It is often when you least expect it that a smell, some music or a memory flits into your mind and takes you back to another time, another life, a different you. This morning my son did just that taking me back to a Spring eight years ago with his words as he came into my bedroom “Mum there was another baby wasn’t there?”
Before I begin I want to say that my story is very much one of the lucky ones and I am very aware of that. As I know very close to home from close family and friends the heartache of losing a child while pregnant, difficult and harrowing births and when I was growing up a very close neighbour losing a child at the age one of my children is today. A child that no one in my family has ever forgotten and each time I hear an Abba song I remember her as Abba was her favourite band. Life moves on but you never ever forget even if like me you bury it deep within as God was good and gave me a son and I already had a daughter.
My story began with the pregnancy of my son. We already had a daughter who was two when I became pregnant with my son. The pregnancy in its first stages was fine but then one sunny spring Sunday afternoon I began to bleed. We rushed to NHS 24 at our local hospital and was seen by a friend of ours who was on duty. I could see in her eyes that she was thinking the same as me that I was about to suffer a miscarriage. I was taken upstairs and scanned which was when we were told that I wasn’t expecting one baby but twins. However given the blood it might be that my body wasn’t going to keep them and I was told to come back in a week if there were no further problems.
One of the longest weeks on my life then followed as I waited to find out if I was to remain pregnant with twins or not. Nobody bar close family knew I was pregnant which in a way made it easier. Though it was very hard at work pretending nothing was wrong especially as having given blood tests my arm was black and blue and I had to pretend I had bumped it. I hated lying but didn’t want to tell the truth either. For family it was hard as like part of me they wanted to get excited about the possibility of twins that was the heart side. The head side told us to try to blot it out till we knew the truth. The heart side of me though did feel so so lucky that I had one healthy child and to this day it makes me feel so so much for those who go through miscarriages first time round and have nothing to cling to but each other.
We spent the weekend before the scan down at my parents in the Lakes which was great being away from home helped balance me but the night before the scan and coming home. I lay awake all night wondering and fearing for what lay ahead.
The scan showed one very strong heart beat my son’s but one not two. We had lost the other or had we? That is a question I asked at the time and still ask today as nature has away of life and death and it was so early on in my pregnancy if I hadn’t been scanned so early on we wouldn’t have known there was two. But the fact is that we did know so we will always remember and at the time I did grieve and mourn for what hadn’t happened as well as being so grateful for the fact that I was still pregnant.
It was a very strange time and cast a dark cloud over the pregnancy though also giving me a strong feeling of how lucky I was. It also just a little gave me an insight into what less fortunate parents go through and I don’t think there is anyone who has lost a child in miscarriage who doesn’t wonder and mourn the what if’s.
As very few knew I was pregnant I didn’t tell many people at the time that there might have been two. I did tell one friend who had suffered a series of miscarriages when she lived in Edinburgh before going on to have four wonderful children. They have now returned to their native Canada but we have kept in touch. She sent me a beautiful card full of understanding and an angel ornament. She had been given them for her losses as a reminder that you never forget. To this day the angel sits on top of our fireplace. One of the children dropped it and it has a hole in it which at the time I was really sad about but its in the figure of a fish and in fact for me makes the ornament more beautiful.
I do think from time to time what if but most of the time it remains within in me deep within me and I do count my blessings in the two kids that I have and it has always made me realise just how precious each and every life is. But today when the topic was brought up by my son it brought tears to my eyes as I sat down and told him just what a precious guy he was.
Today the sun is shinning and spring is in the air. It is actually a very similar day to that day eight years ago but I have a very different life. A life very much made more full by the child that I already had and the one that I went on to have. So I dedicate this blog to all the people out there who this strikes a chord with as they have known some if not all of the joy of giving birth but also the heartache and that each child is precious and unique.