Day one of being out and alone.

Right, I’ve never done this ‘blogging’ thing before, but I’ve found myself with rather a lot of time on my hands… again.  My husband suggested I write a blog – what with me being an English teacher he thought I may as well do some writing to keep my ‘skills oiled’… There is of course the added potential for some cathartic release when I get on to discussing the reasons why I have all this free time… again.

Last year, on April 16th, in the early hours of a Friday morning (12.40am, to be precise), I discovered that I was having a miscarriage.  I was 18 weeks and 5 days pregnant.  Exactly one month ago, on Friday 18th April, my waters broke.  This time I was 23 weeks and 6 days pregnant.

“Why is it happening again?” My husband asked me just after the fluid gushed in warm rivers onto the hospital bed.  As I looked at his face, furrowed with pain, I wanted to say, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry that I’m losing your baby, again.”  But I didn’t, I said “I don’t know”, which was the truth.  Saying sorry would have only made him feel bad – no husband wants his wife to feel responsible for the loss of their baby, but it was becoming clear that it must be something to do with my body causing the problems – after all – the same thing had now happened twice.

When you hear the word ‘miscarriage’, or even ‘stillbirth’, there are connotations of sadness, of course, but when you’ve been through it, neither word does the experience justice.  The first time, it was called a ‘late miscarriage’, which almost suggests that it should have happened sooner – as if the miscarriage was late in its arrival.  Of course I know that the term is used to distinguish between what is considered a ‘normal’ miscarriage – one happening before reaching week 12 or 13 of pregnancy – and one happening between 14 and 24 weeks, in the mid-trimester, but it just doesn’t sound quite right.  This time, because I was over 24 weeks when I gave birth, the baby was considered ‘viable’, and legally, things were seen in quite a different light.  Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if the labour had not stopped the night I was admitted.

I don’t intend to frighten people by talking about such horrific things, I just feel like there are some things people should know, or more that there are things that I would like to say:  I think that if you never experience anything that I’ve been through, it might at least help you to try to empathise with someone who has (of course I wish with all my heart that no one ever had to experience such heartache).  If you’re a mother, or pregnant, hopefully reading about the experience of someone who has given birth to two babies, but not been able to take them home, will make you appreciate your lot, just in case you don’t already.  For all those women who whinge and complain about getting cellulite and a flabby tummy, at least you have something to remind you why your body is not what it used to be – I’ve gone from a size 8 to a size 12-14 in a year, and battled trying to lose weight and get fit, while my body seems very much to have its own ideas.  And I don’t have either of the two beautiful babies that I’ve carried to make the unpleasant changes in my body seem worthwhile.

So, today is the first day that I’ve been on my own since coming out of hospital – hence, the title of this post.  My parents stayed with us from when I was admitted, up until Saturday. A total of 29 days.  While I was in hospital my mum cooked and brought in food for every meal except breakfast – fortunately my house, which is where they were staying, is literally minutes away!  My mum and I are very close, despite the fact that she lives with my stepdad, John, in the Outer Hebrides (none of us are from there, they went on holiday there a few years ago and fell in love with the beautiful coastline and bleak moors, sold our house in Lancashire and bought one up there, where they’ve lived amongst chickens and sheep for a few years now…), so I was very glad that she was able to come and be with me in the hospital, and even more glad that she was able to stay for so long once I was out.  It made things easier as I didn’t need to make any decisions about anything much, and of course she was great company once my husband went back to work on the 5th April.

Last night, in preparation for my first day alone, I wrote a list of things to do.  It reads:

  • Walk dog
  • Gym
  • Shower
  • Sunbeds?
  • Blog
  • Letter to school*
  • Weigh + soak fruit for cake
  • Make tea – meatballs and spaghetti

So far I have been able to tick off four things and will soon also be able to tick off ‘Blog’.  It may seem as if some of the things on my ‘to do’ list are pretty inane – who needs to put ‘shower’ on a list, right? But when you’ve spent whole days lying on the sofa intermittently sobbing and flicking through mindless TV series, having a shower is most certainly a feat to be considered worthy of a place on a list.

