Content Warning: Baby loss, grief, fertility & trying to conceive
‘Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness
Will we discover the infinite power of our light’ -Brene Brown
When I read the quote above which is this week’s Quote Quest prompt I felt quite tearful and couldn’t quite place why. It’s a quote I’ve read before but not one I’ve ever been moved to write about or pair with pictures, so I wondered what it was about it that had suddenly captured my attention and what experience it was that I would end up writing about.
In general, I think I’ve been quite lucky in my life, compared to some of the hardships and truly traumatic experiences other folks have to endure I think I’ve had it easy. However, I guess it’s all relative and sometimes when I talk about things I’ve experienced in my life other people do point out that at times it sounded like life wasn’t as rosy as it could have been.
It is what it is though and overall I rarely dwell on things that happened when I was little and I tell a lot of stories very matter of factly and I can tell from the looks on people’s faces as I do so that they are completely lost for words and do not know how best to respond. As such there’s a lot of things I talk about infrequently and this means some things got spoken about a lot less than they should.
Without a shadow of a doubt, the hardest and darkest thing I’ve ever been through was the loss of my second pregnancy. I wrote about that in depth in My Kinky Roots, the summary for those that don’t know is that I had to have a TFMR (termination for medical reasons) due to my baby being diagnosed with Patau’s Syndrome and as a result of that I was told he was ‘incompatible with life’, a phrase that is used a lot by doctors in situations similar to mine and is truly devastating to hear.
The decisions I had to make following that news broke me, they broke my marriage and they totally reshaped my life. Don’t get me wrong I forged something good out of that unexpected turn of events and I do not regret the adventures I went on within the kink community, but the truth is I started down that path with darkness in my heart.
I was so lost and so sad and talking about baby loss is hard at the best of times, but even harder when people seem uncomfortable that you’d even mention it. Or there are those people who seem to want to use that sorrow against you and I’m honestly not sure which reaction is worse, but I experienced both. I also experienced ambivalence. A sense that it was just a thing that happened to me and it was probably best not to acknowledge it and that in turn would help me move on.
In truth, none of those things helped me move on and I didn’t move on for a long, long time. I told myself I had, that because I was doing my kinky thing, making friends and going on adventures, all was well. It wasn’t until I wrote about it on my blog and sobbed the entire time I did so that I realise how little processing I had done and how deeply the grief was still holding on.
In February I had an unusually long menstrual cycle. I was week late which is unheard of for me. At the time Mr F and I weren’t officially dating and I was genuinely concerned my period wouldn’t come. I was worried if I was pregnant Mr F wouldn’t believe it was his because we’d made no agreement at that point that we weren’t seeing other people. I was worried about the fallout at work because at that point we shouldn’t have been involved with each other. When my period finally came I was exceptionally painful, very heavy and there was a lot more blood clots in my flow than usual. Now it could have just been that way due to it being so late, which could happen for any number of reasons. However, it could have been a pregnancy that just didn’t stay stuck, I will never know.
As it happens I told Mr F I’d been a bit worried at how late it was and being a man who is keen to have a baby he wasn’t really that fazed and said he’d be happy wither way. About a week after this happened I found out my ex and his fiance were expecting and honestly, it broke me all over again. That very day I wrote To My Beautiful Boy, apologies that this post repeats some of what I said in that one.
The truth is though on the day I wrote that post I dug deep into the sadness and acknowledged that part of my sadness was to be found in the fact my period had in fact arrived after being late for that week. Mr F never kept his desire for a baby secret and official or not I’d fallen for him many months before we were boyfriend and girlfriend. As such I think my mind and my heart had started to move towards wanting a new beginning with him, a beginning that with any luck would involve babies, or at least a baby and that was scary for me to acknowledge because I’ve had fertility problems, as well as my loss and I know all too well what can go wrong.
That day I also told two people why I was sad. One offered to not talk about anything depressing and take my mind off things and the other response was from Mr F who offered to listen while I talked about it and told me I never had to hold these things in. Neither response was wrong but I realised how much it meant to me to have someone not be afraid to talk to me about it. Not only that but I also realised how few people I’d truly confided in over it.
Four days later we discussed it in person as we lay in bed together, along with some other things and it was after that conversation we actually opened up about our relationship and decided that we were in fact boyfriend and girlfriend and in reality had been that way for a while. One of the things Mr F said as we came to that decision was that he wanted a baby and was I going to be okay with that and I never thought I’d hear myself say I was on board with that plan, but I did and I meant it.
I do believe that finding the courage to explore my grief and sadness led me to see how much love I still had to give. I told myself for many years that I couldn’t risk losing another baby and I convinced myself I would never, ever want another. When I look at Mr F I can’t imagine not taking that risk. The light I have inside me that has infinite power is love and I forgot how amazing that can be because for a long time I wasn’t being loved in the right way by the right person. Or at least not in the right way for me to make that discovery.
I know love and hope aren’t enough to guarantee that all will be well with regards to this topic for Mr F and I. I have many worries and I am very realistic about the possibilities that lay ahead, but I’m no longer so worried or scared that I’m not willing to try and more importantly I’m no longer denying myself the chance to be honest about my feelings. I am sad because I said goodbye to a baby I dearly wanted and I always will be, I think of him so often and I miss him in a way that is hard to explain given the fact I never met him.
As it happens though I can now speak about him to not only Mr F but also my son too because his Dad told him about our loss and he’s since had questions for me. Which were hard, but the more we’ve talked about it the easier it has become and now he isn’t just someone I carry and love alone, but someone I can share with the other people I love and this feels like a far better way to remember him.
I am so grateful I found someone I could be brave with because now I get to discover what can happen in the light that we have created together.