I woke up bleeding. I’d felt a kind of dull ache all day but I thought that the bleeding had stopped, so it was an unwelcome surprise to find there was still more to come. The pain had gotten worse too. It took a while to wake up – I’d been dreaming of miscarriage anyway, but I kind of resisted having to be awake and deal with it physically. As if I hadn’t had enough blood. I worked out that it’s exactly a week since the miscarriage started, down to the time of night when I woke up in pain a week ago and the contractions started. At least I know I have already passed my baby.
I draft this post, my response to the pain of the last few weeks, because I can’t wake up T who is slumbering the sleep of the contented beside me. It’s 3 am UK time. I can pick up little Dog who is snoring by my feet and give him a cuddle, although I know it will be a matter of minutes before he wriggles from my grasp and heads down to the end of the bed again, to take his place as our guardian (and directly in front of the fan – it’s still hot and stuffy in London).
This is the experience of miscarriage. The mundane, the pain, suffered alone. It’s not insurmountable. I can deal with it. But if I could take it away, I would.
If I’d have known that this could have been the result of IVF, maybe I’d have balked. Maybe I will think twice before the next round. This is the real, physical, tangible manifestation of lost hope. Before it was a vague idea of loss, building upon years of dull loss, of unexplained infertility. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Except this. Blood, tissue, loss, rejection. My body expelling my baby whilst my heart begs him to stay; just give me one more week at a time of being pregnant… Let me feel what it’s like to carry a child. Let my baby wriggle inside me and grow and let my body push him out not now, but in seven months. Let me carry a baby to term. Let me be a mother.
I’m not a religious person. I don’t know who to ask.
I ask all the fertile mothers: Give me just one of your many healthy pregnancies. You can spare one. I don’t ask for much. I don’t ask for more than you have. Just one.
I ask the universe: Let me do what we almost managed to do. I’m a good person. I try my best to be nice to people. I don’t actively do harm. I won’t complain. My child will be the most wanted child.
I ask Mother Nature: Let me do what I was designed to do. Make my pain every month worthwhile. Don’t make me suffer in vain. I can take the pain if you can give me this one thing.
I don’t ask for more than what countless women take for granted. I don’t want riches. I don’t ask for beauty. I don’t want a superpower.
Please let me be a mother.