The miscarriage dream.....except it wasn't a dream. It happened. It feels like a hazy fog, someone else's memory, but it's mine. Even though it was only a little over 2 weeks ago it feels like it was a lifetime ago.
And I don't know how I feel about it. I don't know If I ever will. It all happened so quickly. One moment I had the shock of a positive pregnancy test and then fast forward to almost 10 weeks pregnant and poof...it was gone. I'd barely begun to digest the fact that there was going to be another baby and then, nothing.
I'd initially taken the pregnancy news with a side order of freak out. Up all hours of the night panicking about double buggys and what would I do at naptime when I had one baby to put to sleep and a newborn demanding my attention?
We'd decided to find out the gender this time as I didn't feel as connected to this pregnancy the way I did with Fox. My IVF baby. My heart and soul. My blood, sweat, tears and so many needles. He'd been in my thoughts for nearly 3 years by the time I'd got his positive pregnancy test. But this one, was a bolt out of the blue and I wasn't prepared.
I was slowly starting to come to terms with the situation and we'd dreamily started to discuss baby names. I'd found out I was pregnant on Burns night, and with the Scottish family connection, maybe we'd call it Angus for a boy, or Virginia for a girl, as that day was also Virginia Wolf's birthday. The early excitement had just started to wash over me, until the scans started.
As our first pregnancy was IVF, I was able to have early scans with this one. The first showed a sac, "yes, there's DEFINITELY a pregnancy in there!", the sonographer excitedly told me. But it was too early to see the heartbeat. So I came back 2 weeks later. Her face this time was different. It wasn't looking good. The embryo had grown but it wasn't in line with where it should be. Everything was in place but it was just so small. "It's not looking good" I heard her say, as if she'd spoken underwater. I cried. I cried a lot. And when you have to leave, alone, through a waiting room of baby bumps, well let's just say, it was the most horrendous feeling.
That night both my husband and I cried. I howled. It was like I was experiencing all those years of infertility all over again. The frustration of a body that just couldn't do what it was supposed to do.
That week wait for the next scan was weird. We analysed and analysed again over dates of conception and concluded that we'd got it wrong and in fact, everything would be OK, as we weren't as pregnant as we thought.
At the next scan I told this to the sonographer who looked quite aghast that she'd have to be the bearer of bad news yet again. "I'm sorry" she said, as she showed me the screen. "The baby has stopped growing".
I didn't cry as much this time. I was too numb. I left, in the snow, too shaken to even call my husband. I trudged home as the snowflakes fell and it felt peaceful. Like it had taken the baby in a serene world of white and everything would be OK.
But was it OK? Was I OK?! I still don't know. It's been very hard to work. Anyone who checks my Instagram could probably detect that something is up. My feed is usually relatively up to date, with commissions and happy doodles. But at the moment it's a handful of pre-taken photos that require minimum effort. I'm supposed to be working on a collaboration with a wonderful hypnobirthing midwife, but every time I pick up a pencil and draw those pregnant bellies, my mind spirals. How can I draw strong, empowering (and pregnant!) women, when I'm anything but myself?
Yesterday a reminder popped up on my phone "12 weeks pregnant today!". But I'm not. Not at all. The time when we would have been starting to break the good news has been taken away from me. And in all honesty I feel like a bit of a mess inside. I know time will help and eventually I'll be able to process this whole crazy time and just like me as always, I'm trying to pack this sad time away in a box and bury it deep. But it will always be there. The one that got away. The one that wasn't meant to be. The one that wasn't strong enough. I just hope I'm strong enough.