Going to the gym is the thing that I’m most pleased about – I haven’t done any exercise (apart from walking the dog a bit) for 6 and a half months and I really missed the gym.  I feel just a tiny bit thinner already…I think.

So, that’s probably enough for my first post – I’m going to tackle the rest of my list and look forward to my husband coming home – I expect he’ll be very proud of me for not spending the day in tears being frightened to leave the house – although it’s only 13.50…

 

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23 Responses to Day one of being out and alone.

  1. Rachel Thomas says:

    Hey!! i think this is really good and most defiantely a good way to get all ur feelings out!!!! Hope ur doing ok and send my love!!!!!
    Rach
    xxx

  2. Pippa says:

    Am touched Abbie, very brave to write this stuff down. Keep it coming x

  3. Sue Thomas says:

    well done Abbie!!! it made me cry but very powerful stuff hopefully you will get some peace and release from telling your story and i’m sure it will make others realise they aren’t alone.
    VERY BRAVE, Very proud of you !!!!!

  4. Sue Donnelly says:

    Abbie – how very brave of you to put these thoughts “on paper”. Have just stopped blubbing – it’s very powerful and hopefully, it will help you and anyone else who has to go through such a terrible experience.
    Lots of love xx

  5. Holly says:

    Abbie,

    As you know I think you are just the most amazing person. So very, very proud of you and what a good idea!
    Lots and lots of love and squish – thinking of you always.
    Holly (the small orange sister(in-law))
    xxxxx

  6. Holly says:

    P.S – what touching words – you write beautifully xxxxx

  7. Steph Thomas says:

    This is really brave abbie, well done. You do write beautifully and truthfully.
    when/if i qualify i will find some more intelligent (than me) medical friend to work their asses off to solve this medical issue…..i promise. xxxxx
    ps. you still look great at size 12-14! 🙂

  8. Kalie says:

    Hi Abbie,

    I dont know you but Holly gave me the link (hope you dont mind). As an outsider i would just like to say keep your chin up and keep the happy thoughts going!

    Hugs xx

  9. sophie says:

    Hi Abbie
    Hope you don’t mind me reading this but it was so touching I thought I would just say remember to keep positive and you have been through a lot – its ok to grieve.
    Take Care X

  10. Phil says:

    That was a great peice; composed, heartfelt and slightly sobering. I hope this blog provides any outlet you want/need and you keep updating.

  11. Joanne says:

    Thankyou Abbie in allowing us to read your blog. I’m sure it will be cathartic for you to pen your thoughts, feelimgs and grief allowing you to perhaps gain a little perspective & peace day by day on what has happened over the past year. Love to you and Sam at this most numbing of times – the sun will shine again little by little.
    Take care xx

  12. Laura Bell says:

    Wow Abbie!

    From something so heartbreaking I have found your strength, and blogging really inspiring.

    I wish you all the best.

    Laura xxx (Holly’s friend)

  13. Abbie says:

    Thank you to everyone for your comments, I really do appreciate you taking the time to read my post and saying something about it.xx

