This week's topic is inspired by a couple of conversations I've had over the last couple of weeks with different people...... This is without prejudice and blame. I need to get it out there that I'm aware that people mean well. Please don't think I am ungrateful, because I am not. Honestly. And I appreciate their help and advice........ but read on..... is it helpful?..... is it advice?.... good advice?.... really?
Lets talk today about decision making after a loss.... we've all sat down at some point and said "do we try again?". I've done it three times. Such a hard conversation to have with your partner. all the emotion in that one sentence. Fear, hope, anxiety.... you know exactly what I am talking about.
But first, a bit of background history.
F45, PCOS, Type 2 Diabetes, Under-active Thyroid. Lets just say if I was a horse, the farmer would be loading his gun right about now..........
2013 Stillbirth, 2016 Miscarriage - 10 weeks, 2017 Miscarriage - 10 weeks, 2018 - Miscarriage - 10 weeks.......
The heartbreaking, but very sensible, decision that we made after the last loss was that we could no longer do this to ourselves, let alone my body. Our mental health, we decided, was far more important..... as was our marriage. We were broken, with no baby. We had to repair us, our minds, our bodies and our souls. We needed to reconnect, and not just to make babies.
So that's it. The justification behind our decisions. Fully supported by a very tearful midwife, obstetrician, Professor of Fertility and a Professor of Diabetes. Group hug, all the best Tracey & Tim.... thank you for the last six years and so on.....
And do you know what? We are doing fine. Were actually doing good. Very good. We have each other. We have our cats, Luna, Minnie and Blossom. And we have the memories of our babies, the love we have for them is still very much locked away in our hearts. We have our friends, our family at Charlies, our work family, our actual family, and friends we have yet to meet. So that's it.
Or so you'd think, anyway.
So here's the conversation I had whilst at a social event a week or two ago, I don't know why I am still rattled by it. Someone I'd not seen for such a long time, healthy kids, grandkids, if you've been to Tenerife, they've been to Elevenerife. You know the type. Lovely people, but there's a reason you've not seen them for 70 years. And you're reminded of it as soon as they open their mouths. Ah, yes, indeed, three pints of lager and some people are a qualified fertility, adoption, psychologist life coach. Or whatever.
"Are you going to try for any more?...."
"Awwww why? You'd make a brilliant mam..."
"Sure I would.... but it's not meant to be...." I say, really hoping they'd take the hint and stop talking. But no.
"Can't the hospital do anything?"
"They did all they could and it still didn't work."
"Have you thought of fostering or adoption?"
"A long time ago"
"Why don't you try that? There's lots of children needing homes. You'd be great at it..."
"No. It's not something we want to pursue for various reasons..."
"Awwww, why? I wish you'd have another go...."
I had to walk away at this point. And do you really know what your'e wishing for us when you say that? The loss, the "cleaning up", the recovery, the healing, the check-ups, the silent tears in public, the loud wails and sobbing when alone.... child loss is devastating. Fact. If I needed expert advice, I'd go seek it.
Why did this person feel it necessary to put so much pressure on me to reveal such private, sensitive and personal information? Why are they putting me under so much pressure to try for another baby? What relevance is it to their lives? They want to see us happy, I know. But we are happy, believe it or not.
This is a more suitable and appropriate conversation perhaps?
"So will you be trying for any more children?"
"No, that's it..."
"I understand. It must be so painful for you..... So have you booked a holiday this year yet?"...
If a person wants you to know their most deepest and sensitive information, they will tell you. That's it.
How do you know they're not trying already, but don't want to tell anyone yet because of the fear we all carry in these cases? What if they're already carrying their rainbow, and again, waiting to know everything is okay before they make their carefully worded, rightfully theirs, announcement?
Why do we have to justify our decisions? Why do I have to explain the method in our madness, so to speak?
Nah, not doing it any more. I like you, I respect you, you hold a place in my heart, I know you mean well, but you know what? Not justifying it to you. You don't pay enough bills in my house to get an opinion on something so sensitive. I've discussed it with my husband and also the professor at the hospital. We are all in agreement, we are fully supported, and now it's time to move on.
I'm comfortable with our decision. Tim is comfortable with our decision. Please don't try to change our minds.
So, if you decide to try for your Rainbow, I wish for you the outcome your heart desires. If you have your rainbow in your arms, believe me when I say that I am peeing with joy and excitement for you and your ever expanding family. If you try for your rainbow, and it doesn't work out for whatever reason, just know that I'm there when you need me. I have your back and plenty of tissues, hugs and swear words to shout whenever you're ready.
But know this: I will never, ever ask you about it. I will never, ever make you feel you have to tell me anything you don't want to. I will listen if you want to talk. I will never, ever suggest any other method. I will never, ever wish for you the life you're currently living, unless you are in a good place, and if you are, I wish for you to keep that happy place.
I wish for you all a safe place, a place to be comfortable and confident with any decisions you make, physically and mentally, for you, your rainbows, your families, your partners and your memories of your precious babies.
People mean well, but child loss is a minefield. And there are trigger points. This is one of mine. I hope I have come across as being fair. Not ungrateful.
Have a peaceful evening.
Lots of love,