After we miscarried, we knew the emotional recovery would take a lot longer than the physical, however we dusted ourselves off, deciding that the best way for us to heal as a couple was to try again. To not allow ourselves to lose hope. Telling yourself that is one thing and had we not been incredibly lucky to get pregnant as quickly as we did, I imagine that we wouldn’t have had the strength to have as much faith in it as we did. As it turns out, we were telling people that we were “getting back on the horse” so to speak and we were already pregnant again. This time, there was nothing resembling a hangover, I simply had a late period. I left it a few days as I was unsure what my post-miscarriage cycle was but much to our disbelief, a test I took on 22nd March 2015 displayed two Lines. I immediately went to the supermarket for another, just to check. I then told my husband. We were floored – stuck between shock & a feeling of being incredibly blessed. Then almost immediately the anxiety crept in. Anxiety like I’ve never known before.
It was then that I realised that anyone affected by miscarriage has the rosy view of pregnancy stolen forever. Gone is that innocent belief that Two Lines = a baby and with it, that purest joy in the world ceases to exist.
I felt ill whenever I went to the toilet, just incase. Every twinge, every slight change in how I felt immediately made my brain go to that place. I had terrible morning sickness – we are talking having to pull over in the car and be sick into a tuppaware dish that I kept in the footwell on an almost daily basis. The midwife told me this was a good sign – so naturally if I had a day I wasn’t physically sick, I panicked. Then at around 8 weeks I had some spotting. I’m not too proud to admit that there was no optimism. I paid for a private scan and when the sonogrpaher said “I’ve found the heartbeat” my heart cracked open a little. I was full on gaping between my husband and the screen. The wait between that appointment and my twelve week scan felt like an eternity. Thankfully, everything was fine. However my anxiety didn’t dissipate. I was comfortable with the sentence “I’m pregnant” but not “we’re having a baby” or “we’re going to be parents”. In fact, I never uttered either the entire length of my pregnancy. I couldn’t allow myself to believe it. Miscarriage is that cruel. It changes you forever.
When we found out we were having a girl, it became slightly more real but I never allowed myself to imagine having a daughter – even when we started buying pink things. My husband is ever practical and wanted to prepare, get organised. If I’d have had my way I wouldn’t have bought a thing, just incase. We named our daughter before she arrived and things became a little easier to stomach once I’d hit 30 weeks – purely because I was born ten weeks early and survived 30 years ago.
As it turns out, I had a long wait. I was induced and finally gave birth at 13 days overdue. For all the simplicity of my pregnancy, my labour was far from it. Ruby came into the world via emergency section following a 15 hour labour due to her being compromised. When they asked me to sign the consent forms it was a no-brainer. Neither was the absolute sincerity when I told the surgeon that getting her out safely was the most important thing. She was the most important human on that table.
When I came round, groggy as anything and saw a baby in my husbands arms, I asked the nurse whose baby it was. They told me she was mine and that she was fine. Absolutely healthy. I fully exhaled for the first time since I’d seen those two lines. I didn’t realise just how heavy the fear had been, how encompassing but the weight being lifted was palpable.
We spent a few days in hospital recovering and our first few days at home were incredibly difficult – but I had a baby, our baby in my arms. In our home. Healthy, safe. I remember looking back through all the clothes we’d bought her and barely being able to recall them. It’s like I’d blocked out anything tangible, anything hopeful. The fall does more damage the higher you climb, after all.
I couldn’t have wished for anything more.