It’s been a tea and biscuit kind of day. Digestive biscuits. They are the only biscuits I could find in the house… (we are now part of the nuts and blueberry brigade after converting our crisps and chocolate habit.)
They were a bit stale… but I had forgotten how good the malty, oaty, sugary, crumbliness was… I love them with a bit of cheese. Cheddar. Mature.
I woke up at 2am with a migraine… pills softened the pain, allowing me to function, but I haven’t really felt like eating much. Other than tea and biscuits.
I have felt this weird numb, sad, overwhelming emotional state only once before.
We hadn’t intended to get pregnant so soon after getting married, but a house move and a move into our in-law’s messed up a few routines (like taking my pill after brushing my teeth). It took a while to sink in… but seeing a little heart beat in a grain of rice at 8 weeks made it real… and as we converted the coach house and outbuildings in to our home, we began to get excited for our future with a family.
5 weeks later, the shock was intense as we saw a perfectly formed baby in my belly… just without a heart beat.
After a quick D&C, a quick week of recovery, I travelled 150 miles away from home in Yorkshire to continue to work on a project in Milton Keynes… I managed 4 or 5 weeks before breaking down during an important presentation. I don’t remember much after that… just a conversation with HR saying I should take as long as I needed… and that the company would pay for as much counselling as necessary. It sounds like a wonderful firm (and it was for the main), but the cynic in me only sees them protecting themselves against a court case – young woman, lost a baby, thrown back into work 150 miles away from home a week or so later, left alone in a Hilton…
My grief counseller, Mary, was wonderful. Tiny lady. Kind eyes. I remember crying a lot. But I also remember how she taught me visualisation and the practice of gratitude. I still have my little note book that I had to write 5 positives in every day.
She also helped me uncover that losing the baby was just the tip of the iceberg. It was the final straw in a lot of losses. I had just got married and moved 200+ miles away from my home, my job, my life, my friends, my family. The loss of my identity – ‘Ali Brooks’ to being James’ wife, The Mortimer’s new daughter-in-law. My parents and I weren’t speaking at the time…. (another story… but I think stems from the start of my Mum’s Alzheimer’s, her paranoia, jealously, frustration).
Mary helped me work through all the losses, the grief, the anger, the sadness, the confusion… so that then I could see how much I had gained… and still had left to gain.
I can feel parallels to that time, nearly 10 years ago, to now. The shock of seeing a dead baby… to the shock of seeing my dead Mumbo. The loss of a future where I thought I would travel home every 6-8 weeks to see my Mum, Dad, sister, friends… The shocking realisation that death actually does occur to those living you love in reality.
I had my first counselling session today. I remember the tears.
But I came away feeling a little lighter… and I am looking forward to unearthing all the losses, the emotions… so that I can look to the future, but also see the present and everything I have to be grateful for.
I had to go through the grief of losing our first baby, so that I could welcome Tom Tom and then lose another baby before welcoming Willy with open arms….
I need to go through the grief of losing my first parent… the first person I ever loved… so that I can live and love and embrace the future with open arms. I know from experience it is not to be rushed. That I need support. And that I can’t do it alone.