20th August, 2017
In a few weeks I turn 35.
That sounds totally ridiculous and I don’t even believe myself when I say it.
I still feel 21. Like it’s 2002, and Andrew and I are young, footloose and fancy free lovers. Not a care in the world – whole life in front of us, world is our oyster….yada, yada…but then I stop and look around at our life, and what we have created.
I look at our two humans who are almost as big as me and I spin out! It is actually such an odd feeling isn’t it? When did we all grow up?
Five years ago, I was turning 30. I had a big vintage themed fancy dress party planned. We had a bunch of our closest friends invited and I was so excited. I’d been shopping for months for props and little quirky vintage finds to style little nooks and corners of our home for the night of the party.
In the lead up to my birthday I was the sickest I’d ever been. I was bedridden for 3 weeks. Was told I had a bad virus and that I just had to wait it out.
The day of the party I was feeling so lousy, but I was determined to have a great night. I’d lost 5kgs as I wasn’t eating and looking back at photos, I can see how unwell I was in my eyes.
I got through the night and had a great time. I even enjoyed a couple of G+T’s.
The next morning I started coughing up blood.
Andrew made a call and within an hour I was having chest X-rays. The results – full blown pneumonia in both lungs.
I was given an intensive concoction of meds and within about 2 weeks I was back to my usual self again and back to life as we knew it.
It was now October and Andrew and I had been talking about how Spencer would be turning 5 in the New Year.
We began to discuss the idea of possibly having another baby. We’d had 2 within 14 months, the years passed so fast and we’d never really stopped to think about another little one, we were too busy enjoying our two babies.
We did decide to try, and within a month I was pregnant. We wanted to wait for Christmas to tell our family and friends the news. After a 5 year break, we were sure they’d be surprised, but excited for us and the family.
9 weeks in, and I had started to bleed. Off to the Doctor for blood tests, and then to the Hospital for an ultrasound. I was still pregnant, but they told me I would most probably miscarry.
Weeks went on and this continued. The bleeding was still happening. Blood tests every two days, more ultrasounds. It was just a waiting game. I was sure it would be okay. After all, I’d had two beautiful pregnancies previously, and all tests were showing that I was still pregnant.
It was a Thursday night. Andrew was at poker and the children were in bed fast asleep. I was in my bathroom and felt this all mighty pressure. Like a contraction, and the urge to push. I was so confused. What was happening? Right there and then, alone in my bathroom – I miscarried. I was shocked. Not really sure what had happened. Still certain that I wasn’t seeing what I was seeing. Denial.
The following week was Christmas. We suffered silently for a few days and then shared our sadness with our parents.
Why didn’t we tell them sooner? Why did we keep it to ourselves?
I blamed myself as most women do. What did I do wrong? What could I have changed? I cried myself to sleep for weeks. Andrew didn’t know what to say or do to make it better. I just had to ride this wave. A very lonely ride.
I’d had many friends suffer miscarriages in the past, and I always tried to support them through the loss as much as I could, but one truly never understands it until they’ve lived it themselves. I know that now.
I remember calling a dear friend and told her everything. She just listened. She knew what I was feeling as she’d suffered through it several times herself.
We got on with life and 2 months later decided we would try once more. Once again – I fell pregnant immediately, but within 6 weeks it was like deja vu. The exact same scenario rolled out as it had done two months prior. Another loss.
I was determined to not let it get me. Not let it win. We were determined to have another healthy baby. I started seeing a Doctor who specialises in alternative therapies. She asked me to give her 12 weeks. 12 weeks of her therapy before attempting to try again. I saw her each week, sometimes twice. I took the tablets and drank the tea. I had weekly acupuncture sessions. It was all-consuming and at about the 8 week mark, I took myself for a drive, to the lookout in my local town and I phoned her. It was too much pressure. Too many ‘what if’s’ and not enough guarantee. Andrew had my back and was supporting me with whatever I decided. After a hard conversation, I decided I couldn’t go on. We were blessed with two beautiful children who were happy and healthy and I couldn’t risk putting myself – my body and my spirit through that again. It was just too heavy.
As soon as I hung up the phone, I felt a huge weight lift off my shoulders, and I knew we’d made the right decision – for us.
Fast forward to 2017 – the kids are 9 and 10, and people still ask me if we will have another baby one day. They don’t know what we’ve been through and I understand it’s a question that gets thrown around, so I don’t get upset by it. I just gently let them know that it wasn’t meant to be for us.
If I was to have that time again, the one thing I would do differently is tell our family and close friends much sooner. So we didn’t have to go through it all alone. So many women wait ’til they’re in the 12 week “safe zone”, but I say – shout it from the rooftops ladies!! Tell the world about your wonderful news, of the miracle inside you. And if something does go wrong, or you do suffer a loss, at least you’re surrounded by love and support and that will help you through so much more than going about it alone – just you and your partner.
I have the utmost respect for all of those strong, determined women who suffer loss after loss.
Sometimes we have plans for ourselves, but the decision is beyond us. There is a much higher power in charge of our plan.
I look back now and think – we’d have a 4 and a half-year old. Oh, how life would be so different.
The past 5 years have been wonderful for our family of 4. We have experienced so much together. We have met new friends and had amazing opportunities come our way.
I can safely say that if we did have number 3, there’s no way we would planning the big adventure that we’re about to embark on.
Everything happens for a reason, right at the time it is meant to. I know that we’re meant to be a little (awesome) foursome and that is more than okay with me.
Thanks for listening.
This blog post goes out to my husband. My best mate and partner in crime. My biggest support and number one fan.