  14. Rachel Williams says:

    Hi Abbie. My nane is Rachel and I do know exactly what you are going through. My firstborn son Connor, was ‘stillborn’ at 35 weeks due to domestic abuse (mentally cruel not violence) and I buried my little man who was so perfect that my heart still breaks when I remember his face. I never got to see his eyes open and hear his cry. We buried him in a small grave that at sat at every day for a long time unbelieving how I could continue without him on a minute, hourly and daily basis. I returned to a house that was prepped for my new arrival and I had nothing in my arms which physically ached for him. Within 10 weeks I was pregnant again and my daughter was born on 1st April at 35 weeks because they couldn’t guarantee the same wouldn’t happen again. She was 3lb 13 ozs and stayed in hospital for a month. At 10 weeks of age she had problems breathing an was rushed into PICU and after many tests, we found out she had congenital heart failure. I was distraught but kept going and lived in the hospital on and off until at 7 months she was put on the top of the heart transplant list and the waiting began. She died 17 days after her first bithday (and my first mother’s day). Bereft doesn’t even begin to describe that time in my life. I threw myself into raising awareness of organ donation and turned her name into the acronym Take A Card Everywhere. Her name is TACE. Four months after I buried my second born, I could not cope with my grief so my body tried to carry this weight for me and failed. I was diagnosed with a rare brain condition and am registered disabled for life. BUT. My beautiful girl raised such awareness of organ donation that on one day of her televised wait for a heart 15,000 people became new donor card holders. I am aware of many people not going through what I did purely because of my angel. That is a miracle right there. On April 17th she had been gone for 11 years and would have been 12 on 1st April. Next month, Connor would have been 13. BUT, after fleeing the domestic abuse across the country and changing my name I sought counselling and after two hard years, eventually came out the otherside of my grief. (Not forgotton by any means). I met my current partner when I was healthier mentally and had Carys in 2006 and its baby Jay’s 1st birthday on Friday. I came through it but I just went with whatever emotion I felt on any given occasion and took baby steps towards the future and one day just felt I had ‘got there’. I had my little girl for over a year and her loss was horrific but I still never got to hear Connor cry or open his eyes and that loss is just as bad some days. Take care of you Abbie and remember, baby steps (no pun intended)

    • Abbie says:

      Hi Rachel,

      Thank you sincerely for sharing your incredibly sad and personal account of your experience. Many people have said that what I’m doing is brave, inspirational, humbling and so on. I do not feel (not yet anyway) as if I’m any of those things – I just wanted to tell people what’s happened to me, and I’m moved beyond words at the response I’ve had, and that people think those words apply to me. What you’ve done really is inspirational.

      Thank you again.

  15. Elizabeth says:

    Abbie.I really admire what you are doing.I hope it is helping you even in some small way.I love you and hope to see you soon.My love to Sam Xx

  16. laura solly says:

    This is a really great idea. Though it is heartbreaking to read. You are so brave my love, I hope that writting will help. Please let me know when your free am missing you loads- is perfect weather for a picnic! All my love, Laura xxxxxxxxx

  17. fiona says:

    Hi Abbie, your write beautifully, i am so glad you are moving from day to day.
    Take care of yourself you are such a strong person. love Fiona xxx

  18. Kat says:

    Hi Abbie,

    I hope you don’t mind me reading this (Sharon told me about your blog and asked me to take a look). I realise that I have only ever met you the once but you touched me with your tender nature and strength then as you do now. I can not say anything to take away your pain or even pretend to understand for a moment what you are going through but as I sit here sobbing my heart out I feet that I needed to reach out.. You are an inspiration woman and the more I read the more I realise that you truly are beautiful in every way. Your Angels are going to be with you forever.

    Our hearts go out for you both

    love Kat (and of course Jon) x

  19. Jodie says:

    Abbie

    You are beautiful and your strength amazes me. I am so proud of you.

    Love you

    Jodie x

  20. Kyrsty says:

    Abbie

    I was truly gutted to hear your sad news as I’d been keeping my fingers crossed and I’ve been thinking about you lots since. I asked Ange how you’re holding up today, she told me about your blog and after reading about your heartache (that I can only imagine), I just wanted to let you know that you’re missed lots, you’ve been so supportive to me with work and I hope in some way myself and others can support you in your time of need too. Take Care and love to you both. Looking forward to seeing you in September xxx Kyrstyxxx

    • Abbie says:

      Hi Kyrsty,

      Nice to hear from you, and what a lovely message. Thanks so much for getting in touch and for your support, I hope work is ok – not long ’till summer! 😉 xxxx

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