My Musings


Content (adjective): In a state of peaceful happiness

I’m slowly figuring out why this hurts so much. There are the obvious things to be sad about: losing another child, not being a mum, the fear and uncertainty of what’s to come. But one of the saddest things, that continually makes this so hard, is this thought:

It was almost perfect.

When I turned 30, I was as content as I’d ever been. We had been married 4 years, we’d both been recently promoted to the top of our respective fields, we had a lovely house, incredible friends and were fortunate enough to start doing all the things we’d planned: travel adventures! And we loved every minute.

We’d been together for 10 years. We didn’t want children yet, because we were still so happy, just being us. It was enough. Things were so simple: we just loved each other and loved our life.

When I turned 32 and we decided to try for a baby, we weren’t trying to fill a hole in our lives, we just thought it was time to expand our little club of two: it was the final thing we wanted, the last piece of the contentment puzzle.

But in the back of my head, I always thought I’d struggle with fertility, not just because of my polycystic ovaries, but because obviously something had to go wrong. After losing my dad aged 11, I’ve always taken time to take stock and be grateful, careful to count all my blessings. So surely I couldn’t possibly be the working-class girl who went to one of the best uni’s in the world, met her perfect boy at 20, had her dream job in the City, a beautiful house, a healthy bank balance, genuine and kind friends AND a baby to boot?

It was almost perfect.

Granted it took a while for me to get pregnant, but then it happened – I was! And we were never happier. (We are not fancy people and I like to think – and hope – that we’re still pretty grounded. Yes we splash out on our holidays, but we’re not ones for designer clothes or expensive cars). So suddenly, we somehow had it ALL. All we ever wanted and all we ever needed.

We knew that first trimester miscarriages were possible, but we persevered. Though two losses in relatively quick succession was tough, we bounced back. We focused on achieving new things in this time – both in our careers and as a couple – but also spent time better-preparing for motherhood and parenthood, doing sensible things like saving. We lost our babies, but we never knew for certain, who or what we had lost.

And then we got past 12 weeks.

And our daughter died.

And now I can’t help but think:

It was almost perfect.

In a parallel universe, I am living my best life. But I can never have that now. I can’t believe how close I came. Now it can never be. Never.

I feel like we’ve somehow managed to do the hard stuff, but have spectacularly failed at supposedly the easiest and most natural thing in the world.

I often imagine what it would have been like, carrying Summer to term. In a delivery room, a baby’s cry and James saying “Anj, it’s a girl!” I know what I would have said, just a simple elated “really?” I never would have believed it. I can FEEL it though, that joy. That moment of pure unadulterated bliss, just knowing that my final dream had come true: my daughter, my girl, my everything.

It was almost perfect.

But then, the sun rose and our dream died. So now,

It will always be, imperfect.

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(3) Comments

  1. Claudia Caetano says:

    God, this could have been me writing this – I too once thought: gosh, how perfect! A beautiful relationship. We just bought our first home. We finally in good positions professionally that I can take a break and I am 25 weeks. This is gonna be great!
    Enters life and says – naaaaaaaaaahhh

    Anj, if I could, I would be giving you the biggest hug xx

  2. Karen Palmer says:

    This is a hard one to comment on – and I know I don’t always have to comment. But – as always – your post raises really interesting issues.
    When we found out we were pregnant for the first time, I remember exactly the point in the road I was driving along when I had the thought “none of our friends have had any difficulties in their pregnancies so it’s probably going to be us” – statistical nonsense I know, but a similar thought to the one you had.

    I don’t think we can ever reach perfection in this life in terms of material things – and by material, I’m including family, each other. People’s lives, however much they look it, are rarely perfect, and if they are, they’re not going to stay perfect for long.
    When, in my life, things are going really well, my husband’s well and happy, our girls are well and happy etc., I try and put a marker down in my head, because I know one day, when things aren’t going well, when there’s a flood of significant concerns about one particular family member, which there’s inevitably bound to be at some point, I’ll need to look back at that time, and be grateful for it.
    I know that you would rather have feisty Summer and all her childhood tantrums and teenage rebellion than not have her with you, so I’m not quite sure what I’m saying. Except that perfection ( in terms of “material” things) is transitory. It’s not where complete happiness and fulfillment is to be found. And that’s actually hopeful, because it means that even though our lives aren’t perfect, happiness and fulfillment can still be found.

    1. Anjulie says:

      I know what you mean. I have always paused and taken stock, to think “that was a good year” or “I am happy” because I always knew that it couldn’t stay that way. That there would be some seminal event, and a line would be drawn: a before and after. A point where I would look back and think “I was happy then”. This is that event and this is that time. I’m just grateful that I always knew when we were on to a good thing xx

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