely felt anything this time. Just numbness. I’d been expecting it. Hoping it wouldn’t come, but knowing it would. In my mind, it’s already over. Bleeding has never ever ended in anything but heartbreak for me. I know that this time will be no different. Of course, I hope it will, but I’m prepared for the worst. Ready to hear those earth shattering words again. There is no heartbeat. It’s a long wait for answers. I called the hospital the next day. The EPU didn’t want to know; I was already under the care of the Recurrent Miscarriage Clinic and therefore, someone else’s problem. The clinic, well they didn’t see the point in me coming in when I already had an appointment scheduled for a weeks time. And so I wait. I wonder and I wait. I hope and I wait. I stomach devastation and I wait. And then I feel anger. For me and for all the other women who are so let down by the services that are meant to be there to help them.
I will go into hospital on Ralph’s 4th birthday, find out for certain if my fears have been realised once more and then I will take my big boy out for bowling and burgers. Because life goes on. It has to.