Are you ever guilty of thinking you aren’t good enough? Maybe you aren’t coping as well as you should or aren’t getting over something as quickly as you should? Your emotions are over the top? Not enough? You should be doing better?
That’s basically how I felt all of last year. I am my harshest critic.
With a little bit of space and time since our last miscarriage, and starting therapy, I’ve been able to start looking at our experiences more objectively and I’m glad to say my judgement of myself is now a lot more positive.
4 miscarriages. 4 times I fell pregnant. 4 times I calculated due dates. 4 times I was hit with that exhaustion, thirst and constant sickness. If I look at the physical impact of that alone, it is massive. What a rollercoaster for my body to go through. It was a gruelling. Being pregnant, for me, is really tough. Sadly I react strongly to pregnancy hormones and pregnancy is really hard on me. Of course, I am so grateful that we are in the position that I fall pregnant. I recognise how lucky we are in that respect. That doesn’t make it easy though – I had HG with Boo and even with the chemical pregnancies that constant throwing up had started. Physically, my body went through a lot.
If I then consider the emotional impact of what we went through, I can see why I have struggled so much. It was traumatic. With each loss, it became harder to maintain a grip on reality. How on the Earth was this happening to us? The unimaginable became our reality. I crumbled. I blamed myself. I berated myself for not being able to keep our babies alive. I felt helpless. Lost. And I felt completely out of control – in freefall. I can see now why I wasn’t getting better – the impact of the trauma and grief was too much to bear. It is still great. I am still vulnerable. But now I can finally be kind to myself and recognise that my reaction is completely ok.
I have battled so hard to be OK. It is difficult to explain the burden of battling with your mind whilst being totally out of control of what is happening to your body. The constant stream of what ifs and what nexts. I’ve felt trapped and isolated. If I hadn’t worked so hard to get better, I dread to think what would have happened to me.
And on top of the miscarriages, life had to carry on. We still had a house to run. A daughter to raise. I look back at everything I did to ensure her happiness and development and don’t know how I managed it. It is true that you are stronger than you realise. You just have to find strength. I am sure my depression and anxiety will have a lasting effect on Boo. But I am also sure that I have made sure that the impact is minimal and she will be an empathetic little girl as a result of what she hasn’t had to learn.
Our journey is not over. For now we are enjoying a pause. Time to rest and rejuvenate. Time to reflect. It’s good to gain some perspective and forgive yourself.