When is enough, enough?
In recent weeks I’ve got to thinking about where I am on our ‘journey’ and how important it is for me to accept that it could end this year. It’s been an emotional time and so yesterday, for the sake of my mental health, Jonathan and I made the decision to press pause.
While our experiences of secondary infertility and recurrent loss have taken place over a relatively short period of time, the last 26 months have seen us experience back to back losses and anniversaries. And I’ve gotten so attached to each of my pregnancies. It’s in my nature to make connections with people and try and build relationships and it’s no different with the little lives that began inside me. And so when those pregnancies end it’s devastating. So devastating in fact that I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to articulate precisely how it feels to see two lines then one, heartbeats then stillness, life then death. Harris was a wriggly little baby, the image of his big sister in his scans, and then he was gone. I believe it was Jamie Anderson that said “grief is just love with no place to go” and I honestly feel that way at times. So full of love and yet so pained because it’s trapped inside.
Poor Cora is smothered beyond belief and I’m beginning to fear losing her, which isn’t healthy. Added to this her recent fascination with what it means to be dead and I’m having to tread quite carefully, for my own benefit as well as hers. Cora understands now that mummy had a baby boy in her tummy called Harris and that he died, we made the conscious decision to remember him and involve her in that. But when she asked “am I going to die too?” it brought so many emotions to the surface. Feelings that I hadn’t been aware of and so have never really tended to. You can read more about her curious nature and my approach in my blog: helping children understand baby loss.
Something that our experiences have got me thinking about is the bigger picture, of our whole lives, and the other things we wish for. And being completely honest with myself, I don’t think I have it in me to continue down this path. I’m pretty clear on my boundaries, on what’s healthy for me personally; both mentally and physically.
But until I know for certain, it’s time to be kind and gentle with ourselves, to focus on the family we’re lucky to have, the beautiful home we’ve created, the successful business we’ve grown, and to count our blessings. Even the little ones, our stars, who have taught us so much about ourselves.
I’m conscious that for some this might seem easy to say when I have a living child but, for me, it’s incredibly difficult coming to terms with the fact my family looks nothing like I thought it would. My grief isn’t limited to the little ones we’ve lost. I also grieve for the future that will never be.
That’s not to say my future won’t be a bright and happy one. I know it can be. It’ll just be a different kind of bright and happy.