Motherhood & Parenting

The Prayer

“This can’t be.  This can’t be.  I can’t breathe”.

My husband and I stared blankly at the positive pregnancy test in shock.  So many thoughts filled our heads;

  • bad timing
  • not prepared
  • too old

Not to mention, the awful memories of the previous pregnancy that were still horrifically crystal clear.

I was always told that you forget about the pain of pregnancy and childbirth.  That’s how you were able to do it all over again.  But what if you can’t forget?  What if you are emotionally scarred for life?

Mayim Bialik captured it beautifully when she said:

“Parenting is a constant struggle between who you think you are and who you actually have the ability to be”.

I honestly thought I was heading for menopause.  I had a painful and very late period, I thought middle age was upon me.  I have been feeling awful for about a month, to be honest I feel pretty rough most weeks, with the occasional decent day.  I thought it was just the joys of getting older. 

Ok so here we are, looking at the Clear Blue.  It’s ok.  It will be fine.  We will be fine.  I have always ached for another child, maybe this was fate calling me one last time.  After a while we looked at each other and laughed, sometimes that’s all there is.

I was getting bigger very quickly.  Breasts swollen and extremely painful.  Despite some bleeding, I was looking at a second positive pregnancy test.  I had to have two blood tests at the doctors, 48 hours apart to confirm what was happening.  After an agonising wait, it was confirmed that I had what the doctors called, a non viable pregnancy.  The painful late period was infact a miscarriage and the pregnancy test had just picked up on the HCG hormone of what was, not what is…

I cried.

I cried at the failure of it all.  My failure.  At the loss of a sibling for my daughter.   At the loss of the last chance to hold and raise another baby.  I cried at the relief of not having to go through another awful pregnancy.  

I still felt pregnant.  I still looked pregnant and being able to cry at absolutely everything and nothing, was a reminder that I was a complete hormonal wreck.

I’ve held my daughter so tight over the last few weeks, as I continued to lose more blood.  I’m so grateful I was able to carry her safely to term.  She is such a blessing in my life and she is the reason I keep pushing forward, even on days that seem unbearable.

As much as I would love another child.  I know I couldn’t survive another pregnancy, mentally or physically.  At times I’m irritated and feel pathetically weak,  that I can’t just ‘sack up’ and push through 9 months of pregnancy.  Other times I drown in all the complications of the previous pregnancy.  The liver problems, diabetes, the days in NICU and my eye sight deteriorating rapidly in the aftermath.

I truly believed I would have 2 or 3 children.  I dreamed of a home filled with chaos and laughter.  Giggles at bedtime.  Sons and daughters arguing and playing together.  Building strong relationships with each other.  Making each other proud Aunties and Uncles as they expanded their families.  I need to let go of this picture because as much as my heart wants this – I just can’t have it.

As the days passed, the pregnancy symptoms faded.  I still feel emotionally numb.  I find my heart wandering aimlessly, somewhere between heartbreak and relief.  I hope to reach self acceptance amongst the guilt and grief of what has happened. 

I would love another child but I can’t take another pregnancy.  We can’t afford a surrogate.  We can’t adopt.  My second chance had come and gone in the blink of an eye and in all my despair, I was relieved.  Not because the pregnancy never came to pass but because my broken body would not have to crawl through another pregnancy.

As I remember the horrific pain of SPD (Symphysis pubis dysfunction), the nosebleeds and terrifying Cholestasis, I could cry a heart full of tears at all of it.

Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP) is a potentially serious liver disorder that can develop in pregnancy.  Normally, bile acids flow from your liver to your gut to help you digest food.  In ICP, the bile acids do not flow properly and build up in your body instead, entering your bloodstream causing serious complications for mother  and child.  Babies with ICP have a higher chance of being born prematurely or stillborn.  Your liver is basically poisoning you and your baby. 

I was scanned and my blood work checked every 48 hours with Cholestasis.  Facing the terrifying prospect of my baby dying at any moment was torture.  

I’m heartbroken.  I feel like a failure.  I wish I was stronger.  I wish I wasn’t plagued by ill health.  I wish I could do it.  I wish I could share my love and life with another baby.  I hope my daughter will understand.  I hope my husband doesn’t wish for different.  I hope what I can do is enough.  

I pray in time, I can let my dream of a second child go.  I pray for healing.  I pray for peace in my heart.  I pray for a sign that this was my life unfolding as it should.  To my little family, know that I love you with all that I am and my conflict only exists because of the love I have for all that we have created. 

I love you now and always. xx

1 Comment

  1. Kim

    Sending love. – Kim

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