Looking back

I think I need a new beginning. The last three months and more have been really bad, and I need to start telling myself that things will get better soon. I wasn’t planning on writing about anything that had been happening, but I think that when you experience a major life event it colours your thinking so much that it’s hard to write about anything else. I’ve been thinking about blog posts, I’ve even gone so far as to install a wordpress app on my shiny new android phone, but no topics seem to capture my attention for very long.

So, in an attempt to clear my mind for writing about other things, I think I need to write a quick post about what’s been happening, then I can try to move on towards that new beginning I mentioned.

On March 16, when I wrote my last blog post, ‘Looking Forward’, I was eight or nine weeks pregnant. In accordance with tradition I was holding off from telling anyone about my baby until I’d got past the first trimester and had seen a happy wriggly baby at my first scan. At the start of April I had that happy scan, came home with a particularly blurry photo because apparently baby was very wriggly that day but still I wasn’t happy to tell anyone about my pregnancy. I don’t know why, on each of my other two pregnancies I was in a huge hurry to tell anyone and everyone as soon as I had my scan picture in my excited little hand. But this time I really held back and only told my very nearest and dearest. Everyone was so excited, the children in particular were thrilled and immediately started to come and chat to my tummy several times each day.

Everything proceeded normally for a few more weeks. I got to about fifteen weeks and started to feel very miserable. Having had pre-natal depression before, I was worried that it was recurring. I had such a sense of foreboding about my baby, and couldn’t wait to get to my check up with my midwife at 17 weeks when I thought she’d try to listen for the heartbeat. Well, the appointment came, and she told me it was far too early to hear a heartbeat and I’d need to wait another three and a half weeks until my second scan. I came out of there feeling so incredibly down, at that time, irrational as it seems three and a half weeks sounded as if it was half a lifetime away. The following week I went to see my GP with my concerns, who prescribed me a book about panic attacks and told me it would pass when the baby was born (he was right in a sad sort of a way).  The next day my midwife called me back in, having talked to my GP and tried (and failed) to hear a heartbeat, telling me not to panic because it was simply too early. Later that day I had what I now know to have been contractions, and after some other worrying symptoms, that night it was confirmed in the hospital that my much loved and keenly awaited baby had died some three or four weeks earlier.

I delivered my tiny tiny baby at eighteen weeks, and it’s not an exaggeration to say that I’ve not stopped thinking about the whole experience for more than a few minutes at a time ever since.

My family and friends were amazing and rallied round wonderfully. It took a good few weeks before I was happy to go out on my own to social events. But slowly and surely we were all coming to terms with it, and beginning to look to the future. Then, two and a half weeks ago tragedy came to our family again. My mother in law had a massive heart attack and after six days in hospital passed away on the 26th July. Her funeral was on Friday, and although we were with her when she died, the whole thing still doesn’t feel real. Writing this feels like I’m writing the script for some really awful film – I’m not sure how the happy ending will come about yet. My sister in law is now three days away from her due date to have her first baby, but her mother, with whom she was so looking forward to experiencing all the ups and downs of new motherhood, won’t be with her.

All in all, the last few months have been pretty horrible for our family. I’m really hoping that things look up in the next few months, we’re really looking forward to welcoming our new niece or nephew in the next week or two and hopefully everything will begin to go up from there. There is going to be a hole in family gatherings which will be very hard to cope with after losing my mother in law, she was the hub of my husband’s family, keeping in touch with everyone and feeding anyone who came within reach! But we will learn to move on, to celebrate and be grateful for the times we had with her, while at the same time honouring her memory by staying close as a family and making sure we remember the good times and trying not to dwell on the sad ones.

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7 Responses

  1. Oh Jenny…. Massive hugs and prayers. Your family has been through so much.

  2. I’ve been putting off cutting my hair again in honour of your wonderful mother in law. She would be particularly horrified to know how short it went last time. I’ll always smile whenever it curls … and then cut them away before they breed 🙂

    Lots of love to you all xx

  3. Jennie, I’m so sorry to hear about your two losses. I had a miscarriage this past spring, and it was so difficult, such a different kind of grief. To lose your mother-in-law on top of that – I am very sad for you. Just be kind to yourself and take things slowly, and keep letting us know how you are. Much love.

  4. Thank you Marita.

    Jo, I’d forgotten how she used to go on at you about your hair! She had a thing about curly hair though; she hated it when L or I straightened ours, and thoroughly approved when I went curly a couple of years ago!

    Kathleen, I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve been through a miscarriage as well. You’re right, it is a different sort of grief, because very few people share it with you. So it can be very lonely. Take care of yourself too. x

  5. Have just read this post, after having first read the the next one…

    Sending even more kind thoughts and hugs, to you and all your family.

  6. Hi Jennie, I am so so sorry to hear about your really sad loss, I have only just read it now after reading your post on facebook then looking here. I really hope you are doing ok and I am thinking of you lots of love Tracy xxxxxx

  7. Thank you Tracy. We’re doing OK on the whole, just sometimes it gets a bit overwhelming. It’s been lovely having family and friends sending such kind messages though. It reminds me that I’m not alone with this.

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