From the moment a woman sees her positive pregnancy test she feels a rush of love. Ultimately, after love, she feels fear, anxiety, excitement and a little more fear. But the overriding feeling is love. No matter what family you already have before you see those two pink lines, that new bundle of joy that is going to explode into your world is your family. Whether you are single, married, on your first child or your seventh, this new life breathes love into you. No matter how strong the fear, the love takes over.
The biggest gift a woman can have is the opportunity to be a mother. It is not a right for a woman to have a child, it is a privilege. That privilege can be taken away in the blink of an eye. That heart-wrenching moment, when you realise that life you are growing inside isn’t going to make it, is truly horrific. To be sent to an ante-natal department, seated with all the pregnant women, for a sonographer and a midwife to tell you that it “isn’t good news” is the worst thing an expectant mother can be told.
In my, unfortunately extensive, experience, miscarriage is harrowing. Somebody has ripped out your heart and thrown it under a bus. You have failed. The one natural thing your body should be able to do and it has failed. Your womb should be a comfortable home for your new child. Instead it is a hostile environment; life cannot cling to its walls any longer. People tell you how sorry they are, how you can try again, it just wasn’t meant to be, life is just so unfair. Do you really want to try again? When you know how easy it can all go wrong? Can you mentally cope with another loss? I have asked myself those questions more times than I should have had to.
To answer them, yes I did want to try again and no I probably couldn’t deal with that all over again. But I tried anyway. And failed. And failed. I was a failure.
But then I succeeded.
I so wanted to be excited, to feel the emotions a ‘normal’ woman would feel. Miscarriage has robbed me of those feelings. It has marred everything. I became anxious, almost to the point of depression, I couldn’t go out because people would see I was pregnant, then when the miscarriage that was bound to come along soon did actually happen I would have to un-tell them. I would have to hear their sympathies and their condolences. I would have to see the pregnant women that had become my enemies because they had what I so badly needed.
But it didn’t happen. Thank God, it didn’t happen again.
I will always remember those babies I couldn’t help, those babies I couldn’t grow to term. They are my invisible family. Nobody can see them, nobody feels them the way I did and still do. Nobody grieves for them the way I do. I wonder what they would be doing, whether they would enjoy reading, or painting, or climbing trees. These things I will never know.
Here’s to my invisible babies. My children I will never have the privilege and pleasure to know.