It has been six months since I miscarried in November last year. Before I lost our first baby, if you’d have told me that I would become obsessed with getting pregnant, that I’d lose my entire being to the desire to have a baby, I wouldn’t have believed you.
I was never the kind of woman who dreamt of growing up and having kids. In fact, until I met my husband, kids were always a maybe for me. Something I figured I would probably have but would be at peace with if they never materialized. So, my transformation into a baby-fanatic took a few people—least of all myself—by surprise.
Conceiving the first time had happened all by itself…. a mixture of sea air and not enough caution.
Rebecca Sparrow speaks to Mia Freedman about pregnancy loss. Post continues.
Conceiving after miscarriage… that was a whole other non-romantic, peeing-on-sticks fueled story. The miracle of life became a science that I believed I could control. I researched and tracked and read entirely too much, believing that if I could just be pregnant again, I would be happy. I joined forums and Facebook groups. I knew exactly which day of each month I could begin testing. My lip wobbled when I read pregnancy announcements and I developed a Web-MD-based belief that there was something seriously wrong with me. I knew my obsession had gotten out of control, but I didn’t care. I had held my breath and dived beneath the waves of a dark, choppy ocean and I wasn’t resurfacing until I had my baby.
It took concurrent (and admittedly self-induced) heartaches for me to realise that I was drowning. I had sunk so far beneath the water’s surface that I couldn’t even see the outline of the life-raft above me anymore. My grief had led me to anxiety and depression. It had not led me to a newborn. I knew I needed to accept that having a healthy baby wasn’t in my control.
I wish I could tell you things changed overnight. That I fell pregnant or woke up one day having ‘snapped out of it’. But they didn’t. What did happen was this—I saw how much further there was to sink, saw the people above me holding out their hands and I decided to kick. It took weeks to break the surface of my depression. Weeks of soul-searching and big life changes. But what helped me the most was deciding that I no longer wanted to let the state of my womb dictate my state-of-mind. My uterus did not get to decide my happiness.
Right now, I am lying in that life raft, trying to catch my breath. Exhausted, half-drowned but for the first time since the miscarriage tipped my boat over, I am happy. There is no aching hole inside me where a baby should be. I am full. I am whole. I am awake. My future child won’t need to save me because I have saved myself.
People say that when you give up trying, that’s when it happens. I haven’t really given up. What I have done, is create a life that is so good, that so aligns to my values that there is no burning desire for a baby anymore. I am free of the baby-mania, of the routine and boring sex, of period-tracking apps and ovulation kits, of the pressure to be a mother, of the fear of failing. I am childless and vibrant. The door is still open for a new soul to arrive in my life but I’m not watching that door. I’m too busy slow-dancing with my husband in the kitchen. Maybe one day, our son or daughter will hear the song and follow the melody right on in. But either way, the music is going to play on.
Do you like heartfelt stories? What about pictures of dogs? Head to www.anniebucknall.com for labradoodle updates, candid insights on Annie’s journey to motherhood and other moving stories. For puppy pics only, check out https://www.instagram.com/the.doodlebug.sisters/.