I think sometimes about the timing of everything; how quickly things can change, and how sometimes a few days can seem like months.
On the day I went into hospital, it was Comic Relief. The dog had escaped in the morning before school, and Sam and I had spent 20 minutes or so catching him. Then I went to work, and Sam had to drive to school afterwards because I’d forgotten to take the cakes I’d made which we were selling to raise money. Sam was poorly and was working from home. I had a great day, and my tutor group raised about £80.
Later on, I felt some pain and thought it was probably my bowels, which have always caused problems. Shortly though, I realised that it was not my gut, as the pain rapidly increased, and my abdomen began to contract and was also very painful. We both quickly put on trainers, got in the car and drove to the hospital. Every time we went over one of the many speed bumps, the pain struck through me.
Within 15 minutes of arriving, my waters broke and I, and all my clothes, the bed and the floor, were sodden.
I stayed in hospital after that for 5 more days, growing more and more confident that things were actually going to be ok. Every time we listened to Freddie his heartbeat was strong and clear. We were all pretty relaxed and my mum sat by my bed and knitted tiny blue hats, in different sizes to accommodate for Freddie arriving at every stage from immediately, to in weeks’ time. We had visitors, I read books, I showered carefully. Everything seemed to be going well.
And then, just like that, it wasn’t.
Even then though, on the Wednesday night, when the pain began again and I discovered meconium, things settled down, at least the doctors thought they had, and we were hopeful once more.
But then, in the early hours of Friday morning, the midwife came to listen in to Freddie’s heartbeat, and she could not find it.
I think about how things can change so quickly. I think about how things might have been different if any factor in the situation had been changed somehow. I think about time on a big scale and a small one. Small scale is things like how in one day, you can go from being happy, expectant parents, to unhappy, worried people who do not know whether their baby will be born alive. Big scale is things like, right now I would have a 9 month old baby girl, or I would be massively pregnant with Freddie, and Sam and I would be making sure we had his room ready, and his wardrobe and drawers full of clothes and nappies and baby wipes. I think back 18 months ago, to before I ever got pregnant, when I ambled along in ignorant bliss, unaware of the skirmish to come.
Today is a strange day. It’s strange to be back home after a week away, it’s strange to be without Sam after being with him for 8 days straight, it’s strange because I’ve arranged a few ‘KIT’ days to do at school, before doing the final week of term and I can’t stop thinking about it and how I can most easily sneak, surreptitiously into and out of the building without being noticed, it’s strange because I think I’m ovulating but the silly stick things are hard to read and to decide whether the line is AS dark as or DARKER than the other line (I have dreams where I’m weeing on sticks which then morph into Etchasketch sort of things with lines all over the place…) it’s strange because Friday is the due date and I keep imagining myself 40 weeks pregnant, and we haven’t yet decided what to do all day. All in all, I’m a bit fuddled. I feel as if my brain is trying to stretch my mind out and peg it down in lots of places, but just as one bit gets pegged down, it pulls the end off another part, a bit like trying to get a bendy lid on a Tupperware tub.
Sometimes I feel as if I’m looking at myself from somewhere else. I see myself at the keyboard, calmly tapping the little black and white squares. Or when I’m doing the grocery shopping, placidly pushing the trolley, taking things off shelves and putting them in the space in front of me. I’m shocked by the tranquillity. Inside it’s much less calm. Inside is a tangled clutter of loss and Freddie and confusion, and really nothing else matters. In the middle of everything that makes up my life, is what I’ve lost and what I want. I want to do other things too; my job is important to me and there are so many things that I want to do and achieve, I want to lose weight and get back to my old self. It’s a strange, sad journey that I’m on. I know deep in my heart, that eventually, the journey will take a positive turn, and things will be better. But it seems that it’s been so, so long already, and it’s been a long time since something good happened.
The only good thing that’s happened today is that I discovered that I have some tomatoes that look almost ready to eat, and my carrots and spinach are coming through. But, whilst I’m pleased with my green-fingered handiwork, I feel sad that I can’t grow babies as easily as I can vegetables.