Living With Grief

Hiding From Hope

Cruel (adjective): Wilfully causing pain or suffering to others

People have reflected that my blogs seem sadder lately, which I’ve found surprising. I actually think I’m doing better. Yes these are the thoughts in my head, yes I’m still sad and crying, but it is different.

It’s not the all-out despair that it once was.

Granted, most of the time I still can’t talk (or write) about it, without getting choked up, but I’m not inconsolable anymore, I think I’m on a good streak here. James thinks I’m in denial, glossing over how bad it still is, but my timeline is different to his: the tears will always come, but if I can have three good days feeling mostly on-top of it, well that IS an impressive streak. It’s all just relative.

But I know why it’s all sounding so sad – both in my head and via this blog – it’s because I have so little hope. I know that there is always hope, that she is hiding away somewhere, but I’m not even looking for her anymore. SHE is the one who deserted ME.

This is how I picture it, every emotion personified: Grief is looming large, he’s just so very big. My friend Claire – she’s joy –  is holding my hand, helping me to fight. But what we’re protecting is so small, it’s quivering in the corner. It’s so fragile and slight, it’s that tiny baby called hope.

I have spent so many years being positive, but I’m not willing to fool myself any more. Do you know how stupid I feel, for naively thinking it could be ok? Towards the end I knew, I said to a friend that I just didn’t see how I could carry Summer to term. Hope had already absconded.

I try not to make decisions from a place of fear. I try to make decisions based on what’s greater: the upside or the downside. The upside is huge – we could have a healthy baby – but the alternate is so unbearably cruel. This journey is cruel to the babies and it is cruel to me. If I have another miscarriage, for the first time ever I am going to look at that baby and think “I have done this to you”. I have never thought that before, because I always had hope. But if I go on to try for another, and lose another, without hope but knowing that there could be another sad ending, well that’s just cruel. Because let’s face it, the odds aren’t great are they?

The statistic is that one in four miscarry, so 25% pregnancies end in loss. Well that’s not my experience, this has happened to me 100% of the time. One hundred percent. Medically, this means the likelihood of it happening again, has increased. There is likely something very wrong here. Something wrong with me.

It was bad enough having to wait until 12 weeks, but there’s a new milestone now, I would have to get to 20 weeks (Summer made it to 19+5) before I could feel we’ve made any discernible progress. That’s FIVE MONTHS. That’s the entire time I’ve been without Summer, that is an excruciatingly long time. Realistically though, I’m not going to relax until we’re at 24 weeks (the viable baby point), so that’s nearly 6 full months of fear and uncertainty, of secret-keeping and breath holding – all without hope, all with the expectation that it will come crashing down again, because, why wouldn’t it?

I can just see this becoming THAT type of blog: “there was this lady and she had three losses, so she started a blog, but then the three losses became four, then five. She documented it all, it’s a sad story really”. Cruel for you to read, cruel for me to write. Who could bear that? Who would sign up to live that?

This may well be the end of the baby journey for me, so I’m trying to move into acceptance. What we have had, might have to be enough. I think that’s why I’ve taken to writing publicly, because I want to have a store of memory, because this could be it. And I can’t bear to think that she wasn’t enough, because how ungrateful is that? My mum (testament to our own relationship) has always said that “every mother should have a daughter” and Summer, I had you. So how can I say that I loved my daughter, if I take steps to have another?

My baby girl,
My dream come true.
Every mother should have a daughter,
And I had you.

I know how hope works, you have to choose it. Choose to believe. But hope has betrayed me, time and again. I cannot put my faith in hope.

The other day, my mum told me to be positive and I said “nope, sorry Mum, not doing that right now”. You know, perhaps I just need to choose hope and positivity for a short period, to begin with. A sustained period might be asking too much. (Ha, baby steps towards a baby?), but today is not that day.

Ok, maybe these musings ARE sad, but how can they not be? Sorry Claire, we can try again tomorrow xx

Image from @stephaniechinnart

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(6) Comments

  1. Karen Palmer says:

    I’m so sorry – that’s hard. To be in a place where you’re having to come to terms with the possibly of letting go of hope for a further pregnancy. Not letting go of hope all together because you’re hopefully (!) going to find it elsewhere. But be patient, give yourself time. It’s still early days xx

  2. Claire says:

    Today is done. There is always tomorrow xxx

  3. Mama. My sweet friend.
    Here’s what I think for whatever it’s worth. We exist in a culture that tells us continually to be positive and hopeful because if we are we surely will be rewarded. This fails us again and again but yet we still fall for it. There is so much pressure to be positive that we are ill prepared for the realities of life. A fun thing I have learned on my journey of loss after loss, too. Perhaps hope needs to be redefined. Mostly, I think you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be and feeling all the feelings. Give yourself the grace and the space to do that.

    1. Anjulie says:

      Thank you Leah, I’m trying. I feel a blog on “toxic positivity” coming on xx

  4. Claudia says:

    My darling, you touch a few things that are so important and, yet again, easily overlooked.

    1 – you are completely right. Just because you are bot weepy, or crying, or visibly sad does not take away from the fact that your baby isn’t here. I said this already, but grief is not a competition. You are not less sad about it because you are having a good day. It’s just that on that day, sadness is in the space you created for it, behaving, allowing you to enjoy and go about your day. Maybe even, for a few hours not think about it. Maybe for a few days dormant.
    The thing is, it comes and goes. And some times it goes for a longer period. But don’t worry, when it comes, the world will know for its strength is overwhelming.

    2 – you can be ok and write sadder posts. Even with hope on the side. Just because you function well and feel alright, thoughts still bounce around. We are just brain ninjas who fight them off unconsciously so that your physical self can cope with the day.

    3 – the hope. Oh the hope. Hope is also a reflection of our fears. Is what we wish doesn’t happen and the outcome we prefer to have.
    I completely understand the creating a blog/page to grieve, document, express your feelings. But what if it happens again and again. What will be of you? And your page? I named mine journey because I knew how this could go. I got a tinny star tattoo in name of Charlie because if it happened again I could add to it. See the pattern? People forget our lives are on hold.
    I was just saying to a friend : I want to change my life and possibly my whole career. But I also want to try again. So… no point on changing now right? But what if it takes forever to fall pregnant? What if it happens again? There are so many things on hold.

    I hope this is not the end for you. But I also appreciate fully the toll this takes on you, James and your lives.
    Whatever you do, I wish you all the happiness you deserve. And hopefully, better, kinder days ahead ❤

    1. Anjulie says:

      Brain ninjas! I adore that. Just as I adore your thoughts and comments. Thank you, lots to think about here xx

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