This year my social media feeds have painted a happy picture. I’ve been working on my own business, raising my son and enjoying our unique, offshore lifestyle in the northern suburbs of Sydney. My posts are full of smiling faces and fun adventures.
So often, my friends comment, “It has just been such a good year for you!” And in many ways, it has.
Except for the two miscarriages.
This week marks the start of Never Forgotten: Mamamia’s Pregnancy Loss Awareness Week.
We have been trying to add to our family since October 2014. We’ve conceived twice and lost both pregnancies. The second miscarriage, back in June, was right at the nine week mark and resulted in surgery. It was shocking, painful and unbelievable to comprehend that I’ve now suffered three miscarriages in five years.
The thing about miscarriage is that the pain gets worse as time passes. My sadness grows instead of fading. I get swept away by a tidal wave of disappointment each time my period arrives. Regular sessions with my therapist help me cope but the grief and feeling that I’m not good enough is still overwhelming.
Every day I feel more keenly that something, or someone is missing. I love my son and am so grateful for him but I can’t get over wanting him to know the joys of having a sibling. He gets older each month and I’m forced to move the goalposts. The plan to be pregnant by the time he was two turned into hopefully being pregnant by his third birthday. Now I’m crossing my fingers that it will happen before he turns four.
I have one chance left in 2015 to fall pregnant. Hubby and I are more shagadelic than Austin Powers but there’s no joy in this forced, desperate game of sex-to-conceive. When I tell him it’s go-time again he actually sighs.
When you are suffering from a loss like this, the festive season is very difficult. Parties come up a few days before your period is due, meaning you’re reluctant to drink and it’s hard to relax and have a good time.
The inevitable questions come from friends and family who haven’t seen you much during the year, asking if you’re planning to add to your family. Do you politely murmur that you’re not sure or break down in tears?
Then comes the advice. The people who tell you all you need to do is relax and not think about it. This is 100 percent impossible when every single beat of your heart reminds you of what you’ve lost and what you want.
Perspective and gratitude are hard when you’re trying to get pregnant. It’s so easy to feel completely wrapped up in your endeavours and to have a sense of isolation from your loved ones, particularly if they are expecting - and it seems like all of them are.
What I really want for Christmas is two lines on a stick. I want to be free from trying to conceive and the all-consuming stress of this journey. On Christmas Day I want my boobs to hurt and I want to joyfully throw up a mix of pudding and custard.
We have welcomed a beautiful baby into our extended group of friends and family every month for the past six. Please Santa, can it be my turn next?
Have you dealt with pregnancy loss? What advice do you have?
WATCH the video below for advice on falling pregnant after miscarriage...
If this has post raised any issues for you or if you would like to speak with someone, please contact the Sands Australia 24 hour support line on 1300 072 637.