This article deals with stillbirth and may be triggering for some readers.
My partner and I found out we were pregnant a blip after meeting. I remember the moment I told him, and his immediate response that he would “support whatever I wanted to do”.
Within a week, we made the biggest commitment of each of our lives – to bring our baby into the world together. It wasn’t a decision made lightly, we acknowledged the gravitas, but were firm on the notion that this was a life that needed to be lived.
I vividly remember the moment James said to me, “I really want this if you really want this”.
I fell into mum mode, watching everything I consumed (goodbye social smoking and red wine), tracking every exciting moment in a baby diary, a few morning voms and all-day queasiness, baby scans, checkups with our GP who felt like an extension of us (man, I miss that guy), researching overpriced prams, weekend visits to Baby Bunting much to James’ dismay, and telling our friends and family, even early on in the piece.
I just want to take a moment to say, that last part is the part of my pregnancy story I would never change, because without the support of family and my closest friends, I don’t know I would have survived what was to come. I’m a big advocate for telling the 12 week ‘rule’ to get effed because I was a mum the day I found out we would be having a baby.
As a side note, I also acknowledge this identity can come for women even before then.
Nothing comes close to the complete euphoria I felt the day we found out we’d be having a baby boy. We were having a baby boy! I still can’t explain that emotion – I’m certain I was levitating above ground. It was a natural high that deserves to be bottled.
But what happened next is the beginning of the reason I’m writing this.
I was getting a scan with my mum (James had been with me for all the other appointments, but was interstate on this day). Mum took a million pictures and cry-squealed when she heard my boy’s heartbeat for the first time - routine grandma reaction.
But then something was wrong. I watched as the sonographer’s face grew increasingly concerned and her (internal and external) ultrasound prods became more violent.
The next moment, the doctor was in the room telling me that my baby boy "hadn’t developed right". He explained the details between wails (mine, not his). We were taken to The Room. If you know, you know. The grieving room. The limbo room. The room of utter confusion and devastation. The room where your mum strokes your hair for hours while you cry in her lap.