Surviving heartbreak…my guide to 11 years of trying for a baby. 

Firstly thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the messages and e mails I have had in support.

Really deciding to blog about the miscarriage was a form of therapy for me, to get it out of my head and try to heal! I had no idea how many people out there it would touch and it does make it worth it. The amount of support that you my lovely readers have given me is amazing and it really helps me too. 

It’s such a taboo subject often uncomfortable for some to read, but for as long as your stories come back to me and the thanks messages I will continue to write. 

The intention was not to blog about fertility but about my life up here in the countryside however it’s such a huge part of my life it’s hard not to write about it. 

I am often asked questions about handling certain situations from both perspectives and the truth is ….. I’m no expert. The titles a little naughty because have I really survived ? I don’t know. But I wanted to try and give you some of my 11 plus years experience of trying for a baby because if that’s the one thing I succeed in, helping others from my experiences, it’s something positive to come out of it. 

Honesty is not always the best policy. 

While it’s true to say having open dialog for me with those around me having kids is important, give yourself time. I have found a lot of the thoughts in reaction to something people say or do are usually irrational and not my real feelings. It’s like a little monster trying the fuel the anger fire so that you don’t have to deal with the pain. 

It passes normally for me and I start to sort through my feelings, then that’s the time I feel ready to talk. 

Learn to accept that people do not know the right things to say! 

This goes for both sides of the coin. From my point of view early on I would get defensive and hurt when people said anything to “try and help” here are some examples:

“Don’t worry time is on your side it will happen!!”

“I have a friend who has been trying for x years then bang pregnant at 40!!”

“Oh god be thankful they are a bloody nightmare!!”

“What I would give for one kid free weekend”

Worst- “you’d hate it no more handbags for you!”

Worst still “stop trying it will happen”

While all of the above are from the heart, genuinely people do not know what to say.  What one might say to one friend might not be right for another. For me I am lucky in that I haven’t felt jealousy to the point of resentment but I know some people who have and it just makes an all round awkward. 

Truth – there is no right thing to say and give your friends and family a break, if they say something truly hurtful to you then talk it out. But accept they just don’t know how to make you feel better. It’s not intentional. 

There is no time limit on grief. 

This is something I have noticed more and more as time goes on. In my early twenties everyone would say – it will happen give it time. Now in my mid thirties mainly people avoid the subject or in some cases I get the impression they feel like I should just get over it and move on. 

Until someone has gone through this it’s impossible to understand. If they don’t have that needed for children, again it’s hard. 

There is no time frame , it’s not for anyone else to tell you how long you should keep that dream alive. Don’t waste time thinking about why they don’t undestand. You can’t control other people’s thoughts and what they say. You will know when it’s time and that’s the only opinion that matters. 

Try not to go over the top with happy when someone is pregnant

This is something I have been guilty of repeatedly. While of cause I feel genuine happiness for new babies trying to brave face it can be exhausting. I am not suggesting being miserable but I have found over the many many new lives I have welcomed most people will look at me gone out like they are waiting for the crack if I’m over the top happy, if you genuine are that over the moon great! If not don’t fake it too much. Deep breathes be cool! Look at the little bundle of joy – those little dudes are cute. It helps. 

On the flip side – to those friends and family having the kids don’t try to hide your joy. We already feel so much guilt that you have to be in this situation because of our issues, to hide the news or hold in your happiness isn’t fair on you and makes us feel worse. Ok maybe not a Ta Dah I’m pregnant deal with it bitch, but talk it out and hope they can be happy for you. 

I think this is an area to be honest, be considerate your news may sting and give your friend or family member time to adjust. But let them deal, you can’t change your news and have a right to be happy, don’t assume they don’t want that for you. 

This is one of the saddest parts for me, everyone in my life has to deal with my problems. I hate that. 

Try not to avoid being around kids. 

Firstly let me say if you really can’t handle being around kids, maybe get a little help to cope. It’s hard sometimes but I have always emersed myself in the children I knows lives. I would have missed out on so much if I hadn’t.

I can name a few times I have sat in a room full of mums and felt like an alien with nothing to contribute to the conversation but the good times far out weigh the bad moments. I have had so much joy from the kids in my life that it’s sad to think some of my fellow sufferers are missing out because it’s too painful. 

Recently when all four of my nieces and nephew were staying there was a moment when we were all snuggled on the couch my hubby included, watching the movie Home and I felt so happy. Those moments make some of the pain so much better and the love those kids have for us definitely makes it easier to deal with the rest. 

Give yourself a break! 

I don’t know about you but I spend a lot of time beating myself up. You can not change what is, you can not control what others say or do. You can only focus on your thoughts and feelings. 

As much as it isn’t my fault I can’t sucessfully have children, I can not control what my body does. I have spent a lot of time beating myself up! This is a hard lesson to learn. I haven’t chosen this for myself and my husband, in fact that’s the most frustrating thing – I haven’t controlled any of it. There was no choice here!!

I still feel enormous guilt to my mother whom only had me so will never be a grandparent. To my husband who will never be a father. To his brother who will never be a uncle to our children.  To my best friend who so desperately wants this for me. Time has helped me realise I can not change this, the guilt has to stop. I have to take responsibility to deal with my feelings. 

Finally ……. Let it out. 

I have always had my writing and art, letting it out for me doesn’t always mean talking. But find a way to release the pain that works for you. 

Through the worst bits of this miscarriage and I am far from done even now, but I feel a real distance from everyone. I don’t really want to be around a lot of people, I feel best in my house. Which I know to some may seem wrong but to me it’s getting through it as best I can. It is important to let it out in some way however. 

This weekend I had some time alone while my hubby was out and I wrote a letter to my lost babies and took it to the river at the bottom of my road. For the first time I let it out, that monster that’s clawed at me from the inside for  years for every heartbreak, every loss, every “smile and get through it” moment, for every degrading procedure, for every moment of agony, for every time I have felt that vice like grip around my heart. The anger at the world for why me???? – the one thing a woman should do and I can’t. 

I cried, I sobbed – for an hour and a half at the waters edge until there was nothing left and then I burnt the words and let them fall into the water and float away. 

Do I feel better!? Not completely, but it’s helped. Perhaps opening the flood gates needs to happen because brave facing it is exhausting. 

So have I truly survived heartbreak? Well yes I think I have, it might not be pretty and not everyone can understand but I have done the best I can.  

I do truly believe one day it won’t hurt so much. I was almost there before this last loss. 

There isn’t one formular to surviving or supporting someone through this, I suppose that’s my point. Try to put yourself in the other persons shoes for a moment before speaking or acting. 

Being human doesn’t come with a handbook. No one knows the right things to say or do all the time, we just do the best can. 

Ask for help when you need it. 

Talk it out when you feel ready. 

Forgive those who may say or do the wrong thing. 

Mostly forgive yourself!!

Until next time xoxo