In October last year I found out that I was pregnant.
The choice was obvious. Financially we could not afford another child; we had been blessed with a boy and a girl. Emotionally, I was still tired and hormonal from having my son who was still not sleeping through and I had only stopped breast feeding a month or two before. How could I bring another child into the world when I had already seen the affect on my daughter when my son was born? It wasn't fair to put my son through that at such a young age.
I shed so many tears. I only told two friends; my mum still does not know. The clinic was great but when I lay there to have my dating scan, it felt so wrong. I had had scans previously for my children and been so excited. The screen was turned away - I couldn't even see my baby. I was seven weeks gone. At the same time when pregnant with my first, I thought I was miscarrying and had a scan at the same time. I know what I would have seen. The counsellor I thought at the time was great, but I don't recall being told about the feelings I have now - pain, guilt, hatred, self loathing, ashamed, above all bereavement.
Maybe I didn't want to hear it, maybe they don't tell you for a reason. I went back to have the tablets inserted two weeks after the initial consultation. I remember wanting to run away but forced myself to have the 'stiff upper lip' and remember that the decision had been made when my husband had his vasectomy. But then this was my last chance for my husband and me to create a baby together. I stood there with my trousers around my ankles in front of the mirror, inserted the tablets myself and said very quietly 'I'm sorry' to my unborn baby - the first and last time I would be able to talk to her. What followed was so hard. Having given birth to two children previously and knowing that the pain was productive, and something good would come at the end of it, this was completely opposite.
I went frequently to the toilet not wanting to see anything. I know when my baby passed. A wave of sadness washed over me - there really was no going back. For a long time afterwards I thought I was ok; it was over and done with. I had to get on with my life. After all, nothing had changed. I can't really say what the trigger was but now I feel sad. A depression has come over me and I am having counselling weekly and will start going through The Journey. Like so many other women I have read about, I almost want to replace the baby I have lost. So irrational.
My husband, whilst supportive, says that there wasn't anything there. It makes me so mad as, when we saw the scan of our daughter at the same time, we were over the moon at what we saw and that there was a heart beat. I will never know if my baby was healthy, whether there were one or two babies inside me - how I wished I had looked. My relationship with my husband has suffered; I feel that I lay a lot of blame at his door as he was the one that told me it was safe to have unprotected sex, even though he had not had two samples confirmed as ‘wriggle-free’. He was the one in the doctor’s surgery listening to the advice so why did he think that he knew better than a doctor? We haven't had sex for sometime. I feel no desire to take part. I do not feel attractive and the whole act just reminds me of what came of it all those months ago. I can't tell him of this blame as it's not like he wanted this to happen, why should I make him feel as bad as I do? There seems to be a growing void between us and I don't know how to repair it or if I have the strength to at the moment but that's not fair on him, is it? I do love him so much but feel I can't forgive him or myself.
My relationship with my children has suffered. I have little patience with either of them and have no desire to play with them so when I feel I was making the right decision - partly for them - it is actually affecting them now as much as it would have been if I was six months pregnant now.
I have friends who are pregnant. It hurts. I ask the right questions at the right time - wouldn't dream of taking away their joy with my own grief. They have no need to know what I am going through. I have friends who have had miscarriages and I can hardly look them in the eye. They were so desperate to have a child but lost it and there was me choosing to have mine taken away - how can my pain possibly be the same as theirs? I have such a dirty secret and with such an emotive subject I feel I can't talk to anyone other than the counsellor who is non-judgmental. The friends that know say I have built up a wall around me like Hadrian’s Wall but they respect my silence and do not probe. I hope at the end of the Journey I will be able to tell my mum who is such a special person. I just need a cuddle from her and to be told it is going to be alright. They say these decisions are made often with the head and not with the heart. It's the heart that wins over though in my case.
Editor’s note: Thanks for sharing your story with us…I sense a great deal of sadness in your story; sadness, regret, shame and guilt, loss – all those things. And you are silently suffering, not knowing how to relate to this event in your life; feeling the pain of it and struggling to maintain life as normal. It’s good that you have contacted a centre and are having counselling. You’ll be able to spend time expressing your feelings about everything; to come out from behind the wall of suffering and silence, and find ways of coming to terms with what has happened. There is hope for you; you’ve done the best thing getting in touch. Be patient with yourself; you’ll come through.