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 

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It’s ok …… It’s really ok

Its been a while since I have put pen to paper, in truth this has taken me hours to complete.

The truth is I am drowning in my grief.  

I can’t tell you why this miscarriage is worse than the others, but it is. I can’t tell you why I feel so angry that I want to smash up every pot and pan in my house, but I do. Mostly I can’t tell you why this time the tears just seem never ending, I loathe the self pity I am feeling and the logical part of me screams – get a grip – but I can’t!!! 

Quiet is not my friend, if I have too much quiet I have time to think and analyse everything. So I’m filling my time with noise!

We recently found out someone close to us is pregnant. I should feel joy but with one month between our babies all I see is an endless amount of milestones that I won’t get with my baby but I will be reminded of, scans, growing tummies, knitted booties, balloons and banners! The wound is so deep now I don’t know how to heal it. 

I want to be happy for them, I’m angry at another thing this condition has taken from me. At a time I should be excited for them, I’m so consumed with grief for my baby I can’t breath and I can’t be happy.  That’s not fair to them and then the guilt kicks in. 

It’s such a lonely place to be. I have support but it’s hard for people to comfort me. I feel like I am completely alone and I know I will be allowed a certain amount of space to be upset but at some point I know people will expect me to be ok, if I keep saying I’m ok maybe one day I will believe it. 

I’m so over this feeling – 11 years of desperately wanting something, the ups and downs of almost getting it and then it being ripped away. Months of truly painful cycles that seem useless. 

The ache is so intense now it feels exhausting to keep this act up of I’m ok. I hope it doesn’t last. 

I have some great kids in my life, I love them so much but it’s not the same. As mad as you may think I am but – I will never know how hard night feeds are, I will never be the one a child runs to first when they are hurt or ill. I won’t feel the joy of watching my baby sleep on my husbands chest. The pride of first days of school. 

My god daughter who is 5 was staying over at our house with her three sibling asked me,

“Why are there no toys at your house?”

She was deadly serious, her little eyes all confused. I told her because we don’t have kids. 

She paused and thought about it for a while, little brow still drawn in confusion she replies,

“But you have us, we are your kids too!!”

It was such a bitter sweet moment. I love my best friends kids, she has four and they are beautiful little people. We spend a lot of time with them and I love having them stay. It melts my heart that this little beauty cut through my pain with one hug and sentence. 

So I know I will love this new baby I hope it will help to mend my Swiss cheese heart. I just hope it’s soon. 

I will get past it but for now just quiet between you my lovely reader and I, I am remembering my lost babies and allowing the grief in. I hope that doing this will give me the strength to move forward. 

I’ll never forget you little bean, I never got to name you or hold your hand. But I will hold you in my heart forever. 

Until next time xoxox 

Passing time. Pulling myself together!

So it’s been a week. While I have been dealing with losing our baby, I have had a lot of time to kill recovering. I spent a lot time editing pics and I thought I would share them here. 

 

County Bridge Barnard Castle
 
 I have a couple of more meaty blogs but I am struggling to finish them at the moment, my concentrations not great so hopefully you can forgive me and they will be with you soon.  Until then hopefully you will enjoy these xoxo

woodland near to my house
Barnard castle, County Bridge
  

High Force, Teesdale
High Force, Teesdale
    

woodland next to High Force waterfalll, i always imagine fairies and woodland creatures
woodland near where I live
The castle walls
Inside the Castle
Inside the Castle
View point from the castle walls
The view from Barnard Castle walls

Heartbroken – today I lost another pregnancy. 

Today has been rough. 

Today I found out that I have lost another pregnancy.  

I’m laid here unable to sleep. Wanting to get these feelings out but wondering how appropriate it is for me to upload a blog on this topic while it’s so fresh in my head, before the tears have even dried. 

Something a friend said to me has made me start to type, she called me brave for talking about it openly on social media. The truth is I don’t feel brave at all, I feel like my hearts smashed to pieces.  

It’s sometimes such a taboo subject, almost shameful to talk about but throughout our full journey I have shared my story. Mainly because I have gained so much support from my friends through social media – they have gotten me through some tough times. Also to know you are not alone, others can understand your pain. 

I understand the need to keep it quiet and not talk, In fact saying the words out loud today seems harder than typing them in here. It’s a personal choice, for me writing helps me. 

I’m just trying to make sense of it all – to me it feels like some sort of cruel joke. I’m surrounded by happy mothers and families, yet I remain unable to give that to my husband. 

The physical pain I endure not just now but regularly wouldn’t seem so bad if I knew that one day I would be rewarded for it, for now it’s a reminder of my failure. I’ve cried so much today that at this point I’m in danger of dehydration!! 

I can’t think about it in too much detail or I think I would loose it completely.  💔💔

It was very early days, not that it makes me feel any better I feel like I have been pregnant for 10 yrs, waiting for this baby to arrive but it never has. It feels like I am always loosing my child, maybe I will always be loosing it. 

I have a recurring dream, I have had a baby finally and I am changing it on our bed, but I keep loosing it in the bedding. Doesn’t take a qualified counsellor to read into this one.  

How much heartbreak should we have to endure to have a family? Just when I think I am past it and ok. What if I am never ok? What if my heart hurts like this forever?

In the next couple of days I will find a way of locking this up in a safe place and move on, but for now, just for tonight quietly alone writing this I will allow myself to fall apart a bit. 

Not brave tonight – that starts tomorrow when I find a way to dust myself off and find my smile again. 

  

Meet my furry baby 

My last blog was an intimate one, sharing my story, journey really, through loosing my pregnancies and the reasons why I started to take pictures. They became a creative outlet, an escape from all the ugliness around me at that time. 

