I guess the back story for this started when I was diagnosed with a benign tumour in my thyroid which had to be removed at fifteen. After surgery I was put on a lifetime medication and that was the first time a Doctor had ever said “It may be more difficult for you to fall pregnant”. I was about to turn sixteen and honestly, babies where just not on my radar…belly button piercings and how tanned I could get in summer were though.
Fast forward a couple of years and I’m in my last year of high school, turning the ripe age of eighteen (the smell of legal booze in dirty night clubs was in the air) and I’d just met my then-Boyfriend-now-Husband Steven. Time flew and before I knew it we were buying dogs, travelling, making joint bank accounts, buying our first home and then got engaged. We spoke seriously about having babies early on, ticking all the boxes of each others wants and needs, so really it was just a matter of when. In between all of these blessings I was put in hospital and diagnosed with polycystic ovaries, hearing the words “It may be more difficult for you to fall pregnant” again, only this time I started to worry.
So life went on, we were organising our wedding together and then BAM. We wanted to try have a baby. Doctors appointments after doctors appointments, tests after tests. We finally got given the go ahead but were told it may take up to a year to fall. Surprisingly we fell quicker then we both expected but definitely none the less excited. Queue our beautiful daughter Eden.
Three months passed and we thought we were safe to tell the world we were expecting. How we were wrong. Steve and I spoke to her, read to her, sang to her, counted fingers and toes at scans, started looking at male and female names, bought a couple of cute baby items…all the corny things first time parents do, you know? I was monitored weekly in my pregnancy for my hormone deficiency, POCS and a short cervix. At my nineteen week scan, she was gone. One in four pregnancies end; that’s someone in your family, maybe even at your workplace. Not only did I lose my daughter but I had yet to give birth to her. On November twelfth, at 3:27pm after half an hour of active labour I gave birth to our first child, Eden.
I looked at this beautiful but tiny 22cm baby that I was handed and thought “how the fuck did I get so ripped off? What do you mean this is happening to me?” That was my mini-me and she was gone, fair enough she had Steve’s feral feet and toes but everything else was so me. Steve and I would just stare at her for hours, crying. In total we got to spend twenty-nine hours with our daughter. The next time I saw her, her ashes were handed to me by someone at a funeral home. I remember breaking down on the way back to the car and sobbing to Steve “I never thought someone would hand me my daughter in a fancy fucking bag”.
Somehow, by some form of miracle, I still managed to get out of bed to get married to my wonderful Husband sixteen days after having our daughter. It wasn’t easy, I stayed in our bed that entire time only ever willing to leave to go to the toilet, or on a couple of occasions to answer the door to beautiful flowers and proceed to break down in front of the poor person assigned the delivery. Steve took charge and I look back now and know I couldn’t have done it without him. He cooked, cleaned and didn’t let me become a vegetable no matter how many times I didn’t eat or refused to get up to bathe. We even went on our two week honeymoon to America, but nothing felt the same. We were empty. We are still empty. I have struggled through my depression, my anger, my guilt and my acceptance up until this point and the thought of seeing newborn babies and small children in the flesh still tugs at my heart strings.
Now, we face a new battle (I know right. You thought the worst was over? me too). We want more than anything on this earth and in the entire galaxy to have more children but medically I have life altering decisions to make that require a lot more time and energy before I start talking about that shit. Stay tuned.