It’s a funny thing grief. Especially if there’s no obvious reason for it – like someone you love dying, or losing something that’s so important to you that you just can’t stand it anymore.
I was reading a post on depression recently – one where the woman talked about thinking she was out of the woods, but instead discovered she’d just found the wrong perspective. Raise your chin a bit and look…oh, more woods….and everything she was saying was what I was going through. The absolute lack of motivation – hours at a time staring at the walls in the room that I’m in – the extreme tiredness – the slipping deadlines. The works.
It’s one of those slogs I just don’t want to think about.
I’ve spent the last few weeks letting everyone down. The ingenious me – you know, the smart loon that wouldn’t take ‘no computer’ for an answer when she started writing – wouldn’t have let breaking my glasses slow me down. And I wouldn’t spend every evening curled up in the guest room, just so I wasn’t too far away from the other half. Why *he’s* in the guest room – we bought collector’s editions of Star Wars recently, and both started playing. I’m very much a casual gamer – I could care less about Star Wars: The old republic but I’m playing it because it’s better than sitting and looking at the room and thinking ’empty, like me’.
But I’m not the ingenious me. I’m not the clever me. I’m slow and moribund and mired me. And that me can’t be bothered.
So, I guess this is where I own up.
For the last….well, year unofficially, but since July with my doctor’s hesitant blessing, David (my fiancée) and I have been trying to get pregnant. And succeeded. And lost the baby… well, babies, separately I guess, very early into the pregnancy. Twice.
There’s no medical reason for it. Not obvious anyway – all of my blood test results were nigh on perfect, which, in and of itself, is a miracle for me. In the UK, according to most of what I’ve read, you try for a year or three miscarriages, and then you might get referred to a specialist. It even has a name – secondary infertility (secondary because I have two children from a previous relationship).
And I guess that’s why I’m grieving. There’s a lot of guessing going on though. There’s *other stuff* – as there always is, but
Society doesn’t acknowledge that sort of grief properly. Infertile women are treated like glass houses in some ways – and those of us that get pregnant only to lose the child early on are told stupid things like ‘what is meant to happen, will’ and ‘you’ll be able to do it again’. Or, the kicker for me – ‘well, be grateful you’ve got…’.
Yes, I have two children already – I’m grateful for that. Doesn’t stop me being devastated when the life I’m carrying dies. Just because they weren’t big enough to survive doesn’t mean I can’t miss them.
And there’s no comfort in words like ‘if it was meant to be…’ That’s like telling someone that’s working that they could have had their wages, ‘if it were meant to be…’. It’s like telling someone that lost everything that it’s part of the plan (and yes, I know people say that too – I don’t).
And I know it’s not meant to be mean. I know it’s not meant to be horrible. I know it’s not meant to make me feel like curling up and sitting on my hands so I don’t start scratching till I bleed, or go running back to the medication I’ve fought this last year to stay clear of. I know.
But we’re not allowed to grieve. Whenever I try at least, I’ve got two friends that insist on turning it into ‘I had a horrible pregnancy, at least you’re not going through that right now’ (what I wouldn’t GIVE to be going through a horrible pregnancy instead of losing them right at the start). I’ve got several friends who are pregnant, and I’m delighted for, but I can’t talk to, because I can’t grieve around *them* – that’s not exactly fair on them, is it. And then I’ve got those really stupidly insensitive friends that point out I’m disabled, my youngest has problems, and I’m barely holding my life together now, do I really believe adding a baby to that mix will work?
Short answer – who knows?
This also isn’t me saying ‘I won’t work’. When you’re an adult you genuinely don’t get *that* choice. But it is a bit of a heads-up. I need space to grieve instead of feeling as if I’m holding the bag for everyone and everything else. I need a bit or room to myself.
Kai is a writer, author and avid reader. A mental health advocate, Ludosport athlete and coder. She’s the mother of two young adults, owned by two cats, and lives with her beloved in the Cotswolds.