“Child of Hope”

It’s a harmless enough question when people ask about the age difference between my children. It’s almost 6 years. Nothing extraordinary about that is there?  My standard answer is “that’s just how it happened” and that’s true enough for most people. After all, when someone asks “How are you?” do you give them chapter & verse. No, I thought not.

November 5th 1999 I had a positive pregnancy test. Six days later I was in hospital with a suspected miscarriage.

Please tell me why they scan you in the same department as all the pregnant women with their swollen bellies? You hang your head, unable and unwilling to make eye contact with anyone. There is no joy in your heart or womb, just emptiness. You failed. I was sent home to let nature take it’s course. Miscarriage, even early on is bloody, painful and cruel. But that’s only half the story.

I thought that I was verging on insanity, you see, after years of infertility treatment I was fairly in tune with my body and its cycles. I felt pregnant. I felt crazy. I had seen what was flushed down the toilet. I honestly thought that if I mentioned it to my GP that he would have me sectioned. I didn’t mention it, I went back to work.

A week after my  miscarriage I had a routine blood test to make sure that “the products of conception” (Hey! That’s my baby you’re talking about!) had not been retained by my faulty, failure of a womb.

I took a call at work – I was working evenings – my GP said that I needed to go to hospital. I said “I’ll make an appointment in the morning”. He said no, that I needed to go immediately as my pregnancy hormones were still rising. What the hell did that mean? I think it meant that I wasn’t going crazy.

I’ll cut a long story short. More scans. More swollen bellies. More disgust with my own body. More failure. Nothing. There was no trace of the pregnancy, a “complete miscarriage” they said. That’s it then.child of hope

But it wasn’t, there was an ectopic pregnancy. This was a heterotopic pregnancy,  a rare situation when there was an intra-uterine and extra-uterine pregnancy occurring simultaneously.

I then had to sign a consent form to have the foetus and fallopian tube removed. It broke my heart. This is a very different kind of grief.

A healthy, very unexpected pregnancy followed very soon afterwards. My son is my Child of Hope. Even his name means gift. If I had to go through it all again just to hold him, I would.

 

My Daughter Wants to Change the World One Day…

Baby Emma - Copy…she doesn’t realise that she already has.

This has to be one of my favorite photographs of her, barely two weeks old, beautiful chubby cheeks, arms in 5th position – very telling!

Four years of infertility treatment was exhausting and soul destroying as anyone who has experienced it will tell you! She was conceived naturally following a decision to have a short break before trying IVF. That alone changed my world.

Her pacifistic tendencies were at work early on in her life. My parents, who divorced some years earlier, decided whilst passing each other in the hospital corridor that they would put their differences aside for the greater good of this beautiful human being. That also changed my world and that of my parents, sister and the rest of our family. DSC_8024  square bleach

She has taught me many things throughout her life so far and the ripple effect just keeps on going. I watch with immense pride as she matures into a beautiful young woman.

“Be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.”
Maya Angelou, Letter to My Daughter