This one I wanted to share with you some happiness , in the form of my dog Tara! We call her Tara Taz (she even has her own Facebook page give her a like – Tara Taz)  ….. In case you were wondering, YES, I am one of those crazy animal owners who calls them their baby and treat them like they are actually a real person!! Feel free to roll your eyes now!

  
The thing you don’t know is this little bundle of fur, she has been my closest confidant through all of our fertility failure. She’s been there to cuddle me through my lowest moments. I remember after coming back from yet another hospital appointment after loosing one of our babies. She sat with me while I cried on my own.  .  .  I am not a public cryer .  .  . I held it together through the whole experience and it was only when I got home and sat with her that I let it go, she sat with her little fuzzy head on my lap while my tears dropped onto her head and when I was done and the crying slowed, she went and retreavied one of her toys and put it on my lap. It was like she was saying ‘here mummy, have this I still love you’.

  
Tara has her own personality, I think in a previous life she might have been royalty as she is quite a diva! For example, she has no interest in drinking water from a dog dish if it has been down for longer than a couple of hours …. Oh no …. And she has no problem waking me up in the middle of the night to refill it. She’s also happy to drink from the tap at a push, but either way you are getting up to see to her!! 

  
She’s a little Cracker Jack but we love her 🙂 

   
    

Until next time … 

How to heal a broken heart – Surround yourself with beauty….

Welcome to my new followers, I get so excited when I see the numbers going up haha! I am so new to not just this, but photography also so please bare with me and any advice any of you pros out there can offer me I would greatly receive it!

Now onwards …..

Lambing part two is in draft at the moment as I await a time to revisit those beautiful woolly jumpers for more pics – its a hard life!!

I thought I may, if you are willing, take you on a slight detour as we get to know each other. I want to give you a little more information, revealing more of myself and the motivation for this blog and my interest in photography.

I am so fortunate to have an amazing marriage its the thing I value most, above anything else. Sadly we are missing an element that we visualised as part of our perfect marrage, something I dreamt of from being a young girl, we wanted children. For  over 10 years we have tried for that beautiful bundle of joy, but sadly the road to motherhood for me has been a long and rocky one.

I always knew I wanted a family, I would play with dolls as a child and want it so badly, I remember telling a friend once that I would have at least 4! As I got older other elements of my life became more important and I didn’t want rush into anything until I was sure of our relationship, but I just had a nagging feeling something was not right. The months of “lets see what happens” turning slowly in to black desperation as it wasn’t happening!

The ache of wanting a child is so real, it’s like someone is holding your chest down and sometimes punching a hole right through you. It’s not rational, it’s not something you can “stop thinking about” it’s ever present and always on your mind.

I had already had a miscarriage at 18 I didn’t even know I was pregnant at the time, the nagging sensation after this that something was wrong just didn’t leave me, so when I got that first positive on a test I was apprehensive. So much so that I didn’t share the information with anyone except my doctor. I went to that first scan alone, already feeling cramps and so scared.

My hands trembled as I sat in the Hospital waiting room, surrounded by women blooming with pregnancy. Laughing and talking about future plans. A young girl tentitively asked me if I was ok, I knew I must have looked a sight. I could feel the colour had drained from my face and was barely holding it together.

“I’m fine” I replied. Not being able to actually speak the words out loud, to say what I was most scared of.

“What if there is no heartbeat …..”

There’s a Beyonce song that she didn’t ever release in fact it’s only one verse but it so beautifully sums up for me the heartbreak of that moment.

I guess love just wasn’t enough for us to survive
I swear, I swear, I swear I tried
You took the life right out of me
I’m so unlucky I can’t breath
You took the life right out of me
I’m longing for your heartbeat
Heartbeat, heartbeat …… – Beyonce

 

The silent tap, tap, tap of the sonographer and the slowing conversation. I knew I always know. 

The couple of weeks that followed were a blur, I remember a feeling of emptyness and being alone. I was surrounded by people that loved me, sure, but nothing anyone could say could mend the break in my heart and although it’s taped up a little. It’s still there to this day. 

I found out I had PCOS followed with treatments, further attempts and losses I thought I would never get over the heartache.  Coming to terms with never having a child I desperately wanted – It’s like grieving the loss of a loved one, for ten years I imagined my baby’s smiling face, I imagined the laugh and cry, the sleepless nights and how terrible Ben my husband would be at night feeds as he sleeps so deeply. Creating the nursery, the rocking chair in there I would spend a lot of time in nursing him/her. The life they would have with us and our families, the love they would feel from us knowing how desperately they were wanted. Their first words, first steps, first day of school ….. The list goes on.

The realisation that it just isn’t happening is like the death of a dream – I grieved so badly. I was angry, tearful I felt guilt that it was me preventing Ben from being a father. Most of all a failure, the most basic and natural thing a woman could do, to have a child and I couldn’t do it. I was failing. Ben has been so great, he is happy if it’s just the two of us but I still feel bad!

Slowly as more time passed we found ways of moving forward. Traveling was one of the things we loved to do. We booked trips away. We focused on the things in life that if we had children we perhaps wouldn’t have been able to afford to do them. Out of the traveling I found a love of photography. I have had no real training, I am self taught but one if the reasons I wanted to start this blog was to improve at it. To have somewhere to share what I have created. To maybe have something else to focus on, to heal a little with the beauty that surrounds us. 

Here are a couple from our recent trips, until next time enjoy ……

Our Rome trip

The view down a canon hole on Castle St Angelo, Rome
Inside Castle St Angelo

  

Our America trip